It’s the cameo of the year. The new Disney film makes fun of SEGA’s adaptation of the blue hedgehog in a demented way… at least its first version.
And the Oscar goes to… Sonic Ugly ! Alright, we get a little fired up… but still: the film Tic et Tac: The Rangers of Riskposted last Friday on Disney +, is a funny hit, thanks to its cartoon / live action mix, in the vein of Roger Rabbit. Especially thanks to its many references to pop-culture and this magical appearance: Ugly Sonic. In the VF, Sonic Ugly is a failed version of the famous SEGA hedgehog, who scours Comic-Con type conventions to meet fans…
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So what is this funny character? To better understand, we have to go back to April 2019. At that time, the Paramount studio was working on its film sonic, starring James Marsden. An adaptation that will end up being a hit with $ 320 million in worldwide revenue and which will have a sequel, sonic 2, released last March. Success far from certain at the time of the publication of the very first trailer. There was this design of sonic, humanized (in any case close to a form of reality) with teeth and simply aesthetically ugly. In the wake of the posting, the whole web laughed, cheerfully mocking this sloppy work. Video game fans gave a big shout. And Paramount was forced to review its copy. Director Jeff Fowler posted a message on the networks, thanking fans for their criticism and announcing a design change.
Thank you for the support. And the criticism. The message is loud and clear… 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 🔧✌️
—Jeff Fowler (@fowltown) May 2, 2019
An announcement that was even publicly welcomed, at the time, by Yuji Naka, co-creator and original director of Sonic the Hedghogwhich finally endorsed the remodeled version, the one we saw in the two films and which is much closer to the cartoonish design of the games.
The power of sonic fans is amazing. It is good to go in a good direction. Thank you so much for loving Sonic. https://t.co/uKiY2GLXjf
— Yuji Naka / 中裕司 (@nakayuji) May 3, 2019
Tic and Tac so exhume the old Sonic Ugly, laughingstock of the web and “meme” machine, for their Disney + film. A totally crazy nod to pop culture and the modern world of entertainment, so intertwined with that of social networks. A cameo that is nonetheless difficult to explain since, technically, Paramount owns the rights to sonic. And when we know that the redesign of the character cost them almost 5 million dollars, we say to ourselves that the studio must not have tasted the joke of the competitor …
In reality, there was a deal upstream. Director Avika Schaeffer revealed that the lawyers of the two studios had discussed and had agreed to validate this cameo.
Ironically, it was the same animation company – MPC – that redid the Sonic Uglyfor Tic and Tac ! “The MPC company made all of our film actually“explains Schaffer to Games Radar. “They also did 2019’s The Lion King, the new Pinocchio, and so also sonic, the film… So, yes, they were also the ones who made Ugly Sonic, the original ugly version, with those teeth. Afterwards, we had to recreate ours for this film because we had to start from scratch.“, he specifies, suggesting contractual reasons. “But there was something pretty awesome about having the original company, the very one that had done the failed design, asking them to start over and repeat their mistakes on purpose…”
Surprising that MPC accepted, knowing that they certainly worked, at the same time, on the VFX of sonic 2 !
Here’s the Ugly Sonic clip from Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers pic.twitter.com/xPaRyyRaah
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