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Adventure Time (also known as Adventure Time with Finn & Jake) is an American animated television series created by Pendleton Ward. It is based on the animated short "Adventure Time" that aired as part of Frederator Studios' Random! Cartoons on Nickelodeon. The series focuses on the surreal adventures undertaken by two best friends and adopted brothers: Finn (a 16 year old boy as of the end of Season 6) and Jake (a dog with magical powers) that dwell in the Land of Ooo. In September 2008, the short was officially greenlit for a series by Cartoon Network. Half-episode "sneak peeks" aired on March 11 and 18, 2010, and the series officially premiered on April 2, 2010.
16-year-old Finn, who was found in the woods as a baby by Jake's parent's, Joshua and Margret, and his best friend and adopted brother Jake, a dog with magical powers, are adventurers living in the Land of Ooo, a setting full of surreal characters, with fantasy and post-apocalyptic elements. The duo's typical adventures involve saving princesses, fighting evil monsters, exploring dungeons, and helping people in need. They also meet characters with strange characteristics.
- Finn (voiced by Zack Shada in short, Jemery Shada in series) - A 16-year-old human boy who enjoys defeating evil forces and is skilled at multiple forms of combat. He used to have a crush on Princess Bubblegum, until the episode Incendium, when Princess Bubblegum dumps him, making him depressed. He also used to date Flame Princess, until she dumped him in the episode Frost and Fire. He wears a self-proclaimed 'awesome hat' that covers his blond hair, and is prone to strange exclamations and outbursts. He has a lust for adventure and will help anyone in need. Finn is known to not to hurt anyone that is not evil. Finn also uses 80's lingo such as righteous. Finn is known to be bad at math, although his spontaneous outbursts imply an appreciation of the subject (e.g. 'mathematical!',"algebraic!", "rhombus!"). Though he can swim, he has an intense fear of the ocean. Whenever he sings, his voice has an autotuned sound to it, because he swallowed a small computer. He is the main protagonist of the show. In the pilot, Finn's name was Pen, ich can be explained by the creator's name, Pendleton Ward.
- Jake (voiced by John DiMaggio) - A shape-shifting wise old dog. He is Finn's best friend. Acting at times as a moral compass to his energetic pal, Jake has a laid-back attitude to most situations, but loves adventure, and will fight when he needs to. He is the boyfriend of Lady Rainicorn, whom he met in the pilot. Also, he understands Rainicorn, who speaks Korean. His powers help Finn considerably in combat, but are also sometimes used just for jovial forms of expression. He is shown to be quite skilled at playing the viola, although this talent is often unappreciated, as it is shown to bore Finn. Jake seems to enjoy songs and rhyming (e.g. "Solving crimes and makin' up rhymes"). All his "most important lessons" are said in song. He is the deuteragonist of the show. Jake gets very jealous, as seen when Lady Rainicorn starts hanging out with Finn. He got Tiffany, a boy, as a replacement. Also, as seen in "Power Animal" Jake has a habit for being unfocused and ends up becoming more unfocused to save Finn. As of the Season 5 episode, Jake the Dad, he and Lady Rainicorn have 5 rainicorn-puppies. The puppies names are Viola (respectfully named after Jake's and Lady Rainicorn's interest of playing the viola), T.V, Kim-Kil-Whan, Charlie and Jake Jr.
- Princess Bubblegum (voiced by Hynden Walch in the TV series, Isabella Acres when turned younger, and by Paige Moss in the original pilot short) – Princess Bubblegum is a bubblegum humanoid, comparable to the inhabitants of Candy Kingdom, which she rules, who are all composed of types of desserts and candies. The official series website has described her as "a millionaire nerd enthusiast [who] immerses herself in every branch of geekdom". She and Finn have a complex relationship; although she cares for him a great deal, she does not seem to return his love for her. In the second season finale "Mortal Recoil", after being possessed by The Lich, she was accidentally shattered and returned to life as a 13-year-old due to the doctors not having enough gum to work with, though it appears that her memories have remained intact. In "Too Young", she becomes 18 again by absorbing the parts sacrificed by her candy subjects in order to reclaim her kingdom from the Earl of Lemongrab. After her brush with death, she has begun to feel more and more vulnerable; as a result, she created the clone-Sphinx named Goliad to serve as her heir lest she die on the throne.
