Yuji Naka Expresses His Feelings On New Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Redesign

Yuji Naka Expresses His Feelings On New Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Redesign
Credit: Paramount Pictures via YouTube

When the first images for the live-action adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog dropped, fans weren’t happy. There was an immediate backlash to his unusual design.

The film’s director, Jeff Fowler, made a shocking decision: he listed to fan feedback and took it to hear. The director and studio announced they would rework the blue hedgehog’s design.

The newest trailer showcases Sonic’s redesign, which was aided by Sonic Mania’s artist Tyson Heese. He previously worked on the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and the animated intro for the game, so he knows the character well.

Fans were overall pleased with the less-horrifying redesign.

Yuji Naka, who is the former head of Sega’s Sonic Team, plus lead programmer of the original game, also shared his thoughts on Twitter.

Naka praised how the character now looked more like the original character, including his white gloves. Sonic’s sneakers are also red with red stripes, a change from the first trailer’s athletic sneakers.

The former head did have a few complaints: he didn’t like how Sonic’s eyes were now separated. Sonic’s original design gave him the appearance of a cyclops. While he’s not a cyclops because he has two pupils, the sclera (or the whites of the eyes) were connected.

Naka also questioned the movie’s plot. Sonic, a blue hedgehog, becomes fast friends with human Tom Wachowski, played by James Marsden. As Sonic tries to understand human life, the world is threatened by evil Dr. Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey. Dr. Robotnik wants to capture Sonic and use the hedgehog’s power to take over the world.

The original game stars Sonic the Hedgehog on a quest to save his animal friends. They’re trapped inside of various robots and other metal containers. Sonic not only has to rescue his friends but also collect all six Chaos Emeralds before Dr. Robotnik can use them for evil purposes.

While the game series has included humans in the past, it appears that the film will have an original story.

While few fans were pleased about the first trailer, Naka was disappointed that all traces of it disappeared. Naka mentioned that he would have liked to see the original version as an extra. After the fan backlash, it’s not surprising that Paramount Pictures decided to wipe it off the internet.

Sonic the Hedgehog the film is scheduled to be released on February 14, 2020.