'The Simpsons' creator Matt Groening puts a woman in the forefront for Netflix’s ‘Disenchantment'
'Disenchantment' puts a female in the forefront in this wacky, animated take on a fairytale for Netflix.
‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Futurama’ fans alike are anxiously awaiting the premiere of Netflix’s newest animated series ‘Disenchantment,’ which comes out on Friday, August 17.
‘Disenchantment’ follows Bean (voiced by Abbi Jacobson), a princess living in a realm of magic and fantasy, whose father King Zog (voiced by Billy West) is forcing her to marry a man from the neighboring kingdom to create an alliance. Bean, being the drunken rebellious princess that she is, escapes the kingdom with her elf companion Elfo (voiced by Academy award winner Nat Faxon) and her “personal demon” Luci (voiced by Eric Andre).
Created by Matt Groening, ‘Disenchantment’ has almost all of the same writers, producers and creatives that were behind ‘Simpsons’ and ‘Futurama’ including John DiMaggio, Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille, David Herman, Matt Berry, Jeny Batten, Rich Fulcher, Noel Fielding, and Lucy Montgomery, with animation by Rough Draft Studios, the same studio responsible for 'Futurama', another Groening creation. And adding to this cast and crew of some of the most creative brains in Hollywood are, of course, the three stars Abbi Jacobson, Nat Faxon and Eric Andre.
So, what is it that makes this show different than ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Futurama’? The answer is in the fact that it centers around female lead. Finally!
At the red carpet premiere of ‘Disenchantment’ in Hollywood, MEAWW spoke exclusively with some of the creators and cast of Netflix’s newest female driven animated series, including of course creator Matt Groening, who gave us some insight on this female centered show.
“It is just fun to try something different. The strongest characters in the other shows, ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Futurama’ are the women. Lisa Simpson and Leela on ‘Futurama’ and now we decided to go all the way and make the woman the center of the show and see what we can do. And I gotta say, Abbi Jacobson is fantastic. We try to make the show as pro woman as we can, feminist and progressively thinking, but Abbi kicks it to another level.”
Producer Rich Fulchner also adds that Bean’s “rebelliousness is just enough to be charming and realistic without the audience being fed up with her.”
All of the producers, writers and actors raved about the experience they had making this show, which Netflix picked up for two season. The streaming network obviously gave the creators a lot of freedom they didn’t have on their prior shows on Fox.
Maurice LaMarche, who voices Odval (along with several other characters on the show), has been working with Groening for decades and this experience was one of his favorites.
“On this show, I would say we had the most freedom. And Matt has been in every single session, and writing on the fly. I mean this is truly, something where Matt jumped in with both feet. It has been such an amazing project to work on, and we certainly hope there is more to come.”
While the cast and crew is mostly comprised of creatives Groening has been working with for years, the newcomers to the team like Nat Saxon who plays “Elfo” was beyond thrilled to get the opportunity to work with one of his lifelong idols.
“It was one of those ‘pee your pants’ moments when I found out I got it. I auditioned, and kind of didn’t think much at the time. I got a call back, and I did the call back and it went well but, as a kind of seasoned actor who has been rejected a gazillion times, you try not to think about anything too hard so you don’t have to cry in your pillow. But when I found out I got it, I thought ‘Wow this is happening,’ it is one of those surreal things. I mean you think about the pedigree of these people and what they’ve done and now you are gonna be a part of it? You just feel really lucky.”
Fellow newcomer to the Groening TV family and co-star Eric Andre, who voices Luci, shared a similar sentiment in regards to working with the TV legend.
“I am such a ‘Simpsons’ fan, I was totally geeking out the whole time during my audition. I was so stoked but I felt good after I met Matt and Josh. I actually felt good about my audition too, which is rare.”
Netflix will release the first season of ‘Disenchantment’ on Friday, April 17.