Following an impressive run at the box office ($375 million worldwide), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is now available to purchase on Digital. The film pitted its titular character against Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), who, after being trapped in a different world at the end of 2020's Sonic the Hedgehog, returned to Earth to exact revenge on the blue hero — this time with the help of Knuckles (Idris Elba). Luckily, Sonic had help in the form of his family, Tom and Maddie (James Marsden and Tika Sumpter, respectively) and his new pal Tails (Colleen O'Shaughnessey).
To celebrate the home-media release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, I got the opportunity to voice Sonic for a snippet of a scene from the film. The sequence in question features the blue hero battling Knuckles (Idris Elba) in Siberia. As it's to be expected from the ever over-confident Sonic, he pokes fun at his rival as he slides down a mountain. You can check out the clip below:
The experience was remarkably fun, but was also, of course, only a small fraction of the fascinating and challenging process that is voice acting. During an interview with Radio Times in 2020, Sonic voice actor Ben Schwartz (an experienced voice performer with roles in Bob's Burgers and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) opened up about what taking on a role that's had so many recognizable performers entailed:
"I've been very fortunate, where I played Dewey in Duck Tales, which is a show I grew up watching. Played Leonardo in [Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]. In this one, it was another one where it's like, so many great voice actors have played this role. I wanted to make sure that I just made the fans happy. Because I know they're very passionate and they really care about this character. So, I wanted to make sure that when the fans heard my voice, they felt excited and proud that, finally, Sonic gets a movie, and that they love the way he looks and he sounds."
In the same interview, Schwartz discussed the pressure that comes with playing Sonic, and how he crafted his performance to make it as authentic as possible: "I think there [are] some lines that you feel the pressure. [...] 'I gotta go fast' is a line that Sonic has said in different things. So, I was like, 'Oh, I gotta nail that.' And also, for me, because I love Marvel movies and DC movies, there are scenes where it's like a big action sequence between [Robotnik] and Sonic, and I didn't want it to feel phony. [...] So, the pressure I felt was mostly on those scenes, those set pieces."
To further illustrate the work and thought process behind voice acting, in an exclusive interview with ComicBookMovie.com, we asked Tails voice actor Colleen O'Shaugnessey (who's played the character in video games and television series since 2014) whether she felt it necessary to change her approach to Tails from video games for Sonic the Hedgehog 2. She stated she didn't, but did keep in mind the film marked the begining of the relationship between Sonic and his friend:
"I didn't feel like I had to anything different, other than hear what the situation was, or what the script was calling for, or where we were headed. And Jeff [Fowler] was great about explaining in this Sonic universe of the films where Tails fit in, and where we were. We were at the beginning of [Sonic and Tail's] relationship, so that was a little bit different. But as far as the way that I approached Tails, it was pretty much the same."
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is now available for purchase on Digital, and will be available to buy on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on August 9, 2022.