Critical Role may have begun as just a group of voice actor friends celebrating a birthday with a game of Dungeons & Dragons, but in no short time at all, it’s grown into a full-blown franchise spawning tie-in media including comics and toys. Their greatest adventure is yet to come however as The Legend of Vox Machina, the long-awaited animated show based on the smash-hit tabletop role-playing game, arrives on Prime Video.
Originally intended as a mere 22-minute animated short film through a crowdfunding campaign with a relatively modest $750,000 goal, Vox Machina exceeded everyone’s expectations (and then some), breaking Kickstarter records and raising over $11.4 million. It didn’t come as a surprise then that the project evolved into a full-fledged animated series with Amazon acquiring the streaming rights.
Over the course of 115 episodes and 373 hours of gameplay, fans (dubbed Critters) were enthralled by the boozing and brawling misfit group known as Vox Machina and their epic quest to save the realm of Exandria from dark magical forces. You can imagine then the daunting task of adapting such a sprawling narrative and world into an animated series.
The Beat had the pleasure of chatting with Vox Machina executive producer Brandon Auman as well as Critical Role co-founders and voice actors Travis Willingham, aka goliath barbarian Grog Strongjaw and Sam Riegel, aka gnome bard Scanlan Shorthalt. Critical Role’s initial problems finding funding for this project mirrors that of the Monty Python comedy group in producing the Holy Grail film, a comparison we discuss in length as well as the casting process for the supporting characters, and even idle speculation about future Vox Machina convention plans.
Watch our exclusive interview below!
Based on the beloved characters and adventures of Critical Role’s first livestreamed tabletop role-playing game (RPG) campaign, The Legend of Vox Machina is an animated fantasy-adventure series for adults that follows Vox Machina, a band of misfits with a fondness for boozing and brawling. In a desperate attempt to pay off their mounting bar tab, these unlikely heroes end up on a quest to save the realm of Exandria from dark magical forces. From a sinister necromancer to a powerful curse, the group confronts a variety of obstacles that not only test their skills, but also the strength of their bond.
The Legend of Vox Machina is a production of Amazon Studios, Critical Role, and Titmouse for Prime Video. The series stars Critical Role founders and cast members Laura Bailey (The Last of Us: Part II), Taliesin Jaffe (Final Fantasy XIV), Ashley Johnson (The Last of Us), Liam O’Brien (Star Wars: The Bad Batch), Matthew Mercer (Overwatch), Marisha Ray (Final Fantasy XV), Sam Riegel (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and Travis Willingham (Marvel’s Avengers). The Critical Role cast also serves as executive producers, alongside Brandon Auman (Star Wars: Resistance), Chris Prynoski (Metalocalypse), Shannon Prynoski (Fairfax), and Ben Kalina (Big Mouth).
Critical Role is a story-driven media company created by a group of nerdy-ass voice actors that started out sitting around a table together as friends creating epic stories. In 2019, they launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce a 22-minute animated special based on the characters and adventures of Vox Machina, Critical Role’s original livestreamed tabletop RPG campaign. They met their initial funding goal within minutes, and thanks to Critical Role’s passionate fanbase, the campaign continued to gain traction, raising over $11.3 million and becoming one of the most funded Film & Video projects in Kickstarter history. The fan support allowed Critical Role to expand the special into a 10-episode season. When Amazon Studios picked up the series, it built on that record-breaking support by ordering an additional 14 episodes, bringing the total number of episodes to 24 across two seasons, which will stream exclusively on Prime Video.
The Legend of Vox Machina is streaming now on Prime Video.