How Sonic's Success Differs From Mario
While there's no doubt that Super Mario is a massively successful franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog has kept up by running to his own tune.
Over the years, Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario have been neck and neck as two of gaming's most iconic characters. For Mario, his trajectory is mostly defined by his games, which continue to please. Mario has branched out into other avenues, with appearances in a TV show, a movie and even an upcoming theme park land. But, it's the games that have maintained Mario's success over the years. By contrast, Sonic has kept up by using a wildly different strategy.
Sonic the Hedgehog is still known for its hit video games. But as the years pass, it's become clear that games are no longer the primary way that the franchise succeeds. In fact, it often takes years for new titles to release, with Sonic's last 3D adventure being 2017's Sonic Forces. Instead, Sega has chosen to celebrate his classic titles with remasters to fill that void between new games.
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Sonic has been making it a habit to release adventures from older consoles or new games that maintain a nostalgic feeling like Sonic Mania. With the newly announced Sonic Colors: Ultimate and Sonic Origins, players will enjoy the Blue Blur's earlier titles on current consoles. This has helped the character find a unique identity in the video game world in contrast to Mario, as Nintendo rarely re-releases his older titles.
Another way that Sonic maintains his success in video games is through mobile titles like Sonic Dash, allowing players to enjoy Sonic's exploits while on the go. Appearances in other titles like Sega's upcoming Lost Judgment have also helped keep Sonic in the public consciousness. Because Sega has so many unique franchises besides Sonic the Hedgehog, the character can appear in the most unlikely places like Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - The Official Video Game.
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However, unlike Mario, Sonic's popularity has mainly come from a multimedia presence. Those who don't play video games still can keep up with the Sonic franchise. Over the decades, Sonic the Hedgehog has maintained a solid footing in animation which will continue with a brand-new Netflix series, Sonic Prime. Sonic also has a film franchise that is getting ready to release a sequel and an ongoing comic series that helps ensure fans will always be up to date on his latest adventures. Sonic's success has never faltered because of all of this saturation across entertainment formats, even with fewer game titles releasing.
While Sonic the Hedgehog dominates multiple mediums with content, that doesn't mean that the mustachioed hero is less significant. The beauty of each character is how their different paths to success have led to their individual victories. Super Mario is defined by the game space and is beginning to expand outward with a theme park. At the same time, Sonic the Hedgehog's success involves massive attention to its legacy and steady content output across mediums. In the end, both are different, and that's what makes them great rivals decades later.
KEEP READING: Did Michael Jackson REALLY Contribute Music To Sonic 3?
Guardians of the Galaxy Is the Best Comic Book Game Since Batman: Arkham AsylumAbout The Author
CBR Features Writer Nick Brooks has been writing for over ten years about all things pop culture. He has written for other sites like Animemojo.com and Gamefragger.com. When not writing you can find him with his lovely girlfriend, cooking, reading comics, or collecting any new Star Wars Black Series, Marvel Legend, or Transformer. For more of his thoughts on pop culture check out his blog, The Next Panel with Comic Brooks.
MaverickHunterSilver (As RoadRollerDio)
Mario vs Sonic. A very debatable battle like this was sure to stand the test of time. And it really did. But while we know what would happen if the two met, we still don't know what would occur if their movie counterparts fought. So who's movie counterpart would win in a Death Battle?
Aqua: If there's two other video game characters that have a rivalry, then most likely they will never reach the height of the classic Mario vs Sonic debate. These two characters have been rivals for nearly 30 years, and it looks like they'll show no signs of stopping.
Octo: Seems perfect for the high class directors of Hollywood. Hollywood has had a... let's just say shaky experience with video game movies, and these variants of Mario and Sonic are two shining examples of that. Mario Mario, Bob Hoskins the Plumber Man from Brooklyn, New York.
Aqua: And Sonic the Hedgehog, lost blue speedster from another world. I'm Aqua, she's Octoling, and it's our job to analyze their weapons, armor and skills to see who would win a Death Battle!
Octo: Oh god... We're really doing this, aren't we?
Aqua: Stop whining and just get on with it!
Octo: Ugh, fine!
Aqua: The city that never sleeps, New York City, is much how you would expect it to be. Busy streets, cars everywhere, angry taxi drivers, the usual.
Octo: But in this New York, there exists a duo of plumbers who won't hesitate to take up a job if it means solving problems and fixing money issues. This is the plumbing service known as the Mario Bros.
Aqua: The Mario Bros early history is rather unknown, and all we know are that they're both from Brooklyn and have a job as... Well... Plumbers.
