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This page is about the series. For the movie, please visit The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!

Drawn Together

Drawn Together is an American animated television series on Comedy Central. It was created by Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein, and first aired on October 27, 2004. Comedy Central advertises it as the first animated reality show, though technically, it is an animated sitcom set on a fictitious TV reality show. The show's eight cartoon characters (mostly recognizable parodies of cartoon stock characters, but which also double as parodies of the general personality types that inhabit TV reality shows) agreed to live in a house together in a setup similar to that of The Real World.

In some episodes, characters participate in challenges that are based on reality TV challenges. The show is made by Rough Draft Studios in Glendale, California, with much of the animation done at the studio's facilities in Korea.

Comedy Central's original tagline for the show was "Find out what happens when cartoon characters stop being polite... and start making out in hot tubs," referring to Clara and Foxxy's kiss in the pilot episode. The line is a parody of The Real World's tagline, "Find out what happens when people stop being polite… and start getting real." The aforementioned hot tub kiss is considered one of the show's defining images; Comedy Central based nearly all of its first-season promotional material for Drawn Together on it.[1]

CharactersEdit

Original-Gang

The original character designs.

All eight main characters appear physically in all 36 episodes as well as the movie. However, only Wooldoor, Foxxy, Spanky, and Hero have spoken dialogue in every episode. Clara and Xandir have no dialogue in "Breakfast Food Killer", Toot is without dialogue in "Foxxy vs. the Board of Education" and "Nipple Ring-Ring Goes to Foster Care", and Ling-Ling does not speak in Dirty Pranking No. 2, A Tale of Two Cows, The Lemon-AIDS Walk, The Drawn Together Clip Show, Spelling Applebee's, and Unrestrainable Trainable.

ContentEdit

The show is adult-oriented and heavily laden with black comedy, with plot lines revolving around such topics as the fact that Princess Clara's vagina is a multi-tentacled monster (a theme found in a number of hentai films), and . The humor is largely satirical in nature, its primary focus being the mockery of stereotypes. Some episodes have heavy emphasis on homosexuality and/or bisexuality, with some episodes (such as "Gay Bash" or "A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool Special") solely devoted to these topics. Kinky sex is a common topic of conversation; several of the characters have extremely perverse sexual tastes, and the show makes frequent reference to masturbation, paraphilia, and BDSM. Death and violence are also constant themes. Nearly all episodes feature at least one death, and several episodes feature characters going on graphic killing sprees or perpetrating gruesome massacres, acts which are often (though not always) played for comedy. These incidents serve as a spoof of how lightly cartoons tend to treat violent acts that would be considered excessively brutal in a real life context. Even the main cast die with great frequency, though these deaths are never permanent. (see: Housemate deaths)

Drawn together(1)

The hot tub kiss as depicted in promotional posters.

The show's content is controversial, partially for its explicit dialogue and graphic violence, but primarily for the casual attitude the show takes toward taboo subject matter. A great deal of the show's humor revolves around making light of difficult topics such as abortion, rape, incest, pedophilia, spousal abuse, racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and terrorism (even the 9/11 terrorist attacks have been joked about). The extensive use of stereotypes is another controversial aspect of the show, though the intent is actually to make fun of bigotry. As Jess Harnell states in the DVD commentary for "Hot Tub", "Most of the racism on the show is coming from people who are so obviously stupid about it; it really isn't that threatening." (Notably, one of the groups most commonly mocked is Jewish people, which includes both creators and voice actress Tara Strong.)

Much like The Simpsons and Family Guy, Drawn Together is heavy with pop culture references. Animation is a major source of material; as mentioned above, many characters from comics and animated cartoons make cameo appearances and often are the subjects of parody. However, numerous live action films, TV shows, and video games are referenced as well. Reality shows are another prime inspiration, not surprising given that Drawn Together is presented as a reality show that takes place in a cartoon world. However, although many of the first-season plots made extensive use of the reality show scenario, this aspect of the show has largely been de-emphasized in later episodes. The spoofing of film and television clichés is another common theme on the show; many Drawn Together stories are parodies of overused plots from TV and movies.

Although, figuratively speaking, the characters come from different kinds of cartoon worlds with radically different laws of nature and behavior (Princess Clara's fairy tale kingdom, Xandir's video game reality, Captain Hero's universe of super-heroics with set rules for hero/villain behavior, etc.), no explanation for how these worlds co-exist is given or, indeed, expected. All seem aware that they are in fact animated cartoons and that live action creatures exist, but none of them really seems to care; if they are resentful of the perils their animators put them through, they rarely indicate it.

