90s, Anime, Blog, Cartoons, Characters, Movies, TV, Video Games — August 1, 2016 9:13 am

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie: Based on the Game: Well, Sort Of

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It was one of those videos I kept spotting in the discount bin at K-Mart.  Every time I stopped by the electronics section, there would be four or five copies marked down, ready for someone to give a loving home to these tapes.  At some point, the price dropped a dollar and I decided to take a risk on a movie I had never even heard of: Sonic the Hedgehog.

Nowadays, it’s not hard to just ask your favorite butler on the internet all about an unknown commodity – for free.  It wasn’t really that long ago that you had to gamble actual money on whether or not products were worth buying.  Of course, I loved Sonic and I liked one of the animated series (Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, by the way).  A movie, though?  How did this slip through the cracks without being on the cover of Game Pro?  What was I in for?  Especially with a tagline like “Scrape your knuckles. Catch some tails.”  Uh… what?

I popped in the VHS and was surprised that it wasn’t another Sonic cartoon with the same drawing style and progressively worse concepts.  No, this was anime similar in style to the opening scene from Sonic CD!  Immediately, it felt fresh.  I was a little disappointed, however, that Jaleel White was not voicing Sonic this time around.  Oh well, can’t win them all!

The premise follows Sonic and Tails as they work to thwart Dr. Robotnik’s latest invention: Metal Sonic.  Along the way, they run into Knuckles and Sara – Robotnik’s forced bride-to-be if Sonic can’t save the day. From there, it’s pretty much what you’d expect with battles between good and evil players.

I would probably go as far as calling this the best video game based movie I’ve seen.  It draws pretty heavily from the game series for inspiration and doesn’t do anything too outside the box to break canon.  Along the way, it features some hilariously awkward one liners (Tails: “I’m afraid of lightnin’!”, Knuckles: “Searching for hidden treasure is my all time favorite past time.”).

There’s also an incredibly kickass soundtrack for this movie. It’s as if they reached into the depths of the Sonic CD score and decided to amp it up into anime pop tunes. Not only is “Look-a-Like” a great theme song for the movie, but draws comparisons between many things that are alike. Such as, ice and water, steak and cow, autumn this year and last year, etc.

Originally, this wasn’t a movie.  It was two episodes of a Japanese OVA (original video animation) from 1996.  A few years later, the segments were combined to make a movie in the North American market.  Along the way, some gags were cut for the American market, most notably Sonic flipping the bird.

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Haven’t heard of this movie before?  Well, now you have!  It’s an hour of fun that’s well worth any gamer’s time and not very difficult to track down.

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