Rumour: Jason Griffith Leaving Sonic Role?

Rumour: Jason Griffith Leaving Sonic Role?

Jason Griffith could be leaving his post as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog. That’s the rumour that has hit the Sonic community today, following an admission from the voice actor that he is currently not voicing the blue blur in the upcoming Sonic Colours.

Tipster ‘XD375’ told The Sonic Stadium of the revelation after having made contact with two anonymous sources close to the matter. They both suggested that “a new voice” would be involved in the Sonic franchise going forward. A message from Griffith’s Facebook profile has confirmed his lack of involvement;

Thanks for sending [a video of Sonic Colours]. Not sure who is voicing Sonic, unfortunately, so I can’t really say. Also, we have all signed NDA’s in the past, so I don’t really “speak up” on a lot of things involving SEGA.

Screengrab

The future of the roles of Tails, Knuckles and other lead characters were unknown, but it was revealed that Mike Pollock would continue his work as Dr. Eggman. When contacted by SSMB user ‘Crash’, Pollock declined to comment, adding that “I can’t discuss anything that’s not officially released yet, so please get back to me after [the game] hits the streets.”

Speculation of a change-up of the current Sonic voice-over cast sparked up shortly after ArchAngelUK spoke of an announcement to be made on Thursday, concerning the franchise as a whole. While it would not necessarily affect the games, it was suggested that the news would involve an element of the games to some degree. The subject of voice acting would certainly fit that bill.

The future of Griffith’s tenure as Sonic the Hedgehog is currently unknown. While his response above largely hints at a leave of the character, it is equally likely that this is a one-off – that Sega is undecided whether Sonic should have a full speaking role in Sonic Colours at all. If we get any clarifications regarding this rumour, we will be the first to let you know.

Published by

Dreadknux

Sexy founder of The Sonic Stadium, and creator and co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic fan convention. By day, I'm a super-fantastic games journalist, el professionale. By night, I'm the mother-loving Sonical Batman. I keep the site ticking, look after the TSS Network, and get all excited about Sonic games so that you can too. May contain nuts.

145 Comments

  1. Damn, that sucks. Just when he was really starting to get good as well.

    If this is the news that AAUK is talking about, then he really needs to stop making all these new bits of news sounding so over dramatic.

  2. Oh for gods sake! The second comment! The second comment already demands Ryan back! Get over it already!

    Ahem…

    Please can we try and be calm and not act like loonies over this?

  3. @RaveToTheGrave
    His name was Ryan Drummond

    Sega would REALLY going down this route again? I was actually starting to tolerate him as well… Well, unless they bring back Ryan, hell will break loss.

  4. @RaveToTheGrave:

    That would be Ryan Drummond. 🙂

    I prefer him over every other Sonic voice actor.

    Jason was getting pretty good I’ll admit.

    Hope whoever is replacing him will be better even.

  5. go down this route again* I hate not being able to edit posts ._.

    I meant unless they hire somebody who is as good as Ryan, or even Jason to fill the spot, people will flip.

  6. I actually thought Jason wasn’t starting to sound so corny anymore…now they might be changing him up, huh? Well, I would like to see Ryan Drummond reprise the role but that’s the fanboy in me talking. Jaleel White won’t start doing it again, I would think. I wonder who they might replace him with, if that’s the case.

  7. that better not happen! *huggles Sonic X Sonic Plushie*

    I really love Jason’s Sonic. <3 (and I see it too, now that it's mentioned… he really DID improve!)

    Of course, if Junichi Kanemaru takes over the english role along with his current Japanese work, then.. *squee*

    so yeah. if this is true, then JUNICHI-SAMA OR BUST!

  8. But I was really starting to like Jason 🙁

    Oh well. It’s just a rumor. We’ll just have to wait and see how this really turns out.

  9. If he does leave I really hope SEGA will hire Ryan, considering the fact that he told 4Kids he would move to a new home just to voice Sonic in Sonic X, I think he deserves it.

    Maybe this is the big news?

  10. I hope its just a rumor when I think of sonics voice I hear jason he is thhe voice of sonic! He can’t leave

  11. I honestly don’t care who replaces this guy. As long as Sonic has a voice and isn’t a mute like a Nintendo character, I’m fine.

    …and if his voice actor isn’t the guy from the Sonic Room at Alton Towers.

  12. Ya know what’s happening? SEGA can’t do anything right. No offence. But whenever they get a good Sonic game up and going, like Sonic Colors, they have to change something that the fans still won’t like, so they change the voices of our loving characters. 🙁

  13. If Sega wanted to bring Ryan Drummond back, they better up his pay. Otherwise, they’ll just go through with the Usopp-to-Sonic Formula, and hire Sonny Strait, Voice of Krillin and the OFFICIAL voice of … CAPTAAAAAIN USOPP!!

  14. Maybe with a new actor, we’ll see whether or not Sonic is capable of emoting with his voice in any tone other than radical enthusiasm! Even when Elise died in ’06 he was just a step away from his “Whoa, gotta speed up!” voice.

    Jaleel probably wouldn’t fit the character as he is today, but man, if they got him back I would still jump for joy. I’d love a Sonic that doesn’t sound one-dimensional.

  15. If Drummond were to be re-hired as the voice of Sonic, he better brush up on his Sonic, otherwise, he’ll just suck, as a shell of his former self.

  16. I’m with those that say they were actually getting used to Jason. I think he’s completely fine. Sure, I DO prefer Ryan, but I never complained. If this is all true, I hope the new guy will be good, and I hope Jason at least gets to stay as Shadow.

  17. @ KoolKojoS

    Actually, I thought they sounded like recycled clips from Sonic Unleashed!

    I’m surprised this hasn’t ended up on Fluffy Kitten’s News yet, considering the fact that all of their stories are rumors.

