Review: Netflix’s Disenchantment

Screenshot of Netflix’s overview of their new animated series, Disenchantment.

By Marc Torres

Towards the end of last month, Netflix dropped a new animated series called Disenchantment. It’s a show created by Matt Groening, who has hits like The Simpsons and Futurama under his belt.

The Simpsons is a show that takes place in the present and Futurama is a show that’s set in the future, Disenchantment takes place in the past. It’s set in medieval times.

In Disenchantment we follow Princess Bean  (Abbi Jacobson), Elfo the Elf (Nat Faxon), and Luci the Demon (Eric Andre), as they try to figure out what they all want to ultimately do with their lives in the Kingdom of Dreamland.

Princess Bean is an alcoholic who rebels against her father’s wishes to get married by running away with a demon she was gifted with (Luci). Later on she and her demon friend meet up with Elfo The Elf. Princess Bean, Luci, and Elfo become friends over time and even drinking buddies by the first episode.

Something interesting that Matt Groening does is flip the whole damsel in distress idea with Princess Bean. She’s self sufficient and doesn’t need any saving. In the first episode, we see her gambling and winning against a man who then threatens her because of that same reason. She uses her wits to get out of everything safely. This is something Princess Bean does time and time again throughout the series, outwitting her opponents and at the same time figuring herself out along the way; what she wants out of her life.

Elfo and Luci tag along with Princess Bean for her misadventures, which always seem to end abruptly (so we’re forced to keep watching into the next episode). They add that familiar feeling of seeing a team or a family, like on The Simpsons or Futurama.

The jokes in the show are funny and the plot is okay, but the characters are the real reason the show works. They all work good together. They have heartfelt moments, moments of pure comedy, and moments where you fear they won’t get out of their situation so luckily. They all just compliment each other so well that you kind of don’t care where the show goes. You really stay to just see them talk and bicker with each other like good friends do. They’re so entertaining together that the story never really has to go anywhere. It’s like you can enjoy them just being themselves.

Disenchantment has a lot of those moments that are in every good comic book, movie, or show (whatever form of entertainment really) where everyone just feels really normal. There are times where the show feels relatable in that way, and it gives you those small moments of what it means to be human in society with these unwritten rules in them.

The show feels similar to The Simpsons and Futurama since it’s done by the same people, except it has a longer runtime and the jokes are better, sharper I’d say. Disenchantment isn’t exactly better than the other shows or all that different from them, but it’s good on its own.

The animation looks similar to Futurama and The Simpsons too except it’s slightly better. I enjoy both shows and think they’re both brilliant in their own ways. However, I think Disenchantment looks more visually appealing. There’s more attention to detail, the colors look nicer, and even the movements of the characters are slightly improved. Of course, with a nice budget from Netflix and just the fact that the show is newer than the two, it’s no surprise Disenchantment looks better than both.

The series has 10 episodes so far with more coming next year, possibly around August. Netflix hasn’t exactly stated when the next season will air.

The great thing about this show is that you can tell that the characters grow right by the end of it and you want to be a part of the journey with them. It makes you feel involved and like you should keep watching. The show never feels like a drag or a hassle to watch. From the first episode you can get right into it, since it takes off pretty fast.

Overall, I think the show is definitely worth watching. However, it wouldn’t be a crime if you didn’t see this show before you died. It’s entertaining, sometimes thought provoking, and can be somewhat relatable. Out of all the TV shows out now, this one should be on your watchlist but I don’t think you have to rush to watch it. Just take your time with this one and watch an episode here and there, you’ll definitely enjoy it.

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