- Marceline the Vampire Queen (voiced by Olivia Olson, Ava Acres when younger, and Cloris Leachman when older) – Marceline is a half-demon vampire, and the eponymous Vampire Queen, after having killed the previous Vampire King, according to Ward. Although she is over a thousand, she appears in the form of a young adult. In addition, the circumstances surrounding her transformation into a vampire are unknown. She is usually shown playing her axe bass, which was formerly her family's heirloom battle axe. Marceline and her father, Hunson Abadeer, have trouble accepting one another. Initially, Marceline feels that her father does not care for her, and expresses her feelings through music. Furthermore, Abadeer constantly pressures Marceline to follow in the family business and take over ruling the Nightosphere, a prospective job Marceline does not want. Marceline and the Ice King also have a complicated relationship. In the episode "I Remember You", it is revealed that the Ice King—then, the human man named Simon Petrikov—befriended Marceline during the aftermath of the Mushroom War.
- Lumpy Space Princess (voiced by Pendleton Ward) – Lumpy Space Princess (often abbreviated as LSP) is the princess of Lumpy Space, an alternate dimension. As a "Lumper", made out of "irradiated stardust", she can convert other beings into Lumpers by biting them. LSP is spoiled and sarcastic, and is often shown living outdoors with salvaged furniture and appears to be homeless, because she has run away from her parents, who are the king and queen of Lumpy Space. LSP's relationship to Finn and Jake has always come off as nonchalant, but in the episode "Gotcha", LSP realizes that Finn is a person of good moral standing who teaches her that beauty comes from the inside, and in her premiere episode, she reveals to Finn that he's supposed to be her real friend, not like the "fake" ones she has in Lumpy Space.
- BMO (voiced by Niki Yang) – Sometimes written phonetically as Beemo, BMO is a sentient video game console-shaped robot that lives with Finn and Jake. BMO is genderless. Its appearance has been compared to a "Game Boy and Macintosh mashup". BMO also has the features of other household objects, such as a portable electrical outlet, music player, camera, alarm clock, flashlight, strobe light and video player. While BMO is an object used for recreation on Finn and Jake's parts, it is still considered a close friend and treated as an equal by the two. BMO speaks English with a Korean accent. In the episode "Five Short Graybles", it was revealed that BMO secretly imitates human habits like brushing its teeth and using the toilet. BMO was created by Moseph "Mo" Giovanni, an inventor of robots who created the entire MO line, a thousand years before the events of the series. Though he created millions of robots, Giovanni specifically created BMO to understand fun; Giovanni intended him to help him raise his own son, but because he never had kids, he released BMO to find another family.
- Lady Rainicorn (voiced by Niki Yang in the TV series, and by Dee Bradley Baker in the original pilot short) – Lady Rainicorn is a member of the half-rainbow, half-unicorn creatures called Rainicorns, as well as Jake's girlfriend and Princess Bubblegum's companion. She can turn objects and people different colors, and she can fly because her body intercepts light and can "dance" on it, which also explains her movement and why she has a rainbow pattern. Her origins can be traced back according to the episode "Her Parents" in which Jake explains how Rainicorns and dogs had been battling over territory in the Crystal Dimension for centuries. The episode also alludes to Rainicorns having a taste for human flesh, when her parents attempt to eat Finn. In the pilot short, she makes pigeon-like sounds to communicate, but in the series, she speaks Korean. Jake and Lady's relationship is a serious one, and in the end of the episode "Lady and Peebles", it was revealed that Lady was pregnant. In "Jake the Dad", Lady bears five puppies with Jake: Charlie, T.V., Viola, Kim Kil Whan, and Jake Jr.
