The Collegian
Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Film Fridays: 'The Legend of Vox Machina'

<p><em>Graphic by Carissa Gurgul</em></p>

Graphic by Carissa Gurgul

In the past few months, you may have seen some kind of advertisement for a new animated show from Amazon. If you’re anything like me, you likely skipped through the ads and passed it off as something to ignore. But let me assure you, “The Legend of Vox Machina,” the latest animated show from Amazon Prime Video, is a series you definitely don’t want to miss.

Featuring an array of incredible voice actors, “Vox Machina” makes full use of its cast and weaves together a surprisingly emotional tale about fellowship and adventure set amidst a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. 

The show was produced by Critical Role Studios alongside Amazon Studios and is based on the popular Dungeons and Dragons-based show “Critical Role.” This cohort of voice actors come together to craft impressive narratives and fleshed-out characters while playing a simple board game. With the popularity of the show increasing in recent years, “The Legend of Vox Machina” serves as a perfect next step for the group.

The cast includes Laura Bailey, whose roles range from animated shows to countless video games; Ashley Johnson, who voiced and portrayed Ellie in the acclaimed video game “The Last of Us;” Matthew Mercer, who has had a wide range of roles to his name; and a handful of other prominent voice actors. These actors truly elevate the emotional involvement of the audience and keep the viewer engaged throughout.

Set in the fictional realm of Tal’Dorei, “The Legend of Vox Machina,” follows a misfit band of heroes as they search for purpose. Their search lands them right in the middle of a massive political conflict that reveals a piece of each character’s past. Their backstories are progressively shared with the audience and afford the viewer a chance to care about their favorite member. Unlike other shows, where backstories and introductions may be rushed through, “Vox Machina” includes information as it becomes relevant. The audience doesn’t need to know everything in the first episode and the show recognizes this. By introducing characters in this staggered format, the “Vox Machina” doesn’t interrupt any plot momentum or take the viewer away from what is important in each episode. 

Not only is the voice acting incredible, but the show is also really funny. With a lot of witty dialogue and sharp jokes, “Vox Machina” really keeps every episode fresh and interesting. I was always curious to find out what the next episode would include and where it would take the rogue band of companions. It also helped that the animation is breathtaking and truly something new for Amazon.

With a slew of great animated shows in the past few months and more slated for release, Amazon Prime Video has added another gem in its library. With a 100% fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes, it is safe to say that the “Critical Role” team has produced something extraordinary. I highly recommend the show to anyone looking for something unusual, yet enjoyable, and that isn’t too much of a time commitment. 

Contact columnist Quinn Humphrey at quinn.humphrey@richmond.edu.

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