The second Sonic the Hedgehog Movie is absolutely jam-packed with references to the games and even a nod to one of Ben Schwartz’s previous shows, Parks and Recreation. In addition to these, there are a plethora of movie references and tropes featuring throughout the 2-hour run time. While some of these are very obvious (such as Officer Wade Whipple’s referral to Ghostbusters’ infamous candy Kaiju, The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man), some will only have been spotted by the most avid movie buffs!
Below are our 7 favourite subtle movie references in Sonic’s latest cinema outing…
Be warned – movie spoilers ahead!!!
Klaatu Barada Nikto!
Before Knuckles makes his appearance through the ring, Dr Robotnik welcomes the three nameless warriors with the very strange greetings of “Klaatu Barada Nikto!”. Classic sci-fi fans will know this as the famous phrase that originated in the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still – uttered to pacify the giant robot Gort and prevent him from destroying the world. Ironic considering the final act of the movie!
Sonic sets about trashing the Wachowski household minutes after Tom and Maddie depart for Hawaii, starting with a slide into the living room with his back to the camera. Those with a keen knowledge of 80’s coming-of-age flicks will recognise this as a homage to the underwear dance scene from 1983’s Risky Business performed by a young Tom Cruise, in which Cruise’s character Joel has also just been left home alone in his parents’ house.
When Robotnik returns to Earth at night and confronts Sonic in the Wachowski house he threatens Sonic, finishing his line with “…AND YOUR LITTLE DOG TOO!”. The quote references the threat given by the Wicked Witch of the West to Dorothy in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. The threat is often used as a trope when a villain wants to prove how evil they are.
The name of the Wachowski family dog? Ozzy, of course.
Robotnik’s descent into complete madness when he is exiled to the Mushroom Planet is staved off when he creates a replica Agent Stone out of, well, a stone. This bears semblance to 2000’s Cast Away, in which Tom Hank’s character Chuck creates an inanimate companion, Wilson, from a flotsam Volleyball after being marooned on a remote uninhabited island.
Knuckles and Robotnik’s navigation through the Labyrinth Zone sees the two antagonists chased down corridor by a huge boulder. While this has most certainly become an adventure movie and video game trope, the idea originated in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first Indiana Jones movie. The trope doesn’t go unnoticed by Robotnik, as he says “I refuse to die like this; it’s derivative!”
The 8th Wonder
During the fight between our heroes and the Death Egg Robot and shortly before the destruction of the biplane, Robotnik begins to mockingly swipe at Tails as he manoeuvres around the mechanical juggernaut. This is of course a tribute to the 1933 classic King Kong, in which the final scene sees the colossus batting away attacking Curtis Helldiver biplanes.
The second Sonic movie ends where the first started in the Green Hills baseball field, with our protagonist getting his wish of having others to play with. After Knuckles’ “Power bump” that sees him hit a home run, a familiar horn riff plays as declares his conquering of the bases. Soundtrack enthusiasts will recognise this as the theme to 1983’s The Natural, Barry Levinson’s love letter to one of America’s favourite sports.
Have we missed any subtle movie references in Sonic 2? Let us know in the comments!