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‘Adventure Time’ starts tonight!

Here’s a day I’ve been waiting for — for at least three years. Set the TiVo or tune-in tonight at 8pm as Cartoon Network presents the premiere of Pen Ward’s cult-cartoon series, Adventure Time.

To get you up to speed, check out some epic tribute art by The Autumn Society, watch the original pilot or sing along to the theme song. It’s the first original thing to hit the TV cartoon world in several years, and I want it to be a hit. Best wishes and good luck to Pen and his incredible crew.

  • Here here. Since I watched the pilot at ComiCon in 2006 (I think) and heard Pen speak about how he kind of just carries a sketchbook around with him and made the story whilst on a fishing trip with his brother, all in a very understated way, I was a convert. I somehow think South Africa will get the show much later, but still, I look forward to seeing it someday. Here’s hoping it encourages a new era of awesome animated series where imagination is king. What is the x-factor that makes Adventure Time so appealing to me? I think Pen has managed to Ward himself off of falling into what could be easily misunderstood for mainstream animation and instead created something unique. Whatever the case I’ve been following the progress on the Frederator Blog site and Ghostshrimp and others have created some truly outstanding backgrounds. I think Frederator took a gamble with the original pilot way back when, and with any luck they’ll reap major rewards. AT is kind of surreal in the very best way. And the chiptune soundtrack of the pilot? Awesome. Hopefully that innocent quality of the pilot won’t get lost in the series translation. I remember one post on the YouTube pilot comments section saying something along the lines of ‘it was like a kid told his dad a story he just made up and then a pilot was created using the kid’s words verbatim’.

    Good luck Adventure Time team.

    If they kept the same voice for Jake the dog as it was in the pilot, that’ll be awesome.

  • jordan reichek

    pen’s show is prurty durn awrsum! hope it does well and breathes some life into an ailing network and an ailing buziness.

  • ADVENTURE TIME! So glad that Cartoon Network has commissioned more great animation for kids!

    :( but I’m in the UK. So no Adventure for me.

  • mrscriblam

    i am terribly excited to see this

    terribly terribly


  • Cartoon Network took the pilot down.

  • I wish I could see this in Canada. Hopefully, Teletoon plans to air this in the near future (the network has been increasingly showing live-action movies like CN – the other day it was A History of Violence…)

    I really loved the pilot and hope the show makes a big splash. Algebraic!!

  • Shawn Jackson

    Finally! My brain is so hungry for this. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Oh. That’s what they meant when they kept asking for the next spongebob. Who knew but you? Congratulations Pen.

    And, of course, the link to the pilot has been taken down. Here in Canada, anyway.

  • Beautiful backgrounds and original characters. I ALSO want to wish this show the best. It looks alot of fun!

  • I saw post it storyboards of this when i visited Cartoon Networks tudios last year, and designs too. It looked like the most interesting , funny and original show in a long,long time. Pity Uncle Granpaw never got greenlit but I am glad this one did! Cant wait to catch it over here on the owld sod.

  • Kevin

    “Trouble in Lumpy Space” is available for free in the US iTunes store.

  • I know someone special who likes it!

  • Tom Floyd “Cartoon Network took the pilot down”

    That’s because the execs who run Cartoon Network are (with the exception of producing Adventure Time) idiots.

  • MattSullivan

    Am I the only one who thinks this “style” is ugly?

  • stooky

    This will wash the taste of CN’s “fresh” take on Scooby clean out of viewers minds.

  • startstop

    Mike- the voice of the dog IS the same as the one in the pilot.

    TomFloyd- What do you mean they “took the pilot down”? Where?

    And I in no way think the style is ugly. How would someone say it’s ugly if it’s one I haven’t seen that much in order to judge correctly.

    I already saw two episodes of this when they previewed it in March. Can’t wait!

  • you guys can actually go watch an episode for free on itunes. Theres one available for download and it was great!

    I especially like the opening animation and closing song.

  • Gio

    I love this style. Im very happy it does not look like something we have seen before.

    I wish this show the best of luck and love the style of animation, characters bg and especially the fact that the expressions can go off model and stretch and change into very strong cartoony expression that would be hard to re-create in a CG world.

    Good luck Pen, I hope this series pushes the network to pick up more shows that are CARTOONS, since it is CARTOON NETWORK.

