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A Reddit user claims to have watched an early cut of the upcoming Sonic Movie, posting a brief plot summary on a now deleted AMA. Sonic fans, however, were quick to take screenshots and notes of the summary. Given the amount of contention surrounding the film, with the bizarre design of the character, as seen in the official poster released in December, as well as the recently leaked promo art. Fans have been speculating, and worrying about how the rest of the film will adapt the iconic character. But has this plot summary alleviated some of the troubles from hardcore fans?
Well, I’ll dissect some of the plot points myself from the perspective of a fan, and see how they measure up to the games as an adaptation. While it’s too early to tell what the quality of the film will be, there’s enough here to discuss and estimate what the filmmakers are going for.
However, I must preface that all of this should be taken with a huge grain of salt. Reddit leaks have proven to be fake and unreliable before, so all of this could be just one big hoax. But, there has been one new piece of leaked evidence that gives credence to the Reddit AMA, (more on that in a second) which is what has compelled me to discuss the leaks given the possibility of its legitimacy.
So, let’s break down this summary into plot points and examine them accordingly. You can also read the full version here:
- Sonic escapes his birth planet as a baby. Rings are how he got to earth. He can throw one, imagine a place and it can take him there.
First off, the story will seem to be delving into Sonic’s origin, (or at least this interpretation of it) starting from the very beginning when he was once a child. What’s strange about this idea is that even as a baby he seems sentient enough to leave his world on his own accord. Perhaps they’re playing into the typical cartoon trope where babies are as intelligent enough as a grown person? (Think of baby Poof from Fairly Odd Parents.) But, maybe with the proper context, we can get a different side of the story? Why was he escaping? Was his planet in some danger? Did someone help him escape? Was he sent intentionally there? Escape is a strong word that seems to imply some sort of conflict had happened for Sonic to leave. He’s a baby after all, so I highly doubt that he would’ve left the comfort of his home planet unless there was some imminent danger involved.
As simple as the idea sounds, there’s some potential here for some drama, and an emotional anchor for Sonic’s character here.
Additionally, going back to the aforementioned piece of leaked evidence that seems to confirm this plot summary, apparently, Toywiz.com has listed an upcoming Baby Sonic plushie from the Sonic movie distributed by toy company Jack’s Pacific. As of now, the website has removed the listing, but screenshots of it detailing the plushie are were saved to confirm its existence.
This substantial piece of evidence seems to confirm the validity of this leak, as not only is it a baby plushie of the titular character (as detailed in the leaked plot summary), but it’s described to be a product from the movie specifically. I can’t be just a mere coincidence.
Continuing with the rest of the leak, we get introduced to the idea of Warp Rings, an element taken straight from the games. Unlike regular-sized rings that you collect through the levels, Warp Rings are giant sized rings the player jumps into to be transported to the Special Stages, pocket dimensions where one collects the Chaos Emeralds, the titular McGuffins from the series. They’ve been also known to teleport the characters to different locations whenever they see fit. In fact, this was a plot device that several characters from the line of Archie comics would use as well.
Sonic and His Friends Interacting With Warp Rings To Enter the Special Stages as Seen in the Games
- He’s found by an owl and grows up on earth. He lives in the shadows alone, and scavenging.
This point sounds a little odd in terms of Sonic’s character. They’re trying to establish him as the typical sympathetic protagonist with no friends and the trope of the monster trying to fit among a society that rejects him. However, this seems quite contradictory to who Sonic is supposed to be and what the film seems to be going for.
Sonic is a confident, cocky trouble maker, with a strong sense of adventure who never likes to stay still. It’s been consistent characteristics of his personality throughout many of the wildly different adaptations of the series. So if this reclusive version of him with no friends, with an implied emotional state of mind, will suddenly start cracking jokes, acting cocky and confident later in the film then there’s going to be quite a tonal shift here.
I also believe that a person being secluded from others for such a long time would have social anxiety issues and lack the social skills and confidence to communicate and open with other people that easily. But to give the film the benefit of the doubt, this is just a brief summary. Maybe once we get to see Sonic actually interact with others we’ll get an idea of how much this backstory will play a part on Sonic’s personality? It could be that he gradually learns to become the cocky, confident speedster we know and love as he continues to explore the world?
