Exclusive: Ben Schwartz praises how Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s Parks & Rec Easter egg was animated, which is a reference to his character Jean-Ralphio.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 star Ben Schwartz praises the movie’s Parks and Recreation Easter egg animation. Other than his talent as a voice actor, Schwartz is perhaps best known for his role on the popular NBC sitcom, Parks & Rec, as Tom’s Haverford’s (Aziz Ansari) overconfident and fast-talking friend, Jean-Ralphio Saperstein, a self-proclaimed pickup artist and certified “baller.” One of Schwartz’s most popular voice roles, on the other hand, has been as the famous blue hedgehog in the film series based on Sega’s video game franchise.
Releasing in theaters in the United States on April 8, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 acts a sequel to the 2020 film, which was a surprise hit, grossing over $319 million at the worldwide box office. Other than Schwartz leading the cast once again, the sequel features the return of James Marsden and Tika Sumpter as Tom and Maddie Wachowski. Teaming up with Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey), who was teased during the first film’s post-credits scene, Sonic races to find the Master Emerald before the returning Dr. Eggman (Jim Carrey) and newcomer Knuckles the Echidna (voiced by Idris Elba) can do so.
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In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Schwartz discussed one of his favorite Easter eggs in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which happens to be a reference to one of his past characters, Jean-Ralphio. Schwartz had particular praise for how the Easter egg was animated in the movie, which remained true to exactly how he performed it in the booth. Read what he had to say below:
Oh, my goodness, we sure did. And animated exactly as I did in the booth, which, shout out to the animators.
Schwartz recently revealed that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was originally going to include two Jean-Ralphio references. However, director Jeff Fowler was worried about potentially wearing out the joke, so one of the references to his Parks & Rec character was cut. According to Schwartz, the Easter egg left on the cutting room floor was a line of dialogue in which Sonic says “Don’t be suspicious,” a nod to a musical moment from the Parks & Rec series finale that has lived on as a popular meme and TikTok audio.
Fowler was probably right to cut the Jean-Ralphio Easter eggs down to one, as two might have been pushing it. It’s also nice to hear that the movie’s animation remained faithful to how Schwartz performed the Park & Rec reference in the booth. Audiences can experience Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s various Easter eggs and pop culture references as it is currently playing internationally and will be released in US theaters this Friday.
Next: Sonic 2 Post-Credits Scene & Sequel Villain Set-Up Explained
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)Release date: Apr 08, 2022
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Adam Bentz is a movie and TV news writer for Screen Rant. From a young age, Adam has been interested in a wide range of movies and television, but it was talented auteurs like Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Aaron Sorkin who ultimately sparked his interest in the craft. Motivated by his love for the screen, Adam studied creative writing with a concentration in screenwriting at Southern New Hampshire University.
After graduating, Adam interned as a writer with The Borgen Project, a nonprofit organization working to end extreme poverty. Other than writing for Screen Rant, Adam reviews films on his website adambentz.wordpress.com
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