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Voice Artist(s) Spotlight - The Many Voices of Sonic The Hedgehog
The Blue Blur has had many voice actors over the years, and they all are good in their own way. Being a lifelong Sonic fan, I thought this would be a good topic to cover. However, I have my favorites, so I’ll try not to be biased as I talk about the actor.
Jaleel White (1993-1999)
Even though I was born in 1993, I wasn’t introduced to The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. This was Sonic’s debut to television. Also, this was White’s (as many would know him as Steve Urkel in the States) first voice acting role in animation. The next show to the series, Sonic the Hedgehog, also started in 1993, where he again voice Sonic. This show was more centered along the Archie comic series, showing the Freedom Fighters, the group of heroes on planet Mobius who work to take down Dr. Robotnik and to end his tyranny in Robotrpolis. Sonic Christmas Blast (1996) was a Christmas-centered holiday special where Sonic and Miles “Tails” Prower must find and save Santa Claus after Robotnik kidnaps him and takes his place, changing his name to “Robotnik Claus.” White’s final role as Sonic was in 1999 with the show Sonic Underground. Sonic is one or three triplets who are royalty in Mobius. Queen Aleena sends the children to different homes after Robotnik announces his search and plan to get rid of the triplets so he can rule Mobius. The princes and princess discover each other as teenagers, and work together to find their mother and take down Robotnik. Along with Sonic, White also voiced the other two siblings, Sonia and Manik, and their Egyptian ancestor Amen Rabi in the episode “Mummy Dearest.”
Also in 2012, Jaleel White worked with the Blue Core Studios, and voiced Sonic in the Sonic fan film.
Martin Burke (1999)
In 1999, a full-length movie was released on VHS, simply titled Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie. Sonic and Tails live together in Planet Freedom in a land called The Land of the Sky. After receiving a distressed message, the two fly to the capital to see the president, finding that Dr. Robotnik has taken him and his daughter, Sara, hostage. Robotnik explains that the generator in Robotropolis has malfunctioned and must be stopped before it explodes. He would have done it himself, but he was kicked out of the Land of Darkness by Metal Robotnik. Sonic and Tails fight past Metal Robotnik, with the help of good friend and treasure hunter Knuckles the Echidna, and the trio get to the generator, stopping it in the nick of time. As Sonic first believed, it was a trap, and Sonic’s data was copied to power Robotnik’s latest creation, Hyper Metal Sonic. In the end, the hedgehog and the robot fight at the South Pole to stop Robtonik from destroying the Pole and covering the world in lava, and Metal Sonic falls into the lava. This was Burke’s only role as Sonic.
Samuel Vincent (1999)
Vincent was Sonic’s singing voice in Sonic Underground. The show was known for at least one musical numbers with the triplets in each episode. This was Vincent’s only role as Sonic in his career.
Ryan Drummond (1999-2004)
Ryan Drummond’s debut as the Blue Blur was in 1999 with the Dreamcast game Sonic Adventure. Eggman takes control of a creature known as Chaos, and Sonic and the gang must work together to reseal Chaos into the Master Emerald, as the echidna princess reveals to Sonic in the final story. The next year, he voiced Sonic in the Mario Party-like title Sonic Shuffle. Sonic Adventure 2 (2001) was Drummond’s next job with Sonic, making it one of the most loved games in the series. Throughout 2004, Sonic Battle, Sonic Advance 3, and Sega Superstars were released, Sega Superstars being Drummond’s final role. He was willing to move to New York to play Sonic in Sonic X, but Jason Griffith got the role. Little known facts: Drummond is the bass vocalist for the A.Y.U. Quartet and is from Lima, Ohio, which is the setting for one of my favorite shows on TV today.
In my opinion, Ryan Drummond is my favorite Sonic voice actor, and I was heartbroken to discover that he was getting replaced. Don't get me wrong, Griffith is a great actor, and the two are actually good friends. But, Drummond was a great fit for the hedgehog.
*ahem* Moving on..
Jason Griffith (2003-2010)
Known by his fans as Jason Anthony Griffith, the blue hedgehog was actually responsible for making Griffith’s career truly take off. He first played Sonic in the 2003 TV show Sonic X, and went on to voice in the video game Sonic Heroes, which was released in 2004. Griffith is the actor with the longest career with the Sonic series, and is also the voice of Shadow the Hedgehog and Jet the Hawk (in the 2009 game, Sonic and the Black Knight, Shadow and Jet’s story egos Sir Lancelot and Sir Lamorak were also done by Griffith). His final roles as Sonic and Shadow were in Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing (2010). For his Sonic X role, Griffith originally auditioned for the role of Sonic’s human friend, Chris Thorndyke, but the producers told him that he had a “Sonic voice,” and got the role of the Blue Blur.
Roger Craig Smith (2010-Present)
Smith is Sonic’s current voice actor, starting off with the Microsoft exclusive title, Sonic Free Riders (2010). The same year, he was Sonic and the narrator in Sonic Colors (Sonic Colours in the UK). In 2011, the release of the highly-anticipated game Sonic Generations was released, and fans quickly fell in love with the game. Also in 2011, Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the third installment of the Olympics crossover game came out. Sonic the Hedgehog made an appearance in Disney’s video game movie, Wreck-It Ralph (2012). Smith’s latest role as Sonic was in Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed (2012). Smith has also voiced Chris Redfield from the survival-horror title, Resident Evil 5, and is still the current actor for him. He is also known for voice Ezio Auditore da Firenze from the Assassin’s Creed series.