Octo: You've got the younger brother Luigi, and then you've got his grumpy older bro, Super Mario! Oh... Wait, I mean Mario Mario. I would say they were the same guy, but this is live action Mario we're talking about here.
Do the Mario. Swing your arms from...
Octo: I mean the bad one!
Aqua: Still, the Mario Bros happily took on any plumbing challenge, no matter how big or how small. However, they would soon face their biggest threat once the evil Bowser attempted to take over the city.
Octo: With his army of... Goombas? What the hell, their bodies are fucking huge, yet their heads are so... pathetic. Hahaha, it's hilarious!
Aqua: To prevent the tyrant from getting his own way, it was up to Mario Mario to take the madman down once and for all.
Octo: While his name is Mario and his movie is called Mario Bros, this plumber is... absolutely nothing like the original Mario in any way!
Aqua: Still, doesn't mean he isn't equipped for the job. While he may be a normal human being, this Mario is still not to be messed with. He's a pretty capable hand-to-hand fighter, able to knock out regular goons with relative ease.
Octo: Sure, he's not the best fighter around, but his strength is certainly something to behold.
Aqua: This version of Mario is also an expert at quick driving with a certain police car. Yep, this car looks exactly like it came out of a zombie apocalypse movie, armed with a battering ram digger at the front and covered with lots of junk as it's armor.
Octo: Is that all you can say, that baby looks BADASS!!!
Aqua: Not that Mario needs it to cause some havoc though, because he's stocked with a few other weapons too.
Octo: Why do I get the feeling that this episode is gonna be much shorter than our other ones?
Aqua: You might notice that Mario is wearing very peculiar looking boots. Well, these are his Thwomp Stompers, which give him a ground shaking jump and the ability to fire Bullet Bills out of the front for an explosive finish!
Octo: Yeah, it's pretty fucking awesome for a normal human to use, but these next weapons will make Mario into an unstoppable force!
Aqua: The FryGuy Flame Gun is a deadly flamethrower that... works exactly like a flamethrower. It is more destructive than an actual one though, so that's a plus.
Octo: No no no no no, I'm talking about the Bob-Omb. Like the actual Mario Bob-Omb - probably the only thing true to the source material in the movie - this bomb can approach targets once wound up, sorta like a toy. It's cute, but deadly enough to launch people high into the air.
Aqua: Well, if it's destruction Mario wants, he can use that. However, the most devastating weapon he has access to is... the Devolution Gun.
Octo: This baby is a laser blast - not an actual light speed laser - that, when connected with its target, changes the evolutionary process of a victim to horribly disfigure them! One of the most unique weapons we've had on this show so far, to be honest!
Aqua: Mario, both with and without his weapons, is certainly no slouch. Physically, Mario is strong enough to not only knock out someone in a single punch, but even send them flying a few metres back and snap their necks in the process.
Octo: Hell, he's even survived the same thing happening to him, and even that's not the best he can do.
Aqua: Realistically speaking, Mario's weapons should be powerful enough together to heavily damage or outright kill a superhuman opponent such as a Goomba, and this makes Mario one of the deadliest fighters in New York. But as for speed... Mario is kinda lacking.
Octo: Judging from physical strength, we can say that Mario is at peak human levels of running speed. Not that this affects his reactions, which show that he can dodge bullets and projectiles of similar speeds.
Aqua: He's certainly brilliant, but even this Mario is not perfect. Mario is... awfully lazy, and isn't exactly the smartest guy out there.
Octo: Yeah, this Mario is more about brute force than finding strategies. Even minor ones go completely over his head. Well, sometimes. When he focuses his mind on it, he can be a pretty useful strategist.
Aqua: And even despite his superhuman abilities, Mario is just a regular human. Pretty much any form of weaponry, from chairs to swords, can bring him down. And his Devolution Gun itself can be deflected by any sort of mirrors or reflective surfaces.
Octo: But at the end of the day, Mario is a worthy plumber. Being an unstoppable force, there's a reason why even the forces of President Koopa and his tiny headed Goomba army can't defeat him!
Sonic the Hedgehog
Aqua: As a baby, Sonic the Hedgehog's life was full of hardships. While he was born with extraordinary speed, the blue toddler had no parents and was being hunted down by a race of echidnas who wanted his speed for themselves.
Octo: No they were NOT Knuckles' family, they were entirely different people. Still, Sonic was left to be looked after by an owl named Longclaw, but one day as he was running across his home island, Sonic had unknowingly led the echidnas to his makeshift home.
Aqua: With no other option, Longclaw sent Sonic to another world, where he would live until he happened to have needed to run away once more.
