Matt Braly on the Ribbiting End of Disney Channel’s Amphibia - D23 (2023)

By Zach Johnson

Will Anne Boonchuy get her “hoppy” ending?

After three seasons, the Disney Channel animated series Amphibia will conclude this month, first with the one-hour episode “All In” on Saturday, May 7, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the half-hour episode “The Hardest Thing” on Saturday, May 14, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. (All three seasons of Amphibia are available to stream on Disney+.) We recently sat down with series creator and executive producer Matt Braly for an extensive conversation about the series, ranging from his long-planned three-season story arc to his pride in seeing how Anne (voiced by Brenda Song) evolved since her debut in 2019.

The conversation below has been edited and condensed for clarity.

D23: How does it feel for you to say goodbye to Amphibia after three seasons?
Matt Braly (MB): I’m sort of feeling all the emotions at once. I’m so grateful and relieved, but I’m also sad. It’s very bittersweet. But in the end, it feels right. This story has always been written with this arc and this conclusion. Some of my favorite books and movies are my favorite because of their endings. I think about all these great stories, and many of them, it’s the ending that really defines them. And for me, when you see the final scenes of this show, I think you will understand the show even more than you do now.

Matt Braly on the Ribbiting End of Disney Channel’s Amphibia - D23 (1)

D23: You’d always planned a three-season arc. Did everything go as planned, or did your plan deviate based on story needs? Does the finale align with your original vision?
MB: I had a broad outline and goals, but sometimes you’d come to these narrative choke points and realize, “Oh, the character would never do that.” So, we had an outline, but we had some flexibility to bob and weave. These characters speak to you, and they tell you what feels right. When I say that it’s been planned, I mean the big, broad beats. For example, at the end of season two, I always knew they were going to fight with this king and they were all going to get stuck on Earth somehow at the end of it. I had these big tentpoles figured out, but I had an amazing writing team who would take those goals and tentpoles and turn them into great episodes.

D23: Let’s talk about Anne’s journey throughout the series. How has she grown with each passing season? Where does she still have to go as we’re heading into the finale?
MB: Anne’s character arc is the most important to me, and it is both obvious and nuanced. The obvious character arc is Anne becoming more of a selfless person—not being this irresponsible, bratty kid, which she was in season one. You can see her growing and changing across all three seasons, becoming a much more responsible person. Look no further than the beginning of season three, when the Plantars—these interdimensional frogs—are basically her charges, and she’s taking care of them. She’s like a parent to them, which is a delightful role reversal for this character who basically wouldn’t follow the rules before. So, that’s the broad, obvious character arc.

The second character arc for Anne is about self-love and self-esteem. That one is a little bit more nuanced, because you have to look at season one and the dynamics she had with her friends. You might have thought to yourself, “Why is this girl getting pushed around so much? Why doesn’t she put her foot down and stand up for herself?” She’d been under Sasha’s thumb for their whole life—their whole friendship! Finally, at the end of season one, there was this great moment where Anne put her foot down and said, “I’m not going to do that. I’m going to do what I think is right.” The truth is, she was only able to do that because somebody else showed her love: Sprig and the Plantars. That built her self-esteem up and taught her that maybe she shouldn’t be stepped all over; maybe she is someone who is deserving of love, who is growing this kind of self-love. That is the No. 1 thing to look forward to as we approach our season three finale—the combination of that arc, that self-love and that self-respect.

Matt Braly on the Ribbiting End of Disney Channel’s Amphibia - D23 (2)

D23: It’s been interesting to watch the ebbs and flows in Anne’s relationships with Sasha and Marcy. How were you able to depict their dynamics in a way that felt real?
MB: It’s a tricky needle to thread, but you’re absolutely right: This is a show about ebbs and flows. It’s about complicated relationships. One of the very first images I ever did for the show was all three girls sitting on the couch, kind of sleeping, and Sasha had her arms around the other two. And at the top, it just said, “It’s complicated.” You know what it means. That was really my mission statement for these three girls. None of them is a cartoon villain; they all have very nuanced motivations for what they do. It was really important for me to show that everyone was a little bit at fault for what went wrong in their relationship. Sometimes we need to grow apart to grow back together. Sometimes you’ve been locked into a group and its dynamics for so long that the second you exit that bubble and make relationships with new people, you almost become a different person. All three girls have done that; they’ve separated from each other, they’ve made connections with new people, and they’ve grown independent of one another. And I think that really changes things when they do come back together. My own experience with friendships was deeply influential on this. I have the advantage of being close to 35 years old now and looking back at these relationships. It really allowed me to think about how we grew apart, we grew back together, we grew apart again, and we found each other again. There’s this beauty in life of these relationships that ebb and flow. That’s what I wanted to bottle up. It’s tricky, though!

