Back in 1991, Sonic was co-created by Sega’s Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima for the Megadrive console, as a rival mascot to Nintendo’s Mario.
That makes him geriatric by hedgehog standards (average lifespan: five years), but still a whippersnapper compared to Pac-Man (four decades and counting). Sonic’s trademark red trainers were modelled on a mix of Santa Claus and the boots rocked by Michael Jackson in the Bad era.
Three decades later, the movie designers based his footwear on Puma’s Dare Mesh sneakers.
The original Sonic The Hedgehog video game knocked Nintendo off the top spot in the bloody US console wars of the ’90s.
Since then, the franchise has sprawled into comics, TV shows and cameos in Wreck-It Ralph and Ready Player One.
Of course, cultural impact means kerching. Sonic had already shifted 89 million video games by 2011, and grossed over billion by 2014. Which should just about cover Jim Carrey’s fee for the new Sonic The Hedgehog movie.
Sonic was mute in the original game, but the way he impatiently tapped a foot at time-wasters suggested a likeably snarky personality.
Director Jeff Fowler’s live-action movie blows that up into a three-dimensional character.
Ben Schwartz provides the wisecrack drawl and facial motion capture for the self-described “little ball of super-energy in an extremely handsome package”.
It's safe to say that Sonic's appearance in the first trailer didn’t go down too well with Sonic diehards.
In an unprecedented move, Fowler took notes and went back to the drawing-board, and the Sonic redesign is all-round cuter and cooler.
So sit back and enjoy, in the knowledge that you played a part in this movie.
In the game, Sonic’s nemesis was Dr Robotnik: a mad scientist bent on collecting the Chaos Emeralds and squishing the hedgehog with high-tech killing machines.
In a major coup, Fowler has snagged Jim Carrey for the villain role, and the comic legend’s eye-bulging, limb-flailing, drone-deploying performance is as good as anything he’s done.
Written by Japanese pop group Dreams Come True, the Sonic theme is practically a dog-whistle to gamers.
The good news is that it’s made the cut – along with an original soundtrack by Deadpool composer Tom Holkenborg.