Are you ready to get medieval? Netflix is turning back the clock for its new animated series Disenchantment, and they enlisted animated series master Matt Groening to tell the tale. He of the Futurama and The Simpsons fame was so inspired by Monty Python and the Holy Grail that he began to fill sketchbooks with mythical creatures. Pretty soon, he had enough to not only populate Disenchantment but also hundreds of other series.
"I drew fantastical characters that we couldn't do on The Simpsons and it just grew from there," Groening told the room of reporters at the 2018 Summer Television Critics Association press tour. "I filled up an entire sketchbooks with imps and trolls and gnomes and fairies, on and on, really obscure ones. We've created this whole world in a season and we've only gotten to the first dozen of mythical creatures."
The 10-episode adult, animated, comedy fantasy series set in the crumbling medieval kingdom of Dreamland follows the misadventures of hard-drinking young princess Bean (Abbi Jacobson), her feisty elf companion Elfo (Nat Faxon), and her personal demon Luci (Eric Andre). Broad City's Jacobson revealed during the panel that Groening and executive producer Josh Weinstein are letting her play a lot in the sound booth to find the character of Bean.
"They let me use my own voice," she said. "I love getting to improvise and lean in to my favorite thing which is to play insecure and they let me go there a lot, which is fun. She's such the anti-stereotypical princess."
Disenchantment is the coming-of-age of not only Bean, as she tries to find her place in the world, but also her two companions. First, there's Elfo, a naive elf experiencing the outside world for the first time. Having been raised in a community with other elves his entire life, he leaves the comfort and joyful safety of his home to venture out and attempt to be miserable like everyone else. His wide-eyed innocence gets him into a lot of trouble, especially when the kingdom finds out an elf has been spotted in the wild for the first time in centuries. Thankfully he joins up with Bean early on in his adventure, and she takes him under her hard-partying wing to show him the ways of the world.
Where Elfo is the angel on Bean's shoulder, Luci is the devil. That's not an exaggeration. He's a literal demon sent to destabilize the kingdom by unraveling the princess. That sounds pretty awful, but he's actually the best friend Bean could ever wish for as she finally rebels against her station and parents.
"I get to be as completely insane and batsh*t as I want to," Andre said of letting himself go nuts in the sound booth. "These guys shaped my worldview with The Simpsons, which was the first piece of batsh*t on television, so these are like my comedy fathers. This is the role I was born to play--he's an instigator. He's the literal devil on her shoulder and I'm a demon in real life."
As for the rest of the "fools" populating Dreamland, there is no shortage of hilarious new characters to meet when Disenchantment premieres. Get to know a few standouts in one more sizzle reel:
What do you think of Groening's newest series? Let us know in the comments!
Disenchantment begins streaming August 17 on Netflix.