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Steven Universe

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Steven Universe
Steven Universe logo.svg
Genre Action[1]
Fantasy[1]
Comedy[1][2]
Drama[3]
Created by Rebecca Sugar
Story by
Directed by
  • Kevin Dart (art)
  • Elle Michalka (art)
  • Jasmin Lai (art)
  • Ricky Cmall (art)
  • Nick DeMayo (animation)
  • Ian Jones-Quartey (supervising)
  • Kat Morris (supervising)
  • Joe Johnston (supervising)
  • Kent Osborne (voice)
  • Genndy Tartakovsky (timing, pilot only)
  • Sue Mondt (art, pilot only)
  • Phil Rynda (creative, pilot only)
Voices of
Theme music composer
  • Rebecca Sugar
  • Aivi & Surasshu
  • Jeff Liu
Opening theme "We Are the Crystal Gems", performed by Zach Callison, Estelle, Michaela Dietz, and Deedee Magno Hall
Ending theme "Love Like You", performed by Rebecca Sugar
Composer(s) Aivi Tran
Steven "Surasshu" Velema
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 111 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Rebecca Sugar
  • Ian Jones-Quartey (co-executive producer, Season 2)
Producer(s)
  • Jackie Buscarino
  • Chuck Austen (supervising producer, Season 1 only)
Running time 11 minutes
Production company(s) Cartoon Network Studios[4]
Release
Original network Cartoon Network
Picture format 1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Surround
First shown in July 27, 2013 (2013-07-27) (Pilot)
Original release November 4, 2013 (2013-11-04) – present
External links
Website

Steven Universe is an American animated television series created by Rebecca Sugar for Cartoon Network. It is the coming-of-age story of a young boy named Steven Universe, who lives in the fictional town of Beach City with the "Crystal Gems" – Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl, three magical humanoid aliens. Steven, who is half-Gem, goes on adventures with his friends and helps the Gems protect the world from their own kind. Sugar developed the series while working as a writer and storyboard artist on Adventure Time, and it premiered on November 4, 2013 as Cartoon Network's first animated series to be solely created by a woman.

The series has received critical acclaim for its art design, music, voice acting, characterization and its fantasy-style science-fiction worldbuilding, and has a broad and active fanbase. It was nominated for two Emmy Awards and five Annie Awards. Books, comics, and a video game based on the series have been released.

Steven Universe was renewed for its fourth and fifth seasons in March 2016, and the current fourth season premiered on August 11, 2016.

Setting and synopsis

The series is set in the fictional Beach City on the Delmarva Peninsula[5] on the American East Coast, where the Crystal Gems live in an ancient beachside temple, protecting humanity from monsters and other threats. Ageless alien warriors, they project feminine humanoid forms from magical gemstones that are the core of their being. The Crystal Gems are Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl and Steven, a young half-human, half-Gem boy who inherited his gemstone from his mother, the Crystal Gems' past leader Rose Quartz. As Steven tries to figure out his gradually expanding range of powers, he spends his days with his human father Greg, his friend Connie, the other people in Beach City, or the Gems. He explores the abilities passed down to him by his mother, which include fusion—the ability of Gems to merge their bodies and abilities to form new and more powerful personalities.

The first season slowly reveals that the Crystal Gems are remnants of a great interstellar civilization. Many places they visit are ruins once important to Gem culture, but now derelict for millennia. The Gems are cut off from their homeworld, and Steven learns that many of the monsters and artifacts they encounter are Gems who, corrupted by a Gem weapon of mass destruction, can no longer maintain rational humanoid forms. In parallel, flashbacks relayed by Greg develop the history of Rose Quartz and her relationships. By the end of the first season, Steven learns that the Homeworld Gems intended to sterilize the Earth to incubate new Gems within it. Now, 5,000 years after Rose led the other Crystal Gems in a violent and apparently successful rebellion against these genocidal plans, the Homeworld's machinations once again extend towards the Earth with the arrival of two hostile envoys, Peridot and Jasper. In the second season, Peridot is forced to ally with the Crystal Gems to prevent Earth's destruction by a Gem abomination growing in the planet's core. In the third season, Peridot and Lapis Lazuli, an errant Homeworld Gem, join the Crystal Gems. Jasper is at length defeated, and Steven learns that his mother killed one of Gem society's four matriarchs, Pink Diamond.

