Making the leap to the big screen is tricky business for 2D characters. While Spider-Man made the transition look easy in the awesomely animated Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, Sonic the Hedgehog hasn't quite pulled it off. That's if a recently leaked branding deck is to be believed.
The speedy blue hedgehog – famous for his in-your-face attitude and love of gold rings – is due to make his cinematic debut in November 2019. And in the build up to the Sonic Movie release, Paramount Pictures has been teasing his appearance via Twitter (opens in new tab).
If the branding deck leaked by Hamagami/Carroll, Inc. is the real deal though, we could have our first proper look at Sonic's CG character design (opens in new tab). There's also an accompanying style guide that gives us an idea of the tone we can expect from the film. Look forward to a "brand personality" that's potentially "irreverent and sarcastic", "chill and likeable" and "mischievous but not malicious".
For a character with a passionately dedicated fan base, though, it's unsurprising that the leak has made some Sonic the Hedgehog fans curl up into a ball of confusion and anxiety. Points of concern include the sloppy rendering, lack of gloves, and the strangely designed eyes that don't quite match up with the original video game character.
And because disgruntled fans are also a creative bunch, they've wasted no time picking apart the leak and offering potential improvements. These include eyes that are more faithful to the original design, and better fur shaping.
I've seen a few people say that the leaked movie Sonic's style isn't the real problem, it's just that he's missing Sonic's signature eyes.So I made that.For your consideration, with fur, brow style, and even iris placement unchanged, here's how classic sonic eyes would look: pic.twitter.com/mjqngd4W11March 5, 2019
#SonicJust changing Sonic a little and it's 2x better. wut. pic.twitter.com/JX1JtxOofIMarch 5, 2019
There we go, my quick edit of the Sonic movie design #SonicTheHedgehog #SonicMovie pic.twitter.com/JNXqJEwoMeMarch 5, 2019
2 Angry Blue Boys #Aladdin #SonicTheHedgehog pic.twitter.com/ASJkrJvrmCMarch 5, 2019
There's a lot of speculation amongst fans as to whether the design is the final render or not. However, given that the original leak by Hamagami/Carroll, Inc. has been taken down, the images may have ruffled some feathers at Paramount.
It remains to be seen if this is how the Sega mascot and one-time Mario rival will look in the cinema, so until then we'll have to wonder how this design could look in context as part of a fully CG feature film. Will Sonic the Hedgehog be one of the year's best 3D movies (opens in new tab)?