Matt Groening, the mastermind behind ‘The Simpsons’, is prolific in the animated comedy genre. ‘The Simpsons’ has been on-screen since 1989 and ‘Futurama’, since 1999. Groening also wrote ‘The Simpsons Movie’ in 2007, he has had a hand in a great number of animated features to boot.
Groening’s latest animated offering is ‘Disenchantment’ a Netflix original series that dropped on Friday. As a life-long fan of Groening, here are my thoughts on his animated fantasy parody.
Groening’s newest creation comes at the prime period for its format. With a sequel to ‘The Simpsons Movie’ in the works as well as big screen adaptations of ‘Family Guy’ and ‘Bob’s Burgers’, animation is in the midst of a renaissance.
‘Disenchantment’ includes innovative techniques and current themes, capitalising on this period. However, it retains the heart and warmth that we have come to expect from Groening and his team.
‘Disenchantment’ includes a lot of creative shots and angles that were not present in ‘The Simpsons’. There is a great shot in the intro of the first episode. The camera zooms up to the castle window and the first scene, which is in that room, begins. This creates a real sense of place.
The sweeping shots of the kingdom aids this, as does the exploration of its locations. A sense of place is what made ‘The Simpsons’ so special. Groening’s writing creates a colourful and imaginative world that you enjoy escaping into.
‘Disenchantment’ has escapism in spades. The art design and worldbuilding work together to create an imaginative and colourful world.
This show includes a lot more crude comedy than ‘The Simpsons’, perhaps the writers can get away with more on the streaming service. Animated comedy lends itself to streaming because you love to hang out in that world, this promotes binge viewing.
Fantasy comedy is well-trodden ground but Groening and Josh Weinstein still manage to find new jokes. Their writing is inspiring, I cannot wait to delve deeper into the worlds they have created. As it stands, I have only scratched the surface.