Development

Concept and creation

The titular character, Steven, is loosely based on Sugar's younger brother Steven Sugar,[6] who is one of the series's background artists.[7] Growing up, Sugar would collaborate with Steven and other friends to create comics.[8] In an interview with The New York Times, she commented on developing the background of the show's protagonist, 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."[9]

Beach City, the setting of the series, is loosely based on Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, and Dewey Beach, Delaware, all places that Sugar visited as a child.[6] The supporting characters Lars and Sadie were originally created in Sugar's college days.[10] The Gems are, according to Sugar, all "some version of me... neurotic, lazy, decisive".[11] She wanted their gems to reflect their personalities – Pearl's perfect smoothness, Amethyst's coarseness, and Garnet's air of mystery.[12]

The unusually strong female presence in a series about a boy – all major characters except Steven and Greg are female – is intentional, according to Sugar. She intended to "tear down and play with the semiotics of gender in cartoons for children" because she considered it absurd that shows for boys should be fundamentally different from those for girls. In terms of plot, according to her, the series is developing towards a far-off end goal, although everything in between is kept flexible, in part, because her own intentions have "changed since I've started because I've grown up a lot" while working on Steven Universe.[13]

Sugar said that Steven Universe was influenced by the anime series Future Boy Conan and Revolutionary Girl Utena, as well as by The Simpsons.[14] Musically, she considers Aimee Mann "a huge influence".[15] She described a theory underlying the series as "reverse escapism", that is, the notion that fantasy characters would become interested in real life and would want to participate in it. Steven personifies this "love affair between fantasy and reality".[7] In terms of art, the style of animation pioneer Lotte Reiniger inspired the art of the episode "The Answer".[16]

Voice casting

Zach Callison (Steven)

18-year-old American actor Zach Callison, who has appeared in several animated series and films, voices Steven in his first leading role on television. Garnet, the leader of the Crystal Gems, is voiced by Estelle, a noted British singer, songwriter and actress. She was asked by Cartoon Network to take the part, her first voice acting role.[17]

For her colleagues, the actress Michaela Dietz and the actress and The Party singer Deedee Magno, the roles of Amethyst and Pearl were also their first part in an animated production.[18][19] The comedian and writer Tom Scharpling, who voices Steven's father Greg, is better known for his radio work, notably as the host of The Best Show with Tom Scharpling. Grace Rolek, who plays the part of Steven's friend Connie, was 16 years old at the series's start, and has appeared as a voice actress in animated productions since the age of five or six.[20]

Production

A part of the storyboard and script from the episode "Island Adventure". The storyboard artists for the show are also the writers, and create script and storyboards in conjunction.

According to Sugar, production for Steven Universe began while she was working on Adventure Time. Her last episode for the latter series was "Simon & Marcy"; following that episode, working on both series simultaneously "became impossible to do". Similarly, she encountered difficulty in the production of the episode "Bad Little Boy".[21] As executive producer, Sugar works on every part of the series including art, animation and sound, but considers herself "the most hands on" at the storyboarding stage.[22]

The series is developed such that the outline for an episode is passed to storyboarders, who then draw and write the episode simultaneously. The resulting storyboards are then animated based on traditional paper drawings by one of two Korean studios, Sunmin and Rough Draft,[23] based on the production crew's designs.[7]

On November 14, 2013, 13 additional episodes were ordered for the first season.[24] On July 25, 2014, the series was renewed for a second season,[25] and began airing on March 13, 2015. It was again renewed in July 2015 for a third season, and in March 2016 the second and third seasons were split into two to create five seasons.[26][27]

Music

Steven Universe 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 is meant to feature a song. She has instead opted to use them only occasionally to avoid forcing creativity.[21] Most of the incidental music is composed by chiptune/piano duo Aivi & Surasshu, with guitars by Stemage.[28]

The show relies heavily on leitmotifs for its soundtrack, with various instruments, genre influences, and melodies allocated to specific characters as they appear on screen. For example, the character Pearl is often accompanied by piano, Garnet is represented by synth bass sounds and Amethyst is an eclectic drum machine, with electric bass and some of her own synths. Embedded in the music are influences from pop artists such as Michael Jackson and Estelle herself.[29]

