Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

Sonic the Hedgehog tells the story of the world’s speediest hedgehog as he embraces his new home on Earth. In this live-action animation duo, Sonic and his new best friend Tom team up to defend the planet from the evil genius Dr. Robotnik and his plans for world domination.

Sonic the Hedgehog Logo

Trailers & Clips

YouTube video

Movie Details

  • Release Date: February 14, 2020
  • Run Time: 1hr 39min
  • Director: Jeff Fowler
  • Writers: Pat Casey, Josh Miller

Cast and Characters

  • Ben Schwartz – Sonic
  • James Marsden – Tom
  • Jim Carrey – Dr. Robotnik
  • Tika Sumpter – Maddie
  • Natasha Rothwell – Rachel
  • Adam Pally – Wade
  • Lee Majdoub – Agent Stone
  • Neal McDonough – Major Bennington
  • Tom Butler – Vice Chairman Walter
  • Frank C. Turner – Crazy Carl
  • Melody Nosipho Niemann – Jojo
  • Shannon Chan-Kent – Roadhouse Waitress
  • Brad Kelly – Roadhouse Thug
  • Elfina Luk – Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Garry Chalk – Navy Chief of Staff

Box Office

Opening weekend in the U.S. Sonic the Hedgehog brought in an estimated $58,018,348. The movie budget is estimated to have been around $85 million.

Sonic the Hedgehog Games & Apps

Sonic the Hedgehog classic app icon

Sonic the Hedgehog Classic

Race at lightning speeds across seven classic zones as Sonic the Hedgehog. Run and spin through loop-de-loops as you collect rings and defeat enemies on your mission to save the world from the evil Dr. Eggman.

Sonic the Hedgehog classic iphone screen shots

Plot Summary (Spoilers)

Sonic The Hedgehog jumps off to a fast pace with a chase scene through the streets of San Francisco. Dr. Robotic is flying after Sonic in his spaceship taking shots at Sonics as they zoom down the city streets. Then everything freezes with Sonic narrating about rewriting the story back to the beginning.

The story rewinds, and we find Sonic on his home planet. Young Sonic gives the audience a quick tour of his home that looks like a direct copy of the SEGA video game with loops and jumps.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2020 movie poster

He zips to his home where we meet a large owl, Long Claw who is his protector and she reminds him that he needs to be careful and keep his unique power a secret. 

As Long Claw is reminding Sonic to be safe, some bad guys show up to capture him. Long Claw scoops up Sonic and tries to fly him to safety but gets shot down by an arrow. With her last chance to give Sonic some direction, Long Claw gives Sonic a small pouch of gold rings that can transport him to any place he remembers.

Long Claw tosses a ring that opens a portal to the planet Earth and Sonic goes through. Realizing her sacrifice, Sonic tries to run back through the portal, but it disappears, and Sonic is now on Earth. 

Ten years later….

On Earth, a Green Hills town cop who Sonic calls Donut Lord is operating a speed trap. The only problem is there are no cars in sight. All of a sudden the speed radar sensor beeps at over 293 miles per hour, then again at 300mph as you see Sonic in the background with a fist pump for his high score.

Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic at top speed

A puzzled Tom (Donut Lord) walks down the road and finds a blue quill in the grass that he picks up and takes with him. Officer Tom heads back into town, and Sonic saves a turtle from getting run over.

Sonic then picks up the turtle and takes him for the ride of his life at super Sonic speeds down the road and lets him walk free in a forest as Sonic sets him down the turtle jitters in shock from the fast ride.

Sonic arrives home to his cave underground and gives us a glimpse into his day-to-day life as he reads Flash comics, plays ping pong, and runs in a dryer, which is his home gym. He goes on to explain more of the instructions he got from Long Claw.

Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic riding shotgun

She told him if he is ever discovered to keep running and she outlined a mushroom planet to go to next if he is found on planet Earth, but Sonic hates mushrooms. 

