After a randomly aired animated short became a viral hit on the internet, “Adventure Time” creator Pendleton Ward was picked up by Cartoon Network to bring his creative talents into mainstream viewing. The main idea behind the cartoon revolves around a 14 year old boy named Finn and his talking dog Jake. They live in the Land of Ooo, a fantasy land with tinges of post-apocalyptic scenery. It’s like an animated version of old Nintendo games combined with flavors of Dungeon and Dragons landscapes.
I will fully admit that as being a 35 year old man, I openly laughed consistently in nearly every episode of “Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake”. Although it is hard to tell you exactly what I laughed at as the 10 minute episodes are usually simplistic in plot however they are peppered with hundreds of smaller animations and actions that make up the experience. While technically a kid’s show, I’d be hard pressed to find any fun loving human to not be charmed by what happens onscreen. There are many references to adult going’s ons and there is a definite intellect in the seemingly random happenings. Kids, who may not understand the depth of the humor will still enjoy the visuals overflowing with cuteness. And the cuteness comes in many forms, such as anthropomorphic Peppermint Starlight Mints, dogs, cats, trees, goblins, tarts, cinnamon buns and many more creatively drawn beings.
There is a lot packed into every ten minute adventure. With episode titles such as The Other Tarts, Wizard Battle and Card Wars there has to be. A lot of the music is inspired by the old 8 bit Nintendo soundtracks of my youth. Several episode also have original works that are sung by various character, usually perfectly emulating anything that is heard on modern rock stations nowadays. “Adventure Time” is a cult hit amongst aspiring cartoonists and is quoted hundreds of times daily in the Twitterverse. I can now see why as there is some definite talent behind it.
The standard DVD presentation of “Adventure Time” is shown in 1.78:1 just like it was when originally broadcast on TV. Unfortunately the type of animation used is not overly pretty in standard definition. Even though the animation is simple, it relies heavily in rounded edges and circular beings. This causes quite a bit of aliasing and jaggies. It does not look horrible, just not terribly pleasing. Colors are fine throughout. The color palette of the show leans towards grays and darkish blues but there are many other brighter colors to be seen as well but they lack pop.
The only audio ius a 2.0 Dolby Digital track which is suitable for this type of show. There are not many whiz-bang audio moments as this is more of a visual experience accompanied by dialogue and the occasional songs that crop up from time to time. Everything is clear and there are no major issues.
No much going on here in the Extras department except for a feature entitled “Little Did You Know” which is an interactive animated bio screen for six of the characters in the show. You can read them all in about 14 seconds. Slight humorous but probably will not revisit a second time. On a side note- the subtitles started on with the disc
“Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake” is an addictive cartoon backed by tremendous wit and intelligence. There is nothing deep about it; however, it is a wonderfully entertaining diversion. Fans of the series have complained that the DVD releases are not actually chronologically shown seasons but instead, randomly assimilated episodes throughout the entire series? This makes the title of the DVD all the more curious as Fionna and Cake are barely shown. As for the technical presentation of the DVD, it probably looked better being televised in HD. That does not necessarily mean that it is bad, just subpar to what it could be. Recommended to anyone who needs a laugh in a bizarre kind of way. I liked it. It was perfect while drinking coffee on a Sunday morning.