- Flame Princess (voiced by Jessica DiCicco) – Flame Princess is the 15-year old princess of the Fire Kingdom and is one of Finn's friends. She was in a relationship with Finn. Like all other inhabitants of the Fire Kingdom, she is covered with fire, the very flames emitted from her body being extensions of herself that intensify with rage. While she was initially referred to as being destructive by her own father—who even called her his "evil daughter"—she has a more naive nature that prompts her to act on her emotions; Finn describes her as "passionate". In the episode "Burning Low", it was revealed that Princess Bubblegum had Flame Princess locked up so that she that her emotions would not trigger a catastrophic chemical reaction that could potentially destroy the world. In the episode "Ignition Point", after asking Finn to retrieve candles from the Fire Kingdom, she inadvertently expressed her dislike of her father; this largely stems from the fact that he kept her imprisoned for so long. Furthermore, it was revealed that her family is evil and that the candles requested by her were used as a method to spread the family evil way to the next generation, unbeknownst to her. Eventually, Flame Princess begins to question herself, and doubts whether or not she is in fact evil. Finn is insistent that she is not evil and takes her on a journey into a dungeon to help her sort out her thoughts. Flame Princess comes to the conclusion that, while she is a lover of destruction, she only enjoys destroying bad guys.
- Cinnamon Bun (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker), Cinnamon Bun is a cinnamon roll that lives in the Candy Kingdom and usually tries to impress people by doing tricks or volunteering for tasks, but usually ends up failing. Princess Bubblegum refers to him as being "half baked". He became the new Royal Tart Toter after the old Royal Tart Toter became senile.
- Goliad (vocied by Wendy Linehan) – Goliad is an eternal Candy sphinx made by Princess Bubblegum as her successor to the throne. Although She is currently stuck in a psychic showdown with her brother Stormo (also made by Princess Bubblegum), they will both return at a later point in the show.
- Peppermint Butler (voiced by Steve Little) – Peppermint Butler is a peppermint candy that lives in the Candy Kingdom and is Princess Bubblegum's butler. It is revealed that he is good friends with Death and can summon a portal to the land of the dead. He also has a very dark and strange side, at one time requesting Finn and Jake's flesh. In "The Suitor", Peppermint Butler holds Cinnamon Bun against his will and forces a demon to possess his body. It is also implied that he has violent tendencies in "The Eyes", when he calls Finn and Jake to help him dispose of a body he "found" in his yard.
- Gunter (voiced by Tom Kenny) – Gunter is the name of the penguin that most commonly accompanies the Ice King. Although the character has appeared in many episodes, it is heavily implied that there are many Gunters, and it is simply the name that the Ice King gives to all of his penguins. The episode "Simon and Marcy" also suggests that the name "Gunter" is somehow connected to the ice crown, as Simon Petrikov refers to a younger Marceline as "Gunter" twice while under the crown's influence.
- N.E.P.T.R. (voiced by Andy Milonakis) – N.E.P.T.R. (which is an acronym standing for "Never ending pie throwing robot") is sentient robot made by Finn and powered by one of the Ice King's lighting bolts. As such, he has a father-son connection with both Finn and the Ice King.N.E.P.T.R. is often neglected by others; in "Hot to the Touch" he returns after being forgotten about in a game of hide-and-seek, in "BMO Noire" BMO tells him that they are different and cannot spend time together, and in "Mystery Dungeon" the Ice King mistakes N.E.P.T.R. for BMO.
- Tree Trunks (voiced by Polly Lou Livingston) – Tree Trunks is a miniature yellow elephant friend of Finn and Jake. Tree Trunks lives in a little home in the forest surrounded by her apple orchard. Tree Trunks uses the apples in the orchard to make apple pies.</sup> In her debut episode, when she attempted to eat a crystal apple, she was accidentally transported to a dimension filled with Crystal People where she was transformed into the despotic and evil Quartzion. Finn and Jake were able to restore her to normal and get her back to Ooo. Tree Trunks is in a relationship with a pig she met during the events of "The Apple Thief".
- Billy (voiced by Lou Ferrigno) – According to Finn and Jake, Billy is "the greatest warrior ever!" He was once a great hero who is known to have rescued Cotton Candy Princess from the Fire Count, slain an evil ocean, and fought against a giant bear. Perhaps most importantly, he is also said to have defeated the Lich in his youth. As time wore on, however, he lost hope in fighting and developed a more pacifist outlook into solving the woes of the world; despite this, Finn is able to restore his hope once again in the episode "His Hero". In "The Lich", the Lich kills Billy and possesses his body and tricks Finn and Jake into using the Enchiridion to open a portal into other dimensions.