D23: In season three, Anne reunited with her parents on Earth. It’s been fun to see how their dynamic has evolved since she’s been gone. Anne’s not the same girl anymore.
MB: It’s great because her parents immediately are like, “Oh, she seems different.” Even in the very first episode, “The New Normal,” it’s like, “There’s something different about our little girl.” It really crescendos in “Escape to Amphibia,” where they give her a pep talk and Mom is like, “You’re not my little girl anymore. You can do this. You can do anything. We believe in you.” The only reason that’s possible is because Anne went outside of their bubble and made this new connection on her own—and found this independence and learned all this stuff about herself. I think it’s really true to the idea that your parents are wise and they love you; they’re always giving you great advice, and you just don’t listen, for whatever reason. My headcanon is that her parents have absolutely been trying to steer her in this direction forever, but kids—especially me as a teen—just don’t listen. I had to go out. I had to make those mistakes and learn those lessons, independent of them, to really come back home and be like, “You were right.” That’s basically what happened with Anne. She comes back home, and her parents are ready to lecture her, and then they see she has already learned those lessons—that she’s become a more independent, responsible person. To me, that’s really gratifying.

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D23: It’s hard to pick favorites, but what would you consider to be some of the standout episodes that encapsulate exactly what you wanted Amphibia to be and do?
MB: I love the episode “Toad Tax,” which is the very first episode in season one where Anne really makes a stand. She stands up to these toads who are abusing these frogs, and it’s so gratifying to see. She used to not really being part of this community and didn’t really care that much. And here she is throwing her safety on the line in order to stand up for them. That stuff is very emotional for me; watching the very start of her change is quite a big moment. I also really love the episode “Reunion,” which is our season one finale, because when she finally stands up to Sasha, it just gives me chills. Her whole life, this girl has been saying, “End of discussion!” And that really was at the end of it. And finally, Anne is putting her foot down. And then “True Colors”… we barely were able to produce that episode, if I’m being honest, in the sense that this is an 11-minute, episodic comedy with a budget to match. We have a very specific production, and we have a very specific pipeline. The idea that we were making this Star Wars-like epic finale, I’m just so proud of the team for coming together and problem-solving. And then in season three, there’s a couple episodes that get me. I love at the end of “Adventures in Catsitting” when Mr. Boonchuy tells the Plantars, “You’ll never owe us anything because you took in our daughter. That means the world to us, so don’t worry about being freeloaders or guests.” The performance from Brian Sounalath and [Disney Legend] Bill Farmer really gets to me. And I love anything with Mom, because it’s my mom. [Editor’s note: Matt’s mother, On Braly, voices Mrs. Boonchuy.] I’m obviously geared to feel a certain way, but when Mrs. Boonchuy is wiping Anne’s tears in “Escape to Amphibia” and is really [recognizing how much she’s grown]—man, I just I love that so much. Lastly, I really do love these final episodes—especially “The Hardest Thing,” which is like the final final one. It’s a crazy, ambitious episode emotionally. I can’t spoil anything, but I’m so proud of the team for what they were able to pull off in that one.

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D23: What can we expect from the final two episodes?
MB: I really want people to think about that hidden arc of self-love when they’re watching these episodes and to think about how, when you get pressured into things, a lot of that comes from this place of not having confidence, not having self-esteem. I feel like that, ultimately, is a big part of Anne’s story. There’s so much action and stuff in these final two episodes; the animation team just went crazy! It’s so good. The storyboarding is top notch, the writing is great, the music is phenomenal. It’s very epic. But at the end of the day, I don’t want to lose that small, intimate story as well. I hope people can still focus on that—even though there’s giant robots and explosions and stuff!

