Amazon Prime picks up two seasons of Critical Role animated series 'The Legend of Vox Machina'

The record-breaking Kickstarter project that began as a Dungeons & Dragons game will come back as an animated action-comedy following the adventures of a group of fantasy heroes.

                            Amazon Prime picks up two seasons of Critical Role animated series 'The Legend of Vox Machina'

‘Critical Role’ began as a Dungeons and Dragons game played between friends in the voice actor community. The same game went on to become a weekly live show on Geek & Sundry, then its own channel, a comic book series, and then the most successfully funded TV or film project in Kickstarter’s history. Now, Amazon Prime has made an order for two seasons of the show, covering 24 episodes. 

‘Critical Role’ is a weekly show in which “a bunch of nerdy-ass voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons.” Extended from the game the actors had already been playing together, a live broadcast sees the actors play a roleplaying game run by Matt Mercer, with episodes later made available on YouTube, Twitch, the show’s own website and as a podcast. Starring Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, Ashley Johnson, Taliesin Jaffe, Marisha Ray, Sam Riegel, and Liam O’Brian, with Matthew Mercer as the Dungeon Master, the first season followed the adventures of Vox Machina, a group of adventurers in a fantasy world. The show has featured a variety of guest stars, including Noelle Stevenson, Khary Payton, and Phil LaMarr. 

On March 4th, earlier this year, the minds behind ‘Critical Role’ set up a Kickstarter to animate a half-hour special inspired by the events of the long-running game. The special would be called ‘The Legend of Vox Machina.’ The goal was to see if they could raise $750,000 over the course of 45 days. 

The project was completely funded in less than an hour. It hit the $4 million mark in less than a day. By the end of the campaign, the project had raised a staggering $11.39 million from 88,887 backers, breaking all previously held crowdfunding records for TV or film. With the additional funding, the half-hour special was able to expand into a full season; 10 episodes of 22 minutes each. Now, with Amazon Prime’s backing, ‘The Legend of Vox Machina’ gets an extra season, with two episodes added to each season. 

“Critical Role blazed a new trail for original digital content, with fresh new voices and humor that earned devoted fans around the world, as evidenced by their wildly successful Kickstarter campaign,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to work with the whole team to bring ‘The Legend of Vox Machina,’ and new Critical Role series, to our Prime Video customers.”

In a letter to their backers, the ‘Critical Role’ team says that with Amazon’s backing, the show will be able to afford better production, quality animation, and more. They also announced their list of executive producers, which include the original cast, and their Emmy-award winning supervising director, Sung Jin Ahn. All of the original voice cast will be returning to voice their characters, and it’s been mentioned that special guest stars will be coming in to voice additional characters. The first season will be made available for free to all Kickstarter backers, and will be made available on Amazon Prime sometime in 2020 shortly after. 

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