Octo: Turns out that this planet was Earth, where Sonic found himself stuck in an underground cave in the town of Green Hills - and no, not the one from Sonic 2 on the Game Gear.
Aqua: Sonic hid in the town until he was 13 years old, when during a fun time alone on a baseball field, Sonic shorted out nearly an entire state thanks to his speed. This garnered the attention of the US Government, who sent their top scientist Dr. Robotnik to investigate.
Octo: Which led into him teaming with Cyclops from X-Men to cross the country, find his rings, defeat Robotnik and return home. Y'know, your typical cliche "another world" plot, even though Sonic... didn't actually return home and decided to stay on our world. Oh well, at least he beat the villain!
Aqua: Yeah. Anyway, while Robotnik was certainly very deadly with Sonic's quill as his weapon, the hedgehog himself is just as, if not even more dangerous.
Octo: Movie Sonic honestly isn't as versatile as his game counterpart, as while he can indeed curl into a ball, he hasn't been seen homing on enemies with the Homing Attack or jumping on them in the Spin Attack. However, he can indeed power his way through robots by using his Spin Dash.
Aqua: It's moreso like the Drop Dash than the Spin Dash, though it can still blast Sonic along the ground at high speeds fast enough to destroy giant enemies chasing him.
Octo: While that is it for his spin moves, Sonic's main source of skill instead comes from his fighting skill, reactions and agility. Sonic knows standard grapple moves and hand-to-hand combat moves, including boxing and kickboxing.
Aqua: He's able to perform leg sweeps, duck and weave past attacks, and even perform Spider-Man like poses to avoid projectiles while moving. All in all, pretty decent for a hedgehog!
Octo: Sonic can even make his enemies go insane by taunting them when they fail to stop him, which can reduce even the smartest of fighters to nothing more than a rabid bull that fights in a very predictable nature, as seen with Robotnik.
Aqua: When you really think about it, that's actually a brilliant strategy, which Sonic is pretty good at coming up with on the fly. And that's thanks to his super speed.
Octo: So... how fast is Movie Sonic?
Aqua: Well, he has his casual speed, where he ran several hundred miles, crashed into the Pacific Ocean and ran back to Tom in only 2.5 seconds, but when the electricity of his quills start going off, Sonic becomes unstoppable!
Octo: Yeah, not only do missiles and human beings stop completely whenever Sonic runs, but it's like they've been trapped in stopped time. In other words... ZA WARUDO, TOKI WO TOMARE!!!
Aqua: 'Sigh', that was very unnecessary. Anyway, pointless referencing aside, at most, this is already pretty damn fast, but when Sonic's quills are charged up...
Octo: His speed is so fast that it, and I'm not kidding, short circuited the entirety of the Pacific Northwest in only a single blast. We're looking at a hedgehog who could short circuit an entire city with his speed here, folks!
Aqua: Back to being casual for a second, with his speed, Sonic has ran the entirety of his island, as a little kid no less, in only a couple of seconds. His older self is more than likely faster too!
Octo: But on the other end of the spectrum, Sonic's physically powerful enough to topple entire trucks equivalent to the weight of a train. And you know that Pacific Northwest feat from before? Yeah, that's reaching into the power needed to destroy an entire city! See, that wasn't a lie, his speed genuinely did that.
Aqua: Going back to toppling that truck over, Sonic actually managed to survive that collision. Hell, he even managed to survive that whole short circuit ordeal with nothing more than a few fizzled quills. Overall, Sonic is pretty OP... but he's not perfect.
Octo: He's still a kid at heart, and whenever his friends are threatened, he just straight up goes bloodlusted. Oh, actually, speaking of the final battle, Sonic even has rings that allow him to teleport to anywhere of his choosing. Sorry, forget to mention. Yeah, back to the weaknesses!
Aqua: Sonic's cockiness is also one of his biggest downfalls though, as he tends to have a short attention span whenever he's full of adrenaline. Still, Sonic is a speedy blur, and when push comes to shove, he will not hesitate to go all out to save not only his friends, but the entire world.
Octo: Despite being only 13, he definitely deserves the title of "fastest thing alive", even if his other counterparts are much better!
Aqua: All right, the combatants are set, and we've ran the data through all possible outcomes.
Octoling: YEAH it's time for a Death Battle!!!
Having stopped on the highway, both Sonic and Tom breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, after a couple of hours, they had finally escaped from Robotnik. The mad scientist had been attacked by a spiky haired guy who was clearly not happy with Robotnik's destructive reign on his city, giving his targets an easy chance at getting away.
