Adventure Time is an American animated television series created by Pendleton Ward (a former writer and storyboard artist of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack) and produced by Frederator Studios for Cartoon Network. The series follows the adventures of Finn, a boy whose best friend is Jake, a dog with magical powers. Finn and Jake live in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo. Ward describes Finn as a "fiery little kid with strong morals," while Jake is based on Bill Murray's character in the movie Meatballs.
The series is based on a short produced for Frederator's Nickelodeon animation incubator series Random! Cartoons. After the short became a viral hit on the Internet, Cartoon Network picked it up for a full-length series that had a preview on March 11, 2010 and officially premiered on April 5, 2010. The series has been a critical and commercial success. This series is rated TV-PG.
Following the animated short, Frederator Studios pitched an Adventure Time series to Nickelodeon, but the network passed on it twice. The studio then approached Cartoon Network, with creator Pendleton Ward delivering them an early storyboard for "The Enchiridion", showing that the premise could be expanded into a series while maintaining elements from the original short: funny catchphrases and dances, an awkward kiss moment with the princess and an "Abe Lincoln moment". Cartoon Network greenlit the first season in September 2008, and "The Enchiridion" became the first episode. The series was initially known as Adventure Time with Finn and Jake, a title still used for some related merchandise.
According to Ward, the show's style was influenced by his time at CalArts and his work as a storyboard artist on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. He tries to include "beautiful" moments like those in Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro and some subversive humor, inspired by series likeThe Simpsons and Pee-wee's Playhouse. Executive producer Fred Seibert compares the show's animation style to that of Felix the Cat and the Max Fleischer cartoons but says its world is also equally inspired by Dungeons and Dragons and video games. Ward intends the show's world to have a certain physical logic instead of "cartoony slapstick" — even though magic exists in the story, the show's writers try to create an internal consistency in how the characters interact with the world.
Many of the series' writers and storyboard artists have a background in indie comics. Ward characterizes them as "really smart, smartypants people" responsible for introducing weirder and more spiritual ideas into the series during its third season.
The show is set in a fictional continent called the "Land of Ooo" and, although it is not explicitly stated in the show, it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world some time after a nuclear war called the "Great Mushroom War." According to Ward, the show takes place "after the bombs have fallen and magic has come back into the world". During a presentation at the Toronto Comics and Arts Festival, Ward said that this will likely never be directly addressed in the series.
In the holiday special "Holly Jolly Secrets", Finn and Jake discover a few secret VHS tapes by the Ice King. The last tape shows Ice King as a human. In the video, Ice King says his name is Simon Petrikov and he was studying to be an antiquarian of ancient artifacts. In his secret tape, he explains he purchased his golden crown from an old dock worker in northern Scandinavia, a reference that apparently confirms that the "Land of Ooo" is actually a part of Earth. Also, in "Beautopia," a character by the name of Susan Strong is implied to be human as well, although she belongs to a strange fish headed, animal hatted mutant tribe.
Such apocalyptic setting is not implemented in the Random! Cartoons short.
|Jake (the dog) and Finn (the human) doing their trademark fist bump, while Beemo is on the far right of the picture|
Finn the Human (voiced by Zack Shada in the pilot short, where his name was "Pen", and by Jeremy Shada in the TV series) is a 14-year-old human boy who loves nothing more than going on adventures and saving the day. He wears a self-proclaimed 'awesome hat' that covers his extremely long, beautiful, flowing golden hair (which he cuts off in "To Cut a Woman's Hair" and is seen to have grown back in "Mortal Folly", but returns to short in "No One Can Hear You", then again grows hair but is only shoulder length in "Beautopia"), and is prone to strange exclamations and outbursts. Considering himself a hero, Finn has a lust for adventure and swore long ago that he would help anyone in need (except the Ice King), but, being so full of energy, he has trouble in situations that require him to do things other than fight monsters. He is the main protagonist of the show and likely takes his name in the short, Pen, from the show's creator, Pendleton "Pen" Ward. Finn was raised by Jake's parents, as explained in "Memories of Boom Boom Mountain" and shown in "Memory of a Memory" and "Dad's Dungeon".