D23: Is there anything you want to say to the fans directly?
MB: The biggest and most heartfelt thank you! Truly, without your engagement, there is no show. And we really looked to that stuff—the fan art, the engagement—as our motivation for working. It can be hard sometimes in television to write, write, write, and work your butt off. Sometimes it feels like it gets out there and you’re like, “Oh, I hope people saw it and enjoyed it.” But the feedback has been so helpful and so great for us. It really brought us a lot of joy. During COVID-19, it was really difficult sometimes to pick yourself up and try to get back into your work. We always remember that we have these great fans who we just want to do right by, and so I really appreciate that. It’s hard to say goodbye to the show, but the show itself is about that process. Your life changes, and changes are often scary, but they’re an essential and beautiful part of life.

For more toad-ally awesome Amphibia news, listen to the D23 Inside Disney podcast interview with Jason Ritter, who recently guest starred as the voice of Barrel in the episode “The Core & The King.”

FAQs

Why did Matt Braly end Amphibia? ›

The stakes are too high, the momentum is too hot, and I felt like the end of our second season really was that for us, where it was, Okay, this show, it feels like it's coming to its climax, so it felt natural and good to do it in this third season. For me, I think it's both.

What is the message at the end of Amphibia? ›

We hear a bit of a closing narration from Anne, saying sometimes you let things go, but the important things will always return. The words “The End” appear, and an extended version of the end credits roll (for real this time) where we see the Plantars home and other Amphibia landmarks.

Is Amphibia The Hardest Thing the last episode? ›

"The Hardest Thing" is the eighteenth and final episode of the third season of Amphibia, the one hundred and sixth episode overall, and the series finale. It premiered on May 14, 2022.

What happened on the last episode of Amphibia? ›

Who is Sasha in love with Amphibia? ›

// Amphibia spoilers So at last, in "Commander Anne," Sasha was confirmed to be attracted to women. More specifically, Anne.

Is Marcy from Amphibia black? ›

Marcy is a Taiwanese-American pre-teen girl who is tall (but noticeably shorter than Anne and Sasha) and slim. She has olive skin, short, shiny black hair, and dark brown oval eyes. After being in Amphibia for about five months, her hair has become visibly grown out and messier.

Who is Lgbtq in Amphibia? ›

Coming back to Amphibia, Sasha joins other LGBTQ characters such as Frodrick Toadstool and Toadie who were confirmed as a gay couple by the show's creator. More significantly is Yunan (Zahra Fazal) and Lady Olivia (Michelle Dockery) as lesbian couple.

Who is the true villain in Amphibia? ›

King Andrias Leviathan is the main antagonist of the Disney Channel series Amphibia. He is the former king of Amphibia who lives in the realm's capital of Newtopia, where he meets Marcy Wu, one of the three girls teleported to Amphibia, and seems to be helping her and her friends return to Earth.

How old is sprig in the last episode? ›

Sprig turns 11 years old as of this episode. It is revealed that Sprig's parents gave him his hat.

How old was spring at the end of Amphibia? ›

Sprig Plantar is the deuteragonist of Amphibia. He is an 11-year-old (10 prior to "Sprig's Birthday") frog who is the best friend and guide of the human girl Anne Boonchuy.

Is Sasha a villain in Amphibia? ›

Sasha Waybright is the redeemed central antagonist of the Disney cartoon series Amphibia. She is a student at Saint James Middle School and the childhood friend of Anne Boonechuy and Marcy Wu, often using her skill at manipulation to control and influence their behavior.

How old is Sasha at the end of Amphibia? ›

Character information

She is a 13-year-old girl and the childhood friend of Anne Boonchuy and Marcy Wu. When the three are teleported to the world of Amphibia through the magic of a music box, Sasha becomes a prisoner of Toad Tower, where she rises through the ranks to become first lieutenant to Captain Grime.

Does Marcy come back to life in Amphibia season 3? ›

Marcy is revealed to be alive, but comatosed and inside a containment unit with wires attached to her body by Olivia and Yunnan, while Andrias reveals he has more things planned for her.

