An amusing (but utterly bizarre) animated series from Comedy Central, "Drawn Together" is the first animated reality series, bringing together animated characters from different genres together to live in one house. In other words, think of an animated "Real World" or "Surreal Life", where a Pokemon-like creature lives with an evil B & W 20's cartoon sex symbol named Toot Braunstein.
There's also Spanky Ham (an internet character), a superhero, a racist and snobby Princess, a foxy black crime solver/musician, a Superhero, a Spongebob clone and a video game warrior who's on a neverending quest to save his girlfriend. The series is raunchy, totally politically incorrect and lowbrow, yet rather witty and funny in its own way.
The show smartly parodies many staples of the "reality" genre quite well, adding its own oddball tweaks to them instead of merely redoing them with animated characters. The show is rather disturbing at times, but it throws everything out there in the hope that it sticks and, sure enough, I found the laughs hit considerably more often than not.
While "Drawn Together" came to a close in 2007, the show still maintained a solid fan base and added fans with the release of the season sets of the series on DVD. Now a few years later, "Drawn Together: The Movie" appears - and its return to the airwaves may depend on the success of the movie (as has happened with a few other popular animated shows in the last few years.)
The movie runs a little over an hour and admittedly, feels a bit like an extended episode. The plot is pretty simple: the characters realize that their constant cursing is no longer being bleeped, and Foxy goes out to find out why. Soon enough, she and the other characters learn that the reason why they're not being bleeped anymore is that their show has been canceled. This, of course, results in the characters cursing up a storm.
The network head hates the "Drawn Together' cast and is out for revenge, starting with canceling the series and then sending out the animation-erasing (which is sort of a neat effect) robot "I.S.R.A.E.L." after the group. The film has them running from the robot (voiced by Seth McFarlane, creator of "Family Guy") and heading towards Make-a-Point land, with an unpleasant stop-over in Princess Clara's kingdom.
"Drawn Together" - free of the restraints of basic cable in this case - tries to push the envelope with a movie that's far more crass and disgusting than any of the episodes of the series. The result feels crude for the sake of being crude, with nothing much behind most of the gags aside from the intent of being foul
There are certainly some funny gags throughout the film - including a few "Flintstones" riffs and a goof on audio commentaries - but it's too bad that the creators could have realized that less is more - the series was funny because it didn't go this overboard and was often a smart parody of the characters and other subjects. At 70 minutes, the all-out gross-out factor of the movie starts to wear out its welcome.
Additionally, a portion of the movie is in 3-D, but no glasses are included. This is presented as a joke, and there's even a very R-rated instructional video on how to make your own glasses, but why have the scenes in 3-D in the first place if the glasses were not going to be included? Weird.
VIDEO: "Drawn Together: The Movie" is presented by Paramount in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture quality is perfectly fine, with the animation looking crisp and clear throughout. No noticable pixelation or other issues are spotted, and colors appeared bright and vivid throughout, with no smearing or other issues.
SOUND: The film is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, but there's not much to the film's sound design. Surround use is limited to occasional effects and light ambience, as well as some mild reinforcement of the music. However, the majority of the audio is spread across the front soundstage. Audio quality is fine, with clear dialogue and effects.
EXTRAS: Audio commentary from the filmmakers, "Re-Animating 'Drawn Together': From the Small Screen to the Slightly Bigger Screen" featurette, "Drawn Together': The Legacy" featurette, "'Drawn Together': True Confessionals", "Anatomy of an Animated Sex Scene" featurette, deleted scenes, minisodes, 3-D glasses instruction.
Final Thoughts: I liked "Drawn Together" when it was on the air, as the series offered some terrific riffs on the characters and other subjects. However, while the movie gets a few good jokes through, the majority of the film seems to mainly be an excuse to be as crude and disgusting as possible. The DVD provides fine audio/video quality, as well as a few extras. Recommended for fans only.