Why Steven Universe: The Movie Could Only Work as a Film

Steven Universe, as a television show, has had a basic, standard format in the past: 11-minute episodes. This has been played with to extend multiple episodes into a single, longer arc, like how "Change Your Mind" concluded the most reason season. Steven Universe: The Movie, however, is its own beast, and runs far longer than any piece of Steven Universe content to date. But, according to Rebecca Sugar, the movie could only ever work as a movie.

Speaking with Sugar ahead of the film's premiere this coming Monday, September 2nd, we asked whether the film felt like its own season, or if it was something else entirely. Sugar's answer, which ranges from video games to books to the movie and beyond, might surprise you.

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(Photo: Cartoon Network)

ComicBook.com: Do you see the movie as its own little sixth season, or is it totally distinct and separate in your mind?

Rebecca Sugar: It's completely separate. Tonally I think it's a little bit of a departure, too. It really is its own thing. but so full of the spirit of everything we've been working toward. I like to approach different projects differently. I feel this way also about the children's books that we've done. When we get to cross into another medium, also the games like Attack the Light and Save the Light, when we cross into another medium, I like to think about what only that medium can do and really lean into that. We have a new book coming out in the fall called The Tale of Steven, which is a retelling of "Change Your Mind," but in a way that only could work in a storybook format, telling the story through page layouts and what it means to be reading a book. In approaching a Steven Universe movie musical, we tried to tell a story that could only work as a movie musical, and at that length, and with that tone.

Steven Universe is also so much a pastiche. Getting to approach a movie musical and make something that has elements of all my favorite movie musicals, it's a very Steven Universe thing to do, but only a movie musical can do that because that's really what we're exploding with love for. The series, I think, is always exploding with love for the various animated TV series and movies that we watched when we were kids. Similarly but differently, the movie musical is exploding with love for movie musicals.

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What do you think about the movie and show and everything else being its own, distinct project? Are you excited to check out the movie when it premieres? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things animation! You can also check out our full review of the film, which we gave 5 out of 5, right here.

Steven Universe: The Movie is scheduled to premiere Monday, September 2nd, at 6PM ET on Cartoon Network.

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