  18. Has Sonic really needed a voice?
    Sure for the cartoons and all, but if we want to get back to basics, then we don’t need voice actors.

  19. Hmm… this is interesting. Wouldn’t be surprised if this is the “big franchise-changing news”.

    And I really hate to be one of “those people”, but I really would like to see Ryan come back. He was just more Sonic-y to me.

  20. Oh no! If there is a new voice actor, I certainly hope its not the horrid voice from the Sonic Hotel room that T-Bird showed us. lol.

  21. All I have to say is, Ryan Drummond is not coming back. End of Story!
    They will hire someone else if the rumor is true, I don´t wanna sound mean but get over it already, there is not much more I can say.

  22. I’m the tipster from the article. I can say from what I’ve gathered that the new Sonic voice is most likely the one from the hotel room, but I can’t guarantee that.

  23. @XD375: I think you just killed my excitement:( That voice is…..WHY SEGA WHY?! I TAKE BACK EVERYTHING BAD I EVER THOUGHT ABOUT JASON! NOT THE HOTEL GUY!!!

  24. I have a confession to make, from Sonic Heroes to Sonic Unleashed, I had no idea sega switched Sonic’s voice actors. I seriously thought Ryan just started talking with a calmer voice.

    This is an interesting rumor though. If this is true, this would change mainly the TV shows franchise in a big way. For the games, if Sega just works with small voice clips instead of huge conversations, it shouldnt be a big problem.

  25. Honestly, I didn’t notice the difference when they made the switch from Drummond to Griffith, and had I not read this I probably wouldn’t have noticed the difference in the new guy from Colors. I think that Sonic is established enough, that people know what he is supposed to sound like and SEGA will do whatever they can to mimick that voice. Though I’m all for the return of Jaleel White to the role – “I’m Waaaaaaiiiitiiiiing”, “Bummer Mejores”, “Yo Ro’Butt’nik”, “Juice Time!”, “I feel a need for speed”, “we are up, over and gone!”.

  26. Hm. Using only limited audible speech would work for Sonic. I mean, it worked for Mario, and Link. They could just use text boxes to tell us what each character says. Best way to save money, especially in this economy!

  27. @ Sonictoast

    *insert picture of Zelda here* You’ve GOT to be kidding! There is a huge difference between Drummond and Griffith. Ryan was higher pitched where Drummond’s voice sounds more mature since it’s deeper.

  28. I’m actually sad to see him go. I felt that his performances in Shadow and from Secret Rings onward were top notch.

  29. Eh? I sure hope Jason doesn’t leave. Yeah, Ryan drummond was really good but Jason still is a worthy voice actor as well. Say it isn’t so 🙁

  30. Am I the only fan in the whole wide world who actually prefers Griffith’s voice? *shot*

  31. @ XD375

    I can’t wait to hear Sonic boosting and screaming- WOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAH! LET’S GO!! I can tell that if he is really the new voice actor that Sonic will lose a lot of his dignity. Of course, I’m not really going to believe anything until it’s confirmed.

  32. @XD375

    I certainly hope your just trolling us, I would hate to even think how horrible the franchise would be if that god awful hotel room voice was hired on.

  33. Does that also mean he will leave Shadow’s role and Jet’s?

    I don’t mind if they bring back the old voices…
    but I liked Jason’s voice acting D:
    I grew into it.

  34. @Edge

    Actually, according to a message Griffith sent me a few months back, the “Let’s go!” was a stock clip he recorded, while the rest were all new to him.

    @HighCaliburFun

    Like I said, I can’t confirm that the hotel guy is the new voice, but I’m almost certain it is for reasons I can’t point out here.

  35. If it’s true…. then we have the “minor” franchise change that was going to be talked about on thursday.
    Hey I just like to add that if he leaves completely, we just lost the voice for Shadow, Jet, and who knows who else.

    But are we really going down this road again? I mean seriously? The war begins on Sonic’s voice yet again! Until then, Sonic is voiceless. If the rumor proves to be false, there may be some more gratitude for Jason’s voice.

    I honestly…. don’t care. Sonic doesn’t even need to talk. As long as the gameplay is good…. the voice could be terrible. I say…. switch the voice to japenese or put mute on the game altogether if the voice bothers you.

  36. Oh well, the voice acting isn’t as important to me as some people. And I’m the same as SonicToast, I didn’t even notice until I joined YouTube back in 08. I just didn’t care :p And from what we’ve heard of Sonic’s voice in Colours (SPINN!), I like his new voice so far.

  37. Told everyone that the voice that says “Good! Great! Awesome! Outstanding! Amazing!” was Sonic’s.

  38. @Rundas: Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat~?!!

    That is WAAAAYY too deep to be Sonic’s supposed new voice. Just doesn’t suit him in my opinion – I prefer Griffith.

  39. Suppose that the VA Change for Sonic IS the Franchise-changing News we’re supposed to hear about. Maybe we’re being spoiled. Just wait until Thursday, when all will be revealed.

  40. …And I just got used to Shadow’s voice :/ I wouldn’t mind having David Humphrey back for Shadow, but…Well, Jason doesn’t deserve to lose his job. Arguably, Ryan didn’t either…SEGA really needs to give their actors forewarning.

    I also feel bad for Jason – he gets so much crap. I mean, really…It’s just a voice people. As long as it captures Sonic’s spirit (which he has done as he got better), that is all that matters. Personally, I prefer Jason over Ryan just because Ryan made Sonic sound a little more violent. I think the new voices suit the characters. That’s just my opinion, however. I didn’t even notice Sonic’s actor change XD

  41. Actually… I’m starting to like the Alton Towers guy… he’s not THAT bad once he grows on you… especially in the ASR European commercial.

