Anime / Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie

"You might know everything I'm going to do, but that's not going to help you, since I know everything YOU'RE going to do! Strange, isn't it?!
Sonic the Hedgehog during his final face-off against Metal Sonic.

An hour-long anime OVA starring everybody's favorite blue hedgehog. It was originally released in Japan in 1996 (initially as the two half-hour VHS tapes Journey to Eggmanland and Sonic vs. Metal Sonic); the English dub by ADV was released on September 7, 1999, two days before Sonic Adventure internationally hit the shelves.

Sonic and Tails are chillaxing on the beach when they receive a dispatch from the President of South Island: he and his daughter Sera are being held hostage (for a given value of "hostage") by Dr. Robotnik. Oddly enough, what Robotnik wants is Sonic's help: he's been forced out of his base by the evil(er) Metal Robotnik, who has overloaded the power generator of Robotropolis. In less than a day, the generator will explode and cause the end of Planet Freedom as we know it. Sonic and Tails fly off to the city; along the way, they're joined by the free-roaming treasure-hunter Knuckles (and his hat), who just happens to be in the area.

However, when the trio finally reach the generator, they find that the story was a ruse to extract Sonic's DNA and enable the completion of Hyper Metal Sonic: a robotic dopplegänger who not only has Sonic's speed, but Sonic's personality as well. Also, it turns out that Robotnik actually has no compunctions about blowing up Planet Freedom, since he'll then rule it by default — followed by a life of undisturbed marital bliss with Princess Sara...brrr.

Sonic the Hedgehog is widely regarded as that rarest of rarities: a video game movie that doesn't suck. The voice acting in the English dub is debatable, and it holds only a superficial resemblance to the events of the games, and yet the plot, art, and characterization still do an excellent job of capturing the spirit of the classic games. In any case, at time of release, the Sonic series had far less canon to take into account.

ADV Films released two different versions of the movie on DVD, although they are both the same dub: the original 1999 version which edited out/censored several bits of the movie, and a 2004 version which is completely uncut.

This film is not to be confused with the anime series, four western animation shows or the upcoming film adaptation also based on the Sonic character.

Provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Metal Robotnik's glue gun, which happens to be located in is... nether regions.
  • Accidental Pervert: Sonic can apparently see through Metal Sonic's eyes due to Metal being a copy of Sonic; this explains why Sonic was blushing when Metal got a good look up Sera's skirt. Tails also grabs hold of Sera after being scared and one of his hands mistakenly grabbing onto one of her breasts. Knuckles reads him the riot act.
    Knuckles: TAILS! Get off!
    Tails: [Immediately leaps off her with an embarrassed look] I'm so sorry!
    Knuckles: I never thought you'd stoop that low!
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Sonic is more easily annoyed and angered than his portrayal in the games.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Compared to the other animated versions of Sonic in the 90s, this was the most accurate interpretation of the canon characters at the time.
  • Adam and Eve Plot: The end point of Robotnik's scheme: himself and Sera married, and the only remaining inhabitants of Planet Freedom.
  • Affably Evil: Robotnik. When he isn't acting up the part of hostage-taker for Sonic, he gets along pretty well with Sera and the President. One of his robot minions can be seen cleaning up the President's office.
  • After the End: It appears this is where Sonic and everyone lives, as seen in the desolate city (among other things) that Sonic and Robotnik fight it and the fact that there's not a lot of other people/creatures/characters aside from the ones we see.
  • Alternate Continuity: On this planet, watching this movie, you'll notice, you'll notice, many things that look alike:
    • The OVA has its tone, music and art style rooted directly in the original Genesis titles (Sonic CD in particular), but the explanation for the urban environments found in those games (post-apocalyptic Earth populated with anthropomorphic mutants who live in a sky kingdom ruled people, we guess) is completely different from anything else found in the series. Some exclusive characters pop up here and there, and there is no mention of the Chaos Emeralds anywhere.
    • Later games such as Sonic Unleashed did away with all ambiguity by calling it "earth" and showing Sonic traveling from city to city, Kino-style, and interacting with humans. Would that the OVA thought up such a mundane solution!
  • Alien Sky: A planet with Saturn-like rings is visible in the sky.
  • Animation Bump: The fight scenes. The rest is more limited despite the designs being (somewhat) similar to those from Sonic CD
  • As You Know: Lampshaded.
    Robotnik: As you both well know, Planet Freedom is made up of two separate dimensions. The outer world, the one you live in, is known as the Land of the Sky!
    Sonic: Tell us something we don't know!
    Robotnik: SHUT UP! HEED ME!
  • Badass Adorable: Tails.
  • Badass Bookworm: Dr. Robotnik, the creator of Hyper Metal Sonic!
  • Baby Talk: Tails sounds like he has this, despite his ability to create a jet-propelled bodyboard, fly the Tornado, and modify Eggman's navigator into a signal jammer.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Sera during the first half of the movie shows off her middle, but not so much after she dons her dress later.
  • Bash Brothers: Taking the characters directly from Sonic 2 and 3 gives us Sonic and Tails, moreso that any other adaptation and even many of the games - a good amount of the movie is huge action scenes where Sonic and Tails engage in coordinated asskicking so effective only the most powerful enemies stand a chance.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Knuckles' entrance.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The world is saved, but Metal Sonic (who had then formed a mental bond with Sonic) deliberately allows himself to perish in a glacial volcano. Why? Because "There is only one Sonic."
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Robotnik is clearly one of those grandiose super villains who doesn't want to simply kill his foe, but first defeat him in something resembling a fair fight. Hence the scene where Robotnik, taking advantage of Sonic's and Tails' distraction, whips out a handgun and shoots Tails' wrist-radar: even though Tails' head must have been an equally clear shot.
  • Brick Joke: Eggman launches two bombs at Tails' plane, one modeled after a tortoise, the other a hare. The hare bomb blows up the plane instantly while the tortoise one crawls away from his hovercraft. Much later, the tortoise bomb crawls towards Eggman and explodes.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Sonic, particularly in the opening scene, where he doesn't move a finger to help Old Man Hoot until it becomes clear that Old Man and Tails are in grave danger.
  • The Cameo: A lone Crabmeat, a swarm of Buzzbombers, A Caterkiller-colored Crawlton, and a recolored Snail Blaster all make appearances throughout the movie.
  • Canon Foreigner: Sonic and Tails are enjoying a relaxing day on the beach when they're visited by "Old Man Hoot" (Hoot is he?), who's carrying a message so urgent that he doesn't notice his airplane is on fire. The President and his daughter are among the other newbies.
  • Cat Girl: Sera.
