A record-breaking outpouring of fan funding for Critical Role’s animated Dungeons & Dragons special has prompted the team to quadruple the length of the project — from 22 minutes originally to a feature-length 88 minutes.
Critical Role, which produces a popular weekly live-streamed D&D role-playing show, launched its Kickstarter campaign at 10 a.m. PT Monday. That beat its original $750,000 goal in less than an hour. In the first 24 hours, about 32,500 “Critters” — the nickname for the D&D role-playing show’s fans — had ponied up $4.33 million for the project.
After the campaign hit $3 million in pledges Monday, Critical Role said in an update on its Kickstarter page that “The Legend of Vox Machina” special will be extended to 88 minutes of animation. More updates to the project are in store as the pledges keep coming in, Critical Role promised.
“The support of the community on this project has been humbling, to say the least,” Critical Role told fans in the update. “We’re so excited to bring this animated special to life.” They added, “P.S.: CRITTERS ARE THE BEST. Our hearts are full and our eyes are teary. We love you.”
Critical Role — led by veteran Dungeon Master and voice actor Matthew Mercer — partnered with animation studio Titmouse for “The Legend of Vox Machina.” Writer Jennifer Muro (“Justice League Action,” “Star Wars Forces of Destiny”) has signed on to script the special.
Contributors to the “Vox Machina” included two backers who pledged at the second-highest $20,000 level — giving them an invite to a special lunch with the cast of Critical Role in the fall 2020 and an executive producer credit. (There have been no takers for the $25,000+ “Deity” level, which would include an all-expenses paid trip to L.A.) The top-tier rewards also include a Titmouse studio tour with Critical Role; a personalized portrait by Titmouse’s animation team; and invites to a private launch party and screening for “The Legend of Vox Machina.”
“The Legend of Vox Machina,” based on Critical Role’s first campaign, is slated for fall 2020 release. It hasn’t settled on a distribution plan right now for the animated special but promised Kickstarter backers that they’ll be the first to get access to it. Contributors are slated to get rewards starting in May 2020.
Set in Exandria, the show’s fantasy world, The Legend of Vox Machina” features the seven-member band of loners who proceed on their first “grown-up” mission, pitting them against dangerous and legendary beasts — eventually transforming them into a band of adventurers called Vox Machina. “They will become heroes… if they don’t murder each other first,” according to Critical Role.