Then again, this being a film mainly directed at children could also imply that whatever nuance this characterization of the character, entails it will simply be hand waved to the sides as a mindless plot beat and just to get quick sympathy points.
- Loneliness gets to him, where he accidentally creates an electrical disturbance when running, or getting emotional. His charged run is how he gets detected by the government and how Eggman comes into the film.
Now, this is interesting. It’s implying that Sonic seems to have some sort of electrical powers as a result of his incredible speed. Could it be some sort of static electricity from the synergy of his fur? I mean, when you think about it, that idea sort of makes sense, especially if this iteration of the character is designed to look, furrier. Although, they do describe it as it being connected to his emotional state of mind implying that there’s more of a supernatural element to it.
Additionally, this detail seems to correlate with the electric sparks emanating from Sonic’s shoes in the teaser poster from December and the short trailer video that it came with.
'Sonic' Movie Poster Animated Teaser: Electric Spark can be seen on the character's shoes.
As far as the games are concerned, there aren’t a lot of instances where Sonic has generated electricity on his own due to his speed. Usually, a power-up of sorts has been known to give him electrical qualities. (The electric shield from Sonic 3, as well as the Lazer and Spark wisps from Sonic Lost World, come to mind.)
Sonic uses the electric shield and Laser power ups as seen in the games.
While it seems to be a strange addition to the character’s abilities at first, it’s not a foreign concept when it comes to super speedsters. For example, The Flash from the DC comics and movies is known to generate electricity via the Speedforce when running fast and at times has used it as a defensive mean.
It’s still too early to tell whether or not this will be a detriment to the film or the character, but it’s not something I’m immediately against either way.
- Tom has Racoon problems in his trash. When he goes out to deal with it, he meets Sonic face to face. He tranqs him and puts him in a cage.
Nothing noteworthy here. Just a little insight on how Policeman Tom (his human friend) meets Sonic in the film. My guess is that hijinks will ensue between the two with Tom commenting how weird Sonic looks, referring to him as the Blue Devil (that’s the nickname the townsfolk has given Sonic as some urban legend roaming around). It should be funny seeing Sonic tranquilized and shoved in a cage though.
- Tom begrudgingly agrees to help Sonic get to San Francisco because he activated his Ring portal power and dropped his bag of rings into it, dumping them on top of the Golden Gate Bridge
The wording here sounds a bit confusing, but from what I can gather, Sonic has a bag of Warp Rings with him that he lost after accidentally warping them to the Golden Gate Bridge through another Warp Ring. My guess is that he can only use the rings once and couldn’t go after the rest. As to how he lost them (whether if it was during a scuffle or by pure accident) is unknown.
The bridge is also a landmark that has been confirmed to make an appearance in the film thanks to another promotional poster of Sonic, sitting on top of the bridge with his realistic legs sprawled apart.
- Tom is driving him there because he is moving to San Francisco to prove himself that he can handle real cop crime and not Montana small world problems.
We get some info on Tom’s motivations here. There are also some additional notes elsewhere, that claim that the movie’s time is going to be split between Sonic and Tom, giving ample development between the two.
Now, I understand the need to use a human side character in these type of films, you know? It’s so the CG cartoon has someone to work off of and guide them through this world they’re not a part of, and introduce them to the audience from a grounded perspective. I get that. However, that’s just another reason why I would’ve preferred that they’d establish that these creatures already existed in this world. Making them aliens or inter-dimensional beings seems needless, and complicates things. If you're making a Sonic the Hedgehog film, then you might as well embrace all the absurd caveats that come with the idea.
But, I digress. I just hope that the story isn’t that focused on Tom and, they write him as a likable enough character. Moving on
- Tika Sumpter plays Tom’s wife Annie. She’s a veterinarian, and since she was known to Sonic when he watched them from afar as being kind to animals, he felt he could trust them both
Now we finally know the role Tika Sumpter plays in the film, and I’m sort of alleviated that unlike many other movie adaptations featuring CG cartoons, the human character’s story isn’t focused squarely on a love interest that he has to win over. Though, it’s not really saying much, as The Smurfs Movie’s human protagonist was also married and it didn’t do much to save that film.
- Robotnik is just a psycho doc that works for the government. He has no badnicks, but instead, he uses drones that track and shoot and has a large tank.