  • Catch a Falling Star: Sera falls out of Robotnik's aircraft, and Knuckles catches her in mid-air.
  • Catch and Return: Sonic rides a missile right back into the robot that shot it.
  • Cement Shoes: Sonic's two weaknesses are combined as he gets glued to the ground in a fissure that is filled by the rain. He's saved by Knuckles and Tails.
  • Chair Reveal: Sonic and Tails show up for their appointment at the Presidential manor, but are instead greeted by a reclining Robotnik and his huge Dr. Claw chair.
  • Chased Off into the Sunset: With the day saved, Sonic runs for the horizon. Tails and Knuckles follow, then everyone else piles into Robotnik's Eggmobile and flies after. Sonic realizes that everyone is following him, and he puts on a burst of speed before the credits roll.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Robotnik's extremely-slow-moving turtle missile. It pops up later just in time to destroy the CD Robotnik has with Sonic's DNA data that he could use to make another Metal Sonic.
  • Compilation Movie: The western release of the OVA consists of both episodes of the OVA played as an hour-long movie.
  • Composite Character: The OVA made Knuckles a treasure hunter just like Fang the Sniper, and gave him a hat similar to his.
  • Cool Old Guy: Old Man Owl.
  • Canon Discontinuity / Exiled from Continuity: While it was a self-contained part of the franchise to begin with, Sega never acknowledges it in any of Sonic histories (barring an offhand mention and inclusion of its japanese trailer in Sonic Jam), and the film has never seen a rerelease since 2004, and it is unlikely to get another one. Also, per word of Ian Flynn, because of legal issues involving Sega of America and Sega of Japans seperate copyrights on the movie (a problem that also keeps exclusive characters from other non-game continuities such as the Sonic X comic from appearing in Archie), Sega has explicitly forbidden the Archie Sonic comics from using any characters or elements from the movie. note 
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Sonic is almost effortlessly beaten by Metal Sonic in their first fight, and only survives because Metal Sonic loses track of him. Interstingly, their final fight was also turning into a curb stomp battle before Tails interferred, as Sonic didn't have the stamina to keep up with Metal Sonic for more than a couple of minutes. If Tails hadn't stepped in and corrupted Metal Sonic's programming, Sonic would have been killed.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Sera.
  • Darker and Edgier: Well, compared to the older games, it could be.
  • Death Course: The path to Robotropolis, though Sonic and Tails make short work of it.
    Sonic: I bet Robotnik purposefully picked the route with the most traps for us!
  • Diabolus ex Nihilo: Quite literally, as Metal Robotnik "appeared out of nowhere!" before kicking Robotnik out of his home. It's signposted very early on that Metal Robotnik is under the Doc's power, but it's remarkable that he couldn't think up a more plausible threat.
  • Distressed Damsel: Sera...sort of. She plays the role of hostage when Sonic's around, but she treats Robotnik like a friend the rest of the time.
    (Sera and Robotnik are playing a fighting videogame. Sera loses.)
    Sera (hysterical): No no no no no it's not fair you always beat me every time! (abruptly regains her composure) Alright, one more!
    Robotnik: Just give up! We've played a hundred times!
    Sera (devious): I'll stop being your hostage...
    Robotnik: Alright, start it again.
  • The Ditz: Old Man Hoot didn't even realize his rocket was on fire!
  • The Dragon: Metal Sonic.
  • Dub Name Change: The official English dub renames Dr. Eggman to Dr. Robotnik for one of the last few times (as it was released in 1999). To go along with it, Eggmanland was renamed Robotropolis (as a Shout-Out to the saturday morning cartoon) and Black Eggman was renamed Metal Robotnik. In addition, Seira was renamed Sara; her and Eggman's names are still displayed clearly in the fighting game gag, however. The official subtitles included in the DVD release go with the Japanese terminology and retranslate the script more accurately to boot. Cue Subbing vs. Dubbing.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Since the movie was only released five years into the franchise's life, there are some moments that would nowadays be considered majorly out of character, such as Sonic telling Tails to shut up, and Knuckles describing himself as "Sonic's best friend". While Knuckles clearly respects Sonic, and they get along (most of the time), he's much too gruff to say something like that.
  • Egopolis: Robotropolis, aka Eggmanland. At night, the city's lights form a picture of Robotnik's face.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Two different schemes are mentioned. Metal Robotnik's exploding generator turns out to be fake, but Hyper Metal Sonic's attempt to shatter the continents is very real.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The President.
  • Evil Knockoff: Metal Sonic, natch.
  • Expy: Sera is pretty much a human (except for an inexplicable tail) Amy Rose, presumably Amy herself didn't make an appearance because her being the president's daughter and Eggman's 'interest' wouldn't have worked quite as well for several reasons.
