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23 Minutes in Heaven
November 18, 2012 11:47 AM   Subscribe


 
No.
posted by Aquaman at 11:52 AM on November 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


No. it's awesomeness is the reason for its awesomeness. It's bright, funny, better than it has to be and something kids and thirtysomething geeks can get into.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:57 AM on November 18, 2012 [15 favorites]


For the most part, I don't think nostalgia (as he defined it) is unique to Adventure Time more so than any other well-loved program. Happysad is a complex emotion that all of my favorite shows tap into periodically, so I think it's probably the root of my enjoyment for almost all art.

He did mention a couple of things that make AT unique- he said that AT has a history, shown in the landscape and the past lives of characters that are only hinted at. I think that's true and an interesting point. It's a lot like Star Wars in the sense that we see but don't understand a broader universe beyond the immediate vicinity of our characters.
posted by Think_Long at 12:02 PM on November 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Incidently, while he may have been wrong about Adventure Time, it was interestingly wrong and the series this video is a part of looks interesting as well, so nowhere near a total loss then.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:07 PM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe? Cause Adventure Time feels a lot like what I remember "running around the scrub forest pretending to be an X-Man" was like.
posted by The Whelk at 12:13 PM on November 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


When he says that Adventure Time is the greatest animated show ever he inadvertently reveals that he's never watched Bagpuss.
posted by dng at 12:16 PM on November 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think it's a pretty valid idea. I started watching Adventure Time because my nephew would put it on sometimes at my parents' house when I was there, and was constantly quoting really funny lines from it (I can now start talking like Lumpy Space Princess any time I want to make him laugh).

His referents to other cartoons seemed to miss a more relevant example in live-action kids programming: Pete and Pete. It's the same magical realistic imagining of the horrifying and intoxicating mixture of being a kid and slowly becoming not a kid (happy-sad, as the video puts it). Adventure Time reminds me of Pete and Pete. Episodic content in a magical world with well developed characters who's actions also contribute to an ever evolving greater story line.

I'd be curious to see what the overlap of Pete and Pete and Adventure Time fans are.

Anyway, I'd say that nostalgia as the sole explanation of Adventure Time's adult popularity is reductive, but it does get towards an important aspect of it.
posted by codacorolla at 12:26 PM on November 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I loved The Adventures of Pete and Pete. I love Adventure Time.

I am a 34 year old boy.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 12:33 PM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


When he says that Adventure Time is the greatest animated show ever he inadvertently reveals that he's never watched Bagpuss.

Or any of the anime far better than whatever the hell that was he used as his example of "adult situations in anime."

Point being: while Adventure Time is unequivocally the best American animated show of the last decade and, arguably, the century so far, there are far too many contenders in far too many genres for you to give any show the title of "the best animated show ever."
posted by fifthrider at 12:38 PM on November 18, 2012


That dude could probably suck all the fun right out of your doughnut without you even noticing.
posted by imperium at 12:41 PM on November 18, 2012


Is it just me or did that guy spend a ridiculous amount of time talking while specifically trying not to make eye contact? Disturbing. If he talks like that in person, I'd walk away very quickly.

And sure, Max saved Latin, but I put Adventure Time in front of the teeming masses almost six years ago. What did you ever do?
posted by dobbs at 12:46 PM on November 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Dobbs, you're a hero too. I salute your foresight, etc.

Oddly, the link to Ward's site lets one go to the movies page which redirects you to a YouTube link that Ward has apparently taken down. What the Glob?
posted by imperium at 12:54 PM on November 18, 2012


I watched this show once with the kiddo and she didn't really take to it and I thought it was sort of okayish but not amazing. I dunno, should I give it another go?
posted by Artw at 1:00 PM on November 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


When he says that Adventure Time is the greatest animated show ever he inadvertently reveals that he's never watched Bagpuss.

