James Arnold Taylor (born July 22, 1969 in Santa Barbara, California) is a voice actor in video games and film. He rose to prominence by providing English voice work in Square Enix's 2001 video game, Final Fantasy X as the game’s main protagonist, Tidus, a role he would reprise in all subsequent Final Fantasy media that featured the character.
James' other roles during this period include Ratchet in the Ratchet & Clank series (barring the original game), Leonardo from the 2007 TMNT film, Wooldoor Sockbat on the Comedy Central animated series Drawn Together, and voice-doubling for both Captain Jack Sparrow and Timon in Kingdom Hearts II.
Today, Taylor is best known for his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in various Star Wars media, usually as Ewan McGregor's audio double, though also doubling for Sir Alec Guinness in Rebels. He first voiced Obi-Wan in the Star Wars: Clone Wars micro-series and reprised his role in the video game adaption of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: Battlefront II, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and Star Wars Battlefront II (2017). To date, he has portrayed Obi-Wan more than both McGregor and Guinness.
Need an example of his acting range? Just check out this video and prepare to be amazed.
In 2018, he created Talking To Myself.
Not to be confused with folk singer James Taylor.
His notable roles:
- As himself in I Know That Voice
- Bob Huntington in Animal Crackers (2017)
- Milo Thatch in Atlantis: Milo's Return
- Gabriel "Gabe" Logan in Syphon Filter
- Captain Jack Sparrow and Timon in Kingdom Hearts II
- Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Battlefront II and Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)
- Ratchet in Ratchet & Clank
- Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Battle for New York, Spider-Man: Friend or Foe and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
- Tidus in Final Fantasy X, Dissidia Final Fantasy, Mobius Final Fantasy, World of Final Fantasy and Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
- Largo LeGrande in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge: Special Edition
- Yggdrasill and Gnome in Tales of Symphonia
- Young Emmett Brown in Telltale's Back to the Future: The Game
- Barry Allen/The Flash and General Sam Lane in LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes
- Boppy in Doc McStuffins
- Captain Cold in Justice League: The New Frontier
- Chet Brickton and the movie narrator in LEGO Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood
- Chip on Victor and Valentino
- Circuit Stream in Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters
- Cypher in Beware the Batman
- Eddie Felson/Speed Warp in Static Shock
- Leo Zucchini on Curious George
- Green Arrow and Guy Gardner in Batman: The Brave and the Bold
- Harry Osborn and Frederick Foswell in The Spectacular Spider-Man
- Johnny Test in Johnny Test
- King Sandy in Codename: Kids Next Door
- Leader on Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and Avengers Assemble
- Leonardo in TMNT
- Mort on Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!
- Mr. Bolhofner, Bertrand, and various other characters in The Loud House
- Mr. Doughtery and the store owner in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
- Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels
- Overload in Teen Titans (2003)
- Ratchet on Ratchet & Clank (2016)
- Shia LeBouf/Fake Slade Actor in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
- Skunk on My Friends Tigger & Pooh
- Sprig Speevak in The Fairly OddParents!
- Tippy Doorman in LEGO City Adventures
- Topo, Neutron and Flash (as The Other Darrin to George Eads), G. Gordon Goddfrey (replacing Tim Curry in season 3) in Young Justice
- Triton and Hydro Man on Ultimate Spider-Man
- Wooldoor Sockbat and the Jew Producer in Drawn Together
- Wretcher in Billy Dilley's Super Duper Subterranean Summer
- Chum Chum in Chip Chilla: The Thanksgiving Holiday Special
Tropes relating to James Arnold Taylor:
- Adam Westing: Tends to do this a lot in regards to his role as Tidus, particularly when it comes to the game's infamous "fake laughter" scene.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: According to his podcast, he keeps his language family-friendly and has a distaste for profanity. Surprisingly averted by Drawn Together.
- Full Circle Portraying: James voiced Spider-Man in the Ultimate Spider-Man (2005) video game's prequel, Spider-Man: Battle for New York and the Spider-Man Trilogy tie-in game Spider-Man: Friend or Foe. Josh Keaton voiced Harry Osborn in the video game adaptations of the first two Spider-Man movies and Friend or Foe. Their casting in The Spectacular Spider-Man is effective role swapping as Josh voiced Spidey and James Harry.
- I Am Not Spock: Many people know James as Obi-Wan Kenobi. In contrast to Sir Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor (sometimes), he wholeheartedly embraces his role as the iconic Jedi Master.
- Large Ham: Can sometimes become this.
- Man of a Thousand Voices: Virtually impossible to typecast, James has one of the largest vocal ranges in the voice acting industry. Here's a clip to boot. He even compared himself to Mel Blanc several times. This also means the following tropes also apply to him:
- The Other Marty:
- He recorded lines for The Fallen in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, but was dubbed over by Tony Todd. However, some of his vocal effects are left in, and he did voice him for the tie-in video game.
- He initially voiced the title character of Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja for the early episodes, but the role ended up with Ben Schwartz.
- On the other side of things, he voiced Johnny in the pilot for Johnny Test only to be told to be replaced by a Canadian voice actor like everyone else. However, the new actor didn't sound that good, and was let go after a few episodes. James rerecorded the dialogue and kept the role for the rest of the series.
- Playing Against Type: Walker, Fred Flintstone (which, according to the documentary, I Know That Voice, Taylor had to prove to casting directors that he can do Fred Flintstone's voice, despite not looking like Fred Flintstone himself), Johnny Test, Yggdrasill, Cypher, and The Fallen.
- Star-Making Role: Tidus, followed by Ratchet and Obi-Wan.
- Vocal Evolution:
- As stated above, his first portrayal of Tidus in FFX was a bit rough. Come the character's later appearances in Dissidia and FFX-2, his portrayal is much rougher but all the better for his experience and direction.
- When he first started voicing Obi-Wan, he was going for an exact voice match with Ewan McGregor. By the time Star Wars: The Clone Wars rolled around, he was allowed more free rein, allowing to put pieces of Sir Alec Guinness into his performance, making the character his own.