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Nepenthe

The Catch-22 of Sonic as a Theatrical Hero

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Sometimes even good changes can take time to warm up to.

And sometimes they don't, sooooooooo....

It's not the medium itself that's affecting it, but how much its used. Unless Sega up and dies, you can pretty much guarantee that there will be more Sonic games. So if a game comes out and Sonic acts a little different and maybe not everyone's entirely on board with it, well, there will be more games, they can tweak it a bit next time and maybe people will warm up to it once he's been like that for a game or two and once the writers get comfortable with it. But there's no guarantee of a Sonic the Movie 2, and if things don't go so great with the first, there's even less of a chance. A game is a known risk for them, and one they'll be willing to take again and again. A movie is a bit more an unknown risk for them, and I don't think there's any benefit to compounding that risk by introducing a new characterization for Sonic in it when they can establish it in a game first.

The benefit is that they'll be appealing to audiences outside of the hardcore Sonic fans who in all honesty will see it Day 1 in droves to begin with, which is absolutely critical to being profitable in an era where animated feature films are more expensive and being produced at a rate unprecedented in western history and are thus significantly more competitive. And really, no one here is advocating "a new characterization" altogether to the point that Sonic is some unrecognizable entity completely divorced from the games, at least any different than the numerous different interpretations present in the games themselves. In fact, considering the fact that most people here have been pretty warm to the idea of making Sonic more relatable not only for the sake of working for a film, but for the games too, I'd say you're being more pessimistic than necessary and still trying to advocate for a reboot, no, fuck that shit. xP The only way I'd see any changes to Sonic not going over well at all is if they were just outright horrible.

Edited by Nepenthe

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The benefit is that they'll be appealing to audiences outside of the hardcore Sonic fans who in all honesty will see it Day 1 in droves to begin with, which is absolutely critical to being profitable in an era where animated feature films are more expensive and being produced at a rate unprecedented in western history and are thus significantly more competitive.
Okay and how would this be any less true if they established Sonic acting like that in the games first?

And really, no one here is advocating "a new characterization" altogether to the point that Sonic is some unrecognizable entity completely divorced from the games, at least any different than the numerous different interpretations present in the games themselves.
Right, but some people still complain about certain characterizations in the games, so it's not a stretch to assume that this potential change would also bother some people.

In fact, considering the fact that most people here have been pretty warm to the idea of making Sonic more relatable not only for the sake of working for a film, but for the games too, I'd say you're being more pessimistic than necessary
Right, so, should we assume some small number of people here speak for the entire fanbase regarding an interpretation of the character that hasn't even been written yet?

The only way I'd see any changes to Sonic not going over well at all is if they were just outright horrible.
Maybe, do you think, we should consider more bad cases than just the worst case scenario?

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Okay and how would this be any less true if they established Sonic acting like that in the games first?

It wouldn't. My argument is one of necessity. You don't need to wait for Sonic Team to get the writing right in the games to have a Sonic film, and there's nothing being presented by your argument that says the risk of the movie failing would be any greater if they didn't other than "complaints." Just do the film and make it good.

Right, but some people still complain about certain characterizations in the games, so it's not a stretch to assume that this potential change would also bother some people.

Some people complain about everything regarding this franchise, so why should "some complaining happens" be seriously taken into consideration as a reason not to do a film?

Right, so, should we assume some small number of people here speak for the entire fanbase regarding an interpretation of the character that hasn't even been written yet?

Nope. But why should I automatically assume a negative reaction when you've brought nothing to the table in this regard other than "some people would complain thus it would be a bad idea?" Complaints are a given. People complain about everything. Demonstrate to me why there would be enough of a backlash to bother putting a film on the backburner in the context of Sonic's characterization not being proper in the games. Otherwise, this is just hypothetical against hypothetical, an argument I really don't want to have.

Maybe, do you think, we should consider more bad cases than just the worst case scenario?

I could ask you the same thing in terms of dealing with a positive output with anything at all. But praytell, what other scenarios should I consider?

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Even I wouldn't go so far as to say Sonic doesn't have non-idealistic feelings whatsoever. In the games, we've seen him get angry, we've seen him get frustrated at the turn of things, we've seen him embarrassed from being caught showing a bit too much hubris, we've seen him as a cocky asshole which has gotten him into trouble, we've seen him fuck up a rescue mission. He has a pretty good characterization and personality, and some moments where he's not been entirely on-point, but ultimately what Sonic lacks is an actual arc.

