|Created by||Rebecca Sugar|
|Written by||Rebecca Sugar
Raven M. Molisee
|Directed by||Ian Jones-Quartey|
|Voices of||Zach Callison
|Opening theme||"We are the Crystal Gems", written by Rebecca Sugar & arranged by Jeff Liu|
|Composer(s)||Aivi & Surasshu
Nick Demayo (additional music)
Rebecca Sugar (additional music)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||26 (13 aired) (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Rebecca Sugar|
Chuck Austen (supervising producer)
|Running time||11 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Cartoon Network Studios|
|Original channel||Cartoon Network|
|Picture format||1080i (16:9 HDTV)|
|First shown in||July 27, 2013 (pilot)|
|Original airing||November 4, 2013 – present|
|Related shows||Adventure Time|
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. The series, rated TV-PG, premiered on Cartoon Network in North America on November 4, 2013.
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. The four Gems are: Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl and Steven. Steven is 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.
- Steven Universe (voiced by Zach Callison) – The main character, the youngest member of the Crystal Gems, and the only male on the team; his gem stone is a rose quartz that he inherited from his mother, Rose Quartz. His gem, embedded in his bellybutton, summons a shield which may also act as a projectile. Despite this, he has yet to determine how to activate it at will. He is an enthusiastic and often musical person, talented on the ukulele and prone to breaking into song. He is eager to prove his abilities and his worth as a Crystal Gem. The 3 remaining Crystal Gems, Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl, take the combined roles of older siblings, maternal figures and teachers in his life, looking after Steven at his young age. They live together in a combination suburban house and magical crystal temple.
- Garnet (voiced by Estelle) – A strong and disciplined warrior, Garnet is the unofficial leader of the group; her gem stone is a red garnet which is embedded into each of her hands. Activating her gem stones summons a pair of large gauntlets. She has a calm and collected personality. She is physically the strongest member and is a mentor to Steven, though she hardly speaks more than a few words at a time, often only to get the other Gems to lay off Steven. She always wears sunglasses, under which she has three eyes.
- Amethyst (voiced by Michaela Dietz) – The "wild child" of the Gems; her gem stone is an amethyst which is embedded in her chest. Activating her gem stone summons an energy whip. Amethyst is very joyous and carefree, and despite being a magical entity who does not need to eat or sleep, she does so because she enjoys it. She loves to roughhouse with Steven and trade jokes.
- Pearl (voiced by Deedee Magno) – A perfectionist and intellectual strategist, Pearl is the mental powerhouse of the Gems; her gem stone is a pearl which is embedded in her forehead. Activating her gem stone summons a teal-colored spear. Though physically dainty given her ballerina persona, she is the most outspoken of the three Crystal Gem members. She cares deeply for Steven's safety, but occasionally pokes fun at his antics. She strives for structure and logic and gets easily flustered when things don’t go as planned.
- Greg Universe (voiced by Tom Scharpling) – Steven's father, who was at one point in a relationship with Steven's mother, another Crystal Gem called Rose Quartz. Formerly a one-man rock band with a short-lived music career, Greg currently lives in his van and runs a car wash in Beach City.
- Rose Quartz – Former leader of the Crystal Gems and Steven's mother, who gave up her physical form giving birth to him.
- Opal (voiced by Aimee Mann) – A powerful gestalt Crystal Gem formed by Amethyst and Pearl fusing together both physically and mentally. Pearl has stated she and Amethyst only form Opal for "deadly situations"; due to the fact that the two Crystal Gems are at constant odds with each other, it is difficult for them to find the mental and physical harmony necessary to create and sustain the being. She appears as a four-armed giant with a mix of the two characters' physical attributes and two opals embedded in her chest and forehead. Her weapon (formed out of Amethyst's whip and Pearl's spear) is a bow that shoots energy arrows.
- Connie – Steven's friend and love interest.
- Lars (voiced by Matthew Moy) – A teenage worker at "The Big Donut" shop. He often picks on Steven.
- Sadie (voiced by Kate Micucci) – A clerk at "The Big Donut", who shares the same shift as Lars. Unlike Lars, she is generally friendly towards Steven and supportive of his adventures.
- Richard Fryman (voiced by Billy Merritt) – The owner of Beach Citywalk Fries. He often gives Steven fry bits upon Steven's request.
- Peedee Fryman (voiced by Atticus Shaffer) – Younger son of Fryman and Steven's friend.
- Rinaldo Fryman - Older son of Fryman. He runs a blog called "Keep Beach City Weird".
- Mayor Bill Dewey (voiced by Joel Hodgson) - The mayor of Beach City.
- Jamie (voiced by Eugene Cordero) - A postman, who delivers the mail in Beach City, likes Steven's Cheeseburger Backpack.
- Onion - Steven's chubby mute friend with an onion-shaped head.
- Mr. Smiley (voiced by Sinbad) - The owner of Beach City Funland. Steven usually causes him a lot of trouble.
Concept and creation
The titular character, Steven, is roughly based on Sugar's younger brother Steven Sugar, who is now a background artist for the online web series, Bravest Warriors, created by Pendleton Ward of Adventure Time fame (he is also the background artist for Steven Universe as well). Growing up, Sugar would create miscellaneous comics between herself and Steven, as well as with other friends. In an interview with The New York Times, she commented on the development of the titular character's background, expressing her desire to base the character from the viewpoint of her brother growing up "where you're so comfortable in your life because you get all the attention, but you also want to rise up and not be the little brother." The show is set in the fictional Beach City, which is loosely based on Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, and Dewey Beach, Delaware, all places that Sugar visited as a child.
