Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake (DVD)

“Adventure Time, c’mon on grab your friends. We’ll go to very distant lands. With Jake the Dog and Finn the Human, the fun will never end, it’s adventure time!”

Come join Finn the human (Jeremy Shada, Incredible Crew) and Jake the dog (John DiMaggio, The Penguins of Madagascar) as they travel through the Land of Ooo on fantastical adventures.

I don’t understand Cartoon Network’s reasoning here. They’ve already released the Complete First Season and yet still persist in putting out random packs like Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake even though the wildly popular series is in its fifth season. This time around there are sixteen more random fun-filled escapades awaiting your consumption.

“Fionna and Cake” (Season 3, Episode 9)
The Ice King (Tom Kenny, SpongeBob SquarePants) embraces the joy of fanfiction.

“Storytelling” (Season 2, Episode 5)
Finn has to find a true story filled with specially-requested elements from a sick Jake.

“The Other Tarts” (Season 2, Episode 9)
Princess Bubblegum (Hynden Walch, Teen Titans) entrusts Finn and Jake with delivering her tarts to the back-rubbing ceremony.

“The Silent King” (Season 2, Episode 14)
Finn becomes a king and Jake his queen in order to save the Goblin people.

“Death in Bloom” (Season 2, Episode 17)
Finn and Jake are given the responsibility of watching Princess Bubblegum’s plant and they mess it up big time.

“Still” (Season 3, Episode 7)
The Ice King doses Finn and Jake with Freezing Potion A in a plot to make the duo his friends.

“Wizard Battle” (Season 3, Episode 8)
Jake and Finn are excited to watch the Wizard Battle until they learn the prize is a kiss from Princess Bubblegum.

“What Was Missing” (Season 3, Episode 10)
A Door Lord wreaks havoc in Ooo and Finn and company must find a way to get all their treasures back.

“From Bad To Worse” (Season 3, Episode 13)
A sugar zombie infection claims Princess Bubblegum, the only one who has the reversal formula. Jake, Finn, Rainicorn (Niki Yang, Gravity Falls) and LSP (Pendelton Ward, Random! Cartoons) each take turns trying to make the formula themselves.

“Marceline’s Closet” (Season 3, Episode 20)
Finn and Jake end up hiding in Marceline’s (Olivia Olson, Phineas and Ferb) closet when they enter her house without permission.

“Ghost Princess” (Season 3, Episode 23)
Ghost Princess (Maria Bamford, WordGirl) gives the boys a mystery to solve: how she died.

“Incendium” (Season 3, Episode 25)
Jake travels to find Finn a new love interest.

“Card Wars” (Season 4, Episode 14)
Finn gets roped into playing a card game with Jake, who’s a super sore loser.

“Princess Cookie” (Season 4, Episode 13)
Jake and Finn undertake a hostage rescue but when Jake meets the kidnapper he has second thoughts.

“You Made Me” (Season 4, Episode 20)
Lemongrab (Justin Roiland, Fish Hooks) comes to the Candy Kingdom and demands citizens for his rule.

“Lady & Peebles” (Season 4, Episode 19)
Princess Bubblegum comes face-to-heart with Ricardio (George Takei, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country).

Adventure Time is a wacky and polarizing show. It’s random in most everything — pacing, storytelling, plot devices, even characterization — and that will be what both draws in and repels viewers. The lack of any real through-line for this specific collection of episodes means Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake can be watched by anyone, even those new to the show. But that same lack of mythology means Adventure Time isn’t necessarily appointment viewing.

However, I fall on the side of the drawn-in crowd. The simple animation style undercuts the slightly subversive nature of the show in just the right way, and the random songs are always amusing and my favorite part of any episode. The lack of structure to the world these characters inhabit means I can put on any episode and not worry I’m missing any backstory. The only frustration I had with Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake was a distinct lack of the titular characters. I really liked Fionna (Madeleine Martin, Californication) and Cake (Roz Ryan, Amen) and had hoped to see them in more than one episode.

Adventure Time plays well with the line between what a tween boy would say and do and what would be considered creepy to see. For instance, while Finn has an undeniable crush on Princess Bubblegum, he mostly considers kissing her as the ultimate goal. Compare that to Jake who definitely has more carnal intentions, usually hidden behind a quip but occasionally glimpsed as during his seduction of Rainicorn before he turns her into a zombie in “From Bad to Worse.” There’s also the requisite gross-out humor but thankfully it’s kept to a minimum and not played up to a ridiculous level. It’s not part of the Adult Swim block of programming, which keeps it from straying too far off into inappropriate waters. The episodes are short, funny, and, though occasionally violent, won’t be too much for anyone to handle.

Though the animation is simple it’s clean, and the palette is evenly saturated. The audio works well and holds up under the pressure of so many musical numbers. Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake is a show you watch more for content than the technical achievements, but both audio and video do their duty here.

The lone special feature is “Little Did You Know,” a menu of trivia about the characters, repeated from other sets.

Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake is a collection of episodes many ages will enjoy, provided they’re drawn to fluid characters and simple animation in a wacky world with no rules. It’s one of the rare shows my 12-year-old nephew and I both enjoy. Though I occasionally wish for more cohesion (not to mention Fionna and Cake), until the full seasons are released I suppose this will have to fulfill my “math!” quotient.


Oh glob, it’s not guilty.

Here are the top ten things we know: 1) She lives in Ohio 2) She is MWOC unless you count her two dogs 3) Believes Avatar was NOT the greatest movie ever made 4) Operates on a primarily nocturnal basis 5) Wants to write the screenplay for the movie adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle 6) Watches a variety of shows on television including, but not limited to: Castle, @midnight, Face Off, Sherlock and Whose Line is it Anyway? 7) Does not believe anyone will actually read this besides the editor (hello, Editor!) 8) Has attended more than one N*SYNC concert in her lifetime but only one NKOTB concert 9) Was in a car crash that would have killed her had she not been wearing her seat belt 10) Is in the process of catching up on Supernatural (incidentally would possibly leave her husband for either of the Winchester Brothers depending on the episode in question) and the bonus! 11) Enjoys reading, writing, laying on the beach (long walks tire her out) and assorted snack foods like frozen M&M's.
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