Tom gets home for the evening he opens a letter from the San Francisco police department that informs him that he is accepted into their program. He and his wife celebrate with cake, and we find out that she has already begun looking for apartments (shameless Zillow advertisement).

To get out of the cave, Sonic stops by to watch a local junior high baseball game. He hides behind the bleachers, living vicariously through the lives of the young boy who hits a home run and celebrates with his teammates. 

After the game, Sonic runs the bases and reenacts his own game, and slowly realizing he has no friends and he is all alone he grows frustrated and angry. He begins running the bases in a loop faster and faster as his anger builds. Sonic accidentally creates a large surge of electricity that explodes in blue lightning and shuts down the entire town’s electricity. 

The large electrical outage drew the attention of the government, determining the well-educated, five doctorates, perfect service record, Dr. Robotnik should be called in to take charge and find the source of the problem. 

Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic running in a dryer

Dr. Robotnik rolls into the military camp in his large black bus and takes command of the operation. He sends his flying droid robots into the woods to look for clues. Soon, a droid finds a footprint, and after a quick in-depth analysis, Dr. Robotnik determines this footprint belongs to a new species that Earth has never seen before. 

Dr. Robotnik sends in the ground forces in cooperation with his robots, and they close in on Sonic’s cave. Sonic begins packing up his goods and wrestles with the disappointing plan of going to the mushroom planet. Sonic decides not to transport to another plant and is shot in the leg with a tranquilizer dart by Officer Tom. In the same scene, Sonic drops his gold ring pouch on the Transamerica rooftop in San Francisco. 

Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic trying karate

Sonic wakes up in a pet cage inside Tom’s house and lets himself out. He talks with Tom who is surprised to find out he is friendly and can speak English. Sonic asks him for help, and Tom agrees to hide him in the attic as Robotnik closes in. 

Robotnik arrives at Tom’s house and the two talk about what Robotnik is looking for as Tom dodges Robotnik’s attempts to inspect the house. Instead, Robotnik sends in his mini droids to search the house without Tom’s permission.

A loud crash is heard by both of them, and they dart inside to see what the noise is. It appears the noise was just a raccoon they spotted eating cake on the countertop. Then, as Robotnik turns away, he spots the blue quill Tom found on the roadside, and a fight breaks out. 

Tom punches Robotnik who falls to the ground, and Sonic jumps on the droids to try to bring them to the ground. Eventually, Tom and Sonic bring the bots to the ground and make an escape in Tom’s truck. 

Sonic the Hedgehog Dr. Robotnik

On the road, Tom questions Sonic more and soon pulls over to kick Sonic out on his own so his new job in San Fransisco isn’t jeopardized. Sonic speeds west to the Pacific and returns soaking wet with a fish on his head and pleads with Tom to help him find San Francisco so he can get his rings back. Tom agrees to team up, and the two hit the road to San Francisco. 

On the road to San Francisco, they stop to fuel up and grab snacks. Sonic becomes mesmerized by the Piston Pit bar restaurant puts on a hat and heads inside to join the fun. Tom finds him sitting at a table and is convinced to hang out for an hour and help Sonic enjoy his final days on Earth. 

Tom and Sonic begin talking about a bucket list and what he wishes he could do on Earth. Sonic’s list quickly fills the page, and they start to knock items off the list while at the restaurant.

Sonic the Hedgehog Tom and Dr. Robotnik

Eventually, a bar fight breaks out, and Sonic bolts into a slow-motion scene where he moves so fast that it appears everyone else is frozen in time. Time catches up, and Sonic and Tom easily win the bar fight and flee the scene. 

Tom and Sonic get a hotel room for the night, and he quickly runs around the room having fun and gets worn out. Sonic tells Tom he doesn’t want to go to the mushroom planet because he hates mushrooms, and he likes his small town of Green Hills on Earth.

Tom jokes with Sonic and tells him if he goes to the mushroom planet then he will still be a fungi (fun guy). As Sonic falls asleep he notices Sonic’s bucket list, and everything is crossed off except one item that says, make a real friend. 

