REVIEW: ‘Disenchantment’ Part 3 Continues the Adventure

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Matt Groening has been knocking adult animation out of the park for decades and more specifically redefining it. A Netflix Original, Disenchantment blends Medieval European fantasy with the crude, rude, and kind of depressing humor that Groening is known for. If you’re unfamiliar with the series as a whole, it follows the medieval misadventures of hard-drinking Princess Bean. With her neurotic, horny, and extremely lonely elf companion Elfo and her personal demon Luci, the series has seen her find family, release said family onto her kingdom, and essentially doom them all. Disenchantment Part 3 features the voice talents of Abbi Jacobson as Bean, Eric André as Luci, and Nat Faxon as Elfo, along with John DiMaggio, Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille, David Herman, and more.

Disenchantment Part 3 picks up where the last left off with Bean having survived a burning at the stake and still suffering from mother’s betrayal.  But with so much going wrong at the end of last season, you can only go up from there, right? Well, kind of. When we head back to Dreamland, King Yøg has been buried alive, Bean is trying to connect with her mother in an underground lair, and of course, the inquisition has taken hold of Dreamland with Bean’s baby brother the new ruler. But beyond the family dynamics and betrayal, Disenchantment Part 3 amps up the excitement and adventure by expanding not only Bean’s power but where she travels.

The show jumping from opulent neighboring kingdoms that are somewhere in the Victorian era in terms of fashion, to a world of mermaids, and even to a steampunk industrialized land that really comes out of nowhere. While there is a small critique to be made about how narrative varies so greatly from place to place, the worldbuilding that Bean’s traveling completes helps make the world of Disenchantment feel even more fantastical.

But Disenchantment Part 3 is more than just adventures, it’s also about the growth that happens while Bean is on them. Part 3 is tonally different than the others in the series because it offers deeper themes that outweigh the crude humor they’re told through. Bean has grown up over the length of the show and in many ways, this impacts how she handles the separation, betrayal, and slight helplessness that she feels this season. Bean deals with romance, familial bonds, and friendship, all to build a bigger appreciation of Dreamland itself and the family she has there.

Bean’s growth is most beautifully shown in her growing relationship with her stepmother, the now Pirate Queen Oona. They get closer to each other and Oona finally begins to show a deeper motherly connection to Bean. Their moments together—even when drugs are involved—are a wholesome element of the series. But Bean’s growth culminates in an acceptance of her future, more specifically, accepting that Dreamland is in her hands.

As for the supporting cast, Elfo is still hilariously horny and frustratingly unintelligent, but the two elements work with the character and give us more of the same great laughs. As for Luci, he spends time as a cat and takes more of a backseat this season, but André’s voice work as the character is still a standout.

With all of that said, the best thing that Disenchantment Season 3 does is tie together elements from the past seasons into well-executed jokes. Instead of just relying on the running-jokes of the series, this season also takes small things we learned or saw in the past and expands on it to build out a new humorous note that feels like jokes three seasons in the making. This is a rewarding feeling that connects this season, which is vastly different than the last two, to where the show began. This helps not only execute on long-cons but more so helps open the series for what can happen in season four, which will surely take even more advantage of showcasing the different lands of the series.

Disenchantment Part 3 isn’t perfect, and it isn’t remaking the adult animation formula, especially with Steamland relying so heavily on Futurama elements. But, Disenchantment Part 3 is wholeheartedly different than the other entries in the series, in a good way. This series is one that has continually grown and aimed to do different things with its characters and ultimately keep them from being one-dimensional. Part 3 is the culmination of this.

Disenchantment Part 3 is available now, exclusively on Netflix.


Disenchantment Part 3
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Disenchantment Part 3 isn’t perfect, and it isn’t remaking the adult animation formula, especially with Steamland relying so heavily on Futurama elements. But, Disenchantment Part 3 is wholeheartedly different than the other entries in the series, in a good way. This series is one that has continually grown and aimed to do different things with its characters and ultimately keep them from being one-dimensional. Part 3 is the culmination of this.