  42. Wow. I mean, to me, Griffith is Sonic. He has that perfect tone to his voice, young and light, fast and carefree. Sure, sometimes he hasn’t always emoted in the best way, but games like Sonic and the Black Knight and Unleashed feature him so heavily that I can’t see anyone making a better Sonic. Even if you don’t like the games or the corniness of the dialogue, Griffith sounds like Sonic- I can’t imagine another voice coming from the blue blur’s mouth.

    Honestly, the best possible thing SEGA could do is release a clip of Sonic Colors with the new voice actor doing some work on Thursday, to see if he fits Sonic. Of course, this IS if he is actually leaving.

  43. @Rundas/SSV: It was an announcer, not Sonic. It was way different from Sonic’s grunts durring rail transfers and whatnot.

  44. Of course, I don’t think fan reaction would change much this late, especially if my sources are true and Colors is being released Sept. 24…

  45. @ Radioactive Puppy (nice name, btw) – I couldn’t have put it better myself. Additionally, he did a wonderful job with Sonic’s first ever gut laugh in Sonic ’06. I ended up laughing at hearing it! As it is, even if Jason Griffith leaves his role as Sonic, he’ll probably retain his role as Shadow (so at least we can still hear him somewhere). That’s the great thing about voicing two people – if you lose one, there is still the other 🙂

  46. I’m quite fond of his Shadow voice, and Sonic I felt everyone was warming up to since Unleashed. Shame to lose you Jason, you were a worthy successor to Ryan Drummond if you are leaving for good.

    A tad disappointed, but I only hope that the next VA can bring a unique identity to the character that the last two did.

  47. @ Radioactive Puppy – Eh, we’ll see him again sooner or later. Shadow has a tendency to pop up when you least suspect him to XD

    But, think positive! Maybe there really is no talking in the game (aside from Eggy’s “Ho ho ho!”. I love that laugh). I mean, it’s hard to strike a balance…In some games, Sonic talks too much, and in others he doesn’t talk at all (AKA the originals). SEGA might also just want to create suspense, as they seem to be doing that a lot lately :/

  48. I always wanted a new sonic voice actor, but now I don’t think it’s a good idea anymore. 🙁

  49. THIS IS THE BEST NEWS IVE HEARD IN A LONG TIME
    OH HAPPY DAY!!!!!!

    I dont mind the 4kids Eggman really but whoever they get to be the new Sonic he better sound as good as Ryan because Ryan Drummond was a king

  50. Please don’t tell me the Hotel Guy is the new Sonic. He sounds like an over active douche bag hopped up on goofballs.

  51. If this is true, I am really dissapointed. I feel that Jason Giffith is Sonic and it would be a great loss to the series to hear him go. But I personally don’t think he is going to be replaced, I think it will end up more that Sonic will become mute much like he is in Night of the Werehog. But even still I would much prefer Sonic to be fully voiced.

  52. I dont know whether to be happy or not
    I dont think Griffith Deserved the role as Sonic or Fit it, Because the NOBLE thing for him to do would be step down and tell them how they unfairly treated Ryan, My voice acting Hero.
    If he is truly getting replaced those Jason fans are gonna know how i felt when Ryan was canned.
    I dont have much sympathy for Jason considering he most likely went into the role knowing what happened to Ryan, THINK ABOUT IT if Jason gets sad about this its his own fault because he even accepted the role. I sincerely beleive it was WRONG of ANYONE to accept the voice of Sonic after the unfair way they treated Ryan.
    I am worried though, that if sonic has a new voice it will be even worse than Jason’s was.

    Ryan deserves this freeking role, You dont just give someone a role THAT BIG and take it away.
    You could argue that “if jason is getting replaced” they are doing the same thing to him, while that is true…and thats still wrong of them, Jason should not of accepted the role in the first place, as i previously stated.

  53. Btw, 99% of the oldschool fans Ive ever talked to, that were TRULY with Sonic from the beginning seem to like Ryan better.

    It seems like most people that like Jason were introduced to him first.

    A voice plays a HUGE part in defining a characters personality, people would argue that its a game it doesnt matter, If it really didnt matter they wouldnt give him the voice in the first place.

  54. I trust SEGA, merely because if they’re changing the voice they must be aware of how important the voices WERE to some of us. I understand that to many people it just about the gameplay which is totally fine but, to a lot of us we fell in love with Sonic’s character, along with all of the others as we watched them grow. That’s why ever since the start I’ve loved Sonic. With the change of voice to Griffith, it was like looking at him through a foggy window. He was there, but just not a clear image of what he is.

    I believe the “hotel guy” has the potential to do a great Sonic voice, and NOT a Ryan Drummond impersonation. I DO NOT need Ryan Drummond to get the Sonic feel back nor do I need a impersonator of him. It’s hard to describe what Sonic should sound like, everyone will have their own ideas. I just hope this time around we can respect each other about it instead of chaos going across the Fanbase again. My fingers will be crossed.

  55. Really? …Really?

    I’m not happy or sad, just… surprised. I never thought much of the voice actor war, but… if he does leave, I will be a little disapointed. He DID play the voice of my beloved Werehog…

    You know who they should hire? Jaleel White, man!

  56. The only person they could get instead of Ryan that would make me satisfied is Jaleel, although i would still say Ryan should have another chance.

  57. Well, to be honest I don’t know whether to be more so excited or more so worried. XD I mean, I’m sure this new voice has great potential and I’m very excited to see what he’s got, but it just concerns me how the fans will react. We all know how judgmental the Sonic Fan base can be. (Kinda an understatement.) Taking just Sonic’s voice into consideration, his voice means a lot to me personally. It gave him the personality and heart that I fell in love with. Once his voice changed from Ryan’s to Jason’s, it kinda just didn’t feel too right.

