All the 'Sonic the Hedgehog 2' Hidden Easter Eggs – The Daily Beast

HAPPY HUNTING
From ringtones that should sound familiar to the hint of a major character’s debut, a rundown of all the fun, secret nods at the popular Sonic video games for fans to find.
As far as video game characters go, Sonic the Hedgehog has had a long lasting career. Over 30 years! Does that make him a millennial now?
From video games to cartoons and even anime, there’s so much lore and so many references to choose from when giving the blue blur the cinematic treatment, which first happened with 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog—a film that grossed over $300 million.
The predecessor had its fair share of Easter eggs, a term used to describe hidden messages or images for keen-eyed fans to hunt for. The highly anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog 2, now in theaters, and the new movie throws in so many of them, you might have to see it twice to catch 'em all.
To the best of my abilities, here’s a list of Easter eggs you can find in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Happy hunting!
(Warning: Spoilers lie ahead!)
Taking place directly after the events of the predecessor, the film opens with Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) stranded on a planet surrounded by mushrooms. This terrain is directly inspired by the first zone from Sonic & Knuckles: Mushroom Hill Zone. The zone was where Sonic fans could play as Knuckles the Echidna for the first time. (In the film, Knuckles is voiced by Idris Elba). It’s fitting that Knuckles is introduced in the film in the same setting. During the film’s pixel art-styled credit sequence, the animators recreate the design of the Mushroom Hill Zone as it displays Knuckles finding Robotnik there as well.
Sonic’s introduction in this movie has him standing against the top of a building in Seattle, late at night, watching a robbery in progress as police drive by. He goes full vigilante mode and speeds into action. This entrance is heavily reminiscent of the beginning of the Dreamcast classic launch title Sonic Adventure. Shot composition-wise, it’s almost note for note, beat for beat. Instead of stopping a crime and being in Seattle, he goes up against the game’s primary antagonist, Chaos, the God of destruction, the first boss of the game.
Sonic prepares for movie night with the Wachowskis’ dog while his adoptive parents Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter) are away in Hawaii. He asks the dog what they should watch and says, “I’m not watching Snow Dogs again. That movie is the wooooorst,” as he raises his gloved hand over his mouth, leaning to the dog’s ear, full Jean-Ralphio style.
This is a direct reference to Sonic’s voice actor Ben Schwartz’s iconic character Jean-Ralphio from Parks & Recreation.
In the underrated and short lived Cartoon Network series O.K K.O: Let’s Be Heroes, there was a crossover episode called “Let’s Meet Sonic.” The episode was released in 2019, prior to the first movie. Voice actor Roger Craig Smith, who was voicing Sonic in the series, does the Jean-Ralphio “he’s the wooooorst” when describing his foe, Dr. Eggman.
Ben Schwartz, the originator of “the worst” jingle, but the second Sonic to do it.
In the sequel, Dr. Robotnik’s right-hand man/secret admirer Agent Stone (Lee Majdoub) owns a coffee shop in Green Hills, Montana. In establishing shots you can see the name of the cafe as “The Mean Bean,'' which is a direct reference to the Sega Genesis Tetris-styled Sonic spinoff game Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine.
During a pretty cringeworthy sequence featuring Tails and Sonic dancing to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” in a bar in Siberia against a Russian dancer, Tails throws Sonic in the air, where he does a move that references the Sonic Adventure cover art. It’s a blink-you-miss-it egg, but it’s dope to see the animators at Marza Animation Planet bring that classic move to life.
The movie takes one of the transitions from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and turns it into a huge action set piece beginning the same way that the game’s Ice Cap Zone level does: Sonic snowboards down a large mountain. In this cinematic interpretation, this takes place in Siberia, as Sonic and Tails attempt to evade Knuckles and Robotnik.
You already know the iconic tune from the very first zone from the original classic. Now it’s Tom’s ringtone for Sonic whenever he calls him.
One of the most bizarre twists of the movie involves the secret organization that originated from Sonic Adventure 2, Guardian Units of Nations, aka GUN.
While Sonic is on his quest for the Master Emerald, Tom and Maddie are attending Maddie’s sister Rachel’s (Natasha Rothwell) wedding. When they’re about to be crushed by an avalanche in Siberia, Tom ring portals them to Hawaii. There, the wedding attendants reveal themselves to be agents of G.U.N, including Rachel’s husband-to-be (Shemar Moore). A character from the previous film, Commander Walters (Tom Butler), who was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reveals himself to be the founder and head of GUN. The codename for the ambush is revealed to be Operation: Catfish.
In the games, GUN soldiers were the federal unit that hunted down Sonic when they had him confused with Shadow the Hedgehog. Here, they’re a secret organization meant to protect the world from alien forces.
Sonic 2 continues bringing classic Genesis zones to life, but this one is taken directly from the first game. There is a live action iteration of Labyrinth Zone which is now where the Master Emerald is located. Knuckles and Robotnik get a head start on them as Sonic trails behind. The way he enters is taken right out of act three from the zone, where he falls down a waterslide, leading him to the labyrinth itself. What was also a nice detail was that during this composer Tom Holkenborg, aka Junkie XL, takes some cues from the level’s score and integrates it into his track “Enter the Labyrinth.”
Another blink-and-you’ll-miss Easter egg happens when Agent Stone is in his Mean Bean Café, which he tricked to be a secret base for Robotnik. As he’s designing outfits for the doctor, you see the modern big-bellied Eggman design as one of the options.
Right as the climax begins, you can find a GUN helicopter with the tag SA-2 on the carrier. GUN, Sonic Adventure 2…you get the gist.
During the big brawl between Sonic and Knuckles for the Master Emerald, Sonic evades all of Knuckles’ high speed attacks with ease. The fast motion and dodging is stripped right out of the Sonic X anime where the two have their first fight and Sonic is talking trash to his face, pissing Knuckles off even further. In my opinion, it’s one of the top ten best anime fights of all time.
Tails hijacks a plane in Hawaii that was part of Rachel’s wedding and transports Knuckles and Sonic to Green Hills so they can take down Robotnik’s Death Egg modeled robot together. The plane is designed in the same way as Tails’ classic plane from the Genesis games. It doesn’t last that long in the movie, but the scene does bear familiarity to Sky Chase Zone from the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 game.
In Dr. Robotnik’s Kalju-sized mech suit, called the Egg Smasher, Agent Stone can’t quite figure out how to launch missiles at Sonic and Tails, who are approaching them via plane. Robotnik asks “if he’s read the manual yet” and Stone responds by lifting up a manual that’s designed similarly to the SEGA Genesis instruction manual. It’s titled “EGG SMASHER” with the stylized SEGA font and everything.
Hope you stayed your butts in your seats through the credits because you get a first glimpse at none other than Shadow the Hedgehog, who is teased as the next antagonist in the next feature. A GUN soldier tells Commander Walters that they found a detail in Robotnik’s file that has been traced back over 50 years ago. Canonically, this is the age Shadow was when he was introduced in Adventure 2.
Since he’s in Robotnik’s file, it can be assumed that the next installment will most likely include his grandfather Gerald Robotnik, who created Shadow. Maybe Sonic the Hedgehog 3 can include Space Colony Ark, the City Escape sequence, and give Shadow a gun. Hold up, I’m getting way too ahead of myself…

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