Sean Christian Schemmel is a voice actor, Automated Dialog Replacement (ADR) director, and screenwriter from America. One of the most renowned figures in the field, his impressive résumé encompasses both eastern and western animation, video games, and audiobooks. A native of Iowa, Schemmel got his start in voice acting in 1999 when he was cast as the voice of Goku, King Kai, Nail, Mr. Musuka, and Vegito in the English dub of ‘Dragon Ball Z’. He followed that up by lending his voice to Rick in ‘Blue Gender’. In the subsequent years, he has provided the voice for Gaston and Conrad in ‘Berserk’; Bone Cold in ‘Ultimate Muscle’; Amidamaru, Rio, and Nichrom in ‘’Shaman King’, Robert, Morrison, Cyrus, and Lampent, Lucario in ‘Pokémon’; Helmeppo, Hatchan, Chabo, Kuroobi, and Dr. Indigo in ‘One Piece’, and several characters in the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise. He made his western animation debut in 2003 in ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ and film debut in 2014 in ‘Time of Eve’. In 2015, Schemmel won the Behind The Voice Actors (BTVA) Anime Dub Movie/Special Voice Acting Award for Best Male Lead Vocal Performance in an Anime Feature Film/Special for providing the voice of Goku in ‘Dragon Ball Z: Doragonbôru Z - Kami to Kami’.
Childhood & Early Life
Sean Schemmel was born on November 21, 1968, in Waterloo, a city in the county seat of Black Hawk County, Iowa, United States. He grew up learning to sing and play various musical instruments.
After finishing school, he started playing the French horns and taught music. Having done voiceovers, he was pressured by his friends to answer a casting call for ‘Dragon Ball Z’. This was his first audition and surprisingly enough, he had never seen himself as a professional voice artist until he attended his first session. According to Schemmel, it felt like he had come home.
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Sean Schemmel stated his career as the voice of adult Goku in the Funimation dub of the Dragon Ball anime franchise. The show lasted four years and played an instrumental part in reintroducing ‘Dragon Ball Z’ to international fans. Besides Goku, Schemmel voiced King Kai, Nail, Mr. Musuka, and Vegito.
In 2001, he was hired to voice the cocky confident military elite Rick in Ryōsuke Takahashi’s ‘Blue Gender’. The following year, he joined the cast of ‘Berserk’, ‘Ultimate Muscle’, and ‘Yu YuHakusho’.
He was equally active in 2003, lending his voice to various roles in ‘Hades Project Zeorymer’, ‘Samurai Deeper Kyo’, ‘Space Pirate Mito’, ‘Sadamitsu the Destroyer’, and ‘Shaman King’. He also began his career as a scriptwriter in 2003.
One of the most significant opportunities in his career also came in 2003. He became part of the cast of the 4Kids dub of ‘Pokémon’. Voicing characters such as Robert, Morrison, Cyrus, Lampent, and, Lucario, he was attached to the show until 2015.
From 2003 to 2009, he was part of the cast of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’, his first American animated show. He voiced a plethora of characters, including Yukio Mashimi, Constable Biggles, and Sh'Okanabo.
His next important project was ‘One Piece’, in which he voiced Helmeppo, Hatchan, Chabo, Kuroobi, and Dr. Indigo. He had previously worked on the show between 1999 and 2001. Schemmel lent his voice to Onsokumaru in 12 episodes of ‘Ninja Nonsense’ and portrayed various characters in ‘F-Zero GP Legend’. In 2004, he joined another popular anime franchise, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’
He landed the role of Snake Eyes in ‘G.I. Joe: Sigma 6’ and later was cast as Chortles Chippopotamus in ‘Viva Piñata’. Between 2006 and 2009, he voiced Maxxor in three episodes of ‘Chaotic’. He portrayed Dickie Ranford, Racer X / Rex Racer, Dr.Chezko / Sparky, and the Narrator in ‘Speed Racer: The Next Generation’ (2008-09).
In 2010, he joined the cast of ‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’, voicing various characters. Schemmel was cast as Hawkman in the 2015 WB series ‘DC Super Friends’.
Schemmel considers the chance of portraying Bruce Wayne/Batman in the 2012 mobile game ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ to be a career highlight. Some of his other video-game portrayals are Wapol in ‘One Piece: Grand Adventure’ (2006), Maxwell in ‘Bullet Witch’ (2007), Horace in ‘Skullgirls’ (2012), Lucario in ‘Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U’ (2014), Nebula in ‘Natural Doctrine’ (2014), and Tread Head in the Skylanders franchise (2014-15).
He is also a prominent audiobook narrator. Active since 2008, he has won the Earphones Award for ‘The Big Splash’ (2008) by Jack D. Ferraiolo and the Audie Award for ‘I Suck at Girls’ (2013) by Justin Halper.
His first direct-to-video television film was the 2006 German-computer animated feature ‘Impy’s Island’. He then voiced the 1984 Raphael in ‘TMNT: Turtles Forever’. In 2016, he was cast as Dark Opal in ‘DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year’. A year later, he lent his voice to Mr. Salt and Mr. Turkentine in ‘Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’.
His theatrical debut, the 2014 release ‘Time of Eve’, was based on the six-episode ONA anime series of the same name. Schemmel portrayed Katoran, an outdated robot whose job is to take care of the family’s children.
Sean Schemmel has been portraying Goku for the last 19 years. Initially, he auditioned for 13 different voices, including those of Captain Ginyu of the Ginyu Force, Goku, King Kai, and Nail and still considers his audition for Captain Ginyu to be the best of the bunch. However, he was eventually cast as Goku and has been the most consistent English-speaking voice actor for the primary protagonist of the Dragon Ball franchise.
Voicing the adult and older teen variation of the character, he has been in every anime series, almost all films, direct-to-video television films, and video games since 1999. Besides Goku, the other important character he voices is King Kai.
Sean Schemmel has been married twice. His first marriage was to Melissa Denise Cox on November 20, 1993. The marriage ended in a divorce on February 19, 1998.
He married Melodee Lenz, the actress who provided the voice for Marron in the Dragon Ball franchise, on April 23, 1998. They split on May 3, 2001.