How have I not written more extensively about Adventure Time? I discovered this show a few years back, not right when it came out or anything, but after I saw some pretty solid buzz on the art blogs I follow. It’s so amazing and very much like someone stuck a blender in the collective conscious of my friends, hit whip and poured it into the form of an animated series on Cartoon Network. I’ve realized that 30 is the perfect age when it comes to enjoying television because creative people your own age have worked their way up to the point where they’re running and creating shows. Adventure Time reminds me of the way my friends and I played as kids, but then there’s shows like New Girl or the sadly cancelled Happy Endings which feel like hyper-realized versions of my reality (or what I wish my reality was).
If you’re unfamiliar with the show it revolves around two pals Finn the human and Jake the shapeshifting dog who hang out in the raddest tree house you’ve ever seen in the Land of Oo0. Ooo’s a pretty crazy-awesome place populated by all kinds of wizards, princesses and anthropomorphized, well, everything. Finn and Jake are the kinds of friends I have, am and want to be and I can always get into that which is the center of a show completely packed with all kinds of action-fantasy elements.
So, yeah, I like the show. When I got a press email asking if I’d be interested in reviewing Adventure Time Seasons 1 and 2 on Blu-ray, I jumped at the chance. Holy nuts, you guys, as much as I love this show on TV, it’s even better on Blu-ray. There’s the obvious benefit of just being able to hit Play All and watch 26 episodes in a row, but this show looks so bold and bright and awesome in Blu-ray it makes my brain happy. It took me a few episodes into the second season before something clicked in my head and I realized that it just looked so much better. I also noticed how thin the lines are which stuck out to me for some reason.
While the Season One disc has a variety of special features I haven’t been able to check out just yet, I did listen to the majority of the commentaries on the second. The interesting and unique thing about this group of commentaries is that they were recorded all at the same time in order in show’s creator’s house. The sound also occasionally drops out from the interviews and is replaced by Pen Ward’s ukelele music. This might seem odd, but the reasoning is that the conversation turned to things that might not be appropriate for younger viewers. It definitely makes it feel like you’re missing out on big time secrets which is kind of a bummer, but I appreciate the effort. I think it could be argued that a collector/adult oriented version with fully intact commentaries would make sense, but I’m not too broke up about it.
These discs do two other things that I really appreciate. First and foremost, unlike a lot of cartoon home video offerings, these include every episode from the season instead of a sampler offering. I know the seasons don’t have much of an arc as far as overall stories go, but I like having them all in one place. These two discs did something else that no other one has done and that’s make me want to keep the slipcover. The images I’ve posted here are what the discs look like with the covers. When you pull the Finn one off you see his long flowing blonde locks, for Ice King you get a look at the Nice King. Usually I think slipcovers are an annoyance and a waste that usually go into the recycling bin as soon as they find their way in our house, but they actually figured out a way to make them fun and somewhat necessary (I find it a bit unnerving to look at shaved Ice King for long periods of time).
Another added benefit of having these discs is that my 2 year old daughter has absolutely fallen in love with this show. It’s no surprise, really. All the things I mentioned above — fun, action, friendship, bright colors — are just as cool for kids and babies as they are for adults. Plus, how can I not be okay with my kid wanting to watch a show I love (he says knowing full well he’ll wind up watching the first hour of both Blu-rays dozens, possibly hundreds of times)? The only problem? Her version of “Adventure Time” is a real jumble of consonants and difficult to understand. Oh well, I’m hoping that her love of this show will result in her wearing adorable Finn, Jake, Fiona, Cake, Princess Bubblegum or Marceline clothes and hopefully some toys. I really like the Finn and Jake toys…