What can we expect from a show that features a female lead from another dimension with powers, characters with strong personalities and constant development, and also the inclusion of characters with different backgrounds? Well this show just may have been the powerful gold ticket to bring Disney back to the A-game. A for animated that is. Not to mention a truly entertaining plot and characters that you just can’t help becoming attached to. Star vs The Forces of Evil is just as powerful as the main character herself.
As it may have been too obvious to point out at the time, I do feel like both Disney networks (Disney Channel and Disney XD) have went through a dry-spell period regarding cartoons. Most new cartoons that did premiere were often given the cancelled treatment far too soon. A majority of acquired programming were quickly pulled from Disney XD in 2017. I was worried for the future of the channel. Let’s not forget that Disney XD was the replacement for “Toon Disney” back in the day. Toon Disney was a place for the cartoons of Disney to have a center stage. I didn’t expect the new channel to live up to the expectations of those who watched Toon Disney, but I did not want to see animated series being abandoned or looked as an afterthought. But in the past three years or so, I saw a positive shift in the network towards creating more original animated series, and I feel that it truly started with Star vs. The Forces of Evil.
Premiering in 2015 and created by Daron Leah Nefcy, Star vs The Forces of Evil began with a Star Butterfly, a princess from another dimension who found herself in a major whoopsie when she accidentally sets fire to her family’s castle. Star is sent to Earth by her parents to complete her magic training as a foreign exchange student. She then meets Marco Diaz, who becomes a guidance in her life and a sort of voice of reason. Marco is always protective over Star, and vice versa. It kind of pushes the predictions that the two may end up together in the series one day. For now, Marco will just have to deal with Star’s current boyfriend Tom Lucitor, a demon prince from the underworld with anger issues he tries to control. Princess Star possess powers strong enough to fight off, well, evil of course. She always finds herself fighting off her number one enemy Ludo and his army, though sometimes she is willing to cooperate with him. Star is always accompanied by her Mewni best friend Pony Head, who’s so possessive of their friendship she often treats Marco poorly in the process.
After Star vs. The Forces of Evil’s premiere it became Disney XD’s #1 animated series ever with 1.2 million viewers. The series has average-to-high ratings and quite positive reviews for it, as it should. As a series, Star vs. The Forces of Evil is powerful and gives off a strong message. It features characters of different ethnicities, personalities, and even sexualities. Early 2017, the show featured Disney’s first ever same-sex kiss(es) on any series, during the 39th episode “Just Friends” in the second season.
It was very brave and awesome of the creator to provide representation for young people a part of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s also worth mentioning that the creator Daron Leah Nefcy is the second woman ever to create an animated Disney series. The progressive content of this series didn’t stop there of course.
More recently in November 2017, Star vs. The Forces of Evil premiered an episode that featured Marco in disguise as a princess. Later when he is outed as a boy, that didn’t stop other princesses from continuing to defend him.
“That doesn’t prove anything! Princesses can be hairy!”
“Why does it matter if he’s a boy?”
“He can be a princess if he wants to”
Season 3 Episode 16
BRAVO! Score 1000 for Disney and the SVTFOE team. This series is doing a brilliant job of representation and being groundbreaking. It was renewed for a fourth season in 2017 so we will get to see more of Star, Marco, Tom & the others hopefully very soon.