Broadcast

The pilot episode for Steven Universe was released on Cartoon Network's video platform on May 21, 2013,[30] and again in an edited version on July 20.[31] The pilot was also exhibited at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con,[32] and Rebecca Sugar hosted a 30-minute panel about Steven Universe at the 2013 New York Comic Con on October 13.[33]

The series premiered in the United States on November 4, 2013 on Cartoon Network, with two episodes.[34] In Canada, it began airing on Cartoon Network on November 11, 2013[35] and on Teletoon on April 24, 2014.[36] It also aired on Cartoon Network channels in Australia from beginning on February 3, 2014[37] and in the United Kingdom and Ireland since May 12, 2014.[38]

Since 2015, Cartoon Network has often aired new episodes in groups of five within the space of a week (marketed as "Stevenbombs"), rather than in the form of one new episode per week. The long hiatuses between these groups have frustrated fans – causing "agonized cries of a rabid, starving, pained cult following", as The A.V. Club put it. But this format, which is also used for other Cartoon Network series, has, in the publication's view, contributed to the network's improving ratings, as seen in spikes in Google Trends associated with each "bomb". The A.V. Club attributed this effect to Steven Universe's unusual (for a youth cartoon) adherence to an overarching plot, which gives it the potential to generate "massive swells of online interest", similar to the release of full seasons of adult TV series, that are "crucial to a network's vitality in an increasingly internet-based television world".[39]

Episodes

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
Pilot July 27, 2013 (2013-07-27)
1 52 November 4, 2013 (2013-11-04) March 12, 2015 (2015-03-12)
2 27[nb 1] March 13, 2015 (2015-03-13) January 8, 2016 (2016-01-08)
3 25[nb 2] May 12, 2016 (2016-05-12) August 10, 2016 (2016-08-10)
4 26[40] August 11, 2016 (2016-08-11) TBA

Crossover

"Say Uncle", the crossover episode with Uncle Grandpa, aired on April 2, 2015. The episode follows Uncle Grandpa helping Steven use his Gem powers after he's unable to summon his shield. The episode, which Uncle Grandpa acknowledges is not canon, features a literal "plot hole".[41] Steven, Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl had a cameo appearance on the Uncle Grandpa episode "Pizza Eve", along with other Cartoon Network characters from currently running and ended cartoons.[42]

Other media

Short films

Several short films have been released on the Internet. They include "We Are the Crystal Gems", the extended version of the title theme and second opening sequence, and a short series titled "The Classroom Gems", where the three Crystal Gems teach Steven lessons about Gems in the style of school. "The Classroom Gems" is inspired by omake clips from anime series such as Gunbuster, in which characters educate the audience about aspects of the series's lore.

Companion books

Several companion books have been published by the Cartoon Network Books imprint of Penguin:

  • Steven Universe's Guide to the Crystal Gems (October 2015, ISBN 978-0843183160) by series creator Rebecca Sugar contains information about the Crystal Gems.
  • Quest for Gem Magic (October 2015, ISBN 978-0843183177) by Max Brallier is a "colorful journal and activity book" aimed at 8- to 12-year-olds.
  • Steven Universe Mad Libs (October 2015, ISBN 978-0843183092) by Walter Burns is a Mad Libs word game book.
  • Steven Universe: Live from Beach City (February 2016, ISBN 978-0843183498) is a music and activity book with chord charts and sheet music for the major songs from the first season.
  • What in the Universe? (February 2016, ISBN 978-0843183481) by Jake Black is a book of trivia about Steven and the Gems.
  • Best Buds Together Fun (June 2016, ISBN 978-1101995167) by Jake Black is a "quiz and activity book" aimed at 8-12 year olds.
  • The Answer (September 2016, ISBN 978-0399541704) by Rebecca Sugar is a children's book adaptation of the episode "The Answer". It reached no. 7 of the New York Times Best Seller List on October 2, 2016.[43]

Video games

The tactical role-playing video game Steven Universe: Attack the Light! was released on April 2, 2015 for iOS and Android devices.[44] It was developed by Grumpyface Studios in collaboration with Rebecca Sugar for mobile devices. Players control Steven and the three Crystal Gems in fights against light monsters.[45][46]

A rhythm-based mobile game, Steven Universe: Soundtrack Attack,[47] was released on July 21, 2016 in the United States. In the game, a player-created Gem flees her pursuer through side-scrolling stages set to remixes of the series' music.

