Let sleeping dogs lie, they say. Well obviously Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers director Akiva Schaffer took one look at the phrase, turned around and decided, let’s kick the hornet’s nest instead. And with that, Paramount’s Ugly Sonic is back, selling merchandise and signing autographs at a street booth in the new live-action/animation hybrid Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers film that’s currently out on Disney+.
For those who missed the furore, before Sonic the Hedgehog and its sequel became the two best video game movies ever at the box office, fans of the blue blur were terribly upset when the first Sonic trailer (see below) was released. They hated Sonic’s look and the backlash was strong enough that the studio went back to redesign how Sonic looked.
Ugly Sonic remained another mascot of the uncanny valley of game characters brought into live-action movies. The lesson here is don’t try to make them too human-like. So end of the story, right?
Nope. Ugly Sonic probably had a ring tucked somewhere, since he can’t stay dead. He has returned as a cameo character in Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, which features a lot of cameo appearances.
The film is a meta-level live-action/animation hybrid about the two chipmunks, Chip and Dale, living in the real world as washed-up actors, long past their glory days as stars of the beloved 1980s Rescue Rangers TV series (yes, its an actual series). The movie breaks the fourth wall all the time, and Ugly Sonic is no exception.
In the movie, he is aware of his infamy and uses it to sell his own brand of merchandise. In one scene, Ugly Sonic, voiced by comedian Tim Robinson, says, “Oh, they’re laughing at me. I know that. You can’t hurt my feelings if I’m in on the joke.”
Director Akiva Schaffer is really going all-in with the angry, self-entitled tone with this movie. Everything is tinged with sardonicism, Chip and Dale included, and Ugly Sonic has some of the wackiest lines.
“Oh, you want me to go fast? That’s Sonic’s thing. Ugly Sonic goes slow, baybeh.”
Ugly Sonic has been unceremoniously discarded by its Paramount overlords, but Disney+’s Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers may have just launched his movie career. What irony.
Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers is streaming now on Disney+.