Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie

Movie review by
Paul Trandahl, Common Sense Media
Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
'90s video game-based tale has some cartoon violence.
  • NR
  • 1998
  • 60 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 25 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

While there's conflict between good and evil, no real positive takeaways emerge from the story. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters too one-dimensional to be seen as role models. Stereotypical portrayals of women. 

Violence & Scariness

Cartoon characters fight one another with futuristic-looking weaponry, but no one really gets hurt. 

Sexy Stuff

Sonic's love interest dresses in scanty attire. In one scene, she has a fantasy about being married to Dr. Robotnik and imagines herself having had dozens of Robotnik's children.


Sonic uses middle-finger gesture against a villain. "Hell" used once. 


Main character based on video game franchise owned by Sega. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie is a 1998 animated film in which Sonic finds a way to save the Land of the Sky. Kids will see some cartoon violence and sexually stereotyped portrayals of women. Cartoon characters fight one another with futuristic-looking weaponry, but no one really gets hurt. Sonic's love interest dresses in scanty attire. In one scene, she has a fantasy about being married to Dr. Robotnik, and imagines herself having had dozens of Robotnik's children. Also, Sonic uses the middle-finger gesture while facing off in front of one of his enemies. "Hell" is used once. With the 2020 release of another Sonic the Hedgehog movie, families can talk about the similarities and differences between the two, and about the enduring appeal of Sonic. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12 and 16-year-old Written byL or £ September 13, 2010

Middle Finger.

Even Though Sonic Sticks Up The Middle Finger In This Movie I Still Loved It And It Was A Great Movie For Its Time.
Adult Written byHolly R. July 14, 2018

Sonic the Hedgehog the Movie is OK

Just to correct the reviewer, Sarah isn't "fantasizing" about having Robotics babies. She's imagining how horrific it would be to have his k... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bySpace duck April 1, 2021

in a world where Shawn Dawson is president

im sorry, i know this is some cult "classic", but i can't in good conscience enjoy an Ova where only Eggman, Metal sonic, and, Tails get to sexua... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old October 13, 2020

What's the story?

Sonic the Hedgehog must save the Planet of Freedom from the plans of the evil Dr. Robotnik in this animated take on the video game character. Sonic the Hedgehog and his pal Tails are summoned by the president of the Land of the Sky. The president and his daughter Sara are being held hostage by Sonic's nemesis, Dr. Robotnik. It seems that an evil Metal Robotnik has taken over Dr. Robotnik's home, the city of Robotropolis, in the Land of Darkness. Metal Robotnik has sabotaged the city's robot generator, and if something isn't done about it soon, the entire Planet of Freedom will be blown up! Dr. Robotnik wants Sonic to rescue the planet. Sonic agrees, especially after Sara pledges her undying love to him if he succeeds. But once Sonic and Tails enter Robotropolis, they must fight Dr. Robotnik's creation, Hyper Metal Sonic -- a robot double-programmed with Sonic's personality. If Hyper Metal Sonic wins, Dr. Robotnik will destroy the Land of the Sky.

Is it any good?

The gleeful, anything-goes approach to Sonic's story is charming, and the elaborate visualizations of his futuristic, surreal, anime-ish world are impressive. It's the kind of world where a character named Old Man Owl breaks into laughing fits for no reason at all, and when the heroine cries, huge torrents of water spring from her eyes. It makes for fun, unpredictable viewing, but it's a type of humor that generally works better in a shorter format. At feature length, you begin to notice that the plot would benefit from a little more character development.

Nevertheless, kids should get plenty of enjoyment from this one. The characters are given suitably spastic voices to match the action. The filmmaking style is very similar to that of Pokémon videos, with fast cutting and characters prone to sudden (but humorous) mood swings. Teens may be outgrowing this sort of thing, but fans of Japan-imation will find enough virtues here to make it worth a look.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what they think the filmmaker was trying to say. Do cartoons usually have messages? Does this one have a message?

  • What do you think would be the challenges in adapting a popular video game into a movie? 

  • How are women portrayed in the movie? How has the role of women in action/superhero(ine) movies changed (or not changed) over time? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love cartoons

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