The adventure begins

Amazon bringing D&D to life

by Eliana Megargee, Assistant Art Director

A world full of gold-hoarding dragons, of crazed necromancers and sinister vampires, of fantastical magic born of nature and gods, and a bunch of self-proclaimed “adventurers” struggling through it all. That is “The Legend of Vox Machina.”

This animated fantasy show recently released its first season on Amazon Prime. The show is based on a Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) campaign- a storyline with the same characters that is played out from its creation through the end- played by the cast of Critical Role. Critical Role is an online series that began in 2015, featuring eight voice actors who meet every Thursday to roleplay a session of D&D.

The story follows seven adventurers, made up of various D&D races and classes. There’s a gnome bard, a goliath barbarian, a human gunslinger, a gnome cleric, and three half-elves- one a druid, one a rogue, and the other a ranger.

The main storyline of season one features Percy De Rolo, the gunslinger and token human of the group, as he and his friends travel to his childhood home to reclaim it from the evil Briarwoods, who killed his family and took over the city.

This show is absolutely amazing, with a gripping story, fantastic characters, and a total banger of a soundtrack. It’s the most fun I’ve had watching a show in a long time, and I’ve already rewatched it multiple times.

Its uniqueness as a D&D campaign brought to life makes it stand out in the vast genre of fantasy shows. “The Legend of Vox Machina” is the perfect blend of fantasy; it keeps the fun and extraordinary feeling of most animated fantasy shows, with frequent magic spells and a friendly bear sidekick, while also having the crude humor- we love a good stereotypical bard- and the dark violence, such as necromancy and demons, that makes other fantasy shows popular.

Another thing that makes “The Legend of Vox Machina” great is the incredible talent of the cast. More and more often these days, animated movies and series are leaning into stunt casting by having well-known names as the stars of the show, even if they have no experience with voice acting.

This is not the case with this show. As I mentioned before, the cast of Critical Role is made up entirely of voice actors, such as Matthew Mercer and Laura Bailey. All of them got their start in voice-overs, mostly for video games and anime dubs, and their skills in the trade shine through when watching their performances.   

“The Legend of Vox Machina” has a thrilling plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat with all its twists and turns. As someone who hadn’t watched Critical Role and had no prior knowledge of the show, it was especially exciting to watch, but I know that previous fans enjoyed the show as well.

My favorite part of this show, however, has to be the diversity of the characters. Each character brings something different to the show, and they all have their own lovable features as well as meaningful character flaws.

Also, in a more literal sense of diversity, the show has great LGBTQ+ representation. One of the main characters is explicitly shown to be bisexual, another main character flirts with both women and men, and there’s a beloved side character who is a gay man and a person of color.

All these features I’ve mentioned combine to make a truly wonderful show that I can not recommend highly enough. Perfect for D&D fans, and a good gateway for casual fantasy fans looking to get into D&D, “The Legend of Vox Machina” really is worth the watch.