Written By: Catherine Wolinski
Finn and Jake fans, get ready to reenter the Land of Ooo. Adventure Time, the critically acclaimed animated series on Cartoon Network, will begin airing new episodes next week—the young television show embarks on its fourth season on Monday, Jan. 16.
What’s not to love about a heroic boy and his magical dog taking on quests throughout a mystical land of monsters and bubblegum? Some might say there are a few things, but they risk being refuted. Though passed up twice by Nickelodeon in 2008, Adventure Time (originally titled Adventure Time with Finn and Jake) was picked up by Cartoon Network later that year, to begin airing in April 2010. Nearly two years later, the adventurous television series continues to win the hearts of many. The PG series has garnered a cult following that captures children and adults alike, along with commercial success, award nominations, and praise from critics.
“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,” says D.F., a critic from Entertainment Weekly.
This remark holds quite a truth to it—viewers are constantly in awe of the surrealist scenes, electric soundtrack, and bizarre characters, all of which are inhuman and range from gremlin to Berry Princess. Although it is primarily a kids program, chock full of colorful landscapes, lighthearted escapades, and goofy facial expressions, the show as a whole is
far from simple or childish. Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward uses a unique style to communicate a sense of magic in a post-apocalyptic world, a setting which tends to include punchy subject matter that far surpasses the cognitive awareness of its target audience. Finn, presumed to be the only human left, employs himself as a hero of the various worlds within the Land of Ooo, fighting evil and boredom as he goes from adventure to adventure with his sidekick Jake. While it is true that Finn and Jake are most often concerned with the safety of various princesses, they are also faced with dark situations, like the lonely Ice King who tries to capture and marry said princesses though he looks to be a much older man.
According to television critic Robert Lloyd, Adventure Time exhibits “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.”
Both disconcerting and delightful, Adventure Time proves that our interaction with the world can be far from ordinary. For those looking for weeknight television adventures, tune in to Cartoon Network this January.