Despite its rather crass and offensive material, Drawn Together lasted three seasons and thirty six episodes before Comedy Central pulled the plug in March 2008. The show featured parodies of popular cartoon characters or archetypes and brought that together in a very funny style that delighted fans who were partial to shows such as Family Guy or Robot Chicken. So it was only natural that when the episodes ended, they would look to other production avenues, like direct to dvd.
*Warning. This review does have a little bit of salty language or describes risque situations. If you are a child, please do the right thing. Clear your browser history and cookies after you read this review. You have been warned, thank you.*
Something’s wrong. We open up the show in what looks to be a downtrodden version of Bedrock. Then we shift to a pub where we see a woman spewing obscenities at a barkeep. It is in fact, Toot Braunstein who is sporting a larger belly than usual and quite upset. She receives a note that tells her to come to the back. When she gets to the table, she sits down and realizes that she’s talking to Foxxy Love.
Foxxy Love tells Toot that she’s got to come with them or else she is in danger. Toot goes foul mouthed on Foxxy and blames her for starting this in the first place. All of the sudden, Wooldoor’s voice comes over Foxxy’s phone and tells her that they need to leave now. They hightail it out of the building and are pursued by an unknown force. After much bullets and mayhem we are treated to the flashback of how this all came to be.
It’s another day at the Drawn Together home. Jew Producer puts them through another challenge to get immunity (it’s not pretty) and afterwards declares Captain Hero as the winner. Foxxy Love thinks that something is just not right about this recent string of challenges and she’s going to get to the bottom of it. Enter Scooby Doo solving scene. However, most of the cast and crew think she is just full of hot air and there is nothing to be worried about.
Foxxy goes back to her bedroom to mull over what is going on when all of the sudden she curses. Normally, since they are on a reality show, the curses are bleeped. She curses again and again but there are no bleeps. She then realizes that the show has been cancelled and that they are no longer on air. Foxxy relays this to the rest of the cast who are still not on board with her discovery. They end up fighting and that’s when Wooldoor reaches for the remote control (nice Tivo parody) only to discover the truth.
This is about the time Jew Producer busts in and tells them that they need to leave before ISRAEL (Intelligent Smart Robot Animation Eraser Lady) gets a hold of them and erases them permanently. They get away but barely. Eventually they stop and after bickering some more, they go their separate ways. Princess Clara, Xandir, Captain Hero and Ling-Ling go off to Fairy Tale Village where she is Princess.
Meanwhile, Foxxy goes with Wooldoor & Spanky Ham to see the show that replaced their time slot. I can’t say the name of the show, but let us just say that it has the word “Suck” & a slang word for the female part of the anatomy. This is all in an attempt to get back on the air. By the way, Toot well this is the part where she steals the van and goes to Bedrock. Can the Drawn Together crew keep away from ISRAEL and get their show back on the air?
The first thing you’ll see when you pop this blu-ray in is a warning that this is not for children. Mature audiences only. They are one hundred percent right. Chances are unless you have absolutely no morals, you will be offended at some point in this movie. Racism, homosexuality, bisexuality, necrophilia (yes I said necrophilia), and more are guaranteed to make you cover your head in shame. Didn’t your mom teach you better?
Let me touch on the necrophilia for just one second. (Unlike Drawn Together, I have a point, so hold on) They could have made this a five minute joke and I would have mostly rolled my eyes at it. Instead they turn it into a joke that lasts most of the movie and was the major sub-plot. This speaks heavily on a lot of the bad jokes in the film, they let it linger way too long and wrap them into plot devices instead of cutting them short.
The parody jokes or the ones where they attack a popular cartoon culture like South Park or the Flintstones are done beautifully. These jokes are typically razor sharp and just click. Their making fun of the filmmaker commentaries are absolutely brilliant, as a dvd reviewer I couldn’t have laughed harder. But the necrophilia and the toilet humor mostly made me shake my head in dismay. It reminds me why I soured on the third season of the show, they were being vulgar for the sake of being vulgar.
The video is shown in 1.78:1 Widescreen @ 1080p. Since the Blu-ray was only sold at Best Buy (or Future Shop if you were in Canada), I honestly wasn’t expecting a very healthy presentation. I was wrong. The animation in this show is very solid on its first direct to disc presentation. I wasn’t aware that flash animation was being used until I went through the extras.
On second glance, there are a few trouble spots (the color blue springs to mind), but I really like how it came together. It stayed true to the original series but gave it better depth. One obvious thing to mention is the 3-d scenes. Don’t expect miracles here, there isn’t too much depth to speak of, but I appreciated the gesture.
