Enchanted with Disenchantment?

Staff Writer: Logan Haines

From the executive producer and comically brilliant mind behind The Simpsons and Futurama, Matt Groening, comes another fantastically whimsical adventure.

Matt Groening

Matt Groening, Creator of Disenchantment. Credit of photo goes to The Wall Street Journal.

Disenchantment is putting a new, interesting twist on fantasy and medieval worlds like nothing tv history has seen before. It is said that Disenchantment is “going to be different from our other two spoofs as well.”

The new endeavor for Groening and his time premiered on Netflix, the show streaming platform, Friday Aug. 17. With the recent acquisition of Fox by Disney Groening feared the direction they would take his first project, The Simpsons, and decided on Netflix as the safe-haven for his production. Netflix ordered two seasons of the show running 10 episodes each, for a total of 20-episode span. Netflix is seemingly excited for the new project, wanting more and more original shows added to their repertoire, especially cartoons, where they feel they are lacking.

However, the process was not a walk through the park. Like other major big budget shows that run on Netflix and Hulu, cartoons receive the same amount of coverage. In the past decade alone “adult animation has been so popular,” but greenlighting an animation is on whole other level’s.

Co-writer of the show, Josh Weinstein, commented, “It’s harder because and animated show – a good one- is very expensive. And you have to be budget conscious.”

Josh Weinstein

Josh Weinstein, co-writer of Disenchantment. Photo credit to YazzyDream from Wiki Fandoms.

Weinstein went on the elaborate, “you can’t just commit to a couple of episodes, you have to commit to a larger bunch of them to make financial sense.” The show is animated by Rough Draft Studios, and “family friend” to Groening and his crew.

Despite arduous measure, the show was greenlit, and production began. Groening set out to find an all-star cast of voice actors to fill his roles. He settled on veteran professionals he’s had personal experience in the past, Like John DiMaggio – Futurama and The Simpsons. Groening also found exceptional actors new to his style. Abbi Jacobson (BoJack Horseman), Nat Faxon (Family Guy, American Dad) and Eric Andre (2 Broke Girls, The Internship) joined the crew.

The story of Disenchantment follows the misadventures and hijinks of rebellious and often crude Princess Bean (Abbi Jacobson), as she tries to find her way through the magnificent world of Dreamland. She is at odds with her father, King Zog (John DiMaggio) most of the time. Along side her she is joined by devilish, devil Luci (Eric Andre), and lovable, naïve elf, Elfo (Nat Faxon).

Lead Actors

Left- Abbi Jacobson, Middle- Nat Faxon, Right -Eric Andre, lead actors on Disenchantment. Photo Credit to John Harrell at Netflix.

Although the show is set in dark times, and can exhibit serious elements, it is mostly and light-hearted romp poking fun at anything it can. Groening was inspired for style of the show from series like HBO’s hit, Game of Thrones, and childhood favorite cartoon, Rocky and Bullwinkle. Although there is an odd Iron Throne joke, Groening swears it is not a comedy parody of the show.

Groening and Weinstein, longtime friends and co-workers and all three projects, are all about the laughs. Some don’t quite stick the landing, and others unexpectantly throw fits into our stomachs. In interviews they both have said they enjoy making themselves laugh and really amuse each other with their jokes, and hope that if they like it so much others will too.

King Zog

John DiMaggio as King Zog. Photo Courtesy of John Harrell at Netflix.

Weinstein stated, “We don’t really intentionally set out to write just for adults, but we just want to make sure we like it and we’re actually hoping that some of them do too, and if there are adult jokes in the show, hopefully, they’ll go over kids.” Overall the show is for all ages, and a good number of the jokes can be enjoyed as a family.

Cover Art

Netflix thumbnail showing in order left to right, Elfo, Bean, and Luci. Photo Courtesy of John Harrell at Netflix.

The show has been met with a mix of reviews. Ranging from “slow to start, but picks up and is fun,” to “jokes land flat constantly, and the show doesn’t feel too different from his others, which he promised us.” Critics have had their turn at the show, and we can only see what comes from unbiased audiences. Not many people have found to show yet, so it is difficult to judge what community opinion is.

Woodstock High School and fantasy enthusiast Mason Nix had this to say, “It has a really great overarching story line you don’t see to much in cartoons,” and called it the “best animated show on Netflix.”

The show has done wonders for both the fantasy/medieval, and cartoon communities. It’s touched on topics never before seen from cartoons, and feels like a step in a new, better direction for future animated adventures to come. Groening’s last words on the matter were, “Ultimately, Disenchantment will be about life and death, love and sex, and how to keep laughing in a world full of suffering and idiots, despite what the elders and wizards and other jerks tell you.” We can all use a little bit of that in our lives, and this show is something everyone should pick up.

 

 

 

 

 

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