‘Steven Universe’: 20 Things We Learned from the New Season 1 DVD

     January 30, 2018

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Fans can now revisit the adventures of Steven Universe, Cartoon Network’s Emmy nominated and critically acclaimed animated series, since the Steven Universe: The Complete First Season DVD arrives today! Featuring all 52 captivating episodes and the first time a full season has been available on DVD, relive the episodes that ignited a fierce and dedicated fandom, and a lot of sing-alongs. Like a lot. Additionally, we took a look at the DVD’s excellent collection of bonus features to bring you everything we learned about Steven Universe.

With 572 minutes of lauded animation, Steven Universe: The Complete First Season delivers bonus features including a never-before-seen intimate conversation with series creator, Emmy and Annie Award-nominated writer and New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Sugar, discussing the show’s celebrated music, chart-topping soundtracks, performance videos and footage from the Steven Universe Soundtrack Volume 1 listening party.

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Image via Cartoon Network

If you’re unfamiliar with Steven Universe, the synopsis follows below, but I highly suggest you check out the award-winning series for yourselves!

Steven Universe is set in Beach City on the American East Coast, where the four Crystal Gems live in an ancient beachside temple, protecting the world from evil. As immortal alien warriors, they project female humanoid forms from magical gems that are the core of their being. The Crystal Gems are Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl and Steven, a young half-human, half-Gem boy who inherited the gem of his mother Rose Quartz, the former leader of the Crystal Gems. As Steven tries to figure out his powers, he spends his days with his human father Greg, his friend Connie or the other Gems, whether to help them save the world or just to hang out. He explores the abilities passed down to him by his mother, which include fusion – the ability of two Gems to temporarily merge their identities and bodies to form a distinct new personality.

Here’s a look at what we learned from the DVD Extras:

Behind the Music:

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    Image via Cartoon Network

    Rebecca Sugar talks about her inspiration for the series, namely her brother Steven and their time spent drawing comics together as kids.

  • Sugar was working on Adventure Time when she was asked to come up with a pitch; that’s when Steven Universe was born!
  • She wanted the show to be about her childhood but also be an open and inclusive story.
  • She knew it was going to have a huge musical component from the early goings.
  • Her first instrument, at 9, was the hammered dulcimer; she later switched to the ukulele.
  • Sugar starts with a ukulele demo in order to get her first ideas down, some of which you can hear in these very extras!
  • Each of the characters is, in part, defined by their musical style and original songs
  • Sugar and composers Aivi & Surasshu discussed how the instruments are paired with the characters, like how they came up with the bass for Garnet, the drums for Amethyst, the piano for Pearl, in the jazz trio; Steven is the chiptune, described as a weird new component of their music.
  • Each of their styles also has to mesh and meld, like when Amethyst and Pearl form Opal, as performed by Aimee Mann.
  • Sugar geeked out about Mann and getting to work with Estelle
  • Sugar’s favorite song for the show is “Love Like You”, which was a theme for the credits even before it had full lyrics

Listening Party:

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    Image via Carton Network

    There’s a cute sing-along for the show’s theme, but this extra goes deeper still into the music of the show.

  • Sugar talks about the creation of the theme song, using “all her favorite things about writing songs”
  • She wanted all of the characters to be a part of it, sort of like a roll call for the heroes.
  • Sugar, Aivi, and Surasshu got a chance to remaster their music for the Steven Universe album
  • The extra includes the remastered versions along w/ visuals to accompany them, like:
    • “Be Wherever You Are” – Sugar wrote this song while designing Peridot and Jasper, “who had just started to exist”, while also working with her comic book artist friends during a retreat
    • “Stronger Than You” – Sugar revisits her chat with Estelle about the song and recounts all of the singer’s references she dropped during the conversation
    • “It’s Over, Isn’t It?” – Pearl’s ballad; Sugar reveals that this version, the remastered version, was the theme she was really talking about: loss and missing a piece of yourself; Sugar performs an original song/duet live for the audience in attendance

Music Video Performances:

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    Image via Cartoon Network

    “Something Entirely New” – Sugar’s acoustic performance

  • “It’s Over, Isn’t It?” – Sugar and Aivi (on piano) perform
  • “Love Like You” – Sugar, Aivi and Surasshu perform
  • “Here Comes a Thought” – Sugar, Aivi and Surasshu perform
  • “What’s the Use of Feeling (Blue)?” – Sugar’s acoustic performance

Animatics:

  • “Gem Glow”
  • “Full Disclosure”
  • “Steven the Sword Fighter”
  • “Steven and the Stevens”
  • “Island Adventure”

Song Demos:

  • “Be Wherever You Are”
  • “Full Disclosure”
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