Save the universe from yourselves…OR YOU’RE FIRED!
Such is the tagline of Cartoon Network’s latest full-length movie video release, Regular Show: The Movie. Thanks to our friends at Cartoon Network, I was able to review the DVD release of the film, and boy was I impressed!
Regular Show: The Movie centers around best friends Mordecai and Rigby who, after accidentally creating a Timenado (yes, you heard me), have to go back in time and battle an evil volleyball coach in order to save the universe…and their friendship.
If you have never been exposed to the 2D hand-drawn animated brilliance that is Regular Show, fear not! The film was very friendly toward Regular Show newbies like myself. Each of the characters are pretty well introduced and then re-introduced as they travel back and forth through time and meet their future/past selves.
The film’s story is pretty fantastic. The scope of Regular Show: The Movie was such that creator J.G. Quintel and his crew worked on the film while producing an entirely separate television season of Regular Show. According to Quintel and supervising producer Sean Szeles, creating the film was more than just putting together six or seven normal episodes; everything was “exponentially bigger and more detailed.” Indeed, the film goes big with enough drama, glorious slow motion, laser guns, space battles, CGI (in moderation), 80s music, and slow claps to make it certifiably epic.
I was entertained by the whirlwind plot of the film, despite realizing that the real conflict of the film doesn’t even come into play until the second half of the film. Most of the entertainment factor is in Mordecai, Rigby, Muscle Man, High Five Ghost, Pops, Skips, and Benson trying to prevent a dimensional disaster that could wipe out the entire universe. Characters meet young and newer versions of themselves, and shenanigans ensue.
Fans of the slacker-friendly vibe of the Regular Show series might be annoyed by an increased sense of drama and strife between the main characters, something that often infects films based off of television shows. I tend to roll my eyes when producers ramp up the seriousness of an otherwise lighthearted cartoon universe for the sake of feature-length-film-ness. However, Regular Show: The Movie balances the heavy parts with well-placed laughs and awkward moments. I was a little disappointed that there weren’t any original songs like the glorious “Summer Time Lovin’, Lovin’ in the Summertime.”
Regular Show: The Movie will eventually have a television premiere, but checking out the DVD gives you the advantage of watching the complete retro video game-inspired credits of the film which would otherwise be cut short for television. Gotta make time for those commercial breaks. The DVD also comes with special features such as deleted animatics, initial storyboard pitches, and art reels.
No Blu-ray release, however. C’mon, CN.
Overall, Regular Show: The Movie was an entertaining, well-cared-for film. Due to its clever, down-to-earth humor and the fact that high school Mordecai’s hair looks exactly like mine, I recommend it to lovers of hand-drawn animation everywhere.
Watch the trailer:
And, as a special treat from our friends at Cartoon Network, check out this art reel from the Regular Show: The Movie DVD bonus features!
Mason is a rigger/animator at Triseum Games. He's also a grad student at Texas A&M working on his Master's thesis. He loves talking about animation, watching old Godzilla flicks, listening to 80s music, and drawing cartoons.