2018 is going down as the horniest year on record. Everyone has been extremely, embarrassingly horny on main, from collectively popping a chubby for a pretty duck, to that New Yorker columnist who openly lusted after the mom from the Incredibles (yes, that happened this year!) to our obsession with the sexiest punk politician of a generation. While the powers-that-be tried to punish sexual speech on just about every online platform possible, the rest of us just got freakier and more creative in response. Not even No Nut November could slow us from pursuing a singular goal: Getting sweaty palms over otherwise benign, non-sexual things.
Which brings us to the latest salacious meme to enter the internet’s bonersphere: a new character design for the upcoming semi-live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Ever since the release of a teaser by the film’s studio, Paramount Pictures, we’ve been forced to reckon with the question: It only takes a quick Google image search to be reminded of the fact that Sonic has been an online sex symbol for years, but a new, major motion picture could introduce the blue hedgehog to an entire new generation. Is this new Sonic design from the movie fuckable? I asked some furries to find out.
“Oh it's fucking ugly as hell.”
In a moving teaser poster released last week, we get our first look at the new Sonic. He darts around collecting rings before skidding to a stop in front of the viewer, poised on muscular, hairy legs.
For a very short clip, there’s quite a bit to unpack here. In the cartoons, you never really see hair on him. His body is smooth and his legs, skinny. Like the fibers in Crash Bandicoot’s rebooted jeans, this new Sonic’s high-def follicles are jarring. “It would be weird and it would feel like he was running around nude if he was some sort of otter-like thing,” the film’s executive producer Tim Miller told IGN, in an effort to explain why the fuck this Sonic is so hairy. “It was always, for us, fur, and we never considered anything different. It’s part of what integrates him into the real world and makes him a real creature.”
A second poster, allegedly leaked from a movie theater and posted to Twitter (although still unconfirmed by Paramount as being official Sonic paraphernalia), gives a more detailed look at those ripped legs—plus some kind of... electrical.... speedtrail... emanating from between them?
If we look at the works of art and erotica produced by the Sonic fandom as a whole, there’s no denying that he’s been an object of desire for a long time—and the character as a childhood figure plays into that. When Motherboard showed Mandy Jones, a licensed social worker, a bunch of NSFW Sonic fanart, she had a very accepting response to it. “The visualization of sexuality can be a somewhat 'healthy' outlet for [young people] to express their questions and curiosity about sex and sexuality,” Jones said.
This version, however has struck a chord of disgust for fans. Is it the hair that makes this Sonic disturbingly sexual instead of sexy-sexual? Is it the musculature under that fur? What are these virile vibes? I asked the real experts in anthropomorphized sexuality—the furry fandom—to help me untangle whether this version of Sonic is hot or not.
Read more: My Life as Sexy Sonic
“No. Eww. He's creepy!” one member of the furry community who asked to remain anonymous told me. “They should've hired one of us design him. We would've done a better job anyway."
“Oh it's fucking ugly as hell,” Amethyst Basilisk, whose fursona is a cyberpunk dragon, told me in a Twitter message. “We're making fun of it because there's an immense amount of extremely talented artists that already make Sonic incredibly boneable. Notable furry artists have been drawing incredibly arousing Sonic porn for decades—Tails, for example, is stereotypically a bottom when being represented in gay versions of this porn.”
These furries are absolutely correct. Paramount definitely should have hired a furry to do this design, and help them avoid this unfortunate creature that’s stuck in this strange anthropomorphic pubescent state. Unlike Mandarin ducks or Beto O’Rourke, Sonic is not new to the internet’s full depravity, and we have the anthro fandom to thank for a rich history of fuckable Sonic and friends. People have been wanting to nail that hedgehog—or, more frequently, imagine him and his pals fucking each other—since the beginning of this fandom. The scads of DeviantArt entries alone prove this, and I don’t need to tell you there’s plenty of Sonic the Hedgehog hardcore porn available elsewhere on tube sites and Reddit.
Basilisk helped me break it down from “ew” to specifics in character design, from a furry point of view. “So he's got an anthro humanoid body. To furries, with that, you've got our interest already,” she said. “However, there seems to be confusion in the actual design of Sonic as to which direction they want to go in: realistic or cartoony. In artwork it's really, really difficult to actually accomplish both styles of proportions at the same time. And that's primarily where Sonic is failing miserably at being an icon of eros to furries—his proportions don't know which direction to go in.”
If the new Sonic design could pick an artistic direction, Basilisk told me, it would be a more interesting—and perhaps less disturbing—interpretation of the speedy hedgehog we love. “Give Sonic a proportional head and a six-pack and I guarantee people would be swooning,” she said. “Or, you could make him cell-shaded or something like that and go more in the direction of cartoon styles, and even then, you'd have people inspired to make erotic versions, 'cause hey, we love sexy cartoons. Ultimately, though, the design decision to do the ‘why not both?’ approach just utterly fails to make something appealing to anyone, frankly.”
Having viewed quite a lot of deeply depraved fan art at this point, I tend to agree with this analysis. I’ve seen bulky Sonics with bodies shaped like a ribbed protein shake, and I’ve seen skinny softboi Sonics, and none of these is more gross than what Miller and his design team has made here. Even this Microsoft Paint Sonic is acceptable, because it commits to a style and sticks with it:
The new Sonic the Hedgehog movies is set to be released in November 2019, giving us a whole year to consider what a CGI Sonic might look like alongside humans. That’s also plenty of time to think on how the most chaotically horny character ever, Eggman, might be portrayed. Perhaps the biggest crime in all of this is that the true hottie of the Sonic universe is being ignored.