Sonic The Hedgehog Movie: four missed fan service opportunities

Sonic The Hedgehog’s live action movie certainly has references to the original games, but we can’t help but feel there could have been more.

Those hoping that the Sonic The Hedgehog movie would be an absolute dumpster fire will be disappointed to hear that it’s simply average. Although we don’t think it’s as good as Detective Pikachu, it’s a serviceable kid’s film with a few winks and nods to Sega’s iconic franchise.

But after looking back at what was offered, we noticed that there were quite a few opportunities for even more fan service beyond small references.

These certainly wouldn’t have improved the film’s overall quality but they could have helped make it feel more like a Sonic movie rather than a movie with Sonic in it.

Before we carry on, though, we must warn you that there will be spoilers for the movie ahead.

The Echidnas

Some fans hoped that long-time rival Knuckles would make some sort of cameo in the movie, but we certainly weren’t expecting to see what appeared to be a whole tribe of echidnas show up as part of Sonic’s backstory, having attacked and chased after him as a toddler.

It honestly made that brief origin story all the more interesting, but it was over before it really went anywhere and the echidnas are never mentioned or alluded to again.

For those unfamiliar with Sonic lore, the echidnas were actually wiped out a long time ago, leaving Knuckles as the sole survivor (excluding Sonic Chronicles and some of the Sonic comics but that’s a whole other story we don’t have time for).

Since the movie is very disconnected from the canon of the games, why couldn’t we have had Knuckles himself leading the charge, if only for the sake of a cameo?

Or, if the movie wanted to go the extra mile, have the leader be Pachacamac, who led the echidna tribe in Sonic Adventure and got everyone killed by a vengeful water god. Yes, that happened.

Robotnik’s Sidekick

In most other Sonic media, Robotnik has usually had an idiot sidekick at his beck and call. And to the movie’s credit, he gets one there in the form of Stone, a government agent that sucks up to the mad scientist at almost every opportunity.

However, in retrospect, why wasn’t Robotnik’s sidekick… a robot? In the original Adventures Of Sonic The Hedgehog cartoon, he had dunderbots Scratch and Grounder try (and fail) to capture Sonic (Grounder’s voice actor, Garry Chalk, who also voiced Robotnik in another cartoon, Sonic Underground, actually has a bit part in the movie).

In the Sonic X anime, it was Decoe and Bocoe, and in the more modern games, he’s had Orbot and Cubot.

It didn’t necessarily need to be any of these pairs, but it would’ve made more sense from a character standpoint, as well for Robotnik to have a more mechanical henchman. Since this version of Robotnik hates people in general, expressing a lot more attachment to his machines.

And if it had to be a human sidekick, we’re sure those who grew up watching the other other 90s Sonic cartoon, Sonic The Hedgehog (yes, there were three of them) would’ve been surprisingly pleased if it was instead Robotnik’s nephew Snively.

We’re sure that could have still worked for the movie’s plot and, given Robotnik and Snively’s mutual dislike for each other, could’ve led to better banter.

Other Levels

Admittedly, the chase scene from the movie’s climax was quite enjoyable, as Sonic used his rings to teleport around the world while Robotnik pursued him.

And although his brief stints at the Great Wall of China and the pyramids in Egypt brought back memories of their respective levels from Sonic Unleashed (which was likely unintentional), wouldn’t it have been neat if he instead teleported to more specific levels from the games?

We see Green Hill Zone at the beginning of the movie, and it looked like a faithful recreation. Imagine seeing the movie’s take on another classic location like Chemical Plant from Sonic The Hedgehog 2 and having Sonic avoid the pink water and blue goop being spat out of the tubes.

Or how about an actual alien planet like Planet Wisp from Sonic Colours? The film already has callbacks to the classic games, maybe it could’ve thrown modern fans a bone?

Metal Sonic

This one feels like the biggest blunder on the movie’s part. Despite being arguably overshadowed by Sonic’s other rivals like Shadow the Hedgehog and Blaze the Cat, Metal Sonic continues to be a popular character among the fan-base.

And unlike most of Sonic’s rivals, the two have never acted as allies. Whenever Metal shows up, it’s with the express purpose of defeating Sonic once and for all.

Having him appear in the film’s climax as the final boss would not only have made for a potentially cool fight, but would have definitely earned the film some brownie points for fan service.

There was even an opportunity for it, since Robotnik acquires one of Sonic’s quills and experiments on it. He could’ve used it as a template to create Metal Sonic and used the quill as Metal’s power source.

And when he’s defeated and sent to the mushroom planet, it could’ve been Metal’s disembodied head keeping him company instead of a rock with Stone’s face drawn on it. Man, this just writes itself.

Hopefully, should the movie get a sequel (which, if the mid-credits scene is anything to go by, it certainly seems to hope it will), it will try to incorporate more from the games it’s based on than try and shy away from them.

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