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Sites Find Out About Sonic Movie Two Years After It Was Announced

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When you want to be kept up to date on the latest Sonic news, it’s pretty likely that you’ll look for it on some Sonic fansite. Not this one obviously, we do a pretty poor job at reporting all the news about the franchise on time. But general video game/entertainment websites, where the normal people get their news, tend to not care all that much about the franchise.

Not that I can blame them. Like the writers often like to say at the start of their Sonic articles, the modern games don’t exactly have the best reputation. Especially now with Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Sonic Runners being the most recent games in people’s memory. Those games are so bad that our wiki editors haven’t bothered to add much info about them on our site. But that’s not really an excuse for misreporting news, like a bunch of site writers did today.

So the news in question here is pretty simple: Hajime Satomi said in an interview with The Worldfolio that the Sonic movie that was announced a couple of years ago is scheduled for release in 2018. No other details, pretty simple, it’s something we’d mention in a Retro Digest article at most. It should be pretty hard to mess this up, right? Well…

It starts off with Nintendo Life picking it up as “Sonic The Hedgehog Movie Confirmed For 2018 Release“. Nothing wrong so far, they do a decent job of informing people about the small bit of news, and also make it a discussion topic for the site’s commentors by comparing it to Nintendo’s similar efforts to use their IP in different media.

Then Den of Geek reported on it as “Sonic The Hedgehog movie in the works at Sony, due out in 2018”, with Nintendo Life as their source. This is where things start to mess up. DoG completely missed the part about the movie being already announced, and instead acts like Sega never mentioned the movie until yesterdary’s interview. Something that should be hard to mess up considering that NL links to the announcement in the very first sentence of their article. They also say that there are no other details about the movie other than it releasing in 2018, even though we already knew who the writers and producers are, and which studio is animating it when the movie was first announced. At least they’re optimistic about Sonic’s future, which is a nice change from the usual pessimism writers show towards the franchise.

Then Engadget, which got the news from Den of Geek, reports it as “Sonic to star in a ‘live-action and animation hybrid’ movie”. Again, it’s reported as new news, but aside from that it seems like the writer really wanted to meet his quota for swinging shit at Sonic for the year. He did a pretty good job, he managed to check all of the boxes for the standard Sonic article on a gaming site:

✔ Start article off by talking about how bad Sonic is.
✔ Ignore any recent good Sonic games, if not call the good games bad as well.
✔ Mention that time Sonic kissed a human.
✔ Spell doom for the Sonic news that you’re reporting on.

io9 didn’t do as well though, they only checked three of the boxes. They even used Engadget as their source and basically just repeated most of what they wrote so it’s not like they couldn’t go the extra mile. Eurogamer did even worse, they only checked the last box while reporting the same thing as, yet again, new news. They do get extra points for using an image of Sonic crying though, and also a nod for having already reported on the movie’s announcement two years ago.

But seriously, we’re used to the pessimistic take on Sonic’s reputation the writers of sites like these usually give. It’s lazy writing, but at least they get the news across. But in this case it seems like they couldn’t even be bothered to search for “Sonic movie” on Google. Instead they seemingly just went with whatever the most recent article they saw pop up on Twitter said and ran their take on it. It’s pretty bad when fansites with writers who don’t get paid do a better job.

Not that all sites are doing a bad job. Polygon, a site that’s often mocked by people, recently did a couple of surprisingly good features about Sonic. The first one is about Sonic’s history, for which they interviewed various people like Al Nilsen, Takashi Iizuka, and even Christian Whitehead (aka The Taxman on our forums). The other is about Big Red Button, in which Bob Rafei talks all about the company, from how it got started to what they’re doing after Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric‘s failure. They’re also one of the few sites that did properly report about the movie news.

UPDATE: SlashFilm has joined in as well. Not only did they use Engadget as a source, they basically copied what they wrote and reworded it. Meaning that they checked all of the boxes, reported it as new news, and committed plagiarism. Overall making it the laziest report of this tiny bit of news yet.

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22 Comments

  • Reply

    I think the press and the fanbase have every right to be cynical. While harping on decade-old failures is beating a dead horse, it’s hard to deny that Sonic’s reputation still hasn’t recovered. The best games that the press would bother reporting about were Colors, Generations, and All-Stars Racing Transformed, but those successes were 5-odd years ago. The franchise has attempted to “reinvent” itself and “return to its roots” for years, but after the under-performance of Unleashed and the outright failures of Lost World and the Boom games, there is little reason to be optimistic. Even its obvious cash-ins like Dash and Runners haven’t worked (as Retro itself reported).

    The Sonic Boom cartoon has done far better than I expected, but taking into account Sonic’s already shaky situation and the dubious reputation of A) video game movies and B) mixed animation/live action movies, I see little reason to expect anything from this movie better than mediocrity.

    • Reply

      how is lost world an “utter failure”? it’s not as good as generations, sure, but it’s a decent game in its own right. this is exactly what people are referring to in regards to over-exaggerating the failures in the series. lost world isn’t terrible, but isn’t it funnier to pretend that it is so we can keep perpetuating the “man sonic is just the worst series of all time!” schtick?

    • Reply

      “I think the press and the fanbase have every right to be cynical.”

      Yup. And we have every right to be fucking fed up with it.

      • Reply

        All we know about the movie right now are the format and the release date, but the very announcement of its existence years ago didn’t inspire any confidence, let alone now. If Sega wants the fans and the press to stop being so cynical, they should start making better games. Plain and simple.

