Rapid Insights: Captain Fall and Krapopolis Expand the Limits of Animated Comedies

Two new comedies just entering the storied realm of adult animation promise to make an indelible mark on the genre. Captain Fall, recently released on Netflix, tells the story of a sweet but dimwitted sea captain unwittingly fronting a smuggling ring for a dangerous international cartel. Dan Harmon’s Krapopolis, coming later this month to Fox, focuses on an outlandish family of humans, gods, and monsters attempting to create the world’s first city in ancient Greece.

Here’s what you need to know about these new animated comedies:

Vault uses index scores to describe the impact a given story/theme/element will have on specific KPIs: 
≤79 Disappointing  80-89 Challenging  90-109 Average  110-119 Promising  120+ Outstanding

What type of audience tunes in for this genre?
It depends on the show and the platform. Family-based series (The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad!) tend to lean female, especially if they’re on TV, while those incorporating sci-fi, action, or crude humor (Futurama, Rick and Morty, Archer, South Park) are more likely to lean male, especially on streaming. For Krapopolis’s linear debut on Fox, we’re predicting a roughly gender-balanced audience (51% male / 49% female) that skews mostly older (81% aged 35+), in keeping with broadcast TV trends. In contrast, streaming’s Captain Fall has a heavily male (72%) viewership that’s more evenly distributed across age groups (47% <30 / 53% 30+). (We’re estimating that Krapopolis will pull in similar SVOD demos among those watching the next day on Hulu.)

Why are shows in this genre so appealing?
They wring a good time out of annoying characters. Adult animation tends to excel in poking ironic fun at buffoonish, ridiculous, and over-the-top archetypes (think Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin, BoJack Horseman, everyone on South Park), and viewers tune in for the resulting clash of emotions. While reveling in the Annoyance (122) (Disenchantment), Disapproval (139) (Krapopolis) and Contempt (138) (The Simpsons) engendered by the goofy protagonists, fans lean forward for the Surprise (121) (Family Guy), Anticipation (131) (American Dad!), and Amazement (119) (Rick and Morty) brought on by the clever humor written at their expense.

What do these two new series share with other animated comedies?
Comedy derived from flawed relationships. Successful series in this genre lean hard into irreverent and exaggerated Adult HumorAwkward MisadventuresOver-the-Top Gags, and Parody to keep viewers giggling through a host of what are, at heart, some all-too-relatable real-world situations: Parenting Problems (122) (Family Guy), On-Again/Off-Again Relationships (130) (BoJack Horseman), Family Disagreements (134) (Rick and Morty), maladjusted Family Life (135) (American Dad!), and Dysfunctional Relationships (133) (Archer). Both Captain Fall (unhealthy Family Relationships, 145) and Krapopolis (Family Dysfunction, 160) follow the same path.

What makes Captain Fall stand out?
Thrills and danger. In addition to comedy, the series boasts elements of the Western (125)Crime (117)Adventure (117), and Action (115) genres thanks to the ruthless, trigger-happy smugglers surrounding the show’s clueless hero. The Criminal Organization (130)’s Conspiracy & Cover-Ups (132)–they’ve set the good Captain up to take the fall for their Piracy (128)–are major drivers for both bingeability and longevity.

What will lure viewers to Krapopolis?
Its ancient Greece setting. By including Greek gods and mythical creatures in its ruling class, the show delves into Fantasy (134) and Sci-Fi (125) alongside its more reality-based dysfunctional family humor. The Tough Decisions (136) they face as they attempt to build a civilization from scratch–plus their devious Scheming (160) against friends and enemies alike–will be crucial for boosting the show’s ratings.


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*Publicly released trailers for series are evaluated using Vault’s algorithms – utilizing our proprietary 120K+ story element database alongside ratings performance and other datasets – to identify unique combinations of stories, themes, characters, and genre elements that will drive success.

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