Comedy Central/6-Point Harness (2010), Paramount Home Video (April 20, 2010), 1 disc, 70 mins plus supplements, 16:9 ratio, Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0, Not Rated, Retail: $24.99
The self-focused, loathsome participants of television’s first animated reality show figure out that they’ve been cancelled, and then fight for their miserable lives.
The Sweatbox Review:
Well, that was a chore. It’s never a good sign when you start playing the movie at 1.5x speed, just so that you can get it over with as quickly as possible without actually missing anything.
When I reviewed a couple of the season sets for Drawn Together, I wavered between being righteously indignant, and laughing my fool head off. Never had my moral core been so challenged, while my funny bone was being simultaneously assaulted. Some episodes were bigger turn-offs than others, primarily due to pure tastelessness, but I found quite a few of them pretty amusing. A few of the others were kind of disgusting. I always worried about what would happen if the creators of the show didn’t have even the censors of a cable channel to worry about, and now the awful answer has surfaced. With no restrictions whatsoever, these guys show themselves to be seriously disturbed folks.
Of course, some of you may read that as a ringing endorsement for any viewer who may get a kick out of a movie that tries hard to offend everyone imaginable; but this movie committed the worst sin of all— it bored me.
Right from the loading of the menu, we know what we’re in for, as even this process uses profane language. It’s not funny, just profane. The movie itself, however, starts off on the right note, with the opening scene occurring in Bedrock, going all-out to parody the world of The Flintstones. Okay, I flinched, because I love The Flintstones, but that’s okay— I can take it, and there are a few funny bits in here, so it’s all worth it. In a Bedrock bar, Toot Braunstein (think of an over-the-hill and unladylike “Betty Boop”) is upset with Foxxy Love (think of an oversexed and less sophisticated “Valerie” from Josie And The Pussycats). It becomes obvious quickly that their falling out is related to their also being on the run, but Toot proclaims that she has now found love— or, at least, she managed to get herself pregnant (and wait ‘til you find out who the father is!). Toot and Foxxy are soon found out, and chased away but a party unknown. A credit sequence follows, somewhat inspired by Spider-Man’s (and a few other cool films), and then the movie flashes back to six months earlier…
…Wherein we learn that Foxxy was the first to discover a very odd phenomenon. For the first time since she and her cartoon roommates began on their Real World-like reality show, she can hear herself swear without being “bleeped.” Foxxy correctly deduces that the Drawing Together show has been cancelled. The rest of the cast is unimpressed by her conclusion, as they have absolutely no respect for her detective skills, but the truth becomes known for real when the control room is found to be deserted. The cast swiftly engages in proclaiming the most vile and potty-mouthed dialog they can think of, just because they can. That may not be enough to turn you off yet, but wait ‘til you meet Captain Hero’s girlfriend. She happens to be a corpse, which he stole from a casket. Oh, don’t worry— it all gets much worse.
Enter Jew Producer, the show’s creator. Yes, that’s his name, just another indication of how badly the writer wants to get our goat. The character doesn’t really have any “Jewish” traits. In fact, he has a speaker for a head, which doesn’t seem especially Jewish; so, while having that name is not particularly offensive, I do feel offended that I was supposed to be affected in some base way. It’s just not funny or clever. (Incidentally, one of the show’s producers does have a Jewish name, so maybe he’s just proud of that.) Anyhow, Jew Producer was supposed to have the Drawn Together gang “erased” following the show’s cancellation, and his boss, the network guy, is mad at him for not doing so. In order to get the job done, the network guy brings in the Intelligent Smart Robot Animation Eraser Lady— a really clumsy way of gaining the acronym I.S.R.A.E.L. Again, I’m not sure if I was supposed to be offended. Either there’s a joke I’m not really getting, or this is just dumb.
The movie then becomes one long chase escapade, with I.S.R.A.E.L. shooting beams at the characters that result in the backgrounds being erased as they duck for cover. Jew Producer is on the side of the Drawn Together folk, as they get chased through the desert, to Bedrock, and Princess Clara’s Disney-like kingdom. Only, there is a revelation there, too, as she discovers that she isn’t really from there after all— because she’s just a cheap knock-off of a Disney character! She handles this news as well as anyone else— which is to say, that they all have crisis of faith when they realize that none of them are authentic copyrighted icons. This leads to deep introspection… or, well, not really.
While Clara and some of the others get thrown into jail in that magical kingdom, Foxxy leads a group to the set of the show that replaced theirs. I won’t tell you what it’s called, because even its title is vulgar (if you know street slang), but that show is largely a parody of South Park. The cut-out-like main character from the show counsels Foxxy that if they want to get their show renewed, then they have to mix vulgarity with a message. It seems that being gross and insulting isn’t enough— they need to have a point. As such, they are directed to Make-A-Point Land to find a point, in order to survive.
