Thursday, 31 October 2013

Adventure Time Controversy-That Shouldn't Be,Yet Still is Considered to Be-Controversial

An Alleged female subtext blown way out of proportion?

"I'm Just Your Problem" from the episode "What Was Missing"

If you have been following my blogs, you are already aware that I am of the opinion that Adventure Time, like an onion, consists of many layers.  As you continue to peel off the outer layers, you become closer to the core or essence of the show.  Today I have decided to write about an alleged subtext during an episode during the third season.  The title of the episode is “What Was Missing”.  This episode became controversial due to an allegedly implied past relationship between Marceline and Princess Bubblegum. 

Did this controversy spark due to public outcry from viewers who watched the episode? No, this does not seem to be the case.  It largely began after a behind the scenes video produced by Federator Studio implied that there were lesbian relations between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline and that the writing staff was actively seeking input from fans.

It didn’t take long before online reaction prompted Fred Seibert, the show’s executive producer to pull both the episode and the recap off of YouTube.  Seibert explained that the reason for pulling the show was that the writing team became too wrapped up by both fan conjecture and spicy fan art and they realized that they had gone too far. 

Naturally, the removal of the content caused its own wave of backlash. The actions of removing both the episode and the recap were criticized as being detrimental to the acceptance of gay and lesbian romance by young people. It’s also pointed out that the subtly and complexity with how they “allegedly” incorporated subtext would only be explored by mature viewers of the show.

Pendleton Ward (the creator of the show) later addressed the issue stating that it was removed because of the extreme positions taken by people all over the internet and didn’t want to comment as he considered it to be a huge "hullaballoo".

I think this whole subtext ordeal was blown way out of proportion. I don’t think it should be a problem in the first place either; there's tons of outrageous stuff in Adventure Time already. It appeals to a wide audience and is clever enough to incorporate jokes for every age group. 

But what do you think? Did the writers go a little too far in provoking emotional responses from their audience?

The episode “What Was Missing” still airs during reruns of the show…seems kind of ironic

Behind the scenes - "Mathematical" recap of "What Was Missing"

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Background Beauts

Can we just take a minute to appreciate the "unreal" (though more than real) backdrops in this show? Because damn,that is one fiiinely drawn mountain right there.

When you're watching an episode of Adventure Time, it's easy to overlook the simple, yet extremely intricate backgrounds in favour of the crazy characters and faced-paced action of the show.

But I always like to look at Adventure Time as a piece of art; there are real people behind the drawings of Adventure Time...real artists. Artists with the capability of designing entire new worlds and of incorporating tiny details and nuances that hint as to how it came about.

 So who does it?

One of the central background designers for Adventure Time is Ghostshrimp (also known as Dan James and Daniel Bandit). He has worked on the show since the beginning with Pendleton Ward and drew the Tree fort, the Candy Kingdom, the map of Ooo, and many of the landscapes showcased throughout the show. He worked on the first three and a half seasons, and then left the show midway through the fourth.

Even though the show's primary backdrop artist has moved on, the whimsical nature of Adventure Time remains intact.  The scenery continues to be intricately detailed and vivid, sparking the imagination of all who partake in the magic of the show.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Marceline The Vampire Queen

Marceline Abadeer
What makes this half-demon/half-vampire who is over a millennium old tick?  Her character is deeper than first appearances would suggest.   Finn and Jake first encounter her as an enemy but this quickly evolves into a close friendship.

Marceline does consider herself half-demon, which may be a major contribution to her longevity. However, this side does not give her any magical powers or abilities such as flight and transformation as well as a similar eternal youth to her father, which she appears to have gained due to her vampire powers.

Marceline’s past is revealed throughout several Adventure Time episodes such as “Evicted”, “Daddy’s Little Monster” and “Memory of a Memory” , to name only a few.  Throughout these episodes, we not only learn that she is over 1,000 years old but we capture glimpses of her past.  One of her memories shows her as a young girl playing near the burning ruins of a city in the aftermath of the Mushroom War.  We learn that Marceline knew the Ice King by the end of the war and that he gave her Hambo, her beloved stuffed toy which she had loved ever since she was a child, when she replaced its left eye with a button from her jumper and her last piece of thread. While she was sewing the button onto him, she said, "I'm hurting you because I love you."
Hambo, Marceline's beloved stuffed bear, given to her by Simon (the Ice King)

Marceline’s father is the demon who rules Nightosphere.  Her relationship with her father is strained.  We learn this when Finn witnesses a memory between Marceline and her father where he ate her fries in the ruins of a diner.  This memory reveals the moment when her relationship with her father is damaged which she sings about in her “Fry Song”.  Her relationship with her mother still remains a mystery at this point.

