Remember when life was all about punching monsters and rescuing princesses with your best friend?
I don’t, but I recall seriously wanting things to work that way. Maybe that’s what attracts me to Adventure Time with Finn and Jake, the nonsensical Cartoon Network series about two carefree friends and their adventures fighting evil in the Land of Ooo.
The show is an interesting mix of high fantasy and weird, sometimes awkward comedy. The episodes are full of dragons, wizards, knights and all that other sword-and-sorcery stuff, but it rarely takes itself seriously.
Finn is a 12-year-old human boy and full time adventurer. He is optimistic to a fault, lives to smite evil and will help anybody in need; even to his own detriment. He isn’t the brightest kid, and he often ends up overestimating his abilities, confused by alternate viewpoints or causing others harm in his attempts to help a friend or complete a quest. Finn also has a unique vocabulary, using a lot of made-up words, odd adjectives and unusual exclamations.
His best friend and adoptive brother, Jake, is a magical pug who can change his body shape, allowing him to grow, shrink, stretch and alter his limbs to create various objects such as keys and weapons. He takes on the role of Finns mentor, often attempting to seem wise though he isn’t all that smart. Jake can also be quite lazy and inconsiderate. He is a talented viola player and is bilingual.
Colorful supporting characters add their own neurosis to show. Cheerful Princess Bubblegum, the scientifically minded and doting ruler of the Candy Kingdom, is often the catalyst for Finn and Jake’s adventures, though sometimes she seems more capable than the two of them together. The Ice King searches for happiness by kidnapping princesses in his obsessive quest for a wife and spying on people. Grungy teen rocker Marceline the Vampire Queen is seemingly cruel but really just likes playing games with Finn’s head. Jake’s girlfriend, Lady Rainicorn is a combination unicorn and rainbow (oviously), who speeks Korean and fly. A huge cast of princesses, including Hotdog Princess, Wildberry Princess and Lumpy Space Princess (a spoiled valley girl in purple cloud form) are in constant need of rescue.
Finn and Jake’s adventures usually start in the traditional ways; a friend needs help, a quest for a magical object or something unforeseen and outrageous happens during the undertaking of a simple task. Often, the duo’s own personality traits and laid back attitude is their own worst enemy.
I like Finn and Jake for it’s combination of odd humor, which can range from outrageous to understated and at times can be quite clever. It is just a bit ahead of the usual dumb or vulgar joke curve in similar nonsensical shows. It also pokes fun at the many staples of the fantasy realms. I can appreciate the nod to more innocent times; the duo face a variety of deadly situations, but things always work out somehow. It’s just silly, fun adventures.
Adventure Time with Finn and Jake was created by Pendleton Ward, and originally started as a internet short, where it became a viral hit. Adventure Time currently has two seasons of 13 episodes under its belt.