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Hazbin Hotel: Exclusive Look at Prime Video’s ‘Disney Princess in Hell’ Adult Animation Series

IGN can exclusively debut a gallery of new images (see below) from the adult animated musical comedy Hazbin Hotel, which launches on Prime Video on January 19, 2024. Based on creator Vivienne Medrano’s pilot of the same name, which has amassed over 92 million views on YouTube since its release in 2019, Hazbin Hotel follows Charlie Morningstar, the princess of Hell, who seeks to rehabilitate demons to reduce the underworld’s overpopulation. The series’ blend of Broadway-style songs, princess themes, and animation can’t help but bring to mind Disney Princesses and that studio’s legacy of animated fairy tales – an association Medrano is fine with some viewers making.

“When I was conceptualizing it, that was kind of something that I wanted to faintly lean into,” Medrano told IGN over Zoom this week. “What if there was a Disney princess in Hell kind of thing, if that was her kingdom? That was definitely one of the prompts in the initial formulating of how I wanted her character to be. … It's just such a perfect vehicle because it's such a classic, understood, animated realm. So that was definitely a factor for sure.”

The Disney parody angle is evident in the “Happy Day in Hell” musical sequence released at this past New York Comic Con, which Medrano confirms is a tongue-in-cheek homage to, among other classic Disney tunes, the song “Belle” from Beauty and the Beast.

“I wanted it to be a mix of an opening song, ‘getting to know the world’ and the ‘what I want’ song, which is what ‘Belle’ is. It's one of the few Disney songs that does kind of both things,” Medrano explained. “That's kind of the perfect base for what we want with this song, to have it be kind of a mix of she's introducing us to a world, but also telling us what she wants at the same time, which is the classic princess ‘I want’ song, which is in every Disney Princess movie.”

Erika Henningsen, who voices Charlie in Season One, credits songwriters Sam Haft and Andrew Underberg for capturing the spirit of classic Disney animation songs even as they put a wicked spin on them.

“I think they're really good at pastiche, they understand style so well. And my favorite thing is they wrote the style differently for every single person,” Henningsen told IGN via Zoom. “So the way I sound is I'm sort of a rebel Disney princess who is going to drop an F-bomb in the middle of the most delightful melody you've ever heard.”

While Hazbin Hotel both embraces and mocks its Disney influences, there’s one misconception that Medrano wanted to clear up. Some fans believe the Radio Demon, aka Alastor, was inspired by The Princess and the Frog’s antagonist Dr. Facilier. (This notion isn’t helped by the fact that Keith David, who voiced Facilier, is also a member of the Hazbin Hotel voice cast.)

But Medrano explained that Alastor’s creation predates that 2009 film. “No. There was no influence there, but I think the reason there's an association is that when I created Alastor, he was a very kind of hoodoo voodoo-influenced character, and I still want him to have a lot of New Orleans influence. That's where he lived and died as a person. Obviously, Princess and the Frog is set there and Dr. Facilier has that entire thing going on, so I think that's where the association came from. But that movie came out way, way after I'd made Alastor. He's existed since I was in middle school, which is kind of insane that he's made it to being in an actual animated series. He was a character I doodled in my early school years.”

In addition to Erika Henningsen and Keith David, Hazbin Hotel’s ensemble voice cast also includes Stephanie Beatriz, Alex Brightman, Kimiko Glenn, Blake Roman, Amir Talai, Christian Borle, and Joel Perez. Recently announced guest stars include Darren Criss, Jeremy Jordan, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Patina Miller, and Jessica Vosk.

Hazbin Hotel is produced by A24 and FOX Entertainment’s Bento Box Entertainment. Joel Kuwahara and Dana Tafoya-Cameron, and Scott Greenberg (Season One) also serve as executive producers.

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Credit: IGN Southeast Asia

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