Whether it’s due to drastic story changes, differences in character design, or hiring Jim Carrey to play the villain, Sonic the Hedgehog‘s TV and movie adaptations have always ventured far from the video game series. While this isn’t a bad thing, as evident by their critical reception, Sonic fans have still been yearning for a faithful adaptation for years.
Thankfully, Netflix has worked closely with Sega — including Ian Flynn, a writer for Sonic Boom and both Archie Comics and IDW’s Sonic The Hedgehog — to ensure Sonic Prime stays as close to the video game series as possible, going as far as to claim that the show takes place within the same universe. Still, there are several notable differences between Sonic Prime and the beloved video game series.
All Major Differences in Sonic Prime vs the Video Game Series
Most returning characters in Sonic Prime look identical to their video game counterparts. The most glaring difference, however, is Rouge the Bat, who is now wearing a brand-new outfit — much to the disappointment of a particular band of Twitter users. Partway through the first episode, Sonic also gains a new pair of shoes and gloves for a reason we won’t spoil. The characters’ eyes are also slightly more pronounced to allow for more cartoonish and varied expressions, and Dr. Eggman’s ears are now much more apparent (for some reason).
The most significant differences in character design belong to the alternate-universe counterparts of the main cast that Sonic encounters throughout his multiversal adventure. While many universes are featured throughout the series, the bulk of the show is set within the cyberpunk, dystopian hellscape of ‘New Yoke City,’ governed by a body of Eggman counterparts dubbed the ‘Chaos Council.’
The first protagonist we meet is Nine, a reclusive (and initially aggressive) version of Tails with seven extra mechanical tails. Rouge and Knuckles serve as resistance leaders, while Amy — now ‘Rusty Rose‘ — has cybernetically enhanced herself to aid the Chaos Council.
Sonic is closer to his live-action movie counterpart in terms of his personality in Sonic Prime, possibly to appeal to younger fans unfamiliar with the video game series. His emotional immaturity and tendency to make rash decisions are central themes in the show, with the showrunners even describing Sonic Prime as a “story of self-redemption.” Sonic doesn’t stray too far from his video game counterpart, however, still adopting the same mannerisms, extroversion, and adoration of chili dogs.
Rouge the Bat’s Involvement
Rouge the Bat is a fully-fledged protagonist in Sonic Prime, along with her alternate-dimension counterparts. In the video games, however, Rouge is depicted as more of an anti-hero, occasionally meddling in the affairs of Sonic and his friends or forming temporary truces to take down the same enemy. Rouge and Knuckles’ semi-romantic dynamic is explored more in Sonic Prime compared to any other Sonic medium.
Sonic Prime features an entirely new cast of voice actors, with none of the original performers returning, likely due to their involvement in new releases, such as Sonic Forces. Nevertheless, Each actor performs their roles excellently, staying as close to the characters’ original depictions as possible.
Overall, Sonic Prime stays as devoted to its source material as possible, only taking the necessary liberties needed for its narrative to work and appeal to new fans drawn in by the Sonic movies.
Sonic Prime is available to stream now on Netflix.
- This article was updated on December 16th, 2022