There have been lots of cartoons, and there are many contenders to that throne. Besides oddities like MLP:FiM, there's the shows from Cartoon Network's single-creator program (Dexter's Lab, Powerpuff, Courage, Foster's), there's the cream of the Kids WB crop (Animaniacs, Freakazoid, Earthworm Jim), a couple of syndicated relatives to those (Tazmania), there's more serious shows (Batman: TAS). There are some classics that people falsely remember as worse than they are for various reasons: the old Teddy Ruxpin show was much better than it had to be, and Garfield and Friends was arguably better than the strip. Disney did a few great cartoons too around that time: Gummi Bears of course, and the underrated Wuzzles, and the Carl Barks-inspired Ducktales and its subsequent related adventure shows. And The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show is probably the best animated adaption of Peanuts, because unlike the many specials, it animated Schulz's own storylines.

If we go back a ways, we run into Rocky and Bullwinkle and the Saturday Morning compilations of theatrical Warner Bros. cartoons, against which even Adventure Time (which is terrific) must falter.
posted by JHarris at 1:09 PM on November 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


I dunno, should I give it another go?

If your kid doesn't like it, then I guess tough for her? Personally, I'd give it another shot - the whole production has got this sublimely stream-of-consciousness charm to it. It's not so much a "kids show" so much as it is a "nerdy college students and kids" show.
posted by fifthrider at 1:10 PM on November 18, 2012


Batman: TAS

...and the equally but differently awesome Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
posted by Artw at 1:11 PM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


In this young viewer's opinion, Gravity Falls bests Adventure Time any day of the week. Its comic pacing's so sharp I'm surprised it's not on Adult Swim, Mabel's one of the best characters on TV right now (and Gruncle Stan is schlamazing), and it manages lots of incredibly nerdy jokes while remaining totally comfortable and accessible. My only regret is how sporadically it's on, and how slowly it's been developing its mythology. Who has Book #1, damn it?!
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:17 PM on November 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hyperbole still puzzling to many Mefites then?
posted by MartinWisse at 1:17 PM on November 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, I neglected to include B:BatB. Those two shows are exactly equal in terrificness, absolutely.

My list was non-exhaustive, of course, and if I really thought about it I could bring up lots of increasingly strange competitors from such diverse sources as Filmation (Star Trek: The Animated Series), France (Les Mondes Engloutis) and of course Japan. One tries not to spend too much time in writing Metafilter comments.
posted by JHarris at 1:17 PM on November 18, 2012


The beauty of Bagpuss is beyond hyperbole
posted by dng at 1:21 PM on November 18, 2012


I don't know about eh? A friend was raving about it, and we watched a couple of episodes and it seemed a pretty middle-or-the-road kid's show to me. I mean, obviously, there's far, far worse out there, but I do wonder what its popularity would be without the powerful vein of nostalgia running through it.

I wanted to ask my friend, do you actually like this show, because of what it is; or because of what it symbolises?
posted by smoke at 1:22 PM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hyperbole still puzzling to many Mefites then?

If the hyperbole immediately sends listeners to casting about for counter-examples, then it is THE LEAST-EFFECTIVE HYPERBOLE EVER TO HAVE BEEN SPOKEN BY CARBON-BASED LIFEFORMS ANYWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE!!!!
posted by JHarris at 1:23 PM on November 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Let's always be stupid. Forever!
posted by erniepan at 1:48 PM on November 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


JHarris, how did you steal my taste in cartoons?

One semi-forgotten great I must point out: TOM TERRIFIC. Interrupting the live-action of the Captain Kangaroo show, this was minimalist (and minimal-budget) animation done near-perfectly! Created by UPA Animation veteran Gene Deitch (whose autograph I got at a 1980's cartoon festival, SQUEEE!!!), there's a lot here that obviously influenced Adventure Time. Part 1, Part 2.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:50 PM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The fast paced delivery, head bobbing, and editing make that a pretty annoying thing to watch.
posted by Daddy-O at 2:01 PM on November 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, that one's pretty good too, although I think Jay Ward pretty much did the best of those kinds of limited animation cartoons. Gene Deitch also did some very strange theatrical Tom & Jerry cartoons, and had talented kids Kim and Seth Deitch.
posted by JHarris at 2:13 PM on November 18, 2012


