Storytelling school

‘The Quest’ on Disney+ is an entertaining experience of immersive theatrical storytelling

A new series of scripted/unscripted hybrid competitions pits a group of teenagers against each other in an elaborate live theater series that’s as compelling to watch as it is fun.

The quest is a new Disney+ original series that is brought to the screen by the Oscar and Emmy award-winning teams behind The Lord of the Rings, The Incredible Race and Weird eye.

Accurately described as a series of groundbreaking immersive hybrid competitions that immerse eight real-life teenagers in the fantasy and fictional world of Evererealm, the contestants (in the story) must save a kingdom by fulfilling an ancient prophecy. Throughout the eight-episode series, these children are immersed in a fantasy world that comes to life with a castle, members of the royal family, ethereal fates, all forms of mystical creatures, and a witch bent on destruction and in power.

The standout parts of this description really make the show look like a new experimental reality show a la Survivor, or the above Fantastic race. Yes, that’s true, but it’s not. It’s a new idea for a reality competition series, but woven into a family drama. The iron Throne-esque story of different kingdoms, dark magic and sibling rivalry in a quest to rule the kingdom.

Eight 13- to 16-year-olds from across the country are immersed in the middle of the story and caught up in immersive role-playing. Audiences will likely see things from their perspective and find the world they live in captivating and the way the game unfolds before them is engaging. The dramatic moments interspersed so the audience knows the whole story (which players have to pick up elsewhere) tie it all together delightfully and make the whole thing appealing as both a series, and dare I say, a game show.

The series is definitely aimed at a young adult demographic and would likely have big appeal on disney channel or Disney XD. Incorporating the mental and physical challenge aspects of a series of unscripted competitions along with dramatic storytelling, this will have YA audiences hooked, especially if they love games like The Legend of Zelda, Dungeons & Dragons, or similar. Each contestant also comes from some sort of fantasy fantasy and very clearly enjoys participating in what essentially boils down to live theater. Except we see more than them as the story is told to us cinematically, with their contests intertwined. And personally, I think the majority of the budget may have gone to makeup and costumes, especially when looking at creatures that kids encounter.

I also say YA audiences, but at the same time, I’m a grown adult and quickly skimmed through the episodes that were offered to me wondering what was going to happen next. Sure, the challenges felt mundane, especially since I’m used to bingeing on more intense reality competition series. The challenge, which has extravagant physical tasks performed by adults with childlike brains. In The quest, it’s amazingly reversed and gives me hope for future generations as these teenagers are put in tough situations where they act surprisingly mature with fantastic sportsmanship and work together as a team despite being told repeatedly that they have to work as individuals.

Although I probably wouldn’t have gone out of my way to watch The quest while browsing through the many offerings on Disney+, I’ll definitely suggest it to others, and hope it attracts an audience and more kids (or even adults) want to jump into another season of immersive theater competition. 7/10.

The quest is set to arrive on Disney+ on May 11.