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Has Paramount got it right with this redesigned Sonic?

Sonic the Hedgehog redesign
(Image credit: Paramount)

The whole weird Sonic the Hedgehog movie thing looks like it's finally heading for a happy ending. You may recall that Paramount released a trailer for it about six months ago and people got really, really cross about it, thanks to a slightly-too-realistic blue hedgehog with worryingly human teeth that looked like the result of either an illegal genetic experiment or a tragic teleportation accident. We've seen better free 3D models.

Naturally the internet was absolutely livid, prompting an embarrassingly quick about-face from the director, Jeff Fowler, who promised to go back to the drawing board. And now, six months later, we can see the results in this new trailer.

The difference in the design of Sonic is hard to miss; this time around the design team have gone for a much more cartoony feel that's more in line with the original games, and they've carried it off well. They've even put white gloves on him, rather than him having weird human-like hands.

This Sonic looks like a cartoon character made real, rather than a human trying way too hard to cosplay Sonic, and while there's bit of a Dreamworks face going on at times, there's a whole lot more life and expression to this redesigned version.

Sonic the Hedgehog redesign

Put old and new Sonic together and there's no comparison (Image credit: Paramount)

Basically, this one doesn't make you feel like the kindest thing to do with it would be to put it out of its misery with a shovel. It's a lot more fun to look at and, from the trailer, seems to be a lot more fun to be around, too. 

New Sonic's more Roger Rabbit than Polar Express, with a much more action-packed, madcap feel – although a lot of that's down to scene selection in this trailer, and without the redesign we'd have likely had the same scenes performed by uncanny valley Sonic.

Sonic the Hedgehog redesign

Even dogs love the redesigned Sonic (Image credit: Paramount)

Unsurprisingly the fan reaction to this new trailer has been a lot more positive than for the original, which is a bit of a shame for anyone who delights in internet rage, but good news for Paramount. 

Fans have praised the work put in by the film's animators and designers to focus on Sonic's inherent quirkiness, and there's a definite feel that thanks to Paramount listening to the fans, there'll be a lot more people turning up to see it when it's released on 14 February.

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That release date feels like one hell of a sick burn, though. Is Paramount having a jab at Sonic fandom by putting the film out on Valentine's Day, when people are kind of expected to have romantic plans that don't involve a cartoon hedgehog? It doesn't really look like a date movie to us.

Sonic the Hedgehog redesign

The Sonic movie looks a lot more action-packed now (Image credit: Paramount)

We'll be there to see Jim Carrey's scenery-chewing performance as Doctor Robotnik, though; at least we might be as long as there's nothing on TV.

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Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, cat-wrangler and occasional street performer who's written for a multitude of publications over the past quarter of a century, including Creative Bloq, T3, PC Gamer and a whole load of long-dead print magazines.