Does Anne Boonchuy come back to life? ›

She tells Sprig not to cry and that her only regret was not seeing Love Choice 2 as her stone body starts to disintegrate into leaves…Anne has died.

Is Marcy Wu non binary? ›

Conversation. Marcy Wu from Amphibia is nonbinary !!

Is Sasha and Marcy canon? ›

sashanne is canon in writing and storyboards and sasharcy ended up being canon in show.

Does Anne Love Marcy? ›

We know from Turning Point that Sasha basically already canonically loves Anne. And we know from the stabbing and determination to avenge her and foreshadowing that Anne close to canonically loves Marcy. And Marcy has shown some affection but has been preoccupied with just making sure her friends don't leave her first.

Is Terri Amphibia non binary? ›

Roiland also described Korvo and Terry as genderless aliens which asexually reproduce but are not asexual.

Is Terri a boy or girl Amphibia? ›

Character information

Terri is a supporting character of Amphibia. She is a scientist, who helped Anne and the Plantars to build an interdimensional portal to return to Amphibia.

Is Yunan a girl Amphibia? ›

General Yunan is a supporting character in Amphibia. She is a female warrior newt who is from Newtopia and the youngest newt to achieve the rank of general in the Newtopian Army.

Is Domino from Amphibia a girl? ›

Domino Boonchuy is a character of Amphibia. She is the Boonchuy family's pet cat.

What race is Sasha Amphibia? ›

She is a 13-year-old human girl of German/Slavic heritage and is the childhood best friend of Anne and Marcy. She formerly attended Saint James Middle School until getting teleported to Amphibia, along with her two friends.

What is Marcy Wu's middle name? ›

And by the way, people mentioned that Anne's middle name is Savisa, and Marcy's middle name is Regina, and also, Sasha's middle name Elizabeth is actually kinda nice.

Is Anne Amphibia black? ›

In the animated series “Amphibia,” Brenda Song voices the lead character, Anne Boonchuy, a Thai American teenager who finds herself transported to a mystical land populated by anthropomorphic amphibians.

Who does Anne have a crush on in Amphibia? ›

It was not until the events of "Stakeout" that Anne began to see Hop Pop in a new light. He told her that she reminded him of himself when he was younger which made the two grow close.

What color are Sprig's eyes? ›

In "Family Shrub", his eyes are revealed to be blue. Sprig is apparently based on the strawberry poison-dart frog. While they occasionally look pink, they are usually orange-red in color, similar to Hop Pop, and also usually possess dark blue arms and legs.

Does Anne like Sasha in Amphibia? ›

Anne saw Sasha as one of her best friends and did anything to earn that friendship, even things she didn't want to do.

Who is Sprig's mom? ›

Ms. Plantar was first mentioned in "Hopping Mall", where Sprig reveals to Anne that she died when he and Polly were very young (i.e., too young to really remember anything about her).

Does sprig have a crush on Ivy? ›

Unfortunately, Sprig realizes that he does have a crush on Ivy. Crud.

Is Lief related to Sprig? ›

The letter would reach Andrias more than 1000 years later through Sprig Plantar, a distant descendant of Leif.

Is Lief sprig and Polly's mom? ›

Yeah, she's not the mother.

How old is pop pop in Amphibia? ›

Great Stamina: As shown in "Fight at the Museum", Hop Pop is able to outrun the two security guards at the museum, even though he is 68 years old.

What type of frog is Polly? ›

She was a polliwog, which is one of the younger stages of a frog.

Are Anne Sasha and Marcy Poly? ›

Sashannarcy is the poly ship between Sasha Waybright, Anne Boonchuy and Marcy Wu from the Amphibia fandom.

How tall is Marcy Wu? ›

108 centimeters! ... For reference, that is equivalent to 3.5 feet, and the average height of a 13-year-old girl is 5.15 feet, or 157 cm! Marcy is roughly two-thirds of the regular height, but then so are Anne and Sasha because they're also about as tall as her, which...

Who is Grimes sister Amphibia? ›

Captain Beatrix is a character of Amphibia. She is the older sister of Captain Grime, the lord of the West Tower and one of the 3 Toad Lords commanding the Toad Army.

Do Sasha and Anne end up together? ›

In "Commander Anne" it is revealed that Sasha and Anne are officially married.

