The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!Overview -
Eight housemates on a fake animated reality TV show realize they've been canceled and set off on a journey to get back on the air.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
'Drawn Together' fans: gather round, bring pitch forks and torches. Prepare to get really, really riled up. A newcomer to the program is going to talk copious amounts of trash at your beloved, cancelled program.
With 'The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!' being my introduction to the show, I can honestly say that I didn't need the three seasons shown on Comedy Central to get the basic gist: a parody of the god forsaken phenomenon known as "reality television," where what is portrayed is anything but reality. Much like a mixture of the competition and house-sharing themes commonly found in said abominations to all that is holy, 'Drawn Together' skewers the cliches and conventions of the ratings hits, with an eclectic cast of dysfunctional characters, while also providing some not-so-thinly-veiled social commentary.
Perhaps I may sit down one day and watch the thirty six episodes written by Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein, and I may even enjoy them, but there will never be a day that I ever, ever sit down to 'The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!' ever again. Like Metallica played to Guantanamo detainees, I found this short (71 minutes) direct-to-video extension of the cancelled show to be so torturous that even the brisk run time wasn't fast enough for me, as I've never brought up the status bar on my Blu-ray player to check the remaining time left more than I just did.
There are eight contestants in the Drawn Together household: a creepy, self-absorbed superhero (Captain Hero), a sexually charged musician (Foxxy Love), a Pikachu ripoff that parodies racist Asian stereotypes (Ling-Ling), a hate filled Disney Princess (Princess Clara), a perverted pig (Spanky Ham), a black and white overweight Betty Boop rip off (Toot Braunstein), a crude Spongebob parody (Wooldoor), and a not-so-heterosexual video game parody (Xandir). To say every day with this Motley Crew (Crue) is a wild, unpredictable adventure is an understatement.
After noticing their contests have become centered on pleasuring their JewishProducer, the Drawn Together family soon discover that they've been cancelled. That's right, no more bleeps over cuss words, and no more blurs over nudity. After indulging in wanton excess, they discover that they have been scheduled to be erased (killed, basically), and the harbinger of death is a robot named the Intelligent Smart Robot Animation Eraser Lady, or I.S.R.A.E.L. for short. On the run, fearing a fate worse than cancellation, the group must come to peace with fate, realize that friendship is more important than a rotting corpse girlfriend, and possibly even find a point, a purpose. Or not.
It takes a lot to offend me, so much so that it is near impossible to describe what would have to take place to get me outraged, without offending damn near everyone else in the process. That said, while I wasn't exactly offended by this program, I was quickly numbed to the entire experience, by no fault of my own. Much like the first time a child is left home without a babysitter, 'The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!' revels in its own excesses, to the point that there is no other point. The plot is an excuse for as many crude situations (there is no such thing as innuendo here, folks) as possible, in an attempt to shock audiences.
Much like 'Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy' or 'Something, Something, Something Dark Side,' the concept of funny is obliterated like a clown in a crematorium. Sometimes humor is best when there is a line that has to be toed, and censors aren't always a bad thing. One can cut away a millisecond before a word or scene that cannot be aired on television would play, run credits, and it's effective; everyone still gets the joke, and the point. But when there is no line, it seems that the race to the bottom rung of civilization is supposed to be humorous, with schlocky shockfests replacing intelligent humor, appealing to the lowest common denominator to get a reaction, much, again, like a child.
Did I see the point in 'The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!'? Absolutely. There is a point, more than just having no point. Did I find it humorous? At times, yes, particularly the Bedrock parodies, and the thrashing of uninteresting, time wasting audio commentaries mid-film (and damn have I heard many commentaries in line with what is portrayed here). It's not that this direct-to-video film isn't funny. It's just that it isn't good. The Israel jokes are forced and awful, while the constant nudity and vulgarity makes one damn near indifferent to the whole affair, to the point that a creature that does nothing but practice self-coprophagia doesn't even leave a mark, or draw a reaction. Instead, the funny is found in the fact that said creature with a questionable diet wears a shirt with the word "Bipartisanship" on it.
