Those of you who have lost faith in the cartoons and kids shows of today may have reason to rejoice at Cartoon Network’s new hit show, “Adventure Time with Finn and Jake,” by Pendleton Ward.
Classics such as “Dexter’s Laboratory” and “Invader Zim” have set high standards in the cartoon world. Few (if any) shows have come close, but “Adventure Time” has risen to the challenge, meeting and possibly surpassing those standards.
The colors, surrealism, clever dialogue and sheer adventure of the show beautifully combine to create one of the few kids shows that appeals to all ages.
The show follows the experiences of 12-year-old adventurer Finn and his best friend Jake, a wise, magical, shape-shifting dog.
Finn, a self-described “simple dude,” loves the thrill of a challenge and courageously fights anything evil, in spite of the odds, but refuses to harm even an ant. He also goes into a fit of rage when anyone dares harm Jake.
Jake serves as a mentor to Finn, providing guidance and advice throughout their adventures. Although the advice is not always the best, Jake is often able to convince Finn to take his word. Although he frequently prefers to stay out of fights, Jake always comes to Finn’s aid when he is in danger, and he prevents Finn from rushing headlong into impossible battles.
In the three episodes that have aired so far, the pair is often seen battling monsters, saving princesses, seeking treasure and dancing — all in the magical Land of Ooo, a place of colors, candy people and all sorts of imaginable creatures and treasures.
While the settings and characters are often unreal or fantastic, Finn and Jake are always confronted with real problems, such as finding a new home after being kicked out of their tree house by a vampire queen or being forced to keep an impending candy zombie invasion secret. Finn and Jake are somewhat more human than other cartoon characters in that they aren’t solving problems by pulling objects out of thin air or anything. Finn has only his fists and whatever might be in his backpack, and while Jake can shape shift into a variety shapes and sizes, Jake is still prone to dangers, such as being eaten by a giant ogre or frozen in ice by the Ice King.
Altogether, the show creates an awkward tale of heroism and presents inescapable fun in each episode. The viewer is often treated to humorous, random banter between Finn and Jake and awesome scenes of Finn laying the beatdown on an assortment of villains and monsters.
While the all-around fun and action of the show will appeal to younger viewers, the quirky and abnormal dialogue often appeals to the mature viewers. But most mature viewers will find it difficult to suppress their inner, fun-loving child and avoid the pure, relentless fun of “Adventure Time.” They can also appreciate and enjoy the weirder, more unexpected plot twists scattered about the show, which tend to go over the heads of younger people.
The music throughout each episode is simple and fun as well, leaving any viewer feeling instantly lighthearted.
Although Cartoon Network has only officially aired three episodes (not including the pilot or sneak peeks), the show has quickly amassed a following of viewers of all ages.
While you may not be laughing at some of the baser comedy in the show, the quality of the more enjoyable humor far outweighs this potential downside. Overall, it will be difficult for many not to get sucked into the incredible Land of Ooo.
With Spring Semester gradually approaching its end, many students are looking for more potent procrastination options. The fun and insanity of “Adventure Time with Finn and Jake” may be just what students need to most effectively waste their time; it may turn out to be a lasting addiction, as well. While it may not be for everyone, the show is definitely worth considering.
“Adventure Time with Finn and Jake” airs at 8 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday on Cartoon Network and is rated PG. Some full episodes are also available at www.cartoonnetwork.com.
Opinion editor Braden Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org