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Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie is actually a two-episode OVA series animated by Studio Pierrot in 1996, being based on Sega’s popular video game character. The anime was picked up for American video distribution by ADV Films in 1999, who released the series to VHS and DVD. The 1999 release of the OVAs had some censorship to edit or remove scenes considered objectionable to a young American audience, but had an uncut re-release done in 2004. All versions of the OVA are out of print.

The Plot

Even Sonic and Tails get bored of their own movie.
Even Sonic and Tails get bored of their own movie.

Dr. Robotnik unleashes his latest robotic creation, Metal Sonic, to destroy his arch-enemy, Sonic the Hedgehog with Metal Sonic having the ability to match the abilities of Sonic and think like the blue-haired speedy hedgehog.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • Sonic the Hedgehog- The titular main character of the series. A blue, spiky-haired hedgehog capable of running at super speeds, he normally protects others against the evil acts of Dr. Robotnik.
  • Dr. Robotnik- Sonic’s main villain he contends with. An evil scientist with robotic armies who desired global conquest with the blue hedgehog always in the way of his plans. He created Metal Sonic as his means of taking out his hated nemesis.
  • Metal Sonic- Robotnik’s latest robotic creation capable of mimicking the thoughts and abilities of Sonic.
  • Tails- Sonic’s young fox friend and companion with two tails that give him the ability to fly.
  • Knuckles- An echidna who was a former rival of Sonic with the ability to glide in the air and attack with his spiked knuckles. Helps to aid Sonic and Tails in their struggles against Robotnik and Metal Sonic.
  • Sara- The daughter of South Island’s president with romantic interest in Sonic and whom Robotnik wishes to make his bride.

Why It Sucks

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie is another case of a 90s OVA used to promote a popular video game series. The plot, for the most part, is just an excuse to feature Sonic and Metal Sonic’s extended battle in the title’s second half as it doesn’t really add anything new plot-wise to the Sonic mythos with its plot being rather simple and forgettable.

Metal Sonic being a peeping tom.
Metal Sonic being a peeping tom.

The OVA does take a number of liberties with elements to the characters from the video game, which make its relevance to Sonic fans even questionable. Examples include Knuckles shown to be capable of flight despite only gliding in the games, Metal Sonic having similar personality quirks as Sonic despite it being more hostile and self-centered in its intentions and Robotnik desiring a romantic partner despite being self-absorbed in his plans of global domination and destroying Sonic in the games.

The visuals to the OVA are quite subpar with simple and crude details on scenery and character designs, washed out colors and plenty of animation shortcuts implemented with reused animation frames and speed stripes being the norm in action scenes.

ADV’s English dub for Sonic is also worth mentioning as it has a good amount of infamy for how the voice actors portray their characters as their acting is laughably awkward with Tails sounding like a sick 4-year old child, Knuckles sounding too perky and Robotnik sounding quirky and comical. In Robotnik’s case, this should come to no surprise considering the movie reduces him to a comical loon, somewhat similar to how the American “Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog” cartoon portrayed him.

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