Animation Talk Stuff

Animation Monday: Steven Universe

Geek Alabama Animation

Time to talk about another new show on Cartoon Network.  Steven Universe is an American animated television series created by Rebecca Sugar, former storyboard artist, writer, and composer for Adventure Time.  It is produced by Cartoon Network Studios and is the first show by the studio to be created by a woman.  And I have to say, this is a great show that was created by a woman!  The title sequence is very interesting.

In Steven Universe, the world is protected from evil threats by the Crystal Gems, a group of intergalactic female warriors who use the power of special gem stones embedded on their bodies to summon magical weapons.  Joining the cool-headed Garnet, the laid back Amethyst, and the gentle Pearl, is the unlikely fourth member of the team; the eponymous Steven, a young boy who inherited a gem stone from his mother, a Crystal Gem named Rose Quartz.  As Steven tries to figure out the secrets to using his gem, he spends his days in Beach City doing activities with the other Crystal Gems, whether it’s helping them save the universe or just hanging out.

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So who are the Crystal Gems, to watch this show you need to know who they are!  Garnet has the gem stone Garnet which is embedded into each of her hands.  Activating her gem stones summons a pair of golden gauntlets of power.  Amethyst has the gem stone Amethyst which is embedded in her chest.  Activating her gem stone summons an energy whip.  Pearl has the gem stone Pearl which is embedded in her forehead.  Activating her gem stone summons a teal-colored spear.  And Steven has the gem stone of a rose quartz that he inherited from his mother, Rose Quartz.  His gem, curiously embedded on his belly button, summons a shield that also acts as a projectile, but he has yet to determine how to properly activate it at will.

So let’s talk about the two premiere episodes that were shown on Cartoon Network.  In the first episode called “Gem Glow”, Steven becomes depressed at The Big Donut when his favorite brand of ice-cream sandwich, Cookie Cat, has been taken off the market.  No he is not dreaming, he is actually taking the Cookie Cat freezer back to his home on his back.  He soon cheers up when the Crystal Gems manage to get a hold of some of the last remaining Cookie Cats, which Steven believes may hold the key to activating his gem.  All while The Crystal Gems are battling some weird looking creatures.  Steven really does love his Cookie Cat ice cream.  Watching each of the Crystal Gems trying to get Steven to activate his gem stone was interesting.  How does ice cream activate Steven’s gem stone and save the day at the same time?

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In the second episode called “Laser Light Cannon”, when a menacing red eye threatens to destroy Beach City, the only thing that could possibly destroy it is a Laser Light Cannon, which once belonged to Steven’s mother, Rose Quartz.  Thus, Steven enlists the help of his father, Greg, and searches through his storage in order to find the cannon.  It was nice to see a bonding moment between Steven and Greg.  But it’s sad that we will probably never know much about Steven’s mother.  And wow, Steven’s father has way too much junk in storage.  Someone needs to run a yard sale.  After Steven’s interesting singing, they save the day, but parts of the town are damaged.

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After seeing a couple of episodes of Steven Universe, I have the say the show is pretty good.  Some people online are wondering why Steven is not a girl like the other main characters.  Yes, Cartoon Network may have had a hand in not making this a series where all the main characters are girls.  But I think having a human boy in the mix made this show more entertaining.  The show is more slow-paced than Adventure Time, but that’s okay.  The action and story lines made up for the slow action.  The animation is done really well and the animation style is like the old Powerpuff Girls series.  In fact, I think this show is like the old Powerpuff Girls series.  The only difference, Steven Universe has three older girls with a boy in the mix.

So far, Steven Universe has done well in the ratings.  In fact, Steven Universe is the network’s most-watched series premiere to date in 2013 among kids 6-11 and boys 6-11, according to preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research.  I think this series will be a great addition to Cartoon Network’s schedule.  And if you have not seen Steven Universe yet, you need too!  You will enjoy it!  Steven Universe airs new episodes on Monday night on Cartoon Network.  Learn more about Steven Universe at:  http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/tv_shows/steven-universe

All images and videos copyright from Cartoon Network