 The first memory chronologically where we see Marceline as a Vampire occurs when she moves into the Tree Fort that would later become the home of Finn and Jake, with her boyfriend Ash who she later dumps for selling her beloved stuffed Hambo. But, it’s unknown when or how Marceline exactly became a vampire…it’s revealed that she did not have a bite mark on her neck.


Marceline has many supernatural abilities, some of which are not traditionally associated with vampires and thus might be due to her half-demon heritage instead. She has been shown to possess the following powers:
  • Levitation: She has the ability to float and even to fly with careful control and rapid speed. She can even sleep while floating
  • Pyrokinesis: She can light fire with only her mind, as seen in when she lit up all the candles in the tree-house.
  • Telekinesis: She can move things using her mind
  •  Invisibility: She can turn invisible
  • Necromancy: She can raise the dead
  • Rapid healing: She appears to heal quickly from injuries, at least damage from sunlight (when she returns to a shaded area)
Shape-shifting: She has the ability to shape-shift into numerous monstrous forms, including a bat, a wolf, a reptilian creature, and a large tentacled monster.
  • Eating shades of red: Unlike traditional vampires, Marceline is capable of sustaining herself on "shades of red," such as the color in strawberries, rather than being limited to surviving on blood. She has claimed to "sometimes" consume blood, but this has never been proved or referenced again. 

In addition, when she wears the Nightopshere amulet, she gains the ability to shoot green lasers which either vaporize or transform whatever they hit. She can also create or transform into a large cloud of blood mist with the ability to shoot green lasers. She also gains the ability to devour souls. 


  • Bass player: She is an expert bass player.
  • Singer: She is a proficient singer.
  • Basketball player: She can play basketball and she is able to slam-dunk without using her floating abilities


Although Marceline has a wide array of powers and abilities, it is important to note that she has a vulnerability to direct sunlight (as is common in vampire lore). She does not dissolve right away, and is capable of unrestricted movement on a sunny day, so long as she shields herself. She accomplishes this with a combo of a parasol, a ridiculously large sunhat, and sometimes a set of full-length gloves to cover her arms.
Marceline states that going around on a sunny day still hurts mildly (regardless of protection), but is comparable to scraping a knee. Exposure to direct sunlight would cause Marceline to painfully melt into a pile of vampire goo, although if she is able to seek a shaded area, she will quickly heal within minutes.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

What Sparked the First Flames of Adventure Time?

Pendleton Ward: The Show's Creator

Adventure Time was initially created as an animated short by PendletonWard in 2006.  You can catch this short at the following link:

The short rapidly went on to become an internet phenomenon with over 1 million views by November 2007. Ward decided to try to pitch Adventure Time as a full series, but it took quite a while before the Cartoon Network decided to pick up.  In 2008, Ward was working on another series entitled The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack as a writer and storyboard artist.  This format, where episodes based on outlines are written by storyboard artists, inspired Ward to utilize this same format for Adventure Time.

Inspiration for the series stemmed from Ward's love of The Simpsons.  He thought that the early seasons had a great deal of heart.  Ward wants to make characters that feel so real that they inspire real emotion and are easy to relate to. He pulls inspiration aimed at reaching kids' hearts. He felt that it was important that Finn's character wasn't too eager to please people.  He needed to have more depth and wrath as Ward's hero

Ward oversees all creative aspects of Adventure Time.  He is also the voice behind many characters including LSP, Shelby and Abraham Lincoln.  


In the initial Adventure Time short Pen (now known as Finn) is named after him. Ward changed the name to Finn because he "didn't want to see his name on the back of sweatjeans".

Ward is a portly, bearded man who speaks in a relaxed monotone.  He seems to be perpetually immersed in the depths of his own imagination and it is easy to link his manner with the ultra weirdness found in Adventure Time.

Ward explains the writing process as just writing with the sole purpose of making themselves laugh.

One of the writers of the show explained that when he first discovered Adventure Time, he, like many others, simply didn't get it.  He now simply describes it as "this generation's 'Yellow Submarine'".