    Sure Jason was improving, but I just don’t think it would’ve been the same, but I would learn to live with it. Now that they’re not making a NEWER Sonic voice, its both exciting yet worrisome. Its exciting to see what this new voice has got and see how he grows, but worrisome as I had said before towards the fans and how they’re going to react towards this if its true. Myself personally, I think that this guy should be given a chance. I mean, we haven’t even heard him yet officially in the game. Being kinda harsh this soon is a little much, don’t you think? XD

  58. What if the whole cast got fired, and they hired the team from AOSTH? SnooPINGAS….has now returned.

  59. @ Kyle Mike Pollok actually did say the exact lines “Snooping as usual I see…” Just for the record. XD

  60. If it’s true, then thank goodness. Jason’s “Sonic” is too mellow for me.

    And I don’t know where all this “Alton Towers guy is the new VA” crap is coming from. The guy who does Sonic’s voice in that advert is a British voice artist who does absolutely everything from radio jingles to minor cartoon roles. There’s absolutely no way he’s going to be playing Sonic from now on.

  61. @ Daniel Butler

    I guess I’m part of that 1% who grew up with classic Sonic and like Jason better… Of course, as I’ve probably stated around 5+ times, I like Ryan’s voice better but think that Jason was a better actor.

    As for the not mattering thing you said… true words of wisdom my friend.

    @ Mardic

    I always believed it was universally accepted that Sonic should sound youthful and therefore, have a higher pitched voice, just like Drummond did. But as for Chaos in the fanbase… I actually don’t think it will happen this time since Colors and 4 have started to make the fanbase a little more positive than it usually is.

    @ Kyle Boyle

    That would be the greatest news I’ve ever heard anywhere ever… especially Big would be voiced by, “DA BEARS!”

    @ Waaurufu

    WHEN!?

  62. I’m randomly surprised… There’s actually people other than me who would be worried if this happens.

  63. @ Edge
    Thanks for being respectful of my comments, I dont really feel Ryan Got enough time to shine
    A you are probably aware, all the games up until Sonic Heroes were dubbed and the voices moved in Japanese so the actors were forced to try to fit the lip sync which could make lines look faker.
    Im just hoping your judgment as whos the better actor isnt shrouded by this fact.
    I obviously think Ryan blows Jason away acting wise, To me Jason has never been believable whether you agree with that or not hopefully you can at least sympathize that a voice actor that i was very passionate about was fired without warning. I also dont see how anyone could not see the similarity between Junichi and Ryan’s voice at times it almost sounds identical I honestly dont think they really ever intended for Sonic to sound like Jason, From my knowledge the 4kids actors were asked to immitate the old actors, so thats obviously what they meant for sonic to sound like.
    To me Jason sounds slow and old, i dont hear youth in his voice typically.
    To be fair, Jason has had lines “mostly in brawl” that i think he voiced sonic well.
    Just remember everyone, even if you disagree with me I just want the best for the character i fell in love with, like all of you. Im not trying to start a war, or unfairly bash Jason. Im just very passionate about voice acting and what it can bring to the table.

  64. Sorry i realize im taking up quite a bit of room here, but take this into consideration.
    Most would agree that Jason Sounds different from Ryan. I see this as fact.
    Now imagine a series you like ill just use the simpsons for an example.

    Imagine your a huge simpsons fan “or if you are one dont imagine” and homer is your favorite character and you were a huge fan of his voice actor. Then he was givin a new voice, that sounded noticeably different from the original.
    And the old actor was still perfectly capable of providing this voice but was unfairly treated and replaced.

    Can you imagine how upset you would be, would the voice ever sound “right” to you, probably Not.
    Everyone must take into consideration this is how i felt when Ryan was replaced.

    I want to be a voice actor, If i landed a job as a character i loved and was replaced in this manner i would feel like i lost a friend. Fictional characters mean this much to me.

    I dont feel like anyone in the voice actor industry should have there job if they DONT feel like this.
    It was clear to me, this is how Ryan felt when he voiced Sonic.

    I would also read things like this

    quoted from Ryan
    “Most definitely, unless something comes up that can’t be worked around, but I don’t expect that will ever happen. The people at Sega are great and we all get along very well. There’s a lot of mutual respect when we work together. They appreciate what I bring to the game and I am constantly amazed at all the great work they do. Count on me providing the voice of Sonic for a long time. ;)”

    And hear things like this
    “http://www.ryandrummond.com/html-swfs/nnfs_audio.html”
    go to audio and listen to his amazing range of voices in his voice over circus he even does sonic at the end.

    PostSubject: About Save Sonic September 14th 2008, 6:56 pm
    Welcome to the Save Sonic message boards! If you are reading this, chances are this is your first time visiting our boards. And beings these boards pertain to Sonic the Hedgehog, chances are you are also a fan of the blue dude with the ‘tude. But we’re betting that you’re wondering what exactly these boards are all about and why we are here. Well, to get the full story, we’ll need to go back to the beginning…

    In the mid- to late-90s, the video game industry was undergoing several changes, as were the characters and worlds that it had created. Environment exploration went from 2D side-scrolling to 3D free-roaming, music went from simple midi chips to full-blown orchestras, and characters went from being animated pixel art to polygons filled with personality. Of course, it wasn’t just the move to the third dimension that gave these characters personality. Along the way, the industry provided many of their beloved characters with another way to convey their personalities by, believe it or not, talking. It has been known for a long time that characters’ personalities, attitudes, emotions, etc. are often revealed through the way they speak, and apparently, several companies in the video game industry wanted emphasize this by hiring and using voice actors for their characters. In fact, many people consider the most notable characters and voice actors to have come together during this transitional period to be Nintendo’s famous mascot Mario with Charles Martinet, and Konami’s special forces operative Solid Snake with David Hayter. The addition of voice acting soon became a cornerstone to developing a narrative in video games, and almost instantly, voice actors became synonymous with the characters they voiced, and it became unthinkable to see anyone else filling in some of these voice actors’ roles, even to this very day. However, there was one character who had yet to be given a voice actor for his video game series during this transitional period. This character was, of course, SEGA’s own famous mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog.