What are you talking about? Sonic had a textbook mental breakdown when he found out that he hadn't traveled far enough back in time to save Elise from Eggman's Pearman's airship randomly blowing up! Couldn't you see his torment, noiselessly falling to his knees and I guess then he hits the ground, and it seems like there's no hope until a few seconds later when Silver reminds him how time travel works and they just do the same thing they did like 10 minutes ago (their perception) and go farther back in time. He was even in the frame for most of it!

Hey, I'm not saying that Sonic 06 reads like a fanfic, I'm just saying that the writer made a socially awkward Sonic character and then paired him with an existing Tsundere like.

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You said Sonic being out-of-character in a film could cause some people to complain. I've actually not disagreed with this, and it's part of the basis for my opening argument. I'm disagreeing with your assertion that that alone should be enough to stop a film from getting off the ground entirely​ in lieu of Sega getting it right in the games first (which I predict will happen around the first of never, although I could be wrong), especially since you've made no other effort to demonstrate that it would more than likely be a bad idea other than, well, "people complain." Okay, people complain. I agree with that. It happens. And?

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I'm disagreeing with your assertion that that alone should be enough to stop a film from getting off the ground entirely​ in lieu of Sega getting it right in the games first
Oh, okay, so you're disagreeing with shit I've never said. Wonderful.

I'm not saying this alone would tank the movie, but it's a complication that they do not need. A good video game movie already takes everything short of a miracle, and it's damn sure not going to help things that most of the cast's existing characterization is shit. It would be beneficial to sort some of this shit out before they make a movie, to characterize Sonic properly and ease fans into this tweaked version of the character in the games that they'd be making anyway, rather than piling this on top of an already risky project.

(which I predict will happen around the first of never, although I could be wrong)
If they can't get it right in the games, why do you think they'd be any more successful with a movie?

especially since you've made no other effort to demonstrate that it would more than likely be a bad idea other than, well, "people complain." Okay, people complain. I agree with that. It happens. And?
And if you want to be successful, you try to reduce people complaining about your product.

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Oh, okay, so you're disagreeing with shit I've never said. Wonderful.

Dude:

It'd be better to establish it in the games first, take the time to solidify it in people's minds before popping it in a Big Deal Movie.

All I'm saying is that I think it would work out better to make those changes in the games first, and then make a movie where he is like that. To establish his new characterization in his relatively stable "home", rather than in a big risky movie.

A movie is a bit more an unknown risk for them, and I don't think there's any benefit to compounding that risk by introducing a new characterization for Sonic in it when they can establish it in a game first.

If this isn't you essentially saying, "A film should be put on the backburner until Sega gets Sonic's character right in the games first," please explain to me what these three different quotes actually mean then (four if you count the reiteration I separately quoted below this).

I'm not saying this alone would tank the movie, but it's a complication that they do not need. A good video game movie already takes everything short of a miracle, and it's damn sure not going to help things that most of the cast's existing characterization is shit. It would be beneficial to sort some of this shit out before they make a movie, to characterize Sonic properly and ease fans into this tweaked version of the character in the games that they'd be making anyway, rather than piling this on top of an already risky project.

Again, I don't see the benefits as being a particular boon because fans have proven time and time again they don't need to have their hands held and slowly guided along for however many years it would take to accept a change if it's good change, even in situations where there is huge risk or expectation of failure. Sega didn't ease us into Sonic's characterization in Colors. They just hired the writers immediately. They didn't ease us into the modern gameplay; they just did it to clear success with the Daytime gameplay and sequels. They didn't ease us into Adventure. It just happened and brought the franchise back from the brink of death. People complained about all of these things regardless, true, but they were by and large successes regardless of the circumstances surrounding them. So, while you can take this route, I don't see why you also can't just assume good faith in your fanbase and know that they will, more often then not, accept stuff that is of quality and make a good movie.

(I also imagine most of the reason video game movies tend to be disastrous is because of executive meddling on part of live-action distributors and studios who are faithless in the source material, something which could probably be subverted to a significant degree by going through an animation studio instead where it's much easier to tackle gimmicky and weird material due to the nature of the medium, which is where Sonic would naturally go anyway. This was pretty much the same with comic book media as well until Batman, and it's also probably the reason why Wreck-It Ralph is currently the best video game movie ever made.)

If they can't get it right in the games, why do you think they'd be any more successful with a movie?

Who says Sega would have to do it? In fact, I'm not convinced they have the necessary capital to do it all on their own. Outsourcing the rights to a studio with some necessary oversight would probably be best and the most likely way a film'd ever get off the ground today.