The audio is presented in English TrueHd 5.1 (Dolby Digital 5.1 & 2.0 also available). Again, I expected little and was subtly surprised. The surrounds get some workout, mostly from the dialog or brief action sequences that can come in from either side. Dialog is very clear, even the robotic stylings of one Seth MacFarlane as ISRAEL. There isn’t much to complain about here either, of course the seventy minute presentation doesn’t leave much time for audio fallout. Subtitles are provided in English SDH.
- Commentary with Matt Silverstein, Dave Jeser, Jordan Young & Kurt Vanzo: This has to be without a doubt, one of the worst commentaries I have ever listened to. Sorry, honestly. It’s like four frat boys at a house and they are more interested in drinking and telling stories than paying attention to what is going on. I love stories, and I absolutely love a funny commentary but for pete’s sake. Amazingly, they did actually keep it together during the 3-d sex scene, but that was about it.
- Drawn Together: True Confessionals 12:16: The cast members talk about the cancellation of the series and how it kinda just dropped on them. It wasn’t planned at all and then one day, boom; we are canceled? Then it shifts into their experience with the movie before doing the plea that they really want to do more episodes. That is except for the creators who seem content with it ending. By the way, I’ve probably mentioned this in the past but Abbey DiGregorio (does the voice of Ling-Ling) is ridiculously pretty, she should be doing more than voices. Make your own jokes.
- Drawn Together: The Legacy 4:15: Basically this serves a tongue in cheek montage of how important Drawn Together is to the cartoon universe. They do make a great point though and that no matter if you love or hate Drawn Together, as long as it resonates emotion in you, then they have done their job. Indifference is death to them.
- Anatomy of an Animated Sex Scene 5:32: They describe the sex scene that they did for the movie and how it was actually cut in order to please the network. (They didn’t want to seem like it was porn). Of course since the movie is basically NC-17 (if I had to assign a rating to it), was there really a point to cutting it anyway? Best part is Tara Strong (voices of Toot & Princess Clara) talking about doing ADR (Automated Dialog Replacement) for the scene with her mother-in-law listening. You can’t buy that kinda reaction.
- Re-Animating Drawn Together: From the Small Screen to the Slightly Bigger Screen 9:46: This mostly goes over the Flash animation work that was done by 6 Point Harness. Basically, the network came to the creators and told them they had to do it for half the price of the series. So, they were forced to look away from traditional methods and found this animation group. It worked beautifully and they explain some of the process.
- D.I.Y. 3D Glasses 2:14: A rather interesting visual demonstration of how to make your own 3d glasses since Comedy Central was too cheap to include them. Let’s just say bare breasts were involved. By the way, could we get a girl with “C” or “D” size cups next time? Hey, if the show can be crude and vulgar with no reason, I can throw in my own two cents as well.
- Deleted Scenes 8:46: A collection of forgotten scenes, mostly cut because they served no purpose (too easy of a joke). There are a couple at the end that are un-animated and only storyboarded. These are actually important because it was stuff that they had to cut out of the movie to appease the network.
- Drawn Together – Minisodes 4:53/4:30/4:26/4:23/4:18/4:44/4:10/5:03 : One little minisode for each of the eight main characters. This is introduced by the Jew producer (who apparently has the hots for Foxxy Love) and tons of clips from the series are shown. This is actually a great piece if you have no clue who these guys are. There are plenty of memorable moments that make you want to go back and watch the show (especially during the early glory days).
It pains me to say this but this should probably be the last chapter in Drawn Together history. They had a couple of great seasons, an okay third season followed by a somewhat better trip to the big screen and a finish. There is certainly an opening for another season and you can tell that the voice actors want to do it. But the creator’s hearts don’t seem to be into it anymore and it shows especially in comments during the extras and the commentary. If that’s the case, I would not want to see a sloppy fourth season no matter how much I love the characters and the show’s premise.
The direct-to-dvd movie has a lot of really funny moments. But trapped in the funny moments are sub-plots and other jokes that carry on too long and seem to be there more for shock value than any comedic effect. I’m not saying Drawn Together should have a point to a large degree (then they would be South Park) but they should always strive to be funny. The disc has surprisingly good video and audio and sports an incredible list of extras.
I certainly recommend this to loyal fans of the series, even if they just want to know how it ends. But if you are really curious about the show and had not seen it before, you need to go get the first season on DVD. Then the second and then the third. Or else, you’ll never quite appreciate this final product in front of you. (See creators, I can get dvds sold even if I don’t give you a 5-star review)