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Friday, June 21, 2024
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Back to Make-A-Point-Land

Grade: A+

Wholesome entertainment is hard to come by these days. If you are looking for some, you really shouldn't watch The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!
Necrophilia, gratuitous cartoon nudity and enough vulgar language to make The Osbournes blush all make this direct-to-DVD movie the comedic masterpiece that it is.
The series was taken off of the air in 2007, but once it started doing well on Hulu and in DVD sales, Comedy Central approached creators Matthew Silverstein and Dave Jesser (who currently work on The Cleveland Show) about doing a movie.
"At first we were scared, we didn't trust them, and then we decided if we come up with the right idea, then let's do this," Silverstein said. "We sat around and we used real life as an example, [so] we did the movie about being canceled and about people criticizing the show for not having a point."
Using the story of how Silverstein found out the show was canceled as its inspiration, the film certainly draws on many real life events.
"I put it in my TiVo and it said ‘no results found.' And that is how I kind of found out," Silverstein said. "That was a real sobering moment there."
The rest of the movie follows the characters' magical trip to "Make-A-Point-Land" to get back on the air.
"That was always the most annoying thing. A lot of our episodes actually had a point – not all the time, sometimes we just wanted to be funny. We just didn't have a character look into the lens of the camera and spoon-feed [the point] to the audience, and then we were always criticized for not having a point," Silverstein said. "So … that is kind of the point of the show, we decided in the movie, but ultimately we do what we think is funny and that is the only thing that interests us."
On the cast's journey to get its much-needed point, there are plenty of offensive jokes (like a robot named I.S.R.A.E.L.), jabs at other cartoons and action to keep the audience entertained for the entire film. If not, then the 3D cartoon sex scene will at least help.
The series premiered in 2004, but the creators had been developing the idea for a while before it actually hit the small screen.
"We did love reality TV shows and we do love animation, [so we thought], ‘You know what would be cool? If we actually did an animated reality TV show with eight different cartoon characters from all over the animated universe and just put them in a house together like the Real World and we had their lives taped,'" Silverstein said. "Then we called our agent, who immediately told us it was a terrible idea and that we could never sell it, and we put it aside for like a year and a half."
It wasn't until Silverstein and Jesser met an animator from The Simpsons that was looking to become a writer. They took on the upcoming talent to draw up some examples of the show and spoke to networks. Soon after that, the duo's agent called them to say they had been picked up.
Throughout its four seasons on the air, the show had moderate success, and the creators feel that the show never became a part of the pantheon of adult-cartoons for a number of reasons. One of the biggest problems was reaching a good audience, despite having 90 percent of South Park's audience when it first aired.
"The problem is, we haven't figured a way to reach out to … people that will turn on the show, and enjoy it," Silverstein said.
Not caring about offending an audience could be one of the reasons the duo faced this problem.
"On other shows we have worked on, there were a lot of discussions in the room about not upsetting the fans. We never had those discussions, which made that a problem. I don't think we ever really tried to do anything to get fans," Jesser said.
Silverstein agrees, and is not afraid to disclose the secret that they hope will bring the movie success.
"We were just trying to get each other to laugh. What we did with the movie, though, is put Seth MacFarlane in it," Silverstein said. "Hopefully that will get people to watch it, because everything that guy touches … is awesome."
Although several networks offered to pick up Drawn Together when the show was first pitched, the pair picked Comedy Central, the lowest paying network, because of the freedom they could get. The creators are incredibly happy with the network they chose. Hindsight on having all that freedom is 20/20, though.
"Apparently, sponsors pulled out and we pissed off some people, so if we weren't allowed to do everything that we did, maybe that would have helped everybody," Jesser said.
Hardcore fans and newcomers alike will all find The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie! hilarious. The creators just plead that people don't download it, as they hope sales will help the show get picked back up.
"Even if you hate the movie, don't steal it. I mean, that is not helping anybody," Silverstein said. "Unless the show gets picked up or we do another [movie], then start doing it."

E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com


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