Steven Universe characters also appear in Cartoon Network's cart racing video game Formula Cartoon All-Stars, and in the side-scrolling beat-'em-up game Battle Crashers.[48] As with other Cartoon Network series, several browser-based games are made available on the channel's website, including Heap of Trouble, Goat Guardian and Gem Bound.[49]

Comics

BOOM! Studios published an ongoing monthly comics series based on Steven Universe written by Jeremy Sorese and illustrated by Coleman Engle.[50] A preview appeared in Adventure Time: 2013 Spoooktacular #1.[51] The first issue was published in August 2014.

A graphic novel based on Steven Universe, the first in a planned series, was published by KaBOOM! on April 6, 2016.[52] Also written by Sorese and drawn by Engle, Steven Universe: Too Cool for School focuses on Steven accompanying Connie to school one day.[53]

A four-part miniseries, called Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems, was announced. The first issue was released on March 17.[54][55]

Toys

In October 2015, Cartoon Network announced the launch of a line of toys based on Steven Universe, to be sold through specialty retailers. For the 2015 holiday season, Funko will make "Pop!" vinyl figures, and Just Toys will offer various "blind bag" novelty products. In spring 2016, PhatMojo will sell plush figures and foam weapons, and Zag Toys will release collectible bobbleheads and other mini figures. In 2017, Toy Factory is to sell a line of plush and novelty items.[56]

Fandom

Cosplay of the character Opal, 2015. In Steven Universe, fusions between Gems are larger and often have additional body parts.

Steven Universe has a broad and active fandom. As of April 2016, public interest in the series, as measured by Google Trends, outstripped – at times, by orders of magnitude – that in Cartoon Network's other series. The A.V. Club called this the closest thing possible to "definitive proof that Steven Universe is now Cartoon Network’s flagship series".[39]

Fans of Steven Universe have campaigned against censorship of the series' representation of LGBT relationships in countries other than the United States. A fan campaign persuaded Cartoon Network's French subsidiary to re-record the song "Stronger than You" in a translation that made the singer's love as explicit as in the original,[57] and another was launched in 2016 to protest Cartoon Network's British subsidiary's practice of removing scenes of affection between Gems from the UK broadcasts.[58] Similarly, Swedish fans launched a protest petition after flirting between Gems was changed to unrelated dialogue in the Swedish broadcast of the episode "Hit the Diamond".[59]

According to io9, "while most of the Steven Universe fandom is supportive and welcoming, there is a small subsection that's known for being extreme and hostile under the guise of inclusiveness".[60] In 2015, a fan artist attempted suicide after she was bullied through social media because of the body proportions in her art,[61][62] and in 2016 storyboard artist and writer Lauren Zuke deleted her Twitter account following harassment by fans because of her perceived support for a particular romantic relationship between characters.[60]

Reception

Critical response

Steven Universe has received critical acclaim, with critics praising its art, music, voice performances, storytelling, and its characterization. As an "equally rewarding watch" for adults and children, according to James Whitbrook in io9,[63] and "one of the stealthiest, smartest, and most beautiful things on the air" in the view of Eric Thurm in Wired,[64] it attracted a quickly growing fan base.[65]

Production values

Critics praised the "breathtaking beauty",[66] "intriguing, immersive environments"[67] and "loveably goofy aesthetic"[63] of Steven Universe's art. They noted the distinct look imparted by the soft pastel backgrounds,[67] as well as the series's "gorgeous, expressive, clean" animation.[68]

The chiptune-inspired music by the duo of Aivi Tran and Steven "Surasshu" Velema was also often highlighted in reviews, with Oliver Sava in the A.V. Club mentioning its range from "peppy retro" to Ghibli-esque "smooth jazz piano".[67] The musical numbers featured in some episodes are distinguished by their "uplifting determination", according to Thurm.[69] As Whitbrook wrote, they evolve from "little (...) goofy ditties" to become an integral part of the storytelling, with the much-lauded song performed by Estelle in the first season's finale being "a rap about the power of two women in romantic love, delivered during a fight aboard an exploding spaceship. It's as awesome as it sounds".[63] Thurm wrote for Pitchfork that "music matters in Rebecca Sugar’s work", more than even in most musicals, by structuring the characters' lives rather than only delivering the story.[70]

Reviewers also appreciated the voice acting of the broad ensemble cast. Tom Scharpling's Greg,[71] Zach Callison's "exuberant and expressive"[72] work as Steven and Grace Rolek "singing her heart out" as Connie[69] were among the actors particularly noted for their performances.

