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Disenchantment

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Disenchantment TV Poster Image
Series from Simpsons creator has strong women, violence.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 16 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Positive messages include teamwork (most in evidence when Bean, Elfo, and Luci work together), and using brains instead of force to solve problems. These messages are frequently subverted by the team's (comical) squabbling, and by frequent scenes of throwaway violence. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Bean is a rich, powerful character: a young woman who rejects expectations and decides instead to pursue a more authentic life. She progresses over the course of the series and learns how to make genuine connections with others. Some other characters are stereotypes (King Zog is basically a violent Homer Simpson), while others are abused for comic effect -- Elfo is caged, his blood drained, and so on. 

Violence

Violence is played for laughs but is surprisingly intense, commonplace, with minor characters frequently dying (falling off a cliff, killed by a potion) and worse -- e.g., a character who's accidentally killed is then dropped down a trapdoor for basement pigs to eat. A character contemplates suicide as alternative to marriage. A chicken is eaten from the feet up; it clucks in pain, falls limp. Knights fight ogres with swords. Bean falls from a great height and isn't injured (she falls onto a horse). Elfo's blood is drained by those wishing to steal Elvish magic, and characters splosh around in a deep pool of blood. 

Sex

Rude jokes about sex: "Speaking of things to poke, we've got a wedding to plan!" In one episode, a running gag centers around a man having sex with a group of seals he mistook for mermaids, leaving him with what he terms a "sad, puckered dong." 

Language

Language is relatively mild: the odd "hell" or "damn" mixed with rude but allowed-on-TV words like "dong." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Bean is depicted and referred to as "hard-drinking" and an "alcoholic," and she has a few drinks before many activities. Characters at wild parties guzzle beer and get silly and sloppy. Minor characters smoke cigars and pipes; Luci is frequently shown smoking cigarettes.  

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Disenchantment is an animated series from Simpsons creator Matt Groening about a princess (voiced by Abbi Jacobson) in a magical kingdom who rejects social expectations. Princess Bean is a strong, non-stereotypical character looking for an authentic life. But she's also a problem drinker who uses alcohol to suppress her feelings and frequently turns to violence to realize her goals, like when she tries to tempt a prince into throwing himself off a ship to his death. In fact, violence is surprisingly intense and frequent, though it's played for laughs: Characters fall off cliffs and are dispatched by poisons; they are stabbed, clapped into a cage, and drained of blood. (Everyone's OK in the next scene, of course.) Sexual content is less problematic, though there are rude jokes, like one in which a man has sex with seals he mistakes for mermaids. Characters drink at parties and dinners, sometimes getting sloppy, and a main character frequently smokes cigarettes. Language is mild: "hell," "damn," "dong." 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLiliom August 18, 2018

Not family friendly

I’m reposting my review that had multiple “helped me decide” votes. Not sure why it was deleted after a week, but I’ll try again: I was hoping this would be s... Continue reading
Adult Written byFlowerveined August 21, 2018
Teen, 13 years old Written byDamatrix99 August 18, 2018

It's really good and Underrated.

AGE REVIEW:This show has many violent scenes that are played for laughs such as a prince getting stabbed in the face and kept alive. There is also multiple scen... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byZoe234327713 August 18, 2018

Great but not for young kids

in short. 1. Man walks into sword and gets stabbed and the king leaves him there 2. Elf gets drained of blood multiple times 3. Pigs share lady and the tramp sc... Continue reading

What's the story?

Once upon a time, in the faraway kingdom of Dreamland, little Princess Bean was born to King Zog (voiced by John DiMaggio) and Queen Oona (Tress MacNeille) -- and though at first it seemed like they'd all live happily ever after, lately it's been a real DISENCHANTMENT. You see, Bean (Abbi Jacobson) isn't interested in living the typical princess life, marrying to make an alliance with a neighboring kingdom, and settling down to a life of popping out heirs. Instead, she embarks on a journey to find out what kind of life she does want to live, with her faithful companion Elfo (Nat Faxon) and her "personal demon" Luci (Eric Andre) by her side. 

Is it any good?

It's beautifully animated, made by experienced craftspeople, and voiced by well-loved actors -- but Matt Groening's high-profile series seems to have forgotten to bring the funny. Viewers taking a gander hoping for Futurama's brilliantly subversive thigh-slappers or even wan latter-day Simpsons chuckles will have to content themselves with gags like one in which Bean cracks her head against medieval-era signs for Dreamland businesses ("Onion Julius," "One-Hour Tooth Removal") or a dungeon's torture chamber that brings the pain with a rack, a row of whips, and a book of golf jokes. Considering that Groening and company could have used Netflix's network standards-free format to really let loose and brew up some more adult humor, these cute yet predictable visual jokes are a tad disappointing. 

The setups of each episode, too, run along classic sitcom lines: Bean gets a job! Bean throws a bachelor party! Bean throws a big party while her dad's out of town! It's not bad, per se -- there are talented writers and actors at work here. It's just a little disappointing, because the concept of the show -- a young woman born in a restrictive time finds ways to subvert society's expectations -- is fairly fresh. As it is, Disenchantment passes in a pleasant, but not really memorable, way, reading most of all as a valiant swing and a miss. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about who Disenchantment is designed to appeal to. Do you think the fact that it's animated gives it more "kid appeal" than a live-action show? Do you think people often assume that anything animated is OK for younger viewers?

  • Does the amount of violence in the show surprise you? Is it meant to be scary, funny, ironic? Do you think the show succeeds in its aims with violent content? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How does this show compare to its network TV cousins, The Simpsons and Futurama? How are the three shows alike? How are they different?

TV details

For kids who love animated comedy

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