AMPHIBIA – Disney Channel is coming in 2019 and we love to do these pieces on our thoughts on the show before we get a chance to see it. We try to determine if the show will be a hit or a miss based on limited information. Call it a hype meter, and this time we tackle the Amphibia show. The most common thing we have heard about Amphibia is people comparing it to Gravity Falls for three reasons, the first one being it is from Matt Braly, the second it has the same animation style, and the third because it has that mystical feel to it.
AMPHIBIA – Disney Channel has ordered two original animated series – “Amphibia” from Annie Award-winning director Matt Braly (Disney’s “Gravity Falls”) and “The Owl House,” from Dana Terrace, one of Variety’s “10 Animators to Watch,” whose credits include Disney’s “DuckTales” and “Gravity Falls.” Both series, slated to premiere in 2019, are produced by award-winning Disney Television Animation (TVA). The announcement was made today by Eric Coleman, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Television Animation.
Why don’t you take a look at the video below before we continue with the conversation:
So yes it does feel a bit like Gravity Falls, and when you make that comparison it is always a compliment. Gravity Falls is one of the best animated series to exist and while we felt like Billy Dilly was looking to create the same buzz, it fell flat. Here we have another mystical series and we have to delve into what we like and what we don’t from a very brief clip and a press release.
Let us talk about the story, what we know is we are getting the story of Anne Boonchuy, a teenager who is apparently very self-centered and only worried about herself (and maybe her BFFs to a degree) and what happens after she is teleported to the mystical world of Amphibia. Based on the word as well as what we know, Amphibia is a lake/marsh type land, which doesn’t look very big based on the video, where frog-people rule. Anne meets Sprig, who is a young frog that also become Anne’s friend and tries to turn her into a hero. The shows will be about friendship as Anne really discovers herself.
On to the questions, which we know can’t truly be answered based on the limited amount of information we have, but it seems that Anne’s best friends are with her when she opens the box that transports her and then we don’t see them with her in the rest of the video. We wonder if that means she will have to try to find them or if she is there to help rescue Amphibia from some sort of danger. We like the fact that this is going to be a journey for her to find her better self based on what we know. The issue we have and maybe this is just because we don’t exactly know what is going on just yet, is will these frogs hold the same sort of draw as the quirky human character of Gravity Falls? This is where we are feeling a bit nervous, mystical is great but hopefully the character development is as tight as Gravity Falls. The other thing, which we think we are going to get, its give me a real mystery here, like for Billy Dilley’s Super-Duper Subterranean Summer we thought it was going to be great and then, poof, it wasn’t all that good. Maybe we were invested in the characters, maybe the story was weak, but at the end of the day it didn’t feel like there was a real mystery to revel in. Even the current DuckTales has the overall mystery, times two, going for it. These frogs will be compared to Gummi Bears, Fraggles, and all other sorts of Disney creatures, but we like the pick. Frogs, who ever used frogs in this manner and as a whole world species, we love that.
Overall, and we have been wrong lately, let’s go Hit. It has great writers, it has what looks to be an overall mystery that could involve the girls with her as well and trying to get home, it looks to have characters that will work well together, as well as magic. The animation style looks incredible and Disney has been on a roll lately with some really great animated shows. While we may have to wait a while, we think it will be worth the wait.