  • Alberto

    CN did play a sneak peek of the show a couple weeks ago. My only concern was that someone in the staff succesfully found a way to replace every comma in the script with “dude” or “man,” got on my nerves after a while.

  • I can’t wait I can’t wait I can’t WAIT!

  • Chris

    Dear Nickelodeon,

    Sorry yet?


  • Marco



    Of course it’s just personal tastes, but it’s what’s keeping me from gaining any interest in or watching this show.

  • James

    Wait, wait… wait… wait… There’s… there’s people that are excited about this show? Nevermind, that makes sense. Most people are stupid… most people are incredibly stupid… I gotta get used to that.

  • i don’t see anything new or exciting, not to offend, but this is the same show adn Chowder and Flapjack…but less beautifully rendered or designed. a Five year old could draw this stuff!

  • everytime I hear the theme song, and attempt to sing along, I end up calling Finn “Pen”, because I was so used to it in the pilot.

    Oh, well. I’ll get used to Finn soon enough.

  • Gobo

    James: if you don’t have anything intelligent to add to the discussion, there’s no reason to pipe up unless you’re just here to be a troll. Just sayin’. Yes, I’m very excited about this show, because it’s unique, clever, well-written, and has a great style. It’s fun. That’s what cartoons should be, right?

  • MC

    I just watched the free episode on Itunes.
    It was difficult to understand a lot of the dialog. It sounded like most of the characters were talking with their mouths full.
    What was supposed to be funny? The weird accents? The attitudes?
    The story points seem to take precedence over any of the gags.
    Kind of a mess….

  • Scarabim


    Also no.

    Can’t cartoonists design appealing-looking characters anymore? They don’t have to be Disneyesque – look at Spongebob – but just make them so that I can believe in them enough to focus on the story, instead of their garish hideousness.

  • JP

    How much longer will it take me to quit thinking “Bender” every time the dog talks?

    Hopefully not as long as it took me to quit thinking “Peg Bundy” every time Leela spoke in Futurama!

  • Deaniac

    Finally, the day has come! All of the sneak peeks have been nothing short of awesome, and I have high hopes for the series premiere as well. Who knows? This show could be a hit in the making.

    What time is it??

  • Demetre

    I think its a decent show that reaches its demographics. I’d rather see new original cartoons then scooby. Plus its for kids. Kids don’t see style as important, as long as its fun. I think Flap jack and Chowder have hideous design but its still fun to watch.

  • Casper the friendly executive.

    Yeah, what’s wrong with people? You’d think some of them liked different things to me or something. And that’s stupid. They’re stupid.
    None of these characters are appealing except to the many people who find them appealing and they’re lying. Learn to draw Pen, and then make me exatcly the show I’m thinking of right now. Now that’s a GOOD show.

  • Awesome! Good luck Pen & team!!! Tho, you don’t need it! I’m sure this will be a hit for a mathematically loooong while!

  • James

    On a scale of 1 to 10, how great is this “great style”? If you rate it very highly, you obviously need to explore a much greater variety of animated cartoons, comics, and illustrations all through the past 100 years. And not just the popular stuff. Dig around. The internet makes this real easy. I bet your new favorites are out there somewhere waiting for you to discover them. Same goes for writing, music, and anything else.

  • Anonymous

    “It’s the first original thing to hit the TV cartoon world in several years”

    Hey, what about Superjail? That wasn’t that long ago.

  • Chris

    I respectfully disagree with MattSullivan, Marco, James, AJ, MC, Scarabi, and James again.

    I can’t wait!

  • Hal

    RIGHT ON! THE FIRST MUMBLECORE KIDS SHOW! I kid because I love. Hope P. Ward knocks it out of the park!
    Still – thank you everyone who mentioned how great the Adult Swim animated series ignored by CB are – Metalocalypse and Venture Brothers are two of the best looking tv animated series out there, and content wise they kill. As does ARCHER, which is really starting to push its FRISKY DINGO flash look into something more stylistically satisfying. You wouldn’t realize adult orient animation is out there on basic cable if you only came to Cartoon Brew, but they pimp the hell out of kids’ shows like ADVENTURE TIME. In this instance, a great thing, and props due to CN for putting ADVENTURE TIME on before killing it unceremoniously. Still, sad there’s animation out there for adults that goes unappreciated on this site. Is there a bias against World Leaders by Amid and Titmouse by Jerry or something? These series seem to be going strong and have a growing fanbase of ADULTS.

