Disney’s Dave the Barbarian out of the Cave Tonight

When it’s not dominating the worldwide box office with its animated films, the Walt Disney Co.’s TV animation divisions continue to produce a steady stream of strong product. Case in point: Tonight’s debut of Dave the Barbarian on the Disney Channel.

A tweaked mediaeval take on the standard live-action family sitcom from Walt Disney television Animation, Dave follows the title character’s dark escapades with his offbeat family, which includes his primping older sister Candy and his fierce-yet-tiny younger sister Fang–as they protect themselves and their kingdom from a world of uproariously odd foes. Despite his Niles-like demeanor (he likes origami and gourmet cooking), Dave’s brute strength and feisty family means Visigoths and other assorted foes don’t stand a chance.

The series springs from the off-kilter imagination of creator/exec producer Doug Langdale (Disney’s The Weekenders) and is directed by Howy Parkins (Disney’s Lloyd in Space). For Langdale, the idea for Dave sprang from a single word. “The genesis of the series was that I tried to think of the worst possible name you would have to scream out for help if you needed a barbarian hero to come to your rescue,” says Langdale. “It was simple: ‘Dave.’ The show pretty much fell into place from there.”

Disney’s Dave the Barbarian premieres tonight with a five-episode mini-marathon beginning at 5:30 p.m. on The Disney Channel. The series airs regularly on weekends with episodic premieres on Fridays.