Cartoon Network // 2012 // 176 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Mac McEntire // November 18th, 2012
"Don't worry, princess. We'll protect your juice!"
By now, there's no denying that Adventure Time has a huge following. At the last comic book convention I was at, there were more hot girls wearing costumes of Finn from Adventure Time then there were wearing the "Slave Leia" costume. (Not that I keep a count on such things...)
Now that Adventure Time is a bona fide phenomenon, here's the latest DVD release, complete with a Finn hat for your next convention appearance.
Finn the human (Jeremy Shada) and Jake the dog (John DiMaggio, Futurama) travel across a vast fantasy landscape, having all manner of adventures, including battling monsters, eating candy, rescuing princesses, playing video games, making new friends, and lots and lots of dancing.
This is not a season set, but a "best of" release, containing the following episodes:
* "Jake Vs. Me-mow"
* "The Jiggler"
* "What Is Life?"
* "His Hero"
* "Susan Strong"
* "Belly of the Beast"
* "Mortal Folly"
* "Mortal Recoil"
* "Too Young"
* "Five Short Greybles"
* "Thank You"
* "Ocean of Fear"
* "Dad's Dungeon"
* "Another Way"
Adventure Time takes place in a world in which absolutely anything is possible. This is both the show's big selling point and its biggest weakness. There are simply no "rules" to this world, which means that any completely insane thing the writers and animators can dream up is doable on screen. In a good way, it keeps you watching, because of the absolute randomness of it all. On the negative side, it's frustrating because viewers are never quite sure exactly who these characters are, or what type of world this is.
The animation style is best described as...cute. Every couple of seconds, something adorable happens. There's a city made entirely of candy people, which are cute. Almost everything has cute, smiling faces and little button eyes on them. Even Finn and Jake could be considered cute, when drawn normally. This would seem at first to be intentional, so the show can appeal to kids. Watching closely, however, I believe there is more to it than that. The fact that everything so overtly cute is part of the joke. It's as if the animators are trying to one-up each other to see who can craft the most sickeningly-sweet scene possible. I can surmise this because of how there is so often an underlying darkness lurking beneath the cuteness. The titular "Jake vs. Me-mow" episode introduces a tiny little striped cat as the antagonist. That same cat threatens to assassinate a princess, with the word "assassinate" actually used several times, not to mention poisoning Jake and cutting up Finn with a knife. It's like the violence of 24 as retold by Strawberry Shortcake.
The DVD's picture and audio are clear and sharp, making the most of the wildly bright colors and the kooky sound effects. The only bonus feature on the disc is a "Little Did You Know" text feature with facts about the show and its characters. The other extra is, of course, a replica of Finns white hat. Made for an adult-sized head, it fits snugly over the top of the head and around the ears, fastening under the chin with Velcro. (Not that I tried it on or anything...)
This is not a show for everyone. Some folks will love it for its rampant randomness, and others will hate it for that same rampant randomness. Put it in your rental queue before you commit to buy.
Review content copyright © 2012 Mac McEntire; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Cartoon Network
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 176 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Text Feature
* Finn's Hat
* Official Site