Star vs. the Forces of Evil
|Star vs. the Forces of Evil|
|Created by||Daron Nefcy|
|Developed by||Jordana Arkin
|Creative director(s)||Dominic Bisignano|
|Opening theme||"I'm from Another Dimension", written & performed by Brad Breeck|
|Ending theme||"Star vs. the Forces of Evil" End Theme, written by Daron Nefcy & Ego Plum; performed by Eden Sher|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||11 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Daron Nefcy
|Running time||22 minutes
(2 11-minute segments)
|Production company(s)||Disney Television Animation
Mercury Filmworks (Season 1, episodes 1–5; episode 15-onwards)
Toon City (Season 1, episode 6 onwards)
Rough Draft Korea Co. Ltd (Season 1, episode 15-onwards)
|Distributor||Disney–ABC Domestic Television|
|Original channel||Disney XD|
|First shown in||January 18, 2015 (preview)|
|Original release||March 30, 2015– present|
Star vs. the Forces of Evil is a North American animated science fiction television series produced by Disney Television Animation. The first episode was shown on January 18, 2015 on Disney Channel as a special preview, and the series officially premiered on March 30, 2015 on Disney XD. The show was created by Daron Nefcy, who had worked on storyboards for Wander Over Yonder and Robot and Monster. Nefcy became the second woman to create an animated series for Disney Television Animation (the first being Sue Rose who created Pepper Ann), and the first woman to create a Disney XD series. On February 12, 2015, Disney renewed the series for a second season prior to its premiere on Disney XD.
Star Butterfly is a magical princess from the dimension of Mewni who, on her 14th birthday, receives the family heirloom wand. However, after she accidentally sets fire to her castle, her parents decide that a safer option is to send her to Earth as a foreign exchange student. She befriends Marco Diaz and lives with his family while attending Echo Creek Academy. They must deal with everyday school life while protecting her wand from falling into the hands of Ludo, an enemy from Mewni who commands an army of monsters. Star and the folks from Mewni are able to travel across dimensions using "dimensional scissors" that can open portals.
- Star Butterfly (voiced by Eden Sher) - The title character is a magical princess from the dimension Mewni. On her 14th birthday, she is given the family heirloom, but after she causes a big accident, she is sent to the Earth dimension as a foreign exchange student. She then lives with the Diaz family. She enjoys exploring and being away from her parents and their pressure to make her into a perfect princess. Nefcy had originally designed Star as a fourth-grader obsessed with Sailor Moon and wanting to become a magical girl despite not having any powers. The design was initially just her with heart cheeks and the devil horns came later. By the time she pitched the idea to Disney she had made the character older, and an executive suggested she make her an actual magical girl, leading to the current foreign exchange student concept. Nefcy says Star is very much like her, and that she has a lot of flaws and aspects of being a real girl. Star is Eden Sher's first voice acting role. Sher describes Star as Disney's first-ever kick-butt princess and identifies with her a lot: "she's always wrong. She's always messing up. But at the same time, this character has such a good heart. Star is fiercely loyal when it comes to her friends and never backs down from a fight. There's so much going on there. And that's what makes this character so much fun to voice."
- Marco Diaz (voiced by Adam McArthur) - Marco is a 14-year-old boy who becomes Star's best friend and partner in their inter-dimensional adventures. Prior to meeting Star, he was known as a safe kid but thought of himself as a bad boy. He helps Star during their fights against the villains. Nefcy originally conceived of Marco to be a kid obsessed with Dragon Ball Z and karate. After Star's character was changed to be a foreign exchange student, she felt Marco's character needed to balance out Star's, so he became more of a straight man yet is still quirky. Some of Marco's character was based on Nefcy's husband. She likes that McArthur portrays him away from being nerdy or unlikeable, and that Marco is smart and thinking of things.
- Ludo (voiced by Alan Tudyk) is Star's nemesis from Mewni. He plans to snatch Star's wand and use its powers to take over the universe. He is a short, dark grayish-green monster with a round head and a beak. He wears a cap made out of the upper part of a creature's skull. He commands an army of monsters.
- Mr. and Mrs. Diaz (voiced by Artt Butler and Nia Vardalos) - Marco's parents who host Star while she is on Earth.
- Flying Princess Pony Head (voiced by Jenny Slate) - Star's best friend from Mewni is a floating unicorn head. She is described as sassy, sarcastic, and mischief-making. She does not get along with Marco and is sometimes jealous of him when he interacts with Star. Nefcy said that Pony Head originated from an early story of Star where the latter was a fourth-grader and was discouraged during her attempts to recover a stolen bike; an image of Pony Head appeared and told Star to not give up.
