Anaheim Comic Con 2010: "Drawn Together" Movie Screening and Panel Report
In a signature event of this year’s Anaheim Comic Convention at the Anaheim Convention Center, Comedy Central screened the new Direct-To-DVD release for The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie! for fans. The movie was previously shown at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX, but this time series creators and writers Matt Silverstein and Dave Jeser were in attendance for the edgy and adult animated movie. Click any of the thumbnail photos to enlarge.
|(l to r) Abbey DiGregorio, Jordan Young and vodka bottle, and Dave Jeser|
The festivities kicked off in Room 204B of the convention center with Jeser, the movie’s writer and producer; show consultant, Jordan Young; and Abbey DiGregorio, the voice of Ling-Ling in Drawn Together. Jeser thanked the fans for their attendance and support and assured that collaborator Matt Silverstein would arrive later. Jeser also thanked those at Comedy Central who liked and supported the show to get the movie made. Jeser related that series and movie voice actress Cree Summer (Foxxy Love) could not attend as she was “deathly ill.” Young introduced DiGregorio (formerly Abbey McBride) as newly-married, but joked she was “still looking.” Jeser and Young proclaimed that they did not truly find anything in the movie offensive, but just in case anyone in the audience disagreed, Young whipped out a large bottle of vodka and told audience members to call out for Young to drink. Jeser also informed fans to pay attention during the movie since a trivia contest and prizes would follow the screening.
Next, the Drawn Together Movie: The Movie! screening began. The Drawn Together series ended its third season with a whimper and a clip show, so the crew decided to right that wrong with a movie of epically filthy proportions. The devoted fans of the series will be quite happy that the new movie delivers on the promise of gratuitous, explicit, bizarre, disturbing, and depraved animated content. If you as a casual viewer feel that a line for good taste or appropriate boundaries exists, this show will cross that line. Jeser and Silverstein, to their credit, are proud to have made a show that they find funny, and the show’s loyal fan base indicates other people find the show funny as well.
I’ve always found the basic concept of Drawn Together extremely appealing. At the time it premiered, reality shows were all the rage on US television. An animated show that skewered the genre seemed ripe for the picking. As an animated series, the characters not only skewered the reality TV genre but also different cartoon archetypes. A show combining a comic book superhero, a Disney princess, a Japanese anime mascot, a dirty internet cartoon character (IceBox.com anyone?), a wacky Nickelodeon cartoony type, an old black-and-white throwback starlet, a videogame hero, and a 60’s/70’s go-go musician/mystery solving girl to live together in a house was relevant and possessed limitless potential.
Toilet humor and other content that some people found inappropriate was the benchmark for Drawn Together, and the new movie does stay faithful to the spirit of the series. It picks up from some time after the third season finale. The show has been canceled and Jew Producer forgot to tell the cast. The head of the network (Vernon Wells) is not happy about this development after learning the cast members of Drawn Together are still alive and stomping on puppies and kittens in the house. The network head (apparently based on SpikeTV head Doug Herzog) charges I.S.R.A.E.L. (Intelligent Smart Robot Animation Eraser Lady, voiced by animation superstar Seth MacFarlane) to erase the Drawn Together cast forever. Demoralized and now homeless, the group splits up. Toot Braunstein moves to Bedrock and has a scandalous affair with Barney Rubble. Clara, Hero, Ling-Ling, and Xandir go to Clara’s kingdom to get help from the king. And Foxxy, Wooldoor, and Spanky try and get help from Suck My Taint Girl, the star of the show that replaced Drawn Together.
The Suck My Taint Girl is obviously animated and voiced in a fashion similar to that of South Park, so much so that you almost get the feeling that Jeser and Silverstein are taking out some sort of aggression on the likes of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. There are some clear barbs about how animated shows are dirty and preachy. Drawn Together mocks people who say that animated shows with inappropriate toilet humor while “having a point” or providing social commentary are acceptable. Jeser and Silverstein do not hold a grudge against South Park and are fans of that series, but are frustrated with the fact that critics often compare Drawn Together to South Park. Critics indicated that the show needed to be more like South Park and actually contain a point or message in order to be considered relevant. Ironically enough, the latest season episode of South Park, “The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs,” addressed this very theme.
The movie does include two sequences rendered in 3D that could be viewed with 3D glasses supplied for the screening, but the animation does not look like the type that lends itself to 3D. This could be due to my astigmatism or the old-fashioned paper and cellophane 3D glasses available during the screening. However, the 3D sequences were difficult to watch and see with the 3D glasses.
Be forewarned: if you are not familiar for Drawn Together, this is not a show for kids. The imagery is absolutely disgusting, outlandish, outrageous, and downright filthy. But remember–at the end of day, it’s just a harmless and fun cartoon.
QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION
|(l to r) Abbey DiGregorio, Jordan Young on chair, and Dave Jeser. These are trained professionals. Don’t try this at home, kids.|
Following the movie, Matt Silverstein arrived for the question and answer session of the panel. At this point, Show Consultant, Jordan Young, was completely drunk on vodka but was still able to stand up on a chair. Here are the highlights:
– Silverstein and Jeser explained that they are fans of South Park and believe that to be a much better show, but expressed frustration about the comparisons with South Park being better because that show has a point so it’s OK to be dirty. Jeser and Silverstein just wanted their show to be dirty and disgusting and still be funny without “having a point.”
– One fan good-naturedly asked what kind of terrible things Silverstein and Jeser did to get Seth MacFarlane on board. Jeser and Silverstein explained that MacFarlane was a long-time supporter, if not a fan of theirs and the show. The relationship made it possible to get Seth to play I.S.R.A.E.L.
– Silverstein and Jeser mentioned that the chances of a sequel mainly rely on whether this DVD sells well. If so, more could be made in the future.
– Jeser stated that the movie was animated in Flash by Six Point Harness. The series was animated overseas which was a much longer and more expensive process. This was one cause of the show’s cancellation several years ago.
|(l to r) Abbey DiGregorio, Jordan Young, Dave Jeser, and Matt Silverstein|
– The crew was asked about the jokes about I.S.R.A.E.L./Israel in the movie. Jeser talked about one joke being taken out so as not to upset his fervently religious and Zionist parents and brother (his brother was in attendance at the panel).
– Silverstein and Jeser discussed their current work on the new hit Fox television series, The Cleveland Show. The episodes with their biggest contributions will be out soon.
– The panel then opened the trivia contest up to the audience. Several finalists were picked after answering questions that showed fine attention to specific details of the movie (for example, one question related to a depraved cameo by He-Man in the movie) . The final question was “how many times was the word, ‘taint,’ spoken in the movie.” The closest number was 52, and the winner gets to go to the movie’s Hollywood premiere this week.
– The panel ran through the menu and special features for the DVD, including showing the D.I.Y.: Make Your Own 3D Glasses special feature in how to make your own homemade 3D glasses to use for the 3D sequences in the movie. This feature involved a topless woman and some personal insults directed at Comedy Central.
Don’t forget to check out Toonzone News’ interviews with Matt Silverstein, Abbey DiGregorio, and Dave Jeser.