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I’m very particular when it comes to admitting that I like a certain cartoon. Like most people, the cartoons that I consider to be the best are the ones I grew up with, because generally cartoons are most enjoyed when you’re a child. Then I came to university and realised that cartoons are the best programmes on television and can be appreciated at any age. Maybe I’ve let the endless amount of procrastination I’ve had to do go to my head, but sometimes, I’d much rather watch cartoons than any other type of television show.
Originally an online animation short created by Pendleton Ward that went viral, Adventure Time is an animated series centred around two protagonists – Finn (who’s human) and Jake (who’s a shape-shifting dog). Jake and Finn are best friends and adoptive brothers (which is pretty awesome). They like to save lives and protect everything that’s good in the Land of Ooo, home to many other characters including a talking elephant who makes apple pies, a Princess made out of bubblegum, a rainbow-coloured unicorn that can only speak Korean, and a talking cinnamon bun (I am not stoned).
Adventure Time has only been on our television screens for about three years, but that hasn’t stopped it gaining a huge fan base all over the world. Celebrities like Neil Patrick Harris have even appeared on the show. It is well known for its diverse audience in terms of age, both because of its outrageous style and its warm heart. It’s equally as random and crazy as it is cute.
To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, in one recent episode of Adventure Time, the miniature elephant named Tree Trunks gets married to a pig, after three failed marriages. Guests of the wedding include the King of Ooo, a talking computer, the ex-husbands of Tree Trunks and the un-invited Lumpy Space Princess. Each episode is roughly eleven minutes long, and once you’ve watched one, you have to keep on going. It’s absurd sense of dark humor, mixed with childish intentions, makes for the perfect recipe for any cartoon.
The show’s dark and ridiculous sense of humour is notoriously famous, which is probably the reason why so many university students and adults enjoy the cartoon, with a lot of parents not complaining when Adventure Time comes on. One example of this dark sense of humour would be that the show’s setting, The Land of Ooo, is a post-apocalyptic continent. It became magical following ‘the Mushroom War’, which makes it quite a dark place to live, with lots of references to evil and death throughout the show. This doesn’t stop Jake and Finn from enjoying their quests to help the good and destroy the bad, including the evil Ice King who wants to marry one of the many princesses who live in The Land of Ooo, even though the feeling is never mutual.
Adventure Time is addictive escapism at its best, and it’s hopefully here to stay with three million people tuning into watch what Jake the dog and Finn the human are up to every single week. From little kids to university stoners. With endless amounts of merchandise, comic books and fans, it goes to show that even the craziest ideas can go a long way, especially when it comes to cartoons. Even though all of these things prove it’s success, Adventure Time still seems like an underdog when it comes to entertainment. It could be a lot bigger than it is.
Adventure Time is available to watch daily on the Cartoon Network, and the entire first series is now available on Netflix UK.