- Ferguson (voiced by Nate Torrence) - Ferguson is one of Marco's two friends. He has orange hair and enjoys making belly faces.
- King Butterfly (voiced by Alan Tudyk) – Star's father and the king of Mewni.
Background and production
Nefcy said she originally created Star as a girl who wanted to be a magical girl like Sailor Moon, and Marco as a guy who was obsessed with Dragon Ball Z and karate; and they would be enemies instead of friends. Star did not have any actual magical powers but make things happen by her determination. Nefcy began pitching the show when she was in her third year of college when Cartoon Network had solicited a bunch of pilot shows. As a reflection of her own life, Nefcy originally placed Star in the fourth grade when she was still obsessed with Sailor Moon, but later made the character to be older by the time she proposed it to Disney. An executive then suggested the idea that Star would have actual magical powers, which she worked into the current version, along with the different dimension, the foreign exchange student, and birthright ideas. Nercy said that the overall concept has evolved over about six years.
In addition to Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z, Nefcy said the she was influenced by the anime shows Magic Knight Rayearth, Revolutionary Girl Utena and Unico, the last of which featured a pink unicorn. She also cited non-anime shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and was influenced by indie comic series such as Scott Pilgrim and The Dungeon.
One of the concepts she likes about the show is that it doesn't make high school the most important experience for teenagers. She also likes that Star does her own thing instead of being concerned about fitting in. Nefcy did not want the gimmick about keeping the magic powers a secret from others as typical of magical girl shows, so she had the students already know about it and Marco's parents as well. She also portrays Star as not really a superhero as she does not specifically go after super-villains except when they attack her, and that she doesn't really save people.
Storyboarding and design are done in Los Angeles. In describing the process, Nefcy said that the show is storyboard-driven, with each episode mapped out by the storyboard artists. The storyboarders also do the writing, taking a two-page outline and turning it into a full script. A storyboard for 11 minutes would require about 2000 drawings to be done in a six-week period. After pre-production in the US, the first season animation was done at Mercury Filmworks in Ottawa, Canada. Mercury had also done Wander Over Yonder and the Mickey Mouse series. For the second season, the animation was done in the Phillppines.
Promotion and release
The show's title sequence was promoted at Comic-Con 2014 six months prior to its scheduled broadcast premiere. As a result, the footage was uploaded by fans to YouTube who then started generating fan art and fan fiction. The first episode premiered on Disney Channel in January 2015. The positive reaction on social media has prompted Disney XD to order a second season of the series in February 2015, six weeks ahead of its launch of the series on Disney XD in March. Disney sitcom actors Olivia Holt and Kelli Berglund participated in promoting the series the weeks before its Disney XD premiere, with Holt dressing up as Star.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|1a||"Star Comes to Earth"||Mike Mullen||Mike Mullen||January 18, 2015
March 30, 2015 (Disney XD)
|On her 14th birthday, Princess Star Butterfly receives a magical wand, but when she sets fire to the castle, she is sent to Earth to train. There, she enrolls in Echo Creek Academy where the principal pairs her with Marco Diaz, a reputed "safe kid". Upon befriending Marco, Star ends up discovering her skills when she is attacked by Ludo and his army of monsters.|
|1b||"Party with a Pony"||Mike Mullen||Ian Wasseluk||January 18, 2015
March 30, 2015 (Disney XD)
|Star receives a visit from Flying Princess Pony Head, her best friend from Mewni. Pony Head is jealous that Marco is Star's best friend on Earth. She invites Star and Marco to various dance clubs, but she competes with Marco for Star's attention and tries to strand him at a video arcade. Meanwhile, guards have been hot on Pony Head's trail. Eventually, King Pony Head arrives to have the guards take Pony Head to St. Olga's Reform School for Wayward Princesses.|
|2a||"Match Maker"||Aaron Hammersley||Aaron Hammersley, Daron Nefcy, Lane Lueras & Dave Stone||March 30, 2015||102||0.90|
|Star fails her first test, so she tries to play matchmaker for their math teacher Miss Skullnick to get a better grade. However, she winds up turning her into a troll. When Ludo and his minions attack, one of the monsters falls for Skullnick.|
|2b||"School Spirit"||Aaron Hammersley||Zeus Cervas & Aaron Hammersley||March 30, 2015||102||0.90|