Is Sasharcy a canon? ›

sashanne is canon in writing and storyboards and sasharcy ended up being canon in show.

What is the ship name for Sasha and Marcy? ›

Sasharcy is the femslash ship between Marcy Wu and Sasha Waybright from the Amphibia fandom.

Is Marcy Wu Chinese? ›

today's chinese character of the day is marcy wu from amphibia! they are taiwanese-american and anon headcanons their pronouns as they/them!

Did Amphibia have a happy ending? ›

She never got to say goodbye to Ally and Jess, but those two clearly left their mark on her. The world is healing thanks to the efforts of everyone from Grime, Yunan, Olivia, and of course Andrias. The heart of Amphibia was saved as frogs, newts, and toads work together for a better tomorrow.

Is Jenny from Amphibia non binary? ›

Jenny is a character from Amphibia. They use they/them pronouns.

Who created the calamity box? ›

The Calamity Box is a music box invented long ago by Valeriana that using the Calamity Gems' power, can enable interdimensional travel to Earth, Amphibia and other dimension/worlds/planets. It was later held in the store Thrift Stop before being stolen by Anne (unwillingly) on her 13th birthday.

How old is toadie from Amphibia? ›

Conversation. Toadie is in his 30s and was elected mayor of Wartwood - he is NOT a child and never was.

Has Amphibia officially ended? ›

Amphibia is an American animated television series created by Matt Braly that aired on Disney Channel from June 17, 2019 to May 14, 2022.

Was Amphibia canceled? ›

After three seasons, the Disney Channel animated series Amphibia will conclude this month, first with the one-hour episode “All In” on Saturday, May 7, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the half-hour episode “The Hardest Thing” on Saturday, May 14, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Why did Amphibia change its name from Amphibiland? ›

Because of this Matt had to renamed to the show to Amphibia just to not get sued by the creator of Kulipari and had no clue about that before when created the pilot for the show.

Did Amphibia end for good? ›

Sadly, there is not going to be a season 4 of Amphibia, with creator Matt Braly having previously confirmed that the series was made up of three acts i.e., seasons. “It's a three-season story, it always has been in my head. This show is obsessed with the number three, it's three-crazy.

How old is Anne in the last episode of Amphibia? ›

Anne Boonchuy
Anne Savisa Boonchuy
Last appearance"The Hardest Thing" (2022)
Created byMatt Braly
Voiced byBrenda Song Kai Zen (young)
Age13 23 (as of the epilogue of "The Hardest Thing")
5 more rows

Is Anne from Amphibia black? ›

In the animated series “Amphibia,” Brenda Song voices the lead character, Anne Boonchuy, a Thai American teenager who finds herself transported to a mystical land populated by anthropomorphic amphibians.

Are Gravity Falls and Amphibia connected? ›

So TOH connects to Amphibia, Amphibia connects to Gravity Falls, Gravity Falls connects to SvTFOE. All four shows exist in the same reality.

Did Owl House end? ›

The Owl House has started its third and final season, and many are confused about why the exceedingly popular show is being concluded prematurely. Unfortunately, the blame seems to lie in Disney's lap – and fans aren't happy. The cancellation of a TV series can be an emotional and upsetting thing for a fanbase.

What is LGBT in Amphibia? ›

Coming back to Amphibia, Sasha joins other LGBTQ characters such as Frodrick Toadstool and Toadie who were confirmed as a gay couple by the show's creator. More significantly is Yunan (Zahra Fazal) and Lady Olivia (Michelle Dockery) as lesbian couple.

Is Terri from Amphibia non binary? ›

Roiland also described Korvo and Terry as genderless aliens which asexually reproduce but are not asexual.

Is Sasha from Amphibia a boy? ›

She is a 13-year-old human girl of German/Slavic heritage and is the childhood best friend of Anne and Marcy.

Is the curator dead Amphibia? ›

On Reddit, series creator Matt Braly stated "he's definitely dead" after the episode final.

Is Amphibia and the Owl House connected? ›

Continuity. The crossover takes place during the second season of The Owl House, between "Through the Looking Glass Ruins" and "Knock, Knock, Knockin' on Hooty's Door", and during the first season of Amphibia.

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