Film Theory:  Movie Sonic is BEST Sonic! (Sonic The Hedgehog 2019)

So it seems like people weren’t super thrilled with how the new “Sonic” movie trailer looked. But, good news, the team behind the movie said they’re taking all of our feedback and making adjustments to Sonic’s design! Praise Mobius, maybe that means we’re gonna get Sonic a much-needed teeth extraction. But you know what, Paramount Pictures? Save your money, because Team Theorist over here has already done the good work for you! You can thank us later. For your consideration today, I present to you the improved version of the “Sonic” trailer… “i m u s t a c c e l e r a t e r a p i d l y” *Running noise* “Despite my outward appearance, I will attempt to convince you that I am a common housecat.” “Meow.” *gunshot* Hello internet! Welcome to Film Theory! Where today, after 4 long years, we finally give this channel it’s rite of passage… A video dedicated to Sonic’s speed! You see, the first really big video that I ever did here on YouTube was over on the sister channel “Game Theory”, and was one dedicated to Sonic’s speed across his games. It was my first video to ever cross 100,000 views, in fact, And when I found him to be just a wee bit slower than the games advertise, it caught everyone by surprise. And made a decent number of people angry. But today, I’ve got something that’s maybe even more shocking. Say what you will about the “Sonic” movie’s character design, like the fact that he looks like a grown man in a furry Halloween costume. Or the fact that Sonic’s teeth are literal nightmare fuel. Or the fact that when you freeze it on this particular frame it looks like he has a goatee, which is something that you can never unsee after this moment. Say any of those things and you know what, you’d be 100%right. But today, I’m also gonna prove to you that, for as much as they got wrong in this trailer, there is one thing that they got absolutely right. This is the single most accurate Sonic that we have ever seen. Don’t believe me? Stick around and get ready to be convinced. Now, while you, internet, watch that trailer one time and then immediately went to bleach your brain, I have watched it no less than 50 times. And let me tell you this, watching this thing frame-by-frame gives you some great insights into this movie. Like this really uncomfortable CGI as they fall through Sonic’s golden teleportation ring, or how Sonic’s head can just kind of detach from his body. Just like that. Or how the electricity that Sonic generates just kinda appears, everywhere, for some reason. That it’s not necessarily tied to the location that he just traveled through. Because we all know Sonic’s classic ability to produce lightning! WHAT?! Anyway, what I learned the most about was his speed. You see, Sonic demonstrates a lot of different speeds throughout this trailer. At the very beginning, he clocks in at a whopping 760 miles per hour on the Sheriff’s dash-mounted radar gun. Giving credit where credit’s due, this is actually a pretty cool easter egg, since Sonic is known for rolling around at the speed of sound, and the speed of sound is 767 miles per hour. So he is, in this scene, rolling around at the speed of sound. So the movie got that fact about Sonic totally right, and got everything else in this scene totally wrong. You see, Sonic running past a radar gun like that probably wouldn’t return a speed reading at all. Speed guns shoot radio waves forward, which bounce of the target and back at the gun. Since Sonic is moving away from the gun, those bounced back waves would get stretched out. If Sonic was approaching the gun, those waves would’ve gotten compressed. This is called the Doppler Effect, with the gun measuring the change in radio wave frequency, and converting that into a final speed. Here’s the thing though – cops aren’t dealing with cars traveling at near sonic speeds. As such, police radar guns tend to cap out at 200 miles per hour, meaning that Sonic, to their equipment, would probably be invisible. But this scene is just Sonic, and his trailer, getting warmed up. After performing a few stretches, we see Sonic’s speed hit whole new levels. In these two frames, we see Sonic erupting into a massive explosion that knocks out power for apparently the entirety of North America. Starting in Mexico, apparently. We’re seriously supposed to believe that Green Hill is here? Ground zero for Sonic’s explosion is in MEXICO?! Ay carumba, this movie is so stupid! Anyway, location doesn’t matter here. By measuring the distance between the marks on the road, we can actually calculate which speed he’s traveling prior to erupting into that massive explosion. Now, if you were to guess, if I were to ask you right now, “How long is each individual dashed centre line on the highway?”, what would you say? Think about that. Put your guess down in the comments, (and remember that you can always edit your comments after I reveal the answer, to make yourselves look smarter, just saying) Also, while you’re down there in the comments making your guess, be sure to take a minute to support our sponsor for today’s episode, US! Theory wear! Yeah, it’s literally just me promoting the merch that we just launched for spring. There is everything from socks and underwear, to cool colour-changing desk lamps, even an awesome embroidered jacket with thumb holes. And while I could sit here in the recording closet, and shill to you about how nice it all is and how hard we worked on it, both which are very true, let me instead let you guys who have already got yours in the mail do the