Sonic sat with his head rested against a rock, while Tom walked off into the forest. It was nighttime by now, and the duo were forced to take desperate action. Their Toyota Tacoma truck had had its top torn off by one of Robotnik's robots, they themselves were tired but had no shelter as a result, and they were technically fugitives on the run.
"Yo, Donut Lord? Where ya goin'?" the hedgehog asked as he turned his head to see his friend looking back at him.
Being such a nice guy, Tom replied. "Just heading out to find some wood for a fire, just wait here."
Sonic looked back into the sky once more.
*Nothing more beautiful than the stars at night. And hey, I love camping. Just gotta make sure no one tries to spot us on the way past!" he said to himself, resting his hands behind his head. Honestly, the quiet of this world was one thing Sonic preferred to that... mushroom mayhem that was his last resort should he be chased out of Earth by Robotnik.
Well, he preferred everything here to that awful place, and it wasn't like he could go there without his rings, but it still was a statement that was 100% true.
The hedgehog slowly shifted into a comfortable position as his eyes began to close...
Until he heard the sound of dirt being moved by tires. Looking up, Sonic saw that...
"Oh no no no no no, not the 5-0, anything but that! I'm too young to go to jail... or die! the hedgehog screamed, as he noticed the heavily armored vehicle stop next to him.
Stepping out was a man in a very, very dirty plumber suit, carrying weapons on his back. Sonic looked at the man's face, noticing a very cool looking moustache and an equally dirty red cap. He was much taller, to the point Sonic had to actually look up, but he certainly didn't look intimidating. At least, not compared to Robotnik!
"Oh, never mind, it's the Ghostbusters! So, which one are you, Bill, Dan..."
The plumber took his cap off and scratched his head in confusion. "Hey hey hey, what makes ya think I'm one of them?" the guy questioned, clearly... disturbed by the sight of a blue talking hedgehog.
"I dunno, maybe the dirtiness, the armored police car, you know, a lot of things just scream Ghostbusters to me. And yes, I have been here long enough to know who they are. Whatever, who are you, mister Brooklyn plumber man?" the hedgehog said, happily bantering with the man. He seemed friendly enough to trust, nothing was stopping Sonic from having fun with the dude.
"Name's Mario, of the Mario Bros Plumbing." he replied, offering his card to Sonic.
The hedgehog blinked. That... wasn't his card, that was a picture of Sonic.
Wait, a picture of who?
Mario looked at the paper in his hand, which had a picture of Sonic with the word "wanted" above his mugshot. Opening his eyes in shock, Mario moved the sheet down, putting it back up to Sonic's face, before moving it down.
"Wait, you Sonic?" Mario asked the animal, who moved back. Using a nearby torch, he shined the light through the back of the paper. Reading it backwards, Sonic dashed backwards.
"Y-Yeah, that's my name..."
"Great, just who I needed. Come on, in the car." Mario ordered, as he looked about for a weapon. He found a half eaten chicken bone in the pocket instead, and fished it out in front of Sonic. "Come on kitty. Come on. In the truck." he continued, much to Sonic's dismay.
"Listen, pal. One, I'm not a cat, nor do I look like one. Two, cats don't eat bones, that's dogs who do that, and three, I am not getting in that thing, especially not with someone as guilty looking as you!"
Mario threw the bone backwards into the forest, accidentally striking an owl in the head, to which it got knocked out and comically fell from the tree.
"Whoops. Um, yeah, ya gotta come with me kiddo, the Mario business needs money, and the government are offerin' a fine reward for ya. Dead or alive, too!" the plumber stated, in his typical New York accent. Of course, Sonic was having none of it, especially not with the "dead or alive" part.
"Okay, now you've given me a BIGGER reason not to go with you! So then, big guy, what're ya gonna do, shoot me... woah, that's a big gun..." Sonic whimpered in fear, as Mario pulled out the Fryguy Flame Gun to incinerate the hedgehog.
"Time to brin' out the big guns, kid!" Mario laughed as he aimed the weapon at Sonic. Well, Sonic wasn't expecting that today, but still...
Nothing he couldn't handle.
Mario started off by firing the flamethrower at Sonic, it's hellish stream blasting over to Sonic, who stood there, his arms folded and his right foot, in the iconic red and white sneakers, tapping rapidly on the gravel. From Sonic's perspective, the fire was barely moving at all, but that didn't stop Sonic from walking around the heated blast and casually standing right next to Mario. The plumber's eyes slowly turned to face his prickly opponent, but Sonic delivered a clean punch to the side of Mario's face with his right fist, which suddenly sent Mario stumbling to his left.