|Echo Creek Academy prepares for a football game against their rival school. Marco tries to protect Ferguson, who has become the team mascot, from being kidnapped. Star takes the concept of going to battle literally, and booby traps the field with bombs, evil kittens, and giant birds.|
|3a||"Monster Arm"||Aaron Hammersley||Aaron Hammersley & Bert Youn||April 6, 2015||103||0.83|
|Marco breaks his arm before a karate tournament. Star uses her wand to fix it, but transforms it into a tentacle arm. As Star tries to find a spell to reverse it, Marco begins to like his new powers associated with the arm. However, the arm harbors an evil sentience that intends to take over the world.|
|3b||"The Other Exchange Student"||Mike Mullen||Carrie Liao||April 6, 2015||103||0.83|
|When the Diaz family receives a visit by their former foreign exchange student Gustav from Scandinavia, Gustav soon becomes the family favorite with his meatballs, that Star feels neglected. She senses something is wrong when she discovers Gustav harbors some books and media about how to act like a Scandinavian in his backpack.|
|4a||"Cheer up Star"||Aaron Hammersley||Carrie Liao, Aaron Hammersley & Dominic Bisignano||April 13, 2015||104||0.57|
Star and Marco are trapped inside a tool shed by Ludo's army. As Marco tries to fashion something to fight them off, he recounts how he tried to cheer up Star because she left her phone number for her crush, a keytar-playing student named Oskar, but he has not called her back.Guest Star: Jon Heder as Oskar
|4b||"Quest Buy"||Aaron Hammersley||Dominic Bisignano||April 13, 2015||104||0.57|
|When Star's wand runs low on power, she and Marco visit Quest Buy, a large inter-dimensional retail store to buy a new charger. However, the location of the charger department proves extremely difficult to find and to get to. Meanwhile, Ludo and his minions, who are shopping there for a beak sharpener, pursue Star to try to take her wand.|
|5a||"Diaz Family Vacation"||Piero Piluso||Zeus Cervas, Christopher Graham & Piero Piluso||April 20, 2015||105||0.57|
|As an anniversary gift for Marco's parents, Star invites them and Marco to Mewni, but must avoid being seen by her father as Star is not allowed to leave Earth. While they visit a Mewni village, Star sees her father strolling about, and directs the Diaz family into a deadly forest.|
|5b||"Brittney's Party"||Mike Mullen||Mike Mullen & Ian Wasseluk||April 20, 2015||105||0.57|
|Star and Marco crash Brittney Wong's birthday event which takes place on a party bus. While Star tries to make the party "fun", Marco gets carsick. Ludo and his minions attack and hijack the bus.|
|6a||"Mewberty"||Aaron Hammersley||Aaron Hammersley & Dominic Bisignano||June 15, 2015||106||0.74|
Star experiences "mewberty", that is, her skin breaks out in hearts whenever she is near boys. Although Marco thinks it's much like the Earthling condition, Star's is more extreme. She sprouts hearts all over her body, and transforms into a butterfly creature that captures boys and seals them away. Marco turns to the Glossaryck, a genie inside Star's book of magic, for advice on how to stop her.Guest Star: Jeffrey Tambor as Glossaryck
|6b||"Pixtopia"||Mike Mullen||Christofer Graham, Mike Mullen & Carlos Ramos||June 15, 2015||106||0.74|
After making prank calls on Star's magic mirror, Marco, Alfonzo, Ferguson, and Star must go to Pixtopia: Land Of The Pixies and pay the bill. When they can't pay it, they are forced to work in a mine shaft. The Pixie Empress flirts with Ferguson.Guest Stars: Anna Camp as Pixie Empress, Danny Woodburn as Pixie Taskmaster
|7a||"Lobster Claws"||Mike Mullen & Piero Piluso||Scott O'Brien & Piero Piluso||June 22, 2015||107||0.52|
|Ludo fires his minion Lobster Claws after he accidentally takes off Deer Beard's antler when trying to get Star's wand. Marco tries to help Lobster Claws become good while Star thinks he cannot be reformed.|
|7b||"Sleep Spells"||Mike Mullen||Mike Mullen & Ian Wasseluk||June 22, 2015||107||0.52|
|Star and Marco try to determine who has been redecorating her room, with Mr. Diaz only accounting for a small project. Marco discovers that Star has been "sleep spelling", that is, casting spells when sleepwalking. He tries psychology to try to treat her but learns that she is actually trying to defend herself from an intruder, revealed to be Princess Smooshy, an ugly "goblin-elephant" princess who wants to steal Star's face so she can avoid getting sent back to St. Olga's Reform School for Wayward Princesses after escaping it.|
|8a||"Blood Moon Ball"||Aaron Hammersley||Dominic Bisignano & Aaron Hammersley||July 20, 2015||108||0.67|