An interview with Ward:

Friday, 18 October 2013

Let's Get Random

I've decided to take a break from my weekly postings about episodes and characters to share some different conspiracy theories behind Adventure Time that you might not be aware of. The fact is, this show is deep. It's silly, and nonsensical at times, but the characters all have different stories and pasts that make your gut wretch and your heart ache. There are hidden messages and clues as to what's going on in the Land of Ooo and how it came about and I'm going to examine a few interesting concepts.

1. Finn's actually in a coma and everything existing in the Land of Ooo is a figment of his imagination

The theory insists that Finn lived a normal life on Earth, with a pet dog (without magical powers), named Jake. Finn was a lonely kid, without any friends and parents who neglected him. He had difficulty supporting himself through two jobs. 
Finn considered Jake to be his only true and loyal friend, but he died of old age a few years later, leaving Finn wading in a hopeless depression. Seeing no other option, Finn turned to suicide and attempted to overdose. He fell into a deep coma which doctors feared he would never awaken from...and sadly, they were right. Finn never awakens from his coma; he remains stuck in a perpetual dream, a fantastical world of make belief of which Finn had always dreamed of. 
Here, Jake and Finn go on crazy adventures in Candy Kingdom, fall in love, and fight evil. 
Finn would remain in a coma until his dying days, adventuring with his dead dog.
It was forever, Adventure Time.

2. Finn's not the only human left on Earth

So, we know Adventure Time takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity essentially destroyed itself through nuclear warfare...and it's said that Finn is the last remaining human on Earth...but what if he isn't? What if there are more humans still remaining on Earth, and Finn just hasn't discovered them yet.
After the bomb him, though most humans were dead, the remaining survivors sought refuge underground to protect themselves from diseases (mainly mutations) caused by the bomb. They went on with life underground while the surface world was changing exponentially and basically started an entire separate society. 
 In one of the episodes, Finn and Jake go underground and discover a whole tribe of what appears to be other people...though it is later revealed that they are all human-like fish mutants (they wear hats to conceal their gills). The only character who does not reveal gills is Susan Strong. We never see if she's a mutant or not. What if she is a human? That means Finn's not entirely alone in the universe. What does that mean for Adventure Time? 

3. The Ice King is a metaphor for dementia

I haven't really touched on Ice King much yet, but he's one of the villain's in Adventure Time. He's a lonely, old man who abducts princesses in an attempt to fill his void. But he's got a pretty interesting past. It's revealed through several episodes that the Ice King lived before the apocalypse as a man named Simon Petrikov. He knew and took care of Marceline the Vampire Queen while war ensued in their city. He found a crown which granted him magical powers (he hated using the crown, but felt he needed to, to protect little Marceline from all of the monsters that arose from the nuclear bombs), though it also took over his brain and made him insane. In recent episodes he has no recollection of his past. He's the guy who pretty much saved Earth from being completely destroyed by the Mushroom Bomb (using his powers to freeze the bomb in mid flight so that it only blew up a chunk of the Earth).
After putting on the crown (representative of aging), he begins to show the common symptoms of dementia: memory loss and thought pattern loss, disorganized behaviour and lacking a sense of order, depression and sociopathic symptoms (loss of empathy, bursts of basic emotions like anger, lack of social cues), as well as paranoia and hallucinations.
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, which explains the void he can't fill (losing his wife, Betty). It also explains Marceline's avoidance of The Ice King (she's coping with the grief of the person she once loved and lost).

Ice King doesn't remember who Marceline is 

Maybe there's more to Adventure Time than we think...

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Episode 2: Trouble in Lumpy Space