Jake the Dog (voiced by John DiMaggio in both the pilot and series) is Finn's best friend, a 28-year-old dog with magic powers that allow him to stretch or shrink any part of his body to any shape and almost any size, ranging from becoming gigantic to cover ground quickly to becoming so small that, in "It Came from the Nightosphere," he spends the entirety of an episode in Finn's shirt pocket. Acting as a confidant and mentor to his energetic pal (though he has a tendency to give somewhat sketchy advice), Jake has a laid-back attitude in most situations, but loves adventure and will eagerly fight when he needs to. His powers help Finn considerably in combat and transportation, but are also sometimes used as nothing more than jovial forms of expression. Jake is dating Lady Rainicorn, whom he met in the pilot. He is shown to be quite skilled at playing the viola.
|Princess Bubblegum riding Lady Rainicorn in the sky.|
Princess Bonnibel Bubblegum (voiced by Paige Moss in the pilot short, and Hynden Walch in the TV series, and Isabella Acres when turned younger) - Princess Bubblegum is a bubble gum/human hybrid. She rules the Candy Kingdom, where all of the inhabitants are composed of types of dessert and are sentient or as Finn refers to as "having aspirations". Her proficiency in science and fluency in German are a testament to her high intelligence. Finn had a crush on her, but was too shy to admit it, though in the "Mortal Recoil", he finally admits to liking Bubblegum "a lot", and in "Too Young" and "Wizard Battle," the two kiss. After being rejected again by her in the Season 3 finale "Incendium", Finn finds a new crush (Flame Princess). While Princess Bubblegum is typically kind and well-mannered, her temper can be a powerful force when provoked. Marceline reveals that Bubblegum's first name is "Bonnibel" in "Go with Me". In "Mortal Folly", she admits that she cares about Finn and gives him a sweater she knitted to keep him warm, which proves to save his life against The Lich. In "What was Missing," it is implied that she and Marceline may have had some sort of relationship in the past. In the Season 2 finale "Mortal Recoil", after being possessed by The Lich, she is accidentally shattered and returned to life as a 13-year-old due to the doctors not having enough gum to work with, though it appears that her memories have remained intact. In "Too Young," she becomes 18 again by absorbing the parts sacrificed by her candy subjects in order to reclaim her kingdom from the Earl of Lemongrab.
Lady Rainicorn (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker in the pilot short, and Niki Yang in the TV series) - is a half-rainbow, half-unicorn rainicorn. She can turn objects and people different colors. Her origins can be traced back according to the episode "Her Parents," in which Jake explains how rainicorns and dogs have been battling over the Crystal Dimension for centuries. The episode also alludes to Rainicorns having a taste for human flesh, when her parents attempt to eat Finn, however Lady herself has never shown hostility toward Finn and always has a kind disposition with him. She can fly because her body intercepts light and can dance on it, which also explains her movement and why she has a rainbow pattern. She's Jake's girlfriend and she frequently plays the viola for him while he dances. Jake describes her as "the Rowdy Queen" because she can have fun and fight evil. In the pilot short, she makes pigeon-like sounds to communicate, but in the TV series, she speaks Korean. In both cases, despite being unable to speak the main language of the series, she is able to understand it.
|The Ice King casting a magic spell.|
The Ice King (voiced by John Kassir in the short and Tom Kenny in the TV series) - The main antagonist of the series, around 1,000 years old, the Ice King frequently steals princesses throughout Ooo to forcefully marry them, Princess Bubblegum being his usual target. His magic powers (freezing things by hurling frozen lightning bolts, summoning snow monsters, and flying with his beard) come from the magical crown he wears. Though defined as a sociopathby many, the Ice King is actually lonely and misunderstood, having a generally benevolent relationship with the penguins (primarily one named Gunther, although he is shown in the two-part "Holly Jolly Secrets" episodes naming all penguins Gunther), along with the snow and ice beasts who populate his realm, and secretly envious of Finn and Jake for being such good friends. Ice King's origins are revealed during the events of "Holly Jolly Secrets" when one of his home-video movies showed that he was originally an antiquarian named Simon Petrikov who was taping a documentary of a crown he bought from an old dock worker in northern Scandinavia, predating the Mushroom War. Wearing the crown, Petrikov begins to lose both his mind and then his fiancée Betty, the source of his subconscious need for princesses, deteriorating in both mind and body over the years into his current state. In "Ricardio the Heart Guy," one of Ice King's schemes accidentally caused him to temporarily lose his heart, who became the namesake character of the episode, Ricardio (voiced byGeorge Takei). In a couple of episodes the Ice King has had a more positive role by helping Finn and Jake, and in "Hitman" saving their lives from a hitman named Scorcher (although it was the Ice King who hired Scorcher in the first place).
