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If you logged on to the internet in the past few days or glanced at the image above, then you’ve likely witnessed some of the anxieties many fans have dealt with about the upcoming live-action Sonic the Hedgehog release. The first trailer for the video game adaptation was packed with odd moments, between the use of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” to soundtrack the introduction, to the iconic blue hedgehog having human-like teeth and being an alien now.
At least one person out there gave one big sigh of relief upon witnessing the early look at Sonic the Hedgehog in all its glory: Detective Pikachu cinematographer, John Mathieson. Here’s what he had to say:
Funny enough, I was offered [Sonic the Hedgehog] and after watching the trailer I thought I’m so glad we don’t look like that.
That’s some shade! Mathieson is an experienced cinematographer who has worked on fan favorites such as Logan and X-Men: First Class, and has earned Oscars nominations for his photography on The Phantom of the Opera and Gladiator. The filmmaker is certainly feeling like he dodged a bullet right about now. He attributes the difference between his video game adaptation of Pokemon and Sonic by the fact that he opted to shoot the former on traditional film. Check out more of his words to Newsweek below:
If all we’re talking about is how these two films look, our film is better than Sonic the Hedgehog and I’m sorry, I don’t care who I upset by saying that, but I think it looks better. There’s no reason why you can’t shoot a film like [Detective Pikachu] or Sonic the Hedgehog on film. If you had, [Sonic the Hedgehog] would look more realistic. I look at Sonic the Hedgehog and I just go ‘yeah whatever.’
It is unlikely that shooting on film instead of digital would have made a difference regarding fans’ most popular gripe with Sonic the Hedgehog: the character design of the ‘90s icon. Some artists have even gone so far as to take matters into their own hands and rework some of the images. Take a look this one from Twitter user @EdwardPun1:
John Mathieson said the contrast in colors between Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog makes a difference, especially since shooting a movie on digital film doesn’t capture colors such as blues and reds as well. The look of Pikachu is certainly more stylized and true to the character fans know and love. Just look at this fluffy pika-pika voiced by Ryan Reynolds:
Detective Pikachu has screened for critics ahead of its release on May 10 and the response has been positive, but before that, the movie had also been marketed in a way that has drummed up positive buzz with its first trailer. At this point, Sonic the Hedgehog won’t likely go down the same road when it hits theaters on November 8.