  • Roberto Severino

    I just watched the first half of the show right now on TV, and the other part of it on iTunes, and overall, this seemed very original compared to a lot of the contemporary TV animation out there. To me, it’s pretty refreshing to see something that’s not trying to do the “flat” style or the “Spumco” style at all. I can tell Pen Ward and his team have been working really hard at making this cartoon a success. I wish him good luck as he continues to work on these episodes, and I honestly can’t wait for more Adventure Time premieres.

    By the way, I noticed some recognizable names from some people who have worked on SpongeBob, like Derek Drymon and Merriweather Williams. Just something interesting that I noticed.

  • MattSullivan

    I wish I COULD enjoy this style. I’m not opposed to anyone’s creation becoming a success. And i don’t have ANY personal feelings against the people who worked on it.

    I just think this is a step BACKWARDS, I think it’s BAD design. I think it’s POOR drawing, That’s all. I think it’s flat and uninspired.

    And by the way at no time did I ever say that I was any better than the people who DO enjoy this style.

  • Scarabim

    Just watched a full episode for the first time. Oh man, awful. Just awful. Not because it’s “different”. Because:

    1. Ugly. You know, sometimes ugly art can be overlooked. Because if ugly is funky enough, it can be fun. But there ain’t no funky in AT’s kind of ugly. It’s just UGLY. Jeremy Hilary Boob in Yellow Submarine=Funky. Finn and Jake=UGLY.

    2. Unfortunately, the scripting is also awful. Not because it’s different. Because it’s awful. It’s aggressively strange and overbearingly twisted. It’s like an acid trip. A bad acid trip. And those aren’t fun, folks. To experience or to watch. Trust me.

    3. Some of the stuff in the show was just plain too weirdly suggestive in tone for a kid’s cartoon. For Adult Swim, it’d be fine. But not for prime time.

    Grade=F+. The + is for the obvious effort put into this show. But sadly, it’s still awful.

  • That was algebraic.

  • Edward


  • Deaniac

    Scarabim: The show WAS rated TV-PG for a reason. It wasn’t geared for just kids.

    If you don’t like the scripting or the art style, that’s your own problem (and a sad one at that), but at least get your facts straight.

  • I have not watched any of the shows available on the net, but I can say from what I have seen in the preview advertising I will not be letting my 9 and 11 year boys watch this show. I believe there was way too much punching and aggressive behavior in those previews.

  • Gobo

    James: No need to worry about my sense of style. Looking at my library, I see Tintin, Carl Barks, Vaughn Bode, Moebius, Lynda Barry, Chris Ware, Sendak, Dave Gibbons, Jeff Smith, Charles Schultz, Berke Breathed… you know, a variety of good stuff. Pen Ward’s style’s unlike all of those. It’s rubber-hose to the extreme, childlike, playful, and cartoony. I dig it. You don’t have to. But you don’t have to call everyone “stupid” who does.

  • Good luck Penn! Fingers crossed!

  • Scarabim

    Deaniac, Self-Appointed Judge Of Us All, decreed:

    **Scarabim: The show WAS rated TV-PG for a reason. It wasn’t geared for just kids. If you don’t like the scripting or the art style, that’s your own problem (and a sad one at that), but at least get your facts straight.**

    I don’t see my opinion as problematic, Your Honor, apparently YOU do. So it’s YOUR problem. Case dismissed!

    The show’s rating may excuse its tasteless innuendo, but not its essential ugliness and lack of entertainment value. I predict a short life for this. And when it does fail, perhaps Cartoon Network will finally give up on the idea that kids’ cartoons should consist of poor art, questionable scripting and tons of fart, snot and poop jokes. But more than likely it’ll just turn to live-action shows again. Which cartoon devotees will deplore and blame the Network for, when in reality they should blame Flapjack and Chowder and Finn and Jake et al. Yeah, that’ll happen.

  • Brad

    So funny. And love the style. Can’t believe people are saying it’s ugly. They must not be watching other kids’ cartoon shows these days. This and Flapjack are the best things on TV right now.


  • hohoho

    booo! it was awesome! Scarabim… you don’t honestly think that people sit around in a conference room at cartoon network and say “WE NEED MORE POOR ART, MORE QUESTIONABLE SCRIPTS, AND MORE SCATALOGICAL HUMOR!” I think that perspective of reality is a little warped…

    And why should they blame Flapjack and Chowder and Adventure Time? Wait why are they blaming something? for what? and who is they?