Star's ex-boyfriend Tom invites her to the Blood Moon Ball, an Underworld event that occurs once every 667 years. Tom claims he has turned over a new leaf, having hired an anger management consultant. Marco does not believe Tom has changed but Star decides to go anyway. When Marco disrupts Tom's plan to take Star for himself under the Blood Moon's light, Tom reverts to his old self.Guest Star: Rider Strong as Tom
|8b||"Fortune Cookies"||Mike Mullen||Carrie Liao & Mike Mullen||July 20, 2015||108||0.67|
Following yet another victory over Ludo and his minions, Marco and Star eat at a Chinese restaurant. Marco tricks Star into thinking the sayings in fortune cookies can really predict the future. Meanwhile, Ludo hires a monster named Toffee to shape up his minions; they come up with a plan to take advantage of Star's fortune cookie obsession.Guest Star: Michael C. Hall as Toffee
|9a||"Freeze Day"||Mike Mullen||Carrie Liao & Mike Mullen||July 27, 2015||109||0.37|
Star freezes time with her wand so that Marco can appear at Echo Creek Academy on time for his morning nod (brief interaction) with his crush Jackie Lynn Thomas. But when she is unable to cancel out the effects, she and Marco visit the Plains of Time in order to get Father Time to restart time again.Guest Star: Jim Gaffigan as Father Time
|9b||"Royal Pain"||Piero Piluso||Piero Piluso & Ian Wasseluk||July 27, 2015||109||0.37|
Star gets an unexpected visit from her father who had been kicked out of the house for not picking up after himself. After getting excited over Earth activities such as using a flush toilet and playing miniature golf, he ends up overstaying his welcome. He hosts a party with his inter-dimensional friends, but it is soon crashed by a sun character named Helios.Guest Star: Jamie Kennedy as Helios
|10||"St. Olga's Reform School for Wayward Princesses"||Piero Piluso||Piero Piluso||August 10, 2015||110||0.50|
Star and Marco go undercover as new princess students in order to break Pony Head out of St. Olga's on her birthday. They discover Pony Head has been brainwashed to be a compliant princess and try to evade the robot guards and the reform school's headmistress Miss Heinous.Guest Star: Jessica Walter as Miss Heinous, Jodi Benson as Singing Teacher
|11a||"Mewnipendance Day"||Aaron Hammersley||Dominic Bisignano, Aaron Hammersley, Kyle Neswald & Carder Scholin||August 17, 2015||114||0.51|
|Star Butterfly recruits her classmates (as well as Miss Skullnick) to participate in a battle reenactment of Mewni's Independence Day. Ludo and Toffee use a special floating eye device to spy on Star and her activities. Ludo's minion Buff Frog infiltrates the reenactment as one of the monsters to try to steal the wand.|
|11b||"The Banagic Incident"||Mike Mullen||Dominic Bisignano, Nate Cash, Mike Mullen, Kyle Neswald & Carder Scholin||August 17, 2015||114||0.51|
|Impressed by a commercial for a "magical" Earth product called a Banagic Wand, Star tries to get Marco to buy it, but Marco refuses as he has karate class. Star ends up going into town by herself where she confuses a pirate-themed restaurant for having real pirates and trashes the place. Meanwhile, Marco's karate instructor wants his students to channel their emotions to walk across hot coals.|
|12a||"Interdimensional Field Trip"||September 14, 2015|
|12b||"Marco Grows A Beard"||September 14, 2015|
|13||"Storm The Castle"||September 21, 2015|
Reviewing the pilot episode of the series, Kevin Johnson of The A.V. Club said that the show was something children could have a lot of fun with, noting how the show follows current trends in western animation "towards large-eyed characters and quirky visual trends." Johnson stated that Star vs. the Evil Forces "excels on wild, silly, and clever set-pieces to bring the laughs and action," but expected that adult viewers won't get much out of it. Furthermore, the premiere of Star vs. the Forces of Evil became the most-watched animated series debut in Disney XD’s history.
In reviewing episodes from the first season, Marcy Cook of The Mary Sue described the show as a blend of others such as Invader Zim and a "sanitized Ren and Stimpy, with great appeal to tween and teen girls as well some laugh out loud moments for adults. She said "It’s really cool to see a girl who is into cuteness and rainbows also kick-ass and enjoy it." Cook was bothered by the short episodes that made the plot seem rushed or underdeveloped. Cook was bugged by Marco's retconned personality from the pilot episode where he was a safety conscious kid to the series where he was a martial arts fight seeker.
Awards and nominations
- Disney XD (February 12, 2015). "'Star vs. The Forces of Evil' Renewed for Second Season by Disney XD Ahead of Series Premiere" (Press release). Retrieved February 12, 2015 – via TV by the Numbers.
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- Official website
- Star vs
. the Forces of Evil Disney Press website
- Star vs. the Forces of Evil at the Internet Movie Database
- Star and the Forces of Evil at the Big Cartoon DataBase