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The Sonic movie should have been fully animated.


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Now don't get me wrong, the movie we did get was actually pretty good. But I am honestly kind of surprised that Sega went for a live-action/CGI hybrid rather than a fully animated movie. Animation is a better medium for Sonic. Live-action has limits as to what it can portray. Animation does not have those limits. Plus Sega already owns Marza, and they made the Unleashed opening. A Sonic movie in the vein of that would be epic.

So why didn't they just make an animated movie? 

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Money. Capacity. Skillset. Connections.

SEGA has... some resources to make a full film, see also Lupin The Third The First, but they don't really have the resources or connections to be a global film studio in the conventional sense. Marza was involved in the movie, doing some amount of CG/FX work on it. But if they license it off to a studio like Paramount, SEGA gets paid for the license, and Paramount handles the work of making/distributing/advertising the thing.

And now, if we jump to "Well, why didn't PARAMOUNT make an animated movie..."

Money. Capacity. Skillset. General business and design philosophy.

Paramount is... not a studio I associate with a high tier of family film (though I'll admit I don't think either Sonic film are very good either, so adjust for that perspective). I'll stop short of calling them cheap... but there seems to be a vision going on there that turns Transformers and Ninja Turtles into... well... you know. It's just significantly cheaper (and thus much less risky) to do a combination of live action and CG than to do all CG. I suppose further evidence would be that it wasn't until the first movie was an amazing success that they brought in a capital-M Movie Actor for the sequel, where as the biggest name in the first movie was Jim Carrey.

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Unless you're hiring Illumination, animated films are expensive, take a long time to make, and risky. 

Paramount gave Sonic a low budget as is at the time and wanted that first film done quickly. Hence live action instead of redoing what Sony gave them. 

And Paramount was really hurting around the time they picked up the Sonic movie, coming off a string of expensive flops and their bread and butter Transformers underperforming. 

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2 minutes ago, VO.SUPER said:

And Paramount was really hurting around the time they picked up the Sonic movie, coming off a string of expensive flops and their bread and butter Transformers underperforming. 

Yeah, they were... they were in a real bad place at that time. I was following some financial reporting prior to when Sonic 1 released, and it was grim.

The whole "Sonic fans made them change the movie" narrative doesn't hold a lot of water; nobody in their prospective audience was happy with the design, and they really needed that movie to do alright.

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Sonic has never been in live action before, so I think it’s the more interesting choice actually. The games and shows are animated. So it’s nice to get something different. Also limitations can encourage creativity. 

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Ignoring the whole funding and budget thing, I feel like, assuming the movie would still have all the same things as the movie we got, it would've upset more people if it was animated. I like the Sonic Movie, but even I have to admit that it is very un-Sonic-like in a lot of ways, and in most of the runtime too.

I feel like people were more accepting of it because it was live action, and if it were fully animated, it'd probably still do good financially...but more people probably wouldn't like it as a movie. That's not taking in the people who already find it mediocre or even downright bad into consideration either, mind you...

And I'd hate to see how they'd react to an animated Sonic product that feels like such a departure from what made Sonic...Sonic, basically making it a comedy aimed towards children and trying to appeal to the general audiences over appealing towards the fanbase itself.

Oh wait.

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1 hour ago, Jake_LeOFFICIAL said:

Ignoring the whole funding and budget thing, I feel like, assuming the movie would still have all the same things as the movie we got, it would've upset more people if it was animated. I like the Sonic Movie, but even I have to admit that it is very un-Sonic-like in a lot of ways, and in most of the runtime too.

I feel like people were more accepting of it because it was live action, and if it were fully animated, it'd probably still do good financially...but more people probably wouldn't like it as a movie. That's not taking in the people who already find it mediocre or even downright bad into consideration either, mind you...

And I'd hate to see how they'd react to an animated Sonic product that feels like such a departure from what made Sonic...Sonic, basically making it a comedy aimed towards children and trying to appeal to the general audiences over appealing towards the fanbase itself.

Oh wait.

I do think people would have reacted okay to Sonic boom if they understood it was just a spinoff, and if the games were any good.

