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Featured DVD Review: The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!

April 14th, 2010

The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie! - Buy from Amazon

Drawn Together was an animated parody of Reality TV shows like Real World. It ran for three years on Comedy Central before all was said and done. It was never given a proper series finale, much to the disappointment of the fans (and the creative force behind the show). Now it is getting a Direct-to-DVD movie called The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie! But is this the send-off the TV series deserves? And, if so, is that really a compliment?

The film opens with a caption explaining that it is present day as we pan across Bedrock, or whatever the legal department would let them get away with. Inside a bar, a very drunk and very pregnant Toot is summoned to a back booth to meet with Foxxy. She tells her that Clara is dead and that they will be soon if they don't get out of there.

A quick action scene and an X-men inspired title sequence later, we cut to six months earlier and the gang happy in their reality TV home. The latest challenge strikes Foxxy as a little unusual. She thinks there's a mystery about. The rest of her housemates are not convinced. But when she discovers that she can swear and not get bleeped by the censors, she has the evidence she needs. It points to only one conclusion: they've been canceled and no one told them. It's worse than that, because not only were they canceled, but the producer was supposed to erase them. Now the head of the network is going to destroy them and he's sending the Intelliget Smart Robot Animation Eraser Lady, yes, I.S.R.A.E.L., to erase them and anyone who gets in his way. But the gang won't go down without a fight. Not only are they determined to stay alive, they want their old show back!

I've often commented that there are a lot of perils when it comes to turning a TV series into a movie. This includes losing the essence of the show by trying to make the show feel more cinematic. Or simply taking a story that could easily be told as a two-parter and padding it to fill the running time. Or sometimes the source material works better in smaller doses. The Drawn Together Movie avoids some of these pitfalls, but not all.

It definitely doesn't lose its essence in the movie, which is both a selling point and something to fear. The show's humor is just as over-the-top as ever. Even more so, as they don't have to deal with network censor. "Cinematic" might not be the exact word to use, but it feels bigger than the TV show did and not merely padded. There were even some parts that were smartly done. For instance, the way Foxxy figured out something was wrong by swearing. Or the effects of the E5 animation erasing bombs, which definitely had style to them. On the other hand, they still seem to think that if something's funny, twice as much will be twice as funny. Wooldoor stutters the word, "canceled" and it takes ten seconds for him to say it. Ten seconds may not seem like a lot of time, but it's at least twice as long as it should be. And those Israel jokes. They were not subtle enough to be funny the first time around. And they just wouldn't end.

Overall, if you are a fan of Drawn Together, then the The Drawn Together Movie should be a satisfying way to end its run, but there's limited crossover appeal.

Extras on the DVD start with a 3D version of the movie. However, there are no 3D glasses that come with the DVD, so you have to make your own. They did include directions on how to do that, which basically boils down to: 'Here's a government website. Follow the directions there.' There are not enough 3D scenes to really matter. Under the setup menu you will find an audio commentary track with the two writers (Dave Jeser and Matthew Silverstein), the sound editor (Kurt Vanzo) and someone credited as a consultant (Jordan Young). There are a few dead spots and they tend to get off track, but there are also some tidbits handed out and some amusing stories told. For instance, a lot of the movie is based on real life.

Under the Special Features menu there are several "making of" featurettes, starting with 12-minute featurette on the end of the show and the creation of the movie. There is a 6-minute featurette on the making of the 3D sex scene, both of which feature the two writers and most of the cast. There's also a 10-minute featurette on the change in animation style (it went from hand animation to flash) that includes the two writers and three of the animators. In between those is a 4-minute faux-featurette on the show's legacy. There are eight extended scenes, two of which are animated. Finally, there are "Minisodes" that consist of a montage for each of the characters put together with narration.

The movie is also coming out on Blu-ray, but only at Target stores and I don't have that screener to review.

The Verdict

For fans of Drawn Together who were upset that the show didn't have a real series finally, The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie! fills that need well. Additionally, the DVD has more extras than most Direct-to-DVD releases and if you own the rest of the show on DVD, then this is also worth picking up. On the other hand, if you were not a fan of the show, this won't change your mind.

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