Steven Universe

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Steven Universe
Steven Universe.png
Genre Adventure
Action
Comedy-drama
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Format Animated series
Created by Rebecca Sugar
Written by Rebecca Sugar
Paul Villeco
Joe Johnston
Jeff Liu
Raven M. Molisee
Kat Morris
Ian Jones-Quartey
Aleth Romanillos
Lamar Abrams
Matt Braly
Hilary Florido
Luke Weber
Directed by Ian Jones-Quartey
Voices of Zach Callison
Estelle
Michaela Dietz
Deedee Magno
Matthew Moy
Kate Micucci
Tom Scharpling
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
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 26 (19 aired)[1] (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Rebecca Sugar
Producer(s) Jackie Buscarino
Chuck Austen (supervising producer)
Running time 11 minutes
Production company(s) Cartoon Network Studios[2]
Broadcast
Original channel Cartoon Network
Picture format 1080i (16:9 HDTV)
First shown in July 27, 2013 (pilot)
Original airing November 4, 2013 – present
Chronology
Related shows Adventure Time
External links
Website

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.

On November 14, 2013, the show was renewed for a second season.[3]

Plot[edit]

Official release poster by creator Rebecca Sugar; from left to right: Pearl, Amethyst, Garnet, and Steven (center)

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 boy who inherited a gemstone 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.

Development[edit]

Concept and creation[edit]

The titular character, Steven, is loosely based on Sugar's younger brother Steven Sugar,[4] who is currently a background artist for the online web series, Bravest Warriors, created by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward. Steven also works on backgrounds for Steven Universe. Growing up, Sugar would collaborate with Steven and other friends to create comics.[5] In an interview with The New York Times, she commented developing the background of the show's Steven, 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."[6] 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.[4]

Production[edit]

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".[7] 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".[7]

Broadcast history[edit]

The pilot episode for Steven Universe, along with a few other pilots, were released on Cartoon Network's video platform on May 21, 2013.[8] They were taken down and redirected to a 404 page shortly after.[9] On July 20, 2013, Cartoon Network uploaded an edited version of the pilot to both their official website and Facebook page.[10] The pilots were also exhibited at the San Diego Comic-Con,[11] 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.[12] The series premiered on November 4, 2013 on Cartoon Network, with two episodes.[13]

The series originally premiered on November 4, 2013 on the Cartoon Network channel. It premiered on November 7, 2013 on the Canadian Cartoon Network and on January 6, 2014 on the Southeast Asian Cartoon Network, Cartoon Network in Australia and New Zealand, the Indian Cartoon Network, and the Philippines Cartoon Network and began airing on May 12, 2014 on Cartoon Network in the UK and Ireland.

Episodes[edit]

Steven Universe series overview
Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
Pilot July 27, 2013
1 26[14] November 4, 2013 TBA

Reception[edit]

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."[15]

The series has received mostly positive reviews. David Hinckley of New York Daily News gave the series three stars out of five and called the series a "good-natured drama."[16] Tom Conroy of Media Life Magazine wrote that the series had the "right mix of edge and heart" and complimented "the blend of snark and sweetness."[17] The AV Club gave the series a B+ and wrote, "Steven Universe is on its way to becoming something special, a show that’s inviting to viewers regardless of gender, age, or any of the other social constructs Beach City gets along just fine without."[18] Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times was highly positive, commenting that the series was "very good" and concluding with "[Rebecca] Sugar's good at this stuff — which is all that really counts."[19] Devin O’Leary of Weekly 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."[20]

Emily Ashby of Common Sense Media, however, was more mixed. Ashby gave the series 2 out of 5 stars, promoting the series "for older tweens [than] for kids" in her review.[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cartoon Network Orders More Episodes Of Rookies Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe". Deadline.com. PMC. 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2013-11-14. 
  2. ^ McLean, Thomas J. (2012-09-11). "Cartoon Network Greenlights Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa Series". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  3. ^ http://m.deadline.com/2013/11/paw-patrol-season-two-cartoon-network/
  4. ^ a b Cavna, Michael (2013-11-01). "'Steven Universe' creator Rebecca Sugar is a Cartoon Network trailblazer". The Washington Post. 
  5. ^ 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 ..." 
  6. ^ Ito, Robert; Jeremy Egner (2013-07-26). "Rising Animators Spring Into Motion". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  7. ^ a b 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. 
  8. ^ Amidi, Amid (2013-05-21). "Sneak Peek: Cartoon Network's Steven Universe by Rebecca Sugar". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  9. ^ Woerner, Meredith (2013-05-22). "Watch the amazing, fantastic and stupendous pilot of Steven Universe". io9. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  10. ^ Bricken, Rob (2013-07-20). "The first look at Rebecca Sugar's amazing new cartoon Steven Universe". io9. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  11. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (2013-07-22). "Cartoon Network Sneak Peeks Rebecca Sugar’s Steven Universe". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  12. ^ "Cartoon Network presents Steven Universe". Panels & Autographing. New York Comic Con. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-24. 
  13. ^ D’Amato, Adrienne; Lach, Dawn; Ungerson, Shana (2013-10-03). "Steven Universe" (Press release). Cartoon Network. Characters tab. Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  14. ^ "Cartoon Network Orders More Episodes Of Rookies Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe". Deadline.com. Hollywood: PMC. November 14, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2013. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ "'Steven Universe,' TV review". New York Daily News. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "‘Steven Universe,’ and a sweet one it is". Media Life Magazine. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "A cartoon with an Adventure Time pedigree breaks down barriers". The AV Club. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "Review: 'Steven Universe' is a gem". Los Angeles Times. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  20. ^ 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]
  21. ^ Ashby, Emily (2013-10-29). "Steven Universe". Television Review. Common Sense Media. Retrieved 2013-12-16. 

External links[edit]