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Critical Role Animated Series Kickstarter Finishes With Record-Breaking $11.9 Million

April 19, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Critical Role Kickstarter

When Critical Role launched their Kickstarter for an animated special, they were hoping for $750,000. Mission accomplished, and then some. The crowdfunding effort, which almost tripled its initial goal in just two hours, has ended after forty-five days and ammased an astounding $11.4 million. That makes the campaign the most-funded film/video Kickstarter of all-time, as well as the fifth-most backed and the fifth most-funded Kickstarter ever.

The initial aim for the Kickstarter was to fund a twenty-two minute special that would tell a new story in the earlier days of Vox Machina, the PCs from Critical Role’s incredibly popular first campaign. As stretch goals were blown through, the episode count expanded to the point that the series will run ten episodes. These episodes will include two that tell the originally-promised story, as well as eight episodes covering the beloved Briarwood arc of the series. This arc saw the party travel back to their gunslinger Percival’s hometown to face tragedy from his past and help the people of Whitestone rise up against their oppressors, the villainous (and titular) Briarwoods.

Animation company Titmouse (Big Mouth, Venture Bros., Marvel’s Black Panther) will be bringing the show to life, with Jennifer Muro (Spider-Man, Justice League Action) writing the series. Much like the streaming campaign, it will be targeted toward older audiences in order to keep the tone of the campaign. As D&D Beyond points out, it is the first big-scale animated production of a Dungeons & Dragons-related product since 2008 saw a largely-panned attempt to bring the Dragonlance novel Dragons of Autumn Twilight to the screen via a direct-to-video adaptation. Beyond that, there was also the 1983 animated Dungeons & Dragons TV series that remains a favorite of fans.

Speaking with 411 last month, cast members and executive producers Travis Willingham and Sam Riegel gave Critical Role fans (or Critters, if you prefer) plenty to be excited about: “We’re all especially excited to see what our animation studio, Titmouse, does with the combat sequences. The whole cast are big fans of anime, and so we’re pushing for super-visceral battles, blood splatter, arresting 360-degree camera moves — the kind of anime-styled action we grew up watching.”

The animated series is set to debut next year.

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Critical Role, Jeremy Thomas