Steven Universe: The Complete Collection – DVD Review

Steven Universe The Complete Collection December 2020 DVD
Steven Universe: The Complete Collection on DVD (Image: PR)

Steven Universe has been an important part of The Geekiary for years, and now comes the end of an era with Steven Universe the Complete Collection, out on DVD December 8. This 15-disc set includes every episode of Steven Universe and Steven Universe FutureSteven Universe the Movie, and approximately two hours of bonus content; it is a must-own for any fan of the series.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Steven Universe the Complete Collection DVD I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.

In this age of multiple streaming services, when your favorite shows are available at the click of a button and you don’t have to keep getting up to change the disc, the main reason to continue buying box sets like this are for the additional content. (Plus, not everything is on streaming, and honestly, considering how many platforms there are now, it’s almost as expensive as cable to keep up with everything.)

To a lesser extent, people also buy box sets for the packaging. Studios are starting to get wise to what the people want and often include bonus art or booklets inside box sets as an extra incentive to shell out money to buy the set on Blu-ray or DVD.

For Steven Universe the Complete Collection, I’m going to start by talking about the packaging, because honestly, it’s pretty cool.

Steven Universe the Complete Collection
The box and the book.

First is the holo-reflective box – the kind that shows every fingerprint and looks really neat when viewed by the lights from my Christmas tree. The box has some heft to it; that’s because the discs are encased in a Collector’s Edition Storybook, with each page featuring custom art by Chromosphere. The page art is also on the corresponding disc.

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It’s called a “storybook”, but it’s not, really. Each landscape print depicts a scene from one of the episodes from that season (except for the bonus disc, which features what I assume is the writers’ room). These mini-murals are gorgeous, bright, and colorful in the way that Steven Universe is. Honestly, if they wanted to sell these as prints, that would probably be a good idea. I would definitely buy a few of them myself.

Now, for the most important facet of a box set – the bonus features. The original press release gave an overview of what kind of extras you could expect, but I went through each disc and catalogued everything to give you a better idea of what you’re getting when you purchase Steven Universe the Complete Collection.

Season 1 Extras

  • “Behind the Music” – This featurette includes creator Rebecca Sugar and composers Aivi and Surasshu discussing how the songs came into existence.
  • Listening Party – This is a video of the 2017 listening party and Q&A with Rebecca Sugar, including sing-a-long versions of a couple of songs and Rebecca performing a couple on the ukulele.
  • Music Video Performances – Rebecca Sugar sings some of the songs from Steven Universe with Aivi and Surasshu accompanying.
    • “Something Entirely New”
    • “It’s Over Isn’t It”
    • “Love Like You”
    • “Here Comes a Thought”
    • “What’s the Use of Feeling (Blue)?”
  • Animatics – This is dialogue over storyboards.
    • Gem Glow
    • Full Disclosure
    • Steven the Sword Fighter
    • Steven and the Stevens
    • Island Adventure
  • Song Demos – Rebecca’s original demos over art.
    • “Be Whoever You Are”
    • “Full Disclosure”

Season 2 Extras

  • Animatics
    • Sworn to the Sword
    • Keystone Motel
    • The Answer
    • We Need to Talk
    • Onion Friend
    • Catch and Release
    • Love Letters

Season 3 Extras

  • Animatic Excerpts – These are not the full episode, just select scenes.
    • Hit the Diamond
    • Mr. Greg
    • Alone at Sea
    • Greg the Babysitter

Season 4 Extras

  • Animatics (Full)
    • Last One Out of Beach City
  • Animatic Excerpts
    • Mindful Education
    • That Will Be All
    • Three Gems and a Baby – “I Could Never Be Ready”

Season 5 Extras

  • Episode Commentary
    • Change Your Mind
  • Animatic Excerpts
    • The Question – “Ruby Rider”
    • Reunited – “For Just One Day Let’s Only Think About Love”
    • Change Your Mind

The Movie Extras

  • “Behind the Curtain” – This is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie, including interviews with Rebecca, the voice cast, writers, composers, and artists.
  • “Rebecca Pitches Act 3” – This is a video of the official pitch of the final act of the movie, with Rebecca explaining the story using storyboards.
  • Animatics for Select Songs – These can be viewed with or without commentary.
    • “Happily Ever After”
    • “Other Friends”
    • “True Kinda Love”
    • “Change”

Future Extras

  • Episode Commentary
    • The Future
  • Animatics (Full)
    • Fragments
    • I Am My Monster
  • Animatic Excerpts
    • Why So Blue

Bonus Disc

  • Music Videos
    • “Stronger than You” – filmed at San Diego Comic-Con 2017
    • “True Kinda Love”
  • Multi-Language “Other Friends”
  • Steven Universe Pilot
  • Steven Universe Mini-sodes
    • “Fusion”
    • “How Are Gems Made?”
    • “Lion Loves to Fit in a Box”
    • “Unboxing”
    • “What Are the Crystal Gems?” – extended intro
    • “What Are Gems?”
    • “Cooking with Lion”
    • “Gem Karaoke”
    • “Steven Reacts”
    • “Steven Song Time”
    • “Video Chat”
  • Steven Universe the Movie Sing-a-long Version

Everybody has different ideas of what they want to see in bonus content, but to be frank, with a show like Steven Universe, which has such a huge and dedicated following, I was kind of expecting more from the extras. This is Steven Universe the Complete Collection, and I feel like they should have a little more varied content. I’m not going to sit here and list all the things they could have had as special features, because that would be pointless, but let’s just say I have a nonzero number of ideas if they ever want to do a re-release.

The animatics are kind of neat – especially if you’re interested in animation or storyboarding – but there are so many of them and so little of anything else. I know they just released a book containing sketches and concept art in October, and it seems as though they could have used a little of that in some places.

I do appreciate the inclusion of both the pilot (with startlingly different-looking versions of Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl) and the mini-sodes, because it does feel like a complete collection when you even have the shorts.

As for the two behind-the-scenes featurettes – “Behind the Music” and “Behind the Curtain” – I really enjoyed them. In fact, one of the reasons I’m not harsher in my critique of the extras is because of “Behind the Curtain”. I was just starting to get tired of animatics and wondering why there weren’t more featurettes when I popped in the Steven Universe the Movie disc and started “Behind the Curtain”.

“Behind the Curtain” is an almost hour-long documentary on the making of Steven Universe the Movie and contains interviews with virtually everyone who worked on the film. I loved getting to hear from the character designers and the background artists; I love animation as a medium and I had no idea that so much went into making a cartoon. Quite a few of the people who worked on Steven Universe stopped with the movie, and some of the crew were fans of the show before coming to work on it, so those interviews in particular are very moving.

Steven Universe the Complete Collection will retail for $89.99 in the United States ($119.99 in Canada), which, considering that you’re not only getting every episode of the show and the movie but also that really nifty storybook with custom art, is a pretty good deal. Would I have liked more from the special features? Yes. But you’re still getting over 2000 hours of content with this set, which is nothing to sneeze at.

Steven Universe the Complete Collection will be released on December 8, 2020, but is currently available for pre-order.

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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