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21 hours ago, The Great Egg Emperor said:

Now don't get me wrong, the movie we did get was actually pretty good. But I am honestly kind of surprised that Sega went for a live-action/CGI hybrid rather than a fully animated movie. Animation is a better medium for Sonic. Live-action has limits as to what it can portray. Animation does not have those limits. Plus Sega already owns Marza, and they made the Unleashed opening. A Sonic movie in the vein of that would be epic.

So why didn't they just make an animated movie? 

I disagree. Sonic blends perfectly with the humans, and the acting of those actors are one of the reasons that both movies were successful, Jim Carrey and James Marsden basically got in the heart of most of the fandom.

Also, that gives a 90s vibe that is one of the reasons that the movie is so comfy. Here in my country we even have a term called "Filme de Sessão da Tarde", with was a program in television that aired memorable and comfortable movies at 3pm in the past. And this movie fits completely, I don't think it would be the same with full animation.

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I think sega may have thought sonic has been done in animation loads of times - cartoons, anime film, and cgi in boom. Maybe a roger rabbit style hybrid would set it apart from the rest and link better to the more modern settings of most of the games post sa1. (Lost world, colours aside).

Get your point though, and maybe thats why we have the netflix series

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The movie was almost always supposed to be its own thing. Its own interpretation of what Sonic is. Making it a love action film does help to set up that expectation and ease the transition and acceptance among fans and newcomers alike. 

Making the movie fully CG sounds good on the surface, but it might do more to undermine the mission than help the cause. They understood their audience and figured out what concessions they needed to make, but at the end of the day it had to stand on it's own two legs as a film and as its own branch of the franchise. Going the CG route pigeonholes expectations and paints the creative staff into a corner right from the jump. They aren't here to adapt SA1. They wanted to make an appealing kids movie. 

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To be frank, I expect an animated Sonic movie to show up at some point, once the live action series runs its course and Paramount decides it wants to reboot things, just like with the Smurfs and Sony. 

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2 minutes ago, VO.SUPER said:

To be frank, I expect an animated Sonic movie to show up at some point, once the live action series runs its course and Paramount decides it wants to reboot things, just like with the Smurfs and Sony. 

Do you think it would be a high budget animated movie? Part of the reason Sonic succeeded in a way Detective Pikachu didn’t, is because of the low budget. The Sonic movies did well in America, and are the highest grossing video game movies of all time domestically. But there might be diminishing returns with future movies. 

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The "cartoon character lives in the real world with regular humans" is a sub-genre of family film that always seem to attract a decent audience. Parents see previews of it and think "I bet my 5-year old will love the silly cartoon animal, meanwhile me and my spouse can be entertained by the relatable humor pertaining to everyday adult life that the live action humans will undoubtably provide". These films practically always provide exactly that, and practically always nothing more. It's bare minimum effort family film making. Taking your kids to see a movie like that is like going to McDonalds; you know exactly what youre going to get and you get it. It's the polar opposite of a daring, high risk family movie such as those movies with bizzare premises and unique executions like the ones Pixar often makes ("A rat that helps a man become a master chef by pulling his hair", "An old man and a little boy take a flying house to South America", ect), that sometimes become enormously successful and sometimes enormous bombs.

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1 hour ago, batson said:

The "cartoon character lives in the real world with regular humans" is a sub-genre of family film that always seem to attract a decent audience. Parents see previews of it and think "I bet my 5-year old will love the silly cartoon animal, meanwhile me and my spouse can be entertained by the relatable humor pertaining to everyday adult life that the live action humans will undoubtably provide". These films practically always provide exactly that, and practically always nothing more. It's bare minimum effort family film making. Taking your kids to see a movie like that is like going to McDonalds; you know exactly what youre going to get and you get it. It's the polar opposite of a daring, high risk family movie such as those movies with bizzare premises and unique executions like the ones Pixar often makes ("A rat that helps a man become a master chef by pulling his hair", "An old man and a little boy take a flying house to South America", ect), that sometimes become enormously successful and sometimes enormous bombs.

The best thing about the movie was definitely not the plot, but the characters and their dynamics with each other. In some of the games it seems the priority was the over the top plot, and less the characters. It’s nice to see a piece of media that’s actually about Sonic as a character.
 

As far as demographics are concerned, kids would definitely be interested in the movie because it’s Sonic, but also some of the adults that saw the movie were probably fans of Sonic when they were younger.  

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