"Jeez, where'd ya come from?" Mario asked as he rubbed his face and looked up at the hedgehog. In a flash, Sonic had jumped to the air with his right foot out to kick Mario in the face. Not one to let a cheap trick stop him, Mario grabbed Sonic's foot and twirled him around in an anti-clockwise barrel roll, which got Sonic quite dizzy as he fell on his back. Opening his eyes back up, Sonic's pupils were seen spinning around, but the blur quickly sat up and shook it off.
"Ugh, glad those chilli dogs didn't go right..." said Sonic to himself...
Only to see that Mario, who picked up the dropped flamethrower, had fired it again. Sonic swiftly curled into a ball to avoid the fiery blast that would've singed his quills had he not reacted in time, leaving Mario with a snarky comment.
"Hey hey, watch the quills hotshot!" Sonic, being a quick fighter, immediately planted his feet on the ground and boosted himself into a backflip, which he used to his advantage as when Mario moved closer, the spot where he was standing had been met with a ferocious burn.
"Little hot headed, don't you think?" he laughed as he landed his feet on the ground, posing like an Olympic gymnast. "Aim still needs work!" he continued, Mario replying with "Really? Then see me aim this!"
Mario threw the flamethrower at the hedgehog, the ray having run out of gas. Sonic easily dodged, but instead of bringing out another weapon, Mario charged at Sonic with his fist reeled back. Sonic's eyes opened in shock, and left him near speechless other than a quiet...
...as Mario threw a punch at the hedgehog. To Sonic, Mario was moving in slow motion, allowing the hedgehog to swiftly sidestep out of the way while leaving his foot out for Mario to trip over. The plumber saw this, and bounced a few feet into the air, turning 180 degrees to let his boots charge up. Sonic himself turned around slowly, only to see that Mario was so high he could match a 8 foot tall man.
Problem was, that was Mario's intended idea, as Sonic shakily walked back away from the silver boots that were facing him. Out of nowhere, Mario fired Bullet Bills, two from each foot specifically, which Sonic bullet timed like a character from The Matrix. Unfortunately, Mario had prepared for this, and shortly before he landed back on the ground, he fired both boots side by side, with both Bullet Bills striking into Sonic's chest as he was about to land on his feet. The resulting attack left Sonic saying...
...as the hedgehog crashed into a tree, which resulted in the tree collapsing on the floor, it's trunk torn in half.
Sonic landed on the ground on his backside, as Mario fist pumped the air in victory. "Oh yeah! Everybody do the Mario! Swing your arms from side to side!" he yelled in triumph over his blue blur rival. Said rival slowly got to his feet, groaning in pain as he rubbed his quills, which were battered against the tree.
"Ugh... Cheap trick pal. And you're certainly not the Cap, Lou Albano." he said, shaking his head rapidly. Mario noticed this, and approached Sonic slowly, covering his face with his fists.
"C'mon kid, mano y mano! Chin up, let's see those..." taunted the red capped plumber, only to change his sentence to nothing but a sharp...
...as Sonic roundhouse kicked Mario right in the stomach, bringing the New Yorker to his knees, clutching the impacted area in pain.
"Too slow dude! I told you you weren't the Captain!" joked Sonic, as he turned around in a clockwise direction and kicked Mario under his chin, launching the guy several feet back into the air. With a resounding thud, Mario crashed on top of the hood of his car, and rolled sideways in pain...
Only to crash down on the ground. Mario struggled up, even despite using his car's door as a helping hand, as Sonic dashed towards him. Mario looked in the passenger seat and saw his trusty Bob-Omb. Catching it and twirling it's key around, Mario desperately placed it to the ground, to which it slowly walked over to the blue blur. Sonic screeched to a halt, but immediately burst into fits of giggles due to the overall unintimidating nature of the slow, cutesy bomb. Sonic then bent down, and picked it up, only to place it to his ear to hear... ticking.
"Oh shoot, another tiny cute bomb!?" the blue hog yelled in shock, as he chucked the Bob-Omb to Mario. In return, the capped man caught it.
"H-Hey, this is for you kiddo!" Mario loudly stated, as he threw the bomb back over to Sonic, who also caught it. "No thanks, I'll wait for Christmas!" he responded quickly. Immediately, Sonic chucked it back, only for Mario to catch it and throw it again. The cranky sound of the key turning slowed in midair, only to stop right in the middle of Mario and Sonic. Realising this, both fighters' eyes shot wide open in shock, and immediately all they could say was...
The two covered their faces with their arms, and prepared for a massive explosion to blast them back. Luckily, the bomb just crashed off Sonic's forehead, and steadily bounced back into the middle, no explosion having gone off. This left the heavily sweating fighters saying nothing but "Whew!" simultaneously, with Mario getting up first and busting open the car door, searching in the front seat. Sonic, being the trickster he was, saw Mario bending into his car, so he did the logical thing. At massive speeds, he kicked Mario's butt so hard that he was sent flying through the front and out the other end.
