The Sega star is looking a lot better after a six-month redesign, but game designer Yuji Naka still thinks there’s something “off.”

When you woke up this morning, did the air taste sweeter? Did the songs of the birds outside sound more melodious? Did you just have a vague, warm feeling that the world was somehow better than it was just a short while ago?

That’s because it is, and the reason is that Sonic the Hedgehog is no longer terrifying to look at!

Back in the spring, Paramount Pictures released the first trailer for its live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie, and the response was mixed…in that some people shrieked with fear at the disturbingly ugly CG model of the video game icon, while others instead sobbed softly at the latest of many indignities to befall the Sega mascot.

▼ There was a lot to hate in the first trailer’s design, but Sonic’s extremely human-looking teeth were especially unsettling.

Thankfully, the film’s producers heard the fans’ screams, and within days a redesign was announced. The above video is our first look at the take-two Sonic, who bears a much closer resemblance to his appearance in the video games that made him popular in the first place.

But it wasn’t just ordinary fans who were disappointed in the first trailer. Yuji Naka, the game designer who created Sonic, directed the first title in the series, and served as producer on several of its sequels, was also less than impressed, saying “Looking at [the original trailer’s Sonic] makes me realize the importance of the character’s head-to-body ratio and the roundness of his stomach. Couldn’t they have created a design with a better balance than this?Following the release of the new trailer, though, Naka shared his thoughts on Twitter.

“So this is the new Sonic trailer. He looks a lot more Sonic-like now that they’ve been kind enough to give him gloves, but like I’d expected, they still didn’t connect his eyes. That just makes the design feel off. Still, I’m looking forward to the movie.”

For those who never really noticed, in Sonic’s video game design, he’s essentially got one giant eyeball. Though he’s not an obvious cyclops, the bridge of his nose completely stops under his eyes. This helps accentuate the lines of his eyebrows and cheekbones, giving him his customary cocky smirk, while still leaving his eyes large and expressive.

One could argue, though, that the one-eyeball design simply wouldn’t have worked in a real-world environment. In the entirely pixel art or polygon graphic games, the inherently stylized look of everything makes Sonic’s single eye something that often doesn’t even consciously register, but odds are it would stand out a lot more when he’s sharing the screen with human actors.

New trailer Sonic’s shoes also look a lot more like his video game kicks than the pair he was wearing in the first trailer.

Naka was also surprised by a narrative departure the movie is making from the games, tweeting:

“What’s with Sonic saying ‘In order to save my planet, I had to come to yours?’ First I’ve ever heard of it.”

▼ Blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Easter egg: the insignia on Sonic’s nunchaku-sequence headband matches the logo on his original video game title screen.

But again, it’s not like Naka is dumping on the movie. He even expressed his sadness that Paramount seems to have gotten rid of its past tweets and videos of the first-trailer Sonic, saying “That’s too bad. I was hoping to see the old design as a DVD extra or something.”

▼ Don’t worry, Naka. The Internet never forgets.

Other changes in the new trailer include less lanky proportions for Sonic, bringing him closer to his video-game physique, and swapping out Coolio’s “Gangster’s Paradise,” which came off trying too hard to be cool in the first trailer, for the Ramone’s “Blitzkrieg Bop,” which gives the whole thing a much goofier, irreverent tone that makes it a lot harder to earnestly mock.

In addition to saying he’s looking forward to the movie, Naka also lamented the fact that while it’s coming out in the U.S. on February 14, it won’t start playing in Japanese theaters until March 27. That mirrors how the original Sonic the Hedgehog game was released first for the American Genesis in June of 1991, then went on sale in Japan a month later, though, and seeing as how Sonic is finally looking more like he did in that game, repeating the release timing seems appropriate.

Top image: YouTube/Paramount Pictures
Insert images: YouTube/ Paramount Pictures, Sonic the Hedgehog official website, YouTube/Paramount Pictures (2)
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s wondering if Easter eggs in the Sonic movie should instead be called Chaos Emeralds.