The reason I like Adventure Time has nothing to do with nostalgia and everything to do with its absurd and sometimes morbid humor. But the terribly drawn Gag Manga Biyori is still better.
posted by martinrebas at 2:38 PM on November 18, 2012


I think I just learned a lot more about this complete stranger who likes to talk quickly on the internet than I did about Adventure Time.
posted by phooky at 2:53 PM on November 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love Moose & Squirrel as much as anybody, but I MUST note again that Jay Ward was a cartoon Producer, not a cartoon creator, more like Leon Schlessinger was for Looney Tunes and Fred Seibert is for Adventure Time, Dexter's Laboratory and half of the coolest toons inbetween. If you want to be a true Pedantic Cartoon Nerd, you'll say Jay Ward AND Bill Scott.

Still, it must be noted that Tom Terrific was more "animated" than anything on TV in that era (and most of the Ward/Scott cartoons relied on much more verbal than visual humor). And the story of Deitch making '60s Tom and Jerry AND Popeye cartoons in Prague is one of the weirdest footnotes in animation history.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:33 PM on November 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I adore Adventure Time. The first time i watched it, i thought "How many drugs were they on??" Then as i watched more episodes, i fell in love. It's one of those shows that has actually got me to tear up while watching, mostly from what has been revealed about Ice King's past. It's an episode near the end of fourth season, but I Remember You was better than most live action shows in my view. What at first seems to be a joke character, silly and pointless, is actually a very tragic figure. There are many stand out episodes, some are just one off ones, others build the world (a very crapsacarine world at that) and it's characters.

In this young viewer's opinion, Gravity Falls bests Adventure Time any day of the week.

I like Gravity Falls, but i wouldn't put it even near the same level as Adventure Time. Gravity Falls comes across as very straight forward and obvious. Adventure Time gets under my skin, gradually, while seeming absurdist and silly, it deconstructs a lot of things and instead of going for the easy moral of the story, it subverts it and shows a lot times that there is no happy ending.
posted by usagizero at 3:49 PM on November 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think of Adventure Time as an animated version of Jack Vance's Dying Earth books. The Earth is in its final throes. Everything — war, destruction, catastrophe — has already happened over and over an uncountable number of times. The world's surface is pockmarked with disturbing and incomprehensible signs of a thousand millennia of tortuous history.

I guess that makes it part of the same set of tropes that gave us things like Ralph Bakshi's Wizards and Shadowrun: that rational, historical civilization has a finite span, that it arose from the gibbering chaos, and that it's overdue to return to that chaos again.
posted by Nomyte at 6:07 PM on November 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you want to be a true Pedantic Cartoon Nerd, you'll say Jay Ward AND Bill Scott.

I mentioned Ward not to point to him as The Source, but as a quick way to call in the rest of the stuff he (and Scott) worked on, which was really a collection of cartoons, all of which pretty much just as great as Rocky and Friends. And honestly, Ward had a lot more to do with R&B than Schlesinger did with the Looney Tunes, who never realized really what it was he had.

If I ever make a sock puppet, I just want to tell everyone that I have dibs on the name "Ponsonby Britt O.B.E."
posted by JHarris at 7:13 PM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


and had talented kids Kim and Seth Deitch.

Interesting you should mention that. Adventure Time's character design reminds me a lot of Kim Deitch's underground cartoons, especially those featuring Waldo. It seems like they're drawing from the same well, or couple of wells, including the early cartoons of the Fleischer Brothers and, to an extent, Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland. I find this appealing in a nostalgic way that our video theorist doesn't mention -- a longing for a past I did not live through.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:43 PM on November 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


A friend of mine spent several weeks consecutively trying to get me to watch AT. Thanks to Metafilter, I just spent a very unproductive few hours watching the first couple of seasons. I think I'm in love. I should come out from under my rock more often.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 11:11 PM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm waiting for a moment in a game like Agricola, where I suavely claim the last food on the board on a Harvest round that another player was relying on, so that as I place my token on the board I can say aloud to the poor opponent now forced to take begging cards: "I floop the pig!"
posted by JHarris at 6:33 AM on December 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


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