They did it! Those beautiful bastards. After an eternity of threats and horrifying early leggy character designs and rap anthems, finally there’s a real live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie in theaters. Score one for the memes.
Watch these movies before Sonic the Hedgehog.
Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
When it comes to translating cute little video game mascots to live-action, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is the new gold standard. This movie leans hard into the inherent absurdity of the franchise, in terms of its premise as well as the otherworldly CGI monster designs. They made Blade Runner for kids!
Sonic runs fast through colorful CGI dreamscapes. That kind of describes Speed Racer. Both properties have Japanese roots, too. Sure, that’s a good enough reason to tell you to watch my favorite film.
It may be too gory for younger Sonic fans, but Mortal Kombat is a surprisingly solid live-action video game adaptation. It helps that fighting games already take so much from fighting tournament movies. That big greasy Goro puppet though!
Super Mario Bros.
It took Sonic decades to come to theaters, but his Nintendo rival Mario got a movie at the height of his fame in the early 1990s. Considering the nightmarish result, maybe this wasn’t for the best. Poor Dennis Hopper. Poor Bob Hoskins. Hopefully the upcoming animated movie makes up for this failure.
In the Sonic movie, James Marsden plays a cop or whatever who teams up with the furry wisecracking creature. At one point they ride together in a car. Hilariously, James Marsden basically already did this with the Easter Bunny in Hop. But this time when he turned to an empty seat on set he just had to imagine a different obnoxious cartoon to talk to.
He’s no Jaleel White, but Ben Schwartz is a pretty inspired choice for Sonic’s new voice actor. It was worth it for this Larry King interview alone. If you want to hear more of his cartoon animal voice in action, and don’t want to watch Parks and Rec again, check him out as Dewey Duck on the new DuckTales.
Married to Sonic
Years ago I heard this clip from the old Games For Windows podcast (shout out to Ziff Davis) about a web forum full of people getting “married” to Sonic characters. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.