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"We've gotta go fast." -Tagline

Sonic the Hedgehog is a 2001 American computer-animated action-adventure comedy film based on the video game franchise of the same name. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis, Andrew Adamson and Jeff Fowler, and released on May 18, 2001, by Paramount Pictures.

It stars Tom Hanks, Greg Cipes, Cameron Diaz, TBA, TBA and Jim Carrey as the voices of the lead characters.

Sonic the Hedgehog premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d'Or. It was widely praised as an animated film that featured adult-oriented humour and themes while catering to children at the same time. The film was theatrically released in the United States on May 18, 2001, and grossed $490.4 million worldwide against a production budget of $95 million. Sonic the Hedgehog won 2001's Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Upon release, the film had received positive reviews from critics and fans who praised its visuals, the performances, and its faithfulness to the source material.

The film's success helped establish Paramount Animation as a prime competitor to Pixar in feature film computer animation, TBA.

Premise

After discovering a small team of animal heroes led by a blue, fast hedgehog (Sonic), a small-town police officer (Tom Wachowski) must help it defeat an evil genius (Dr. Eggman) who wants to do experiments on it.

Plot

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Cast

  • Tom Hanks as Thomas Michael "Tom" Wachowski, The sheriff of Green Hills who wishes to join the SFPD. He befriends Sonic, Amy, Tails, and Knuckles, and aids him in there quest to stop Robotnik.
  • Greg Cipes as Sonic the Hedgehog, a blue hedgehog that is gifted with superhuman speed, and the main protagonist of the movie.
  • Freddie Highmore as Tails, a yellow fox with two tails, hence his name. He has the ability to jet-propel himself with his tails, by spinning them around fastly, TBA.
  • TBA as Knuckles the Echidna, a red echidna who is very strong, TBA.
  • Cameron Diaz as Amy Rose, Sonic's girlfriend who is a pink hedgehog. , TBA
  • Jim Carrey as Dr. Eggman, A mad scientist, and inventor who is after Sonic's super-speed powers for world conquest, TBA
  • TBA as Scratch, TBA
  • TBA as Grounder, TBA
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Production

Development

Development for a film adaptation based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video games began in 1993 during production of DIC Entertainment's television show Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Michealene Risley, the newly appointed consumer products director who helped green-light Adventures, negotiated with several Hollywood producers. Sega CEO Tom Kalinske, however, was wary of damaging the brand, citing the commercial and critical failures of the Street Fighter films. Despite Kalinske's concerns, Sega was enthusiastic about a film adaptation. In August 1994, Sega struck a development deal with MGM and Trilogy Entertainment Group, with Pen Densham as the executive producer of the film.

MGM and Sega hired Richard Jefferies, an associate of Risley from her days at Marvel Comics, to write a film treatment. At the time, Sega was developing Sonic X-treme for its next console, the Sega Saturn, and asked Jefferies to feature the Saturn in the screenplay. Jefferies' treatment, entitled Sonic the Hedgehog: Wonders of the World, was submitted in May 1995. While the draft received a positive response among MGM and Sega executives, Shinobu Toyoda suggested Kalinske replace Robotnik with a meaner villain. MGM canceled the project after a failed attempt to revive the film at DreamWorks; Jeffries suggested that the film was scrapped as both Sega and MGM wanted a higher share of the profits, while Densham said it followed creative differences between Sega and Trilogy.

In 1997, Paramount Pictures acquired the rights to produce and distribute a film based on Sonic the Hedgehog.

On June 10, 1998, an animated film was announced as Paramount Pictures and Steven Spielberg signed on to direct a film based on the video game series.

On January 7, 1999, it was revealed that directorial efforts had shifted from Spielberg to Robert Zemeckis, who had previously been hand-picked by Spielberg to direct the Back to the Future film franchise and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

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Post-production

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Casting

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Visual effects and design

The visual effects are provided by ImageMovers, Industrial Light & Magic, Marza Animation Planet, Games Animation, Inc., and Manley Digital.

Originally, the designs from the film were meant to be nonfaithful to the original videogame series, and more realistic. However, they were not received well by TBA, and the creative team led by TBA that was developing the film's character designs decided to give them designs more faithful to the video games. The designs were changed to giving the Sonic, Tails, Amy, and Knuckles a more cartoony-like appearance with color fur and TBA. The new design for the Sonic and his friends was done by young newcomer artist TBA.

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Musical score

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Release

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Box office

Critical reception

Home media

The film was released by Paramount Home Entertainment on VHS and 2-disc DVD on November 2, 2001. Both releases included Sonic's Green Hill Zone Karaoke Dance Party, a 3-minute musical short film, that takes up right after Sonic's ending, with film's characters performing a medley of modern pop songs.

Sonic the Hedgehog was released on video the same day that Pixar's Monsters, Inc. hit theatres. Since videos were traditionally released on Tuesdays, Disney's executives did not receive this well, saying that the move "seemed like an underhanded attempt to siphon off some of their film's steam". Paramount responded that it "simply shifted the release to a Friday to make it more of an event and predicted that it and other studios would do so more frequently with important films." Monsters, Inc. earned that weekend more than $62 million, breaking the record for an animated film.

Sonic the Hedgehog's video release made more than $100 million and eventually became the biggest selling DVD at the time with over 5.5 million sales. Sonic the Hedgehog generated more than $420 million in revenue for Paramount on DVD and VHS and has sold more than 21 million copies of the 23 million shipped by January 2002 worldwide, more than 10 million Sonic the Hedgehog DVDs have been sold by that point.

A 3D version of the film was released on Blu-ray 3D by Paramount Home Entertainment on December 1, 2010, which included the 2008 short film, Keroppi: The Christmas Eve Gift, which is a remake of the Christmas special of the same name, along with its sequels, and a regular 2D Blu-ray boxset of the series was released six days later, Sonic the Hedgehog was released on 4K Blu-ray on May 15, 2020.

Marketing 

Theatrical release promotions

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Differences from the original video game

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Cultural references

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Trivia

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