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||9 (18 segments) (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 first images were shown in the Mercury Filmworks 2014 Demo Reel. The series began airing regular on Disney Channel as part of "Disney XD on Disney Channel" on May 22, 2015.
The show was created by Daron Nefcy (CalArts alumna and former storyboard revisionist for Wander Over Yonder and Robot and Monster) who is the second woman to create an animated series for Disney Television Animation (the first being Sue Rose, who created Pepper Ann), and also 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 send her to Earth where she serves as a foreign exchange student. She befriends Marco Diaz and lives with his family while attending high school at Echo Creek Academy. They must deal with everyday high 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 a wand and is sent by her parents to live with the Diaz family and to fight various monsters. 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.
- 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.
- Alfonzo (voiced by Matt Chapman) - Alfonzo is Marco's other friend. He has curly hair and wears glasses.
- Principal Skeeves (voiced by Jeff Bennett) - The principal of Echo Creek Academy.
- Miss Skullnick (voiced by Dee Dee Rescher) - Marco and Star's teacher at Echo Creek Academy. In the episode "Matchmaker", she is accidentally changed into a troll.
- King Butterfly (voiced by Alan Tudyk) – Star's father and the king of Mewni. In "Diaz Family Vacation," it is revealed that Star gets her monster-fighting skills from King Butterfly.
- Queen Butterfly (voiced by Grey Griffin) - Star's mother and the queen of Mewni. She hands Star her wand in the first episode.
- Brittney Wong (voiced by Minae Noji) – She has long black hair and is the head cheerleader with an elitist diva attitude. Brittney does not like Star.
- Jackie Lynn Thomas (voiced by Grey Griffin) – A skateboarding girl whom Marco has a major crush on. She has platinum blonde hair with a light blue streak.
- King Pony Head (voiced by Maurice LaMarche) - The father of Princess Pony Head, he had arranged for her to attend St. Olga's Reform School for Wayward Princesses. In "Royal Pain," he is among the royalty figures that attend King Butterfly's party at the Diaz family house.
- Oskar (voiced by Jon Heder) – A guy that Star likes, he is typically seen sitting on the hood of his car and playing a keytar. Principal Skeeves is concerned that he has a "record".
- Ludo (voiced by Alan Tudyk) is Star's nemesis from Mewni. He plans to snatch Star's wand and take over the universe. He is a short, dark grayish-green monster with a beak-like mouth and a cap make out of the top of a creature's skull. Ludo commands an army of monsters and rides an unnamed bat monster which serves as his mode of transportation. His army includes the following characters:
- Buff Frog - A frog-like monster who serves as Ludo's spy in the first episode.
- Bearicorn - A brown bear humanoid with a unicorn horn on his head. He is often seen with Deer Beard on opposite sides of Ludo's throne.
- Big Chicken (voiced by Adam McArthur) - A giant white chicken.
- Deer Beard - A green monster with deer antlers.
- Emmitt - A gray demon with the horns and hindquarters of a cattle. In "Match Maker," he briefly falls in love with Miss Skullnick.
- Lobster Claws (voiced by Brian Posehn) - A humanoid lobster. In the episode named after him, where he is fired from Ludo's army, he struggles between being a good guy and a bad guy.
- Man Arm - A large humanoid alligator with a human left arm and a wimpy voice.
- Spikeballs - A large muscular creature in a black spiky mask with spiked maces for hands. In "Brittney's Party," Spikeballs and the unnamed crocodile monster are placed in charge of the portal to suck up Brittney Wong's party bus.
- Three-Eyed Potato Baby - A three-eyed monster. He once drove the hijacked party bus in "Brittney's Party."
- Tom (voiced by Rider Strong) – A three-eyed horned demon from the Underworld who is Star Butterfly's ex-boyfriend. He first appears in a mirror call. In "Blood Moon Ball", Tom persuades Star to accompany him to the Blood Moon Ball.
Conception and development
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.
|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's best friend Pony Head from Mewni comes to Earth to hang out with her, but gets jealous at the fact that Marco is Star's best friend on Earth. Pony Head invites Star and Marco to various dance clubs and an arcade across dimensions but she competes with Marco for Star's attention and tries to strand him in one. 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 cure, Marco begins to like his new powers associated with the arm but the arm harbors an evil sentient personality 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 Gustov from Scandinavia. Gustov soon becomes the family favorite with his meatballs, that Star feels neglected. She senses something is wrong when she discovers Gustov 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|
|Star is feeling down when her crush Oskar doesn't call her back. So Marco tries to cheer her up only to summon Ludo and his army of monsters.|
|4b||"Quest Buy"||Aaron Hammersley||Dominic Bisignano||April 13, 2015||104|
|Star and Marco must go to "Quest Buy", a maze-like store run by sloth workers, to find a charger for Star's wand. They also must evade running into Ludo when he and his monsters are shopping there.|
|5a||"Diaz Family Vacation"||Piero Piluso||Zeus Cervas, Christopher Graham & Piero Piluso||April 20, 2015||105|
|As an anniversary gift for Marco's parents, Star invites them and Marco to Mewni, but must avoid being seen by her father, who has forbidden her to leave Earth. While the Diaz family observe a Mewni village; Star sees her father, and has the Diaz parents go into a deadly forest.|
|5b||"Brittney's Party"||Mike Mullen||Mike Mullen & Ian Wasseluk||April 20, 2015||105|
|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 the gang attack and hijack the bus.|
|6a||"Mewberty"||Aaron Hammersley||Aaron Hammersley & Dominic Bisignano||June 15, 2015||106|
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|
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|
|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|
|Marco attempts to use psychology to cure Star when she starts activating spells during her sleep. Marco discovers that Star's sleep spells are caused by Princess Smooshy, an ugly "goblin-elephant" princess that is trying to steal Star's face to 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 accepts her ex-boyfriend Tom’s invitation to the Blood Moon Ball in the Underworld which happens every 667 years. Marco is suspicious of Tom’s intentions and crashes the ball to prevent Star from getting her heart broken again.|
|8b||"Fortune Cookies"||Mike Mullen||Carrie Liao & Mike Mullen||July 20, 2015||108||0.67|
Marco convinces Star that fortune cookies contain magical prophecies. Meanwhile, Ludo holds an audition where he gains a creature called Toffee to shape up the monsters and take advantage of Star's fortune cookie habit.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 Middle School to do the usual nod towards Jackie Lynn Thomas. When Star is unable to unfreeze time, she takes Marco 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 is delighted when her dad shows up for an unexpected visit, but he soon wears out his welcome. When King Butterfly invites every other ruler to his housewarming party at the Diaz Family house, they get an uninvited guest in the form of the sun-like Helios.Guest Star: Jamie Kennedy as Helios
|10||"St. Olga's Reform School for Wayward Princesses"||August 10, 2015|
|11a||"Mewnipendance Day"||August 17, 2015|
|11b||"The Banagic Incident"||August 17, 2015|
Awards and nominations
|2015||Annecy International Animated Film Festival||TV Series||For "Party with a Pony"||Nominated|
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.
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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