Adventure Time is the kind of cartoon show that turns up once every few years that wears the mask of children’s entertainment but gathers an audience far wider than its ostensible demographic. Yet the appeal of Adventure Time only continues to grow, moving slowly from cult status to entering the collective psyche that is ‘pop culture’. It’s still relatively niche, but now it is being referenced in The Simpsons, is given the ultimate geek tribute of being a regular cosplay outfit and it’s the kind of show that gets gif tributes and buzzfeed articles in its honour. People are gradually waking up to the weirdness and wonder of Jake and Finn’s world, and the show’s Season 2 DVD may just help to cement its place as a show that everyone can enjoy. In fact, your kids are probably the least likely to care.
If it does break into mainstream popularity, it thoroughly deserves it. Two things set Adventure Time apart from any number of kids shows. Firstly, it’s truly hilarious. The sense of humour is surreal – set in a magical land of Ooo that doesn’t seem to adhere to any natural laws of physics, Adventure Time is given full license to be entirely nonsensical and utterly absurd. This season features an episode where the duo can’t sleep because a horse is staring at them, people mysteriously turn to skeletons on the train as part of an elaborate birthday present and Jake and Finn try to persuade some partying bears to leave the belly of a monster. Sometimes the speed and silliness of the show can be disorienting, and it doesn’t ever seek to fix that, but Adventure Time may just be the most gleefully out-there show around. The second thing that really works is the animation, each episode hand drawn and in old-fashioned 2D. A lot of work goes into creating the look of the show, which is like an immensely detailed, inventive and colourful drawing by a child. It’s deceptive, seemingly simple but actually a work of art. Much like the show itself.
Rather annoyingly, some of the crucial episodes from Season 2 (It Came From The Nightosphere, Death In Bloom and Mortal Folly) do not feature on this DVD.