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Sonic the Hedgehog
Director Brad Silberling
Producer(s) Brad Silberling
Studio(s) OLM, Inc.
Writer(s) Shiro Maekawa
Distributor(s) Warner Bros. Pictures
Music Masato Nakamura
Country of Origin United States
Japan
Starring
See Cast
Original Language English
Japanese
Budget ¥5 billion
US$50 million
Box Office $263.9 million

Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ Sonikku za Hejjihoggu) is a 1998 American/Japanese computer animated/anime film based on Sega's best-selling video game franchise Sonic the Hedgehog, directed and produced by Brad Silberling. It is the first film in the Video Game Extended Universe.

The film follows the respective quests of SonicTailsKnucklesAmyE-102 Gamma, and Big to stop Doctor Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik from obtaining the seven Chaos Emeralds and releasing an ancient evil. It was released in North America on November 18, 1998.

Sonic the Hedgehog was very popular upon it's release and was both a critical and commercial success, grossing over $263.9 million worldwide to become the second highest-grossing animated film of 1998.

Plot

The film begins with Patty the Puffin telling Perky the Cat that the kids are here to see the lost episode. However, Perky says that he has lost the lost episode, and tells the kids to forget about Sonic. The French Narrator introduces a segment called "Remembering Sonic", a musical montage of clips from the past Sonic video games. After a long treasure hunt where Perky finds a tape that holds the movie, he plays the tape. The tape shows a long clip of Sonic doing walk cycles to upbeat music before abruptly showing the EBS color bars. After Perky sees this, he proclaims that "Sonic betrayed us!" and throws out all his Sonic merchandise and runs away. However, Patty informs him that the tape is not over and that the real lost movie is about to begin. As a countdown to that starts, Perky excitedly says, "Really?!" and his throwing everything away is rewinded and the movie begins.

Tikal discovers the seven Chaos Emeralds and befriends Chaos, the Emeralds' peaceful guardian, and the Chao. Despite Tikal's warnings, Pachacamac and their tribe attack the shrine, attempting to use the Emeralds for world domination. Chaos transforms into Perfect Chaos and kills the tribe. Tikal seals Chaos and herself inside the Master Emerald to stop it.

Three thousand years later, Knuckles guards the Master Emerald on the floating Angel Island. Doctor Eggman shatters the Emerald, freeing Chaos. Angel Island falls into the sea, scattering the Master Emerald's shards. Knuckles resolves to search for the shards. In the city of Station Square, Sonic battles Chaos. The next morning, Tails' test of his Chaos Emerald-powered engine fails and he crashes. Sonic rescues Tails and they visit Tails's workshop in the Mystic Ruins, where Eggman confronts them. Sonic defeats him, but Eggman steals Tails' Emerald and transforms Chaos, revealing his plan: harnessing the Emeralds' power, Chaos will destroy Station Square and Eggman will build Robotnikland over its ruins. Sonic and Tails resolve to find the emeralds, but lose three to Eggman and Chaos, who escape to his airship, the Egg Carrier. Sonic and Tails pursue the ship in their plane, the Tornado, but Eggman shoots it out of the sky.

Eggman activates Gamma, who defeats Beta in training and accompanies the E-Series robots to search for Froggy, who has eaten Chaos's tail and a Chaos Emerald. Gamma finds Froggy but is chased back to the ship by Froggy's friend Big. Reminiscing about her time with Sonic, Amy discovers a Flicky in possession of a Chaos Emerald, naming it Birdie. Zero captures Amy and Birdie and detains them on the Egg Carrier. Tails arrives in the Tornado II, powered by another Emerald, and he and Sonic give chase. Knuckles boards the aircraft after seeing a vision of the Egg Carrier in the Master Emerald.

Aboard the Egg Carrier, Amy convinces Gamma that he should not work for Eggman. In a confusion of newly discovered emotions, Gamma releases Amy and Birdie. Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles enter the carrier and destroy it. Amy is pursued by Zero and reunites with Sonic and Tails before Eggman steals Birdie's Emerald. Sonic defeats Gamma, but Amy convinces Sonic to spare him. The ship loses altitude and Tails, Amy, and Gamma flee. Sonic defeats Chaos, now with six Emeralds and his tail restored, and pursues Eggman. Big retrieves Froggy from inside Chaos before escaping in the Tornado II. Knuckles steals back the six Chaos Emeralds and flees.

