Everyone knows Matt Groening has a singular, unique style of animation he and his company are well known for at this point. It began with The Simpsons more than two decades ago now, continued with the adventures of Futurama, and now we dive deep into the brand new fantasy world of Disenchantment!
Here in the Kingdom of Dreamland, there lies, inevitably, a Princess. There’s a gruff and tumbly King and a wicked-looking stepmother, but this show is all about Princess Tiabini, or Bean (Abbi Jacobson) as she prefers to be called. And Bean is no ordinary Princess, nope, she likes to drink and gamble and hates that whole Princess trap of being forced to marry someone she doesn’t love or even know that well yet, and really dislikes running around in dresses, because yeah, on top of all that Bean is completely graceless too. Expect a belch and a grin in place of a curtsy and a simper, because Bean is the utterly blasé commoner in us all!
Elfo (Nat Faxon) is an elf from, where else, Elfwood, a place where everything is sweet, both figuratively and literally. The elves make sweets and candy and all sugary things to rot your teeth, and they’re so saccharin-sweet to each-other you kind of want to kill them on general principal. In Elfwood, conformity isn’t just a requirement, it’s meant to be a joy too, and Elfo in his little green personhood, just can’t stand how godawful nice they are. He actually wants to experience the miseries and mysteries of life outside Elfwood, and as drunken destiny would have it, he meets up with Bean, on whom he conceives a mighty crush.
King Zog (John DiMaggio) over here, he just wants to rule Dreamland as best he can – he never wanted to be King, he was the brother warrior, good at fighting and killing stuff. But now, he’s managed a marriage alliance with a neighboring swampland kingdom and produced a periwinkle-pale heir to the throne, so what else is there to do but nag Bean day after day into being a proper Princess, whatever that means, and oh yeah, squeeze a ton of elf blood from Elfo, because hey, he’s magical. Elf blood can create the elixir of life y’know, and Zog has a whole bunch of magic-users and shady advisors to help him with that nonsense.
Luci (Eric Andre), and you can easily guess what it’s short for, is a little coal-black demon, that most everyone thinks is Bean’s talking cat. He’s a chain-smoking enabler of a blunt little bastard, always encouraging Bean to drink, carouse, and generally be as bad-decision-making as possible. Very little is known about his background or motivations, other than to tempt Bean to Do Bad Things, yes, but why her? No-one else has a demon attached to them, and one would think some of these moronic wizards attempting magic would’ve made some rather bad choices concerning demons and the like. It seems Luci was actually sent to corrupt Bean, by some very shady characters who want to rain down destruction on the Kingdom of Dreamland and her inhabitants!
Anything more would give the entire rest of the show away, and ‘Disenchantment’ is far too good to do them that disservice. Groening and his animators have really gone all-out for the sets and backdrops of this new show, far beyond even what ‘Futurama’ was regularly known for, and it shows. The first few episodes can be watched out of order if you like, but the latter half of Season One follows a clear pattern and tells an adorable story, full of wonder and enchantment, yes, but also everyday troubles we can all relate to as well.
Go elf and demon hunting with Disenchantment on Netflix now!