        • Reply

          The company is more than aware of this, and can be exemplified by Fire and Ice being pushed back instead of firing it out this past November. Right now, it’s a very enigmatic time for Sega’s quality since they’ve not really shown too much of this new initiative. Cynicism is fine, but they at least warrant a chance to see if they back up their word or if it’s business as usual.

        • Reply

          You really think that will make them stop? The press will still be cynical with Sonic even when he comes out with better games even during the times when Colors and Generations came out. Everytime a new game is announced, they’re just going to forget the last good games like Colors, Generations, All Stars Racing+Transformed ever happened and go back to saying crap like “Oh, Sonic hasn’t been good since the Genesis”, and “Hey! Remember the time when Sonic kissed a princess? Because bringing up the scene when Elise kissed Sonic in Sonic 06 10 years later is still relevant somehow!” and still harp on games like Sonic 06, Shadow, and werehog.
          Sonic was doing so well from 2010-2014, he had several good/decent games that came out during that time, but all it takes is one bad or mediocre game for people to bashing the series again and acting like the good games never happened.

          • Oh yeah, even the time when Sonic Lost World is announced and the gaming press write comments like “The Sonic cycle starts anew”, “Will this game break the Sonic Cycle?”, etc. And I’m like, what Sonic cycle? During that time the last game was Generations, and before that was Sonic Colors and those games did fine. So they’re implying that the Generations is either terrible or a game that everybody was excited for but is a huge disappointment. So what I’m saying is, it doesn’t matter how many good games Sonic has, the press loves to hop on the bandwagon and so hellbent on harping on bad games that came out a long time ago when the franchise has moved on from that.

    • Reply

      Then perhaps do some research. One of the writers for the movie, Van Robichaux, has actually been talking to fans on social media and other fansites. He’s shown himself to be familiar with, and even be a fan of, the games. More than can be said for the current writers for the games or the Boom writers. If he has his way, it’ll be good. Or, at the very least, entertaining.

  • Reply

    Hey, most of us only found out that Sonic Bros was a thing just yesterday!

    • Reply

      Yea but that wasn’t intended to be that big a thing and never really was formally announced.

      And yea people care less about Sonic nowadays. I can see why Sega needs to release a new main game every year.

  • Reply

    Heck, not many sites would even point out that the Sonic Boom games are just tie-ins to the cartoon show, and certain ones would even go as blatantly wrong as saying it’s the other way around.

    • Reply

      They release a main game every two years, and the last main game was Sonic Lost World and that came out in 2013! We didn’t get any physical Sonic releases in 2015. Even with the year break the series had last year, people still act like SEGA are releasing a lot of Sonic games when they don’t release as many as they use to years ago.

      That reply is to Atomic Photon btw.

  • Reply

    As a lifelong Sonic fan, I hope that they don’t bollix this movie up liked they did Super Mario Bros.

    • Reply

      Super Mario Bros. was the product of a shitfest of script and director changes. I don’t think this will be as bad, so long as Uwe Boll stays hella far away.

  • Reply

    I so wish they’d gone full-cgi. Live-action with some CG characters is almost impossible to do without becoming something even fans point and laugh at (see: Garfield, Smurfs, Michael Bay’s Ninja Turtles crack baby…).

    Doug Walker did a great piece on CGI in his Nostalgia Critic series. Basically he pointed out that when CGI was new, our collective minds were blown with movies like Jurassic Park. But a few decades later, we’ve become trained to spot it–that movement was a little too fluid, that face just a bit too uncanny valley–and now there’s a big push to bring back practical effects (i.e. Star Wars) because what was once a technical marvel now looks laughably fake.

    As much as I love Sonic and would love to see him on the big screen (aside from cameos, although yes, I did giggle like a hyper little kid when I spotted him in Wreck-It Ralph), I just can’t hold out much hope for a hybrid film. I’d have a lot more confidence in either full CGI, a la Wreck-It Ralph (which was a delight), or better yet, good old-fashioned 2D animation.

  • Reply

    if the movie will not gonna animated like sonic x or sonic anime so bettered that will not movie..

    • Reply

      what?

  • Reply

    I’m a little uneasy about the direction the narrative will take in this film. The games have never been very focused on character development or world building; especially after the adventure era. And unless they draw from some really old sources the film’s characters and plot will probably be presented in a way similar to the Boom TV show: with everyone completely flanderized, cracking age old jokes that lack any substance. And any source of dramatic tension, instead of being inspired by past conflicts, will likely be completely contrived. Again, much like Lyric and his motives in Sonic Boom.

    I just hope I’m wrong and they go instead with a full blown sequel to the Sonic OVA, which I still feel represents Sonic’s best portrayal in television/movies.

    • Reply

      The way I see it, i’s either going to be like SA2, or Sonic Lost World.

  • Reply

    LOL even though I told my friends about it for the last 2 years, they got so surprised and excited when this news came out. I guess everyone just forgot LOL.

    And how many authors do you have for Sonic Retro? You guys needs more hands on the site to post news and mod things?

  • Reply

    Not sure how that Polygon article on Sonic’s history can be called “good” when it completely fails to mention all the solid handheld Sonic games over the years. The handheld part of the equation is not just a side note.

    • Reply

      Sonic Team and DIMPS kind of did this too. The 3DS version of Generations only highlighted the console stages when they could have easily used the Game Gear and Advance games.

      Though, Green Hill does nod to the Master System/Game Gear version.

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