|Marceline holding an electric bass guitar.|
Marceline the Vampire Queen (voiced by Olivia Olson) - A 1,000-year-old vampire girl introduced as a villain who steals Finn and Jake's home (twice), but later reveals that she only wanted to scare them for fun. Marceline plays a bass guitar, which she made from her family's heirloom battle-axe as revealed in "It Came from the Nightosphere", and occasionally jams with Finn and Jake. She appears to be ambidextrous because she plays her bass right handed in some episodes, and opposite in others. She reveals that vampires actually drink "red" by sucking the color out of red things, and that they only occasionally choose to drink blood. Like a traditional vampire, Marceline is vulnerable to sunlight and is capable of turning into an anthropomorphic bat varying in size. The show generally portrays her as a close friend of Finn and Jake, but she often lets her own interests come before others. The two wounds on her neck imply that she was once human. Also, she is a survivor of the "mushroom war" as stated by series creator Pendleton Ward, and in "Memory of a Memory" a trip into Marceline's mind shows her as a child wandering around the outskirts of a destroyed city. Marceline is the only person to ever address Princess Bubblegum by her first name, Bonnibel. In "What was Missing," it is implied they may have had some sort of relationship in the past. Though Marceline has many things in common with Finn and teases him for fun (kissing him on the cheek just to embarrass him on more than one occasion), the two have made it clear in "Go with Me?" that they do not "like each other in that way". The younger version of Marceline in "Memory of a Memory" was voiced by Ava Acres (the sister of Isabella Acres, voice actress of 13-year-old Princess Bubblegum).
Lumpy Space Princess (voiced by Pendleton Ward) - As her title suggests, Lumpy Space Princess, "LSP" for short, is the princess of Lumpy Space, an alternate dimension. Like all her people, LSP is an extraterrestrial creature known as a "Lumper" which looks like a floating purple cloud with arms and a face, and can convert other beings into Lumpers by biting them, as per "werewolf rules". LSP is spoiled and sarcastic, constantly seeking to impress her peers to the point of cosmetic surgery and punching herself into a ball for a clean-shaven Ice King. She is often shown living outdoors with salvaged furniture and appears to be homeless (although in "Heat Signature," Finn told Jake that LSP "lives like a hobo" instead of "being homeless"), because she has either run away from home or seeks independence as a typical rebellious teenage girl. After Finn and Jake attempt to find Lumpy Space Princess and bring her home in "The Monster", Lumpy Space Princess realizes her parents' true love for her, leading her to go home. She speaks with a thick (albeit masculine) valley girl accent. Her parents are the king and queen of Lumpy Space. It appears that LSP can only float above the ground and cannot fly, although she can turn this off by touching the star on her forehead.
Beemo (a.k.a. BMO; voiced by Niki Yang) - Beemo is a sentient video game console that lives with Finn and Jake. Its appearance contains elements of Vectrex, Game Boy, and Atari 2600 game hardware. Beemo also has the features of other household objects, such as a camera in "Conquest of Cuteness" and a VHS player and alarm clock in "Holly Jolly Secrets". The letters on its side spell "BMO", but it has never been stated if this actually stands for anything. Beemo can transport people into a video game by pressing a button on its face. The button only works if Beemo presses it, and potentially releases game monsters into reality, as revealed in "Guardians of Sunshine". Beemo speaks English with an East Asian accent.
Main article: List of Adventure Time episodes
|Season||Episodes||Season premiere||Season finale|
|Pilot||1||December 7, 2008|
|1||26||April 5, 2010||September 27, 2010|
|2||26||October 11, 2010||May 9, 2011|
|3||26||July 11, 2011||February 13, 2012|
|4||26||April 2, 2012||TBA|
Each Adventure Time episode is about eleven minutes in length; pairs of episodes are often telecast in order to fill a half-hour program time slot. The series has completed three seasons of thirteen episodes each. Its fourth season is scheduled to begin on April 2, 2012, and the show's writers have begun work on the fifth.
Some episodes were drafted, such as "Jake Suit", but were not used; instead, they were incorporated into other episodes.
