×

Critical Role Crowdfunding Campaign for Animated D&D Series Tops $8.9 Million Raised

The money keeps flowing into Critical Role’s hugely popular Dungeons & Dragons animation project — with fans now having contributed almost $9 million on Kickstarter in five weeks.

Having crested the final $8.8 million stretch goal, Critical Role on Friday said it will now make 10 22-minute episodes of “The Legend of Vox Machina,” with the series covering the group’s first D&D campaign that ran from 2015-17.

Critical Role’s Kickstarter campaign for “The Legend of Vox Machina” broke the crowdfunding platform’s record, topping $5.79 million four days after it launched March 4, for the most-funded TV or film project ever. As of Friday afternoon, it had raised $8.96 million from 65,939 fans.

There are still 14 days left in the Kickstarter campaign. “At the moment, we’re not planning on adding additional stretch goals — every dollar that we raise after this point will be allocated directly into making an even more kick-ass animation,” the CR team said Friday in an update on its Kickstarter page. “This means more animators, more music, and more awesomeness. Of course, if that changes, we’ll be sure to let everyone know as soon as possible.”

The first two episodes 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 eight episodes will be an adaptation of the Briarwoods storyline, in which the Vox Machina crew avenge the murders of the rulers of the town of Whitestone at the hands of the evil Lord Sylas and Lady Delilah Briarwood.

In addition to the full 10 episodes, Critical Role will produce a “one-shot” RPG by cast member Ashley Johnson (NBC’s “Blindspot”), who plays gnome cleric Pike Trickfoot in “Vox Machina.”

Also, Critical Role is promising to present a “special battle royale” with some of their favorite guests from the Vox Machina campaign, including Felicia Day, Will Friedle, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Wil Wheaton, Noelle Stevenson and Patrick Rothfuss (schedules permitting).

Critical Role began working on the “Vox Machina” animation project in the spring of 2018. Initially, the team pitched the idea to major streaming platforms and TV networks — but were rebuffed. So the crew turned to Kickstarter in the hopes of getting funding, with an initial goal of raising $750,000. (It topped that in less than an hour.)

After Critical Role broke the Kickstarter record last month, Sam Riegel, cast member and executive producer on the series, told Variety, “We’re going to make this the best goddamn cartoon anyone has ever seen.”

Fans who pledge Critical Role’s “Vox Machina” campaign are promised a range of rewards depending on funding level, including downloads of the “Your Turn to Roll” theme song, production art prints, a dice set, playing cards, stickers, character pins, and a plushy of Trinket the bear.

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 ancillary characters.

CR tapped Animation house Titmouse, whose credits include Netflix’s “Big Mouth,” Adult Swim’s “Venture Bros.,” and Disney’s “Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures,” to produce the series. Critical Role is aiming to release the series in the fall of 2020, initially to Kickstarter backers with distribution plans beyond that still TBD.

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 a different set of characters. The shows are live-streamed on Twitch (Thursdays at 7 p.m. PT) with episodes uploaded to YouTube the following Monday.

Critical Role originally launched their D&D role-playing broadcasts in partnership with Legendary Digital Networks’ Geek & Sundry but parted ways with Legendary earlier this year to form an independent company, Critical Role Productions LLC.

Pictured above (l. to r.): Critical Role members Sam Riegel, Liam O’Brien, Marisha Ray, Laura Bailey, Matthew Mercer, Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley Johnson, Travis Willingham

More Digital

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Ends Long Strike Against Ad Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty

    SAG-AFTRA has ended its 10-month strike against Bartle Bogle Hegarty after the advertising agency agreed to sign the union’s new commercials contract. The union instructed its 160,000 members in September not to accept any work for BBH, which had been signed to SAG-AFTRA’s commercials contracts since 1999. The strike came two weeks after BBH publicly [...]

  • FaceApp is displayed on an iPhone,

    SAG-AFTRA Warns Members About FaceApp Terms of Use

    SAG-AFTRA is warning its 160,000 members about the “overreaching and invasive” terms of use for the FaceApp mobile application. FaceApp, developed by Russian company Wireless Lab, uses neural network technology to automatically generate transformations of faces in photographs. The app can be used to make users appear older, younger, or change gender. The terms include [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    ARRI, Mobile TV Group Back New Venture Revitalizing Streamed Concerts

    A new venture looking to bring a fresh approach to live-streaming concerts has gotten the backing of hardware heavyweights ARRI and Mobile TV Group. Wide+Close is launching with the mandate of shooting music performances with film cameras and cinematographers in order to give the content a more cinematic feel. “We want to take concert filming [...]

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    How 'Fortnite' Fans Can Earn Loot by Watching YouTube Videos

    Epic Games and YouTube have teamed up with a special offer for “Fortnite” players — giving players of the popular battle-royale game rewards when they watch “Fortnite”-premiered content on the video platform. The catch: You have to watch at least 20 minutes of “Fortnite” special content or live esports broadcasts to receive the loot. Under [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Plans to Expand to Brazil, Other Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Roku plans to expand to multiple new territories in the coming months, Variety has learned. One of the first new markets for the company will likely be Brazil. An international expansion could help Roku grow its customer base, which in turn should lead to growing advertising revenues. Roku executives have been hinting at plans to [...]

  • Google Stadia Pro to Include 1

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service to Include Free Monthly Game

    Google has been busy sharing additional details about its upcoming game streaming service Stadia, clearing up some confusion in the process. Stadia’s pro subscription tier, which will cost $10 per month, won’t be a Netflix-type subscription service. However, subscribers will get free games at the rate of about a title per month. That’s according to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content