Adventure Time is easily one of the most original animated shows around right now, and its first season sets up the magic perfectly.
This psychedelic cartoon series follows the exploits of a magical talking dog called Jake (John DiMaggio) and a human boy named Finn (Jeremy Shada). As the title suggests, the pair go on adventures in the land of Ooo – a realm full of strange but wonderful characters such as bumbling princess kidnapper the Ice King (SpongeBob SquarePants himself, Tom Kenny), benevolent ruler of the Candy Kingdom Princess Bubblegum (Hynden Walch) and vampire queen Marceline (Olivia Olson), who drinks the colour red rather than blood.
It has everything you could want in a television show: action, adventure, shapeshifting dogs and heroes who can sing in autotuned tones at will.
In short, you’ll bloody love it.
Each 11-minute episode is a feast for the imagination. In this unique and charming universe, daring heroes visit Lumpy Space on epic quests, overcome fear spectres and become wizards.The animation style has a childlike logic to it, with stick legs, wavy arms and exaggerated muscles as well as backgrounds straight from a storybook, all the way down to the spooky forests and colourful kingdoms.
Watching Adventure Time makes you feel like a kid again, and its stories are bizarre and brilliantly crafted with some fun cameos throughout. Breaking Bad actor Matt Jones plays a sad mountain who hates displays of violence in ‘Memories Of Boom Boom Mountain’ and ‘Ricardio The Heart Guy’, a talking heart bent on cutting out Princess Bubblegum’s own heart and marrying it, is played by Star Trek and internet treasure George Takei.
In addition, the likes of Clancy Brown (Highlander), Michael Dorn (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Mark Hamill (Star Wars) all lend their voices too.
There are great life lessons to be learned as well: Jake has to apologise for his selfishness to get his powers back and save Finn in ‘The Witch’s Garden’, while Finn overcomes his fear of water to return the favour in ‘Ocean Of Fear’. ‘My Two Favourite People’ is a sweet tale which focuses on Jake trying to make time for both best friend Finn and girlfriend Lady Rainicorn, a viola-playing rainbow unicorn who speaks only Korean.
The most beloved animated shows transcend age, and Adventure Time is so beautifully drawn and thoughtfully written that it would be impossible to limit its audience to kids or adults alone. There is a lot of heart to this show and it manages to be charming without straying towards twee territory, and never fails to stir the imagination or raise a smile.