With an “epic fantasy animation series” that will feature the voices of Abbi Jacobson and Nat Faxon.
Everyone is headed to Netflix these days. When you speak with filmmakers that have made the jump to the streaming giant, the one thing you hear loud and clear is that Netflix offers freedom. Freedom to make the movie or show that you, as a creator, want to make, combined with the resources to bring your dreams to life.
Matt Groening, the man behind The Simpsons and Futurama, a titan of influence in the realm of animation, is the latest creative to make the leap into the algorithmic world of Netflix. The streaming service announced today that Groening will deliver 20 episodes of Disenchantment, “an adult animated comedy fantasy series.”
“In Disenchantment, viewers will be whisked away to the crumbling medieval kingdom of Dreamland, where they will follow the misadventures of hard-drinking young princess Bean, her feisty elf companion Elfo, and her personal demon Luci. Along the way, the oddball trio will encounter ogres, sprites, harpies, imps, trolls, walruses, and lots of human fools.”
“Ultimately,” explains Groening, “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.”
The cast sounds pretty excellent, as well. Broad City‘s Abbi Jacobson will voice Bean, with Nat Faxon voicing Elfo, and Eric Andre voicing Luci. Other voice actors include John DiMaggio, Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille, David Herman, Matt Berry, Jeny Batten, Rich Fulcher, Noel Fielding, and Lucy Montgomery.
Most importantly, the animation for the show will be done by Rough Draft Studios, best known for their work on Futurama. The show will drop 10 episodes on Netflix sometime in 2018, with 10 more to follow at a later date.
Groening isn’t the kind of creative who would necessarily need the freedom that Netflix provides — as it’s likely Fox would air just about anything he’d put together — but there’s a suggestion here that Disenchantment may skew even more adult than Simpsons or Futurama, as it won’t be restricted by the ratings a show must attain to air on a national network.
For Netflix, it’s another power play. Their press release leads with the announcement that they are “the world’s leading internet TV network.” The implication is that they are swallowing up anything they want. Which, to some, might feel like the monopolization of television. But as long as the creatives are happy and healthy and making what they want, is there a downside to Netflix throwing their money around? This is something with which we’ll continue to grapple as the streaming service evolves. For now, it is nice to see Matt Groening headed back to the world of fantasy.