talking. Like Liam here, who says that the new Codebreaker shirt is “The most comfortable shirt he has ever worn,” I would agree, it is unbelievably soft. Or then there’s Beth, who got herself the Theorist Pride shirt and says that she’s “happy with the design, fit and quality.” If I can be honest, I really think the colour compliments the dog snout and ears, but you know, that’s just my opinion. And lastly for call outs today there’s Finn, who got himself the Player jacket and says that it’s “warm, comfy and stylish.” Can I just say that I love how matter-of-fact all of these tweets are? “This shirt fits my wardrobing needs adequately.” Anyway, let me just say that by getting yourself some Theory Wear, not only are you getting some awesome high-quality clothing, or lights, in this case, that allow you to show off your theorist pride to the world, but you’re also supporting this channel, and all of us who spend hundreds of hours each and every week, researching and editing these theories dedicated to you, so thank you so much watching, thank you for supporting the channel, and thank you for putting up with this little ad in the middle of the video. Link is right where you’d expect it, top line of the description. OK, so did that shilling give you enough time to make your guess as far as how long the lines in the highway are? Well, now it’s finally time for that answer. OK, so scientific surveys have shown that most people estimate that those lines are about 2 feet in length, when in actuality, they’re 5 times that length, they’re 10 feet, 30 feet separating each individual line. That’s according to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Chapter 3B, Section 620.2. Whoa, you heard that right, over 620 sections of roadway marking specification! I read some really exciting stuff for this show. Anyway, knowing that little factoid, and now that you’re slightly smarter than the rest of the population, We see that Sonic is traveling 30 + 10 + 30 feet, or 70 feet in that one frame. But considering that the video is running at 24 frames per second, that’s 70 feet divided by 1/24th of a second, or 1,680 feet per second, which translates to 1,145 miles per hour. 1,842 kilometres per hour. Eat your heart out Superman, cause that’s about as fast as a speeding bullet! If you’re on the Equator, planet Earth actually rotates at speeds around 1000 miles per hour, and Sonic is cooking along faster than that. Now, that is certainly fast, but it is nowhere near the speeds that we see him hit at the end of this 3 minute cringe fest! You see, the trailer ends with an epic scene of Sonic standing still, while Jim Carrey, I refuse to call a man who would allow *this*, “You’re basic.” Dr. Robotnik, while Jim Carrey fires off a salvo of rockets from his attack drones. Now, obviously this whole thing is happening during bullet time, or, let’s say “Sonic-vision”, where time is slowed down to Sonic’s perspective of the world. So, he must be fast, because the rockets are literally standing still. And Sonic uses this opportunity to redirect the missiles and bullets away from him, and – TOWARDS THE GROUND?! SONIC! THERE ARE PEOPLE DOWN THERE! JEEZ! You not only look like a monster, but you act like one too! Anyway, to calculate the true speed that he’s going in this scene, I measured his movement against the one thing that’s also fast enough to have perceived motion while in Sonic-vision – explosions. We see here, an explosion happening in slow-motion as Sonic moves from one drone to the next. So, by researching the speed of that explosion, and then seeing how fast Sonic is moving relative to that, we can actually get his true movement speed. Now, we have no way of knowing what kind of explosives that Eggman is using in these missiles, but we do know the detonation speed of C-4, which is 18,000 miles per hour, or 8,050 metres per second. So, we can use that as an approximation of what we’re seeing here. Knowing that Sonic is the size of a small child in the movie, “Do you have your child in that bag?” *cringe* Which coincides with his canon heights, (“heights” plural, because Sonic the Hedgehog has two, of course!) that are always around 3 feet, we can actually estimate the size of each of these drones to be similar to this existing spherical drone, that’s 88 centimetres in diameter, or about 2.8 feet. It takes 0.5 seconds of Sonic-time for the drone to explode to their diameter, and in that time, 10 frames of footage, Sonic is able to travel 4 times the diameter of the drone. So doing a few calculations and proportions, we’re able to conclude that Sonic is moving in this scene at 72,038 miles per hour. (That is 32,204 metres per second) For reference, the fastest ever spacecraft was 36,000 miles per hour, and Sonic is twice that speed, with movement that fast, he is on par with some meteors, which can range from 25,000 to 100,000 miles per hour. At this point, he is going HYPER fast, but hold my chilli dog, because I’m not done, nor is this trailer. You see, that roadway scene from a while back is a bit misleading. Sure, I calculated that he’s running at 1200 miles per hour, but he also creates a blast that apparently knocks out the electricity for the entire North American continent. It seems like what he’s created there should be a sonic boom, since, you know, he’s traveling faster than the speed of sound, but THAT is not a sonic boom, THIS is a “Sonic Boom”! *comedic drums* Ugh, bad joke is bad… No, but in all seriousness, sonic booms wouldn’t create an explosion that results in a nationwide blackout. So, is this just