"Heh heh, classic." laughed Sonic, as Mario rolled forward and slowly got up again, this time staying on his two feet. "Ain't... over... yet kid." Mario wheezed in pain and exhaustion, his back facing the hedgehog. Sonic's eyes narrowed at Mario as he turned around, with the blue blur yelling "WHOA!!!" as Mario aimed a giant cannon like weapon at him. The plumber, continuing his sentence from earlier, said "Because it's time to bring out the big guns!" as he revealed the Devolution Ray. Sonic, clearly still not entirely fazed, replied with "Haven't you already said that line before? Kinda loses the impac-WHOA!!!" as the ray fired towards him at full speed.
It was almost as fast as him, but Sonic thankfully dived to the left as it hit Mario's car instead. As the car wasted away, Mario cried "My car!" as Sonic stood up and started running circles. Mario followed the circling hedgehog, who was nothing more than a fast vulture to him, and kept firing. He was already missing, but that wouldn't stop Sonic from running faster.
And faster, until he sparked with blue electricity that fired sparks all over the place. Now in his prime, Sonic crashed into Mario several hundred times in only a few seconds, demolishing the ray in the process, and finished him with a supercharged Spin Dash to his legs, knocking him over. Eventually, the hedgehog allowed Mario to slowly get up, covered in bruises, blood, burns and smoke, but this was intended. Mario brought out a wrench, threatening his foe. "Heh... kid... it's just 'cough'... me and..."
Sonic blasted over at full speed before he could finish his sentence, and, giving Mario enough time to say "Oh cra-", Sonic jumped into the air and delivered a speed boosted, electrifying punch to Mario's face. The power and the sparks were enough to not just break Mario's neck upon immediate impact, but completely fry and incinerate him in one go, causing any cars within a 20 mile radius to have their batteries instantly short circuit, causing them to stop. Mario would've been yelling out in pain, but his silence confirmed he was no more.
Tom came up to meet Sonic after landing on his feet, but dropped the wood at the sight of a tired Sonic giving him the thumbs up before passing out. Picking him up and placing him into the "convertible" truck, Tom raced off to get to Maddie and see if she could help.
Meanwhile, Dr. Robotnik came across Mario's weapons, which had been launched away. Stepping out of his truck, he examined them, before throwing them away, claiming them to be "Too... primitive."
Octo: Wait wait wait, what? Mario lost? But how, I thought Mario was overall better than Sonic.
Aqua: He may be superior looking at the video game versions, but we were focusing on the movies, so things were much different.
Octo: Just like the movies themselves, right?
Aqua: Pretty much. Anyway, yes, while Mario was indeed pretty strong for a mere human being, he was still far more outclassed by Sonic's superior... everything. Almost.
Octo: Speed was a no brainer. Yeah, you could argue that Mario is a peak human thanks to all his feats backing him up, but the fact is that Sonic is just... SOOOOOOO much faster.
Aqua: We don't really need to throw numbers out there in all honesty. Just running through an entire island in a couple of seconds, or crashing into the Pacific Ocean despite being hundreds of miles away in barely a second are FAR superior to anything Mario has ever reacted to. And while Sonic might've had trouble with the Devolution Ray and it's firing speed, being matched was nothing new to him.
Octo: Remember the final battle against Robotnik? Yeah, his machine was matching Sonic in speed, but Sonic still held his own for a large amount of time and even outran him on a couple of occasions. That ray might've caught him off, but he was nowhere near slow enough to be hit by it.
Aqua: Speed wasn't just the wincon either. Sure, Mario might be bulkier and can break bones with simple attacks, but an electric powered Sonic was capable of not only knocking over a giant armoured truck, but even caused a power outage across the entire Pacific Northwest. That's MUCH higher than anything Mario did.
Octo: Now, could Mario have taken out a non-electric Sonic if he got close enough? Maybe, but considering that Sonic is fast enough to make peak humans appear frozen, and even missiles too, there was no way he was going to get close without being absolutely blitzed to hell.
Aqua: That's not to say he was completely beat. Remember, Mario's weaponry certainly allowed him to keep the fight going for a while, but all that would do is prolong the inevitable. Even with versatility... Mario was frankly screwed from the start.
Octo: Mario may have the more fan adored movie, but not only is Sonic's movie genuinely loved not for being "so bad it's good", he was also far superior in a researched fight. Yep, Mario's defeat was quite the supersonic spectacular. Sonic's abilities were certainly paramount to his victory.
