Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sonic The Hedgehog: The Movie (Kazunori Ikegami, 1996) Review

What? Confused? Yes, there is a film adaptation of Sonic The Hedgehog but, and this may surprise you, it is actually a faithful and actually pretty decent adaptation of the popular game series. Most films based on video games are usually absolutely terrible and can be considered some of the worst films of all time. Some of the worst offenders are Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter. Is an animated film better than live action when it comes to game adaptations? Let's find out.

On the island of South Island (which we can assume is in the south...somewhere), Sonic The Hedgehog (Martin Burke) is relaxing by the sea while his friend Miles 'Tails' Prower (Lainie Frasier) is testing out his new surfboard. Suddenly, an old owl called...Old Man Owl (Charles Campell) arrives on the scene in order to inform Sonic and Tails that Dr. Robotnik (Edwin Neal) has kidnapped the President and his daughter, Sara (Sacsha Biesi). Sonic and Tails intervene but are tricked by Robotnik to enter is land. There, they are accompanied by Sonic's other friend, Knuckles The Echidna (Bill Wise) but also have a run-in with Robotnik's latest and greatest invention, Metal Sonic (Gary Dehan). Now Sonic, Tails and Knuckles have to defeat Metal Sonic, return home and rescue the President and his daughter from the clutches of Robotnik.

I mentioned earlier that this is an accurate adaptation. It is. This is rare in a game adaptation as it generally tries to turn the game into a modern film. Super Mario Bros. proved that this is a bad idea by turning Bowser into a human and making Goombas seven foot tall lizards. Accurate, I know. Sonic The Hedgehog: The Movie clearly has the same characters and they act just like they do in the games (then again, this was before they were given proper personalities in Sonic Adventure). I have to give it points for making my favourite Sonic character (Metal Sonic) a badass personality and giving him a Terminator 2 style send-off.

The cast of the film (at least in the English dub) are one of the films lower points. When most people think about the cast of the film, the think of Lainie Frasier and how she gave Tails a pretty damn annoying voice and sounded too much like a girl (hilarious in hindsight if you ask me). While this is true, the voice actors for Knuckles and Robotnik are actually pretty good. Sonic sounds too much like Dee Bradley Baker (look him up) if you ask me and it just doesn't suit him...but I have to remember this was before Sonic Adventure so it's justifiable. Metal Sonic has one line in the film and I would be lying if I said it wasn't out of place. 

Overall, Sonic The Hedgehog: The Movie is one of the best adaptations of a video game to film ever. It's up there with Animal Crossing but I still have yet to see Prince Of Persia and Ace Attorney so I can't say it is the best. The voice acting may turn some people off (in that case, watch the original Japanese dub) and it even got a way with ALOT of rude moments (I pretty sure I saw an intentional middle finger in there somewhere...and Sara calls Metal Sonic a pervert...context) but it comes together as a very good film adaptation of a very good game series (expect 2004-09).

One of the best films based on a video game ever. The voice acting takes off a view points but overall, is a great film.

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