After five seasons on Cartoon Network, Steven Universe went large with a feature film. This can be a tricky situation since quite often the movie for a popular series can be snipped up into 4 episodes. But as a viewer, you want more than a mere story arc. You want a cinematic experience that sets the film apart from the movie. You want an experience that lets you know this is the payoff for being a serious fan of the show instead of quick cash out for the folks behind the TV show. When you’re single, you can just write off the experience. But when you’re a parent, you don’t want to see your kid get turned off by a show they’ve embraced for so much of their life. Thankfully Steven Universe The Movie didn’t let my daughter down.
Things have changed a little bit since the end of the fifth season, Steven Universe turns down the offer to replace his mother’s seat in the Gem Empire. He returns home to Earth to enjoy life with his friends Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst. But before they can enjoy too much, a giant spaceship appears in Beach City with a giant drill. Spinel appears and announces that she will destroy Steven, the Crystal Gems and the Earth. While the worst doesn’t happen, Spinel basically resets everyone with a scythe and weakens Steven. Steven also resets her in order to save the Earth. But he’s left trying to restore himself and his friends. He also must figure out why Spinel hates him so much. He discovers this all stems back to his mother.
The movie features plenty of new songs and musical moments. There’s a great concert moment that features the ultimate father and son duet on stage. The movie ultimately takes the finer elements of the TV show and puts them in one place. The movie doesn’t forget what made the show so special. The movie does trick of being able to be enjoyed by someone unfamiliar with the series and also the fan. It can introduce the show or act as the ultimate story at the end of the series. Here’s Josie’s review of the Steven Universe The Movie:
The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The movie gives a little more shading to the characters, but don’t get too extra fancy in the imagery. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0. The levels are right for both the rocking and soft songs in the musical adventure. The movie is subtitled in English.
Behind the Curtain: Steven Universe The Movie (57:47) goes really in-depth of how Rebecca Sugar took time away from her regular routines to come up with a story idea and all the songs. She talks about how a misunderstanding with her cellphone gave her the core idea of the movie. Josie gave this special feature the ultimate compliment when she said, “I want to work for Rebecca Sugar.”
Rebecca Pitches Act 3 (33:43) has Rebecca Sugar at the front of the conference room giving the crew and cast a walk through of the final part of the film using her script, demos of the songs and the really rough animatics. She is setting the tone of the work.
Animatics with Commentary from the Crewniverse (35:47) has the animatics for four scenes so you can watch them raw or with commentary from Rebecca Sugar, Joe Johnsont, Kat Morris, Hilary Florida, Miki Brewster and Jeff Liu.
Cartoon Network and Warner Home Video presents Steven Universe The Movie. Directed by: Rebecca Sugar. Screenplay by: Lamar Abrams, Miki Brewster, Amber Cragg, Hilary Florido, Joe Johnston, Amish Kumar, Jeff Liu, Katie Mitroff, Kat Morris, Chris Pianka, Maddie Queripel, Rebecca Sugar & Paul Villeco. Starring: Zach Callison, Michaela Dietz, Deedee Magno Hall, Estelle Swaray & Sarah Stiles . Rated: Unrated. Running Time: 82. Released: November 12, 2019.
Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.