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‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ First Footage Splits CinemaCon, Reactions Vary From ‘Energetic Fun’ to ‘Off-Putting’

Paramount is positioning "Sonic" as its fall holiday family tentpole with a November 6 release date.

"Sonic"

“Sonic”

Paramount Pictures

One hurdle Paramount Pictures had to clear during its CinemaCon presentation was the early backlash and skepticism facing its family tentpole “Sonic the Hedgehog.” The upcoming film adaptation of the widely popular Sega video game is putting an animated Sonic into the real world (similar to how Pokemon are being integrated into Warner Bros.’ “Detective Pikachu”), but first look posters have rubbed fans the wrong way due to Sonic’s hyper-real fur and new muscular physique.

“Paramount” tried to overcome the backlash by dropping the two teaser trailer at CinemaCon, one a traditional teaser introducing Sonic and another built entirely around Jim Carrey’s villain character and jokes that the movie is actually called “Robotnik.” The footage left journalists in attendance both hot and cold, with some intrigued to see more.

“Sonic” marks the feature directorial debut of Jeff Fowler, who worked as an animation researcher and developer on Spike Jonze’s “Where the Wild Things Are.” Comedian Ben Schwartz is voicing Sonic, while the live-action cast includes James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Adam Pally, and Jim Carrey as the villainous Dr. Ivo Robotnik.

Paramount will open “Sonic the Hedgehog” in theaters nationwide November 8, 2019. Check out the first reactions below.

Additional reporting by Kate Erbland.

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