Chip N Dale: Rescue Rangers director Akiva Schaffer talks “Ugly Sonic” cameo

Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers feature a whole bunch of cameos. Everyone from Peter Pan to Roger Rabbit makes an appearance in director Akiva Schaffer’s new Disney Plus movie. And yet, there’s one appearance that has everyone talking, especially amongst gamers.

We spoke to Schaffer about the surprise appearance, and his answer reveals some key details. To say anything more would be a spoiler. So, go watch Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers if you haven’t already – and if you have, here’s what Schaffer had to say. Once more for those in the back: spoilers for Chip N’ Dale ahead!

Still here? Then you know that Sonic the Hedgehog makes an appearance at a comic con during the events of Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers. However, the character’s not exactly how we remember – this is “Ugly Sonic”, the original version of Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz, that was scheduled to appear in the live-action movie. 

After a huge backlash online following the first Sonic trailer, which had everyone talking about the creature’s weirdly human teeth, the character was redesigned. As we know, though, the internet never forgets, and Ugly Sonic has long been a meme. Now, he’s made a comeback, thanks to Schaffer’s movie.

Chip N Dale: Rescue Rangers director Akiva Schaffer on “Ugly Sonic” cameo

Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers

(Image credit: Walt Disney Pictures)

What’s perhaps most remarkable about the cameo – other than the fact Ugly Sonic actually has about two minutes of screentime in Chip N Dale: Rescue Rangers – is that the animation company who first designed that version of Sonic actually helped bring the character back to the screen.

“The company MPC did our whole movie,” Schaffer tells us. “They also did [the 2019] Lion King. They’re doing the new Pinocchio. They did 1917, that’s not an animated movie, but, uh, they also did Sonic.”

“So, Yes,” he says. “They also did Ugly Sonic, the OG ugly version with those teeth. We had to recreate our own for this movie because we had to make everything from scratch, but there was something pretty great about having the original company that had made the design do it again and repeat their mistakes on purpose this time.”

As well as designing the toothy version of Sonic, MPC did the final animations for the actually decent-looking Sonic who made the final movie, and did the VFX for Sonic 2, too. And, seeing as they brought their most-beloved monster back from the dead for Schaffer, it appears they’re not all too burnt by the experience.

Schaffer spoke at length with us about the movie – read the full Q&A here. Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers is available on Disney Plus now. For more, check out the best movies on Disney Plus right now.

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