Monday, September 3, 2018

The Seminal Process of Adventure Time

The memories I had from Adventure Time came within the first time in three years that I had access to cable television, it was the first time in almost ten years that I saw a show that wasn't placed on the slapstick realm of programming as back in the first decade of the 2000 much of the cartoon oriented show where aimed to a light entertainment.

It made me think, this was the first show of it's kind of the second decade of the 2000's mostly because it grabbed elements on the narrative from shows of the early 90's and anime style because there was a narrative, a well developed mythology, characters that grew up with the seasons and cohesion between the episodes; it quickly became a fan favorite because it showed a complex narrative whenever the programming in Cartoon Network was in decline.

On the first couple of seasons the show seemed to be oriented mostly as a Shonen-style program, nothing out of the ordinary that premise showed "just a boy and his dog having fantastical adventures" until the episode Business Time where a frozen business men who appeared in a glacier gave the first indications about the setting of the show.

We have to notice that even it it was a kid's show it was set in a post-apocalyptic land where essentially humanity was whipped down because of the Mushroom War which also led to the evolution of items such as candy, animals and other objects as the predominant life forms of the planet. The Mushroom War is the quintessential story element of the show because it's the moment in the timeline where everything develops into what we had as the arcs in Adventure Time.

Through the Mushroom War we learned as being the viewers that the universe in the Land of Ooo is far more complex than the setting it's placed, it's a world where humanity is on the verge of extinction due the ruins that are shown on almost every adventure Finn and Jake step in, is a show that even if it's aimed to children it exposes the idea of a post nuclear war setting.

Is not only to the scenario, on several episodes there are corpses and nuclear weapons, even on the episodes centered around Simon Petrikov prior his transformation showed that the world was already savaged by the war or at least in the process; it's almost important to notice that in the universe of Adventure Time - magic is real - and there is a pantheon of deities that form part of the cosmology.

It wasn't a common kids cartoon, thanks to services as Netflix it also got aimed at adults because of the dynamic between the characters, all of them being more than stereotypes they represented. Over the years, there were implications about the relationship between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline as they seemed to be a couple making them one of the first lesbian couples in a children's cartoon.

Over several episodes there where hints and we learned their past story but it wasn't fully as it was shown to be mostly exes, as in one episodes Princess Bubblegum seemed to had a shirt that Marceline gave to her and kept after they broke up, mostly because the shirt had Marcy scent around it; but, it was until the series finale when we finally saw the real feelings they where holding for each other after a long time.

Maybe if the show runner's would made a different plan, the arcs would had shown a stable couple trying to survive in a hostile enviroment instead of a more platonic scenario that lasted for almost the entire duration of the show, yet we have to remember thanks to Adventure Time it opened the doors to another cult favorite which is Steven Universe and it does has a more diverse representation towards a queer inclusion in children television.

The show itself it was refreshing because on the surface it was quite lighthearted but the appeal that reached to adults with the clever writing made it interesting; it's good to note that the adults that enjoyed the show today where the children in the 90's who woke up early to see the Saturday morning cartoon and moved that enthusiasm of cartoons up to the early 2000 and the influence of Anime and Manga in the American society.