The Legend of Vox Machina
A ragtag group of mercenaries are hired to find a creature wreaking havoc on the kingdom of Tal’Dorei and kill it, but everything is not what it seems.
Spoiler Level: Mild
The Legend of Vox Machina, the new Amazon Prime animated series is based on the web-series Critical Role where a bunch of professional voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons. In 2019, the cast of the series held a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to do a single episode of an animated series based on their campaigns. The projected cost of the first episode was $750,000, and not knowing how long it would take to raise that kind of funds, they allotted 45 days. Within the first hour they had raised more than $1 million and by the end of the first full day $4.3 million. They eventually raised enough to fund the first season of eight episodes, becoming one of the fastest fully funding campaigns and the fastest for a television and film project. Which in itself makes this show “legendary”.
I knew little about the show before seeing the trailer and teasers, but it instantly caught my attention and I was excited to see what the hullabaloo was all about. I wasn’t disappointed. At first it took me a second to adjust my brain cells, as I was expecting something a bit more family friendly, but the show dispels that quickly, with the first few scenes containing grizzly deaths, sexual content, drunken barroom brawls and lots of swearing, but once I switched to “Adult” mode, there was a certain elegance and heart that is rooted deep in the crass, sophomoric humor. There are touching scenes that add depth to the well crafted and adventurous story.
The rag tag mercenary group, Vox Machina, are down on the luck, broke and have been banned from every tavern in the realm, so when the council of Tal’Dorei is looking for warriors to battle an unknown creature that is destroying the farmlands and threatening the very success of the kingdom, the team applies, and reluctantly get hired. Not all is immediately what it seems to be on the surface. No one believes that they will survive, but they do (to their own shock), and to find out how you will have to watch.
The storyline in the first two episodes moved quickly and hooked me right away. The script is witty, funny, and touching at times, and the dialogue felt genuine. We are given all the information we need to know without it feeling forced or clumsy. The characters are well thought out and developed, possibly a biproduct that these are all D&D characters in the web series where they evolved and grew over time. There are back stories to each character, and I am excited to see these explored. The voice actors are stellar, and not a single actor felt out of place. The resulting product is a beautifully crafted animated series that is full of fun, humor, magic, adventure, tenderness, and heart. Even if it can be a bit crass and bloody at times.
Overall, this was a fun watch with a lot of magic, fighting and adventure. There was both low brow and high brow humor and mixed in to it all was a type of elegance and heart.
The Legend of Vox Machina: Roll the Dice and Take a Chance!
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Acting - 10/1010/10
- Music - 10/1010/10
- Production - 9/109/10