Wander into AmphibiaJune 21, 2019
Right about now, the creator of Amphibia (premiering tomorrow on Disney Channel), Matt Braly, has a lot of reasons to feel good about himself.
First, his show is premiering tomorrow, which must be exhilarating.
Second, the show has already been picked up for season 2. Before its season 1 premiere. That just never happens; except it did. “It’s [such a] vote of confidence [from Disney.] I’m flattered, and beyond excited,” said Matt Braly, Amphibia’s creator and executive producer.
But what’s Amphibia about? Well, it’s about a teenage girl named Anne; she’s brave, and independent, and she finds a magical music box that transports her to the fantastical world of Amphibia, a rural marshland settled by frog-people. Sounds intriguing, right?
It’s actually based (partially) on Braly’s experiences as a young boy, who spent his summers visiting his mother’s family in Bangkok, Thailand. “As an American kid from California,” Braly said, “it felt like being transported into a different world. As my previous show (Gravity falls) [was winding down], I buckled down about making my own [and] I reached back into my memories. The best stories come from there.”
It’s not a stretch to imagine that, at some point in their lives, most everyone has felt like a fish out of water; like they’re in a place where they feel as though they don’t belong. It’s something Braly acknowledges in his show, and he hopes that its core message connects with families. “I hope [Amphibia] resonates. [It’s about] finding your best self in a new environment. [Anyone] can begin again in this new place.”
Amphibia will drive a positive message for young people, and families, but it won’t lack entertainment, as the cast is stellar.
Brenda Song, a Disney Channel favourite, plays Anne, and is charming, sweet, and certainly lends the character a great depth which serves the show well.
And its guest cast is phenomenal, featuring appearances by Tony Hale, known for Arrested Development, Veep, and others, as Apothecary Gary (who sounds both handsome and trustworthy), Chris Sullivan, beloved for his role as Toby on This is Us, as Gunther, and Stephen Root, best known for his role in Office Space, as Mayor Toadstool.
Those three are just the first three, the list goes on and on. (And I have word limits!)
Braly provided strong kudos to his casting department, “amazing” is how he described their work. He’d ask “can we get this person?” and, based on the cast list, it seems like the answer was usually yes.
Amphibia premieres on Saturday, June 22nd, at 9 am, on Disney Channel.
Thanks to Matt Braly for taking the time to speak with me
All images copyright Disney Channel and used with permission