Sonic the Hedgehog's whole thing is about moving fast. Speed is the name of his game and the speedy little blue fuzzball certainly movies quickly in the trailer for the live action movie. But just how fast is he actually going? Somebody has done the math and figured out exactly how fast Sonic is moving, and it might be even faster than you think.
The math isn't all that complicated when it comes down to it. Kyle Hill of Because Science takes the brand new trailer for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie and, by using the dividing line on a two-way highway that Sonic runs down, where the dots have a fixed distance of three to four and a half meters, we can tell approximately how far Sonic is running. Because we know the trailer is running at 24 frames a second, we know exactly how long Sonic is running for. These two data points allow Hill to calculate Sonic's speed to be between 108 and 162 meters per second, or between 341 and 362 miles per hour, depending on the distance between the road marks, which vary slightly depending on where the road is located.
Needless to say, that is certainly some serious speed. Of course, it's not nearly as fast as the movie claims he is going. In the opening scene of the trailer a police radar gun appears to clock Sonic at 760 miles per hour, which is just short of the speed of sound. Considering we also see Sonic's speed set off a visible shock wave at the end of the scene that's being used to calculate these numbers, the movie is certainly trying to tell us that Sonic can break the sound barrier.
It's certainly possible that the scene in the trailer is Sonic just warming up, and he'll increase speed to a much faster pace closer to what we're being shown. What's more likely, however, is that showing Sonic move that quickly would actually have him move out of the frame so quickly that we'd never really see him, and so Sonic had to slow down to make the movie work as a movie. If Sonic moved so quickly that you could never really see him, it wouldn't be all that exciting.
Of course, showing people move at incredibly high speeds in a movie or on TV is always a difficult balancing act. How to show the speed while still making the scene look exciting is complicated. This is probably why the movie has at least one sequence that shows speed from Sonic's perspective, which has everything around him moving incredibly slow, similar to how the recent X-Men movies have shown Quicksilver's speed in the same way.
Check out the full explanation of Sonic's speed in the video below.
Of course, right now, few people, even Sonic the Hedgehog fans, are all that excited about how fast Sonic is moving. The focus is instead on what he looks like when he stands still. The design of the character has received a lot of negative feedback, so much so that the movie's director has said that changes to the character design will happen before the movie comes out later this year.
Sonic the Hedgehog hits theaters November 8.