Writing and themes

Steven Universe covers a broad range of themes, including a low-key slice of life portrayal of childhood, an examination of unconventional family dynamics, and an intensive homage to anime, video games and other pop culture mainstays, as well as being a "straightforward kids' show about superheroes", according to Thurm.[73] Jacob Hope Chapman of Anime News Network noted that the anime series Revolutionary Girl Utena and Sailor Moon are visually and structurally Steven Universe's strongest influences, as reflected in its "predominantly playful tone, interrupted by crushing drama at key moments", as well as in its "glorification of the strengths of femininity, dilution of gender barriers, and emphasis on a wide variety of relationships between women, aimed at a family audience".[74] Other Japanese cultural icons the series references include Neon Genesis Evangelion, Akira, Cowboy Bebop and Dragon Ball Z, as well as Studio Ghibli movies and Junji Ito's horror manga The Enigma of Amigara Fault.[74]

The series's "masterful sense of pace", wrote Whitbrook, allows the series to subtly integrate elements of foreshadowing and worldbuilding into individual scenes that almost imperceptibly make an overarching dramatic narrative emerge from what might appear to be "monster of the week" episodes.[63] The series's conceit of telling a complex story from a child's perspective means that its exposition remains "artfully restrained, growing in ambition with the series" and Steven's character, in the view of Thurm.[64] Steven Universe's measured pace also allows its characters to become "more complex and interesting than most of their counterparts on prestige dramas",[75] in Thurm's view, developing "as real people and not entities serving narrative functions".[72] The series explores increasingly challenging facets of their relationships, such as the notion that Pearl may in part resent Steven because he is why his mother Rose no longer exists,[76] or the point where Pearl's "all-consuming passion" for Rose[69] becomes self-destructive. Even the action showpieces are on occasion cast as philosophical arguments, such as when Estelle's song presents the climactic fight in "Jail Break" as the contest between Garnet's loving relationship and Jasper's "lone wolf" attitude.[75]

Adams highlighted the "groundbreaking and inventive" portrayal of the complicated "mentor/caregiver/older sibling dynamic" between Steven and the Crystal Gems[66] in a series that, at its core, is about sibling relationships, according to Sava.[67] A notable emotional difference to Adventure Time and Regular Show, wrote Thurm, is that while these series deal with their protagonists' transition to adulthood, Steven Universe was, at least in its first season, content to be "enamored with the simplicity of childhood".[68] Nonetheless, Thurm noted, by the first season's end, Steven had slowly grown from an obnoxious tag-along kid to being accepted as a Crystal Gem in his own right, a change brought about by increased insight and experience rather than merely age.[75] In The Mary Sue, Joe Cain noted that unlike many heroes from antiquity (such as Hercules) to modern fiction (Luke Skywalker and others), Steven is not defined by the legacy of his father, but his mother; and that the wealth of the series' important mother figures highlights how rare they are in genre fiction.[77] The alien nature of the Gems, which prevents them from fully understanding the world they are dedicated to protect, is also handled with "remarkable depth and intellectual rigor", according to Kat Smalley of PopMatters, even as the Gems are shown to deal with human issues such as the "depression, post-traumatic stress, and self-loathing" the long-past war for Earth has left them with.[78]

Smalley characterized Steven Universe as a prominent part of a growing trend of intergenerational U.S. animation (i.e., cartoons that appeal to people of all ages) that also includes the series Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005), its sequel The Legend of Korra (2012), Adventure Time and Regular Show (both 2010). This is not only reflected in the series's outreach to minorities previously seldom appearing in animation, but also in its broader themes, according to Smalley – instead of delivering genre-typical mustache-twirling villains, the series "deals with issues of extraordinary violence and horror, depicts its characters in shades of grey, and subtly plays with matters of philosophy, morality, and interpersonal conflicts, all while refusing to reset any development to a status quo".[78]

Gender and sexuality

Pearl (left) and Steven's mother Rose Quartz share a close embrace in a flashback shot cut from the British broadcast. Their past relationship is gradually seen to inform Pearl's relationship with Steven and those around him.

