Sonic the Hedgehog possesses only a handful of the qualities of an actual hedgehog. In contrast to the hedgehogs of the natural world, Sonic is bipedal. Also unlike an actual hedgehog, he is also a striking cobalt blue. His eyes, unlike the noticeably separated ones found on a hedgehog, are a single homogenous mess on the front of his face. He wears gloves and shoes. He collects gold rings. He can speak and reason. To my knowledge, no recorded hedgehog in the real world possesses any of these traits.
Due to the cartoonish nature of his depiction, we have never had to confront the awful reality of this hideous creature. While you can immediately see why they didn’t choose to name him Sonic the Big Mutant Blue Man, it is immediately obvious that that’s what he is. He has more in common with upright hominids than he does with any hedgehog, and yet we can happily ignore this when he occupies the bright, stylised world of video games.
Giving Sonic the Hedgehog calf muscles was a mistake:
Traditionally, Sonic’s body has been described with simple shapes. His arms and legs are narrow sets of solid, parallel lines. There is no suggestion of realistic hair or musculature — none of the signifiers of a living creature that would force us to imagine what he would be like were he a living, breathing, sweating, hair-growing mammal the size of a man.
Giving him calf muscles drags him too far into the land of the real. We are forced to ask questions now, questions we wished we would never have to confront. Does Sonic have toenails? Does he sweat? Does he need to cut his hair? Does he poop? Does that all-too-human crotch hide some sort of disgusting, weighty hedgehog penis?
There was a time (the time before I saw this poster) when I welcomed the sight of Sonic, the friendly blue hedgehog that loves to jog. But now, in the time after I’ve seen the poster, I dread his presence. He projects a threatening aura, one that is only reinforced by a nudity-plus-shoes combo that is mostly only seen in porn.
Even my strong curiosity at what they will do to render his face in a realistic fashion is overridden by my fear of seeing this horrid creation again. Giving Sonic the Hedgehog calf muscles was a mistake.