  • Face Fault: Sonic and Tails do this simultaneously when Old Man Owl starts to convey his message before stopping abruptly, having a minor fit... and starting all over again.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: After being dismembered over the course of his fight with Sonic and even moreso after the President's rocket explodes, Metal Sonic basically commits suicide by letting himself sink into lava.
  • Fastball Special: Used twice in a row to defeat Metal Robotnik.
  • Finger Wag: Sonic to Metal Robotnik. Often mistaken by fans for another gesture entirely. TO be fair, it is the case in some edits of the film.
  • Fear of Thunder: Tails. "I'm afraid of lightning!"
  • Fearful Symmetry: Portions of Sonic's fight with Metal Sonic.
  • Flash Step: Sonic, Tails, and Metal.
  • Floating Continent: Between the plethora of floating landmasses and the cloud cover, the surface of Planet Freedom is largely shrouded in darkness; hence why it's called "the Land of Darkness". This is probably also the reason that the entire population lives on the outer layer, "the Land of the Sky".
  • The Fool: Old Man Hoot.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Tails. He builds a hover-surfboard in his spare time, disassembles one of Robotnik's radars, and later reassembles it as a device that can track Metal Sonic: and wirelessly interfere with Metal's programming. This movie appears to be where Tails' mechanical tendencies come from, in fact.
  • Gag Dub:
    • Reputable Dubbing's Sonic The Other Movie is a comedic rewrite of the movie, made by Sonic Paradox's Smegerama. Though most of it is the same story, the dialogue and various visual gags change it into a mostly comedic experience.
    • Fireball 20XL's Sonic Bastardized is a redubbed adaptation in which Robotnik Eggman wants Sonic to go shut off a bomb he planted in Blizzard Entertainment's mainframe (in retribution for his World of Warcraft losses), and Metal Sonic is a robot named Hyper Metal Jason (after Jason Griffith) that Eggman intends to use to replace Sonic's voice.
      Sonic: Pansy-ass blood elf!
      Robotnik: SHADDAP! Blood elves are cool!
    • Then comes The Rollan Nolan's Sonic the Abridgehog.
  • Genre Savvy: Sonic, much more so than in the games. Not only does he know to not trust Robotnik when the doctor comes begging for help, but through most of the movie he repeatedly notes that they should be wary of Eggman. At one point he notes (probably correctly) that Robotnik most likely gave Sonic and Tails the path through the Land Of Darkness that has the most traps and enemies. Later he invokes Left for Dead to try and lure off Metal Robotnik. It doesn't work but he gets points for trying.
  • Get Ahold Of Yourself Man: Sonic attempts to knock some sense into Old Man Hoot by attaching a what appears to be a Crabmeat to his foot, with limited success.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Dr. Eggman is seen playing around with the president and his daughter in several scenes.
  • Groin Attack: Sonic lands crotch-first on the nose of Robotnik's aircraft. Robotnik then wonders why Sonic is grimacing.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Sera can't seem to decide whose side she's on.
  • Here We Go Again: Averted. Eggman reveals after the final battle that he still has the data of Sonic's DNA via a CD, which he'll use to make another Metal Sonic to combat Sonic again...only for the missile turtle Robotnik fired away earlier to arrive on time and destroy the CD by accident.
  • Humongous Mecha: Metal Robotnik is actually a giant robot piloted by Robotnik.
  • Human Snowball: Happens to Tails after Eggman blows up his plane in the mountains.
  • In a Single Bound: Sonic and Metal Sonic in particular are seen pulling off several massive jumps over the course of the film, often when travelling at speed or fighting. It's most notably seen in their second fight scene, where the two are moving so quickly that they're only visible as streaks of coloured light.
  • Infodump: Eggman's speech to Sonic at the White House.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sonic.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Metal Sonic. Before him most of the film played most everything humorously, Eggman barely even qualify for much a threat due to the Go-Karting with Bowser above. Then Metal Sonic shows up and BOOM, we have a villain that's actually dangerous and for the most part, nothing about him is played humorously.
  • Left for Dead: Subverted! Metal Robotnik shoots the bridge from underneath Sonic and Tails; they grab bridge girders just out of sight and make gurgling sounds to convince Metal Robotnik that they're drowning. Just when they think he's left..."I see you! You didn't think I'd fall for a stupid trick like that, did you?"
  • Last-Second Chance: Hyper Metal Sonic rescues the President and Old Man Owl from an exploding rocket towards the end of the film, but having been dismembered in his fight with Sonic and then by the resulting explosion, he falls into the magma pit below and is melted on-screen, refusing to be rescued by Sonic on the grounds that "there is only one Sonic".

Alternative Title(s): Sonic The Hedgehog