"Adventure Time makes me wish I were a kid again, just so I could grow up to be as awesome as the kids who are currently watching Adventure Time will be."D.F., Entertainment Weekly
The show has received positive reviews and has developed a cult following among teenagers and adults. Television critic Robert Lloyd, in an article for the LA Times, said it "strikes [him] as a kind of companion piece to the network's [then] currently airing Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Each takes place in a fantastical land peopled with strange, somewhat disturbing characters and has at its center a young male person or person-like thing making his way in that world with the help of unusual, not always reliable, mentors." He went on to say that the show is "not unlike CN's earlier Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, about a boy and his imaginary friend, though [it is] darker and stranger and even less connected to the world as we know it." Lloyd also compared it to "the sort of cartoons they made when cartoons themselves were young and delighted in bringing all things to rubbery life." The show has also garnered much more of an adult and teen fan base than the creators expected. Entertainment Weeklynamed Adventure Time #20 on their The 25 Greatest Animated Series Ever list.
|2008 Annie Awards||Best Animated Short Subject||Pendleton Ward
Larry Leichliter For the original short
|2010 Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Short-format Animated Program||Pendleton Ward
Kent Osborne Larry Leichliter For "My Two Favorite People"
|2011 Annie Awards||Best Animated Television Production for Children||Adventure Time||Nominated|
|2011 Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Short-format Animated Program||For "It Came From the Nightosphere"||Nominated|
|2012 Annie Awards||Best Animated Special Production||For "Thank You"||Nominated|
|Best Storyboarding in a Television Production||Rebecca Sugar||Nominated|
|Directed by||Larry Leichliter
Hugo Morales Pendleton Ward
|Produced by||Kevin Kolde|
|Written by||Pendleton Ward|
|Music by||Casey James Basichis|
|Release date(s)||December 7, 2008|
|Running time||7 minutes|
The short focuses on a boy named Pen (the character who would later be renamed Finn) and a dog named Jake as they learn from Lady Rainicorn that the Ice King has kidnapped Princess Bubblegum, in the hope of marrying her. Declaring that it's "Adventure Time", Pen and Jake set off for the Ice King's mountain lair. Pen and the Ice King fight while Jake remains outside flirting with Lady Rainicorn, ignoring the battle. Just when Pen seems to be gaining the upper hand, the Ice King uses his "frozen lightning bolts" to freeze Pen in a block of ice. For unexplained reasons, this transports Pen's mind "back in time, and to Mars" where he has a short motivational conversation with Abraham Lincoln. After being told to believe in himself, Pen is returned to the present, just in time to see the Ice King fly away with Princess Bubblegum. Chasing after him using Jake's extendable legs, Pen rescues the princess from the Ice King's grasp. Jake pushes the magical crown off the Ice King's head, thereby removing the King's source of power. The Ice King then plummets off screen, yelling a long list of complex threats of things he will do when he returns. The story closes with Princess Bubblegum giving Pen a kiss, which he enjoys but which embarrasses him greatly. He attempts to leave, but Jake claims that they have nowhere else to go and that there are no adventures that need them. Fortunately, some nearby ninjas are stealing an old man's diamonds, and they both run off in pursuit.
Jazwares has produced an assortment of 2, 5, 10 and 20-inch licensed action figures for the series, which launched in Fall of 2011. "Grow Your Own" characters that expand more than 500 percent when immersed in water also hit markets. Role playing toys have also be produced, with a 24-inch "Finn Sword" being released first.
On November 19, 2011, Boom! Studios announced plans for an Adventure Time comic book series written by independent web comic creator Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics). The limited edition series launched February 8, 2012, with art by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb.
A video game based on the series was announced by Pendleton Ward on his Twitter. The game will be developed by WayForward Technologies for the Nintendo DS and will be released sometime during 2012.
|DVD title||Season(s)||Aspect ratio||Episode count||Time length||Release date|
|Adventure Time: My Two Favorite People||1, 2||16:9||12||137 minutes||September 27, 2011(USA)|
February 7, 2012(CAN).
|Adventure Time: It Came From the Nightosphere||1, 2, 3||16:9||16||176 minutes||March 6, 2012|
|Adventure Time: The Complete First Season||1||16:9||26||286 minutes||July 10, 2012|
|DVD title||Season(s)||Aspect ratio||Episode count||Time length||Release date|
|Adventure Time: Season 1: Volume 1||1||16:9||10 (episode 1-10)||109 minutes||October 5, 2011|
|Adventure Time: Season 1: Volume 2||1||16:9||8 (episode 11-18)||87 minutes||October 5, 2011|
|Adventure Time: Season 1: Volume 3||1||16:9||8 (episode 19-26)||88 minutes||October 5, 2011|
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