Sonic has his speed, and now he’s found his voice! On November 15th, 2019, Paramount Pictures will release a live-action animated hybrid film based on the famous Sega video game franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog. We’ve known for a while that Jim Carrey would play the non-CGI antagonist, Dr. Robotnik, and now it has been revealed by Variety that Ben Schwartz will voice the titular speedy blue hedgehog.
This is a strong choice when you consider Schwartz’ acting credits thus far. In terms of live-action, Schwartz is perhaps best known for his role of Jean-Ralphio on Parks and Recreation, a smarmy dull-witted narcissist looking to party and make a quick buck. In animated form, he’s recently been cast as Leonardo in Disney’s upcoming Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Dewey in the Duck Tales revival. If you combine Leonardo’s confidence, Jean-Ralphio’s energy, and Dewey’s adolescence, you can imagine a voice for Sonic that is representative of his personality and attitude.
Taking a step back, it will be interesting to see if this experiment will work given that it has Sonic the Hedgehog is trying to mash together two genres that historically produce sub-par films: video game adaptations like Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider, Warcraft, and Super Mario Bros. (shudder), and animation hybrids like Garfield, and some of the first Smurf movies. That said, the combination of talent, including an Oscar-nominated director in Jeff Fowler, on-screen talent in James Marsden (Westworld) and Tika Sumpter (Southside with You), and now what appears to be an inspired choice to add Schwartz makes me cautiously optimistic, but what say you all?
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