He’s super obnoxiously smart and makes a ton of comments through the film of how superior his brain is.
He doesn’t sport his iconic look, instead just wearing a long coat, with an evil scientist demeanor, with a short mustache initially.
He’s never referred to as Eggman through the film and Jim Carrey apparently did a spectacular job on the role.
Ok, so this is where things start to get interesting. A lot of us suspected that when Jim Carrey was cast as Eggman he would be the best part of the movie, and while the leaker doesn’t elaborate further, he did indeed seem to enjoy him thoroughly in the role. But, then again, it’s Jim Carrey, you can’t go wrong with him. He’s an entertaining comedian that can even make the most despicable of villains such as Count Olaf from Lemony Snicket's 2005 film so endearing. There wasn’t any better choice to play a larger than life character, like Eggman, with a larger than life actor such as Jim Carrey.
That being said, I’m a little disappointed that he doesn’t fully sport the look or name of the character initially. But, they seemed to have made up for that by nailing down his personality.
The lack of badnicks is also a little concerning. But, then again, it wouldn’t make sense for an Eggman that comes from the human world to have an army of robots modeled after animals. At the very least they could’ve made his robots resemble some of the other less silly robotic designs from the games, such as the GUN mechs, the Egg fighters or hell, all of the robots from Sonic 06. Those would’ve fit in perfectly in live action.
Egg Gunners, Egg Fighters, and GUN Mechs—the more intimidating looking robots from the series.
A tank and handful of drones just sound pretty lame in comparison, if you ask me.
He gradually gets crazier and more obsessed with Sonic as the film goes, and doesn’t rock the signature look until the tail end of the movie.
When he is defeated, he ends up on a foreign planet, that Sonic was supposed to escape to in the event of being found on earth.
He is then hefty and rocking the full stache.
I guess that with this, they’re trying to justify his iconic look, as it being the result of inter-dimensional travel, and his madness taking over. Or there’s a possibility that this is meant to be a reference to the UK Sonic the Comic series, in which it told the origin of Eggman in an eerily similar fashion.
Just like in the leaks, the doctor in that comic started off as a skinny man with a white lab coat, and it was because of a failed experiment involving an egg with the negative energy of the Chaos Emeralds he became the evil scientist we know from the games. Additionally, before the transformation, he had a different name, Dr. Kintobor (which is Robotnik backward) to which he later changed to Eggman. It seems to be a little too similar to be just a coincidence, so it’s most likely a reference for sure.
There is one mayor car chase/scene battle.
Sonic flosses (the dance move) afterward.
The chase scene might be connected to the highway in Vancouver Island that was closed in September of last year for the filming of the movie. It was a pretty long stretch of road filmed outside of nearby towns, so it only makes sense that a chase scene was shot.
As for Sonic flossing…. I have no words for this. Really, it just gives you an idea of the type of humor that’s going to be present in this film. Knowing how corporate Holywood attempts to be trendy with the kids, it’s no surprise that they’d try to shove a Fortnite dance into this.
Sonic creates an Earth bucket list after Tom agrees to help him get his rings back
I suppose that this confirms that Sonic won’t be returning to his homeworld at the end of the film. It implies that it’ll end with Sonic going on a trip around the world while Eggman remains trapped in Sonic’s world, presumably. How will these lead into sequels (if they ever happen) is beyond me.
It also brings into question again the state of the world Sonic came from if even after he recovered his Warp Rings he still refuses to return. Did something happen for him to leave in the first place? Would a sequel address such an idea?
At one point during the film, Sonic sneaks off while Tom makes a phone call in a backwoods gas station. Sonic creates a ruckus and a bar fight ensues.
I guess this is to demonstrate the type of rebellious troublemaker Sonic is (being a teenager and all). But really, when it comes to Sonic, I’d rather see him fight robots with the sarcastic wit he’s known for. This scene doesn’t sound all that remarkable with him fighting some random bar thugs. It’s not even something I think the character would ever find himself doing.
