Several Voice Actors Leave The Sonic Franchise

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by jubbalub, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. I've been of the idea that Sonic writing in general isn't really all that good. At best, it's passable, but nothing to write home about. Its one thing to read it, but to actually hear is another matter.

    Now granted, the simplest and easiest excuse is that Sega just write these games only for children and give the bare minimum of effort as a result. So you get things that would ONLY sound good to children, but would make your face scrunch up with cringe if you're an adult.

    I just take these lines exactly what they are, but I understand that's not good enough for a lot of the fanbase, hence the push for better voice direction. I don't really see that changing even with a new voice cast, because bad voice directing has been a thing since Sonic Adventure, and we know that for a fact if word from Ryan Drummond was anything to go by, so I don't see it changing just because Roger isn't here anymore.

    If anything, its gonna be worse because at least we all had an entire decade to get used to the old voices whether we liked them or not, now we gotta get acclimated to an another set of actors with all of the garbage scripts that follow that.
  2. Vaiz


    I'm still here for some reason! Member
    It's weird, maybe because I'm mostly steeped in the world of Comic books, but none of this really rattles me. I mean, I certainly wish the best for the voice actors in finding new long term gigs, but I'm used to there being multiple interpretations and voices for my favorite characters in various mediums. Like, do I love Mark Hamill Joker? Yeah, totally, but I also accept the various other people who have filled the role. Not like Sonic games exactly have a rock solid continuity to begin with, to be honest. I'm very interested to see who the next crew up to voice the characters will be and what the new tone will be.
  3. Hanging Waters

    Hanging Waters

    Personally, I also would like to see Sonic with a younger voice again. Roger has done some great work and has quite a bit of range, and a lot of younger fans have grown up associating him with the character, but I really prefer the youthful edginess of voices like Drummond and Griffith. Though maybe dial it back a bit because it isn't the 90's/early 2000's anymore.

    What I liked about Roger was his jokiness, and he definitely captured the cockiness in the character. But it almost felt to me like Sonic was less confident in a playful adventurous way, and moreso confident in the dry and sarcastic way. Some of his more sarcastic lines almost felt... mean-spirited? It's hard to describe, but in Sonic X I felt like Sonic was blissfully ignorant and straightforward in his remarks. When Roger's Sonic is being witty and sarcastic it sounds a little less playful, and a little more like he's going for the burn. I really don't think Sonic needs to be voiced by a real teenager because his age has always felt a bit ambiguous to me; sure he's canonically a teenager, but when I was a teenage fan I felt like he was still an older figure - if that makes sense. And there are plenty of VAs who do a great job at the edgy ambiguous teen/20-something voice. I certainly agree that Roger sounds quite old for my taste, on top of the other stuff I mentioned.

    Again, I really like some of the stuff he's done and the dimension he adds to the character, but maybe it's be nice to have someone a little younger-sounding again.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
  4. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

    size of a tangerine Member
    I'm speaking purely as the consumer here, and I very much disagree with this. I don't care if Tails needs a new voice whenever the kid's voice starts to crack and/or deepen. As I said before, mild inconsistency is better than Tails consistently sounding like an adult woman. Of course, Sega has probably continued hiring women since the 4Kids cast happened because of that longevity and consistency. Maybe they can find someone who can sound like an actual child and also give them that reliability, but I don't even see a lot of that outside the Sonic series, so I'm not gonna hold my breath.

    I also think people have a tendency to think of child actors as bad actors by default. Again, Tails was voiced by two different actual young boys in the DiC cartoons, and they're both great (granted, the SatAM kid had been in a Disney movie). It's my understanding that voice acting for video games has been treated with more respect and importance recently compared to twenty years ago, and I'd hope that if a child were cast as Tails again, the direction would be sufficient to get a better performance than the Adventure games saw. I'm gonna be honest though, I even enjoy Tails' voice in Heroes. :p
  5. Frostav


    jayzus christ he cannot do the voice anymore. He sounds nothing like his SA2 performance.
  6. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    My name's Martin Member
    It's notable how many of you posting here are from english speaking countries. While we share the videogames since Sonic games are always voiced in english or japanese, TV shows and the movie have had different VAs for the dubbed scripts, so voice inconsistency through different iterations of the characters is a given for me and anyone else that watch those in their non-english mother languages. I haven't compared, so I don't know if Jaleel White sounded better than his spanish counterpart, but I can swear you I don't want the last one to voice Sonic ever again, so that "first VA defines how you see the character's voice" does't work for me.

    That aside, I think I don't appreciate in-game voices that much because of the production, which is usually mediocre enough to be forgettable or good only to make fun of: they could have had new actors every game, and I would only miss Dreamcast Eggman, who I thought had always the same VA, so go figure.

    Oh, and 15 year old voices aren't that different of 30 year old voices, it's the character what changes, so characterization is usually more important than the actor's voice itself unless other stuff like those smoking references and such things enter the scene. I sounded grown up already when I was young and I could sound young now that I'm so grown up (not saying I'm a good actor, only that such a possibility exists for VAs as well).
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  7. I'm speaking as a consumer too. Its not that I think child actors are bad; Alphonse Elric from FMA had a child actor when the show was airing and he was great. But at the end of the day, its just not sustainable. When Aaron Dismuke reached puberty, they replaced Al's voice with woman. Its practically a necessary weasel just for the sake of keeping a show going. Its just kind of weird to see someone so against this practice when its been accepted for so long.

