Matt Groening’s (“The Simpsons” and “Futurama”) new animation series “Disenchantment” is a bit of a mash-up, as the kids would say. Imagine a world in which a medieval Moroccan-type kingdom and the Keebler elves have crossed over with sly modern references and you get the world of “Disenchantment.”
If the show sounds like a fairy tale it is, just not a particularly happy one. As the title of the first show suggests, “A Princess, an Elf, and a Demon Walk into a Bar,” the show knows not to take itself too seriously.
The main characters are a troupe of three unlikely friends, Princess Tiabeanie Mariabeanie De La Rochambeaux Drunkowitz (or simply Bean) of the kingdom of Dreamland, her personal demon Luci and Elfo from an un-named world of happy elves.
Princess Bean (played by Abbi Jacobson) is your typical irresponsible heir to the throne who is unhappy with the prospect of an arranged marriage to a Prince from a neighboring kingdom ruled by his incestuous parents. Our introduction to the Princess is inside a dingy bar who is cheating while playing poker. She “wins” her hand by showing her hand to her opponent, both cards being princesses, and claims a three of a kind. “One, two, me,” she says as she points to herself.
Elfo (played by Nat Faxon) works to make candy and is paid in candy. He is dissatisfied with his happy life and when asked by hi fellow elves why he would be unhappy with his singing comrades he states: “Signing while working is not happiness, it’s mental illness.” Because he won’t conform he is sentenced to a hanging from the gumdrop tree with a crowd of elves merrily signing his demise. But as another character points out “Elves are too light. The last guy we hung died of old age.” So, Elfo leaves the elf world for a life not so happy among men and he is delighted.
Luci (played by Eric André), Bean’s personal demon, arrives as a wedding gift for the Princess. She refers to him as a ghost and he replies “I’m not a ghost. Ghosts are losers who got murdered.” As the arranged wedding starts, in a sly nod to our current political climate, a priestess proclaims: “If I talk with confidence, you dopes will believe anything I say.”
Elfo, by chance, makes his appearance at the wedding and chaos ensues as the king wants him for his magic. Our troupe escapes and goes on a search for the Wish Master only to find that his title is really called the Wash Master.
The show is wonky, to coin a phrase, and is not without its share of violence but that violence is more of the “Itchy and Scratchy” kind. If your up for a roll of laughs in 30 minutes “Disenchantment” a great way to escape your own world and still be reminded of it all the same.