How an old video game mascot became a new movie star

sonic 2 movie somersaults Wednesday in all the halls of France. And yes, the first movie. sound exists, released just two years ago. It also shattered all predictions and outpaced the competition by winning at the top of the box office. In France with over two million entries and in the United States where it became the highest grossing video game adaptation of all time. Before Detective Pikachu.

However, Sonic was not and still has no power in pop culture in general and the video game in particular he was born into, but also lost the war against Mario. How then to explain this return of hype when a third film and derivative series has already been announced?

“Sonic for cool kids!” »

book author Sonic Generations – Blue Hedgehog Elegance, in Third Editions, Benjamin Benoit recalls that Sonic was created in a commercial logic, in the midst of an internal war between Nintendo and Sega: “We had to find a rival for this plump plumber, cute but neutral.” And to replace that unfortunate Alex Kidd, who didn’t impose himself as a Sega mascot. “However, the character of Sonic is spectacular, he has a response, insight, a cool attitude, and this is from the home screen of the first game. Sonic, this is for the bad guys! The character is involved in creating Megadrive and Sega greatness and presents himself as a figure of the 1990s in several sequels , cartoons, comics, or even the Happy Meal menu at McDonald’s.

But after ten years, the franchise is struggling to go the distance, as is Sega, facing increased competition, always with Nintendo, but also with Sony and Microsoft. According to Benjamin Benoist, the last very good Sonic game comes from to sonic adventure 2 released in 2001 on the Dreamcast, Sega’s premier console.

The first movie to legitimize Sonic on the big screen

sonic movie then appears in a strange context where the hero has just celebrated his 25th birthday with a diptych Sonic Mania / Powers but where it is not really expected by the general public. He is even feared after the controversy surrounding his appearance, which has changed dramatically after criticism from fans. But it’s not just the context. “This is one of the last films before the coronavirus,” comments the blue hedgehog specialist. He had very few competitors. And the movie isn’t actually an adaptation of the games. “The Sonic universe includes green plains, deserts, steampunk or none of that in the movie. It’s more like buddy movie, a very American format, between Sonic and a second-rate actor who lives for adventure. »

An approach that is also found in pokemon detective, as if to better legitimize the presence of these video game characters on the cinema screen. Thus, Benjamin Benoit hopes to find the promise of the video game universe in the second Sonic movie, even if the adaptation of the games to the movies may prove to be a dead end “because the mechanics are incompatible.” The worst case will always be one man show Jim Carrey is having fun like a crazy little guy in Doctor Robotnik.

Character is now owned by fans

“Sonic was and still is a video game franchise,” adds the author. Sound Generations. It will never be talked about as much as when a good game comes out. next release, Sound boundaries presents himself as open world to Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but will not benefit from screening the film as it is scheduled for late 2022. “We don’t have to wait for Sega to save the franchise. Sonic doesn’t really belong to them anymore, but belongs to the fans. Much appreciated sound maniafor example, this is the work of developer Christian “Taxman” Whitehead, known for his ports and fan games a series”. He even eclipsed the most official sound forces from Sega.

Producer sound, Jeff Fowler, claims to be a fan himself, listens to the community, and has already worked on a Sonic game, proving the franchise is in good hands, at least in the movies. Also, the return match between Sonic and Mario will be played on the big screen, since after Super Mario Bros. from sinister memories in 1993, the pot-bellied plumber soon returns in an animated film created by the Illumination studio for success minions as well as All on stage.

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