Interview with Ninja Turtle Raphael famed voice actor Matt Hill

Matt Hill feels a kinship with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Raphael.

Well-known voice actor, Run for One Planet Ambassador, and TEDX speaker has never stopped making a difference. This Vancouver, British Columbia actor was honored to be the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Meritorious Service Medal as he inspires children to help the environment and lead healthy lives. Hill has voiced such notable characters are Raphael, ED from “Ed, Edd, and Eddy,” Ton Ton from “Dino Trux,” Soar’in from “My Little Pony,” and the list goes on. Get to know Matt Hill’s passions for children, fitness, and for our environment.
Colleen Bement: What was it like to play one of the favorite Ninja Turtles, Raphael?

Matt Hill: Playing Raphael on two occasions, first inside the turtle suit on the third feature, “Turtles 3 Turtles Back in Time”, and then on Fox TV’s version, “The Next Mutation”, was a complete blast. It was a total honor to be invited to lend my energy inside Raphael’s suit and then share my vocal cords to this iconic and popular character – loved the world over. I felt then and still feel today, a deep brotherhood and kinship with Raph. I connect with his spirit and ways that his development helped inspire and impact people. I feel grateful I was allowed to lend what I had to a character like Raphael and what he and the Turtles stood for.

CB: Your filmography is incredible and so many people know your voice. Can you name one or two characters that you consider your favorites?

MH: I’d say my two favorite voice characters so far have been voicing “Ed” on Ed, Edd & Eddy for those 8 seasons and the movies we recorded. And recently, lending my vocals and energy to my buddy “Ton Ton” on Dino Trux as we wrap 78 awesome episodes for this Dream Works series, seen on Netflix.

CB: You played the characters Soar’in, Young Pegasus 5, and Fume in the popular TV series “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.” What is it like to be part of that devoted community of fans?

MH: I love voicing Soar’in! He’s also close to my cartoon spirit and heart and my love of athletics, teamwork and what the creators of “My Little Pony” were wanting to inspire in their fans. I feel fortunate to be able to lend my voice and add my acting skills to this brilliant series! It’s a devoted and deeply loyal community of fans that I believe everyone, whether you’re a fan of ponies, or something else, it teaches us about our desire to connect and feel like we belong. This nation of Pony fans showed me this when I was invited to attend a convention a few years ago in Dallas. I was so warmly and authentically received by everyone – and this is what I think makes the foundation of why it’s such a special community – because everyone is made to feel accepted and welcomed. It’s a good human feeling. Thanks Bronies! Thanks for saving my pie too!

9 - Public Charter School, Washington DC

CB: How does it feel to know you are inspiring kids to lead healthy lives and help our environment?

MH: I am SOO grateful you asked this question! I feel it is an immense privilege and an honor I don’t take lightly. To be invited into kids’ lives around the world; interestingly though some of my cartoon character voices they’ve grown up with, or are currently growing up with. This allowed instant connection with them, as they already feel like we know each other through these voices, and I believe allows authentic access to share this message of action for a healthy them and a healthy planet – so much deeper and more fun in the process.

Matt Hill, photo courtesy of Terry Naughton, used with permission

A world of “Fit Kids on a Fit Planet”

I feel passionate to do this, especially in the unique ways I’m privileged to share it, via cartoon characters and running or walking (depending on how fast or slow I’m doing it. I’ve always believed in people and in what we’re capable of, and in the power of the human spirit to come together and make big things happen. We put people on the moon, we decided to end ozone-killing chemicals in the 80’s when they realized CFC’s were doing it and would heal the hole quickly if they stopped using CFC’s.

I believe this showed us in a huge way of our greatness as a species, to collectively band our tribes together and stop this and be a solution, fast. I passionately believe in this power of the human spirit, personally to create change, and collectively to create change. We can do it! I know we have the power to create a world that is healthy, whole and thriving – seven generations forward.

I witnessed my own “inspired” kid moments, watching Terry Fox run across Canada on one leg, on his “Marathon of Hope” with a mission to raise enough money to find a cure for cancer. Terry said his reason for doing it was so no other child would have to go through what he did, lose a leg to cancer – so he could save his life. Terry believed in a dream and as I witnessed him continuing to believe and run for something larger than just himself, it lit a fire inside my 10-year-old heart and legs – to also want to run in service of something or someone larger than just myself.

I know we all have heroes and people who have impacted and changed our lives and our course of direction; witnessing them be or do something that lights a fire inside our hearts and minds. Being the change, standing for something greater and also not making it about themselves, but more about wanting to be in service. That’s partly why I also feel so privileged to be allowed inside the kids’ world through what I do, because it grants me the gift of inspiration to keep running and speaking and connecting, so that I can meet as many as of my “Planet Posse’ as possible for however many years and marathon routes I’m meant to have here on Planet blue and green.

CB: When you ever do have some downtime, what do you to unwind?

MH: I love to watch a good TV series like “Planet Earth” on BBC, and I’m also a sucker for HGTV home redo shows – as I’m secretly a builder and flipper of green and fun homes, without knowing how to actually build them. I love watching “Forrest Gump”. That movie always brings me home to myself. I heard dozens of times “Run Forrest Run” from passing motorists as I ran along the 11,000 miles of the Run for One Planet tour route.

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