I have zero opinion on 'Drawn Together,' as it may very well be a hilarious poke at a television staple that I loathe with every molecule of my being. Having never seen an episode, I don't have the right to an opinion on said topic. My objections to 'The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie' are more a matter of what is provided within, not the series as a whole, and I am aware that this film does not reflect on the show, which had to play its themes down in order to be airable, even on a network like Comedy Central. Will fans enjoy this release? More than likely, and I can very much see that being the case. But my lack of a history with this show does not proclude me from being more than qualified enough to say that this film is an utter waste of time, an unfunny assault on taste merely for the sake of, and I hope newcomers won't judge the series based off this effort, or lack there of.
The Disc: Vital Stats
'The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!' is housed in a standard Blu-ray case, with no fancy packaging gimmicks, and is currently only available at Best Buy brick and mortar stores, or on their website. There are no forced pre-menu trailers on this BD50 disc which, unlike many other Paramount titles, actually has art on the disc, rather than just generic gray and clear text. The menu navigation is commendable, as one does not need to click on category bars to see the options within. It's sleek, simplistic, and very modern. Kudos to Paramount for that. From the main menu, the viewer can select to view the film in two different ways...keep on reading to find out more!
With a 1080p AVC MPEG-4 encode at 1.78:1, 'The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!' provides a passable, though forgettable, video presentation, that includes the option to view two scenes in the film in 3D (skip ahead to the italics to read comments on how well that worked...) that are far from forgettable. The traditional, 2D version of the film isn't all that bad looking, as colors sometimes pop. Just...when they want to...which isn't often...because they're lazy, I guess. Black levels are two-toned, flat and excessively bright at times, then inky and rich in others. Detail is solid, though the occasional hazy moment can knock that back into reality. I got a great kick out of textures at times, particularly in the 'Suck my Taint' show areas, and the 'Suck my Taint' Girl, as they are intentionally reminiscent of 'South Park.' There is some very minor banding to be found, but it is far from complaint worthy. However, aliasing is a bit of a problem, as lines can go jaggy, and vary in thickness at times that don't seem to be intentional cheapness. There are some bits of wavering as well. Worse yet, lines can disappear randomly. This could be due to light digital scratch removal (think 'South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut'), or just some very, very powerful aliasing. Either way, it hurts the video quite a bit, preventing it from being a very solid release.
3D...the technology of the '80's, but, it's now!"
You said it, brother. It's not my place to preach on my personal feelings about 3D in any review, so I will hold back on commenting about an often-times cheap, thrown together visual gimmick that, much like afros, should have stayed dead. But I cannot hold back from commenting on how pathetically horrid and worthless the 3D is for this film. Accessed through seamless branching, the two 3D spots in the film are on par with the film itself. Honestly, I could take off the pair of glasses I was using, and look at the screen, and it looked just the same: blurred, double exposed, ugly. Nothing popped out, it was just watching the film drunk; they may as well call it the beer goggles version of the film. The only difference was that without the glasses, there was a bit of a tint on the screen. This is not 3D. Safe to say, this wasted, ridiculous debacle of a waste of seamless branching has reduced the score of this transfer.
Also, there are no 3D glasses included in this release. Perhaps you are being done a favor, by being discouraged from viewing the film with them.
'The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!' has three English audio options (four if you count the subtitles), with the following mixes representing: Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dolby Digital Stereo. Since the disc defaults to the least lossy mix, there is no real need to go to the set up bar.
It seems inspiration was lacking in both the writing and the audio design, as even the best track included is like the Vin Baker of audio tracks. Or Megan Fox. Or the other members of Destiny's Child. In other words, it's all potential talent, or potential awesomeness, with little impact once the disappointment fades from memory. Sure, dialogue is clear, and not once did I have to backtrack to understand a line. Yeah, there's the occasional bit of localized audio (in the side front channels), and yeah, there's no real horribly distracting flaw that ruins the experience. But there is also little to no surround presence beyond the incredibly soft weeping of the also soft soundtrack, with nearly no bass to speak of. The entire experience feels incredibly wimpy, muted, and tame. Perhaps this is the way this direct-to-video cartoon is supposed to sound, but reveling in one's mediocrity won't earn one stars in my book.
