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We have our first trailer for the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie and reactions have been mixed at best. The downvotes on YouTube are approximately equal to the upvotes, a surprising phenomenon for a trailer that should be primarily attracting people who are predisposed to be excited about the film.
Chief among the many complaints for the Sonic movie’s trailer is the odd use of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” and Sonic’s terrifying mouthful of human teeth. Look at these teeth!
WHY WOULD YOU GIVE HIM HUMAN TEETH pic.twitter.com/1Pjh4DNY6p— Ben Fullon (@fullonben) April 30, 2019
WHY ARE HIS TEETH SO HUMAN pic.twitter.com/qanTExwjJI— Preeti Chhibber (@runwithskizzers) April 30, 2019
sonic the hedgehog (2019), character design planning meeting pic.twitter.com/YSFcB9HKrI— alexis nedd (@alexisthenedd) April 30, 2019
me when I see those teeth pic.twitter.com/SPB3bBQLBl— Kelly Smith (@beatfist) April 30, 2019
sonic the hedgehog returns to haunt me. he has a mouth full of human teeth. his will be the last face I see before I die pic.twitter.com/xKBA2g5oV4— Eleanor Robertson (@marrowing) April 30, 2019
Good morning to absolutely everyone and everything other than live action Sonic the Hedgehog’s creepy human teeth xx pic.twitter.com/yJX6WPW7Li— Alanah Pearce (@Charalanahzard) April 30, 2019
i think— hokage darkwing (@deedubbayuh) April 30, 2019
this is just me but i think. that sonic would have looked LESS scary with improbably angry real hedgehog teeth pic.twitter.com/KhnqtGFjjm
This is all that much sadder when you think about Sonic’s history. In the early 1990s, Sega desperately needed a new character to compete with Nintendo’s Mario. The game itself had to be similar enough that kids would know how to play it, but different enough to stand out. Sonic fit the bill perfectly and was a huge success. The original 1991 game’s focus on speed felt like a revelation at the time. Sonic zipped through levels at a pace that made 12-year-old hearts race and saved Sega’s butt at a time when Nintendo’s dominance seemed all absolute.
So maybe the most surprising thing about the new live-action Sonic movie is that it took this long to come out. Perhaps Sega was still frightened by the disastrous 1993 live-action Super Mario Brothers film, which, even after the rosy glow of nostalgia set in, still sits at a dismal 28% fan rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
But given the excitement over Detective Pikachu, the time seems ripe to set Sonic free to play in the human world.
Unfortunately, the trailer shows a movie that seems to rely on every cliché we’ve come to expect from these kinds of films, right down to the “frozen time” segment that we already saw used in its perfected form during X-Men: Days Of Future Past.
Ultimately, horrifying human teeth aside, the real problem with the trailer is that it fails to do what the original 1991 game did so well: Give us something new to be excited about.
David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com.