For the last 10 years, barring the occasional movie, one man alone has stood as Sonic the Hedgehog’s iconic voice—Robert Craig Smith. But after a 10-year run (no pun intended) in shows and video games, that’s coming to an end. Future iterations of animated Sonic will never sound the same.
If you’re not familiar with Smith’s take on Sonic, you might be surprised by what you hear if you delve into his many entries, including Sonic Boom. During the ’90s, the few cartoons with Sonic featured an attitude-filled, wise-cracking, and sassing personality. But Craig’s take was more subtle and measured.
Welp, 10 years was an amazing run.
Onward to new zones!
Much love to the fans who've been so kind.💙
It's been an honor.
— Roger Craig Smith (@RogerCraigSmith) January 28, 2021
That led to brilliant jokes, like an episode of Sonic Boom that led to this hilarious exchange where you’ll hear Roger’s actual voice for a rare, brief moment:
Smith first took up the role in 2010 for Sonic Free Riders and held on through Team Sonic Racing. He voices the character in animated series, video games, and even a couple of quick cameos for the two Wreck-it Ralph movies. Even Nintendo got in on the action, inviting him to voice Sonic for the Smash Bros. games.
For over 10 years, Roger Craig Smith has been an integral part of the SEGA family. He brought the voice of Sonic to life, and we are forever grateful for his never-ending enthusiasm in helping the community and spreading joy.
Thank you, Roger, for all you've done for Sonic.
— Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) January 28, 2021
The notable exception is the recent Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Ben Schwartz of Parks and Recreation and Duck Tales fame provided a voice closer to Sonic’s more arrogant days. Smith’s departure announcement came through his Twitter account, with confirmation coming from SEGA not long after. It’s unclear who will replace him in future roles, but whoever that might be, they have big red shoes to fill.