Disenchantment – Season 1 premiere – ‘A Princess, an Elf and a Demon Walk into a Bar’


The brainchild of Matt Groening, Netflix animated series ‘Disenchantment’ begins with a rebellious Princess and ends with a cliffhanger.

If you’ve ever liked The Simpsons and Futurama, there’s a good chance you’ll like Disenchantment, a Netflix original animated series.

While The Simpsons takes place in Springfield and Futurama (mostly) occurs in the distant future, this show takes us into a quirky world of elves, princesses, demons, and countless other fantasy thingamabobs.

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As the premiere begins, we immediately learn that Princess Tiabeanie (Abbi Jacobson), or “Bean,” really doesn’t want to get married to Prince Guysbert (David Herman), the dim-witted son of the incestuous King and Queen of Bentwood.

In fact, she expresses general disenchantment with Dreamland. She is not alone in such feelings.

In the land of Elfwood, we meet Elfo (Nat Faxon) and Kissy (Jeny Batten), along with a bunch of other elves.

Somewhat predictably, Elfo doesn’t appreciate his assembly line job. Much like a certain elf in “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Elfo’s a misfit because he admits that he’s not always happy.  He even quips: “Singing while you work’s not happiness, it’s mental illness.”

He wishes he could go where people are miserable. Soon enough, he’ll get his wish.

A Personal Demon and an Adventurous Elf

Quite randomly, the Princess is sent a cat-like “personal demon” named Luci (Eric Andre). Initially, she tries to be rid of it, but seemingly nothing she does can make him go away. While she threatens to drown her demons in alcohol, this literal demon is supposedly there to lure her into greater evils.

Interestingly enough, though, Luci seems to be interested in a kinder, gently evil — the kind that acts as a companion, and curls up on one’s chest as one sleeps. Did I mention that Luci is like a cat?

Anyway, back in Elfwood, Elfo commits a major violation of the elf code (or something to that effect) by getting frisky with Kissy the Elf. In fact, the rest of the elves aim to hang Elfo for getting with Kissy. Fortunately, Kissy springs to Elfo’s rescue, freeing him from the noose and giving Elfo a chance to escape.

When Elfo mentions leaving, one of the elves mentions an elf who did leave before named Leavo. He is quickly chastised: “Speak no more of Leavo, Speako!”

It’s made clear that such a journey is brimming with perils: “No elf has ever returned — not even Returno!” Elfo sidesteps their warning, however. Still, the warning proves accurate.

Soon after Elfo leaves, he gets snatched up by a giant bird. He also sees the ravages of war, as giants (possibly ogres) are engaged in bloody battle with gnomes. After surveying the carnage, the relatively happy-go-lucky Elfo notes: “I like war, but I can’t say I love it.”

He also meets a humble farmer and wife, who end up being such downers that Elfo cannot stay.

Exit the Wedding, Enter the Forest

The dreaded wedding day has arrived — Bean is to marry Prince Guysbert, the Slayer of Metallica. Before they can seal the deal, Bean utterly rejects the idea and throws her wedding ring near a decorative grouping of swords.

Being chivalric, valiant and stupid, Guysbert impales his head on one of the swords while trying to retrieve the ring.

If that’s not enough, Elfo crashes the wedding party, and Bean’s father, King Zøg (John DiMaggio), immediately wants his magic (though it hasn’t established that Elfo has magical properties).

Specifically, Zøg offers a shiny, gold Zøg to whoever catches the elf. Zøg also sends Knights out to capture his fleeing daughter.

Our heroes (or whatever they’re called) enter a forest, where they flee up a tree and meet a Fairy prostitute (Tress MacNeille) who urges them to find a Wishmaster. Instead, they find a “Washmaster,” who is much sought after as a washer of clothes.

Though he proves useless to them, their situation inspires them to talk about wishes, which is a chance to get to know each other. For example, as the leading demon of Disenchanted, Luci wishes he could get rid of all the diseases plaguing mankind and replace them with worse ones.

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Still, as things look hopeless, Bean, Elfo and Luci take a leap of faith from a cliff. Will they be safe, or will they … well, okay, we know they’ll likely be safe, as the show isn’t over with just one episode. Still, it’s fun to pretend, right?

That’s it for this Disenchantment recap. What are your thoughts on the new Netflix series? Let us know in the comments!