Disney Channel Goes Barbarian for 2004

Disney Channel goes back to the Middle Ages with the new animated comedy series Disney’s Dave the Barbarian, from Walt Disney Television Animation, scheduled to premiere in January 2004.

Created by Doug Langdale, Disney’s Dave the Barbarian follows the title character’s comedic adventures with his offbeat family as they protect themselves and their kingdom from a world of odd foes. Complicating matters is brawny Dave’s non-barbarian demeanor. He prefers the finer things in life, like origami, bird watching and gourmet cooking. The majority of the episodes are split into 11-minute cartoons with two comedic adventures per episode.

“Through Doug Langdale’s approach to animation, Dave represents a true departure for Walt Disney Television Animation in its presentation of wacky, off-the-wall comedy,” says Barry Blumberg, president of Walt Disney Television Animation.

An improvisational comic working in Los Angeles, Langdale has built quite a resume in the animation industry. The two-time Emmy Award nominee created and executive-produced the popular series Disney’s The Weekenders. He also co-created and co-executive-produced the Saturday morning cartoon Project Geeker, and served as executive producer and writer on The Mr. Potato Head Show. In addition, his writing on Disney’s House of Mouse, Hercules, Disney/Pixar’s Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Aladdin, Darkwing Duck, Quack Pack and Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain earned him a pair of Annie Award nods. He also story-edited Earthworm Jim and wrote most of the episodes.

Dave the Barbarian is directed by Howy Parkins. The animation veteran most recently directed the tremendously successful series Disney’s Recess and Disney’s Lloyd in Space, as well as the upcoming Disney DVD/VHS releases Disney’s Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade and Disney’s Recess: All Growed Down.

The show’s voice cast is headed up by Danny Cooksey (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Disney’s Pepper Ann). Joining him are Estelle Harris (Seinfeld) as Lula, Dave’s magical talking sword; Tress MacNeille (Disney’s House of Mouse, The Simpsons) as Fang, Dave’s small-yet-fierce little sister; Erica Luttrell (The New Ghostwriter Mysteries) as Candy, Dave’s medieval material girl big sister; Kevin Michael Richardson (Like Family) as Uncle Oswidge, a curmudgeonly sorcerer and the kids’ misguided guardian; Frank Welker (What’s New Scooby-Doo) as Faffy, the family’s miniature, lightning-spitting pet dragon; and Jeff Bennett (Johnny Bravo) as the stately narrator.

Fashion police Joan and Melissa Rivers will make recurring visits and Metallica’s James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich will make their animation debut in a single episode as rogue teenage dragons.