Watch Steven Universe
- 1 hr 30 min
Steven Universe: The Movie is an exuberantly edifying animation that came to screens in 2019. This spirited adventure is a vibrant and touching extension of the popular Cartoon Network series bearing the same name. The magic of the television series only gets amplified in this full-length cinematic adaptation. The film is directed by Rebecca Sugar who also created the original series and serves as an executive producer. Leading the voice cast is Zach Callison, reprising his TV series role as the titular character Steven Universe. Michaela Dietz lends her voice to the blue-collar gem warrior, Amethyst, and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Estelle brings to life the character of Garnet, the confident and composed leader of the Crystal Gems.
The plot of the movie takes us two years forward into the future where the naïve, empathetic human-alien hybrid Steven, now a teenager, has successfully achieved his dream of reconciling the nations of the Gem Homeworld and Earth. The Earth is at peace and protected by Steven and his crystalline friends, the "Crystal Gems." Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl alongside a few other supporting characters are all gem warriors who have defected to Earth for its protection, emblematic of the diversity and acceptance themes echoed throughout.
However, the tranquil atmosphere is ruptured when a new villain, Spinel, arrives. This formidably comedic villain forces Steven and the Crystal Gems into a climactic battle that could reset all of Steven’s hard-won progress. Spinel is an enigmatic figure and her motives seem ambiguous, serving as the backbone of intrigue within the movie. But, while it is obvious she clashes with our heroes, her grudges and past are dexterously shrouded in mystery, unbeknownst to the lead characters and viewers.
Coming to the characters, Steven is seen maturing and grappling with tough choices and introspection. The movie presents him as a loving, mature, and compassionate leader, showcasing his growth from a carefree child to a dependable young adult. An interesting dynamic is observed in Steven’s relationships with the three Crystal Gems, each nurturing and guiding him in their own unique ways. Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl all have deep and distinct characters. They have their own battles and triumphs which are replete with lessons on resilience. The voice performances are plausible, as Callison, Dietz, and Estelle deftly maneuver the comedy, drama, and action that the plot throws at them.
The film utilizes musical numbers as a unique storytelling vehicle. The integration of the musical segments goes beyond mere entertainment, contributing significantly to the narrative and the personal journeys of the characters. These range from toe-tapping pop numbers to heartrending ballads, enhancing the emotional quotient of the narrative, allowing Steven Universe: The Movie to transcend conventional animations.
What really sets the film apart is its innovative approach to tackling heady themes in a compact way. Themes of personal growth, forgiveness, acceptance of others, and addressing traumatic experiences are thoughtfully explored. A progressive screenplay that teaches viewers the importance of empathy and understanding is spectacularly presented.
The animation quality is top-notch, with a vibrant color palette that lends an ethereal feel to this entrancing world. It beautifully illustrates the myriad of emotions, making the universe Rebecca Sugar has created even more engrossing.
In essence, Steven Universe: The Movie is more than a mere extension of the series, serving as an essential companion piece that adds profundity to the characters and their universe. It’s a splendidly ambitious project, brimming with narrative depth and emotional intensity that is communicated through a thoughtfully developed plot, developed characters, elegant artistry, and spellbinding musical numbers.
It is a definite treat for fans who have followed the journey of Steven and the Crystal Gems, and it could also serve as a perfect introduction for newcomers to the Steven Universe, whetting their appetite for the TV series. Steven Universe: The Movie is truly a pearl in the ocean of animated films. It’s a joyously enchanting cocktail of musical drama, intense action, existential musing, and above all, a heartwarming tale of evolution and acceptance that is as entertaining as it is poignant.
Steven Universe is a 2019 animated movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7.