Yuji Naka, one of the original creators of Sonic, seems pleased that the design of the character will potentially be altered in the upcoming film.
There was a collective cheer from the internet when it was revealed that the design of Sonic from the upcoming Paramount film Sonic the Hedgehog would be changed. After some sustained blowback surrounding the uncanny valley-like design of Sonic, a key voice has surfaced about the new direction. Specifically, the co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog and former head of SEGA’s Sonic Team is celebrating the new direction Paramount is heading in.
If you are a fan of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, you likely know the name Yuji Naka. Beginning his career with SEGA in the early 80’s, Naka-san became a lead voice in the company with his work on Phantasy Star. However, his claim to fame was his co-development of Sonic the Hedgehog, where he is often associated with a bulk of the credit as early prototypes quickly became core tenants of the game.
As you can imagine, following the ghastly reveal of the official design for Sonic in the new Sonic the Hedgehog reveal trailer, he shared many opinions of the design as we all did. Even better, his disapproval was barely subtle in his social media presence. For example, check out his Facebook post where he shows a side-by-side of a well done fan recreation of some of the scenes:
While Naka-san never formally called out the new design or his disapproval for it, he has been overjoyed about the announced change. You may remember that the Sonic the Hedgehog film director took to Twitter to placate viewers concerns that the design will be changed:
Thank you for the support. And the criticism. The message is loud and clear… you aren’t happy with the design & you want changes. It’s going to happen. Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be… #sonicmovie #gottafixfast 🔧✌️
— Jeff Fowler (@fowltown) May 2, 2019
It appears that Naka-san took this as news as an opportunity to thank “the power of Sonic fans” and praising the move to “go in a good direction”:
The power of sonic fans is amazing. It is good to go in a good direction. Thank you so much for loving Sonic. https://t.co/uKiY2GLXjf
— Yuji Naka / 中 裕司 (@nakayuji) May 3, 2019
It’s great that the creator — even though he has since left SEGA and the Sonic Team — is still so vocal about his creation, and is cheering on fans to bring his original rendition to life. Even still, we think that there is plenty to love about how the new movie looks outside of Jim Carrey — specifically how self-aware it seems to be.
Sonic the Hedgehog will go live in theaters sometime in November 2019, provided there are no delays in switching over the Sonic design.