By David Lee Zamora
Special to the Parade
Sonic the Hedgehog, a blue hedgehog who can run at supersonic speed, hence the name, first appeared in 1991, in the video game Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic is the main protagonist in almost all of the games in the series, spanning well over 90 games and many animated films and shows. Sonic has been the mascot for the Japanese video game company Sega since his inception.
“Sonic the Hedgehog,” the 2020 film, is a mix of live action and CGI actors, with Sonic being one of them. The film is very similar to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” or “Space Jam” in many ways: they’re all similar in design and, most importantly, they’re all enjoyable to watch for both kids and adults.
Now, I’m not saying that the film Sonic the Hedgehog is as good as those films, but it’s definitely fun to watch, because of Jim Carrey’s role as Doctor Ivo Robotnik a.k.a. Doctor Eggman. Carrey carries the film by going back to his roots and acting like that crazy, random maniac almost all Jim Carrey fans love and miss. In other words, Jim Carrey plays a horrible Doctor Robotnik, but plays a fantastic 1990s Jim Carrey, which is the only thing that matters in this cruel and wacky world.
The film starts off with baby Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz, running in his home world to meet his caretaker Longclaw, a giant owl. There, she warns him that he should never use his power out in the open, because other tribes that live in the world are wanting to harness his powers. Unfortunately, it’s too late, and the tribe attacks them, wounding Longclaw and sending Sonic through a portal to Earth, where he finds himself isolated and afraid.
This is my favorite part of the film, because it shows Sonic’s loneliness. He watches TV through the windows of families’ homes, pretending to be with them on the couch. Sonic says everyone in town is his friend, even though no one knows he exists. This is really hard to watch at times, especially when it leads to him playing baseball by himself: he hits a homerun and cheers, looking at the empty field and benches, he realizes just how lonely he is and how, if he continues to hide, how lonely he will be. Then in a fit of panic he starts to run so fast that he creates giant explosions. This sends the government’s top scientist, Doctor Robotnik, the quote “physiological tire fire,” to investigate the event and causes Sonic to go back on the run with the help of the town’s most competent officer, Tom Wachowski, played by James Marsden.
The film’s comedy is fun and wacky, making ideal for a fun watch with the family, especially if you want to introduce the kids to Jim Carrey’s fun brand of acting.