But that’s the problem with these live-action adaptations, as they stray themselves too far away from the original source material, that they have to scrounge whatever they can in a live action setting. For example, if I want to go see a live action Pokemon film, I expect to see a live action Pokemon battle, not Pikachu in a bar fight with humans (and Detective Pikachu already seems to be doing that magnificently). If I go see a live-action Metroid film, I expect to see fights against live action space pirates and aliens, not generic human space thugs. So if I go see a Sonic film, I want to see him take on real hoards of Robots or giant mechs, like in the games.
So far, the highway chase scene seems to be the only real piece of excitement that seems directly lifted from the games. While Eggman is described as having a tank and some drones, it holds no candle to the outlandish weapons and mechs he has in the games, giving me the impression that the robot busting action will be rather tame.
There are no Chaos Emeralds.
Sonic and Eggman are the only characters from the games.
This was all to be expected regardless of the quality of the film, as it is just the first movie. Considering how there’s been some controversy redesign just the titular character himself for live action, it’s no surprise they’d focus the story squarely on him as a testing grounds if future sequels were to introduce the rest of Sonic’s furry anthropomorphic friends.
Also, seeing how the film is set in the real world, the mystical gems along with the rich lore attached to them wouldn’t fit the story they’re trying to tell here. I mean really, based on what I’ve read here, Super Sonic doesn’t seem appropriate for the situation and it might feel shoehorned in for the sake of fanservice. Perhaps, this was for the best.
The CG is unfinished.
Again, no big surprise here. It’s an early cut of the film after all so unfinished effects are to be expected.
Sly jokes and adult content are not that heavy, saying that the movie is definitely “aimed at family and young kids who can pull their parent's wallets for merch.”
Not exactly good news as it’s what I feared this would become when the live action setting was announced. And it’s really a shame; I mean if Detective Pikachu can get away with Pikachu saying "hell" in the recent trailer and have a story involving a drug that makes Pokemon go crazy, I’m sure that a Sonic film taking a couple of risks here and there would be fine.
It wouldn’t have been too bad for it to be a simple family film had the Redittor not described it as being for young kids who can pull their parent's wallets for merch.
Sonic’s design is similar to the final 3D render that leaked earlier this week
While youtube Channel Tail’s Channel confirmed through their sources that the leaked designs of the character a couple of weeks ago were not final, it did seem unlikely that major changes to his appearance would be made at this stage in production. The fact that this describes as him looking very similar to the 3D render just confirms it.
The movie gears towards new fans, but it also respects older fans.
This is really a subjective point from the user. I’d have to see the movie itself to know if this statement holds up. While what I have read doesn’t seem entirely terrible, it doesn't sound like it’ll win me or many fans over. It does, in fact, seem to be geared towards younger children and families more than anything else, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. But, as a Sonic fan? Well…
The summary of this story leaves much to be desired. As a fan, I feel disappointed that a lot of the fun and iconic aspects of the games are just absent, leaving behind only minor callbacks and references. It seems very unambitious and uninspired, with its ideas taking these larger than life concepts/characters, dumping them in a live-action setting and scaling things down exponentially.
It doesn’t even sound like a fair representation of the games. If I had never heard of Sonic the Hedgehog before and was introduced to the character with this story, I wouldn’t be enticed enough to buy or check out any of the games. It just doesn’t sound that exciting to me.
Obviously, children will eat this up no question, but even then, I doubt that they’d be interested in asking their parents to buy them a Tom the Policeman action figure, or a skinny Robotnik in a white lab coat plushie. Most of the merch will likely come from Sonic himself, so I’d argue, that adding more elements from the games (The badniks, Green Hill Zone, etc.) would have benefited them.
If I have to bring up Detective Pikachu as an example again, even they seem to have the right idea by selling decks of the Pokemon trading card game featuring the live-action designs, and they look awesome! The more Pokemon they added in the film, the better! I’d sure as hell be interested in getting some of those, and I don’t even play the game card game!
That being said, it is still too early to judge based on a summary. I’d have to wait for a full trailer or for the film to release in order to have a complete opinion on the movie as a whole. The summary sounds bad, but for all we know, the finished product may implement things competently. A stupid idea can work with good execution after all.
And while I am speaking from the perspective of a Sonic fan, I still am speaking for myself. That being said, what did you think of the leaked plot? Does it appeal the movie more to you? Or maybe you weren’t satisfied? Do you even believe that this leak was real?
As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the next article.