Aqua: The winner is Sonic the Hedgehog.
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5 Things The Super Mario Bros Movie Can Learn From Sonic The Hedgehog
The Sonic the Hedgehog movie was, without a doubt, one of the biggest surprises of this year just because of how massive it was. It had a rough start given that first trailer (more on that later), but overall, both adults and children alike were impressed with Sonic, which was based on the popular video game character of the same name. So with word of a new Super Mario Bros. movie slated for a 2022 release from the Illumination animation studio, there are quite a few pointers that the mustachioed plumber could learn from the blue blur.
In case you didn’t know, this won’t be Mario and Luigi’s first outing to the big screen. In fact, the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie was the very first video game adaptation to ever be brought to theaters. Unfortunately, most fans (myself included) will tell you that it was a big heaping of dino dung. That’s why I think there’s a great deal that this new animated movie (thank God it’s not live-action again) could learn from Sonic the Hedgehog. We already covered 9 things we need to see in this new film, but here are five things that I think Mario can learn from his former rival when it comes to the cinematic treatment. Here we go!
Make Bowser The Main Antagonist
You ask any fan of Mario—any fan at all—and they’ll tell you without hesitation that Bowser is Mario’s main antagonist. So why did the original Super Mario Bros. movie make King Koopa the main bad guy? And yes, before you jump down my throat, I know, King Koopa was Bowser’s original name in the first Super Mario Bros. video game. But that movie came out in 1993! This was well after Super Mario Bros. 3 and even Super Mario World, where the name and likeness of Bowser was already established as a giant, reptilian creature with a spiky shell. Instead, the studio cast Dennis Hopper, and they had him saying lines like “Monkey!”
One of the only things that the Sonic the Hedgehog got right almost immediately was making Dr. Robotnik the main bad guy, and casting Jim Carrey as him was just the icing on the cake. So yes, this new Mario movie must make the bad guy Bowser, and he should look almost identical to what the fans are used to, especially since this film is animated.
Reference The Games, But Don’t Strictly Adhere To Their Logic
Another aspect that made Sonic the Hedgehog successful was that it was a Sonic story, but it wasn’t beholden to the logic of the games. Yes, rings are a key component in the games, and rings were prominent in the Sonicmovie. But it’s not like Sonic is running through rings for health in the movie, and when Dr. Robotnik hits him, rings just come flying out of his body.
That’s a cue that the Super Mario Bros. movie needs to take from Sonic. Of course we don’t want it to get super abstract like the first Super Mario Bros. movie. Nevertheless, this new movie doesn’t have to follow all of the video game’s logic, like collecting floating coins or punching blocks. Make references to all that stuff, but don’t make it a prominent part of the story.
Don’t Stick To Any Specific Game In The Series
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a lot of people’s favorite Sonic game. If this were a comic book franchise, writers would have likely pulled from this game for the movie's source material. But Sonic is not a comic book franchise (well, I mean, it is, but... you know what I mean), and the movie doesn’t really pull from any specific Sonic game. Instead, it’s a story featuring Sonic that is wholly different from the games. Sonic is just kind of in it.
That’s what the Mario movie should do. Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World and Super Mario 64 are completely different games, but all very popular. So to prevent turning off any fans who might feel slighted when elements of their favorite Mario game isn’t in the movie, just make this a Mario film in general rather than pulling from any specific game in the series. It’s the smartest decision.
Save Yoshi For The Post-Credits Scene
The world of Sonic the Hedgehog has a lot of characters, and there are many that I would love to see in the inevitable sequel. But one really smart move that the first Sonic movie made was having Tails in a post-credit scene rather than featuring him in the plot. Having Tails in the actual movie would have just been too much to explain. Like, is he an alien, too? And if so, where did he come from?
Super Mario Bros. should do the same with Yoshi. He’s one of the most popular characters in the franchise, but introducing him in the movie could be a mistake unless handled correctly. But having him at the end would be a lot more exciting since it would open up a lot of possibilities, just like the next Sonic movie.
Release A Good First Trailer
Lastly, this is one of the biggest bungles of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, and the people behind Super Mario Bros. can actually learn a lesson from it. When they finally show what Mario and Luigi look like, make sure they resemble something fans of the characters are actually familiar with. That first image of Sonic was a nightmare, and fans immediately took to social media decrying how horrible he looked. In fact, it caused the studio to go back and fix Sonic's look. Since the Mario movie is animated, Illumination would be smart to get this right the first time around.