Paramount/Comedy Central: Thank you. Thank. You. Blu-ray is supposed to have such bad ass menus, but they all seem so mundane, copy and pasted (Universal, lookin' RIGHT AT YOU), with little effort. This menu is so freaking awesome, it's great. You don't have to press on a menu tab to have it expand, it does it all on its own, when you navigate side to side. It's a thing of beauty, it really is.
All of the extra content on this release is also found on the DVD. No exclusives, folks. No exclusives. If for some reason you skipped the video review of this release, there is a seamless branching alternate version of the film, with two scenes in 3D, but even that is found on the DVD.
- Audio Commentary - With Matt Silverstein, Dave Jeser, Jordan Young, and Kurt Vanzo. This track has a rapid fire back and forth conversation that cannot truly be described without being edited out and replaced by pictures of unicorns and flowers. It's as crude and lewd as the film it is for, and is somewhat funny, but damn is it X rated, and, again, much like the film, is for adults only.
- 'Drawn Together': True Confessionals (HD, 12 min) - The writers and voice cast sit down and discuss their thoughts on being cancelled, getting back together, and then finally their thoughts on the progressions of their characters. While this feature is in HD, there is some seriously blocky, awful footage included. Adam Carolla says it best, concerning the metaphorical line of decency for the film. "It was crossed, then it was crushed, then it was defecated on." Indeed.
- 'Drawn Together': The Legacy (SD, 4 min) - A parody retrospective, on the lasting legacy of the world's first animated reality show, with clips from the show and movie, and some interviews.
- Anatomy of an Animated Sex Scene (HD, 5 min) - Yeah, there's a sex scene. In fact, there's a 3D sex scene. This feature discusses writing, and dealing with studios on this raunch, reading it live at Comic Con, and even mentions possible libelous shots that didn't quite make it. Phooey.
- Re-Animating 'Drawn Together': From the Small Screen to the Slightly Bigger Screen (HD, 10 min) - This feature discusses the new animation process used for the movie, and the differences in creation due to such. Improv animation, a neat thought! The excessive, extended juvenile behavior after discovering censorship is removed is shown, in animatic form, but more on that in the deleted scenes...
- D.I.Y. 3-D Glasses (HD, 3 min) - "Put on your 3D glasses now! The producers of this film apologize that no 3D glasses were included with the purchase of this DVD (Blu-ray, jackass!). We totally wanted to, but a certain network was too cheap to provide you, loyal viewer, with a pair of 3D glasses. For the first time ever, we've used the latest in cutting edge 1970's technology to bring you the 'Drawn Together' gang, and all their shenanigans, in eye popping 3D, but Comedy Central ruined it. Seriously, fuck those guys..." Yes, that's a real transcript. This feature shows how to make 3D glasses, using a topless girl in the background. What glasses? (Ok, not really, this is far from sexy)
- Deleted Scenes (HD, 9 min) - The deleted scenes are available as one feature, with chapter breaks, instead of playable individually. CPR for a headless man, scorpion stings, more Ling-Ling and the Kiss My Taint Girl, and the full length, original sex scene can be found here. Some are fully animated, others are animatics. It's all in line with the show.
- Drawn Together Minisodes (SD) - Foxxy, Hero, Ham, Wooldoor, Clara, Toot, Ling-Ling, and Xandir all get their own feature (with no play all option), lasting about 4 to 5 minutes each. Each is a character profile of sorts, using clips from the show. If you have never seen 'Drawn Together,' yet bought (or were sent as a screener...ahem) this title, check this out first, get to know the personalities of each character in these "greatest hits" montages, of sorts.
'Drawn Together' lasted three years on Comedy Central, and now has its very own direct-to-video movie. The future of the show may very well depend on the sales of this release. This intentionally offensive excuse for a film. Fans of the show may find more to enjoy, but even they may find the excesses go too far. With average video hampered by possibly the worst 3D ever, and average audio, this would be an easy pass, but with a nice pile of supplements (and a really cool menu), 'The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!' is most certainly recommended...for fans only, though.
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