    It wouldn’t be until 1998 when Sonic would gain his first video game voice actor in the SEGA Dreamcast launch title, Sonic Adventure. This voice actor was none other than Junichi Kanemaru, who provided Sonic’s Japanese speaking voice in Sonic Adventure, and became synonymous with Sonic in Japan. As a result, SEGA decided to continue to work with Junichi as the Japanese voice actor of Sonic for future games in the series, and he has continued to do so even to this very day. However, while Junichi Kanemaru could apparently speak English very well, it was decided that another voice actor would be needed to provide Sonic’s English speaking voice. And it wouldn’t be until many months later in 1999 when the world would be introduced to Sonic’s first English video game voice actor…

    Like many things in the entertainment industry, I had to go through an audition process. Before I went into the recording booth, I didn’t know what kind of voice to use. I just kept staring at Sonic’s picture on the wall and thought, “Now if I were playing this game, what kind of voice would I expect to come out of this crazy, blue hedgehog?”. Then I walked into the booth and out popped this voice I didn’t even know I had in me! The audition went VERY well and 15 minutes later, they came out to the waiting room and told me I was going to be Sonic. I was in shock. It was such an honor!

    This man who was specifically picked by SEGA to provide Sonic the Hedgehog’s English speaking voice was none other than actor and comedian, Ryan Drummond.

    When Sonic Adventure was released in the United States in September of 1999, Ryan Drummond instantly became synonymous with Sonic the Hedgehog in the United States and other English speaking countries (much like how Junichi Kanemaru had done so in Japan), and received praise from countless fans in the process. So much so that SEGA decided to continue to work with Ryan as the English voice actor of Sonic in the next few years to come in games such as Sonic Shuffle and Sonic Adventure 2. In addition, Ryan was also very open with people about his thoughts regarding working with SEGA and the approval he had been getting from his numerous fans.

    The people at Sega are great and we all get along very well. There’s a lot of mutual respect when we work together. They appreciate what I bring to the game and I am constantly amazed at all the great work they do. Count on me providing the voice of Sonic for a long time.

    Also, there are alot of fans out there who have “approved” of my voice for Sonic, and when the people that buy the games speak, the company listens! Yes, you do have the power!

    After respectfully working alongside SEGA to provide their famous mascot with personality, attitude, emotion, etc. for so long and receiving approval, praise, and admiration from countless fans, you’d think that there would be absolutely nothing that could possibly come along and threaten Ryan Drummond’s chances of continuing to voice Sonic the Hedgehog for a long time, right?

    Well, you’d think wrong.

    In about mid-2003, a brand new animated TV show starring Sonic the Hedgehog began airing in Japan. Word soon spread that the show would reach American shores, and with it, the question of what company would receive the rights to dub it. Those rights went to 4Kids Entertainment, a company known for dubbing (and censoring) many Japanese anime TV series, such as Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Kirby: Right Back At Ya!, Shaman King, and many others.

    Soon after, Ryan Drummond received several e-mails from his fans asking if he would be providing Sonic’s voice in the anime. This is how the situation unfolded according to Ryan Drummond himself:

    I told my contacts at Sega that I wanted to at least have the opportunity to audition for what I believed to be “my” part. I was hoping that I would just be offered the part, but that didn’t happen. Sega told me that the production company who owns the rights to the anime, “4Kids Productions”, had all the power in the Sonic X series, and that Sega Team had nothing to do with it. Sega was nice enough to recommend me to “4Kids” and told them I should at least be considered for the role that I’ve been portraying for four years now. At that point, I waited for 4Kids to call me. Never happened. After a while and over 500 Emails from fans asking whether or not I was going to voice Sonic for this cartoon, I decided to call 4Kids myself and find out what was going on. So I put in a few calls and Emails, and after a week, heard back from the assistant of someone I tried to contact. She told me that her boss was “too swamped” to talk to me, and suggested I call the production office. I did, and left a message for someone named “Julie” who I was told was “in charge of casting” for Sonic X. I received an Email back from “Julie’s” colleague. Here’s what it said:

    “Dear Mr. Drummond,
    I understand that you left a voice message for my associate, Julie Rath today. Ryan, I can imagine how you must feel about having another actor voice Sonic. I can only assure that it was never the aim of 4Kids to change the original voices or replace any of the game voice actors. The simple reality is that we need to hire actors who live in the New York area. Not only are the actors required to voice the shows, but they must be constantly available to record changes and promos on very short notice. Even if the original actors were willing to fly to New York on a regular basis, the compensation for the job and our ever-changing schedule would make it unworkable. Because the voices must match the pictures, phone patches would be impractical. I am truly sorry that circumstances prevent the original game voices from being in the series, and I sympathize with all the game actors. It’s unfortunate that we weren’t all based in the same place. In any case, I wish you continued success.
    Sincerely, Michael Haigney Producer of Sonic X”

    Hes basically acknowledging that he thinks it would be wrong to replace Ryan, yet they did it anyways.

