The Legend of Vox Machina

The Legend of Vox Machina
Starring
Production
Animation byTitmouse
Release
Hosted onPrime Video
No. of seasons2 (3 greenlit)
No. of episodes24
First airedJanuary 28, 2022

The Legend of Vox Machina is an animated series adapting the Vox Machina campaign funded via Kickstarter. It is produced by Critical Role Productions, Titmouse Inc., and Amazon Studios and released through Prime Video. The series will span three seasons of twelve episodes for the first and the second season. The first season ran from January 28, 2022 through February 18, 2022, and the second season began airing January 20, 2023.

The main cast of Critical Role reprise their roles as their player characters, and Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer reprises his role as multiple non-player characters, most notably Sylas Briarwood and Trinket. The first season begins with Vox Machina facing Brimscythe, before adapting the Briarwoods arc. The second season then goes on to adapt the Chroma Conclave arc, which continues into the third season.

The series is considered its own canon with a continuity separate and distinct from the core canon of the Critical Role streamed campaign and related canonical works.[1]

Plot[edit | edit source]

The season begins with a two-part episode covering Vox Machina's pre-stream slaying of Brimscythe, then adapts their confrontation with Delilah and Sylas Briarwood in Whitestone during the second arc of Campaign 1.

The second season covers part of the third arc of the campaign with the Chroma Conclave.

Episodes and release[edit | edit source]

Key art for seasons one and two featuring Vox Machina.

Each season of The Legend of Vox Machina spans twelve episodes, released in batches of three episodes over four weeks on Prime Video.[2][3]

The series will have a third season.[4]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 12 January 28, 2022 February 18, 2022
2 12 January 20, 2023 February 10, 2023
3 To be announced

Credits[edit | edit source]

  • Shannon Prynoski - Executive producer[5]
  • Ben Kalina - Executive producer[5]
  • Antonio Cannobio - Senior vice president and chief creative officer of Titmouse[6]
  • Sung Jin Ahn - Supervising director[7]
  • Mary Elizabeth McGlynn - Voice director[8]
  • Young Heller - Episodic director[9]
  • Alicia Chan - Episodic director[9]
  • Stanley Von Medvey - Episodic director
  • Rebecca Ung - Production coordinator[9]
  • Elizabeth Schantz - Writer's room production assistant[9]

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main cast[edit | edit source]

Recurring guest cast[edit | edit source]

Art[edit | edit source]

  • Arthur Loftis - Art director
  • Phil Bourassa - Lead character designer
  • Karen Guo - Storyboard artist[9]
  • Cassey Kuo - Storyboard artist[9]
  • Marvin Britt - Storyboard revisionist[9]
  • Joseph Martinez - Background designer[9]
  • Victoria Thornberry - Color design[9]
  • Nick Lombardo - Character designer[13]
  • Luke Ashworth - Character designer[13]
  • Bertrand Todesco - Character designer[13]

Script[edit | edit source]

Production[edit | edit source]

Crowdfunding[edit | edit source]

The Legend of Vox Machina code.[art 1]
Promotional image from the Kickstarter campaign

Members of the cast attempted to pitch the series to a few production companies, but were unsuccessful.[16] They decided to try a crowdfunding campaign and reached out to the animation studio Titmouse, Inc. to create a teaser trailer. On February 21, 2019 on Critical Role's Twitter tweeted an image featuring a code with an encouragement to crack it.[17] On February 25, Critical Role's Twitter announced that the code was solved within 20 minutes, revealing the answer "Help us animate Vox Machina".[18][19] The Legend of Vox Machina Kickstarter was launched on March 4th, 2019, lasting for 45 days (ending on April 18th, 2019 at 11:59 pm). The original goal was to create a 22-minute animated special. Within the first 45 minutes of the Kickstarter going live, the $750,000 goal was surpassed, and it reached $1,000,000 in the first hour. After the first day, $3.0 million was raised, passing all the stretch goals the team had planned. Within the next few days, The Legend of Vox Machina became the most funded film/animation project across Kickstarter. It eventually raised $11,385,449, becoming the 5th most funded project on Kickstarter at the time with 88,887 backers.[20]

Kickstarter Campaign End Party

To celebrate the close of the Kickstarter campaign and to thank Critters for their love and support, the cast was joined by special guest Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 for the Kickstarter Campaign End Party.