- The Earl of Lemongrab (voiced by Justin Roiland) – More commonly called Lemongrab, Lemongrab was the first being Princess Bubblegum ever created, and he lives in a realm also called Lemongrab. He is socially dysfunctional, and has trouble interacting with Candy Kingdom citizens due to his intolerance towards anything happy or comical.In "Too Young," he takes over as ruler of the Candy Kingdom when Bubblegum is deemed too young after being de-aged in the events of "Mortal Recoil"; he ends up jailing most of the candy subjects before Bubblegum returns to her original age. In "You Made Me," Lemongrab spies on the candy citizens while they sleep, which upsets Bubblegum; she attempts to fix him by giving him subjects to rule over, but when this fails, Bubblegum creates him a clone so that he has someone who understands him. In "All Your Fault" the Lemongrabs begin making lemon-based candy citizens out of the food that Bubblegum sent them. Soon, they create a massive citizenry composed of similar-minded lemon beings.
- Snail (voiced by Pendleton Ward) – The snail is an easter egg that appears in every episode, and usually waves happily at the camera. Inspired by the in-jokes in episodes of The Simpsons, Ward has acknowledged that he wanted to "make a game out of every episode of Adventure Time, where you could freeze-frame and find things in the background", such as the snail. The snail also serves an important plot point in the series; in the second season episode "Mortal Folly", it is possessed by The Lich. After The Lich's physical body is destroyed in the following episode, it repossesses the snail until the events of the fourth season finale "The Lich".
- Ice King (voiced by Tom Kenny in the TV series, and by John Kassir in the original pilot short) – The Ice King is a recurring antagonist of the series, and is 1,043 years old. The Ice King frequently steals princesses throughout Ooo to forcefully marry them, Princess Bubblegum being his usual target. His ice-based magic abilities come from a magical crown he wears, which directly causes his insanity. Though defined as completely crazy by many, the Ice King is actually lonely and misunderstood, having a generally benevolent relationship with the penguins of his realm. Furthermore, he is secretly envious of Finn and Jake for being such good friends. Finn and Jake learned during the events of "Holly Jolly Secrets" that the Ice King was originally a human antiquarian named Simon Petrikov who bought his crown from a dock worker in northern Scandinavia, predating the Mushroom War. Wearing the crown, Petrikov began to lose both his mind and then his fiancée Betty; this explains his subconscious need for princesses. He soon began deteriorating in both mind and body over the years into his current state. Sometime before the Mushroom War he also discovered the Enchiridion. 996 years before the events of the series and directly after the Mushroom War, he met, befriended, and took care of young Marceline. Eventually, he realized that his deteriorating mind and behavior would possibly become a threat to young Marceline. Thus, he wrote a letter to Marceline, describing why he could not help her anymore and imploring her to forgive him for whatever wrong he might do with the crown possessing him.
- Ricardio (voiced by George Takei) – Ice King's heart which became a sentient being as the result of Ice King's attempt at a love spell. Like his source, Ricardio initially had desires for Princess Bubblegum's heart; however, unlike the Ice King, Ricardio literally wanted to cut out Bubblegum's heart "and make out with it". His first appearance is in "Ricardio the Heart Guy", after Ice King fails at creating a love spell and instead animates Ricardio from his own body. Ricardio attempted to get Princess Bubblegum's heart but Finn and Jake saved her and Ricardio returned to Ice King. Ricardio later returned in the fourth season episode "Lady and Peebles" as a fully independent being, complete with bio-engineered arms and legs. Despite this, Bubblegum was able to best him at hand-to-hand combat, and he limped off, defeated. The Ice King was later given a replacement heart made out of toffee and maracas, as well as some of Ricardio's bio-engineered sinew.