According to Sugar, production began on the show concurrently while working on Adventure Time. Her last episode for the series was "Simon & Marcy", in which working on both simultaneously "became impossible to do". Similarly, she would encounter difficulty around the production of the episode "Fionna and Cake". The series features songs and musical numbers produced by Sugar along with her story writers, who collaborate on the lyrics for each song. According to Sugar, not every episode will feature a song, instead opting to feature one every couple episodes "where it always feels right".
The pilot episode for Steven Universe, along with a few other pilots, were released on Cartoon Network's video platform on May 21, 2013. They were taken down and redirected to a 404 page shortly after. On July 20, 2013, Cartoon Network uploaded an edited version of the pilot to both their official website and Facebook page. The pilots were also exhibited at the San Diego Comic-Con, and from July 27 to July 28, 2013, Cartoon Network aired a sneak peek of the pilot as part of Big Fan Weekend, along with the pilots for Clarence and Uncle Grandpa. A 30-minute panel dedicated to the series was hosted at the New York Comic Con on October 13, 2013, with Rebecca Sugar hosting. The series premiered on November 4, 2013 on Cartoon Network, with two episodes.
Initial announcements of the series have attained positive press for Sugar being the first female creator for any show produced by Cartoon Network Studios. When asked about her role as a solo female creator, she responded with gratitude towards the feedback, ultimately voicing her passion to be a role model "just in the sense that I get to make what the ultimate cartoon should be. I tried to be a role model [by showing that] anyone who wanted to could take really traditional ideas of animation and bring them into the present but keep all the trappings of what [was] used [to make cartoons great] in the past."
Emily Ashby of Common Sense Media gave the series 2 out of 5 stars, promoting the series "for older tweens [than] for kids" in her review. Devin O’Leary of Alibi praised the series premiere for its "cheerful, distinctive look", making a comparison to the "highly cartoonish art style ... a cross between the old Schoolhouse Rock! shorts and some long-lost 70s anime series."
|Season premiere||Season finale|
|Pilot||July 27, 2013|
|1||26||November 4, 2013||TBA|
- Adventure Time
- Regular Show
- The Amazing World of Gumball
- Uncle Grandpa
- Secret Mountain Fort Awesome
- "Cartoon Network Orders More Episodes Of Rookies Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe". Deadline.com. PMC. 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- McLean, Thomas J. (2012-09-11). "Cartoon Network Greenlights Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa Series". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
- D’Amato, Adrienne; Lach, Dawn; Ungerson, Shana (2013-10-03). "Steven Universe" (Press release). Cartoon Network. Characters tab. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- "Résumé of Zach Callison". Zach Callison: The Official Website. 2013. Section for voice-over work. Retrieved 013-08-11.
- Cavna, Michael (2013-11-01). "'Steven Universe' creator Rebecca Sugar is a Cartoon Network trailblazer". The Washington Post.
- Zargari, Shahab; Ryan Brunty, Ryan Davis (2013-07-27). "SDCC 2013 Press Roundtable Interview Series: Uncle Grandpa, Clarence, and Steven Universe" (Audiovisual work). Verbicide Magazine. Retrieved 2013-08-12. "[Steven Universe, 1:58–2:06] I've always loved working with my friends on comics, and growing up, I did a lot of comics, and me and my brother together, we would do a lot of comics ..."
- Ito, Robert; Jeremy Egner (2013-07-26). "Rising Animators Spring Into Motion". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
- Kohn, Eric (2013-11-01). "Adventure Time Writer Rebecca Sugar on Steven Universe, Being Cartoon Network's First Female Show Creator And Why Pop Art Is 'Offensive'". Indiewire. p. 1. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
- Amidi, Amid (2013-05-21). "Sneak Peek: Cartoon Network's Steven Universe by Rebecca Sugar". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
- Woerner, Meredith (2013-05-22). "Watch the amazing, fantastic and stupendous pilot of Steven Universe". io9. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
- Bricken, Rob (2013-07-20). "The first look at Rebecca Sugar's amazing new cartoon Steven Universe". io9. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
- Wolfe, Jennifer (2013-07-22). "Cartoon Network Sneak Peeks Rebecca Sugar’s Steven Universe". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
- "Cartoon Network presents Steven Universe". Panels & Autographing. New York Comic Con. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- OLeary, Shannon (2013-07-24). "Cartoon Network Shows to watch out for: Steve[n] Universe, Uncle Grandpa, and Clarence". The Beat. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
- Ashby, Emily (2013-10-29). "Steven Universe". Television Review. Common Sense Media. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
- O'Leary, Devin D. (2013-12-12–18). "Sci-fi gets Sugar-coated in Cartoon Network's Steven Universe". Weekly Alibi 22 (50). [page needed]
- The Futon Critic staff (2013-11-14). "Cartoon Network Orders More Episodes Of Rookies Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe". Deadline.com. PMC. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- Steven Universe at the Internet Movie Database
- Steven Universe at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Steven Universe on Facebook