Amphibia season 2 is when the story finally kicks into high gear, and I mean that both literally and figuratively. Literally because of the fun road trip Anne and the Plantars go on. Figuratively because this is when the story starts getting really good.
Amphibia Season 2: Details
Amphibia season 2 is the 20-episode (divided into 36 segments; 3 less than the last season) 2nd season of this adventure fantasy comedy (and basically isekai) animated series. Matt Braly (Gravity Falls, Steven Universe, Big City Greens) returns as the creator, executive producer, writer, storyboard artist, and even voice actor for a few characters like Chuck the “I grow tulips” frog. Tara Badawy remains the other producer. T.J. Hill of The Owl House fame remains the composer for the music overall (including the ending theme music “Anne’s Theme”), with Doug Petty responsible for composing the opening theme music. Lastly, Disney Television Animation is the production studio funding this series.
Amphibia season 2 features the voices of Brenda Song as Anne Boonchuy, Justin Felbinger as Sprig Plantar, Bill Farmer (the voice of Goofy) as Hopediah “Hop Pop” Plantar, and Amanda Leighton as Polly Plantar. Other notable roles include Anna Akana as Sasha Waybright, Troy Baker as Captain Grimothy “Grime”, Haley Tju as Marcy Wu (at long last), and Keith David as King Andrias Leviathan.
Amphibia season 2 made its debut on July 11, 2020 and last aired on May 22, 2021. You can watch this series only on Disney+.
Warning: spoilers for Amphibia season 2 below. If you want to watch this series kick into high gear for yourself, then stop here, and come back once you’ve come back from your froggy high fantasy road trip.
Amphibia Season 2: Plot Summary
Before we get into Amphibia season 2 though, you need some background info from season 1. For starters: Anne wasn’t just staying at Wartwood for fun. Winter snow had actually blocked the mountain passes surrounding Wartwood for the entirety of season 1. It’s only now in season 2 that the passes are now passable, and Anne and the Plantars can now journey to Amphibia’s capital city of Newtopia for information on the magic music box that sent Anne and her human friends into Amphibia in the first place. Unfortunately, Hop Pop discovered that the music box is called the “Calamity Box”. So when he convinced Anne to give it to him to see if he can find out anything else about it, he then buried it in the Plantar house’s backyard. This comes back to bite him, but that’s a story for later.
For now, Anne and the Plantars go on a fun road trip to Newtopia. The “fun” includes accidentally activating an automated robot factory, destroying the factory, and then having a robo-frog secretly stalk them for much of season 2 (but later becoming friends with them). Otherwise, though, it is a fun journey. When Anne and the Plantars finally reach Newtopia, there’s even more fun when Anne finally reunites with Marcy. As it turns out, Marcy had been having her own offscreen adventures in Newtopia, and is now something of a local hero. Marcy arranges for the group to meet King Andrias, who agrees to help them find a way to get the humans back home.
A Grand and Froggy Quest Inbound
A bit of research reveals that the jewels on the music box are the key here, but the problem is that they’re currently dull. They need to be glowing to work. Thus, they need to undertake another quest, this time to find the 3 temples that will allow them to make the gems glow again. After actually recovering the box (and working out the fact that Hop Pop basically betrayed Anne for reasons he thought were good at the time), they proceed to make the gems glow again at the temples. Sasha and Grime even join them for the last temple, after apparently changing their ways. The only catch was at the 2nd temple, when Anne only halfway charges the blue gem for reasons. Otherwise though, the gems are all glowing. Now they just have to return to Newtopia and the King to go back home.
Except Sasha and Grime throw a wrench in those plans when they launch a coup d’état of Newtopia. They overthrow King Andrias, and lock him and Anne and co. in the castle’s dungeon as they await the rest of the toad army to march into the now open city. Fortunately, they escape the dungeon and fight back against the coup to close the gates. Unfortunately, Sasha and Grime discover that the good king Andrias isn’t the good king everyone thought he was, and try to stop Anne and co.. Even more, unfortunately, they fail.
Castle in the Sky 2.0?!
Once King Andrias has the music box, he uses it to awaken the Newtopia castle, which reveals itself to be a Laputa-like flying magitech fortress. He also takes the time to awaken the robot factories scattered across Amphibia, and commands them to build a machine army for him. He then reveals that he plans to use this mechanical army to invade and conquer Earth for its natural resources. Obviously, Anne and co. fight back, even in spite of the revelation that Marcy semi-agreed to this plan out of a misguided belief that Andrias wouldn’t hurt anyone.
Fortunately, Marcy’s help proves to be invaluable. She manages to obtain the music box, despite Frobo being destroyed in the attempt. Marcy then opens a portal back to Earth, and Anne and the Plantars step through. Before Marcy can join them though, Andrias surprise-stabs her through the chest in a surprisingly dark twist for a Disney show. A horrified Anne tries to help, but the portal closes before she can do so. On the plus side, she’s now back in Los Angeles, Earth. On the downside, Marcy is likely very dead, and Sasha isn’t even with her. What will happen next now? Well, that’s what we’ll find out in Amphibia season 3.
Amphibia Season 2: The Good
Holy shit, the story of Amphibia season 2 is great. I know I said the story of season 1 was the best part about it, but season 2 really kicks that story into high gear. Everything about the story is just so much better. Season 1’s story feels like a slice of life fantasy anime. However, season 2 not only still has that for the quieter moments, but even includes a whole bunch of high fantasy into the mix. You almost feel like you’re watching The Lord of the Rings: The Isekai Anime at some points. I honestly wish Matt Braly could’ve written this story with more older teen/adult themes in it than what Disney will allow. This could’ve been even better. For now though, I’m still perfectly happy with what we got.
Especially in “True Colors”. Honestly, I feel like that was the masterpiece of this season. At least part of it is due to the great characters, especially Andrias. Frankly, he’s one of the most evil villains to ever appear in any Disney media, and that’s what makes him such a great villain. It’s amazing really that Disney would allow him to do the pragmatically evil thing and straight-up kill Marcy to take the music box back. I’m glad they did though, because that one action did wonders for the story. I feel like this one episode propelled Amphibia season 2 to The Owl House levels of good. “True Colors” really is that good.
It’s not just the story either. The artwork of Amphibia season 2 also sees a big spike in animation quality over the previous season. Not only is there better use of shading and shadows, but the animation also feels much more fluid. If season 1’s animation got you into the show, then season 2’s animation sucks you into the world of Amphibia.
Amphibia Season 2: The Bad
My one and only complaint about Amphibia season 2 is similar to my complaint about season 1. A good portion of the season is still geared towards younger audiences, so they can’t be too frightening or adult. Again, I kinda wish that Matt Braly went the Dana Terrace route, and made Amphibia more geared towards older teens like The Owl House. As it is now though, it’s a much smaller complaint than for season 1. Season 2 is where the dark and mature themes start to pop up, and it makes it so much better. It’s no wonder why this show and The Owl House do shameless plugs for each other. If Amphibia ever does a crossover with The Owl House in the future, I would be among the first to watch it.