Y’know, this synopsis actually makes this sound like a pretty decent movie, full of commentary on today’s adult cartoons, network politics, and corporate intellectual properties. They even take a poke at lame DVD audio commentaries. But don’t be fooled. Yes, the creators could have made a really good movie using those themes, but instead they just keep the grossness coming. Profanity, gratuitous nudity, graphic sex acts, over-the-top violence, lots of feces, and much more that I can’t even allude to. Let’s just say that you’ll never see the Super Friends the same way once you’ve witnessed the necrophilia montage. Throughout the movie, the creators show only contempt for their audience, pushing waaaaay past the boundaries of decency in order to shock. The movie does actually have a few points to make (whether it intends to or not), but they are buried under a heaping pile of you-know-what. You have been warned.
It seems almost pointless to discuss the animation, but here goes… Flash animation was used for the movie in order to cut expenses, and the animation suffers for it, even if a nice job is done with color and lighting. Parts of the movie are carried off okay, but one comes to notice the Flash giveaways quickly enough, as characters bounce from one pose to another. It’s just one more reason to be disappointed in this movie, which tries too hard to be disgusting and succeeds.
Is This Thing Loaded?
For a movie I despised, it sure had a lot of special features I had to slog through. Surprisingly, though, they’re actually pretty good. First up is the Audio Commentary, with the executive producers, and a writer and sound editor. Considering what they’re commenting on, it’s really a good listen, as they comment honestly on the show’s cancellation and having to resort to using Flash, as well as their thoughts on their South Park parody. The only drawback was having to view the film again.
Drawn Together: True Confessionals (12:22) has the executive producers and the cast discussing their feelings on bringing back the show as a direct-to-video movie. The actors prove that they’re funnier being themselves than when they’re reading their lines. Drawn Together: The Legacy (4:20) is a tongue-in-cheek celebration of the show’s contribution to culture and television history. In Anatomy Of An Animated Sex Scene (5:38), the executive producers describe how Comedy Central asked for the scene, and how in particular they wanted it in 3-D for marketing purposes, but in the end were not so supportive. Nevertheless, the scene made it to the finished product. The best part of this featurette is seeing the cast do a reading of the scene at Comic-Con. Participants Cree Summer and Tara Strong also add their thoughts.
Re-Animating Drawn Together: From The Small Screen To The Slightly Bigger Screen (9:53) is the best “Making Of” part of the disc, going into some detail on how the animation was done (though more described than shown). Contributors include the executive producers once again, as well as Flash animation artists from 6-Point Harness.
After getting an apology from Jew Producer about the lack of 3-D glasses in the DVD case, D.I.Y. 3-D Glasses (2:20) provides a demonstration on how to make your own. It’s done like an old instructional video, except for having a naked lady in it.
The Deleted Scenes (8:29) answer the question of what could possibly have been so disgusting that even these guys wouldn’t put it into the movie. That’s a question that never should have been answered. Most are fully animated segments cut for pacing, actually, but are also scenes in just animatic stages that have more extreme content.
Finally, Drawn Together Minisodes offers five-minute long introductions to each character, using clips from the show. New introductory material with Jew Producer provides some additional commentary.
Totally no-frills here— it’s a standard keepcase, with no insert. The box advertises that there’s a 3-D scene, with no 3-D glasses included, which is the truth. It also provides ample warning that this is an adult product, though no warning could seem strong enough.
Ink And Paint:
The 16:9 image is naturally perfectly clean, as production was entirely digital. There is a hint of shimmer, but not too distracting. There is also a scene in “3-D” (the red-green kind), but you may select from the menu whether you want to see it in 3-D or in normal-vision. The disc comes with no 3-D glasses, so… I guess the only point was to be stupid. What a surprise.
I hope you all can appreciate just how hard it was to take screenshots for this review. Finding single frames that were relatively G-rated was a real challenge.
The 5.1 mix on this actually does sound like a 5.1 mix. Though most of the sound does come from the front speakers, there are definitely some discrete rear sounds coming through as well, such as a gunshot early in the movie that had me ducking after I heard it come from over my shoulder. When the action ramps up, more auditory delights unfold, though certainly not to the same standard as you might find on a more upscale release.
An English Dolby Digital 2.0 track is also included. There are no subtitles.
Being totally uncensored has not done Drawn Together any favors. What was once a show done in questionable taste has become an overblown gross-out more intent on shocking than being funny. I did have a few laughs (most of which I felt guilty about), but more than anything I found myself disappointed that these talented people devoted so much of their time to offering vulgarity for the sake of vulgarity, rather than sticking to what was actually a pretty good story outline.
Animated Classic or Back To The Drawing Board?