Cartoon Network provides another reason for which to give thanks as to the November 12, 2019 DVD release of "Steven Universe: The Movie" (2019). Series creator Rebecca Sugar brings the band back together after the end of S5 of this bright and bold series to do it once more with feeling as to the life of our half-alien half all-American boy in the future. One warning is that the theme of this all-singing all-dancing musical extravaganza WILL get stuck in your head.
Folks who either are unfamiliar with this creative series that appeals to kids of all ages or who simply would like a refresher on the lore are invited to read the post on the extras-laden S2 DVD giftset of the show, Team Sugar does include enough of the backstory in "Movie" to enjoy the film even for folks who have not had the joy of discovering this gem.
Our fable begins with our little prince on Homeworld, where he chooses to defend Earth, rather than ascend to the throne that is his birthright. His rookie mistake is having his speech that explains his reasoning broadcast throughout the universe. On returning to his home turf of Beach City, Steven has a gleeful (pun intended) reunion with his terrestrial and extra-terrestrial friends.
The sense of being excited and feeling so good because they are reunited is short-lived for our avenging holograms. Sister from another planet Spinel soon arrives to prove that Hell hath no fury like a gem scorned. The basis for her resentment is very relatable to all of us who have had a friend ghost us.
A very apt description is that Spinel is the close childhood friend of the pink diamond who is the mother of Steven. Spinel, who is a combination of a Powerpuff Girl and annoying big sister DeeDee on "Dexter's Laboratory," thinks that she is joining her friend on her trip to Earth only to be ditched long, long ago in a galaxy far far away.
The havoc that Spinel wreaks by messing with the mojo of Steven and resetting his gem friends to their defaults is nothing compared to her end-game that puts Thanos to shame. She is using a massive drill to literally poison the earth with a substance that kills all organic life on our planet. This is akin to the awesome documentary series "Life After People."
The Herculean tasks that Steven faces are curing the effective amnesia of his friends and also reaching Spinel so that she will abandon her evil ways. The former mission commences with staging Looney Tunes style threats to trigger a merging that is key to "Universe" lore. Stage Two involves using the power of music to jog the memories of the good gems to soothe the savage beast that threatens all. This includes having the show go on despite our heroes facing the end of the world as they know it.
The appeal of "Movie" is that, like Thanos, Spinel is looking to do the wrong thing arguably for the right reason. Although those of us who massively have been ditched in the worst possible way reasonably feel resentful, inflicting any (let alone global) collateral damage simply is not cool.
This being a cartoon by a major Hollywood studio for a basic-cable network ensures a happy ending for our Scooby gang and the planet. Seeing where our heroes go from here requires watching S6 when it premieres on Cartoon Network.
The best feature among the DVD bonus extras is the 27-minute "Behind the Curtain" documentary that starts with Sugar discussing how a "don't try this at home" mishap inspires the "Movie" plot. Thus leads to assembling her team, who go on a retreat to hash out that idea and take things from there. The feature "Rebecca Pitches Act 3" discusses the fruits of those labors of love. The fable here is that collaboration and respecting the input of all leads to very good things.
The fun for all ages April 16, 2019 Cartoon Network/Warner Brothers DVD release of "Steven Universe" S2 (2015-2016) begins with the way cool puffy Garnet fusion keychain and the equally awesome cover art featuring that Crystal Gem new leader of the band. This anime lite series is a bright and colorful surreal joy ride that should thoroughly delight the primary target audience and amuse those of us with secondary sexual characteristics.
Additional glee is attributable to the newly released S2 soundtrack and the separate "Karaoke" release on your favorite platform. The "but wait there's more" aspect of this is the "Steven Universe: The Phantom Fable" mobile game that is coming out on April 18.
The perfect series description on IMDb nicely helps put words in the mouth of your not-so-humble reviewer. That site describes the show as "a team of galactic warriors fights to protect the universe, but the combination of three highly trained beings and one quirky young boy leaves the team struggling to overcome the dangerous scenarios that are put in front of them." The reasons that this variation of "Teen Titans" seems similar in style to fellow CN series "Adventure Time" include that creator Rebecca Sugar (who bares a passing resemblance to Steven) is the best brain behind both shows.
The S2 episode "We Need to Talk" provides an overview of the "Steven" lore. Then-guitar god in his own mind Greg Universe is rocking out to an audience of a girl with something extra when love at first sight leads him to discover the ancient beachside temple that she and her fellow guardians of the galaxy call home. This ultimately leads to the birth of our titular half-alien half-excitable-boy who inherits the gem in his belly button from his mother's side of the family.
Our first adventure, which is titled "Say Uncle," also reflects this proud heritage. Steven literally is contemplating his navel and experiencing pre-adolescent angst regarding his inability to trigger his power of forming a protective shield around his body. An ill-fated cry to the heavens results in manic Uncle Grandpa arriving and causing chaos.
The theory of this visitor with no impulse control is that the shield will form when Steven faces an adequately serious threat to his physical well-being, Uncle Grandpa then launches a hilarious beezooka and other weapons of mass hysteria at the lad. This homage to Looney Toon cartoons results in the style of life lesson that Steven and his viewers typically learn from each adventure.
Body issues also are the topic in "Reformed," which finds feisty Crystal Gem Amethyst trying out new holographic forms as she battles a gem monster that is running amok in the temple. One moral this time is if ain't broke, don;t fix it."
A personal fave is a more down-to-earth tale. A very proud Steven is the artist of a comically crude poster promoting guitar lessons by his father. A series of fortunate circumstances leads to this boy teaming up with the cool teen son of the mayor of their home turf of Beach City.
These unlikely friends make t-shirts with that image; the problem is that Steven thinks that the general populace appreciates his artistic talent, but all fondness is of the ironic variety. Even given that, Steven cleverly turns the table in a the student becomes the teacher manner.
The remaining 18 episodes offer similar fare that makes many young boys fantasize about being Steven and older folks getting more than a little badly needed joy in their lives.