Gamma tracks down his brother robots and frees the animals inside them. Returning to the crashed Egg Carrier, Gamma defeats the rebuilt Beta and self-destructs. Birdie's parents are released from within the two. Amy reunites Birdie with his family on the airship, where she confronts and destroys Zero. Amy sees Birdie and his family off before vowing to earn Sonic's respect. Tails chases Eggman, stops him from detonating a missile in Station Square, and defeats his Egg Walker. Sonic navigates Eggman's base at the Mystic Ruins and destroys the Egg Viper.

Knuckles restores the Master Emerald, but Angel Island falls again when Chaos attacks him and Eggman. Chaos reabsorbs the Chaos Emeralds and locates the seventh inside the crashed Tornado II. Chaos transforms into Perfect Chaos, draining the Emeralds of their negative energy, and destroys Station Square in a flood. Sonic's friends gather the emeralds and Tikal appears, demanding that Chaos be sealed back in the Master Emerald. Sonic objects, saying Chaos's heart would still be filled with anger and sadness. Instead, Sonic uses the Emeralds' positive energy to become Super Sonic and defeat Perfect Chaos. Chaos discovers the Chao thrive in Station Square, quelling its anger. Tikal and Chaos disappear before Sonic chases a fleeing Eggman.

After the movie, Perky attempts to play it again but doesn't know how to play it. He and Patty press a lot of buttons on the remote but the tape wears out and comes pouring out of the player, causing Perky to get tangled in it. The movie ends with the narrator saying to the viewers to get lost.

Cast

Character name Japanese voice actor English voice actor
Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonikku za Hejjihoggu) Jun'ichi Kanemaru  Jason Griffith
Miles "Tails" Prower () Amy Palant
Knuckles the Echidna () Dan Green
Dr. Eggman/Robotnik () Mike Pollock
Sally Acorn () Houko Kuwashima Kelly Sheridan
Amy Rose ()
Rouge the Bat (ルージュ・ザ・バット Rūju za Batto) Rumi Ochiai Kathleen Delaney
Blake the Cat (ブレイク・ザ・キャット Bureiku za kyatto) Trevor Devall
Sara (セーラ Sēra) Mika Kanai Sascha Biesi
President (大統領 Daitōryō) Yuzuru Fujimoto Edwin Neal
Perky the Cat Jim Carrey
Patty the Puffin Stephen Hillenburg
Caretaker (事執事 Shitsuji) / Old Man Chafurin Charles Campbell
Secretary (秘書 Mìshū) Akimitsu Takase

Production

Warner Bros. Pictures bought the rights to produce an animated film of Sonic the Hedgehog in 1992. Rob Cohen, who currently directed live-action films at the time, was chosen to direct the film. Cohen wasn't familiar with animation at the time, but soon grew into the art and style of animation.

It was the first anime film based on the Sonic universe. It was primarily influenced by other anime rather than work from the West, and was created for a Japanese audience. Yuji Naka, then the head of Sonic Team, filled in as executive producer, and Yuji Uekawa created all of the original characters. 4Kids Entertainment handled the show's American localization. 4Kids was told by SEGA themselves not to edit any content from the film. 4Kids complied. 4Kids has been described by Destructoid as being "infamous" among anime fans for this type of overzealous editing.

While traditionally animated, it includes non-outlined CGI elements for things such as Sonic's homing attack.

4Kids found new voice actors rather than using those from the games, with auditions beginning in early 1997. They invited Mike Pollock to audition for Eggman. 4Kids allowed Pollock to make minor alterations to the dialogue when lines "[didn't] work for some reason". He recalled being given only short samples of Eggman's voice from the games—he was not told specifically which game—and brief descriptions of his characters' roles. Beginning with Shadow the Hedgehog (2005), the cast of the film series would assume their respective voice roles in all Sonic games released between 2005 and 2010, at which point all the roles were recast with the exception of Mike Pollock as Eggman.

Reception

Critic reviews

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 89%, based on 86 reviews, with an average rating of 7.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Sonic the Hedgehog is a rousing adventure that blends animated thrills with witty dialogue and memorable characters – and more." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, gave the film a score of 77 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Todd McCarthy of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying "This video game film is a "quantum leap forward" in aesthetics and visual detail".

Box office

Sonic the Hedgehog was released in 3,110 theaters on November 18, 1998 and broke the record for an animated film opening on Friday with US$11.5 million. The film grossed $32.5 million on it's first week of release, peaking at #1 of the weekend box office.

On it's second weekend, the film dropped to number 3 behind Disney & Pixar's A Bug's Life and Nickelodeon's The Rugrats Movie with $19.3 million.

The film grossed $101.5 million in its United States theatrical run, covering its estimated production costs of $50 million. The film made $162.4 in foreign countries, pushing its worldwide gross to $263.9 million.