There are some who theorize that Paramount intentionally made Sonic look hideous so that it would get people talking about the movie, but that’s ludicrous given how much crunch time and money it took to “fix” Sonic. So don’t make the same mistake that Paramount made when coming out with that first Sonic trailer. Make a trailer that will appeal to fans and non-fans alike so that there doesn’t have to be some kind of course correct which pushes the movie back several months. Yes, the change probably helped the Sonic the Hedgehog in the long run, but lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same spot. Make that first trailer count!
And those are all the things I think Super Mario Bros. could learn from the Sonic film. But what are your thoughts? Are there any things you think Mario could learn from his former rival? Sound off in the comments.
Lover of Avatar (The Last Airbender, not the blue people), video games, and anything 90s, he will talk your ear off about Godzilla, so don't get him started.
Can A Mario Movie Be As fun And Successful As ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’?
By Victoria Rose Caister
The new Mario movie has the potential to be as fun and as good as Sonic the Hedgehog, but only if it uses its advantages correctly.
The news of Illumination making a new Super Mario movie, and that it's meant to come out in 2022, is one that's excited a lot of Mario fans. People also have been skeptical, however, about how well they'll be able to pull it off. The 1993 Super Mario Bros. film is universally thought of as bad, and no other big Mario movie has been attempted since. People also have doubts about the Illumination studio as a whole because of their past works. With the success of 2020's Sonic the Hedgehog, there will no doubt be comparisons made between the two and it'll be very evident if the Mario movie doesn't live up to the fun found in Sonic's movie. It's a difficult undertaking, however if done correctly Mario can be just as good if not better and it already has some advantages it can use in its favor.
Though Illumination may have some blunders in its filmography, it's a studio that knows how to do family-friendly and knows how to do fun. Their first film, Despicable Me, is a genuinely good movie with a lot of laughs and a lot of fun. It also spawned an entire franchise, with the silly Minions as their mascot. Over 10 years since their introduction, the Minions characters are still incredibly popular and they have another Minions film set to release in 2022. Though some people are now kind of annoyed by the creatures, their longevity shows that Illumination knows how to manage a franchise. Their films, though some might lack in quality just a bit, are undeniably fun and really appeal to their target audiences very well.
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This film will be fully animated while Sonic was live-action, and this works very well in Mario's favor. The world of Mario is fully fleshed out with a lot of diversity and distinct parts. Not only is it super recognizable, but in high-quality animation, it can add a ton of fun and whimsy to a movie as well as looking beautiful. Sonic the Hedgehog was able to achieve an incredibly fun film in a very ordinary setting. If the Mario film uses its built-in massively fun setting to its advantage, a lot of the work is already done. With the project being set in Mario's world, things like the extra human characters that detracted from the fun in the Sonic film won't be a factor. It also has to use references and Easter eggs that fans can easily point out and recognize, which is something that Sonic the Hedgehog did very well, and it'll add to the viewing experience of a lot of Mario lovers.
Sonic the Hedgehog used only two Sonic franchise characters in the whole movie, despite there being many at their disposal. It didn't seem to hurt the film much at all, as it really seemed to set up more characters being introduced in sequels, but a Mario movie should take advantage of the many fun characters throughout the franchise if it wants to be compelling and entertaining. A movie only about the Mario character could get old really fast, especially if he is mostly silent as he is in the games. Having the other characters, all the super well-known ones like Luigi and Peach and Bowser, be a part of the story could really help the film succeed. Not only will more fans get to see their favorite character in a movie, but it allows for more room for jokes and storylines.
It's incredibly important to note that Nintendo is directly involved in this project, which plays as a huge advantage to the Mario film. It's a collaboration with Illumination as opposed to Illumination having full control of the film, and that should really ease the minds of Mario fans to a certain degree. With Mario's creator and the company who handles him involved, there's a lot more of a chance that not only will the character be respected but that the project will be done carefully as it will directly have an effect on Nintendo's name as a company. They want this to be a success as much as the fans do. Because of this, it's unlikely that viewers will see the blunders like what was done with Sonic's design in his movie, or the random extra characters that take away from the fun.
People were kind of surprised when Sonic the Hedgehog was actually good, and now the pressure is kind of on Illumination and Nintendo when it comes to the new Mario movie. There are definitely aspects that make it a difficult feat, and fans are torn on what to expect. Some are anticipating an epic fail, and some are so excited thinking that it'll be really amazing. The potential for something fun that Mario fans will love is certainly there, and hopefully, Illumination can pull through and make something great.
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Read NextAbout The Author
Victoria Caister is a journalist based out of Toronto. She's been a writer and a movie nerd for most of her life, with an extra special interest in the horror genre.
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