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Roger Craig Smith is an American voice actor and former stand-up comedian. He is the current English voice actor of Sonic the Hedgehog in mainline games and spin-off media, having succeeded Jason Griffith in 2010 with Sonic Free Riders as the third official voice of the character in the west.[1]

History

In early 2010 at the Alton Towers resort in the UK, the "Sonic Room," a Sonic-themed room, was opened along with the Sonic Spinball roller coaster. When the entry door to the room opens, patrons are greeted by audio recordings of Sonic.[2] When a video featuring the voice clips circulated, fans heavily criticized the Sonic voice saying it sounded too "surfer" and "cheesy", and wondered who was behind it. Some thought that a commercial done for Alton Towers sounded better than the room's actual voice. When contacted via Facebook, Smith confirmed that it was his voice.[3] Later in August 2010, it was revealed that the audio clips of Smith performing as Sonic at Alton Towers were edited and slowed down, and some of the original unedited voice clips were released on the internet for download.[4]

When a cutscene from Sonic Colors was revealed on the internet, the final voice for Sonic varied significantly from the Alton Towers' announcements, and sounded a lot deeper than Jason Griffith's Sonic voice. Smith himself spoke out as to why the voice had undergone such a change saying that Sega had asked him to make Sonic sound "older".[5]

On 28 January 2021, Smith announced on his Twitter that he would no longer be voicing Sonic,[6] citing his frustrations and disappointments in an interview with ongoing trends in the modern gaming voice acting industry and general unhappiness living in California.[7] He cited special neglect and sense of being undervalued as one issue as he was not invited to Capcom's Resident Evil 5 launch party despite voicing the main character, Chris Redfield, as well as loneliness from being away from his childhood family. He said that he has no disdain towards Sega or the Sonic series and just simply wanted to move onto a better place in his life.[7] However, on 26 May 2021, Smith announced that he was returning to the Sonic series as the voice of Sonic.[8]

Filmography

Movies

TV series

Video games

Credits

Voice acting

Reception

Smith has been met with mostly positive reception. In Nintendo Power's review of Sonic Colors, it was written that the good thing about the story was Sonic because he was voiced by Smith. They had praised Smith by saying that he gives Sonic a very "cool" personality, that Sonic looks cool "for the first time in a long while" and that he has a "less cringeworthy persona". IGN and ScrewAttack also praised Smith's voice work, saying that this is the first Sonic game in years where they could listen to the voice acting and not cringe. However, GameTrailers criticized Smith saying that he and the other voices in the Sonic Free Riders review were "laughable" and in the Colors review said, "We would not object to Sonic being a mute hero". Destructoid reviewer Jim Sterling criticized Smith as well, saying "Sonic seems to have had a personality makeover, now becoming an affable idiot with a terrible sense of humor."[17]

His performance received mixed reviews from fans. Some fans praised his voice for having a good portrayal of Sonic's personality and attitude, but others have criticized it for being "too deep" and too anime-generic. It was also thought that he was offered the role by Sega, which many fans felt was unfair to other voice actors, especially Ryan Drummond and Jason Griffith, who got their roles as Sonic through auditions.

However, the popularity of Smith's voice for Sonic skyrocketed after Project 24 SegaSonic:Radio, a 24-hour chatroom held by fans. Smith was a special Guest on the Talk It Up! part of the 24 hour radio block. During the aforementioned show, Smith was involved in the Sonic Stadium IRC chat room while being interviewed by Talk It Up! host, cdrom1019. In the interview, Roger Craig Smith revealed that he had to audition just like everyone else.

Trivia

References

  1. Out of the Mouths of Hedgehogs. SEGA America Blog. Sega (15 July 2010). Archived from the original on 23 August 2010.
  2. Tuff, Adam (22 March 2010). T-Bird’s Tour of the Sonic the Hedgehog Room at Alton Towers. The Sonic Stadium. Archived from the original on 5 August 2020.
  3. Shadzter (24 July 2010). Alton Towers’ Sonic Voice Actor IS Roger Craig Smith. The Sonic Stadium. Archived from the original on 26 October 2020.
  4. Shadzter (16 August 2010). High Quality Clips of Roger’s Sonic Voice Now Available. The Sonic Stadium. Archived from the original on 27 April 2020.
  5. Shadzter (30 October 2010). Roger Craig Smith: SEGA Wanted Sonic To Sound Older. The Sonic Stadium. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020.
  6. Roger Craig Smith on Twitter. Twitter (28 January 2021). Retrieved on 28 January 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Egross (17 February 2021). Roger Craig Smith Reflects on ‘Sonic,’ ‘Batman,’ ‘Captain America’ and More on the VFK Podcast. Voices from Krpton. Archived from the original on 18 February 2021.
  8. Roger Craig Smith on Twitter. Twitter (26 May 2021). Archived from the original on 26 May 2021. Retrieved on 26 May 2021.
  9. Toby Jones on Twitter. Twitter (19 July 2019). Retrieved on 20 July 2019.
  10. Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (3 July 2017). Retrieved on 3 July 2017. “Bill Freiberger: @RogerCraigSmith is the voice of Admiral Beaverton.”
  11. Sonic the Hedgehog on Twitter. Twitter (November 29, 2014). Retrieved on 29 November 2014. “Sonic the Hedgehog: Fun fact: Dave the Intern is voiced by Roger Craig Smith, who is also the voice of Sonic! #SonicBoom”
  12. Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (1 January 2017). Retrieved on 1 January 2017. “Elliot Matteson: There's something familiar about Dreamcaster's voice, but I can't place it. A guest voice actor perhaps? / Bill Freiberger: @RogerCraigSmith is the voice of Dreamcaster.”
  13. Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (8 March 2017). Retrieved on 8 March 2017. “Bill Freiberger: Gunther is a ferret. He is voiced by @RogerCraigSmith.”
  14. Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (2 February 2017). Retrieved on 2 February 2017. “Bill Freiberger: The voice for Professor Cluckins is @RogerCraigSmith.”
  15. Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (20 April 2017). Retrieved on 20 April 2017. “Alexander Soerensen‏: If I may ask, who voiced Beta and Retro in "Nominatus Rising"? / Bill Freiberger: The voice of Beta was @VOKirk and the voice of Retro was @RogerCraigSmith.”
  16. Roger Craig Smith on Twitter. Twitter (16 November 2014). Retrieved on 29 March 2015. “Samantha Smith: I was wondering did you voice the little robot (U.T) in episode 3 of Sonic Boom? / Roger Craig Smith: I did. Good ear, considering the voice was altered!”
  17. Sterling, Jim (13 November 2010). Review: Sonic Colors. Destructoid. Archived from the original on 26 December 2020.
  18. Voice Actor Finale SacAnime 2012 Panel With Jennifer Hale, Roger Craig Smith, Michelle Ruff & More!. Youtube (3 September 2012). Retrieved on 26 December 2020.
  19. Roger Craig Smith on Twitter. Twitter (18 March 2017). Retrieved on 18 March 2017. “Steven19: What is each of you guys favorite episode of the show so far? And why? / Roger Craig Smith: The boy band episode---because singing!”
  20. Roger Craig Smith on Twitter. Twitter (18 March 2017). Retrieved on 18 March 2017. “CraigBeverlin: who is your favorite character? / Roger Craig Smith: Knucks.”

External links

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Voice actors of Sonic the Hedgehog


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