Amphibia Episode 1 Review/Recap
It’s been a month since Star vs. The Forces of Evil ended , and with DuckTales on vacation, Disney is without a flagship cartoon. That ends this week with the premiere of what will (hopefully) be its next big cartoon, Amphibia. Starring Brenda Song, this western Isekai follows a young girl who’s transported from our world to a world of frog people.
Considering how I like cartoons, Disney, and Brenda Song, this show peaked my interest. I ended up watching it on the DisneyNow app last Friday, and I liked what I saw. Now, get ready to hop into the adventure with me in the first episode of Amphibia.
Anne or Beast?
The premiere episode introduces us to the world of Amphibia, home to talking frogs and toads. It’s a peaceful place until one morning when one of the townsfolk starts yelling about some sort of beast lurking in the woods nearby. This catches the interest of a young and adventurous frog named Sprig Plantar, who decides that catching this beast will prove how responsible he is to his family. It turns out, though, that that ‘beast’ is actually a normal human girl named Anne Boonchuy.
Despite a rough start, Anne and Sprig are quick to befriend each other as Anne explains that she somehow came from another world and just wants to get home. Even though the townsfolk first see her as a threat, Anne proves she’s trustworthy by helping to defeat a giant Pray Mantis. In gratitude, Sprig’s Grandpa Hop Pop and sister Polly let her stay at their place while she looks for a way home. Since the mountains around region are too dangerous to travel at the moment, though, Anne’s stuck for now.
The second half of the episode reveals how Anne ended up in Amphibia in the first place. Back on Earth, her friends talked her into stealing a treasure box from a thrift store, and when she opened it, it magically transported her to Amphibia. Seeing how homesick she is, Sprig tries cheering her up by taking her to the local lake, but end up doing things that Sprig isn’t comfortable with. First, when Hop Pop tries keeping Anne locked in the house for her safety, she talks Sprig into stealing the key. Then when they find a “Don’t Swim” sign at the lake, Anne talks him into going in, despite his worries.
Sprig’s right to worry, though: there’s a giant, killer snake in the lake that almost kills them. It’s only thanks to his cleverness (and death peppers) that he and Anne get away. They get home before Hop Pop can suspect a thing. As for Anne, she learned a valuable lesson from the days events.
Disney did a good job using the first episode to set up the world of Amphibia. The first half of the episode gave us the main characters, the setting, driving plot, and set up threads for future stories. The real hook, though, was the second half, as it tells us more about Anne.
Everyone is thinking it, so I’m only writing it: Anne’s two friends are a bad influence on her. In fact, I hesitate to even call Sasha and Marcie her friends, altogether. We saw that they pressured Anne into stealing the box that sent them to Amphibia. Judging by what Anne’s ideas of friendship, this wasn’t the first time they did this. They pressure her into doing things by using the fear of ending their friendship with her.
Anne was right when she said that friends help each other out. A true friend, though, will try and stop them from doing something they’ll regret or could get them hurt. So I have to give praise for how they had Sprig, someone known for being irressponsible, be the sensible one. It shows character development.
Disney gives us a Greater Mystery
I think that that box sent Anne to Amphibia for a reason. I don’t know what it is, but I’m going with the “make her a better person” theory. It seems like something Disney would do. Speaking of which, the final scene reveals a major plot point: Sasha and Marcie were also sent to Amphibia. Right now, Sasha’s held prisoner in a dark castle by an unknown frog, who’s aware that there are other humans in their world.
Matt Braly learned much from Gravity Falls. He just gave us an overarching mystery, a major plot point for the season, and the possible villain, all in one episode. I’m looking forward to seeing where Disney takes Amphibia this summer.
I Give “Anne or Beast?” and “Best Fronds” a 4/5. Jump on in with Disney.
Click here to see the first episode on Disney’s YouTube Channel!
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