“Would you be interested in a phone interview with Matt Braly about what fans can expect in season two?” When your morning starts like this you know that you are in for a treat. We loved speaking with Matt before the preiemer of Season 1 of Amphibia, so of course we had a whole set of new questions now that we were ready to enter Season 2. We should have known better but we were a bit surprised when the Zoom interview had Matt waving at us on the screen, so this was even more fun to get to see his enthusiam for his wonderful show.
My daughter loved asking Matt questions during the last interview so she made sure she got to ask some this time around as well. We decided to start with those. Matt comments that he remembered our questions from the first interview, which makes us feel good on our end.
BSCKids: Where does Anne get all of her outfits from?
Matt: Anne gets all of her outfits from her backpack which we like to call her “Mary poppins” bag in that anything she needs is in there. She has a dancing dress and I remember she has another dress in another episode, we didn’t feel too limited by the logic of where these clothes come from, but we also wanted to put her in these different outfits. So maybe she just had a bunch of clothes in her backpack when she was zapped to Amphibia.
BSCKids: So if Anne and Sprig had to guest star on another Disney cartoon past or present, which one would it be and why?
Matt: Oh that is a great question. I would adore it if they were somehow able to visit Gravity Falls and bounce off those characters. That would be amazing. If not something that recent, I am a fan of some of the older shows, I would love some sort of Gargoyles crossover, I adore Gargoyles (I interject that it could be some sort of mystery).
BSCKids: Will Polly ever get legs?
Matt: Oh, I’m not going to be coy, I’m just going to say yes.
BSCKids: if Hop Pop is Sprig and Polly’s grandfather, what happened to their parents?
Matt: I’m not going to be coy, you are going to find out this season
Matt jokes with me a bit about my daughter asking the questions, he is extremely personable and funny.
BSCKids: How do you feel your writing and your work has changed from Season 1 to Season 2.
Matt: Tremendously, I can’t tell you how spirited discussions I have had with the writers in the room, arguing with a story point that ultimately when the episode came out, it wasn’t what people were fixated on. After doing an entire season of 39 stories I got thinking a little more broadly instead of goal oriented. These days on Season 2 and 3 I’m a lot more top down, that is inside-y. Every story we write we learn something. Every time we are like “we got this down to a science,” we totally fumble. Season 2 has a lot more serialized continuity and that is something that Season 1 demanded less of. It’s has been very challenging and exciting to have to thread that stuff in Season 2.
BSCKids: Can you describe Season 1 in a word and Season 2 in one word?
Matt: Yes, I could. Season 1 would be gestation, and Season 2 would be like adventure. Season 1 was all about Anne is stuck in this place in this very specific location and she has to make connections with people around her. In Season 2 she is taking those connections and they are all going outside the valley to explore and actively find her way home.
BSCKIds: Are we going to see city of Newtopia, the whole city, Newtopia University?
Matt: Yes, you are going to see all of that stuff.
BSCKids: – How much input did you have into Amphibia Chibi Tiny Tales?
Matt: The Chibi Tiny Tales were brought to me at a time where we were at max capacity, I would describe it. So I sort of looked at the idea, gave my blessing and didn’t really see it again until they were done. That team is so talented and has done such a good job with our characters. I feel very confident watching those things being like “these feel true to the characters and they feel true to the world.” They are non canon, they are outside our normal lore and story, but they are a ton of fun and I am super glad that they got made.
– I talk a bit about how after Gravity Falls ended we got a graphic novel and ask if there are some stories that Matt has that maybe don’t necessarily fit with the story he is currently doing.
Matt: Absolutely. As we learn more about this world, audiences will see that there is more to it than meets the eye. I think there are a number of stories that could still happen even after this particular story arc has ended.
BSCKids: You have this huge roster of guest stars is there anyone in particular, and this is not a knock on any of the other ones, that you were like “Wow,” this is great.
Matt: I love them all. I think I will throw two stand outs which are Keith David and George Takei. Keith David, his performance on the character that he plays, and it’s a reoccuring character, is just phenominal. I am already such a huge fan of his cause I love Gargoyles and The Princess and the Frog, he’s incredible. George Takei, what an icon, and what a delight to work with. I mean the guy was reciting Shakespeare in the booth. He is such an Asian-American role model, it was a huge honor to be able to get him into the show. The role that he plays is pretty juicy.
