The Boys Presents: Diabolical

Chace Crawford voices The Deep in the “BFFs” episode of The Boys Presents: Diabolical.

The Boys Presents: Diabolical

The Boys Presents: Diabolical

Simon Racioppa

Writer-executive producer Simon Racioppa

Fill 1
Fill 1
April 12, 2022
In The Mix

The Boys Take a Diabolical Turn

Celeb writers and global animators delight in Prime Video's animated series, The Boys Presents: Diabolical.

Ramin Zahed

While awaiting the return of Prime Video's The Boys — season three drops in June — fans can binge its animated spinoff, The Boys Presents: Diabolical. The latest of the streamer's adult-targeted animated fare, this off-the-wall anthology consists of eight episodes, each only twelve to fourteen minutes long. It joins such acclaimed animated Prime Video shows as Undone, Invincible and the more recent The Legend of Vox Machina.

Diabolical features a wild range of subjects (billed as "untold stories" about The Boys) created by the likes of Awkwafina, Garth Ennis, Eliot Glazer and Ilana Glazer, Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, Simon Racioppa, Justin Roiland and Ben Bayouth, Andy Samberg, and Aisha Tyler. Voice talents include Michael Cera, Don Cheadle, Kieran Culkin, Elizabeth Shue and Simon Pegg.

Writer-executive producer Racioppa, who worked with Goldberg and Rogen on Invincible, says the project came about when they approached him about a Boys spinoff. "This was in the early days of the pandemic in 2020, so an animated show sounded perfect."

The goal was to push the limits of what an animated spinoff could do in terms of exploring visual styles — and also to break the rules around what a toon for grownups could be. "It's fun to take the medium and go bananas with it," says Racioppa, whose many writing credits include Teen Titans and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

The overall animation lead was Los Angeles–based studio Titmouse, and the producers tapped companies around the world to suit each episode's style and content. For example, Goldberg and Rogen's "Laser Baby's Day Out" required a classic Looney Tunes 2D look, so the production employed Philippines-based Snipple Studios, which has a strong background in that style. Mexico's Mighty Animation, France's Folivari, Korea's Edge Animation Studio and Studio Animal and Japan's D'ART Shtajio all contributed.

As Racioppa explains, "Once we got the stories from our celebrity writers, we figured out who the best person would be to direct each episode and which studio would be perfect for the animation. Titmouse did all the preproduction and the designs as well as the postproduction for each episode, and they were always off the charts."

The principals also strove to pack a lot of heart, jokes and story into their bite-sized creations. "Each episode has a bit of an emotional core," Racioppa says. "Premium streaming has really bumped up the bar and broadened the types of things we can do in animation."

This article originally appeared in emmy magazine issue #2, 2022, under the title, "The Devil They Know."

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