Stretch goals and rewards[edit | edit source]

Image of Kickstarter stretch goals.[art 2]
  • 1 Million
    • Free digital download of the special's soundtrack for $20+ Backers.
    • One-shot: The Search For Bob.
  • 1.5 Million
    • 22 addition minutes to the animated special.
    • Backers at the $100+ will get an exclusive crew knitted Legend of Vox Machina beanie.
  • 2 Million
  • 2.5 Million
    • 22 addition minutes to the animated special.
    • Backers at the $100+ will get an exclusive Legend of Vox Machina d20 with their dice sets.
  • 3 Million
    • 22 addition minutes to the animated special.
    • Backers at the $200+ will get an exclusive Dagger Dagger Dagger letter opener set.
    • One-shot: Vox Machina x Mighty Nein.
  • 5.75 Million
    • The start of the Briarwoods Arc (2 episodes, 44 minutes of animation)
  • 7.5 Million
    • Continuation of the Briarwoods Arc (2 episodes, 44 minutes of animation)
    • One-shot: Guest Battle Royale
  • 8.8 Million
  • 10 Million (secret goal)[21]

Production history[edit | edit source]

Character designs for The Legend of Vox Machina, by Phil Bourassa.[art 3]

In November 2019, Amazon partnered on the project to be seen exclusively on Prime Video and expanding it to two seasons totaling 24 episodes.[22]

In June 2020, Critical Role announced that the launch of the series would be delayed from the originally projected Fall 2020 date to an unspecified date in Summer to Fall 2021.[23] At a panel at New York City Comic-Con, the release date was announced to be February 4, 2022.[24] The premiere date was later moved up to January 28, 2022.[5] Kickstarter backers received early access to the first two episodes via private showings beginning January 25, 2022.[25]

In a Kickstarter update, it was revealed that the first two episodes of the series would follow a new adventure within the canon of Vox Machina, falling in the timeline before Kraghammer and that the following episodes would complete the Briarwoods arc and move "into other classic Vox Machina story arcs as well."[26] However, the series instead ended up starting in Emon, with the storyline of Brimscythe. During a Q&A, art director Arthur Loftis mentioned that the series would consist of 10 episodes;[27] however, this was later changed to two seasons of twelve episodes each.

The official description for the New York Comic Con panel of The Legend of Vox Machina described the series as "an animated fantasy-adventure series for adults that follows Vox Machina, a band of misfits with a fondness for boozing and brawling. In a desperate attempt to pay off their mounting bar tab, these unlikely heroes end up on a quest to save the realm of Exandria from dark magical forces. From a sinister necromancer to a powerful curse, the group confronts a variety of obstacles that not only test their skills, but also the strength of their bond."[28]

Though the series was announced to be premiered at midnight PST on January 28, 2022,[29] it released eight hours early at midnight UTC (or GMT) instead.[30]

At a New York Comic Con panel held on October 6, 2022, Critical Role announced that season two would be set to air in January 2023 and that the series was greenlit for a third season.[4]

Writing and recording[edit | edit source]

The writing team often ordered events differently than in Campaign 1 because they felt that a different order was more interesting, connected better to a future event, or ensured the show "stays fresh". Some events not adapted in season one were not necessarily removed entirely but moved further down the timeline.[31]

The show's animators decided to use CG (computer-generated) animation for action scenes, because of the difficulty of rendering the hand-drawn imagery, which could be simplified, but it wouldn't look that detailed. Animating the dragons with CG, the animation team captured various details on the wings, scales, and claws.[32]

Initial vocal recording for combat scenes were built out of a library of sounds (grunts, groans, other exertions, etc.) recorded by each actor after their main sessions, as is standard practice. Once final versions of the combat scenes were animated, the cast re-recorded the scenes in real time to make the vocals specific to the action and "more nuanced", a choice that Sam characterized as particularly meticulous. He said, "Every fight scene in every episode is all unique to that episode, and we never repeat a single fight sound in any of them."[33]

Music[edit | edit source]

Music for the series was composed by Neal Acree with songs written by Sam Riegel and Peter Habib (as Mr. Fantastic).[34] The orchestral score is performed by the Budapest Scoring Orchestra. Lakeshore Records released an album of music for the first season in January 2022, alongside the series premiere, and will release an album for the second season in 2023.[35]

Related media[edit | edit source]

Comics[edit | edit source]

A prequel graphic novel series, The Legend of Vox Machina: The Whitestone Chronicles, will be published by Dark Horse Comics. Ripley will release as the first installment in 2024.[36]

Pre-release specials[edit | edit source]

In the time between the announcement of the Kickstarter and the series' release, several sneak peek videos were posted on Critical Role's YouTube channel. For the full list, see The Legend of Vox Machina Pre-release Specials.