BSCKids: If you had to pick a favorite secondary character from Season 1, who would you say your favorite secondary character was?
Matt: It’s almost like who is my favorite villager. I have a really big soft spot for the wood guy Loggle. For some reason he really cracks me up, some combination of his Geppetto-y design and the way he talks, I really like that guy. I also really love Mrs Croaker, Sadie Croaker, the old lady frog, man she packs a wallop.
BSCKids: If there was something people would be surprised to know about you, what would it be?
Matt: I never thought or wanted to work in T.V. It was not something that I had ever planned, I had always wanted to work in movies. Sometimes an opportunity comes up that you are not expecting and you take it and it ends up being something that you really love.
BSCKids: So what has been your favorite thing that someone has said about the show?
Matt: Literally any time a Thai person is excited about Anne or is excited about the show. That is like butterflies in my stomach, by nature of existing there is something very subversive about Anne in terms of representation. The show is not about being Thai, but her being Thai does work it’s way into the show. When I see people responding to that, part of it is very touching to me.
BSCKids: When we went back and watched Season 1 a few times so are so many fun Easter Egg references. Did you continue that in Season 2 and does it get more difficult to see the things you might have missed the first time around?
Matt: We’re doing our best over here to make sure you are rewarded for watching the show multiple times. So that is a tradition we absolutely have carried into Season 2. The references sometimes get a little bit more overt, like this Gravity Falls homage. You have a blend of those things, we love hiding things here and there. So this is something that is pretty out in the open, I am really proud of how our supporting characters weave in and out of the story.
– This one seems like a lob question, but just wanted to get his confirmation on this one.
BSCKids: So are we going to see Marcy in Season 2?
– I kind of chatted with Matt about this our first interview, but I wanted to see if his opinion on this had changed a bit as they work on Season 2 and 3.
BSCKids: You have a finish to this story? Do you feel like it is something you have to squeeze into three seasons or do you feel like it lends itself to the format you have in front of you?
Matt: I like to think of the seasons as chapters, like chapters in a book and I like to think of this show as very much the traditional three act story telling. We are in act 2 and I feel really good in how much time we have in act 3 currently. I think this is the kind of thing I’ve always kind of planned for three seasons, like cross your fingers and hope we get it. Obviously if there is more after that great, for this particular story I’m really excited on how it is pacing out right now. I think it will be pretty satisfying.
– So there is a lot of me gushing on about Amphibia that we can skip, but I do get one more question in.
BSCKids: If you were to put a ride together at Disneyland or Disney World. What does that ride look like for you.
Matt: There is a cart racer on Disney Now that you can log into the app and play. They are adding an Amphibia level and character and they sent me concept art, tons of it, of the level. I can do you one better, I can describe to you what it would be. Essentially it is one of those great rides that you sit in a car, like a choo choo train one, but a little more exciting. You go around in the forest, but it also takes you inside the house. The house has been reorganized to accomodate for this track and you can go by rooms of the house and see the characters interacting.
Thanks to Matt for taking the time to talk with us, we love Amphibia and being able to pull back the curtain a bit for everyone is so much fun. Also loved that we were able to get all our questions in! You can find some of the trailers below to get you ready for a game changing season.
Season 2 Sneak Peek | Amphibia | Disney Channel
Next Stop Newtopia! | Sneak Peek | Amphibia | Disney Channel
You can also read a bit about what the first episode of the second season of Amphibia is about below:
AMPHIBIA – “Handy Anne” – Worried that something bad could happen while they are in Newtopia, Anne decides to disaster-proof the farm. This episode of “Amphibia” airs July 11 (8:21-8:43 P.M. EDT) on Disney Channel.
AMPHIBIA – “Fort in the Road” – Sprig longs for exotic road trip adventures, but Hop PopÕs strict road rules threaten to spoil all of his fun plans. This episode of “Amphibia” airs July 11 (8:21-8:43 P.M. EDT) on Disney Channel.
Please note this was transcribed from a Zoom meeting we had with Matt Braly speaking about Amphibia, we did our best attempt and please forgive any errors.