- Magic Man (voiced by Tom Kenny) – Magic Man is a Martian who uses his talent with magic to nihilistically harm others. He is first introduced in the episode "Freak City", where he transforms Finn into a huge foot. He returns in the fourth season entry "Sons of Mars", where his backstory is revealed. It is heavily hinted that the reason he uses his powers maliciously is because his former Martian companion, Margles, was killed. He makes a brief reappearance in the fifth season episode "All the Little People", in which he gives Finn the titular miniature people.
- Hunson Abadeer (voiced by Martin Olson) – Hunson is the father of Marceline and the "completely evil" lord of the Nightosphere. Hunson Abadeer possesses a pendant that infuses him with power over the Nightosphereʻs chaotic evil that gives him the ability to suck the souls out of his victims. He appears first in the episode "It Came from the Nightosphere" where Finn summons him by acting out the ritual Marceline explained to him. Hunson tries to suck all the souls out of everyone before hearing the song Marceline wrote based on him eating her French fries in the past, managing to make peace with his daughter and return to the Nightosphere. However, during the events of "Return to the Nightosphere"/"Daddy's Little Monster", Hunson later attempted to get Marceline to follow in his footsteps by tricking her into taking his pendant before eventually realizing his mistake and taking it back from Finn, who put it on to save Marceline from the "Chaotic Evil" that possessed the amulet, and whoever wore it.
- The Lich (voiced by Ron Perlman) – The Lich is an ancient, diabolical, undead sorcerer who came into being near the end of Mushroom War via a "mutagenic bomb". He tried to destroy the world but was defeated and imprisoned within amber by Billy within the Candy Kingdom's tree many years ago. After being freed from his prison by using a magic incantation to take control of a snail, the Lich sets out to regain his power and destroy Ooo, but his body is destroyed by Finn, who uses the sweater Princess Bubblegum gave him to rip off the top of his skull-collapsing his entire body. However, the Lich's disembodied spirit survived and took possession of Princess Bubblegum's body momentarily before ending up in the snail that initially released him from the amber.Going into hiding in his snail vessel, the Lich arranged for a bear to trick Finn into giving him the Enchiridion for his master plan: to attach the jewels from the various crowns onto the book and create a portal to the Time Room, the domain of the omnipotent Prismo (voiced by Kumail Nanjiani) who grants wishes. Taking Billy's body as his own, the Lich attempted to achieve his plan of wishing that all life was eliminated. The Lich's scheme ultimately failed, however, when Jake used his wish to alter the Lich's original request.
- Main article: Adventure Time/Episodes
Season 1 of the series ran from April 5, 2010 to September 27, 2010. After the premiere episode drew strong TV ratings, earning the number one spot in many kids demographics, Cartoon Network renewed the show for a second season of 13 half-hours (26 episodes). For the first five and a half seasons, the show aired on Monday nights. However, starting with the sixth season episode "Breezy", the show began to shift both its timeslot and its day of airing.
It was renewed for a third season of 26 episodes.
Season 2 ran from October 11, 2010 to May 9, 2011; Season 3 from July 11, 2011 to February 13, 2012; Season 4 from April 2, 2012 to October 22, 2012; Season 5 from November 12, 2012 to March 17, 2014, Season 6 from April 21, 2014 to June 5, 2015, and Season 7 from November 2, 2015 to March 19, 2016. Season 8 aired on January 23, 2017, which ended on February 2, 2017. Season 9 began airing on April 21, 2017.
On September 29, 2016, it was announced that the series would conclude in 2018, after the airing of its ninth season.
Following the animated short, Frederator Studios pitched an Adventure Time series to Nickelodeon, but the network passed on it twice. The studio then approached Cartoon Network, with creator Pendleton Ward delivering them an early storyboard for "The Enchiridion", showing that the premise could be expanded into a series while maintaining elements from the original short: funny catchphrases and dances, an awkward kiss moment with the princess, and an "Abe Lincoln moment." Cartoon Network greenlit the first season in September 2008, and "The Enchiridion" would become the first produced episode.