Another hallmark of the show is its extremely loose continuity. Many events in the show contradict each other, and the line between what is canon and what is not is very frequently blurred; there are numerous gags which are designed merely to be gags rather than canon, and it can often be difficult to tell which is which. One such example is in "The Other Cousin", in which Toot is pictured with a penis, but whether or not she actually has one is debatable. Another is Foxxy's various and contradictory stories about her son Timmy (one involves selling him on the black market, another involves her accidentally shooting him after believing him to be rabid, when he was really just brushing his teeth). The most succinct explanation would probably be that Drawn Together contains no continuity at all; after each episode (and sometimes within the episode), everything resets itself. Events in previous episodes are only referenced if they are part of a running gag or the show is making a callback to a particular moment. According to Executive Producer Bill Freiberger, "Very little on Drawn Together can be considered canon. If you try to find continuity on this show you'll drive yourself nuts. The only thing that's consistent is we try to make the show as funny as possible. And we'd never let a little thing like continuity get in the way of that." [2]

StyleEdit

Dthouse

The Drawn Together house.

The show's visual style is that of traditional ink and paint animation, which is actually a departure for Comedy Central, which usually favors more specialized approaches to animation. The style was chosen both for the retro feel it gives the show and for the versatility it allows the animators, providing an environment in which it is possible to combine many different styles of animation. Another unique aspect of the show is that, where most cartoons present their characters, though animated, as real within the show's world, the Drawn Together characters retain their identities as cartoon characters even within their animated world. The show also features many cameo appearances by famous characters (or in some cases, copyright-avoiding clones) from all across the animated spectrum.

In keeping with the various animation styles that form the premises for the various characters, Wooldoor and Toot have four fingers on each hand, whereas Clara, Foxxy, Hero, and Xandir have five. In promotional artwork for the show, Toot and Wooldoor are drawn with the standard five fingers, but in the show itself they have four. Also, whereas most of the characters are drawn with black outlines, Clara and items belonging to her are drawn with soft edges, a reference to Disney animation techniques.

CastEdit

Original-House

The Drawn Together house in the original pilot.

Drawn Together features an eclectic cast of voice actors, which contains a mix of veteran voice actors (Tara Strong, Cree Summer, Jess Harnell, and James Arnold Taylor) and newcomers to the field (Abbey McBride and Jack Plotnick). Comedian Adam Carolla rounds out the cast.

Members of the show's voice cast have previously collaborated with each other on numerous other projects prior to Drawn Together. Taylor (Wooldoor), Summer (Foxxy), and Strong (Clara and Toot) all performed in the Square Co./Square Enix-developed video games Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 as Tidus/Shuyin, Lady Belgemine/Young Tidus/Lenne (speaking voice)/Calli, and Rikku, respectively. On a similar note, Taylor, Strong, and Jess Harnell all performed in the video game Kingdom Hearts II (also developed by Square Enix) as Captain Jack Sparrow/Timon, Rikku, and Doctor Finklestein/Lock, respectively.

Tara Strong and Cree Summer have also worked together on several other projects, most notably Rugrats, All Grown Up!, Danny Phantom, Codename: Kids Next Door, and The Buzz on Maggie (which also features Jess Harnell). According to the DVD commentary for the episode "Hot Tub", the two have known each other since childhood (both grew up in Toronto, Ontario).

Three of the show's voice actors had previously worked with creators Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein on other projects: Jack Plotnick on Action, and Adam Carolla and Abbey McBride on The Man Show. Two of Drawn Together's guest stars also came from the casts of earlier Jeser/Silverstein projects: "The Other Cousin" guest star Sarah Silverman (from Greg the Bunny), and Carolla's Man Show co-host Jimmy Kimmel, who guest-starred in "Xandir and Tim, Sitting in a Tree" and "Alzheimer's That Ends Well".

Originally, Xandir was to have been played by Nat Faxon, but the network forced the creators to fire him following the first table read, feeling his portrayal of the character was too stereotypically gay. They would end up replacing him with Jack Plotnick.

In addition to their regular roles, the show's cast also provides many of the guest voices on the series, Summer, Strong, Harnell, and Taylor in particular. In the DVD commentary for "Hot Tub", Tara Strong jokes that this is because the show doesn't have a lot of money to pay guest stars. Chris Edgerly also appears in the majority of Season One and Two episodes despite not having a regular role on the series.

