Disenchantment Part 3 Review

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Disenchantment Part 3 ReviewDisenchantment Part 3 shows the world is far deeper and bigger than just Dream Land

Coming to Netflix on January 15, 2015, Disenchantment Part 3 continues the story of Bean, Elfo, and Lucy on their quest to not have a bunch of problems. It’s not necessarily the noblest of quests, but it is a worthy one that they seem to be unable to accomplish. What with duplicitous resurrected mothers, underground societies, secret societies, kingdom spies, and a rival kingdom that runs on steam, you can’t really expect our trio to get a day off.

Part 3 picks up immediately where Part 2 left off, with our three “heroes” seemingly rescued by Bean’s mother Dagmar after the coup of Dream Land from Part 2.  Dagmar appears to rule a subterranean society of Trogs; gray rock elf looking creatures. Meanwhile, Zøg is being monitored with the decision to kill him or let him die hangs in the balance. This is all at the behest of Odval and the Arch Druidess who are manipulating the newly appointed King Derek. Bean and company begin to adapt to life underground with Bean and Dagmar attempting to rebuild their relationship and Elfo finding a new love interest while King Zøg has to figure out how to get out of his deathwatch to save the kingdom.

That’s pretty much the beginning of the first episode, from the trailer you know it expands far beyond and includes Steam Land, but I’m doing my best not to spoil it. This is a basically spoiler-free Disenchantment Part 3 review. I say basically because I’ll give away a few gags as I gush over the performances.

But first, the story and scope of Part 3 are incredible. Matt Groening shows do an amazing job of fledging out a rich universe of characters that have distinct locations, characters, and cultures. In Part 3 we get at least two new locations with Dagmar’s Subterranean Trog Kingdom and Steam Land. Each filled with distinct characters and cultures with accompanying art and animations. It’s beautifully designed narratively, visually, and audibly. You truly get the sense of being somewhere entirely different from any other episodes of the series. There’s also the social commentary masked by religions, customs, sight gags, and probably more I didn’t pick up on in one watch.

The story and the art are only enhanced with incredible voice acting. There’s no bad performance in the lot, most characters are seasoned performers in many senses and most already have a history of working on other Groening shows, making for an extremely polished and unified performance and vision that is hard to describe but it leaves a resonating joy and appreciation. The one performance I have to shout out that somehow takes it a notch above an already excellent standard is Abbi Jacobson’s Bean. There is a scene where she impersonates Dagmar by dressing as her imitating her voice. Jacobson does a near-perfect imitation of Sharon Horgan, to the point I sometimes thought Horgan was voicing both characters. But Jacobson uses the perfect Bean sass to let you know it’s her. It’s deeply hilarious. I say deeply because the interaction is very personal and layered with years of mother-daughter strife. Another notable mention is John DiMaggio’s King Zøg descent into madness. It is simultaneously haunting and hilarious. You can’t help but laugh and feel bad about it at the same time.

This brings me to the writing, because not only is the overall story continually getting more intriguing the jokes, small and large, land subtly but impactfully. A personal favorite is the constant open-handed insults delivered as fond memories from Dagmar to Bean. The words are downright cruel, but the cadence and delivery are like a mom remembering her child’s first steps. It is so mean that you can’t help to choke up a bit each laugh. Then there’s Lucy’s obvious jerk-like nature, Elfo’s innocent yet poignant snark, inuendos, sight gags, callbacks, the show is rife with humor in just about every cel yet still weighs heavy dramatically. It’s in the same realm, if not a bit more refined, than Futurama.

I felt Part 1 and 2 might not have been paced to my exact preferences, but even then that’s a forced critique. I honestly have nothing for Part 3, aside from maybe I wish it was 13 episodes and that its finale feels a lot more like a mid-season finale and not a season finale. Again this is very forced.

Honestly, Disenchantment Part 3 is an absolute pleasure to watch. The universe of Disenchantment is geniusly expanded and populated which gives me confidence the show will be around for a while. The characters also develop on par with the scope of the world, and the jokes keep coming without ever feeling even close to too much. The humor comes from all angles and goes low and high without ever feeling like a cheap shot. The art and animation are beautiful, the audio experience is on par with most big-budget animated features, and the performances are excellent. I can’t find a bad thing to say other than the number of episodes feel like it’s too few. My Disenchantment Part 3 review gets a 5/5.

Disenchantment Part 3 will be available on Netflix on January 15, 2021

 

Disenchantment Part 3
5

TLDR

Disenchantment Part 3 is an absolute pleasure to watch. The universe of Disenchantment is geniusly expanded and populated which gives me confidence the show will be around for a while. The characters also develop on par with the scope of the world, and the jokes keep coming without ever feeling even close to too much. The humor comes from all angles and goes low and high without ever feeling like a cheap shot. The art and animation are beautiful, the audio experience is on par with most big-budget animated features, and the performances are excellent. I can’t find a bad thing to say other than the number of episodes feel like it’s too few.

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