Soundtrack

Crush 40, which consists of Senoue and Gioeli, officially debuted with the theme song "Live & Learn", which plays during the main menu, the final battle, and the ending credits.

The Sonic the Hedgehog Multi-Dimensional Original Soundtrack was produced by Jun Senoue and released by Marvelous Entertainment on November 18, 1998. The songs feature the band Crush 40.

Track list

Disc 1

Track No. Title Length Total length
1. Introduction ...featuring "Open Your Heart" 1:47
2. Welcome to Station Square 3:14
3. Event: Strain 1:00
4. Boss: CHAOS ver.0, 2, 4 2:22
5. Azure Blue World ...for Emerald Coast 4:13
6. Windy and Ripply ...for Emerald Coast 3:11
7. BIG Fishes at Emerald Coast... 1:50
8. and... Fish Hits! 1:32
9. Hey You! It's Time to Speed Up!!! 0:33
10. Twinkle Cart ...for Twinkle Park 2:04
11. Pleasure Castle ...for Twinkle Park 1:55
12. Twinkle Circuit 2:21
13. Fakery Way ...for Twinkle Park 1:09
14. Run Through the Speed Highway ...for Speed Highway 1:56
15. Goin' Down!? ...for Speed Highway 0:31
16. At Dawn ...for Speed Highway 2:41
17. Choose Your Buddy! -Slap Bass ver. 2:03
18. Theme of "CHAO" 2:27
19. Letz Get This Party Started ...for CHAO Race Entrance 4:05
20. Join Us 4 Happy Time ...for CHAO Race 2:29
21. The Dreamy Stage ...for Casinopolis 2:15
22. Blue Star ...for Casinopolis 1:36
23. Dilapidated Way ...for Casinopolis 2:10
24. Challange for Another Aim 0:56
25. Theme of "Dr.EGGMAN" 2:31
26. Egg Mobile ...Boss: Egg Hornet 2:04
27. Mystic Ruin 2:26
28. Windy Hill ...for Windy Valley 1:42
29. Tornado ...for Windy Valley 1:37
30. The Air ...for Windy Valley 2:53
31. Fight for My Own Way ...Boss: Event 2:07
32. Snowy Mountain ...for Icecap 2:07
33. Limestone Cave ...for Icecap 1:52
34. Be Cool, Be Wild and Be Groovy ...for Icecap 2:24
35. Invincible ...No Fear! 1:00
36. Choose Your Buddy! -Finger Bass ver.- 2:02
76:33

Disc 2

  1. Mt. Red: a Symbol of Thrill ...for Red Mountain (1:47)
  2. Red Hot Skull ...for Red Mountain (4:58)
  3. Heartless Colleague ...Boss: E-Series Targets (1:25)
  4. Sand Hill (3:09)
  5. Event: Sadness (1:14)
  6. Theme of "TIKAL" (3:23)
  7. Tricky Maze ...for Lost World (2:31)
  8. Danger! Chased by Rock ...for Lost World (1:36)
  9. Leading Lights ...for Lost World (1:49)
  10. Event: The Past (1:30)
  11. Event: Fanfare for "Dr.EGGMAN" (0:26)
  12. Tornado Scramble ...for Sky Chase (1:33)
  13. Funky Groove Makes U Hot!? ...for Options (1:45)
  14. Egg Carrier - A Song That Keeps Us On The Move (4:03)
  15. ZERO The Chase-master ...Boss: Eggman Robot -ZERO- (1:58)
  16. Skydeck A Go! Go! ...for Sky Deck (1:41)
  17. General Offensive ...for Sky Deck (2:44)
  18. Theme of "E-102g" (4:26)
  19. Crazy Robo ...Boss: E-101R (2:33)
  20. Bad Taste Aquarium ...for Hot Shelter (3:31)
  21. Red Barrage Area ...for Hot Shelter (2:47)
  22. Danger is Imminent (1:12)
  23. Sweet Punch ...for Hedgehog Hammer (1:04)
  24. Militant Missionary ...Boss: Egg Walker & Egg Viper (1:17)
  25. Mechanical Resonance ...for Final Egg (3:05)
  26. Crank the Heat Up!! ...for Final Egg (3:00)
  27. Boss: CHAOS ver.6 (1:54)
  28. Calm After the Storm ...Egg Carrier -the ocean- (2:08)
  29. Event: Unbound (1:12)
  30. Perfect CHAOS Revival! ...Boss: Perfect CHAOS (1:43)
  31. Event: Good-bye! (1:19)
  32. Will You Continue? (0:34)
  33. Open Your Heart -Main Theme of "SONIC Adventure"- (4:29)

Home media

References

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