Watch Parties[edit | edit source]

For both seasons of the series,[37] Critical Role hosted livestreamed watch parties in which Mica Burton and guests from the cast and crew of The Legend of Vox Machina watch the three most recently released episodes of the series and answer questions taken from the live Twitch chat. These streams use Twitch's Watch Party feature and are scheduled for each Tuesday at 7:00pm PT after episodes release. The question and answer portions, without commentary made during each episode, are collected and posted to YouTube the following Wednesday at 3:00pm PT.[38]

Sam Riegel and Travis Willingham were guests for every Watch Party, except for the one discussing "Shadows at the Gates" (LVM1x04) to "Spark of Rebellion" (LVM1x06) in season one.

No. Episodes discussed Special guests Original airdate Links Runtimes
Season 1
1 "The Terror of Tal'Dorei - Part 1" (LVM1x01) to "The Feast of Realms" (LVM1x03) Brandon Auman, Matthew Mercer February 1, 2022 Twitch
YouTube
2:35:38
0:58:05
2 "Shadows at the Gates" (LVM1x04) to "Spark of Rebellion" (LVM1x06) Sung Jin Ahn, Laura Bailey,
Taliesin Jaffe, Liam O'Brien
February 8, 2022 Twitch
YouTube
2:34:18
1:03:22
3 "Scanbo" (LVM1x07) to "The Tide of Bone" (LVM1x09) Ashley Johnson, Arthur Loftis, Marisha Ray February 15, 2022 Twitch
YouTube
2:29:37
0:59:38
4 "Depths of Deceit" (LVM1x10) to "The Darkness Within" (LVM1x12) Grey Griffin, Taliesin Jaffe, Matthew Mercer February 22, 2022 Twitch
YouTube
2:44:46
1:17:54
Season 2
5 "Rise of the Chroma Conclave" (LVM2x01) to "The Sunken Tomb" (LVM2x03) Matthew Mercer, Will Friedle, Sung Jin Ahn, Sunil Malhotra January 24, 2023 Twitch
YouTube
2:38:49
1:04:15
6 "Those Who Walk Away" (LVM2x04) to "Into Rimecleft" (LVM2x06) Liam O'Brien, Marisha Ray, Robbie Daymond, Alicia Chan January 31, 2023 Twitch
YouTube
2:32:40
0:57:24
7 "The Fey Realm" (LVM2x07) to "A Test of Pride" (LVM2x09) Taliesin Jaffe, Laura Bailey, Ashley Johnson, Arthur Loftis, Young Heller, Troy Baker February 7, 2023 Twitch
YouTube
2:34:59
1:08:10
8 "The Killbox" (LVM2x10) to "The Hope Devourer" (LVM2x12) Matthew Mercer, Liam O'Brien, Phil Bourassa February 14, 2023 Twitch
YouTube
2:53:02
1:14:18

