‘Adventure Time: Jake the Dad’ DVD Review
What time is it? Review Time!
(Because “‘Adventure Time: Jake the Dad’ DVD Review Time” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue…)
Recently, I received a copy of “Adventure Time: Jake the Dad’,” a DVD collection of 16 episodes of cartoon awesomness featuring everyone’s favorite human boy hero, Finn, and his stretchy dog/brother Jake as they go on (what else?) adventures. The DVD comes out today, September 17, 2013, in stores near you and is also available on Amazon. Plus, it comes with a nifty Jake hat!
Now, careful readers of Geek Smash might recall that the title episode of the DVD is one that we’ve covered before. (You can check out that article, as well as the one we did on “Mystery Dungeon,” or you can read on and see what I have to say about them.) I’m a big fan of Adventure Time, so I was as pleased to watch this DVD as I am giving you my thoughts on the episodes contained within.
As I mentioned, Geek Smash has already covered the first episode, “Jake the Dad,” but I’d like to point out that it features the voice stylings of Maria Bamford (a big influence on Dani Herd) as well as Kristen Schaal (whom you might have heard as Louise on “Bob’s Burgers,” along with H. Jon Benjamin).
“Burning Low” allowed us to see that Finn has a pretty solid relationship with Flame Princess, which is nice. I know he pined over Princess Bubblegum for a while, but his having an actual girlfriend in Flame Princess warms my heart. (See what I did there?)
“Gotcha” was the only episode (that I saw) to feature Lumpy Space Princess in any significant role, which I kinda liked, because I find her rather annoying. Amusing at times, but mostly annoying.
Sorry, LSP, but it’s true.
“Son of Mars” featured the Magic Man as an antagonist (and geeze louise is that guy disturbing. Talk about your sociopaths, right?) It also featured Abraham Lincoln, King of Mars (as everyone knows) and an emotionally closed-off minature Manticore. And that, ladies and gents, is one of the reasons I love “Adventure Time”: descriptive sentences like those.
“BMO Noir” was a bit strange–it seems BMO is a much deeper (and weirder) character than I first thought, but I didn’t know that much about him to begin with, so I was glad to see an episode that focused on him. I’m not sure kids would get the noir references, but I think Adventure Time is as much for adults as it is for kids (as I’ll focus on in an episode down below).
Mega Frog in “The Hard Easy” was pretty terrifying, and I won’t say much more on him as I don’t want to ruin the ending of the episode. Suffice it to say, curses have to be broken in very specific ways. Also, Finn’s hair is much longer than I thought.
“I Remember You” gives us an insight into the history of both Ice King and Marceline, but it’s the former character’s past that I’m more interested in. I never really thought of Ice King as anything other than a creepy old man that wants to kidnap young woman and marry them, but apparently he’s a more complex character than I thought. “I Remember You” shows us that the lives of IK and Marceline used to be much more intermingled, and that IK was once a man named Simon, back in the world before Ooo. “Simon & Marcy” really fleshes all that out, though.
I felt like “All The Little People” was Adventure Time’s tongue-in-cheek way of talking about shipping AT characters and fan-fiction in general, which I thought was a really neat idea. Magic Man gives Finn a bag containing tiny replicas of all the major–and many of the minor characters from the show he’s in. The little people, like “Sims” characters, interact with each other in ways we’d expect people to do so, all while speaking gibberish. Finn originally plays with the little people, but then becomes obsessed with them and their relationships. Eventually he figures out the living “dolls” are just different versions of his friends in an alternate reality, apologizes for messing up their lives, and fixes things with a dance party (as one does in these situations).
“Mystery Dungeon” has already been covered, so I shan’t do so again, but I would like to point out that in-show, Ice King has written “Fionna and Cake” fan-fiction, which I find really interesting. I don’t know much about F&C besides the fact that it’s a gender-swapped version of “Adventure Time,” but IK’s having written fan-fiction on the subject cracked me up.
The tenth episode on the DVD, “All Your Fault,” brings us to Lemongrab Castle, which is friggin’ terrifying. I know “Adventure Time” is a bit surreal at times, but this episode freaked me out. From the various organs poking out of the castle’s walls to the horrors lurking within its halls, I’m glad “Adventure Time” episodes don’t last longer than 10 minutes or “All Your Fault” might have given me bad dreams.
“Five More Short Graybles” gives us five short stories, all linked together with some common theme. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you, so I won’t say much more than that. (Also, who the heck is Cuber?)
“Vault of Bones” is both an episode that features the relationship between Finn and his girlfriend, Flame Princess, as well as one that comments on the difficulties people face within relationships, and I liked the way that “Adventure Time” tackles the topic. (In short, while you might like sneaking around dungeons, your partner might prefer blasting through doors and lighting enemies on fire.)
“Simon & Marcy” was probably my favorite episode on the whole DVD (followed closely by “Puhoy”). It tells the story of Simon and Marcy, 996 years before Finn and Jake’s current adventures in the Land of Ooo, and is a wonderfully-written episode with a number of heart-wrenching moments. Something strange has happened in the world–our world, with cars and planes and so forth–but 47 year-old Simon will do whatever it takes to protect Marcy, his seven year-old charge (aka Marceline the Vampire Queen back when she was just a little tyke). The two clearly care for each other, but when Marcy gets sick, Simon does his bet to find her chicken soup. We learn that his powers over ice and snow (as well as his madness) come from the crown he wears in the future as the Ice King, and each time he puts the crown on, his hair, beard and nose all get longer. I’ll leave you to watch the episode yourself, but I have to say, never has the theme song to “Cheers” been used in such a sad way before. A tip of the cap to you, Pendleton Ward and team. Magnificent writing there.
“Puhoy” reminds me of the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis, albeit seen through the looking glass that is “Adventure Time.” Finn and Jake build a pillow fort one rainy afternoon, and our boy hero feels a bit insecure about his realtionship with Flame Princess. So, he crawls inside to let his mind fester for a bit. Jake points out, “There’s no good kind of festering,” but Finn doesn’t listen, and he soon finds himself in a whole new world–one populated entirely by pillows. His way back home having vanished behind him, Finn must come to make a life for himself in this pillowy world, and it is hilarious (and then touching, all in one episode). We get to see Finn as an adult in “Puhoy,” which is pretty awesome. He might go on a lot of adventures as a kid, but !Adult Finn is badass.
The next two episodes, “One Last Job” and “BMO Lost” wind down the DVD, neither possessing the strength of the previous story arcs, but I still liked them both. “One Last Job” was like “Ocean’s Eleven,” with evil little girls, twin impersonators and stretchy dogs, while “BMO Lost” focused on BMO again, showing us how big and scary the Land of Ooo can be if you don’t have a friend by your side.
All in all, the “Adventure Time: Jake the Dad” DVD was an amazing time, and I heartily recommend you pick up a copy. (The hat alone is pretty snazzy.) Any other AT fans in the house? Be sure to give us a shout out below or on my Twitter @ColinOBoyle. And stay mathematical, friends.