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Troy Baker and John DiMaggio are two of the most prolific voice actors of our generation. Between the two of them, they have nearly 400 voice actor credits. Many of these credits are for multiple voices on one particular show/movie/game. It is no secret that Troy Baker plays a major role in just about every action game released in the last year. John DiMaggio’s voices have dominated children’s television, with roles in Adventure Time, Kim Possible, Codename: Kids Next Door, Chowder, etc. And yet, even though each focuses on a different media, I have traced many of my favorite voices from games/movies/TV shows to either Troy Baker or John DiMaggio. How in ze hell?
As I started looking over each actor’s resume, I noticed that they actually directly compare in a number of categories. Both have played the Joker. Both have played major roles in Final Fantasy games. Both have played lead characters in a popular video game series. Both are all over the video games/TV shows/movies dealing with comic book superheroes. Both offer considerable contributions to video games, TV and movies, which differentiates them from other talented voice actors like Seth MacFarlane, Trey Parker, and Dan Castellaneta, who tend to focus on just television.
So that got me thinking a little bit. Which has the more impressive resume? Which is more identifiable and unique? Which is your personal favorite?
As an editor for a video-game website, I am obviously going to be a little biased. I will do my very best to make a fair case for each of them, and you, the reader, can decide the winner.
It is pretty easy to give the nod to DiMaggio in this category. He is most notable for his lengthy run as Bender Rodriguez on Futurama, and only slightly less famous for his role as Jake on Adventure Time. According to IMDB, he has almost 200 television credits as both a voice actor and a conventional actor. Here are some examples:
Troy Baker does put up a bit of a fight with small roles in the English dubs of Japanese Anime shows such as Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Bleach, Naruto, and Soul Eater. I found this funny little clip of his small role in Soul Eater as Excalibur, the mighty weapon of Arthurian legend.
Perhaps a little one-sided so far, but it will even out. Let’s move on.
If I would have written this a year ago, it may have actually been close. Both had minor roles in Star Wars: The Old Republic, various fighting games, and the Marvel/DC games, which I will get into later. DiMaggio starred as Marcus Fenix in the Gears of War series. Baker had just played Jake Muller in Resident Evil 6. DiMaggio was Wakka in Final Fantasy X, and Baker was Snow in Final Fantasy XIII. The list goes on.
But then, 2013 happened. Baker was without question the most accomplished video game voice actor of the past year, with starring roles in 4 triple A releases. He played Booker DeWitt in BioShock: Infinite, Joel in The Last of Us, one of the options for The President in Saints Row IV, and the Joker in Batman: Arkham Origins. The Last of Us and BioShock were both massive hits both critically and financially, with Arkham and Saints Row also achieving considerable success. With another starring role in a major title (Infamous: Second Son) on the way, and a credit as the cult favorite Revolver Ocelot in the upcoming Metal Gear game, Baker isn’t quite ready to let go of the tight grip he has on the industry.
Various Marvel/DC Roles
Both actors have had tons of roles on shows/movies/games based off of Marvel and DC comics. I will do my best to list some of the major ones here:
There are some badass characters in both lists, but who really cares?
The real point of this section is dedicated to the only real head to head matchup these two have: the Joker.
DiMaggio portrayed the joker in Batman: Under the Red Hood, which was a really solid straight-to-DVD movie which pitted the heroes (and villains to some extent) of Gotham against a mysterious figure in a red hood. The Joker doesn’t get a lot of screen time, but DiMaggio does a great job creating his own version of the villain. I am a member of the large “Mark Hamill is THE Joker” camp, but I appreciated DiMaggio distancing himself from that version of the character.
Baker went a different direction entirely. He went from working with Hamill on the second Arkham game to replacing him as the younger version of the Joker in the third game. Baker’s voice work is almost identical to Hamill’s, which I find very impressive simply because it had been attempted and failed before (see the Mortal Kombat vs DC and the second Brave and the Bold entries here) . Baker indicated in this interview that he looked up to Hamill, and sought to offer an homage to Hamill rather than simply duplicate him. You be the judge after viewing this incredible live reading from the 2013 New York Comic-Con (skip ahead to the 2 minute mark if you don’t want to hear them chatting).
Well there you have it. Here are the links to Troy Baker’s IMDB and John DiMaggio’s IMDB. You may have to do some additional hunting around as not all of their credits are listed. So, if you HAD to pick one, which would you choose? Or do you just outright refuse to pick because they are so different and good/bad in their own ways?
I suppose that is an option. Both are alive and well, and both are going to continue working often. Use the comment section to explain your answer/lack of one or to add to/subtract from any of my information.
Originally posted on Corrupted Cartridge