Robotnik and his crew catch up with the aftermath of the bar fight and question some of the customers who witnessed what happened, and soon, they are calculating Sonic and Tom’s location. 

Robotnik catches up with Sonic and Tom on the highway and launches an attack with a six-wheel tank. Sonic fights back Robotnik’s bots and discovers his electric power as he spins and knocks into the tank, stopping it in its tracks.

More bots attack and Sonic fights off one after another. At the end of the battle, a small bomb explodes and knocks Sonic unconscious. 

Now realizing what he is up against, Robotnik uses his laboratory to analyze the blue quill he took from Tom’s house. The blue quill blows out his lab’s power, and after rebooting the lab, Dr. Robotnik’s equipment shows the quill has unlimited power. 

Tom takes Sonic to where his wife is staying in San Francisco, at her sister’s house. Tom’s wife and niece realize how special Sonic is and after some frantic questioning, they decide to help out.

Tom’s niece notices his shoes are worn and runs off to find him a new pair of running shoes (shameless plug for Puma). Tom and his wife Maddie wake up Sonic with smelling salts, and he tries out his new shoes.

The three make their way downtown San Francisco to the Transamerica Pyramid building. Tom uses his badge to get a key card to the rooftop where Sonic finds his pouch of gold rings. Tom and Sonic begin to say their goodbyes, and Sonic contemplates his decision to go to flee to another planet. 

Sonic throws a ring to begin the process of opening a portal to another world and an incoming Robotnik bot hits the ring, and they surround Tom, Maddie, and Sonic on the rooftop. Robotnik fires all his rockets, and Sonic takes him by surprise. 

With nowhere to run, in a surprising move, Sonic pushes Tom and Maddie off the rooftop. Sonic goes into hyper-speed which makes everything move in slow motion and similar to the previous bar fight scene he is able to point the rockets at each other. 

As Tom and Maddie fall in slow motion, Robotnik catches up with his newfound unlimited energy from the blue quill he has incorporated in his ship design. At the last second Sonic is able to toss a ring to the ground so that Tom and Maddie land safely back home in Green Hills. 

Sonic and Robotnik continue the chase with Robotnik right on his tale. Sonic continues to go through rings and teleports all over the world from France to the Great Wall, to the Pyramids, and finally back to Green Hills. 

Robotnik and Sonic continue the fight in the small town of Green Hills. Robotnik gets a good hit on Sonic and he falls to the street and is unresponsive. 

The town is angry, and Tom steps up to say, “He was my friend.” As soon as Tom says those words Sonic’s body begins to show bolts of blue lightning, and he is revived. Sonic gathers his new powerful energy source to get his blue quill back from Robotnik. 

As a final blow to knock out Robotnik, Sonic rolls into a ball of energy and begins pinging off of Robotnik’s ship (similar to the video game) and breaking up his ship until it is inoperable. Tom grabs a ring and tosses it near the ship as Sonic bangs into Robotnik’s ship to send him through the portal to the mushroom planet. 

Robotnik is now gone and back at home. The next day, the government pays a visit to say thank you to Tom and Maddie. They claim not to know where Sonic is but after the government leaves the audience sees Sonic is in the house. Tom and Maddie tell Sonic to go to his cave, and as he begins to leave, they tell him to go upstairs. 

In the attic, Sonic finds all his personal home items from the cave are now in the attic, and Tom and Maddies say, “Welcome home.”

As the credits roll, we see Robotnik on the mushroom planet vowing to find a way back saying, “A lesser man would die here.” As the scene ends, we see that Robotnik still has a blue quill in his possession. 

Later in the credits, we see Miles, the two-tail fox known as Tails, coming to Earth through a portal on a mission to find Sonic.

Editor Review

Sonic The Hedgehog races from video games and cartoons to the big screen. Decades of video gaming and Saturday morning cartoons finally culminate in a surprisingly fun action film that entertains the whole family.