EpisodesEdit

Drawn Together has produced 36 episodes. For a list, see List of Drawn Together episodes.

DVD releasesEdit

Main Article: Drawn Together DVD releases

Previously on Drawn TogetherEdit

Prev2

The housemates repopulate the Earth.

An aborted first season feature of the show was the "last week" segments showing possible outcomes of other episodes. This was a parody of serial dramas, which typically begin with a sensationalized recap of previous events. (In the case of Drawn Together, the events depicted did not actually occur on the show.) Four were produced but not used, but were included on the Season One DVD set.

I: In a parody of Full Metal Jacket, shown in night vision, the housemates gather around a sleeping Toot, gag her, and then beat her with bars of soap in socks because she keeps leaving empty milk cartons in the fridge.

II: After a nuclear apocalypse, the housemates repopulate the Earth with their kids, amalgams of themselves that include a Captain Hero/Clara going out with a Foxxy/Captain Hero/Wooldoor.

III: Xandir tries to have a pillow fight with Spanky and Captain Hero, who are less than pleased. So instead of fighting with their pillows, they smother him.

IV: The housemates run for their lives as they are chased by a giant Wooldoor who proceeds to eat them.

GamesEdit

2006-02-05 13-40 100 1207

A UK advertisement for Drawn Together.

The show's official network homepage features a number of games related to the show.

Soak It: A first-person shooter type game in which players choose a character, then race through the various rooms in the house trying to eliminate the other housemates by continually hitting them with a liquid of some sort. Each housemate uses a weapon unique to his or her personality.

  • Clara uses a bottle of perfume.
  • Ling-Ling uses a bottle of liquid detergent.
  • Toot uses a can of spray cheese.
  • Foxxy uses a water pistol.
  • Xandir uses a bottle of skin bronzer.
  • Hero uses a spewing beer can.
  • Wooldoor blows snot out his nose.
  • Spanky uses his own urine.

If the player wins, his or her character is kissed by Foxxy in the hot tub (if the player plays as Foxxy, she kisses an image of herself in the mirror). If the player loses, his or her character is kissed or felt up by Spanky instead (if the player plays as Spanky, he is banned from the hot tub due to health department regulations). Play Soak It here.

Cavity Search: Based on the board game Operation. The player must perform a surgical procedure on one of the housemates in as little time as possible without touching the sides of the patient's inner body cavity. Play Cavity Search here.

DTI: Drawn Together Investigation: Based on the card game concentration. The premise is that someone in the house is playing pranks on all the others, and it is up to the player to determine the culprit. The player is presented with a series of boards, and must clear each board by turning over pairs of matching tiles containing images of the housemates. As each board is cleared, a different housemate is eliminated as a suspect. After the seven innocent housemates are cleared, the player must clear one final board to catch the culprit. If he is successful, the guilty party is shown swirling around a toilet, which the player can then flush. Play DTI: Drawn Together Investigation here.

Get Drawn In: The player creates a comic strip using characters, dialogue, and images from the show. Play Get Drawn In here.

I.S.R.A.E.L. Attack!: (no longer available) Released in conjunction with the movie. In a platform game similar to Mega Man, the player, as the robot I.S.R.A.E.L., must hunt down and destroy the Drawn Together housemates. Due to anti-Israel accusations from Honest Reporting, this game has been pulled out of the Comedy Central page, and can no longer be played. More about it can be read here.

CancellationEdit

In late 2006, in the middle of the first half of Season Three, Comedy Central declined to order a fourth season of the show. However, they did not officially cancel the series, and for over a year, the show's status was officially listed as being in limbo. In an online interview posted March 20, 2008, Tara Strong finally confirmed that the show has been officially cancelled.[3] According to Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein, they were never actually informed of the cancellation. Jeser claims that Comedy Central never officially cancelled the series- they just haven't ordered any new episodes since the third season.

A number of factors came into play in the network's decision not to renew.

Production costs: Although Drawn Together performed well in the ratings throughout its run (most weeks in which it aired new episodes, it was the network's second highest rated show behind South Park), the show's high costs of production diminished the profits somewhat. Assuming that the show, if revived, would now be produced in Flash animation, this would no longer be an issue.

Content: Drawn Together frequently drew the ire of advertisers and morality groups who were displeased with the content of episodes. The network supported the show early on, but by Season Three, they felt the show's humor was simply too far outside the boundaries of good taste. Although the show's producers expressed a willingness to tone down the content, the network heads did not feel it was worth the trouble to deal with the problem anymore, citing that a number of advertisers had pulled out, and the Parents Television Council were sponsoring a boycott of the show.

