My Dad the Bounty Hunter is an American computer-animated science fiction adventure action-comedy series by Everett Downing Jr. and Patrick Harpin for Netflix. The series premiered on February 9, 2023. Season 2 premiered on August 17, 2023.
The series received positive reviews for its relatable story, likable characters, social commentary, and portrayal of Black families. The first season was released in its entirety on February 9, 2023.
- Laz Alonso as Terry Hendrix / Sabo Brok; Father of Lisa and Sean, and secretly conceals his job as a bounty hunter named Sabo Brok from his children and his wife, Tess.
- Yvonne Orji as Tess / Janeera; she is an alien and the wife of Terry and mother of Lisa and Sean. She is estranged from Terry. According to Downing Jr., the pigmentation of her character matches Orji in real life.
- Priah Ferguson as Lisa; a half human-alien Daughter of Terry and sister of Sean. She is intelligent, sassy, quick witted, and when she sets her mind to anything, she is determined to finish it. Ferguson said that she had no say in the character design, but described Lisa as “so cute” and was impressed animators “even got her edges, the braids, [and] her baby hair”.
- JeCobi Swain as Sean; a half human-alien Brother of Lisa and son of Terry. He is nerdy and can become anxious, causing his eye to twitch. According to Downing Jr., Sean’s physical condition was inspired by his own daughter’s condition.
- Yvette Nicole Brown as KRS; a robotic assistant.
- Rob Riggle as Glorlox; a Loxian and Terry’s former business partner.
- Maddie Taylor as Torga; she is part of Glorox’s crew.
- Everett Downing Jr. as Bogdog; He is part of Glorox’s crew and Sean’s rival
- Kari Wahlgren as Lootbat; she is part of Glorox’s crew.
- Jamie Chung as Vax; she is the top bounty of Sabo.
- Jim Rash as Tim Fixer; he is the enforcer for the Endless Horizons Conglomerate (EHC). At the end of season 1 he was killed by Terry’s family and told them that the Conglomerate will get them.
- Leslie Uggams as Grandma; she is the mother of Terry and grandmother of his kids.
- Patrick Harpin as Blobby, also known as Meethal Raythox, a liquid alien who becomes friends with Sean in Season 2.
- Chelsea Peretti as Pam, the new devious head of the Conglomerate in Season 2, she claim that she change the organization to connect the universe and bring peace to people.
- Janet Hubert as Empress Gurira, a ruler of Doloraam.
- Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Emperor Odoman, a ruler of Doloraam, husband of Gurira, and person who ordered Terry kidnapped.
- Thando Thabethe as Adja, an old friend of Tess.
- Keith David as B’Caala, a tiger-like man who was set to be married to Tess before she fled Doloraam at a young age with Terry.
On October 29, 2020, Netflix announced that My Dad the Bounty Hunter had begun development. At the time of the announcement, Polygon called it a “family-friendly take on The Mandalorian and said the show is “backed by a ton of Black talent”.
The series was given an order for a 10-episode first season. The series came together after Downing Jr. and Harpin met at Sony Pictures Animation Studio, with Downing Jr. telling him that he wanted to do a story “with a Black family at the center as a love letter to my family”, and they connected on “how real” 1980s sci-fi films were. The series was animated by the French animation studio, Dwarf Animation, Shakira Pressley was a writer for the series, as was Downing Jr. and Harpin. According to Rolling Stone, the series had a majority-Black writers room, which included writer Tomi Adeyemi, and is “a completely original story” rather than a IP. Juston Gordon-Montgomery was the story editor for the series, along with Alex Konstad as art director, and Andrew Chesworth as character design supervisor.
Before the show’s premiere, Harpin told Animation Magazine that the show was crafted with the daughter of Downing Jr. behind, but was visually and narratively interesting to young fans, with an aesthetic reminiscent of Alien and The Last Starfighter which he and Downing Jr. liked. In the same interview, Downing Jr. stated that the show’s production designer Yuki Demers was instrumental in the show’s design, and that he was shown photographs of Black men and women to make sure the character designs were accurate. Harpin and Downing Jr. further argued that show’s “cinematic approach to storytelling” was important, and that they encouraged “intentionally cinematic style” so that the storyboarders and animators could be more creative. Both also noted they discovered “unique opportunities” for the show’s team during “quarantine and beyond”, and praised interconnectivity of those working on the show.
In another interview with TV Insider, Harpin said they wanted to 2-D but it made more financial sense to do the series 3-D because they “wouldn’t have to build all those sets”, but kept flashbacks in 2-D. Downing Jr. noted the importance of casting and that they wanted Priah to voice a character, while Harpin noted the challenges of recording lines because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Harpin and Downing Jr. also emphasized the importance of their show not talking down to kids, but in remaining honest and true, giving characters flaws. When asked about season 2, Downing Jr. said that they would like to “focus on mom” and give her “a shot in the captain’s seat.”
A trailer for the series was released on November 16, 2022. A second trailer was posted on January 12, 2023. The first season premiered on Netflix on February 9, 2023.
In an interview with the LA Times after the season one premiere, Downing Jr. and Patrick Harpin said that the show’s inspiration “is personal”, noted the family dynamics in the series and sci-fi influences including The Fifth Element, Star Wars, Outland, and “wild ’80s stuff for kids”. They also noted that the Conglomerate in the show is like the “space colonialism” written about by Frank Herbert. Harpin also told Rolling Stone that films like The Brother from Another Planet, The Incredibles, and Attack the Block were an influence on the series while both show creators said that The Goonies and E.T. were further inspirations. The voice actors Ferguson, Swainn, Orji, and Alonso also supported a possible live-action adaptation of the series.
In March 2023, Kai Akari, a director for the series, told Animation Magazine that many of on the show’s crew are “now treasured friends” and was grateful to have relationships with those Akari worked with previously “on other projects”.
The second season premiered on August 17, 2023.
August 17, 2023
- E01 – “Abduction”
- E02 – “Jailbreak”
- E03 – “Oconom Grind”
- E04 – “This is Doloraam”
- E05 – “Old Friends”
- E06 – “Wolves & Sheep”
- E07 – “For the Throne”
- E08 – “Tales of Doloraam: Part 1”
- E09 – “Tales of Doloraam: Part 2”
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