‘Sonic the Hedgehog’: Why Tails’ surprise cameo is big as the ‘remarkable’ journey continues

Sonic is not alone on Earth.

The lonely alien Sega video game star of “Sonic the Hedgehog,” seemingly stuck alone on Earth, did not see the arrival of his best friend Miles “Tails” Prower in the movie. It was the briefest of appearances.

But it was major deal for “Sonic,” one of the few film success stories of 2020 and a wild ride that continues on digital, with the upcoming Blu-ray release May 19.

There will surely be other movies featuring other characters like Tails as “Sonic the Hedgehog” has moved from possible flop to more like a franchise.

“No doubt ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ is just getting started. A sequel is imminent for Paramount Studios, who desperately needs new franchises,” says Jeff Bock, box office analyst for Exhibitor Relations. “I’d expect an announcement as soon as the world starts spinning in a direction we all recognize again. Video game adaptations are definitely hot properties again in Hollywood thanks to Sonic and his box office antics.”

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To recap the antics: Filmmakers endured a near fan revolt when they first unveiled the classic Sega video game character a year ago (April 30). Fans hated it, so they delayed the film’s release to completely overhaul the character, and released the revised “Sonic” in February. The movie rocked the box office for $306 million worldwide — just before theaters shuttered due to the coronavirus.

Paramount Studios released “Sonic” on digital 46 days after release for stuck-at-home families. Paramount has not reported the digital sales, but all this foretells new movies involving other characters from the Sega Universe. Like Tails.

“There’s so many more great characters to bring in and just more stories to tell,” says director Jeff Fowler, who calls the “Sonic” saga a “remarkable journey.” He insists that there are no official talks or plans for a sequel.

“(But) nothing would bring me more happiness than getting another shot with these characters and to tell more stories. We’d love to do more with the Sonic cinematic universe,” he says.

Sonic has a number of friends: Tails, Knuckles, Amy Rose and Shadow, who appeared in the game and 1993-94 ABC TV show “Sonic the Hedgehog” and the 2014-17 Cartoon Network series, “Sonic Boom.” Fans have pondered what role they would play in the movie.

“We would get that question a lot from fans, ‘Is Tails in it? Is Knuckles in it?’ All these fan-favorite characters,” says Fowler. “We had to do that little fan Easter egg with Tails and say, ‘We know you love these characters. We will absolutely get to them in future stories if we’re able to.’ ”

But the first film dealt with Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) coming up against his nemesis, Dr. Robotnik (voiced by Jim Carrey).

“We had to get Sonic and Robotnik right,” says Fowler. “And we build from there.”

In the brief movie appearance, Tails was voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey, who voiced the double-tailed fox in “Sonic Boom.” Major bonus for the character: The filmmakers unveiled the new character to happy gasps in theaters, rather than the online dismay for that met the original Sonic. They have learned their character lesson.

“We cracked the ‘Sonic’ code. Once you establish the template of Sonic, there’s definitely an aesthetic then you can kind of apply to the other other characters,” says Fowler. “We had a guide to figuring out characters like Tails.”

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