And if you want to be successful, you try to reduce people complaining about your product.

Unless the people complaining about your product would already be at a minimum in the first place.

Edited by Nepenthe

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This reminds me of a demotivator from DA, in the Anti-Archie group:

ian_flynn_mangling_sonic__s_character_by_foxtrax-d5090p6.jpg

iirc, I read this comic pretty recently and he was mostly joking, Amy and Tails were full on against him 'giving up' and were just as angry as I'm assuming the fandom was about it; Sonic expected this and bounced back pretty quickly - from point one he was planning on rebuilding the freedom fighters into new teams and etc.

Taken out of context, that part of the comic shows a badly characterized Sonic, but it's pretty much just another joke about how stubborn he is even when the going's tough. I maintain that Archie's characterization of Sonic n the SEGA characters is still pretty good and accurate despite how I feel about their OCs.

Anyway, back on topic, these points are really good and I've often thought about this myself, regardless of 'bad video game movie' stereotypes, Sonic is a brilliant character imo simply because of his never-ending drive and his endless supply of hope for everyone around him, I don't think there are enough characters like him out there, he's very inspiring but yeah because of that he may not make such a good film protagonist.

However an interesting point is raised in both Archie and the Sonic OVA, while not related to game canon they certainly seem in character for Sonic, kind of backed up by how Sonic shoved Tails onto the shuttle at the end of Sonic Colours - when the going gets tough for everyone else he would gladly charge in himself regardless of the danger, despite continuous warning from other characters, if they're scared Sonic will only charge in and take all the hits himself so no one else has to deal with 'his fight', he appreciates his friends, but he can also be proud and sometimes think he can, or should do everything himself. In many instances such as Archie or OVA he's saved by the other characters in more than one instance, I believe that in a traditional film narrative Sonic's low point could probably be trying to face something by himself to the extent that he pushes everyone else in his life away, especially if he blames himself for one of them getting hurt.

It doesn't work quite as well as a character hitting a low point and thinking they can't do jack shit anymore before that poetic realisation and turning point, but it could still work.

In a 'happy go lucky friendship kids series' like Sonic, the fact that Sonic would rather work alone than with his friends when things are especially tough is sort of his 'flaw' as a hero.

Edited by SuperLink

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Except working alone isn't a flaw for Sonic considering it hasn't hindered him at all in the recent games...

Games no, but there's no telling that it won't hinder him in future games, he seemed to need their help in Heroes.

Plus it hinders him in other continuities, there's plenty of room to make a story to that effect if they really wanted to.

(of course then there's the separate issue of whether the film could ever possibly be good but) I think it's a 'flaw' in the character-sense.

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Games no, but there's no telling that it won't hinder him in future games, he seemed to need their help in Heroes.

Only because the story was about friendship and how awesome it is. generally, Sonic never really needs help in taking down Eggman.

Plus it hinders him in other continuities, there's plenty of room to make a story to that effect if they really wanted to.

(of course then there's the separate issue of whether the film could ever possibly be good but) I think it's a 'flaw' in the character-sense.

Except it's never presented as a flaw, flaws hinder characters, it makes them make mistakes in times of need, actively work to prevent them from achieving their goal, and should be an internal conflict they must overcome. Sonic's "flaws" only serve to enhance him, I mean how many times has Sonic's tendency to jump head first into any situation ever bitten him in the ass? Or what does it take to actually "break" him emotionally?

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I think Sonic OVA is a good basis for a sequel movie.

If only because he avoids being the too perfect brohog of the recent games and acts like a funny smart aleck who almost drowns and gets his ass kicked by Metal throughout the film until the final battle.

The game cutscenes always lack the kind of obstacles Sonic faces in the gameplay itself.

If Sonic was dodging spikes and falling platforms over lava pits and looked genuinely panicked over what he was facing, the audience would feel that danger as well.

I've never seen Sonic as being unstoppable, just faster than most land mammals.

Edited by Ball Hog Badnik

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This is part of why I love SatAM Sonic so much. Say what you will about his corny lines and supposed jerkish attitude (btw, he's not a jerk and actually DOES care for his friends), but SatAM's version of Sonic is a very flawed character. He DOES hit low points, like in Sonic's Nightmare, when he's scared that he'll fail to save his friends from roboticization or in the Uncle Chuck episodes where he's so stricken by what happened that he cries.

