Earlier this year, voice actor Roger Craig Smith tweeted he was vacating the role of Sonic the Hedgehog after a decade of lending his voice to the character. Smith, who had voiced Sonic in the games and cartoon series since 2010, tweeted a heartfelt goodbye with an image of a broken blue heart in January. Smith followed up that tweet last month with an image of a mended blue heart and the announcement that he is back.
The announcement from Smith came the day before Sonic Central, a livestream event from Sega and Sonic Team announcing several projects and brand collaborations. “I can’t fully express my gratitude for the [Sonic the Hedgehog] crew and community,” the tweet said. “I hope to honor your support and passion as I’m officially back voicing Sonic the Hedgehog in games. Can’t wait for ya to see what we have planned! THANK YOU…from the bottom of my blue heart.”
The following day, when Sonic Central aired on YouTube, Smith was featured in a segment following the announcement of Sonic Colors: Ultimate, a remaster of one of Smith’s first projects as the Blue Blur. Smith appeared on screen to announce Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps, a two-part animated series taking place in the world of Sonic Colors. “This two-part animation is the first of some short-form animations coming your way that will feature full dialogue from the Sonic voice cast,” Smith said in the Sonic Central stream. “In this, you follow Sonic and Tails to Sweet Mountain as they meet up with their new friend, the Jade Ghost Wisp, to free all the captured Wisps from the evil Dr. Eggman and his robot henchmen.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen animated shorts from the Sonic universe. In the last few years, we’ve received shorts surrounding the releases of Sonic Mania and Team Sonic Racing. However, those animated shorts were not voiced. With Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps, the direction seems to be heading towards the more traditional, voiced approach to animation, featuring the voice actors fans know from the games.
Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps debuts this summer, but that’s not all we’re getting from Sonic over the next several months. Sonic Colors: Ultimate launches on September 7, while we’ll learn more about two other projects coming from Sega with Sonic Origins and the untitled next mainline game from Sonic Team.