If you're a fan of animation, then chances are you've seen glimpses of Hazbin Hotel on your social media feeds. Created by Vivienne "VivziePop" Medrano, the adult animated series originally debuted with a standalone pilot episode in 2019 that was crafted entirely by independent animators, voice actors, singers, and other creators. After being uploaded to YouTube, the pilot alone garnered a massive cult following and eventually led to a full series order.
In 2020, studio A24 picked up Hazbin Hotel for a TV series. It began streaming on Prime Video on Jan. 18, 2024.
While the streaming series has garnered a positive reception from critics, many longtime fans of the show and its characters have expressed concern over the complete cast overhaul that the series underwent between the pilot and the series. Why did Hazbin Hotel change voice actors for the Prime Video series? Here's everything we know about the changes so far.
'Hazbin Hotel' completely revamped the voice cast between pilot and series.
The animated musical series follows Charlie Morningstar (Erika Henningsen), the demonic princess of Hell who strives to make her "Hazbin Hotel" a site of redemption for sinners in order to combat an overpopulation crisis between Heaven and Hell. Her ultimate goal is to redeem damned souls through her hotel so that they may be accepted into Heaven. To that end, she teams up with several other eccentric demons in an attempt to fully realize her seemingly impossible dream.
Through the half-hour pilot alone, the series and its many characters have amassed a large fanbase. Many folks grew accustomed to how the characters behaved and how their voices sounded.
As such, it came as a surprise to many when the entire voice cast was changed for the Prime Video series. Whereas the pilot used different voice actors for speaking and singing roles, the cast for the streaming series has big name actors pulling double duty for both speaking and singing.
The cast of the series includes prominent actors like Stephanie Beatriz, Keith David, and the aforementioned award-winning Broadway star Erika Henningsen among others.
As of this writing, no official explanation has been given as to why the original voice cast was replaced on Prime Video. Fans on Reddit have speculated that VivziePop and the production team sought out professional singers and actors to add more pomp to the show's Broadway-like musical numbers.
Although fans are divided over their reactions to the new voice cast, the original actors for the characters have previously given their blessings to the new cast. In a lengthy and emotional Twitter post from 2021, Krystal LaPorte (the original voice for Cherry Bomb) wrote that while she felt "devastation" over not reprising her role, she wished every success for the full series production. Krystal urged her fans, "Please show [your] love to everyone involved in the productions or fandom past and future or I will street fight you."
But the well-wishes didn't stop there. Shortly after the official series premiere on Prime Video in 2024, voice actor Gabriel Brown (the original voice for Alastor and Husk) posted a new music video in which the original voice cast for Hazbin Hotel performed a new song in character as they wished every success for the new cast and the series moving forward. The video was met with an outpouring of support from fans of the original pilot.
New episodes of Hazbin Hotel will be released every Friday between Jan. 18 and Feb. 2 on Prime Video.