Sonic The Hedgehog voice actor Ben Schwartz recently discussed the fan backlash over the character’s original design.
One of the biggest controversies from the movie world last year was the design of the titular character from Sonic The Hedgehog. Both fans and general audience members were shocked at how the iconic character of Sonic barely looked anything like his video-game counterpart. The design was called out for trying to look as human as possible, which took away from the cartoonish appeal of the character.
After the fan backlash was so precise and the design was the butt of many jokes, the Sonic The Hedgehog team decided the best course of action to take was to do a full redesign that gave fans exactly what they wanted. The redesign was met with considerable acclaim and the Sonic film became a success at the box office. Ben Schwartz, the voice actor behind Sonic, finally broke his silence on the redesign on the ReelBlend podcast, discussing how he was surprised how much people cared about how the character looked. The comedian also brought up how he didn’t know what the character would exactly look like when he was doing the voice for the maligned trailer.
“The way that I saw it first I think was on the trailer. I had to do ADR for the actual trailer because up until then it was all very temp. But I believe the trailer had to be done very quickly or something like that. So the first time I saw it was then. And then when it came out and the reaction it got when it came out. First of all we didn’t know if anyone would care. We care because we like video games and movies it seems. But the biggest thing we learned from that was that when it came out so many people were so vocal and it became a huge thing. It got passed around so much. It may have not been the most positive reason why it was getting passed around, but it got passed around so much and so people had such heartfelt passionate ideas for it. That the biggest thing we learned was ‘Oh, people care a lot. Let’s look at this and figure it out.’”
The voice actor also brought up why Sonic looked the way he did in the first place, citing how it was important to show the character in a world like our own.