A more contemporary but still iconic cartoon is Adventure Time. Created by Pendleton Ward, it follows the adventures of Finn the human and Jake the dog in the land of Ooo, a post apocalyptic earth. The saturated colours match the show’s hyperactive tone set by the characters’ range of personalities and the design of the characters themselves — Finn and Jake live in the Candy Kingdom where Princess Bubblegum is ruler of all the inhabitants who are mostly big sweets with a face, arms and legs. Adventure Time has the classic element of slapstick comedy and the nature of the show allows for some bizarre scenes to take place with some strange visual comedy. As I’ve said in a previous post Adventure Time — like a lot of other/older cartoons — can go off on a tangent and bring up some quite deep observations and this is one element of the show that I love as it seems almost out-of-place in a children’s cartoon, and it’s one reason the show attracts an older audience. Adventure Time is in its 5th series now, and it has grown to have a few ongoing subplots and the side characters are a lot more involved. It’s huge fan-base also means that there’s and endless amount of fan art floating around the internet, there are also comic books — some of which focus on the side characters, clothing and merchandise.
The latest episode ‘BMO Lost’ is one of my favourites (there are some spoilers in here) — it focuses on BMO, a handheld computer game/computer who lives with Finn and Jake. She finds herself lost in the forest and has to make her way back home with the help of a bubble and a baby who she meets on the way. After adopting the baby as her own, BMO must leave him when his mother turns up looking for him. My favourite scene in this episode is when BMO and Bubble finally reach the house and Bubble confesses his love for BMO, telling her that after searching for his home he has finally found it — in her, he promptly asks her to marry him and she accepts. At this time Jake opens the door and pops Bubble. BMO starts weeping and Jake thinks she’s joking, the abrupt devastation really caught me, admittedly I laughed in shock rather than anything else. After this BMO hears Bubble’s voice again and he explains how he is air and is home at last, his voice then darkens as he explains that he’ll be with BMO wherever she goes, “No more privacy, no more quiet, no more alone” while we see BMO’s face take it all in and let out a little shout of joy. This is another example of how the show can take a dark turn, but it’s then brought back, in this case by BMO’s enthusiasm and acceptance of the situation. Watch it here.