No, I'm not saying game Sonic should become SatAM Sonic, but I would like to see a little more vulnerability in a way that makes sense for the game 'verse. Not saying they should turn him into an angst bucket, but is it really so bad to show him actually afraid? He could still mask it with his usual never give up attitude, but more weakness would make for a more rounded character.

(Plus, I figure a lot of SatAM Sonic's cockiness is a defense mechanism, anyway.)

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Well considering we're talking mainly about the games, I don't think the comics/SATAM count much here; Sonic has had an entirely different experience over there, and would be difficult to try and replicate it in a movie based on the Game continuity.

If I had to give my own scenario for how this could play out; Ok, film starts with Sonic & Tails doing their traditional hero routine of stopping Eggman, and have no trouble plowing through his troops. Tails notes how easy the whole thing is, and wonders why Eggman isn't putting up more of a fight, while Sonic naturally just assumes he's that awesome and convinces Tails to press forward telling him not to worry. However, during the inevitable confrontation with Eggman, he manages to critically injure Tails because Sonic neglected to keep an eye on him due to his own impulsive behavior. As Tails gradually recovers, Sonic realizes had he been more cautious and aware Tails would have never gotten hurt in the first place and for the rest of film is uncharacteristically hesitant and doubtful of his abilities. His friends note this, and try to get him to open up, but Sonic naturally would sidestep the subject, until Sonic's hesitance results in his friends being put into danger again(I dunno, maybe Tails and/or Amy are kidnapped). Sonic(now more distraught than ever) & Knuckles go to confront Eggman for the finale, who notes that his nemesis isn't fighting as hard as he normally does, and gladly takes advantage. Sonic tries to use the Chaos Emeralds to go Super, but then....it doesn't work, no transformation sequence the emeralds don't respond to Sonic at all because they only respond to his positive feelings, and Sonic's feelings of doubt, and failure prevent him from feeling positive at all. Knuckles, fed up with Sonic's attitude, knocks some sense into Sonic and reminds him of what he's fighting for, and that his hesitance is doing more harm than good. Sonic takes this heart, and resolves his inner conflict allowing him to re-access his Super form and defeat Eggman.

Yeah, it's a little generic, but it's something at all.

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Oh, I basically said that I don't expect a replication of his cartoon self! Just that similar kinds of vulnerability might be interesting to explore... provided it's executed in a way that makes sense for the game universe. Obviously, that would take something pretty drastic. :|a

It makes me wonder what'd happen if Sonic actually failed to save someone.

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I'm just wondering, here- how many people on this thread have read All-Star Superman?

Because Sonic's already done a similar premise, and it worked- Secret Rings. In the right hands, the attitude Morrison took to Superman/the writers took to Sonic in Secret Rings is the perfect way of working him without becoming OOC. People forget the Hero's Journey was meant to be a comment on "wow, these really are similar traits all over the world", not a rulebook.

EDIT: Heck, here, yet another way of doing it, based on Sonic X-Treme of all things. Eggman is sick with a virus, so he tricks Sonic to rescue his friends, and in doing so get infected as well. Now Sonic, who likes to work by his own rules, has to collect all the ingredients for the cure, and in doing so cure Eggman as well.

You could have your Hero's Journey moment there- the illness taking its toll on Sonic, and a moment where he just has to stop for a while because it's too much. He quickly bounces back though, even if limping.

Edited by Captain Harlock

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I think Eggman needs to step his game up.

Sonic colors, Sonic generation. just breezed through the whole thing. He enjoyed fighting those robots, especially in sonic colors.
The second last boss of sonic colors, sonic said "that was ALMOST difficult." all too easy.

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After reading the topic, I've concluded that a Sonic movie can't really work, at least on a thematic level. Video games and theater's follow very different narrative structures and changes will be made to accommodate that. Its why most Live-action adaptions are so polarizing, they change the very thing that they're adapting and the same would subsequently happen to Sonic.

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After reading the topic, I've concluded that a Sonic movie can't really work, at least on a thematic level. Video games and theater's follow very different narrative structures and changes will be made to accommodate that. Its why most Live-action adaptions are so polarizing, they change the very thing that they're adapting and the same would subsequently happen to Sonic.

 

So why is it that everyone is saying Ratchet and Clank might end up being a good movie adaptation of the games?

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So why is it that everyone is saying Ratchet and Clank might end up being a good movie adaptation of the games?

 

 

Mostly because its being adapted by the game writers themselves. That doesn't mean its going to be very successful; outside of maybe a few fans of the series, and maybe some kids I don't expect it to be on par with something like Pixar or Disney.

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