    I can’t really follow your train of thought…

    Anyway, it was awesome!! Go adventure time!

  • I can’t believe I’m about to enter into this, but…

    Those who don’t like the design of the show, you are more than entitled to your opinion.
    It’s remarkable that the personality of the creator was actually allowed to bleed into the production of the show instead of insisting on the usual cut and paste style of commercial television.
    For that alone it’s impressive.

    I’ll repeat a question nobody’s bothered to answer yet.
    When did “flat” and “appealing” become the buzzwords used to describe good or bad design?
    There’s a third one nobody’s mentioned yet but I can’t think what it is.

    I don’t even know what to say to the bloke who won’t let his kids watch it because there’s apparently too much punching and kicking in the previews.

  • Jack C

    My humble opinion is that this show is great! I think it’s hilarious, colorful and fun to watch. I love the designs, they remind me of a childrens drawing come to life.

    I can’t wait for more episodes. I wasn’t too much a fan of the free itunes one, but it still made me smile.

    Haters gon hate. It doesn’t make me love it any less.

  • Scarabim

    **booo! it was awesome! Scarabim… you don’t honestly think that people sit around in a conference room at cartoon network and say “WE NEED MORE POOR ART, MORE QUESTIONABLE SCRIPTS, AND MORE SCATALOGICAL HUMOR!” I think that perspective of reality is a little warped…**

    I think if the suits at CN think that stuff sells, you bet your booty they do, although they no doubt phrase it differently. And they’re the ones with the warped perspective, if they think Adventure Time is a show most kids will like.

    **And why should they blame Flapjack and Chowder and Adventure Time? Wait why are they blaming something? for what? and who is they? I can’t really follow your train of thought…**

    Well, why did CN turn to live action in the first place? I think the answer might be that the toons they had weren’t performing satisfactorily, and so “they” (by which I mean the suits at CN) decided that live action was the way to go (after all, live action shows are quite successful for Nick and Disney). So if that’s the case, that Chowder and Flapjack didn’t deliver and so live-action was brought into play, who else would CN blame?

  • Ed

    congrats to pen and pat and all of their crew. bert, adam, …etc. you all did good. first episode, awesome, reminds me of calarts days at the lodge.

  • Deaniac

    >>taking cartoons seriously

    Should I even bother arguing anymore?

    Although I agree with Jack C, the designs ARE reminescent to that of a child’s drawings. Maybe that’s the style Pen was aiming for?

    And yeah, haters will hate. Still don’t love the show any less myself.

  • jk

    My 12 year old son was quite excited, having looked forward to this show for months. “Hurry up, hurry up! It’s coming on! Let’s watch it all together!” And we did.

    Here is what he has to say about it today, quoting verbatim:

    “Adventure Time is like a canceled Adult Swim show. And here are the reasons why. First of all, the first episode I saw, the first line is about exploding diarrhea. Second of all, all the kissing jokes in it. I didn’t understand the Seven Minutes in Heaven thing that much and my mom had to explain it to me. The voice acting was terrible. The plot was the main character had to distract everyone from the zombie attack. It didn’t make much sense and was uninteresting. I was really looking forward to this because it was a chance for Cartoon Network to have another good cartoon like Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Lab and Courage the Cowardly Dog. Those are some great cartoons. They’re fun. I didn’t laugh at any of the jokes in Adventure Time. It just wasn’t funny. They had thousands of opportunities for good jokes but instead they did dumb ones. Humor nowadays for cartoons isn’t as funny as the old ones. All it is is snot, vomit, fart and poop jokes. I thought the animation was ugly and unoriginal.”

  • jk

    P.S. He’s never watched Adult Swim. That’s just an impression he has…Well, except for “Space Ghost”. He’s memorized “Space Ghost” episodes. He asked me to add that he loves “Space Ghost”.

  • Thomas Hatch

    Your kid sounds like a barrel of laughs!

  • JK – your 12 year old son doesn’t work for the network does he?
    Perhaps he’s in charge of animation decisions.
    Sure sounds like it.

  • I honestly didn’t care for the style at first, but it’s grown on me. I honestly value motion and funny expressions over style, and AT has plenty of those. I still liked the pilot’s animation better though.