    “So there you have it. I am not voicing Sonic for Sonic X simply because I don’t live in New York City. I did respond to Mr. Haigney, thanking him for his honesty, and also telling him that I would have GLADLY re-located to New York for as long as was needed, even if I had to pay my own way there. I also said I thought it was inexcusable to not even give me a call to tell me why I wouldn’t be cast before casting the whole project. Bottom line is, if they would’ve just called me, I would’ve told them that I’d come to New York and be there as long as they needed. But, my friends, 4Kids didn’t even bother to call. I wish them all the luck. Hope it’s a good cartoon.”

    “Now I have no ill-will towards the new voice. I’ve heard him. He does a fine job. And he’s just an actor like me trying to make a living, so good for him! I DO, however, have issue with Sega for having no grace in letting me go from my position. That’s life, you could say, but you know, in MY life, you treat people with respect. And I believe five years of giving my all to the little blue hedgehog (and to all the fans!) deserved a little more respect. So Sega, goodbye and good luck. Sounds like you’ll get along fine with 4Kids when you do business that way.”

    You can just tell hes very hurt by his replacement, this is just sad

    and recently this

    “I have always loved voicing SONIC. And despite EVERYTHING that you may read or hear, I would go back to voicing Sonic in a heartbeat. But unfortunately, it’s not up to me. I have called. I have emailed. I have even had a meeting with someone from Sega (not allowed to say who). But they are a mutli-zillion dollar corporation, and there are hundreds of people that have input on every move the company makes. There’s politics, contracts, favoritism, egos, etc that all play into this. So just “getting my job back” is FARRRRR from easy. And there’s only so much I can do to help that process. It’s a deep, deep issue. And DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY HAVE HEARD, I’ve been doing alot to try and get back into the game, as it were.”

    This is why it would be wrong to give anyone BUT ryan the job back.
    He was committed he listened and spoke with fans, and he loved sonic.

    I cant imagine how sad i would feel if this happened to me.

    Im sure Jason at some point knew about replacing Ryan, does no on else see this as the wrong thing to do?

    Im sorry for ranting everyone, but i just want to talk constructively about this issue thats bothered me for years.

    Its sad when your playing as who should be your childhood hero and this is what you think about.
    Sonic wasnt just a game to me, he was my hero.
    And for what i beleive he is meant to be, he still is.

  65. Quote Radioactive Puppy: “I can’t imagine another voice coming from the blue blur’s mouth.”

    Try Jaleel White!

    I would seriously soil myself if they drag him back in to do the voice of sonic.

  66. Sorry, I posted allot of that last post by mistake.
    I did not mean to post that much info about the SAVE SONIC boards.
    Just certain quotes

  67. @Daniel Butler

    Holy balls dude! That’s not a wall of text, that’s a GREAT WALL OF CHINA TEXT. But I skimmed and got the gist of what you are saying, and it is unfair SEGA did not contact Ryan when the fired him.

  68. I know im sorry i must of copy and pasted a huge section of the site i was quoting from by mistake. But i guess if you really want to know the whole story there it is lol.us One again my apologies, i dont mean to piss anyone off.

  69. If this is true, it’s quite a shame, since Griffith’s been voicing Sonic lonnger than Drummond has.

    Well, at least Mike Pollock’s staying.

  70. @Daniel Butler

    Don’t worry you didn’t piss me off, it’s just a very large amount of text for someone to read at 5am xD

  71. awww I actually prefer Griffith to Drummond (Yeah go on sue me) so I hope its just a rumour….at least Eggman will keep his voice

  72. @ Daniel Butler

    After playing through heroes and the GBA games again… I’m starting to take back what I said. Around 2003 and 4, the voice actors did amazing jobs and were very enthusiastic (even stuffy nosed Tails…)

  73. @Daniel Butler

    I’ve got to thank you for that mistake of putting all that info here, because I actually never knew why they changed voice actors… this is really a shame. It’s so sad and just not right. So, one again it’s all 4kids’ fault. Even more reasons to hate ’em :/

    Um, back to topic… Personally, I really liked Griffith as Sonic (Drummon was better, gotta agree to that), and it’d be mean to fire him just like that… it should be hard to find another actor for Sonic, and I sincerely hope it’s NOT going to be Mr. Hotel-Guy D:

  74. I’d lol if they pulled a Spyro the Dragon and just threw a random celebrity voice in for Sonic. But that would be kinda pointless for a game with few speaking parts. And expensive.

  75. Shame, I really like him as Sonic, he really suits him I think. At least in the last few games anyway. But I look forward to seeing who replaces him, and I hope they don’t give in to the dickheads like Spax 3 and bring the old guy back, every time he spoke he would make me cringe.

    Hey you know who I think should do it? The guy who does Ratchet in Ratchet & Clank.

    @Daniel Butler lots of people love their jobs. Just because somebody loved an old job doesn’t mean you should give them it back. It’s not effective at all to pay to transport a guy all the way to New York every time they need a recording.

  76. So the rumours are coming true just as i guessed… New voice or Mute.

    I say Sonic mute for colours, then for his 20th sonic has a new voice actor.

    Just to finish this year off with sonic mute, like the public/fans wanted sonic with a new voice in Sega racing but Steve couldn’t do it ,so the fans got the mute voice option which funny enough alot of people used muting Jason and co’s voices, so new etc makes sense because why have Jason when nearly the public (apart from a small amount of sonic fans that like him) don’t like him as sonic the hedgehog , everyone mostly used Japan option and mute options which makes his work pretty much pointless.

  77. I was getting so used to griffin’s voice. I’m scared that the new voice might be worse….
    At least mike is staying.
    But definitely not mute!

  78. I think my biggest problem with Griffith is that he voices too many other characters outside of the Somkc franchise. It’s too recognizable as being the voice of other characters. When I hear his voice as Sonic I know I’m listening to a VA because I hear that voice too much. I want Sonic’s voice to be clearly SONIC’S VOICE.

  79. This would be a big shame,
    it was hard to accept him at first, but i now truly think Griffith is just as good as Drummond ever was.

