STORY BY JOHN CARTER JR
The release of the highly anticipated Steven Universe The Movie has been long in the works. While it is true that fans of the franchise are often subjected to long hiatuses from the series, this was worth the wait. Steven Universe The Movie has a wealth of Steven Universe content post Change Your Mind for every dedicated Steven fan to enjoy and even makes for a good entry point for new viewers.
The film takes place in Beach City two years after the events of Change Your Mind. In this era the diamonds are dismantling their empire and are turning a new Leaf, all the savable Crystal and Homeworld gems have been uncorrupted, there is a new gem society developing on Earth, Steven is taking up his role as the new Pink Diamond, and an era of peace has seemingly been underway. Of course, there wouldn’t be a film without conflict, so the peace doesn’t’ last for long as a new gem named Spinel would eventually make an assault on earth. This long-teased gem is finally revealed as a long-forgotten playmate of Pink Diamond, in fact, one that was made to be her best friend. The movie reveals many more exciting bits of information that affect the series long-term. Let’s examine the exciting highlights of this film.
One of the most exciting things about this film was that we had the opportunity to interact with other gems from the series that we hadn’t got as much opportunity to previously — in particular we got more time to flesh out Business as a character and her relationship to the Crystal Gems. Furthermore, we got an opportunity to see the dynamic between Peridot, Bismuth, and Lapis Lazuli. It is an interesting complementary Trio to the original crystal gem three. Uzo Aduba Who plays Bismuth has the opportunity to lead the song “That’s Who We Are”, This was just one out of the many tracks presented in the new film and was excitingly inspiring to say the least.
The biggest surprise of this film was that there was only one new fusion revealed, but an even larger surprise was the components of this Fusion. Steven’s second human Fusion was with his father Greg. This amalgamation resulting in the gorgeous anime dad bod rocker Steg. This character is fabulous and has an exciting music performance of “Independent Together”. The song is performed by Ted Leo, of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, DeeDee Magno Hall, and Amiee Mann.
I’ll have to say that one of my most anticipated parts of the film came with the announcement that all three diamonds ( yellow, white, and blue) would be making appearances in this film. It had me wondering as to whether or not their musical roles would be significant, and while I would prefer more single tracks performed by Patti LuPone or Christine Ebersole or Lisa Hannigan, Let Us Adore You is by far one of the best tracks on the entire soundtrack. Just a few moments performed by these legendary actresses, and I mean legendary, are enough to satisfy the fans with their elegant performance. Also, it gives us the opportunity to see the dynamic of the diamonds develop from tyrannical dictators to a freshly realized family structure ( white diamond being like a grandma to Steven, a Grandma who never gets to see her grandchildren that is).
An important point that this film was trying to get across was specifically that the work is never done in life, you may have made many developments in progress points in your life but there will always be something next to accomplish. This is very telling for Stevens’s character in his development and where it will be going in the future seasons of the show. Throughout the film, Steven has this growing internal crisis about, in his words, his “happily ever after”. By the end of the film he realizes that there is still more work to be accomplished, this idea sets up the potential for more conflict in the future of the series.
Steven Universe The Movie is an excellent work and should be talked about for many years to come. It is the modern pinnacle of excellence in animation, music, and in the representation of people of all different walks of life. There is much more that could be said about this beautiful work that could not all be condensed here, so is my suggestion that you go watch the film if you haven’t already. The film is currently available on YouTube.
I give this film a 10/10 for excellent animated feats and wonderful music.