"Gender is at the forefront of the conversation surrounding Steven Universe", according to Erik Adams in the A.V. Club, who noted as remarkable that "the show's superheroes are all women".[66] As, among other things, a self-aware pastiche of "magical girl" anime, the series subverts that genre's premises, according to Whitbrook, by having Steven, a boy, embody the loving femininity of the typical magical girl protagonist—without being mocked for it or losing his masculine side in turn. Whitbrook characterized the series as ultimately being "about love—all kinds of love", including nontraditional forms such as the both motherly and friendly bond between Steven and the Gems, as well as Garnet as the "physical embodiment of a lesbian relationship".[63]

Autostraddle's Mey Rude wrote that Steven Universe was the most recent animated series aimed at a younger audience to feature significant representation of queer themes, such as through the androgynous fusion Stevonnie and the overtly romantic relationship between the Gems Ruby and Sapphire. This, according to Rude, reflects the growing prominence of these themes in children's cartoons: previous depictions were either subtextual or minimal, such as in the 2011 Adventure Time episode "What Was Missing" or in the 2014 series Clarence, or more explicit but unexplored, such as in the 2014 finale of Nickelodeon's The Legend of Korra. In Steven Universe, on the other hand, LGBT themes appear prominently in the second half of the first season.[79]

According to Rebecca Sugar, her series' LGBT representation is not intended to make a point, but to help all children understand themselves and develop their identity. In her view, queer youth deserve to see themselves in stories just as much as other children—and, given pervasive heteronormativity, not allowing them to do so can be harmful. Moreover, Sugar said, LGBT children also deserve to see the prospect of love for themselves in the characters they identify with—the ideal of fulfilling partnership and true love, established as the one thing to aspire to by generations of Disney cartoons, extended to all.[80] In 2016, Sugar said at a panel that the LGBT themes in Steven Universe were also in large part based on her own experience as a bisexual woman.[81]

The series's cachet as "one of the most unabashedly queer shows on TV", according to The Guardian,[58] made it all the more controversial when, in 2016, Cartoon Network UK decided to cut a moment showing a close embrace between Rose and Pearl – but not a kiss between Rose and Greg – from the British broadcast.[82] The decision, explained by the network as intended to make the episode "more comfortable for local kids and their parents", was criticized as homophobic censorship by fans and in the media.[83][84]

In awarding the series a place on the honor list of the 2015 Tiptree Award, which recognizes works of science fiction or fantasy that explore and expand gender roles, the jury wrote: "In the context of children’s television, this show deals with gender in a much more open and mature way than is typical for the genre, and has some of the best writing of any cartoon. (...) In addition to showing men and women who do not necessarily conform to standard American gender ideals, the show also gives us an agender/non-binary character and a thoughtful exploration of growing up".[85]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2013 Behind the Voice Actor Awards[86] Best Male Vocal Performance by a Child Zach Callison (as Steven) Won
2014 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement in Character Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production[87] Danny Hynes and Colin Howard Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Production Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production[87] Steven Sugar, Emily Walus, Sam Bosma, Elle Michalka, and Amanda Winterstein (for "Gem Glow") Nominated
Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role - Young Actor[88] Zach Callison (as Steven) Nominated
Behind the Voice Actor Awards[89] Best Female Lead Vocal Performance in a Television Series - Comedy/Musical Deedee Magno Hall (as Pearl) Won
Michaela Dietz (as Amethyst) Nominated
Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role - Comedy/Musical Kate Micucci (as Sadie) Nominated
Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Guest Role - Comedy/Musical Jennifer Paz (as Lapis Lazuli) Won
Susan Egan (as Rose Quartz) Nominated
Best Vocal Ensemble in a Television Series - Comedy/Musical Cast of Steven Universe Won
Hall of Game Awards Most Valuable Cartoon Steven Universe Nominated
2015 Primetime Emmy Award[90] Short-format Animation "Lion 3: Straight to Video" Nominated
James Tiptree Jr. Award[85] Honor List Rebecca Sugar, Steven Universe Won
2016 Annie Awards Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Children’s Audience "Jail Break" Nominated
Outstanding Achievement, Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Ian Jones-Quartey (for "The Test") Nominated
Outstanding Achievement, Storyboarding in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Joe Johnston, Jeff Liu, and Rebecca Sugar (for "Jail Break") Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards 2016[91] Favorite Cartoon Steven Universe Nominated
2016 Teen Choice Awards Choice Animated Series Steven Universe Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award[92] Short-format Animation "The Answer" Nominated

Home media

Video on demand

Depending on the customer's region, Steven Universe is available through various video on demand services such as Hulu, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Video, and Microsoft Movies & TV.