  80. Contrary to what alot of people say, I’ll acutally be sad to see him go. Griffith has gotten alot of crap from people for his pertrayal as Sonic, but I’v pretty much got used to hearing his voice, and imo, I think he’s improved quite a bit since Sonic X.

    Anyway, if this rumour proves true, I wonder if Sega will rehire Ryan Drummond or look for somebody else?

  81. I could care less at this point about the voice roles… Drummond was awesome, but lacked a certain feeling, Griffith has a nice tone, but is poor when it comes to sounding angry/sad/ any kind of extreme emotion. And that laugh…
    What really matters to me though are the games themselves. If Griffith leaves, so be it, I just hope they can get someone DECENT. Doesn’t have to be phenominal, as long as the games are worth playing.

  82. I hope Griffith doesn’t leave… I never minded him, and at this point, if they change the voice it won’t even sound like the Sonic I know anymore. 🙁

    And also, *points at tags* …I see what you did there.

  83. Maybe they should take the Mario route, in that Sonic only says a few things during gameplay and the rest is text based, coz nothing beats the voice in your head that talks when you read stuff. 😛

  84. @ Sam
    Get your facts strait.

    Ryan said this

    “I would have GLADLY re-located to New York for as long as was needed, even if I had to pay my own way there.”

    Thats how passionate he was about it, he was willing to MOVE to New York to voice Sonic.

    Everyone just got used to The way Sonic Portrayed Griffith.
    When this issue first sparked up the VAST majority wanted drummond back.
    this is totally unfair to people like me that fell in love with the sonic drummond portrayed.
    Yes, if griffith is Replaced then its unfair to you guys too…But I feel he should of never accepted the role in the first place.

    @BD3
    Dont you see?
    That signals towards a POOR voice actor, your not supposed to be able to easily tell its the same guy.

    also

    “Drummond: Only Sonic. The folks at Sega didn’t really want me lending my voice to any other character, just to concentrate on being the best Sonic I could be! The only exception to this rule was made for SONIC SHUFFLE, where I also did the voice of Knuckles.”

    Back then SEGA cared more about that issue.
    Now there willing to be cheap and get griffith to voice multiple characters.

  85. I actually have a feeling this was blown out of proportion, Griffith Never said he wasnt doing the voice, he probably just wasnt contacted yet.

  86. @DC111
    THIS is how I FREEKING felt when this happened to me.
    dont you see this?

    By saying this your admitting that you feel like its a DIFFERENT CHARACTER if its a different voice.
    Imagine being a Sonic fan Since sonic 1 like me, and then they hire drummond and all your dreams about the best Sonic voice actor come true. Then Hes FIRED.
    Is it really morally right to want Jason back if your supporting what happened to me?
    Is it morally right for me to want Ryan back, I see it as a YES, Because Jason was morally wrong in even accepting the role in the first place, but as i stated i do feel sympothy for you.

  87. people if you listen to sonic juping and Changing rails in the demo you can clearly hear griffiths sonic shouts and lets not forget this is a demo of the game jason and mike have said that they cant spaek out about it and if mike is in it than Jason is staying Ryan is dead and burried

  88. If they replace him with Ryan again, I’m fine with that.

    Just as long as he doesn’t do lines like the infamous “Look out, Tails! You’re gonna crash! Aah!”

  89. oh and ive spoken to lisa ortiz and pete zarutisica amy and bigs voice actors on facebook they told me that they recorded new clips for allstar racing so thats further proof that jason is going to be stayin

  90. @inferno the Fox
    “Just as long as he doesn’t do lines like the infamous “Look out, Tails! You’re gonna crash! Aah!”

    Dont blame Ryan for bad script writing, Ryan did NOT WRITE THE SCRIPT.

    Think about it, if you were givin that line…you wouldnt of been able to do much better, thats just a poor script line.

    I think part of it is just the way sonics face looks too when he says it, its just all around cheezy.
    Haha
    I think its funny though, it doesn’t really bother me.

  91. I for one will be sad to see him go if that is the case, i feel his voice has come on quite well in both Sonic Unleashed and SatBK.
    I honestly couldn’t think of any other person better suited to Sonic’s role, Drummond did an alright job, but looking back now i personally feel it sounds too mature for the character of Sonic. Gritffith has a much more cocky attitude that suits him better. But that’s just my opinion.

    I hoping tomorrows BIG news isn’t all bad as i’m beginning to wonder now =(

  92. I hope Griffith stays. My first Sonic game was Shadow the Hedgehog (somehow I became a fan), so Griffith’s first voice acting ingame was my first Sonic voice. It fits Sonic in my mind, and I’d feel sad if he’s been dropped.

  93. I liked griffith compared to some of the other voice actors for sonic.
    However If the other voice actors leave- including griffith, I wish Scott Dreier would come back. I practically drooled over the voice acting of knuckles in Sonic Adventure 2…

  94. Worried? Not at all. You couldn’t really hear the difference between Drummund and Griffiths, so hopefully/probably there will be little difference between Griffiths and a new VA should that really happen.
    I hope. I do like Sonic’s voice…

  95. @Daniel Butler

    I’m not entirely sure if that’s Griffith’s voice on the ride. It doesn’t sound quite like him… I’m not sure, he sounds too much like a radio announcer to be Sonic.

  96. @Random If you listen to lines like lets go, and certain words he says, it sounds like Griffith.

    @Tailsthehedgehog

    Listen to these back to back
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVVVudAV1IQ&playnext_from=TL&videos=VtC3gOW0HoU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djucfJLEr68

    If you dont hear a difference, i reccomend getting your hearing checked, Im not being mean, im serious.

