Matt Groening, the creator of the landmark animated hits The Simpsons and Futurama, has a new show that was just released on Netflix. Titled Disenchantment, the show brings Groening's humor to the world of fantasy, just like Futurama brought a similar humor to the world of sci-fi. Like both of his animated series that came before it, there's already a little cross-franchising going on.
Futurama had more than a little in common with the works of Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), and this new show is not completely dissimilar to the works of Terry Pratchett (The Discworld series). What is most clear, however, is that both shows definitely come from Groening (sharing a sense of humor besides a style of animation), and in case viewers forget that, he's already given them a reminder.
**WARNING: Some spoilers for Disenchanted will follow. If you want to experience all of the fantastical insanity fresh, then hop a portal out of here. Please come back after you've watched, though. **
Viewers on twitter have been quick to point out (and then celebrate) a moment in the final episode of this season of Disenchantment, which features the demon Luci (Eric Andre) using a magic ball to give King Zog (John DiMaggio) a look at some events from a place known as "Dreamland." While the ball is in use, Futurama's Fry, Bender, and Professor Farnsworth appear very briefly.
All three are seen sitting in the professor's time machine, featured in the Futurama episode "The Late Philip J. Fry" from the show's sixth season. It is interesting to note that the actors who voice those characters — Billy West as Fry and Farnsworth, John DiMaggio as Bender — both have leading roles on the new show.
It's a fun Easter egg, though it doesn't necessarily mean that the story of Disenchantment will connect to Futurama in any meaningful way. Groening likes to do this kind of thing — in 2014, he crossed Futurama over with The Simpsons in the 558th episode of the latter series, titled "Simpsorama." Homer and Bender immediately hit it off, and there's not much more to that story. Groening even crossed The Simpsons over with Family Guy, a show that he didn't even create. That overlap took place on Family Guy itself, however, in the thirteenth season of that show. Called "The Simpsons Guy," Homer and Peter Griffin meet and hit if off, until they stop hitting it off and start hitting each other.
Will there be more Groening-verse crossovers in Disenchantment? With so many Futurama castmembers involved (DiMaggio, West, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille) we'd say that it is very likely. We don't anticipate a Family Guy crossover, but we wouldn't say no to some kind of Masters of the Universe event.