The gang (comprised of Finn, Jake, PB, Lumpy Space Princess (LSP) and Hot Dog Princess (quite literally a hot dog, princess) are all partaking in a special tea party called a Mallow Tea Ceremony. Finn finds it quite difficult to bounce on marshmallows  whilst drinking tea and calls out LSP because she can float, and it makes it easier for her. For an instant she turns off her floating powers and accidentally bites Jake during her fall. The bite turns into a werewolf-like infection called "The Lumps". LSP informs Jake that he only has until sunset to reverse the effects, or he will remain "Lumpy" forever. LSP then agrees to take both Finn and Jake to Lumpy Space in search of the antidote. 
The Portal to Lumpy Space is located in the Cotton Candy Forest where a frog guards the mushroom passageway. LSP knows the password and the three are transported into Lumpy Space. Because Lumpy Space is comprised of a series of widely spaced clouds, the group requires a car to safely make their way to Makeout Point, where the antidote awaits.
 LSP constantly gets distracted with mundane, day-to-day gossip in Lumpy Space, so Finn takes her phone and impersonates her so that her friend Melissa will take them both to Makeout Point. 
Jake's Lumps worsen and he begins to acquire traits of Lumpy Space people: he acts selfish and gets caught up in everyone's drama.
They make it to Makeout Point where they meet three Lumpy Space people who hoard the antidote. They are willing to share it, until LSP insults them, calling them "posers". At this point, Jake has become completely Lumpy and he leaves with LSP to attend promcoming. Finn needs to get to promcoming, but the only way to accomplish this without falling into the Lumpy Abyss is to be bitten by one of the "posers" and try to float to the distant cloud.
The posers respect Finn's passion and bite him multiple times to accelerate the Lumpification process. With the antidote in hand, Finn floats over the clouds to promcoming and rushes in to find Jake and LSP dancing. Lumpy Jake refuses the antidote and a fight ensues between Lumpy Finn and Jake. 
Jake then accidentally sits on the antidote and becomes normal.
While Lumpy Finn tries to float away, he crashes into another Lumpy Space person and falls into unconsciousness. When he awakes, he is back to normal. Dancing ensues.

Watch both episode 1 and 2 here:

Friday, 11 October 2013

Jake the Dog

Jake is the adoptive brother and best friend of Finn. He's 28 (in "magical" dog years) and has the ability to shape-shift, stretch, grow and shrink to almost any size. He can also rearrange his internal organs, as well as his teeth. Jake acts as a confidant and mentor to Finn, although he sometimes offers questionable advice.

Jake has a laid-back attitude and can be considered lazy at times. He relies on either his magical powers or Finn to rescue him from a dangerous predicaments. He can be seen as a form of comic relief, cracking jokes in tense scenes and always knows how to cheer Finn up when he's feeling disheartened or troubled. Jake also acts as Finn's "world-wise mentor", always willing to give his input and advice on a given situation. However, his suggestions are often inconsistent and can be confusing, ranging from helpful encouragement and quirky ideas, to ridiculous nonsense. Furthermore, he can be considered somewhat irresponsible at times, leaving Finn in peril to fight most of a battle himself, although he can always pull through and appears when Finn needs him most.

  • He is in a relationship with Lady Rainicorn and they have five dog-rainicorn hybrid pups in a future episode.
  • He is quite skilled at playing the Viola
  • He can shrink and move his internal organs and blood into his left thumb 
  • Jake can move objects through his body freely (in and episode, PB jumps into Jake's mouth and is pushed out of his back)
  • It is apparent that Jake uses his powers lazily and cannot know their full extent
  • Jake claims to have obtained his powers while rolling in a magical mud puddle as a pup...but the show's creator reveals in an interview that this is not the actual source of his power...he just can't remember
  • He also has an older brother named Jerome
  • While growing up, Jake found time to escape and land himself in trouble leading a double life as a criminal with a gang of bad friends
  • He may be dyslexic (he is seen writing backwards), although Finn also writes backwards and it may be because of their upbringing, or possibly a commonality in the Land of Ooo
  • He loves to eat - especially junk food!
  • Jake possesses symptoms of ADD; he can forget a conversation in a moment, distracted by the need to do something completely unrelated, such as putting an ice cream cone in the toaster, and has difficulty focussing on anything
  • He's seen to have somewhat of a dark side through certain episodes, making questionable comments which might appear evil or selfish (evidenced when he wants to rule and control the "Hyoomans", a tribe of human-like creatures with fish gills who live underground, and when he mentions that he used to "[steal] old ladies' purses" and "hock stolen bikes")

When Jake shape-shifted into a demon to blend in when both him and Finn were in the Nightosphere 

Some of Adventure Time's Funniest Moments

Enjoy a random 15 minutes of nonsensical Adventure Time hilarity 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Episode 1