Long lead time: On the Season Three DVD, the creators cited a third reason for the show's cancellation, that the network was frustrated by the extremely long amount of time it took to produce each episode. Previous comments from show personnel indicated that on average it took approximately nine months to produce each episode, one of the slowest lead times of any series on the air. The creators did not take this particular claim seriously, however, citing that the network had delayed broadcasting the second half of Season Three for nearly a year, and thus did not seem to be in any particular rush to air new episodes. As with the issue of production costs, if the show is revived, this would likely not be an issue any longer due to the new, quicker Flash process used in the movie.

The show did eventually resurface in the form of a direct-to-DVD movie. In the movie, the housemates discover that their show was cancelled without their knowledge, a situation mirroring real life. According to Jeser and Silverstein, if the DVD movie sells enough copies, there is a chance that Comedy Central might order more episodes.

Similarities to other showsEdit

The cancellation of Drawn Together is similar to that of other popular Comedy Central shows, most notably Strangers With Candy and The Sarah Silverman Program.

  • All three shows were immensely popular. (In some cases, episodes would almost equal South Park in viewership.)
  • All three shows had their scheduling switched in the final season.
  • All three were fairly profitable (especially Strangers With Candy, which was insanely cheap to make).

Drawn Together's futureEdit

After the many questions about the future of Drawn Together, the official Facebook page made this statement:

With so many people asking how to get more Drawn Together, the answer is pretty clear. The jew producers at Comedy Central are motivated by one thing… selling more DVDs. The more you buy, the greater the likelihood you'll see more of us. Don't download it illegally, don't rip it from a friend. Buy the thing and start recruiting everyone you know to do the same. [4]

The DVD sold out on Amazon.com within one day of the film's release, while the Blu-Ray version sold out on Bestbuy.com.

The Drawn Together Myspace also suggests that people call Comedy Central (<a href="tel:1-212-767-8600">1-212-767-8600</a>) and bug them for a new season. [5]

Broadcasting networksEdit

Country Network(s)
Australia The Comedy Channel, SBS
Austria MTV Austria (in German)
Brazil Multishow, Comedy Central Brasil
Canada The Comedy Network (in English), Télétoon (in French),Cartoon Network (in Canadian),YTV  (in America)
Finland MTV Finland
France Canal+ (in French)
Germany

MTV Germany (in German), VIVA, Comedy Central (in German)

Ireland MTV One, TMF, and the Paramount Comedy Channel
Israel yes, HOT Comedy Central
Italy Comedy Central (in Italian)
Mexico MTV (in Mexican Spanish)
New Zealand Prime Television
Philippines JackTV
Poland Comedy Central, MTV
Portugal MTV Portugal
Russia TNT, 2x2
Slovenia TV Slovenija 1
Spain MTV Spain (in Castilian Spanish)
Sweden MTV Sweden
Turkey Business Channel
United Kingdom MTV One, TMF, and the Paramount Comedy Channel
United States Comedy Central, LOGO

Critical reactionEdit

Entertainment WeeklyEdit

Main Article: Entertainment Weekly reaction to Drawn Together

Adult SwimEdit

The late-night programming block also bashed the series in one of their between-show bumps. One reader sent AS a letter asking, "Does American animation always have to be funny?", referring to how adult-oriented animation produced in America is almost exclusively comedic in nature, as opposed to the serious tone found in much foreign-produced animation (such as anime). Adult Swim, using its own brand of cynical and sarcastic humor, replied, "Of course it doesn't. Just look at Drawn Together". Though Drawn Together is frequently accused of relying on shock humor rather than intelligent writing (a fact of which Adult Swim is aware), given Cartoon Network's status as a rival network, the comment could have been taken more as negative advertising than constructive criticism. Drawn Together was originally pitched to Adult Swim, but they rejected it. [6]

MusicEdit

Main Article: Music in Drawn Together

One of the hallmarks of a Drawn Together episode is music. (All episodes except "Lost in Parking Space, Part One" and "Nipple Ring-Ring Goes to Foster Care" have music in some form, not including the theme song and other incidental music.)

Online StreamingEdit

Drawn Together episodes are available to watch at the official website here.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Scoobie Davis Online
  2. ToonZone Forums
  3. Spoon Exclusive
  4. Drawn Together Future
  5. DT Q&A
  6. Drawn Together Question & Answer

External linksEdit

Official sitesEdit

News, reviews, info, etc.Edit

Forums and other fan pagesEdit


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