|Cartoon Cartoons Unite|
|Directed by||Elliot Corning|
|Produced by||Owen Emerson, Elliot Corning|
|Written by||Elliot Corning|
|Screenplay by||Brian Grispon|
|Story by||Owen Emerson|
George LoweBobcat Goldthwait
|Editing by||Elliot Corning|
|Distributed by||Cartoon Network|
|Release date(s)||April 15th, 2014|
|Running time||1hr 50 minutes|
The film was released on January 20th, 2016. The film maintains a strong cult following with Cartoon Network viewers.
It's Space Ghost's 50th birthday, and Zorak, Moltar and (more notably), Brak decide to throw him a surprise party. Brak is told to send invitations to the more recognized Cartoon Cartoons, but due to various misfires, they also wind up in the hands of lesser known cartoons, and Steven Universe. The latter gets six of them and he gives the rest to the gems and Connie.
According to the invitations, the toons are required to call Zorak so he could pick them up. Each of the toons are forced to ride in the back of a Mercedes Sprinter and are told to keep out of Space Ghost's sight until they get to the party. Amidst many hours of driving, filled with various sight seeing and attraction visits, everyone stops at a motel.
Space Ghost awakens from a nightmare, and he becomes very defensive when Zorak asks about it. Space Ghost barely catches a glimpse of the other toons when Brak is visiting the van. Zorak convinces Space Ghost that nothing is happening, and they all get back on the road. Everyone arrives at an open field and Zorak tells Space Ghost to unload everything. Upon reaching the back of the van, the doors open and the toons burst out wishing Space Ghost a happy birthday.
After setting up a picnic, the kids play kick the can and the rest talk about Space Ghost's time on Cartoon Network. Each of them look up to Space Ghost due to him predating the very concept of Cartoon Cartoons, and Space Ghost, somewhat shyly, accepts the compliments. While the kids are playing, Eddy knocks the can into the woods, and Steven and Amethyst decide to get it. They find the can, and as Steven goes to pick it up, the ground collapses beneath him, causing him to fall. Amethyst goes to help Steven, but she falls in as well. The two attempt to get out of the hole, but it only causes the side of it to break off.
The two notice a glass panel beneath the wall and they dig through to reveal more of it. A dresser door is revealed and the two open it, finding an oddly shaped bottle filled with a murky grey liquid. Steven examines it, but he accidentally drops it. The two look at the spilled liquid and they see a mysterious void form in it. Suddenly, a cloaked figure emerges from it, preparing to attack the two. Steven and Amethyst manage to evade the figure and they return to the others. Everyone goes to the hole and they examine the void. Not wanting to take a risk, everyone decides to turn back, but metallic tentacles drag everyone into the void.
The toons awaken to find they're in a bedroom. In spite of the others not recognizing any threat, Space Ghost urges everyone to escape from the area. They head for the door, only to get greeted by a blonde woman named Agatha. She tells them to go to the dining room to eat, which everyone does. The toons are each served spaghetti and meatballs, which resembles stale frosting covered in red slime. Some of the more intelligent toons decide not to eat, fearing the worst, and their suspicions are confirmed when they discover a disoriented man who has eaten the food.
The toons make a break yet again, only to get trapped. The cloaked figure approaches them, claiming that he knows everything about the toons. After getting question, the figure reveals himself to be Moxy Mutt, the very first original Cartoon Network character. Moxy releases them and he informs everyone that he'll be hunting them using magic arrows that cause people to burn from the inside. Everyone retreats and he and his minions begin to hunt them. The toons manage to commandeer a crawler and they evade the minions. Due to getting distracted, the toons crash and are taken away. They awaken in an auditorium, where Moxy is present. Moxy tells the toons about his time on the network. He used to maintain fair success until he was overshadowed by the likes of Space Ghost, and was forced to become a janitor by the former president of Cartoon Network. After going through many years of neglect, Moxy became more cold and bitter, even going as far as selling his former sidekick in order to get back at the network. It led to him relying on the magic bottle to get his wish, but it came with a price. Due to Moxy failing to regain any form of success, he was imprisoned inside of the bottle, and would continue to be until the rest of the cartoons came to take his place.
Moxy prepares to attack the toons, but Space Ghost comes up and knocks Moxy down. The two begin to fight, and the rest of the toons join in, eventually overpowering Moxy. Suddenly, the essence of the bottle enters the room, chastising Moxy for failing to destroy the cartoons. The essence prepares to destroy the toons, but Moxy leaps in front of the essence's shot, sacrificing himself. The area begins to collapse and the toons make a break for the exit. They all manage to wind up back where they were prior to entering the world.
Mostar discovers that the area the bottle was located in was Moxy's old house. Space Ghost feels somewhat guilty for letting Moxy go mad, even feeling that he failed to give credit where it was really due, but I.M. Weasel reassures him that Moxy was merely part of an anthology program and that Space Ghost was the first Cartoon Network show that was truly a full fledged series. Appreciating their help, Space Ghost declares Steven and his friends modern day cartoon cartoons. The toons look to the horizon, embracing their bond as cartoons.
The animation was done entirely by Elliot Corning, who was a former animator at Primal Screen. The film was based off of two short films Corning produced prior. One being made on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast's 10th anniversary which would be reworked into the movie, and a homemade advert for the Mercedes Sprinter.
Harvest originally intended to make an anniversary film for Cartoon Network, but the network's then CEO Jim Samples was forced to resign due to the Boston Bomb Scare, and the film was ultimately shelved. Harvest decided to release the film on their own, but they held back on it after learning about Steven Universe and wanting to include characters from the show in the movie.
The filmmakers were forced to rework the entire film to include the aforementioned characters, and they had to convince the actors of the show's characters to record dialogue. Each of the actors were under the impression that the film was authorized by Cartoon Network.
The film was released without any consent from Cartoon Network. This was reportedly done to cut costs, since a bulk of the budget was spent towards getting the rights to use the shows from the show creators, the actors to voice them, etc. A lawsuit was proposed by Cartoon Network executives, but it was dropped when Harvest agreed to re-linquish the ownership of the movie to Cartoon Network.
Main article: Cartoon Cartoons Unite soundtrack
The Cartoon Cartoons Unite soundtrack contains songs from various artists played throughout the movie. Another soundtrack was released a few days later which contained the opening themes of the shows featured in the movie as well as other notable songs featured in said shows. These albums were originally released separately, but were later bundled together in future pressings.