Have you seen this strange cartoon that appears Monday nights, on Cartoon Network? It’s called Adventure Time, and I have to admit, my whole family is in love with it. When I say that it is strange, I mean that it is like no other cartoon you have ever watched before. When I say that it is wonderful, I mean that it is funny and creative, holding the attention of kids and adults equally.
It took me watching a few episodes to understand what the main premise of the show is all about. Jake is a human boy and his best friend is a dog named Jake. The two live in a strange land called Ooo, which I suspect is future Earth after magical creatures have populated it and humans have become extremely rare. Jake and Finn are heroes; their goal is to help anyone that needs their assistance, and protect innocent creatures. In most episodes, the main villain is “Ice King.” Ice King’s main goal in life is to steal a princess and marry her.
There are so many princesses to choose from in this crazy realm; from Princess Gumball, the Hotdog Princess, to an eerie Ghost Princess. Then there is my personal favorite, Lumpy Space Princess, who has the attitude and accent of a valley girl, but a deep, man-like voice. I can’t help but laugh every time “L.S.P.” gets angry and spouts something like, “Don’t lumping yell at me!”
If I had to list just a few things that make this series stand out, I would have to say they are as follows:
- The animation style, which is bright, colorful and clean. It reminds me of other shows like Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and the Miyazaki films.
- The clever story lines; they are inventive and different from all of the usual plots you see in shows these day. The writers can do anything in Adventure Time; Ooo is a world of fantasy so the possibilities are endless!
- Recognize that voice? A lot of the characters are voiced by famous voice actors, such as Tom Kenny, who lends his vocal talent to the title character in Spongebob Squarepants and in this show, Ice King. John DiMaggio voices Jake in Adventure Time, but you might also recognize him as Bender from Futurama. Minor characters have been voiced by actors such as George Takei, Ron Perlman, Lou Ferrigno and Andy Milonakis.
- There are lessons to be learned; yes, there are a few things in the series that parents may not approve of, like the way the characters exclaim their dismay with phrases like “What the stuff!” and “Don’t squeeze me, I’ll fart!” I would recommend that ten-year-olds and up watch it, lest you want your young child to go around making jokes about passing gas that no one but lovers of the show (and bathroom humor) would appreciate. With that out of the way, kids can take away from Adventure Time that the good guys always win, the bad guys always have to face consequences, and Jake and Finn are always great friends who help others in need.
If you can find it online or a re-run, my favorite episode is “What is Life?” which features a robot that Finn builds to throw pies in Jake’s face, to be the prank of all pranks. A short clip of the episode can be watched on YouTube. Andy Milonakis voices the robot, known as N.E.P.T.R., which stands for “Never Ending Pie Throwing Robot.”
My advice? Watch for the talking balloons and Ice King’s minion penguin, Gunter. They are the funniest part of the whole episode.
The show is in its third season on Cartoon Network, but season one was recently released, titled My Two Favorite People, on DVD and is available to purchase. New episodes premiere Mondays nights at 8/7 Central Time. Lots of fun games and video clips, including a few full-length episodes, are at cartoonnetwork.com/tvshows/adventuretime.