Series creator Pendleton Ward has stated that the artistic style is influenced by his time at CalArts and later working as a storyboard artist on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. He tries to include "beautiful" moments like those in Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro and some subversive humor, inspired by series like The Simpsons and Pee-wee's Playhouse. Executive producer Fred Seibert compares the show's animation style to that of Felix the Cat and the Max Fleischer cartoons but says its world is also equally inspired by video games. Ward intends the show's world to have a certain physical logic instead of "cartoony slapstick" -- even though magic exists in the story, the show's writers try to create an internal consistency in how the characters interact with the world.
Ward describes the character Finn as "fiery little kid" with strong morals, while Jake is based on Bill Murray's character in the movie Meatballs, as a laidback twenty-something who usually jokes around, but occasionally gives good advice.
The show has received generally positive reviews. Television critic Robert Lloyd, in an article for the Los Angeles Times covering the new series, said it, "strikes [him] as a kind of companion piece to the network's currently airing Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Each takes place in 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." He went on to say that the show is, "not unlike CN's earlier Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, about a boy and his imaginary friend, though [it is] darker and stranger and even less connected to the world as we know it." Lloyd also compared it to, "the sort of cartoons they made when cartoons themselves were young and delighted in bringing all things to rubbery life."
Awards and nominations
Adventure Time has been nominated three times for an Emmy in the category, Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program. The first was for "My Two Favorite People." The second was for "It Came from the Nightosphere." The third nomination was "Too Young" for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards.
The animated short "Adventure Time" aired as part of Frederator Studios' Random! Cartoons, and led to the creation of the animated series.
The cartoon begins with Pen (who was renamed Finn in the series) sleeping under a tree and Jake meditating. After they do a little dance (which Jake downloaded from the internet while meditating), Lady Rainicorn (a unicorn/rainbow hybrid) flies by in tears. They discover that Lady Rainicorn is so sad because Princess Bubblegum is being imprisoned by the Ice King. Using snowballs, they battle their way past the Iceclops, Snow Golem, and other monsters that inhabit the Ice Kingdom.
Eventually, Pen and Jake reach the Ice King's mountain lair. Pen and the Ice King fight while Jake remains outside flirting with the Rainicorn, ignoring the battle. Just when Pen seems to be gaining the upper hand, the Ice King uses his "frozen lightning bolts" to freeze Pen in a block of ice. For unexplained reasons, this transports Pen's mind "back in time, and to Mars" where he has a short motivational conversation with Abraham Lincoln. After being told to believe in himself, Pen is returned to the present: just in time to see the Ice King fly away with Princess Bubblegum. Chasing after him using Jake's extendable legs, Pen rescues the princess from the Ice King's grasp. Jake pushes the magical crown off the Ice King's head, thereby removing the King's source of power. The Ice King then plummets off screen, yelling a long list of complex threats of things he will do when he returns.
The story closes with Bubblegum giving Pen a kiss, which embarrasses him greatly. He attempts to leave, but Jake claims that they have nowhere else to go and that there are no adventures that need them. Fortunately, some nearby ninjas are stealing an old man's diamonds, and they both run off in pursuit.
In February 2015 it was reported that a theatrical Adventure Time movie is in development by Warner Bros. Pictures and Cartoon Network Movies. The film is being produced and written by creator Pendleton Ward and produced by Roy Lee and Chris McKay.
- Adventure Time is the only surviving Cartoon Network show that airs new episodes since the Noods Era.
- Adventure Time has more episodes than any other Cartoon Network Original show. (284)
- ↑ Cartoon Brew, August 29, 2008
- ↑ "Adventure Time" Background Development Art
- ↑ "Enchiridion” Props in Color
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 ""The Enchiridion" Storyboards". Frederator Studios. 2010-04-22. http://frederatorblogs.com/adventure_time/2010/04/22/the-enchiridion-storyboards/. Retrieved on 2010-07-14.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 DeMott, Rick (2010-04-25). ""Time for Some Adventure with Pendleton Ward"". Animation World Network. http://www.awn.com/articles/2d/time-some-adventure-pendleton-ward. Retrieved on 2010-07-14.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Zahed, Ramin (2010-02-05). ""And Now for Something Entirely Brilliant!"". Animation Magazine. http://www.animationmagazine.net/article/11078. Retrieved on 2010-07-14.
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