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Animated 'Critical Role' D&D show breaks Kickstarter record'

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Animated 'Critical Role' D&D show breaks Kickstarter record'

Old 03-09-19, 04:51 PM
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Animated 'Critical Role' D&D show breaks Kickstarter record'

Looks like we'll be getting an unofficial Dungeons & Dragons cartoon next year.

I started watching Critical Role about 5 months ago and have since become hooked. I never would've imagine I'd enjoy watching a 3-4 hour show of people sitting around playing Dungeons & Dragons. I'm looking forward to seeing this series develop (so much so that I pitched in to fund the Kickstarter).

Are there any other Critters on this forum?



Critical Role Team, After Record-Breaking Fan Crowdfunding Response, Vows to Make ‘The Best Goddamn Cartoon Anyone Has Ever Seen’
The Critters have voted with their dollars — and they’re not done yet.

In under five days, Critical Role’s Kickstarter campaign to produce an animated special has raised $6.54 million as of Friday at 1:30 p.m. PT from around 48,000 fans (aka Critters) of the Dungeons & Dragons weekly role-playing show. It busted the crowdfunding platform’s record on Thursday for the most-funded TV or film project ever, topping the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” campaign in 2015. It hit its original $750,000 goal for “The Legend of Vox Machina,” about the first Critical Role D&D campaign that ran from 2015-17, in less than an hour.

Now Critical Role has pledged to make at least six 22-minute episodes of “Vox Machina.” If the money keeps rolling in, with 41 days still left to run on Kickstarter, they could produce as many as 10 episodes — or possibly even more, according to Travis Willingham, Critical Role CEO, cast member and executive producer on the series.

The unexpected level of fundraising means Critical Role will be able to invest more into the production, said Sam Riegel, Critical Role cast member and also an EP on the series.

“We’re going to make this the best goddamn cartoon anyone has ever seen,” Riegel said.

The CR team is still shocked and amazed by the fan support. “We thought it would be a fraction of what we’ve seen. We were grossly unprepared for this,” said Willingham, who thought $3 million was the absolute max they’d be able to raise. Added Riegel: “In our wildest dreams, we had hopes to make a pilot episode –- and maybe if the gods were smiling, a two-part special that we could show off to studios. We never thought we could make the series straight off Kickstarter.”

Critical Role started working on the project in the spring of 2018. Initially, the team pitched the idea to “major streaming distributors” and a few TV networks, Willingham recalled. “We said, ‘This is just ripe for the picking.’ There was some interest but mostly it was met with confusion. When we tried to describe the weekly show, they didn’t really get it.”


After getting snubbed by Hollywood, CR decided to take a crack at bringing the project to life on Kickstarter. Since the campaign blew up, a few of the would-be buyers have checked in with Willingham, who said it’s possible “Vox Machina” could land a deal with a TV or streaming outlet. “We’re interested in seeing who might be able to offer us distribution avenues,” he said. “We’re waiting to see what happens in the next 40 days.” In any case, CR has pledged to give Kickstarter contributors first-window access to the series.

Even before trying to shop “Vox Machina” around town, Willingham and Riegel had settled on animation house Titmouse as the production partner. Titmouse’s credits include Netflix’s “Big Mouth,” Adult Swim’s “Venture Bros.” and “Metalocalypse,” and Disney’s “Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures.”

Besides the studio’s track record, Titmouse co-founder Chris Prynoski is a huge D&D fan, Willingham said: “He has a running eight-year campaign in Los Angeles. He’s our kind of peeps.” Said Riegel: “They have a punk-rock awesome they bring to table.” In addition, CR signed on writer Jennifer Muro (“Justice League Action,” “Star Wars Forces of Destiny”) to script the series.

Production on “The Legend of Vox Machina” is slated to start at end of May or the beginning June, with an 18-month production calendar. Critical Role is aiming for the fall of 2020 to release the series.

The full Critical Role cast will voice their “Vox Machina” characters in the series: Willingham (Grog), Sam Riegel (Scanlan), Marisha Ray (Keyleth), Taliesin Jaffe (Percy), Ashley Johnson (Pike), Liam O’Brien (Vax) and Laura Bailey (Vex). Matthew Mercer, who is CR’s Dungeon Master, will voice “tons of ancillary characters,” according to Riegel, who teased that the series also would feature a few special celebrity cameos (but he didn’t spill the beans).

The first two installments of “The Legend of Vox Machina” will be an all-new story about the adventurers at D&D Level 7 on their first “grown-up” mission, set prior to the events of Critical Role’s first streamed show in 2015. The next four episodes will be an adaptation of the Briarwoods storyline, in which the Vox Machina crew avenge the murder of the rulers of the town of Whitestone and most of their brood by the evil Lord and Lady Briarwood.

The group’s first D&D campaign ended in November 2017 after 115 episodes and 373 hours of gameplay. That’s a vast trove Critical Role could draw on for additional animated projects, Willingham said: “There’s so much more story to tell.”

For its regular D&D RPG show — which will continue alongside the production of “The Legend of Vox Machina” — Critical Role is in its second campaign with new characters. That’s produced from a 5,000-square-foot studio space, in Burbank, Calif. The company live-streams the shows on Twitch (on Thursdays at 7 p.m. PT) with episodes uploaded to YouTube the following Monday.

Crticial Role knew they had a big and engaged fanbase but the team didn’t expect the flood of pledges that has poured in. On Twitch, between 30,000-40,000 people typically watch live with another 150,000 views on-demand, according to Willingham. The episodes on YouTube typically hit around 250,000 views in the first 24 hours. All told, each episode garners around 1 million views.
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Old 04-11-19, 01:26 PM
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Re: Animated 'Critical Role' D&D show breaks Kickstarter record'

More than $9.3 million has been raised so far, enough for a 10-episode animated series. For comparison, the Veronica Mars Kickstarter raised $5.7 million. Not too shabby for a somewhat obscure niche form of entertainment.

Variety: Critical Role Crowdfunding Campaign for Animated D&D Series Tops $8.9 Million Raised
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Old 04-22-19, 08:37 AM
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Re: Animated 'Critical Role' D&D show breaks Kickstarter record'

Huge fan here! I'm about 10 eps behind in the current campaign, but I did back the Kickstarter. Super excited to see Vox Machina animated!
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Old 04-22-19, 04:07 PM
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Re: Animated 'Critical Role' D&D show breaks Kickstarter record'

Originally Posted by Xander View Post
Huge fan here! I'm about 10 eps behind in the current campaign, but I did back the Kickstarter. Super excited to see Vox Machina animated!
Awesome. I don't feel so lonely in this thread now

I expect a few more people filtering into this thread next year once the series is released and its receives additional mainstream attention.

BTW: For those who are curious, the final Kickstarter total for this show is nearly $11.4 million.
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