Judge Victor Valdivia's reality show career was brief: his housemates voted him off even before he arrived.
Big Brother's twisted sister.
Calling Drawn Together a love-it-or-hate-it experience is like calling George W. Bush a love-him-or-hate-him president. You either treasure Drawn Together's aggressively vicious and scabrous humor or you find it unwatchably juvenile and offensive. The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie! gives show creators and writers Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein (The Man Show) the opportunity to come up with a feature-length story that's free from the restrictions of half-hour TV. So you probably won't be too surprised to learn that The Drawn Together Movie epitomizes everything you love (or hate) about the show, except even more of it.
Facts of the Case
When we last left the cast of Drawn Together, the stars had been left wondering who would win the "reality" part of their reality show. Now, although the show's Jew Producer (James Arnold Taylor, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) continues to stage competitions, Foxxy Love (Cree Summers, Tiny Toon Adventures), the sexy, sassy detective, suspects something is wrong. She discovers that Comedy Central has canceled the series and ordered the sinister robot I.S.R.A.E.L. (Seth MacFarlane, Family Guy) to hunt down the cast members. So Love and sleazy superhero Captain Hero (Jess Harnell, Animaniacs), Disney-esque Princess Clara (Tara Strong, The Powerpuff Girls), obnoxious internet meme Spanky Ham (Adam Carolla, Loveline), goofy kids' cartoon Wooldor Sockbat (Taylor), brassy '20s sex symbol Toot Braunstein (Strong), gay video game warrior Xandir P. Whifflebottom (Jack Plotnick, Action!), and savage but incomprehensible Japanese battle monster Ling-Ling (Abbey DiGregorio, Southland Tales) all band together to fight back against the robot and figure out a way to get Drawn Together back on the air.
Let's get one thing straight: The Drawn Together Movie is not the place to start if you're not familiar with the series. Not only does it rely heavily on your knowledge of events that happened in previous episodes, but even by the standards of the series, it's astonishingly graphic and tasteless. Yes, this is the series that has, at times, shown the grossest, foulest gags involving bodily functions, racial stereotypes, and more bodily functions. Those, however, are kid stuff compared to what you'll get here, including a 3-D sex scene (no fair revealing with whom) and the Grossest Scene Ever in Drawn Together's History.
If you are a fan, though, you'll be genuinely surprised at the movie's quality. Jeser and Silverstein have taken advantage of the extended length to deliver an actual storyline worthy of a movie. Though it only clocks in at 71 minutes, The Drawn Together Movie is a satisfying experience for fans of the show. The storyline-in which the Drawn Together gang ponder whether or not to attach social and political relevance to their disgusting antics-is an unexpectedly smart idea that leads to some trenchant commentary both on Drawn Together's cancellation and a few certain other programs on Comedy Central that outlasted them. There's even a swipe at an episode of South Park that aired only weeks before the DVD's release date. The storyline of the movie also serves as a welcome closer for fans by settling all of the issues and stories in a definitively comprehensive way.
Also, it's funny. The Drawn Together Movie does sometimes go overboard in going for shock value, but for the most part, it does hit the mark more often than not. Drawn Together has always been an uneven series, even within each episode, but this ranks as high as any of the best episodes, such as "Super Nanny" or "Drawn Together Babies." The 3-D scenes are especially hilarious and foul, completely using the idea to its fullest while simultaneously being so gratuitous and pointless that they demonstrate just how silly the whole 3-D fad really is. As for Seth MacFarlane's presence, some fans might be put off but they needn't be-his voice is so heavily processed that he's completely unrecognizable.
Technically, the DVD is pretty good for a straight-to-DVD product. The anamorphic transfer is pristine. The movie was animated with Flash as opposed to the show's usual hand-drawn method, so the digital transfer has no flaws to speak of. The Flash animation, however, does look slightly different to the series, especially the character of Xandir. The 5.1 surround mix is loud and booming, taking full advantage of the surrounds during the epic (yes, that's right, epic) battle scenes with I.S.R.A.E.L. It's well-balanced, though, so you won't miss any jokes.
The disc is also stuffed with extras. There's a commentary with Jeser, Silverstein, and the movie's animation directors that's worth listening to since it's full of info about the movie and how the creators really feel about Comedy Central. There are several featurettes: "True Confessionals" (12:23), "The Legacy" (4:21), "Anatomy of an Animated Sex Scene" (5:39), and "From the Small Screen to the Slightly Bigger Screen" (9:54), which include interviews with the creators, animators, and voice actors. "DIY 3-D Glasses" (2:21) is a deliberately smutty riposte to Comedy Central after the network demanded a 3-D scene in the movie but refused to pay for 3-D glasses to be included with the DVD. There are also several so-called "minisodes," which are brief clip retrospectives of each character with some minor additional new intros. Finally, there are some amusing deleted scenes (8:34).
The Rebuttal Witnesses
Fans might have two problems with the movie. First, Ling-Ling, easily one of the series' most beloved characters, doesn't really have a lot to do. He has a couple of funny lines of dialogue, but for the most part the story centers more on Foxxy Love, Captain Hero, and Xandir. It's a little disappointing that the characters don't all get equal weight in the story, since this is theoretically the final adventure for these characters. Which leads to the second quibble: This is clearly and unequivocally the very last adventure. Without spoiling the ending, let's just say that it leaves absolutely no room for a sequel. Yes, Jeser and Silverstein do make it clear that if the DVD is enough of a success, they'll bring the series back, but they also indicate that they would do so with major changes, so under any circumstances, this is the very last Drawn Together episode fans will ever get as they remember it.
Newcomers to Drawn Together should start with the series, specifically the first season, before launching into this DVD, but fans should have no problem picking this one up. The Drawn Together Movie is first and foremost a goodbye gift to fans of the series and they should have no problem enjoying the myriad references and in-jokes scattered about, as well as all of the crude humor. They'll enjoy it as much as Ling-Ling enjoys Plerr Shampoo, which he loves but can't quite pronounce correctly.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Comedy Central
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