Truly palpable love for the small, furry, constantly-annoyed Rocket Raccoon broke out this past summer with the release of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but the truth is that Marvel has been spending years getting audiences ready for this characters. Over the last couple of years, Rocket went from being a relative nobody in the Marvel universe to being featured in all kinds of video games and animated shows – all to get fans aware and pumped for his big screen debut. In that time, Marvel hired a number of truly talented performers to bring him to life, and while all of you know who Bradley Cooper is, you may be surprised by who else has done it.
Since 2011, fans who have been following along with Marvel’s every move has seen many different interpretations of Rocket, with each actor taking a look at the character, seeing something different, and providing him with different accents and attitudes. But who exactly are these guys? We’ve taken it upon ourselves to break it down for you below.
Greg EllisWhile Bradley Cooper is the most well-known of the actors who have voiced Rocket, Greg Ellis has the distinction of being the first to do so. Creating a cockney version of the Guardians team member, Ellis most recently played him on a 2012 episode of the animated show The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but he first brought life to the diminutive hero in the video game Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds back in 2011. In addition to his voice acting credits, a list that includes titles like Batman: Brave and the Bold and Star Wars: Rebels, Ellis is also a live-action actor who will very soon be seen on the new season of the rebooted Hawaii Five-0.
Four more actors who voiced Rocket and the video that showcases each voice ahead...
Seth GreenSeth Green, who fans will recognize from a variety of projects ranging from Buffy The Vampire Slayer to Family Guy to Robot Chicken, has actually voiced Rocket in two different shows. In addition to an episode of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble that aired earlier this year, Green also put his vocal talents to work playing the character in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.. As an added bit of fun trivia, it’s also worth noting that Green was actually featured in Guardians of the Galaxy - he was the voice of Howard the Duck in the end credits.
Billy WestThere is only one place where you can hear Billy West’s interpretation of Rocket Raccoon, and that’s in an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man called simply "Guardians of the Galaxy," but it’s still pretty cool given that West is one of the best voce-actors of all time. Today he’s probably best known for his work on Futurama playing both Phillip J. Fry and Professor Farnsworth, but he has nearly 200 credits on his resume – including the great Ren and Stimpy. (It should be noted that actor Trevor Devall recently did the voice of Rocket on an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man called "The Return of the Guardians of the Galaxy")
John DiMaggioBilly West isn’t the only Futurama star to take a crack at voicing Rocket, as Bender himself has given it a go as well – albeit in video game form instead of animation. Veteran voice-actor John DiMaggio jumped into a recording booth last year to play the furry badass in Lego Marvel Super Heroes (a game that also featured him as J. Jonah Jameson, Kingpin, Thanos, Odin, Ronan The Accuser, and more). His connection with Marvel doesn’t end there either, as he has also been a part of Marvel's Avengers Assemble, Ultimate Spider-Man, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and many more animated titles over the years.
Steve BlumSteve Blum is credited with voicing Rocket in the 2013 video game Marvel Heroes - where he also played Wolverine, M. Sinister, Taskmaster and Sauron (like DiMaggio, he’s clearly a pretty good multitasker). Doing voice work since 1981, Blum has more than 500 titles on his resume and he’s still less than 50 years old. Some of you will be familiar with him from his part on the show The Legend of Korra, but those of you who go see The Boxtrolls this weekend will hear him as the "voices" of the trolls known as Shoe and Sparky.
Bradley CooperBradley Cooper is the name most of you will recognize, both because his version of Rocket is the most popular iteration of the character, and because he is an A-list movie star. He’s obviously much better known for his live-action work, but what may actually surprise you is that Guardians of the Galaxy was the first time he has done a voice role. After his performance, I imagine a lot more offers could come rolling in for him.
To hear every single one of these voices in action, thanks to YouTube user The Generation West, click thru to the next page!