Chuck E. Cheese fires voice of mouse, opts for hipper image

Jul 3, 2012 at 10:10 p.m. ET

After 19 years, Chuck E. Cheese decides it's time to redo their image. But somehow they forgot to tell the voice of their mascot.

Bowling for SoupSince when has the voice of a mouse been such a big deal?

Chuck E. Cheese announced today they will be modernizing their brand, and that includes turning their mascot into “a hip, electric-guitar-playing rock star,” said the Associated Press. And what better way to represent a rock star than to hire one to play him?

The company announced today that the mouse will now be played by Jaret Reddick, the lead singer of pop/punk band Bowling for Soup.

The Facebook page of the restaurant chain now shows the silhouette of a mouse playing guitar, along with the phrase “You’ve never seen Chuck E. rock like this.”

The character, who has wavered between looking like a mouse and rat over the years, is now definitely a mouse, or at least has slimmed down, adding to its younger image.

Hiring a new actor for an age-old character is never without controversy though. Chuck E. Cheese has been played by the same actor for nearly 20 years.

Duncan Brannan wrote on his Facebook page that he only heard of the change when he found the new theme song online and knew it obviously wasn’t his voice.

“If being the voice of Chuck E. Cheese for any length of time has meant anything to me, it was never about a paycheck because God will always provide for His children in one way or another,” Brannan said. “No. What it was about, what my sincere hope is that you -- you Fans, you parents, and all you kids who have loved Chuck E. Cheese over the years -- have seen, heard, or experienced Jesus Christ in and through my life in some way.”

The restaurant’s Facebook page has fans commenting support but also many upset over the firing.

The company owns more than 500 restaurants nationwide and has had lower numbers this year.

“In May, CEC said revenue at its locations open at least a year fell 4.2 percent in the first quarter,” said the Associated Press. “The company also lowered its outlook for the year, citing factors such as higher prices for cheddar cheese and rent.”

Only time will tell if the new image of the mouse, and Reddick’s hiring, helps the restaurants.

Photo courtesy Sakura/