Wednesday, November 6, 2013

On The Air: Steven Universe (2013)

The success Cartoon Network has enjoyed with whimsical comedy cartoons such as Adventure Time & Regular Show suggests that the avant-garde flights of fancy in both shows could and should be a trend to follow. For all the criticism leveled against the network for their shabby treatment of corporate siblings DC & Warner Bros. Animation in recent years, their own in-house creations have been the bright spots in the lineup.

The latest to come along is Steven Universe, which bowed on November 4. Being that it's on CN, it'll get played into the ground with frequent repeats during the week. That's just the way it is, but if you miss out, don't despair. It'll be available On Demand soon enough, if not already.

Steven is the youngest of four siblings, the three sisters being magically powered beings known as the Crystal Gems. Since Steven has a ruby embedded in his belly button, he's destined to join his sisters, but the eager young fellow wants in ASAP. He also plays a ukelele and sings songs (series creator Rebecca Sugar is also a songwriter). You've got to admire the kid's initiative & desire. The character designs fall somewhere between Adventure Time's Golden Age-inspired characters and the look of Codename: Kids Next Door, a CN flavor of the month from a decade ago. Still, it works.

Here's a sample video:



Steven Universe is also striving to convince today's generation that imagination is still a wonderful thing. Life is not always built around social media, and wasn't meant to be.

Rating: A-.

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