Why Adventure Time is a Groundbreaking show in Animation
If you are familiar with modern cartoons from this decade,
starting from 2010 and currently, chances are you’ve come across a show called
Adventure Time is a show about the adventures of a boy named
“Finn” with his dog “Jake” that has magical powers to shape-shift at anytime!
The show takes place in the “Land of Ooo”, which is set in a
post-apocalyptic future where humans are near to extinction and Finn is
believed to be the last human.
As the show has progressed throughout its 8 seasons, almost
near its end with a ninth and final season, we have learned a lot of back-story
and history about the origin of Ooo and various characters.
Here is where I think this show was a huge game-changer for
Cartoon Network and animated shows, in general!
If we go back to 2007 and on another channel being
“Nickelodeon, Adventure Time’s creator, Pendleton Ward created a 7 minute pilot
simply titled “Adventure Time” that was just a basic premise of Finn and Jake
rescuing Princess Bubblegum from the villainous Ice King.
The pilot then later became viral over the Internet and
became a huge success, where Frederator Studios pitched the pilot as a series
to Nickelodeon, but they passed on the series twice!
Later on, the studio pitched the series to Cartoon Network
and they allowed them to make a whole show, if it meant to keep all of the
elements and characters from the pilot.
And then from then on, the show and the creators have
expanded upon the pilot and have created a huge and impactful series that have
influenced a wide range of creators, academics, gender and orientation!
People have described the show as being trippy, bizarre and
silly on the outside, but on the inside, the show can get dark, thoughtful and
even makes you question about philosophy, life and the world, in general.
A great example of this show that has led a lot of
underground and freelance artists to pursue their own projects is people like
Rebecca Sugar for creating Steven Universe, Patrick McHale for creating Over
the Garden Wall and Skyler Page for creating Clarence!
It’s not to say that artists were limited to just shows, as
well! Many writers were previously independent comic artists including Jesse
Moynihan, Seo Kim, Tom Herpich and Steve Wolfhard, just to name a few! Here is an example of Jesse Moynihan’s work called “Forming”!
Lastly, Adventure Time’s impact on gender and orientation
comes from how there is a diverse mix of characters! BMO, for example switches
genders back and forth depending on certain episodes! There are also some episodes
that feature a gender-swapped world of the show which are called “Fionna and
Cake” and these episodes tend to be favourites among the fandom!
Characters like Princess Bubblegum, Marceline and Susan
Strong are all shown to be tough characters, but deal with their own sets of
flaws and insecurities.
Fans of the show often pair PB and Marceline as a ship
called “Bubbline”, as it’s believed that they have been in a past relationship
and are trying to work out their problems as the show progresses.
There are many various examples of topics that the show that
the series represents like loss and memory disorders in “I Remember You”, sexuality
and depression in “Breezy” or isolation in “The Music Hole” and that’s just
only a few to list.
This episode is considered one of the most saddest in the entire series, thanks to Rebecca Sugar’s amazing song-writing!
What I always admire about the series is that not only has
it been consistently strong over the course of 8 seasons, but the show actually
has their characters age and grow physically and mentally in real-time.
Season 1 may be considered the most juvenile of the series,
whereas the most recent seasons, especially Season 6 and 7 are some of the most
poignant and philosophical the show has seen yet and for the better, in my
Adventure Time has remained and still is widely considered a
ground-breaking show in the history of television animation and pushed the
boundaries of what could be shown on a kid’s network, similar to Avatar: The
Last Airbender did for Nickelodeon, but that’s another topic for another day!
I will miss Adventure Time when it comes to a close, but
what will remain is a modern classic in the history of animation and we will always have fun going on adventures with Finn the Human and Jake the Dog!
Fandom Fridays: Contemporary Cartoons and Emotional Education.
Many children’s cartoons over the decades have dealt with emotional and social issues. However, the way cartoons now talk about those issues is more integral to the main story, than summarized as a moral at the end of the episode. Cartoons are allowing their young audience to figure out the episode’s message instead of spoon feeding morals to them.
Considering shows like Adventure Time and Steven Universe, young characters are put into complicated situations. In particular, children in the shows often deal with parental figures frustrating them and being irresponsible. Contemporary cartoons acknowledge that children are more aware of issues going on in the world, and with their parents than adults think they are.
Cartoons today also encourage children to not look at failure as a shameful thing. Instead, these types of shows help kids understand success comes from allowing yourself to fail. These shows rationalize frustrations and fears youth have when learning to use problem solving skills.
Quality cartoons also include identity issues in an honest way. These shows demonstrate the difficulties of adolescents developing their identities and relating to the world around them. Moreover, contemporary cartoons promote individuality and not comparing oneself to others. These shows don’t tell children it’s more important to blend in than finding a group of friends that genuinely accept you.
These cartoons also teach children how to deal with anxiety. In comical and serious ways these shows explore how to let go of overthinking and internalizing feelings. More importantly, they teach children not to be scared to share their anxiety with others. Contemporary cartoons can educate children on emotions, social concerns and humanity.
These cartoons also use more visual elements to express a character’s mood, than relying on dialogue all the time. They show children it’s important to balance reflecting alone and sharing your thoughts with others. Contemporary cartoons normalize difficult emotions, so children know they are not alone and can identify feelings better.
What cartoons are currently your favourite, or what other cartoons discuss human issues? Also go check out all the blogs I used gifs from! :)