    Especially when Tails neither looks or acts like an actual kid. In fact, this whole line of thinking that "the characters need to sound their age" is just weird to me because age is one of the least relevant things about Sonic characters outside of say, Cream.
  8. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

    Ditto. The Dic cartoons were my very introduction to Sonic, and Jaleel White is probably one of my least favorite Sonic VAs.

    That said, I find myself agreeing with the "Roger sounds too old for Sonic" crowd. And I don't think the "you're just used to previous VAs" argument holds much water in this case, seeing how people had over a decade to get used to Roger's voice. I don't even mind most of the current cast, but a few characters like Sonic and Knuckles still sound way off to me.
  9. Having grown up with the DiC cartoons as well, I do get all warm and fuzzy hearing Jaleel's voice. He will forever be one of two primary voices I associate with Sonic... well actually there is a third now thanks to my adoration of the movie. I mean historically from my frame of reference though. So that second primary voice would be Ryan Drummond, as he was the first to voice Sonic in game.

    File me along with those that wish Ryan Drummond to return to the role, perhaps with some adverts featuring the original voice of Sonic, Jaleel.
  10. MykonosFan


    MODE CHANGE. Moderator
    Mike is staying.

    You can read into his specific phrasing of "Sonic the Hedgehog video games" but I wouldn't do so just yet.
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  11. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

  12. I find it so hilarious how Sega knows enough to keep Mike Pollock, but everyone else is just fair game to be swapped at a moments notice.

    Eggman literally got more prestige than the main character
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  13. Xilla


    Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep Member
    Good to see Mike is staying. That man really does have the patience of a saint when it comes to fan interactions.
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  14. So...I just had a thought and feel free not to take this seriously. But voice actor changes are generally done as cost as cost saving measures outside of circumstances where the actors are unavailable. Sega went from 4kids to Studiopolis I believe because most of the 4kids VA's were from NY, and Sega would have had to pay their expenses.

    So if this change was done as a cost saving measure, then how much is going towards the next game as a whole? Voice acting isn't that expensive, most actors will tell you, they get chump change. So for Sega to swap out the other actors they've had for a decade makes me wonder just what the hell is happening behind the scenes.

    Forces and TSR were pretty gutted in terms of budget, and we know Sega have been downsizing the last few years.

    So how valid is this thought or is it unfounded and I'm just paranoid.
  15. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

    Better than Sonic Genesis... Member
    I'm incredibly relieved that Mike is sticking around. While Bristow had a unique take on Eggman (and impressive range in how he portrayed him) Mike is 100% Eggman. Honestly, if all the changes are due to budget, then I'm surprised that he wasn't cut like the others.
  16. I think it's a perfectly reasonable thing to worry about. Especially considering the new sonic leak/rumor (if it's true), sega has their teams spread thin working on like 8 different things right now for the 30th anniversary, so I'd imagine they're doing everything in their power to cut costs and crunch down on this. :p
  17. evilhamwizard


    I'd love Ryan to come back to do Sonic, but I think his voice only worked for the personality that Sonic had at that time. Ryan does have range though, and I think he could pull off a more serious Sonic given the recent audio series he did.

    What's missing from that and from what we've heard from him so far is voice direction, I think. And a chance to emote and ham it up, which is what made him great in the first place.

    I want more ham in my modern Sonic games.
  18. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

    Better than Sonic Genesis... Member
    Honestly yeah, it can't be overstated enough that good direction is going to make or break a performance just as much as the voice itself. A good example of this is Willa Holland and her portrayal of Aqua in Kingdom Hearts. I've never seen Arrow, but I understand she's emotive than her performance in Birth by Sleep. This is because the voice director was Japanese and aimed for Japanese voice direction that would lose nuance or sound unemotive in English.

    With Ryan in Sonic & Tails R, he has at best a single person who is trying to break into voice acting herself and a friend of hers, neither of whom (to my knowledge) have professional experience as voice directors. That's going to affect his performance a fair bit. To be fair though, there are moments where you can hear that classic voice from SA2, like at the end of episode 1 where he says "Adventure here we come!" and he's gotten better as the series has gone on. So it's not like he can't do it, it's more like he had to take a while to remember how to do it because voice direction wasn't getting him there. I imagine that with a professional voice director from Sega, he would be perfectly fine.

    Now, that's not to say I think it's going to happen or should happen given the union circumstances, but I think it's important to remember that a fan radio drama might not be the best indicator of his abilities.
  19. Azookara


    yup Member
    I was alright with seeing a new take on Eggman, but I'm glad he's staying.

    Pollock isn't my favorite Eggman ever (RIP Deem Bristow), but he certainly has earned the role. No other voice actors of any other characters besides arguably some the SA cast had as influential and distinguishable of a voice for their character, so I suppose you might as well keep him while you still have the chance.
  20. JaxTH


    Pudding Deity Oldbie
    Los Angeles
    Jack shit.
    The same thing happened with Vanille's VA in the first two Final Fantasy 13 games. She wanted to sound like she did in 13-3 but the voice director, who was Japanese, wanted her to sound even more high pitched and squeaky than she wanted because that was what the Japanese VA was like.

    This happens a lot actually, but the only thing that happens is that English speakers complain about how the characters sound.