You got in my feelings, at 48 years old, the ending to Amphibia got me misty in the eyes, and I don’t regret it at all. Matt, putting together a story like this, an animated adventure arc series, when people seemed to need a story to follow as the real world was mighty crazy was a service to everyone. It felt even more personal for me, and probably many others, as well as we watched.
Once Amphibia was announced by Disney me and my daughter were immediately on board, trying to find all the bits of information that we could about what we were going to be watching. This become a topic that my daughter and I would talk about almost daily as we lived off the small crumbs of information. Fast-forward a bit and we were lucky enough to not only watch the first two episodes early but also talk to Matt Braly about the show in an interview as the first season kicked off. Here was the thing we realized though, Matt has the ability to capture both audiences with the characters and story, kids and parents both. This is where Amphibia becomes something that goes beyond just the show, and becomes a bonding experience. As my daughter put together a lot of the questions for these interviews, it had her thinking about animation differently than she had before. (Note: There is a second interview with Matt we have done as well that has many questions from my daughter). Matt also made sure to tell us that he loved my daughter’s questions, which she was ecstatic to hear.
My daughter asked questions of Matt and the show that I would not have thought to ask, and through the journey mentioned things that may have been missed by my older eyes and ears. We really were experiencing this show together and this is something that just hits way different. You see, this show now will forever hold a special spot as a parent because of the bonding experience that was had between father and daughter. Yes, some of it could be her age and when it was watched, but really it is more about Matt and the story that he put together that had us patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) waiting for the next episode to start, as well as sparking discussions about the show.
So now that Amphibia has ended, I can honestly give it my ranking in terms of overall animated shows with a large story arc, and it places a solid third. Gravity Falls is darn near unbeatable at the first spot and much of that could be due to nostalgia as I was able to watch that with every kid, even my now 18-year-old and they all enjoyed it. If it is on today, we will still watch it and not change the channel, it has this crazy amount of re-watchability. Second and by such a slim margin, razor-thin, is Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, my daughter actually disagrees here and thinks Amphibia and Kipo are tied. Third of all time, nothing to be upset about, and while I put it third, I will say the ending by far is the most emotional of them all.
So let’s talk about the ending. Spoilers will now appear, so make sure you have watched it, or don’t read any further. The ending was sad, there I said it, sad, like why wasn’t there a way they could communicate through a portal or phone or something! My daughter and I talked about this all day after the finale. Ok, now that I have finished venting though, Matt you gave us a realistic ending, which is why it is so good. Things wrapped up, the girls got back together, but that other world, to keep it safe, is no longer accessible. This was the hardest part of the ending for the viewer, there is real emotion here.
Now on to Anne, she took a job that would keep her close to the amphibians and she does name one of the frogs she takes care of, Sprig. It is a cute pink frog and this is where you had water in my eyes. The only knock in the episode was the girls with their special powers, the Pom-Poms and dice might have been a little much, but I get the anime nod you were going for. I will also say the previous Star Wars stuff you worked in was also great in the series. The other thing that at first upset me was when Sasha said that her and Anne grew apart in high school. I thought, how could it be based on what they went through, no way, but then a day later I got it. It was because of what they went through that they grew apart a bit. So glad you brought them all together again for the birthday, this was a fitting end and showed how friendship is powerful.
So really, this is more of a thank-you note, Matt. This family appreciates you bringing us together in a time when it was needed. If you haven’t had the time to watch Amphibia, take the time, watch it as a family, you will not regret a minute of it. The only thing that I will say is Matt will you please offer up some of your sketches for sale, your audience would love the ability to hold on to a piece of Amphibia a little longer.
Also thanks to the Amphibia Reddit group, they made this a fun journey!