2019’s Sonic the Hedgehog was a box office success and is generally considered one of the better Hollywood videogame adaptations. But it wasn’t the Blue Blur‘s first movie outing. You see, back in 1999, ADV Films dubbed and released a feature-length Sonic anime that hit Japan three years prior. And, man, it is weird. While the film is out-of-print (ADV films have long been dissolved), it lives on in the hearts of those who watched it as children. Oh, and the whole thing is available to watch on YouTube. The miracle of the internet, everybody!
That said, while Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie is undeniably entertaining, it is also undeniably weird. Considering the concept of Sonic revolves around a blue rodent dashing about in red shoes, that’s quite an achievement on this movie’s part.
So, what are its top ten weird moments? Let’s rank ’em:
10) Robotnik is An Old Perv
Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie has its fair share of disturbing moments (which becomes clearer as we go further up this list). Robotnik being an old perv? That’s merely one of them – and a good place to start where the movie’s weird moments are concerned.
The movie makes it clear that Robotnik has a thing for the President’s daughter. In fact, he even suggests that once his plan unfolds, he intends to force Sara to marry him. Let’s ignore the fact Sara is clearly a human with a cat-tail, but the fact that middle-aged ‘Butnik wants to get it on with a teenage girl? That’s just creepy
9) Metal Robotnik’s Poop Goop
The Metal Robotnik battle is visually exciting, sure. But one of his, er, abilities is a bit disturbing. I am, of course, talking about his Poop Goop. And no, he doesn’t explicitly call it that, but it’s pretty much what it is.
When Sonic and Tails think they’ve just about evaded their robotic opponent, he surprises them with goop that quickly ejects out of his metallic butt. Really, Robotnik? Sticky poop that comes out of your robot’s behind? I’m glad that didn’t appear in the games…
8) Who is Knuckles?
For some reason, the movie tries to establish Knuckles as an Indiana Jones-style treasure hunter by trade. So passionate are they in portraying this, they even give the Echidna a hat to match. But when you think about it, there’s not much we know about the film’s iteration of Knuckles.
He randomly pops up when Sonic and Tails are cornered by Metal Robotnik. After his defeat, he explains to Sonic and Tails that “treasure hunting is my favourite pastime!” But not much is known about why he does it – or if he sells the treasure or what. All we know is that he’s a friend of Sonic’s, although the origin of said friendship is left unexplored.
7) Sonic Sad Over Metal’s Demise
The whole ‘Sonic and Metal have a psychic connection’ shtick is crazy as it is. But at the last minute, the film tries to have us empathize with Metal’s demise as Sonic attempts to rescue him from the lava. And they do try their hardest.
The weird thing is, up to that point, the pair have been nothing but rivals. The rivalry in question is based on the idea that there can only be one Sonic. But for the writers to try and force empathy in the audience towards a robotic character at the last minute proves ineffective. Even Sonic, who is emotionally affected by his demise in this scene, gets over it pretty quickly in the next.
6) The ‘Old Man’
The Old Man is just strange. Initially, he appears to be a messenger for the President and, to his credit, does act as the device to get Sonic involved in the plot. But for the rest of the film, he mainly acts as a cringe-inducing attempt at comic relief.
He initially appears dressed…as a chef? Then later, after being visited by Metal Sonic, he dons a 90’s-Esque skater garb. He doesn’t do much else apart from demonstrating how weird this Sonic anime movie can be.
5) What Species is the President and His Daughter?
If, as some corners of the internet claim, Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie was originally intended as a pilot for an anime series, it fails on a huge level. Why? Because it doesn’t establish what species the President and his daughter actually are. No, seriously, what are they supposed to be?
The President and one of his lackeys are seen with long, elf-like ears. They appear to be somewhat human, but what of Sara? She has cat ears and a long tail for no reason. Are we meant to believe her father biologically produce a cat-like humanoid? Or am I just overthinking an oft-forgotten 90’s kids movie? Maybe both.
4) Knuckles Can Fly…or Can He?
I’m aware this is a kids’ anime, therefore logic isn’t as important as entertainment, but as a sad nerd, I must press the issue. Why is Knuckles’ flying power so inconsistent? He regularly defies the laws of physics, but shortly after Metal Sonic’s first appearance, he’s seen requiring Tails’ help to keep afloat. It shows that this Sonic movie is weird not just in terms of sexualized content, but also in its continuity.
3) The Accidental Pervert Scenes
While sexual references are disallowed from Western children’s programming, Japan is apparently a different story. It’s bad enough that Sara, the President’s daughter, doesn’t have much to do in this movie apart from being (an attempt at) comic relief. However, it’s worse when you realize she’s also there so the movie can indulge in some toilet-level ‘accidental pervert’ jokes.
Both Tails and Knuckles accidentally grope Sara (in Tails’ instance, Knuckles exclaims “Tails, I can’t believe you’d stoop that low!”) and Metal Sonic gets a look up her skirt. It’s laughably executed and at least provides a solid reminder of how far female anime protagonists have come since the mid-90’s, let alone a Sonic movie.
2) The Crazy Dubbing
The voices in this movie range from bearable to awful. Tails sounds like a child suffering from a blocked nose, while Sonic’s accent frequently switches from American to British. You can only imagine how awkward things were when the actors recorded their lines in the recording booth. The dub only adds to how weird this Sonic movie really is.
1) The Awkward Bestiality
Fans often mock Sonic ’06 for its awkward hedgehog-human romance between Sonic and Princess Elise. But many do not know that this disturbing trend didn’t begin in that game. You can thank Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie for starting that.
Sara, the President’s daughter, is in love with Sonic – although the feeling isn’t reciprocated. While props can be given to the fact Sonic isn’t interested, something about Sara makes it even more creepy. She’s a human with cat ears and a tail…
Have you watched the Sonic anime movie? What are your favourite moments? What do you think are the weirdest moments? Share your thoughts below!