From LGBTQ+ issues to body image to identity to change, Rebecca Sugar shined a light on topics society has been afraid to speak about for the past 6 years. She is the first woman to create a series, Steven Universe, on Cartoon Network. In addition, Steven Universe is the first show on a mainstream children’s channel to feature a same-sex proposal and wedding. Although the fifth season concluded the series’ original story, Sugar continued it with the movie that follows the events from the season five finale.
At the start of the movie, the four main characters Steven and the Crystal Gems (Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl) are celebrating the end of their journey of restoring peace to the world and independence for Earth. Their celebration is cut short when a mysterious gem by the name of Spinel plots revenge on Steven, injecting the Earth with what she calls “bio poison” that will destroy the Earth in a matter of hours. Steven must save the planet once again in his own way: through communication, not violence.
One of the themes in the movie comes from the Spinel’s arc. She believed she was playing a game with her “best friend,” then finds out her “best friend” abandoned her and made other friends on Earth. This experience drove Spinel to attack the planet; even after sharing her feelings with Steven, she believes she will be abandoned again. Spinel’s arc reveals it is okay to feel hurt, but it is necessary to adapt from experiences instead of dwelling on them and expecting others to adapt for you.
Another theme the movie expresses is that “happily ever after” does not exist. Part of Steven’s arc is his fighting for the happy ending he had. After his experience with Spinel, he adapted and realized there is no “happily ever after;” life will always present new challenges.
I believe this movie is crucial to watch. It teaches adaptation and communication through the themes in Spinel and Steven’s arc. Even if you’re just tuning in to the series, the movie introduces the characters and story in the first 15 minutes; plus, the movie has a composition of over 30 catchy scores and songs.
Alan Santellanes is a content creator pursing a career in Children’s media. His goal is to strengthen children’s character by familiarizing taboo topics and opening discussions.