As if you need a primer, Adventure Time is set in the Land of Ooo, the perfect place for a couple of pals like Finn the Human and Jake the magical stretchy dog to adventure-as-a-verb. Together, they might....oh, I don't know, play Herbert West and have a mishap with a Re-Animator-type serum and bring sugar-crazed zombies back from the dead, and then throw a Saved by the Bell-style slumber party where they try desperately to prevent all the folks in Ooo from realizing they're under siege by the walking dead. They hangglide on an enormous dollar bill after kicking a vomiting, oversized ogre in the nards. A little while after that, the two of 'em have to discourage the Ice King from eating his bride-to-be, and then they're forced to go househunting when a color-suckin' vampire takes over their treehouse. You've got a supergenius, disembodied, maybe-or-maybe-not malevolent heart with a penchant for romance! Pigs worn as kneeguards! Brooms eaten as part of a ploy to gain magical powers! Overzealous unfrozen businessmen to help lighten Finn and Jake's load and shore up that gauntlet-dock! Butter-pranks! A man-lorette party! A lycanthropic lumpy space princess! Little house people getting gnawed on by a small army of why-wolves! I could keep going, but there are 26 of these suckers, and that'd make for a really long list.
Don't fret, Mom and Dad; there are valuable lessons too! Finn learns how tough it is to reign in his violent adventure-dom, no matter how many magical nails he has. He learns the hard way -- we've all been here, right? -- that being a hero and also being a giant, oversized, stinky foot ain't much of a match. I'm kind of kidding, but there really is a moral compass bobbing around somewhere in here, and Adventure Time blends that in deftly enough that it never comes across as preachy or anything.
If you're a neophyte and are wondering where the part is where I start yammering on about continuity and season arcs, then...nope! Not in this first season anyway. Each episode clocks in somewhere around twelve minutes a
There's not a stranger, more wonderful, more wildly imaginative show on the air these days (maybe ever?) than Adventure Time, cramming more off-the-wall inspired ideas into eleven minutes and change than most of shows can muster in a full season. It's fast, it's frenetic, and it's unbelievably funny. Its sense of humor can get playfully dark and demented, and it hits like a sledgehammer if you have the right sensibility no matter how old or young you might happen to be. As gleefully random as so much of the stuff that happens can get, there's still some sort of internal logic holding it all together. Creator Pendleton Ward and company do a tremendous job world-building without navel-gazing, ensuring that all that's fun and inviting an' engaging rather than dense and impenetrable. Aargh! This isn't a review; it's a mushy, slobbery Valentine! I love every gosh-darn thing about Adventure Time, from its indescribably amazing chiptune-inflected music to its deceptively simple art style to its really
Gotta admit: I was pretty skeered at first. This first season of Adventure Time crams over six hours of video -- almost every bit of it in high-def or upconverted! -- onto a single BD-50 disc, and it leaves almost a quarter of the capacity untouched too! I braced myself to gripe about nasty hiccups in the compression and excessive posterization and stuff, and...no, not so much.
Adventure Time is a total knockout in high-def, boasting a bright, colorful palette and crisp, well-defined linework. I guess because the visual style is pretty clean and uncluttered, the animation compresses unusually well; despite the staggering volume of material shoved into a fairly tiny bucket, I couldn't spot any hiccups in the authoring. This shiny, long-overdue Blu-ray release of Adventure Time is as perfect as it gets.
Tech specs speed run! One BD-50 disc. VC-1 encoding, which I didn't know was still a thing. Aspect ratio of 1.78:1.
I'm kinda blindsided by the lack of lossless audio, something I thought had been a given for years now. This season of Adventure Time is instead served up in Dolby Digital stereo (192kbps), so you're
A handful of commentary tracks aside, the only other audio option is a set of English (SDH) subtitles.
This first season of Adventure Time comes packaged in a Finn's-cowl-shaped die-cut-whatever slipcover, and an episode guide and UltraViolet digital copy code have been lovingly tucked inside.
The Final Word
Adventure Time is everything I love so much about animation. We're talking about a show that I can kick back and watch with my eleven year old kid brother, and I'm over the moon about being able to devour the entire first season over and over and over by my thirty-something-year-old self in my living room. One of the most exceptional things on TV these days and totally worth picking up on Blu-ray, no matter how many times you've watched these episodes before. Highly Recommended.