    @CTOONfan1
    The first Voice you heard was Jasons and the first game you played was one with Jason so it makes since you would like that portrayal of sonic, but thats totally unfair to people like me who loved Ryan.
    Obviously the voice change was unexpected, i thought ryan would play sonic forever…They never changed junichi SEGA chose drummond for a reason.
    4kids chose the actors for Sonic X
    Who do you think is gonna make the most thought out descision
    the creators of Sonic or 4kids, the dubbing company that butchers most animes.

  97. I honestly feel Jason is the best.

    In my opinion, Ryan was only good in SA2. After that though, he sounded too… I dunno. He just didn’t sound the way he used to.

    Jason on the other hand, got better over time. Just listen to a Sonic X Clip and a recent clip (I believe Black Knight or Unleashed would be the best examples at the moment)

  98. Ooh, looks like you’ll be having your hands full tonight, TSS. You get any blighters, just send them my way and I’ll bring them into line with my patented psycho arguments. 😉

  99. I dunno why my last comment wasn’t approved, but allow me put fears to rest and answer questions.

    @Butler: That’s definitely not Butler. That’s Marc Silk, a “stock voice actor” who does all sorts of things, adverts included.

    And since he’s based in the UK, there’s no way that he has even a glimmer of a chance to become Sonic’s official voice.

  100. I say bring back Ryan Drummond since most fans obviously want him back to voice Sonic again. In fact, Sega should just bring back the original cast. The 4Kids cast makes the characters sound too childish. Sonic should be marketed for children, teenagers, or adults, depending on what kind of Sonic game is made. Ryan made Sonic sound like a cool and confident teenager hero, while Jason made him sound slower filled helium gas. It shouldn’t be about what Sega wants, it should be about what the consumers want. As far as I can tell, Ryan should be cast back into his deserving role.

  101. I don’t get you guys, most Sonic fans wanted Jasons to leave and know when he is leaving you want him to stay.To me, I don’t mind if it’s better for Sonic but I still feel bad for Jasons.

  102. Yeah its become quite clear to me that it seems most people these days want jason to stay. Maybe its partially because any ryan fan that comes along now gets associated with spax, which is very sad to me considering im not spax and never will be. Or maybe its because each year that goes by there are becoming more and more fans that heard jason first, so the fell in love with that portrayol of sonic. Itsp also becoming clear that most people are to lazy to research the drummond matter in depth and really ask themselves if its right or not to support the current voice. Sonic is my childhood hero and im completely confident that much of the way hesitance currently portrayed is not what the creators fully intended. Aside from the occasional game like sonic 4 where sonic is mute, i feel like my childhood hero has been stripped away from me. I guess im just the extremely unfortunate odd man out.

  103. Nooo! Jason is the best Sonic voice ever! Though it was a little weird in “Sonic and the Secret Rings”

    He shouldnt go.

    Also. Drummond is nothing compared to Jason.

  104. Bring back Jaleel White! >:I
    But seriously, I feel so bad for Jason. He was really good! D:
    Stupid fanbase wouldn’t stop complaining about him….
    And the reason those of us who liked Jason didn’t say anything was because everyone else would flip and tear our faces off. xD

  105. But that doesn’t mean anything. That image from facebook says what Jason said… but it doesn’t mean he’s retiring for good. :/

  106. there dropping 4kids. only Mike Pollock (right spelling?) is staying. Drummond back… please…!

  107. @ Daniel Butler

    You’re not the only who wants Drummond back, don’t worry. I myself am not so angered by their choice for Sonic’s new actor, just that they didn’t seem to even consider getting Drummond back, who people have complained for years needs to return.

    Griffith’s fanbase is made of fans who got into Sonic with the crappy anime series or Shadow the Hedgehog/06. Expect the same shitstorm to stir up about this new guy, too. Eventually SEGA will realize that their original casting for Sonic’s voice was the best.

  108. @RockXLight

    Finally someone who gets it.

    Oh btw add me on aim @ sk8almostmullen
    or skype The Danimator

    Anyone who wants to have a constructive argument about this that disagrees, lets chat.

  109. I just had to do this…….

    RUMOUR PROVEN TRUE……
    Sonic has a new voice actor…… again….. at least for Sonic Colours.

  110. @rockxlight umm noooo! I played Sa2b before anything else and I’m a Jason fan! Now most places you see ask for Jason and most used to be Ryan fans think he sounds wierd compared to jasons awesomeness! All you Ryan fans would spaz out at any comment having to do with a Jason fan! Guess what I think Jason rox and think he’s the best! Let people have their own opinions and quit spazing out at any comment having to do with us Jason fans which by the way is a lot! Jason FTW ! And I’m not scared to say I want Jason back! Any Ryan fan can feel free to spaz scream an cuss me out as much as you want cause I don’t really care! Ryan was ok though

  111. I’m sorry if I’m offending anyone, but I frankly hated Drummond except in SA2, in which he was perfect. But I began to love the way Griffith potrayed Sonic and Shadow as of Unleashed and Black Knight. What’s this I hear about Griffith being wrong to accept the role? NO! Whoever found that quote about Drummond willing to move to New York to voice Sonic, it’s fake. Drummond refused to voice Sonic in X and Shadow the Hedgehog because he said that he had developed a hatred for Sonic as a character and game. 4Kids followed suit and got rid of the rest of the actors and replaced them with new ones who were rusty at first, but eventually became more talented than the originals. As for Sonic having less speaking roles, I personally feel that would be taking away valuable parts of Sonic’s character and the storyline.

  112. @Talio17

    Wtf
    Dude you are totally either a LIAR or getting FALSE information.
    If you go on drummonds myspace, sonic is on his top friends even

    your information is completely false.

    If you disagree PROVE WHERE YOU GOT IT.

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