In 2019, fans of actual play Dungeons & Dragons series Critical Role dished out $11.39 to fund an animated adaptation of the series’ first Vox Machina campaign. While this caught Amazon’s attention and the studio ordered two seasons of The Legend of Vox Machina, there has been sparse news about the series since. Wednesday denoted a major shift, when Critical Role released a behind-the-scenes video on their channel documenting their collaboration with animator Phil Bourassa (Young Justice) – not only did this featurette reveal the final character designs for the members of Vox Machina, it offered fans their first significant glimpse into the series.
The behind-the-scenes featurette features each player of the series’ first campaign – Ashley Johnson (The Last of Us, Blindspot), Liam O’Brien (Carmen Sandiego), Laura Bailey (The Last of Us: Part II, Spider-Man), Travis Willingham (Avengers Assemble, Camp Camp), Sam Riegel (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Marisha Ray (8.13) and Taliesin Jaffe (Hellsing) – discussing the process of working with Bourassa and animation studio Titmouse to bring their characters to life. According to Variety, each performer will be reprising their roles in The Legend of Vox Machina as well as serving as executive producers on the series. Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer (Overwatch) will likewise serve as executive producer, and the Critical Role mastermind hinted on social media that Wednesday’s video was just the tip of the iceberg.
Slowly, the flood gates begin to open… https://t.co/gOHsWw75Jj
— Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) June 23, 2021
“Slowly, the flood gates begin to open…” Mercer quote-tweeted Variety’s piece about The Legend of Vox Machina, indicating that more news would be on its way soon. The Amazon animated series based on Critical Role’s first campaign was originally slated to premiere in late 2020, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of Wednesday’s video, Willingham suggested that season one of the series may be close to complete when commenting “gods help us for what’s in store for season two” (Critical Role).
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Bourassa expressed his hope that the series would continue for many seasons, as he has enjoyed playing in Mercer’s Exandrian sandbox, via Critical Role. While soaking-in his final character designs was certainly a treat for fans, the video introducing Bourassa’s role on the team gave fans further incite into the series. “We wanted it to be definitely and distinctly an adult series,” Riegel shared insight on both visual and thematic tone for The Legend of Vox Machina. “We wanted to make sure the world, the background, the atmosphere, and the character designs both read as sophisticated, mature” (Critical Role).
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Wednesday’s video introduced fans to the anime-style and visual language of The Legend of Vox Machina, making it a significant first-glimpse into what can be expected of the Dungeons & Dragons campaign’s animated adaptation. “In the first season, the motley crew will face undead giants, overthrow a sinister necromancer — and confront a powerful curse that has taken root inside their own group” Variety describes the plot of season one of The Legend of Vox Machina.
Now that the flood gates have opened, hopefully more news about The Legend of Vox Machina awaits fans soon. In the meantime, Critical Role fans can catch the first installment of Exandria Unlimited on Thursday June 24. With campaign two’s one-hundred-plus episode epic tale recently coming to a close, Exandria Unlimited‘s short-campaign with new players and new Game Master Aabria Iyengar (The Department of Mysteries) is the perfect series for fans to settle into for the upcoming summer months.