movie logic, bad movie science? No, actually. The trailer isn’t wrong here, and the real explanation for what’s going on, actually explains some of the weird design decisions that they made with Sonic. You see, that blast is most likely an E.M.P. – an electromagnetic pulse. Now, what does that mean? Well, from a very basic standpoint, electromagnetic radiation is everything from radio waves and microwaves to visible light, to X-Rays and Gamma Rays, our modern society is built on our ability to harness the power of electromagnetic radiation. Cell phones, the internet, radio communications, medical equipment, the list of things that electromagnetism has enabled us to do is nearly endless. Now, an E.M.P. is when you send out a lot of E.M. at once, which overwhelms electrical circuits. Send out enough, and suddenly you’re overloading power grids and causing massive nationwide blackouts. As a result, one of the biggest fears that your politicians talk about these days is the E.M.P. threat; “Electromagnetic Pulse attack.” “Electromagnetic Pulse attack.” “A large scale E.M.P. event in the United States.” where a foreign country would blow up a nuclear warhead in our atmosphere, surprisingly not doing a whole heck of a lot to us, but would release a bunch of Gamma rays into the atmosphere, which would knock a bunch of electrons out of their orbits, which then get trapped in Earth’s magnetic field, causing a massive electrical imbalance which needs to correct itself, which gives rise to a continent-sized E.M.P. According to the Federation of American Scientists; “A large device detonated at 400-500km over Kansas would affect all of the continental U.S.” Long story short; E.M.P. blasts, while harmless to us, could be massively damaging to the infrastructure that our society is built on. Across the country, lights, communication systems and the internet would all go down instantaneously, and we probably wouldn’t even understand why for a while. It’s crazy, and that is in essence what Sonic is doing in this scene, and what causes the military to panic and hire Jim Carrey to hunt him down. Now clearly in this scene, Sonic isn’t creating a nuclear blast, we see everything intact after he sprints away, but the science still works because, you know, Sonic has those classic lightning abilities I talked about a little bit earlier. While it may seem stupid that this movie chose to have Sonic constantly crackling with electricity when he gets ready to run, it shockingly makes the science of this scene work out. In essence, that lightning makes Sonic the equivalent of a charged particle, which, when traveling at high enough speeds, create Gamma rays. This is called “Synchrotron Radiation”, which in this case could potentially lead to the massive electromagnetic pulse that we see in this movie’s trailer. A pulse that appears to kick off the entire plot of this film. So, how fast would a charged particle like Sonic the Hedgehog need to travel to create the massive amounts of Gamma rays needed to create an E.M.P. blast like this, nearly the speed of light, just under 670, 616, 629 miles per hour, or about 300 million metres per second. Does Sonic traveling at near-lightspeed in this scene sound stupid? Well, canonically, it is Sonic’s correct speed. In “Sonic Adventure 1”, Sonic gets the lightspeed dash, which allows him to race towards rings at light speed. In “Sonic CD”, we see him traveling through time, which, again, is presumably using his relativistic speeds traveling near the speed of light. And in “Sonic Colours”, he’s not so fast that he can outrun a black hole, running for about 30 seconds until he gets sucked back in, but it confirms that he’s running at a magnitude near the speed of light. Like it or not, this movie is currently one of the only pieces of Sonic media, where we actually get to see Sonic traveling at the speeds he’s supposed to be traveling, making this, awful design and all, the single best portrayal of Sonic the Hedgehog ever, because it got his defining feature correct; his speed. Is it stupid? Absolutely! But the speeds that he’s supposedly traveling are also stupidly fast, and we’re finally getting to see some of the real-world ramifications of what exactly that would entail now. So sure, “Sonic” (2019) may be the new “Sonic 06”, but it is one of the best portrayals of Sonic ever, by truly showing us that “He’s the fastest thing alive!” The only thing that’s faster is this movie heading to the bargain bin. But hey! That’s just a theory! A Film Theory! Aaaaand cut.

100 thoughts on “Film Theory: Movie Sonic is BEST Sonic! (Sonic The Hedgehog 2019)

  1. I don't know about you guys, but I am pretty excited about the Sonic the Hedge movie coming out in 2069.
    (Surreal Animations)

  2. Wait…So theres a bunch of hospitals there and sonic knocked out power in all of north america…And those hospitals power went out….SONIC KILLED PEOPLE.

  3. The new trailer is much better, actually can't wait for it now. Totally looks like the sonic we all know and love now, fun loving and kinda cute

  4. 0:27 to 0:45 was probably made in Garry's mod.

    Edit: The desert map link is here.

    Other map. ???

  5. that improved trailer's first scene (I must accelerate rapidly) appears to be ripping off Surreal Entertainment's version of the Sonic trailer, and while taking different turns, they appear to be identical in their humour.

  6. Sonic is running so fast rubbing against so many different textures creating a lot of static enough to show electrical charges

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