Sonic the Hedgehog's Weirdest Element Is Robotnik's Sidekickby Brandon Zachary
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Sonic the Hedgehog, in theaters now.
Sonic the Hedgehog is, naturally, a weird film. That was always going to come with the territory considering that it's about Sonic, a giant blue hedgehog who can move at super speeds.
But despite the presence of Sonic coming from an alien world thanks to a galactic teleporting ring, some of the seemingly smaller elements are far weirder. Sonic the Hedgehog's most surprising element might just be the relationship between Doctor Robotnik and his assistant, Agent Stone.
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Stone is introduced as Doctor Robotnik's chief associate while he's investigating Sonic the Hedgehog. Like Robotnik, he wears sleek clothes, works for the United States government and does his best to follow every single one of Robotnik's orders, no matter what they may be. This doesn't seem to endear him too much to Robotnik, however, who largely doesn't care about his fellow humans in any meaningful way. Stone spends most of the film actively being pushed around by Robotnik and basically being his stress ball whenever things get too out of hand for his robots.
But despite how physical Robotnik is with Agent Stone (at one point hitting him in the throat just because), Stone takes it all in stride. If anything, his admiration for him grows as the film continues. He marvels at the creations Robotnik makes, is amazed by his scientific knowledge, carries out his orders with a certain amount of excitement and even apparently makes a coffee that Robotnik has grown to love. Despite his verbal and physical abuse of Stone, Robotnik seems to appreciate that connection on some level. He ends up even creating a fake "Stone" out of a large rock when he's trapped on the mushroom world in the post-credits scene. It speaks to the strange relationship between the pair and proves that it at least goes both ways.
ROBOTNIK'S MR. SMITHERS
It makes sense that Robotnik would get an assistant of some kind in the film. His brand of over-the-top super science needs someone he can yell it at and bounce off of. Stone is perfect in that regard, being intelligent enough to keep up with the audience while not ever being able to fully grasp whatever new development Robotnik reveals to him. But their relationship is more unique than you'd expect. Stone is almost reverent to Robotnik, akin to something like the relationship between Mr. Burns and Mr. Smithers from The Simpsons. The latter is the ever-put upon assistant to the former, willing to do whatever absurd thing Burns asks for next. But it's also been a long-running element that this is partly because Smithers is in love with his boss, and is always hoping their relationship is about to take a different turn.
There's a slight undercut of a similar emotion coming from Stone across the film. He's an almost fully committed follower to Robotnik and seems to only want to please him. But unlike Burns, who often seems unaware of Smithers and his obsession, Robotnik at least seems to reciprocate some level of emotion for his assistant. It's the closest thing Robotnik has to a relationship in the film, despite how unhealthy it is. It makes their connection all the more unique from other similar "unlikely buddy" family films -- something that the film around them could have used more of.
Director Jeff Fowler's Sonic the Hedgehog stars Ben Schwartz as Sonic and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik, with James Marsden, Neal McDonald, Tika Sumpter, Adam Pally and Natasha Rothwell.
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