As you all very well know, Sonic the Hedgehog, one of the greatest video game characters of all time, has had a multitude of voice actors. Well today, since I have nothing better to do, I shall be discussing them. I ask those who are overly selective their favorite voice actors to not heckle me about the following review; it's my opinion, so get a grip and chill out. Now, without further ado, here is "Needlemouse Takes A Look At The American Sonic the Hedgehog Voice Actors".
First off, will be the game actors.
Ah yes, Ryan Drummond, one of the more recognizeable Sonic voice actors of my time. He voiced Sonic from Sonic Adventure to Sonic Advance 3. Many have praised Ryan for his energetic and passionate performance as Sonic, and I too praise him for that; when I think Sonic, I think Ryan Drummond. In fact, I appreciated his performance so much, I was very outraged when I found he was replaced by Jason Anothy Griffith (I will elaborate up next). All in all, I think Ryan did a good job as a early teens Sonic. I personally believe that if SEGA offers him another chance for voicing Sonic (chances are they won't), he should take it.
Rating: * * * * *
Now, fans of Sonic X (if there are any, considering how much criticism that anime has garnered) will recognize Jason Anthony Griffith right away as the voice of Sonic from that series. He was also the one who replaced Ryan Drummond as Sonic after Sonic Advance 3. He voiced Sonic from Sonic Rush to Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. Many have criticized Jason's performance as Sonic to be more devoid of emotion when compared to Ryan's, while others praised him for doing the voice of Werehog Sonic. Personally, when he first showed up, I was very mad that Jason replaced Ryan, but that was when I was younger; now I've grown older and matured/chilled the bloody heck down a little, ergo, I got over it. All in all, I think Jason did a good job as a late teens Sonic.
Rating: * * *
Roger Craig Smith is the most recent of Sonic's voice actors, replacing Jason Anthony Griffith. He voiced Sonic from Sonic Colors and onwards (as of the time of this review). His performance as Sonic was first heard at the Alton Towers resort in the United Kingdom, which was heavily criticized by many as making Sonic sound like a cheesy surfer. However, what some don't know (if you already do, just bear with me) is that some of that audio was tampered with (A.K.A edited), so some blame could be pinned on the Alton Towers (sorry guys). Aside from the Alton Towers fiasco, other criticism about Roger's performance in the games includes some saying he made Sonic sound like an "affable idiot", while some have praised him for making Sonic sound cool. Personally, I liked Roger's performace since he made Sonic sound older (as SEGA intended), which is rather apropos, considering Sonic would now actually be in his 20's. All in all, I think Roger did a good job as a young adult Sonic.
Rating: * * * *
Next up on the list are the people who voiced Sonic in the various Sonic shows (except for Jason, since I covered him already).
One of Sonic's most recognizeable voice actors of the 90's was Jaleel White, whom many remember as being Steve Urkel on Family Matters. He voiced Sonic in the three DiC Entertainment cartoons "Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog", "Sonic SatAM", and "Sonic Underground". A few people have criticized his delivery as Sonic, one notable person being Doug Walker (in his Nostalgia Critic persona), who sarcastically said that his voice was "such a joy" to hear (-.-). However, I thought Jaleel did well, and he actually sounds like what Sonic would sound like during the 90's. He even voiced Sonic's siblings Sonia and Manic in Sonic Underground (if you know, bear with me). All in all, I think Jaleel did a good job as a late childhood to preteens Sonic. I heard he's going to be in a Sonic fan movie coming out soon, and here's what I think: best of luck to you, Jaleel.
Rating: * * * *
Samuel Vincent was Sonic's singing voice in Sonic Underground. I don't have much to say about him, since I personally think he did okay, although I feel sorry that he partook in one of the most heavily panned Sonic products of all time. However, I give Sam awesome points (which really don't count) since he was the voice of "Double D" in my all time favorite North American cartoon series "Ed, Edd n Eddy", and the voice of a cat named "Maomolin" in one of my favorite anime series, "Ranma ½". All in all, he did good for Sonic's singing voice, but was it really necessary to have Sonic sing in the first place?!
Rating: * *
Mostly fans of Sonic SatAM will know that in the two-episode story arc "Blast to the Past" from that show, when Sonic and Sally met their younger selves after time-traveling, Young Sonic was voiced by a (then) little boy named Tahj Mowry (sounds almost like Taj Mahal, don't it?). While he only did this for two episodes, I really enjoyed Tahj's performance; he sounded like a miniature Jaleel White doing Sonic! That's saying something too, because Jaleel tried doing a young Sonic in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Musta Been A Beautiful Baby", he sounded very ridiculous and laughable (DiC should've hired Tahj for that role, too.) All in all, he did a good job as an early childhood Sonic.
Rating: * * * *
Fans of anime and several Sonic fans know that Martin Burke voiced Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie (A.K.A Sonic OVA, Sonic the Movie, etc.). Some have criticized his performance as Sonic as sounding strange, making Sonic sound like he had a cold for the entirety of the film (similar criticism was directed towards Lainie Frasier, who voiced Tails in that film). I never really noticed that though, so I didn't care. I thought Martin sounded okay for what they paid him for. All in all, he did good as an anime Sonic, and if the Sonic OVA anime series is ever revived (SPOILER: it most likely never will), he needs to make a comeback.
Rating: * * *
As a bonus and a closer for this review, I decided I would take a look at a voice actor of Sonic from the well known Sonic Paradox circle who has voiced Sonic in their unoffical Sonic the Hedgehog productions.
GameBuddy has voiced Sonic throughout the majority of the Sonic Shorts Volumes, including the intro to the Knuckles Briefs collab (all of which I love and look forward to 24/7). Now, I think he's awesome; he sounds like what would happen if you took all of Sonic's voice actors from the games, shows, and movie and stuffed them into a blender (their voices though, not the people; that'd be a gory fiasco of Biblical proportions). He actually also animated at least one short for the Sonic Shorts. All in all, GameBuddy does a good job as just about any Sonic I can think of. When Roger Craig Smith is unable to voice Sonic any longer, GameBuddy should be the new voice actor for Sonic (if he still can at that point, that is).
Rating * * * * *
And now you all know what I think of the American Sonic the Hedgehog voice actors. People who enjoyed this review line up on my right for high-fives; people who hated this review line up on my left for a boot to the head.
Note: I did not include Keiko Utoku due to her only doing a few lines in her role as Sonic in Sonic CD.