Why did the Sonic the Hedgehog movie get delayed?

The movie was pushed back due to a negative reaction from online commenters. The film version of Sonic the Hedgehog was originally scheduled for release in November 2019, but it’s been pushed back to Feb. 14, 2020, to give designers time to rework the iconic hedgehog’s design.

“Thank you for the support. And the criticism. The message is loud and clear,” director Jeff Fowler wrote on Twitter. “You aren’t happy with the design & you want changes. It’s going to happen. Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be… #sonicmovie #gottafixfast.”

When Paramount Pictures released the initial trailer, fans were shocked by the Sega mascot’s look. The original model had human-like teeth and a long, slender body—in other words, it didn’t look much like the original Sonic.

sonic original movie design

Perhaps the new design was meant to reflect Sonic’s new origin story: In the film, he’s an extraterrestrial who lands on Earth (for the most part, the Sonic video games took place in a fictional universe, not on our planet).

In any case, the backlash was immediate and widespread. Writing for The Guardian, Keith Stuart described the new Sonic as resembling “a cheap knock-off Sonic toy your child might win at a fairground stand and then be terrified of.”

“He doesn’t even look like Sonic,” one Quora user wrote. “He just kind of looks like someone typed ‘ordinary CGI animal’ into a computer and went with the first result.”

Some fans decided to fix the design themselves. Twitter user @ThePinkGalaxy55 enlarged Sonic’s eyes, giving him a more traditional appearance.

fan corrected sonic image

Artist Edward Pun made Sonic shorter and more cartoonish—and his redesign garnered more than 82,000 retweets and 323,000 likes.

sonic movie comparison

Of course, while Fowler says he’s committed to a redesign, a new character model might not fix all of the film’s issues. The movie, which stars Jim Carrey as the villainous Dr. Robotnik, has also received criticism for ignoring the Sega series' lore and using Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise" in the trailer.

At this point, we’ve only seen one trailer, so the film could certainly exceed the internet’s low expectations. We’ll find out on Valentine’s Day 2020.