    I think this show has a lot of promise. Some people knock the writing, but this is the kind of humor kids like nowadays. Random humor is in and I for one absolutely love it. If anything I feel like the show could be even more random (A LA Abe Lincoln in the pilot).

    I actually think it’s very similar to Flapjack, and I think Flapjack is funnier, but I think it’s great that AT has such pop culture power behind it and hopefully that power can push Cartoon Network back in the right direction.

    Side note- Cartoon Network took the short down not because they are stupid but because they don’t want what is now their show given away for free, and they want people to go to their network to find out about Adventure Time instead of YouTube.
    Of course, I downloaded the short last year :P

  • OtherDan

    I officially hate “syncing” my iphone…Well, this show is awesome! I thought Nick dropped the ball, because it was the most fun show I’d seen in a long time. The style reminds me of Don Hertzfeldt’s stuff-economy for the sake of…fun! Nothing wrong with that.

  • @jk – I think your kid would appreciate it if he was older and not taught what to like at a young age. When he develops his own opinions and wants to branch out, then maybe he’ll like Adventure Time.

    I thought the show is starting out on a very solid foot. Loved it, and so did everyone watching with me (then again we’re an 18-24 group). It was colorful, exciting, and the Finn and Jake actually felt like they were great buddies, instead of sarcastic hateful people that the audience is told are friends (Mac and Bloo, Jake and Adam, etc). That’s what won me.

  • MJV

    I saw the piolet some time ago, and I got to say it was one of the funniest short (though not that short cause it was like 7 minutes) animation ever. I was really feeling down that they never made a show out of it after I seen the piolet and then bam! I saw a commercial and was like “woah wtf! no way, there actually coming out with a series? kick ass.” though I did think that the series might have been really messed up if it was reproduced I gotta say from the new episodes I have seen like avicted and buisness time the show to me is exactly how it should be. love the animation. but the one down side of the whole thing was that in the new serises finn doesnt have a chin but in the original piolet pen did. really awesome show, and is just as good as I thought it would be excelent work pen ward on making some thing new and fun!

  • Watched Adventure Time last nite… ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

  • Dustin

    I caught the original short at the Platform Animation Festival a couple of years ago and LOVED IT!

    After viewing Monday’s episode I gotta say…it’s definitely an acquired taste. It’s a tad abstract, very psychedelic and there’s a bit of a learning curve, but everything that I saw I adored and can’t wait for future episodes!

  • I’ve been a fan of the short for a long time now and have been waiting for this day for a while. Congrats to Pen & the team!

  • jk

    @Brooks Michael Williams – Actually, Aaron has a fairly broad knowledge of animation and animation history, ranging from Looney Tunes to Studio Ghibli and Eastern European. He is as crazy about Marvin the Martian, Felix the Cat (including Tibor Hernádi’s movie), and Bakshi’s Mighty Mouse, as he is about “Spirited Away”. He’s as engrossed watching Drouin’s “Mindscape” as he is wowed by “Visions of Frank”.

    Being 12 yoa he also is a big fan of poop jokes…so I’m kind of taken aback when he doesn’t like them in something like “Adventure Time”.

    At any rate, Aaron wanted to read how the discussion had progressed on this topic, and when he saw it was assumed he might not have formulated his own opinion on things, he was indignant and wanted me to post for him that he has his own opinions and has been forming them since he was like one year of age and isn’t told what to think. “I didn’t like Adventure Time and when I’m old, like 20 years old, I won’t like it either.”

    He’s got his own mind. That I can vouch for. And, who knows, opinions change and when he’s 20 yoa perhaps he will take a look back at Adventure Time and change his mind. But I seriously doubt it will be because he suddenly gets how abstract and psychedelic it is.

    Today he showed me the “Adventure Time” pilot which he scouted out, he says, a while back. Obviously, he liked the pilot or he wouldn’t have been so excited about watching the premiere on CN. He wouldn’t have been hopping up and down excited, yelling for us to get in there, “Now!”

    He liked the pilot. He didn’t like what he saw Monday night.

    (Aaron has read this comment and approves. “Post it,” he says.)

  • @Jk – Awesome reply, fair enough. I probably jumped the gun when I wrote what I did earlier. Kid obviously has some taste :)

  • But he can’t type?

  • jip

    The show’s premiere on Cartoon Network received high ratings, ranking the #1 show on either cable or broadcast for kids aged 2-11 and 6-11. Its success prompted Cartoon Network to order an additional 13 episodes.