Disney+ and Marvel Studios are once again giving fans an inside look at the making of its most recent original series, “What If…?” This behind-the-scenes documentary gives everyone a look at the preparations, the animation, and the decision-making that brought this comic book storyline to the streaming service. It also introduces us to Jeffrey Wright, the man who voices the Watcher, the only character to appear in every episode of the series, so far.
The behind-the-scenes documentaries can be hit or miss and this one was kind of in the middle. While I’m glad it wasn’t just some simple stuff that would be found in a featurette on a DVD or Blu-Ray, I wish there was a little more to it. I liked seeing some of the planning but wasn’t too keen that we didn’t get to see more of what led to the decision-making on the style of animation. There was some coverage of the animation, but I felt like there could’ve been a lot more.
I also liked how it drew attention to the contributions of Chadwick Boseman. He is one of the greatest actors of our time, and it’s a shame that we won’t get to see more from him. But, I love that they were able to get him to voice T’Challa in four episodes. And, I completely understand why they only advertised the one where he becomes Star Lord. Advertising the episodes where he’s eaten by zombies or killed by Killmonger would’ve definitely been in poor taste. Also, you can’t advertise the season finale because it gives away the storyline. It was the only episode that could be advertised and I’m glad they went that route and I’m glad we got a special piece on his contributions.
Unfortunately, there were some parts of this special that felt like it was insulting the viewer’s intelligence. Early on, it says it’s a series that wasn’t drawn directly from the comic books, but then it contradicts that by saying the zombies storyline was directly taken from the comics. While it’s a great idea that they took some fresh ideas, just admit that some of them are inspired by actual comic stories and others aren’t. There’s nothing wrong with either. Also, the documentary makes it seem like they didn’t plan to end the season with the Guardians of the Multiverse team-up. I’m not buying that one. In my opinion, they may have accidentally fallen into that within the execution, but that was always the final destination of this season.
Overall, this gives a lot of insight into the making of this series, but I also believe Kevin Feige and others were “blowing smoke,” if you will. I think they want this series to seem more like a happy accident than a pre-planned story. I don’t know why either. It was a good series. They did a good job. This documentary is good but suffers from those assertions. It makes it just okay.
Ranking: 3 stars out of 5
What did you think of “Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of What If…?”