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Character designs
  • The name of the series is likely a callback to "The Story of Vox Machina" (Mx04), a special episode summarizing Vox Machina's adventures before the start of the stream. This special also featured animation, done by Wendy Sullivan Green.
  • The heights of several characters appear to have been modified for this series. In the past, Keyleth has been described as being 6 feet tall,[39] which is taller than the twins' 5'11" and 5'9";[40][41] however, in the official character lineup, she is shorter than both of them. Grog appears to have been scaled down, as he was initially described as an 8'7" half-giant[42] but seems closer in height to the others in this version.
  • As a surprise for Matt, the design team intentionally designed a character model that looked like him.[43] Several characters with his likeness have appeared in a minor role in every episode so far and are all voiced by Matt.
  • Before the premiere of The Legend of Vox Machina: Season One, Critical Role send out gift boxes themed after the show, and Mica Burton was on the list of people who has recieved the box. The box was attached with a letter, where Sovereign Uriel Tal'Dorei II and Vox Machina welcomed her to the world of Exandria with a gift her a new keep in Emon. The box contained the key and the deed to the keep.[44]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) on Twitter: "The Animated Series is it's own "adaptation" with its own canon, though we include as much of the OG canon as we can. :) However, the actual campaign/stream still remains and is the original, core canon." (January 28, 2022). (backup link)
  2. HYPE: Check Out the Official Trailer for The Legend of Vox Machina! (January 12, 2022) on CritRole.com
  3. 'Legend of Vox Machina' Season 2 Trailer: Critical Role's Chroma Conclave Comes to Life (December 15, 2022) by Jordan Moreau at Variety.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Critical Role (@CriticalRole) on Twitter: "We can't wait to bring you #TheLegendOfVoxMachina Season Two in January 2023 🥳 BUT - it will take more than just two seasons to tell the story of these legends... ✨ WE'RE OFFICIALLY GREENLIT FOR SEASON 3! ✨" (October 6, 2022). (backup link)
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 "The Legend of Vox Machina crew squabble in exclusive clip as show gets new premiere date" (December 20, 2021) by Nick Romano at Entertainment Weekly
  6. "Crew & A Episode 4: Exploring Exandria" on YouTube
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Exclusive Interview: 'The Legend of Vox Machina' Ready to Cast Its Spell on Prime Video" (January 4, 2022) by Tom McLean at Animation Magazine
  8. "The Legend of the Voices of The Legend of Vox Machina" at 1:38.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 "Crew & A Episode 1: Getting to Know You" on YouTube
  10. "The Legend of the Voices of The Legend of Vox Machina" at 9:49.
  11. See a list of credits for the series for more names.
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 "The Legend of the Cast of The Legend of Vox Machina"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Named in Kickstarter Update #44
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 14.9 See the announcement of the writing team on Kickstarter.
  15. Credits for "Rise of the Chroma Conclave" (LVM2x01).
  16. 'Legend of Vox Machina': How Critical Role Turned a D&D Game Night Into a Hit Animated Series (January 28, 2022) by Shannon O'Connor at The Daily Beast.
  17. Critical Role (@CriticalRole) on Twitter: "What does it all mean!" (February 21, 2019). (backup link)
  18. Critical Role (@CriticalRole) on Twitter: "ICYMI, on March 4, we're launching a Kickstarter project to create a Vox Machina animated special! We’ll have more details to share leading up to our big launch. Epic shoutout to the ingenious @TimothyGElsy for being the first to crack the code (within a mere 20 minutes)!" (February 25, 2019). (backup link)
  19. Timothy G. Elsy (@TimothyGElsy) on Twitter: "Well I broke down the symbols. Some seemed to contain another within themselves and when I wrote out the full length and spotted repeating symbols I solved the last word as Machina then the rest kind of fell into place" (February 21, 2019).
  20. List of most funded Kickstarter projects.
  21. After being mentioned on "Talks Machina #106: In Love and War" (TM2x57) and "Wood and Steel" (2x58), this stretch goal was confirmed in a Kickstarter update.
  22. November 2019 Critical Role update on Kickstarter.
  23. June 2020 Critical Role update on Kickstarter.
  24. "The Legend of Vox Machina" NYCC Highlights: A Premiere Date, a Table Read, and LVM's Official Opening Title Sequence! on CritRole.com
  25. RSVP to Early Access Screenings, Season 1 Viewing Info, & More!.
  26. Critical Role update on Kickstarter.
  27. Tavern Keeper Build | The Legend of Vox Machina
  28. Event information on Kickstarter
  29. Programming Schedule: Week of January 24, 2022 on CritRole.com
  30. See archive of The Legend of Vox Machina on Prime Video on January 28, 2022 at 00:31:54 UTC, showing the first three episodes as available to watch with a January 27, 2022 release date.
  31. The Legend of Vox Machina Episodes 10-12 Q&A at 1:10:06.
  32. The Legend of Vox Machina Episodes 1-3 Q&A at 29:26.
  33. The Legend of Vox Machina Episodes 10-12 Q&A at 45:00.
  34. "The Legend of the Music of The Legend of Vox Machina".
  35. "The Legend of Vox Machina Soundtrack – Music By Neal Acree, Sam Riegel & Mr. Fantastic Debuts Digitally, Amazon Original Series Now Streaming" (January 28, 2022) at Soundtracks, Scores & More!
  36. Dark Horse, Critical Role, Amazon Studios Tease "The Legend of Vox Machina: Whitestone Chronicles" on Dark Horse Comics' official website
  37. Watch Parties for the Legend of Vox Machina Season 2! on CritRole.com
  38. Get Ready for The Legend of Vox Machina Watch Parties! on CritRole.com
  39. Marisha Ray gave Keyleth's height as 6' in a discussion on Twitter.
  40. Liam states Vax is 5'11" a Twitter thread. Archived version of this thread.
  41. "Aramente to Pyrah" (1x22) at 1:20:14.
  42. "The Temple Showdown" (1x11) at 3:21:34.
  43. Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) on Twitter: "Oh... it was VERY intentional. (Not on MY part, but definitely on the design team's as a surprise)" (January 28, 2022) — in reply to: "Need to know if the animators intentionally modeled an NPC to look like @matthewmercer for each episode" (backup link)
  44. Mica Burton (@MicaBurton) on Twitter: "Okay @CriticalRole this is the dopest premiere gift box a girl could ask for. 🖤 I can’t wait to snuggle up and watch #TheLegendofVoxMachina IN JUST TWO DAYS AHHHH!!!!" (January 26, 2022). (backup link)

Art:

  1. The Legend of Vox Machina code (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  2. Image of Kickstarter stretch goals (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  3. Character designs for The Legend of Vox Machina, by Phil Bourassa (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.