Jason Adam Griffith is an American voice actor who was the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog, Shadow the Hedgehog and Jet the Hawk from 2005 until 2010. He has worked as a voice actor for 4Kids Entertainment, where he voiced a variety of characters in a variety of shows.
Voice acting career
In 2010, Sega announced that they were replacing the entire voice cast (except for Mike Pollock who would keep on voicing Dr. Eggman). Sonic's new voice actor is Roger Craig Smith, starting with Sonic Free Ridersand Sonic Colors. The new voices for Shadow and Jet are provided by Kirk Thornton and Michael Yurchak, respectively. However, Griffith has still voiced Sonic for commercials for the CW4kids' program block, Toonzai, which was recorded after the new cast was announced.
After leaving the Sonic cast, Jason voiced the lead role of the Gym Leader Cilan in the Pokémon Best Wishes anime as well as co-staring in the podcast 'Casterstheshow' as seen on YouTube.
Since the decision to replace the original cast with the 4Kids staff, there has been a much debated war mainly over the internet on who is the better voice actor for Sonic and Shadow. Primarily in the beginning, Griffith's voice has been highly criticized for lacking the emotion that Ryan Drummond had brought to Sonic, but some have also praised it for making him sound older. Sonic the Werehog's voice was mostly praised in Sonic Unleashed, with many saying Griffith fit the role perfectly. His voice for Shadow has been received with much praise, some saying he has captured Shadow's dark, emotionless and somewhat smug demeanor perfectly. Many fans also felt Griffith did a much better job as Sonic in Sonic Unleashed and Sonic and the Black Knightthan he did in previous games. Despite the rough start Griffith had as Sonic, fans have started to warm up to him more even after the cast change which many fans felt was unnecessary since they felt that he finally perfected Sonic and was receiving less complaints about his voice. It should be noted that Jason is, the most favorable voice for both Sonic and Shadow so far, according to polls on the Behind The Voice Actors website.
- In July 2009, Jason and Mike Pollock (the current voice actor for Eggman) attended a chat session with over 120 fans.
- In the session, he said he originally auditioned for Christopher Thorndyke because he was a huge Sonic fan and wanted to see what it felt like to be Sonic's human companion, but a producer and representative from Sega felt he sounded more like Sonic and ultimately gave him the role.
- He also stated that there is no tension between him and Ryan Drummond. In fact, he is good friends with Ryan.
- He also told about how he became Shadow during a recording of One Piece. A recording engineer told him he should audition for Shadow using a dark voice trying to match David Humphrey's and got it.
- He also said that the role of Jet the Hawk was something that SEGA wanted him to do.
- He said the Sonic games he owns are Sonic 1-3 + Knuckles, CD, and Unleashed (which is his favorite).
- He also says out of all the roles he has done, Sonic is his favorite.
- He also said that Sonic was his first ever voice acting role. He originally came to New York to study theater and heard about the Sonic X auditions, which led to his career as a voice actor.
- In November 2010, he attended Sonicon, a Sonic-themed convention in Texas with Lisa Ortiz, Mike Pollock, and Pete Capella.
- He revealed that since he was 6 he has always wanted to be an actor, in both live action and voice. He would use a camera to record himself acting and doing various voices.
- He stated that he felt the voice he used for Sonic during Sonic X didn't feel right to him but it's how both 4Kids and Sega wanted him to sound.
- He also stated that 4Kids brought in the Japanese voice directors of Sonic Team to co-direct the English voices for Sonic 2006, Unleashed and the Mario & Sonic series.
- When asked if he ever met Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario, he simply replied, "No."
- A VIP got footage of Jason quoting a line from Sonic Colors in his Sonic voice.
- He is currently the longest running English voice actor for Sonic, having voiced him for a total of seven years (two in the anime, five in the video games) and is still voicing Sonic for some promotions.
- He was the first English voice actor to play Sonic in both animation and games.
- He is often referred to among fans as Jason Anthony Griffith, because of his credit under that name. However, this is the name of an entirely different actor. This Jason's real middle name is Adam.
- Jason's favorite line to say as Sonic is: "Kids, don't use Formula One race cars to chase hedgehogs.".
- The current Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka said he met Jason when recording for Sonic Unleashedwhen a fan asked him about it at Sonic Boom.