This is more editorial than news, but I just wanted to put this out there about Adventure Time, one of the best cartoons out there today. When I saw it for the first time, I didn’t get it. At first I thought it was really just a messed up cartoon for stoners. However, the more of a chance I gave it, the more I started to get it. A midst all the zany adventures of a boy and his Gumby like dog is a a really in-depth, long form narrative story with way more heart and complexity than I’d ever had expected from a kids show.
The best example of this is actually this past week’s episode titled, “I Remember You.”
Just a quick intro for people who don’t know the show. The two main characters of this episode were The Ice King and Marceline The Vampire. The Ice King is known mainly for being the bad guy in the show. He’s an insane ice wizard who is always trying to kidnap the princesses and make them his brides.
Marceline is sort of an Indy rock Vampire with a tough exterior, but she’s actually one of the best friends of the show’s main characters, Finn and Jake.
For several seasons, we’ve only seen The Ice King as bad guy. He has small moments of not so badness, but overall, he’s evil and he’s a complete whack job. Also, he’s almost never interacted with Marceline until tonight’s episode where he feels a compulsion to go see her because he likes her music and needs help writing a song.
The set up is there for a basic funny episode, but then they turn it completely on its ass. We learn that The Ice Kin has been visiting her for years, but has no memory of it. We also learn that the two once shared a very close bond when he took care of her as a child after a great war.
The song that happens next was actually the farewell letter that the Ice King wrote to her as he started to lose his mind. Even as they sing it together, he doesn’t recognize it or realize that he was the one who wrote it years earlier.
That was way more emotion than I was expecting for a fifteen minute cartoon.