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DVD Review: “Adventure Time: The Complete First Season”

I’m a huge fan of Adventure Time – have been since I met Pen Ward at Frederator’s offices when he was making the pilot a few years ago. Knew it would be a hit then and am delighted with its success since. Probably the most imaginative (and funny) cartoon show currently running on TV. Just got the complete first season DVD set and its a total blast – and highly recommended. It’s more than just perfect copies of the first 26 cartoons (aka 13 episodes) – it’s got one of the wildest “Behind The Scenes” featurettes I’ve ever seen – it’s a film within a film, within a documentary within a parody (clip below is only a hint of its wonderful strangeness). There’s even a “Behind the Scenes of the Behind The Scenes” video that has Throup Von Orman running around in a mo-cap green screen ping-pong ball suit… well, you’ll have to see it to understand.

And heck yeah, its got extras: Commentaries by Pen Ward, John Dimaggio, Tom Kenny, George Takei and the rest of the cast and crew on several cartoons and animatics, bonus cartoons, music videos and promo films. Adventure Time has become an instant classic and is one of those series you want to collect (or at least, I know I do). Adventure Time: The Complete First Season goes on sale next Tuesday July 10th. Unsolicited plug = Highly recommended.

  • Man, those guys are living the dream.

  • Anthony D.

    Question; does this include the pilot seen on Random! Cartoons? If not, do you think WB can work something out with Viacom/Paramount to get it on a second season release?

  • Cabel

    I would get this in a micro-heartbeat if it was Blu-Ray!

    Am I going to have to horde my beautiful, high-definition recordings of this amazing show on my TiVo forever? WHAT IF MY TIVO CRASHES?

    Seriously if anybody knows about a Blu-Ray release let me know.

    • Ryoku

      Personally I wouldn’t complain about a DVD release, most fans of other animated shows during the 90’s had to wait around 10 years for any real proper releases of their shows, now that theres a well done DVD release for Adventure Time means the fans should just go buy it and support the creators.

      Of course, thats all just a fancy way of me saying “I don’t care for blu-ray”.

    • Paul M

      Me too.

      According to Wiki, the show is cut in 1080i resolution, so a pristine DVD copy wouldn’t even come close to best quality on a large HDTV.

      Same goes for Avengers: EMH and several other cartoons.

      • Ryoku

        As simplistic as this cartoon is I don’t think that much detail will be lost on an HD TV and DVD, DVDs are good enough and certainly better than the VHS releases that some of us have had to cope with.

      • I’ve compared this side-by-side. ADVENTURE TIME standard-definition rips, up-rezzed, look almost the same as HD broadcasts on an HD monitor. It’s the nature of the show’s style, all simple lines and colors. A few differences are barely noticeable, such as the fake litho-printing effect used for title-card illustrations. That effect is much more visible in HD.

  • It’s good to see that someone is releasing a DVD season set of a cartoon instead of throwing a bunch of episodes together (this show has gotten that treatment too). I’m sure that fans would be just as interested in a season set as people who are curious about the show.

  • I’m with Cabel on this one, shame there’s no Blu-ray release. I’ll probably still buy it just for the extras, but here’s hoping they release Adventure Time on Blu-ray sometime in the future!

  • ben

    Awesome. Cant wait to pick this up. Love that they added some unique and creative bonus features.

  • As the instructor assigned to teaching a 1st year perspective drawing course at Cal Arts when Pen was starting out, I am as amazed as I am pleased at his success. Pen was adamant about his style and aesthetics, unchangeable by any request by me, which have now resulted in his being able to continue it and push it to create something fresh. His energy was abundant, I felt his drawings style could stretch. Throup too was in that group and had a similar grasp on his concepts of animation and original designs. Congratulations to both. They were within a very talented class and I was grateful to have had the time with them and the others, although it was not always easy on any of us. May Adventure Time, and those who are creating it, have a long and successful series of annual compilations. Stick with your vision.

    • Well I think this speaks volumes about your virtues as a teacher and mentor, that you were able to recognize and appreciate your students’ natural talent, instead of just forcing them to comply to some canonical standards :)

      • @ Red Pill, Thank you for this. After looking through 500+ submitted portfolios each year and admitting only 40 or so the artists were always talented beyond their years and considered peers by me. My class in perspective was designed to give an understanding of various systems ( 1, 2, 3 point) to ensure that their given talent was able to produce storyboards or layouts with the type and degree of space desired by them. The projects allowed for their character designs to be used in the project’s spacial concerns. It was the toughest class I ever had to teach and all the students worked hard to incorporate this Renaissance developed system into their ability levels. As artists we pushed what we knew to expand. We dialogued. I have never learned anything that at some point was not usable at another point in my career. I learned a great deal from the students and believe I now incorporate more “animation” into my own work. I remember a design of an octopus that Throup brought in that floored me.Who could have guessed? Re @ Seni “those guys are living the dream”… involved many sleepless nights in the cubes:)

      • Great

        Calarts sounds like Hogwarts

        *wishes I had gone*

  • My thoughts on it being released on DVD instead of Blu-Ray:

  • Mike

    Exciting! I’m amazed at how fresh, funny and consistent this show has managed to remain thus far in its run…I’ll definitely be picking this up once payday rolls around!

  • Shagohod

    Cool! Anyone knows about the subtitles on the DVD?

  • Noah

    I won’t buy this until they release it on Bluray. Though you can purchase all the seasons in HD on Amazon, I would just love owning it on disc.

  • Ryoku

    Thanks for offering us a fine Adventure Time release, too bad that its not in Blu-Ray, because we need to see every detail in a rather simplistic cartoon we’re going to sit by and act spoiled rather than be grateful that theres a good release to begin with.

    I’m not even much of an Adventure Time fan, but I do feel sorry for the creators if thats how they’re going to be treated.

  • Melissa RF

    I love it but I have a hard time watching the episodes because I just want to listen to the music in the menus!