DVD

Episodes on the Steven Universe DVDs are not in original broadcast order. In the table below, the episodes are listed in the order they appear on the DVD, and are numbered according to the order in which they were originally broadcast. A new Steven Universe DVD titled "The Return" was announced to be released on June 7, 2016, as well as having cover art shown. The Australian company, Madman Entertainment, has released both a Blu-ray and DVD collection of Season 1 in Region 4, however, the series has yet to see any Blu-ray releases in the North American market.[93]

Region 1
DVD title Season(s) Aspect ratio Episode count Total running time Release date Episodes
"Gem Glow" 1 16:9 12 132 minutes January 13, 2015 2 ("Laser Light Cannon"), 1 ("Gem Glow"), 6 ("Cat Fingers"), 7 ("Bubble Buddies"), 9 ("Tiger Millionaire"), 10 ("Steven's Lion"), 15 ("Onion Trade"), 12 ("Giant Woman"), 14 ("Lars and the Cool Kids"), 19 ("Rose's Room"), 18 ("Beach Party") and 22 ("Steven and the Stevens")
"The Return" 1 16:9 12 132 minutes June 7, 2016[94] 25 ("Mirror Gem"), 26 ("Ocean Gem"), 28 ("Space Race"), 35 ("Lion 3: Straight to Video"), 36 ("Warp Tour"), 37 ("Alone Together"), 40 ("On the Run"), 44 ("Marble Madness"), 45 ("Rose's Scabbard"), 49 ("The Message"), 51 ("The Return") and 52 ("Jail Break")
Region 4
DVD title Season(s) Aspect ratio Episode count Total running time Release date Episodes
"Gem Glow" 1 16:9 12 132 minutes June 5, 2015[95] 2 ("Laser Light Cannon"), 1 ("Gem Glow"), 6 ("Cat Fingers"), 7 ("Bubble Buddies"), 9 ("Tiger Millionaire"), 10 ("Steven's Lion"), 15 ("Onion Trade"), 12 ("Giant Woman"), 14 ("Lars and the Cool Kids"), 19 ("Rose's Room"), 18 ("Beach Party") and 22 ("Steven and the Stevens")
"Arcade Mania" 1 16:9 12 132 minutes June 7, 2016[96] 3 ("Cheeseburger Backpack"), 4 ("Together Breakfast"), 5 ("Frybo"), 8 ("Serious Steven"), 11 ("Arcade Mania"), 16 ("Steven The Sword Fighter"), 13 ("So Many Birthdays"), 20 ("Coach Steven"), 17 ("Lion 2: The Movie"), 35 ("Lion 3: Straight To Video"), 25 ("Mirror Gem") and 26 ("Ocean Gem")[97]
"Steven Universe: Season 1" 1 16:9 52 572 minutes May 4, 2016[93][98] Season 1

Blu-ray

Australian release by Madman Entertainment – region B
Blu-ray title Season(s) Aspect ratio Episode count Total running time Release date(s) Episodes
"Steven Universe: Season 1" 1 16:9 52 572 minutes May 4, 2016[93][99] Season 1

Notes

  1. ^ There are 26 full-length episodes. However, the six digital shorts also count as one episode in season 2.
  2. ^ Due to season 2 having the six digital shorts as an extra episode, season 3 has one less episode than originally announced.

References

  1. ^ a b c "Amazon: Steven Universe Season 1: Amazon Digital Services LLC". Amazon. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  2. ^ "Steven Universe TV Review". Common Sense Media. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "'Steven Universe,' TV review". New York Daily News. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  4. ^ McLean, Thomas J. (2012-09-11). "Cartoon Network Greenlights Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa Series". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  5. ^ Sugar, Rebecca (20 August 2014). "I am Rebecca Sugar, creator of Steven Universe, and former Adventure Time storyboarder, AMA!". Reddit. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
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