Cartoon Network // 2011 // 137 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Josh Rode (Retired) // September 25th, 2011
The fun will never end.
There's something special about being twelve years old. It's the twilight between childhood and adulthood, when aspects of both hold equal importance. Still young enough to play hide-and-seek, yet old enough to enjoy a pickup basketball game. A stick can become a rifle or a sword, but it can also be used to start a fire. Girls are playground companions, but...well, games of a different sort begin to emerge. It is a unique period in anyone's life, filled with convoluted emotions that are impossible to label, such as the sudden, inexplicable, yet overpowering feelings that occur in the presence of a cute princess (in the Land of Ooo, every female is either a princess or a queen).
Adventure Time: My Two Favorite People is all about being a twelve-year-old boy. The boy's name is Finn, and he is a warrior without peer. He and his best friend, the stretchable dog Jake, travel around the extraordinarily strange Land of Ooo helping sentient hot dogs, clouds, pieces of candy, and a princess made entirely out of bubble gum.
The twelve episodes that make up the DVD represent a sampling from the first two seasons of Adventure Time and are placed on the disc in no particular order.
* "My Two Favorite People" -- Jake wants to spend time with both best friend Finn and girlfriend Lady Rainicorn, so he hatches a plan to do things all three of them can enjoy together. His plan works well...perhaps a little too well.
* "Evicted!" -- A millennia-year-old vampire unexpectedly shows up at Finn and Jake's tree house and claims it's her property, so the boys are forced to seek a new home.
* "Ricardio the Heart Guy" -- A living heart captures the attention of Princess Bubblegum. Finn becomes convinced Ricardio is not what he seems; is he right, or is it just jealousy?
* "Trouble in Lumpy Space" -- Jake gets bitten by Lumpy Space Princess, so Finn and Jake rush to Lumpy Space to find the cure.
* "Tree Trunks" -- A sweet apple-pie-making elephant wants to go on an adventure to eat a legendary crystal apple, and Finn and Jake promise to help.
* "Dungeon" -- Finn helps Princess Bubblegum to set up signs warning people away from a deep, mysterious dungeon, then can't help but enter it himself.
* "The Pods" -- Finn and Jake must figure out which of three seemingly innocuous vines is evil before it's too late.
* "The Limit" -- Jake stretches himself too far in order to help a group of hot dog knights get to the end of a maze.
* "Go With Me" -- Finn needs a date to movie night, but his attempts to woo Princess Bubblegum result in disaster.
* "The Eyes" -- A horse stands on a hill and stares unblinking at Finn and Jake's house, unnerving both of them.
* "The Chamber of Frozen Blades" -- Finn and Jake infiltrate the Ice King's mountain lair to uncover his nefarious princess-stealing plan. Assuming such a plan exists, which looks more doubtful by the moment.
* "To Cut a Woman's Hair" -- Finn must bring hair from a princess' head to a witch in order to save Jake from an unspeakable fate.
You could think of Adventure Time as a boy's escape from reality, where he imagines a life of adventure in a fantasy-based land filled with everything boys love, and where he and his pet are sword-wielding heroes who constantly rescue damsels in distress. Of course, the show never even hints at a "real world," and attributing to it anything beyond what's on the screen is probably pointless.
However you perceive it, the show is clearly not for everyone; it contains unpredictable people, places, and storylines, some of which end with abrupt twists that leave the audience befuddled. It contains deaths and kidnappings and fleeting moments of sexual subtext ("Come on, my darling," says Lady Rainicorn to Jake as she offers him a ride. "Wrap your legs around me."). There is overt sexuality as well, filtered through the eyes of a man-child: Finn is gaga for Princess Bubblegum, but the farthest ahead he can imagine is receiving a kiss from her.
On the other hand, there are true life lessons. Finn and Jake learn to gather courage to do something hard or face a strong enemy. They discover that not everyone can be trusted, but some people can be trusted to the ends of the world. They make mistakes and hurt people unintentionally, and then have to apologize. Finn even learns a thing or two about women. Sort of.
The chemistry between Finn and Jake is the motor that keeps the show running, and the voice actors do a good job of giving a little depth to their characters. Jeremy Shada's (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) middle-pitched Finn sounds very much like a pre-teen, and he manages a decent array of emotional values. John Di Maggio (Futurama) gives Jake an older voice to match the dog's lengthier -- and therefore, supposedly, wiser -- outlook on life. The show uses this supposition to good effect in "Go With Me," featuring Jake's tips for wooing women.
The art is as simple as can be, with only hints of shading or texture, and many characters lack basic body parts (such as Finn's absent nose). The colors are simple as well, but are nice and bright. The show comes with Dolby 2.0 stereo sound; voices are clear, and the occasional music is subtle and does a good job of fitting the scene. The only extra is a "Little Did You Know" featurette that gives short, written character profiles.
Adventure Time: My Two Favorite People is an often funny, sometimes heartwarming, and always bizarre show that connects directly to the heart of its target audience. Anyone outside of that group will likely wonder what all the fuss is about. This compilation is only recommended for those who aren't going to purchase the inevitable season collections.
Review content copyright © 2011 Josh Rode; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Cartoon Network
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 137 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated