The New ‘Rick and Morty’ Voice Actors Are Better Than Justin Roiland At, Well, Acting
Justin Roiland used to think that his vocal talent made him irreplaceable. But thanks to his replacements, Roiland’s voice is now forgettable.
After an intense and challenging six-month audition process, actors Ian Cardoni and Harry Belden landed the titular roles of Rick and Morty respectively leading up to the show’s so-far well-received seventh season. With only four episodes left before Rick and Morty’s next and, hopefully, much less eventful offseason, the fanbase’s reception of the recast has been overwhelmingly positive as the show enjoys a level of enthusiasm from its audience that was decidedly missing from recent years. Improved writing and Dan Harmon’s decision to relax his approach to running the show are largely responsible for much of the upturn in quality, but the strong performances of the new Rick and Morty continue to draw appropriate praise from fans and critics alike — so much so, that some of them can’t believe anyone else ever played the parts.
At the beginning of Season Seven, many fans claimed that Cardoni and Belden’s voices for Rick and Morty were virtually identical to those of Justin Roiland. Now, a rising sentiment in the Rick and Morty fandom suggests that there is, in fact, a noticeable difference between the old and new actors — Roiland didn’t have Cardoni and Belden’s range.
Though Roiland famously hasn’t had any part in plotting out the series since Season Three, it’s worth noting that his unusual employment situation during his final three seasons on Rick and Morty likely had some effect on the sorts of stories the writers could attempt to tackle. Like many modern workers, Roiland insisted on a work-from-home setup that allowed him to record his voice parts from his house and send them in sans notes or direction. Asking for an emotionally demanding, Emmy-worthy performance from a guy who refuses to show up to the studio or answer emails was probably about as entertaining a prospect to episode writers as turning “Rickdependence Spray” into a spin-off series.
It’s rumored that Season Seven was already written by the time Roiland left Rick and Morty, but the fan speculation that Roiland’s removal paved the way for more emotionally impactful storylines would make sense considering the bombshells the show already dropped this year regarding the return of Unity and Rick Prime. As expected, Cardoni has been asked to carry the brunt of the serious acting work as the voice of Rick Sanchez, but Belden’s ability to execute the whirlwind that is Morty and his variants has impressed fans ever since the show remembered that Morty was a main character two episodes ago.
As a whole, the passionate performances from Cardoni and Belden have, thus far, shown a level of care, commitment and professionalism that was sorely lacking from Rick and Morty under Roiland’s lackadaisical approach to acting. Hopefully, future seasons will further explore Cardoni and Belden’s range as the writers’ confidence in their new stars continues to grow and Roiland’s former performances slide into forgettable territory.
After all, that guy’s Instagram DMs were more devastating than any of his voice roles.