Slumber Party Panic

The opening scene begins with Jake playing with his girlfriend, Lady Rainicorn. In the cemetery, Princess Bubblegum (referred to as "PB") has devised a plan to revive candy people from the dead. Finn watches as PB concocts a Serum, eventually adding her final ingredient: explosive diarrhea. Finn then hands PB a tray...inside lay the corpse of a decaying Mr. Cream Puff. She pours a few drops of Serum on Mr. Cream Puff, but instead of reviving to a healthy candy person, something horrible happens...He turns into a sugar-craving zombie who, in the frenzy, knocks the Serum onto the graves of the other deceased candy people and attacks PB. The decaying candy people claw their way from the from the Earth and head towards the Candy Kingdom in a lust for sugar. 
Finn and PB run to the Kingdom in an effort to protect her townspeople.  PB rings the bell sending notice for all candy people to go to the Candy Palace immediately where they are invited to a special slumber party.  PB confides to Finn that the slumber party is a ruse to keep the Candy people from freaking out over the Zombies.  Apparently Candy people explode when they become afraid.  PB forces Finn to make a royal promise to her not to tell the Candy people about the zombies. Finn almost lets the cat out of the bag when Jake accidentally overhears Finn asking PB if he can confide in Jake.  Finn plays it cool and averts a disaster here!  
Finn attempts to keep the Candy people distracted by playing games such as Truth or Dare and 7 Minutes in Heaven.  Finn glances out the window and sees the zombies fast approaching.  He hastily creates a fictional game called Blockado.  They proceed to block up all of the windows and doors thinking it a game.  Finn uses strips of a nearby Taffy Girl as blindfolds for the Candy people.

 As the zombies burst through the barricades, Finn shouts "smash the pinatas!" and the Candy people proceed to bash in the zombies and consume their sweet innards.  
Once the dust has settled, Finn feels a false sense of security and reveals his royal promise to Jake.  The Gumball Guardians awaken and take Finn and PB outside  where Finn must face trial by fire for breaking his promise.  Finn must answer a complex math question or die (impossible for mathematically challenged Finn).  But one of the Guardians reconsiders and amends the question to "What is 2 + 2?". 

Finn hesitates, and answers 4.  The Guardians' heads explode and Finn and PB are returned back to their reality safely.  
PB discovers the missing piece of her serum.  She quickly creates it and revives the dead zombies back as Candy people.
Starchy releases a candy laced fart and the episode ends on a sweet scent.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Finn the Human

Finn the Human...Slammacow!

During infancy, Finn was abandoned and left in the woods. He was rescued from the wilderness by Jake's parents, Joshua and Margaret, who raised him alongside Jake. That's why they have such a great bond...they're bros! 
Finn knows nothing about his real parents and has no knowledge of any other humans like him.
He's currently 15 years old (in 2013) and about five feet tall. He loves nothing more than going on crazy adventures with Jake and saving the day.  
Finn is seen as a hero in the Land of  Ooo for his bravery and righteous acts of good. Finn swore a long time ago that he would help anyone in need, but he has difficulty in situations which require tasks other than fighting. He's also prone to enthusiastic outbursts such as "Algebraic" or "Slammacow!" and has an odd and eccentric vocabulary that's fun to listen to. Finn also had an unrequited crush on Princess Bubblegum of Candy Kingdom for some time before beginning a relationship with Flame Princess in the Fourth season.However, they are no longer together in the episode "Frost and Fire" in season 5.


  • Finn has Thalassophobia (a fear of being in the ocean) can see the agonising terror expressed on Finn's face in the first scene of the video above
  • He has missing teeth because he sometimes likes to bite on trees or rocks
  • Hiding under his bear-like hat, Finn has a full head of beautiful long blonde hair (see below)

  • He loves to play video games on BMO, his living video game console and roommate
  • He wears red onesie pajamas to bed
Find out which Adventure Time character you are here:
Heck yea!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Adventure time - The great mushroom war

How it all began...

The post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo's condition was caused by the Great Mushroom War.
The inclusion of the word "Mushroom" refers to the war's nuclear nature. The creatures and characters in the Land of Ooo are then supposedly mutations due to the radiation of the nuclear bomb dropped on Earth. It can be inferred that the nuclear Mushroom Bomb brought about the end of the war and birthed and created the Lich (the ultimate representation of evil throughout the show) around 1000 years before present day. It is believed that only Marceline, Abraham Lincoln, Moe (who is now a cyborg) and the Ice King were the only ones to survive the Mushroom War.
There's a lot of proof of war and prior inhabitants if you pay attention to the surroundings and details in various scenes and episodes. Check it out:
 Two dead people sitting on a couch in their post-apocalyptic home. Cars, trucks, traffic lights and debris is spread around their home
The opening scene of Adventure Time's theme song depicts the world after the Great Mushroom War. Missiles from the war, random broken belongings and a polluted grey sky with dead trees is a result of the nuclear war.
A drawing of the Earth being attacked drawn by the Ice King hidden in his belongings
The Mushroom Bomb explosion and the birth of the Lich

Excuse the spelling errors... it's a more visual representation of the Great Mushroom War.