With a quick introduction to get new fans up to speed, Sonic flees his comfortable island of loops, ramps, and gold rings to find a new home base on Earth. 

Beginning to realize the value of his power, Sonic is encouraged to lay low so his power does not end up in the wrong hands. 

Being forced from his comfortable paradise, his life on Earth appears to be quite different. In hiding, Sonic entertains himself in his cave with exercise, games, and magazines. 

Needing a friend, he ventures out to secretly interact with Donut Lord, Tom, the local sheriff. Zipping past Tom’s radar gun, Sonic tries to get a new high score.

Defending a small empty town, Donut Lord is often bored helping the locals with basic chores. Not living up to his full potential, Tom applies for a job in San Francisco and is accepted. 

Before Tom can leave for his new job, his world and Sonic’s colliding launch an unexpected journey. 

Sonic and Tom work together to defeat the brilliant Dr. Robotnik, who a comical Jim Carrey plays. Jim brings his usual over-the-top enthusiasm to the role. 

Although a mild-tempered villain, Dr. Robotnik has enough weapons and bad intentions to represent the video game boss everyone loves to beat. 

The live-action, in combination with an animated Sonic, meld together seamlessly. Most scenes feature Sonic, an animated character on Earth interacting with nature and many people. 

Some scenes even involve Sonic with large groups of people; the merger of animation and live-action is never a distraction to the viewer. 

One of the reasons the animated Sonic meshes so well is because he is the fans’ designer. When Sonic’s first sneak peek was revealed, there was an enormous backlash from the fans; thus redesigns flooded in. 

The studio listened and corrected the Sonic animation proportions to the echoed sigh of relief from the global fan base.

For decades the Sonic franchise has been building its global fan base. From video games to cartoons, Sonic has been a favorite for young boys and girls everywhere. 

None more popular than the SEGA video game of Sonic racing along an obstacle course to collect as many rings as possible and then finishing with a showdown against Dr. Robotnik, just like the movie. 

This game was one of my favorites and can still be played on most backward-compatible consoles, as well as phones or tablets. 

The flow of the movie progressed at a comfortable pace once the intro was out of the way. Unfortunately, several consumer ads jarred the flow of the movie. 

The ads were very distracting and made the movie seem choppy at times. Although the ads are effective (since you won’t forget them), they damage the credibility of the overall film. 

It’s not clear if the blame for the poor product placement belongs to the studio or the director. This film is Jeff Fowler’s first blockbuster hit as a director. 

He has also directed Gopher Broke back in 2004, an animated film that most movie fans have never heard of before. On his second swing at-bat, Fowler has done well with Sonic The Hedgehogbringing over $300 million worldwide in less than a month.

Even with distracting product placement and the title track singing “Super Sonic” as the blue blur zips around, the movie is all the hype Sonic fans need. 

The rest of the soundtrack helps build anticipation and compliments the action as Sonic battles against Dr. Robotnik. 

Sonic The Hedgehog is a highly anticipated movie with its deep roots in video games and cartoons. With high expectations, the film adaptation keeps pace with lifelong fans and races away with kids’ hearts, further cementing the Sonic franchise for years to come. 

With a sequel undoubtedly in the works [be sure to continue watching after the credits], hopefully, the studio will continue to listen to fans and ease up on the consumerism aspect the next time.

Overall, the film gets a passing grade for the animation and live-action mix and meets fans’ expectations. The movie also has positive messages about friendship, overcoming challenges, and appreciating all we have. 

Sonic The Hedgehog is a fun family film that all can enjoy.

See a full list of Paramount animation movies.

Brandon Crombar

Brandon Crombar

Editor In Chief / Founder

Brandon is an animation enthusiast and animated film critic. He has been writing about animation since 2013 to celebrate animated movies, characters, and songs. His favorite animated movies include Finding Nemo, Aladdin, and The Lion King.


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