adventuretimestill adventuretimestill

Cartoon Network Acquires Adventure Time

Adventure Time

Here’s news that’s sure to please a lot of folks. Pendleton Ward‘s quirky Adventure Time short has been picked up for a full-series commitment by Cartoon Network, according to this Animation Guild story. The cartoon was originally produced for Nickelodeon’s Random! Cartoons, the as-yet-unaired (I think) shorts series produced by Fred Seibert.

As a refresher, here’s the original Adventure Time short:

(Thanks, Adrian)

  • Tim

    Fantastic news. Adventure Time was my favourite thing for, oh, ages.

  • Amazing news! I adored the short to pieces, and i’m giddy with the thought of adventure after adventure! Best of luck, Pen, and way to go CN – can’t wait!

  • Cartoon Network has made a smart move on grabbing this one. It became an instant cult classic on the net and for good reason. Adventure Time is going places, and I cannot wait to see the full series =)

  • KennyB

    Why? Cartoon Network already has a show about Adventure.(Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack) and what’s more, Pen Ward boards that show too.

  • I’m assuming Pendleton won’t work on this new show AND Flapjack both at the same time?

  • Oh, hell yes. That short always makes me smile. It’s just brilliant.

  • HOLY CRAP, that’s awesome news!!!!

  • Norbert

    I hope they keep the series in the same spirit as the short.

  • Dave Levy

    Adventure Time is one of the best pilots ever made, and for my money, the best short to ever come out of Frederator’s shorts program. Congrats to Pen! The show’s gonna be a smash!

  • Cartoon Network is building on the “adventure”-theme big time now, aren’t they? What took them so long to find a solid demo and a reliable theme? Did it really take the resignation of Samples those several, several months ago to spur the network into action?

  • Baron Lego

    What the hell? Making a series from a show that actually DESERVES it?! What on Earth is going on here? Surely there must be a Hollywood celebrity somewhere with a lame, derivative cartoon concept that could have money thrown at it instead!

  • Did this fellow go to RISD?

  • I’m excited, Cartoon Network has three great shows now and they just seem to be coming out with hit after hit.. let’s keep em coming. I’m curious to see how much of the rather nice animation we’ll see in the final show. Flapjack and Chowder are great but you can tell when there’s an episode that spent a little more time on making the animation smooth and fun to look at than others (as seems to be the curse of telelvision animation in the states.)

  • Kat

    Finally! I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. I hope Ward manages to maintain the fun and quirkiness of the pilot in the series.

  • john

    im not one who usually enjoys kid cartoons, but the imagination of that toon is pretty refreshing. well done.


  • Aww yeah super adventure time!!!
    The pilot was awesome!

  • Andrew


  • Bryan

    Is it just me or does that kid sound exactly like Sid from Toy Story?

  • Anne

    YAY! :) Congratulations, Pen!!

  • joe

    Great a good short gets a show! Now im still waiting for KORGOTH to get picked up!

  • Jason

    I couldn’t make it through the first minute of it. But then, it’s aimed at 3 year olds, right? Egad. Adventure Time is a perfect example of industry people loving something that’s quirky, different, and a little offputting (which is as much to say weird, ugly and obnoxious) and believing that kids will share their adoration for it. That explains how that flop Camp Lazlo came into being (yes, it’s won an Emmy – more proof of the strange tastes of the aforementioned industry people, yet it’s never found any kind of substantial audience, even amongst 3 year olds.) Adventure Time looks even worse. Doesn’t CN have the rights to the Looney Tunes? Why in hell doesn’t it run those, instead of investing in eye torture like Adventure Time?

    • zac

      It is not a three year old show.

  • Congratulation Pen! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

  • Killroy McFate

    Why is there a tree growing out of his head?

  • Keith

    Great news! Maybe this’ll finally prompt Nick to do something with that massive stack of Random Cartoons they’ve been sitting on for 2+ years.

  • WOOHOO! Go Pen!

  • FP

    The pilot short is great. I thought it was too good to be picked up as a series. The show is fitting company for CHOWDER and FLAPJACK.

  • Radness.

  • Robert Schaad

    Adventure Time was definitely a standout…and holds up to repeated viewings. Smart move on CN’s part. Part Yellow Submarine/Peter Max/Winsor McCay w/ oddball humor. Refreshing!

  • Hooray!

  • sharkcellar

    How can I never have seen this before? This is the most genuinely funny and interesting cartoon I’ve seen in a LONG time. I love the cuteness and scruffyness of it without falling into the trope that so many cartoon network and adult swim shows have of being ironic hipster gross-outs. Truly great stuff! The humor reminds me a bit of clockwork samurai.

  • Gobo

    Awesome. Looking forward to the ALGEBRAIC adventures.

    (Jason: if you don’t watch something, you sorta give up your right to get all righteously critical about it. Just a thought.)

  • Kite

    Shows that there is a market for silly imagination, which is a good thing. But I’m not too excited about this show… it is kind of drab in the center with just an occasional spurt of fun.

  • jesus chambrot

    The Ice King’s bedroom looks familiar.

  • Yes, yes YES! It’s about damn time, too.

    I’m sure the show will be a hit.

  • KyleB

    Shoot, I never knew me and my circle of friends were “industry people”. I just thought we were high schoolers who liked good entertainment.

    Wait till I tell ’em the good news that we magically got into an industry just for liking a pilot!

  • Brooke

    It’s faux corporate edge that blends in with the rest of CN’s schedule. Tis a sad day when the wrinkled John McCain can come up with something more diverting than the Hollywood animation industry. I’m sure Pen’s a swell creative person, but he’s caught in a leaky dike along with too many executive fingers.

  • this cartoon makes me cry a little with joy. serious.

  • dear diary,
    i decided not to kill myself today. i hope my neighbor will give me back my cat.

  • Freakin’ awesome! Go Pen!!!!

  • The haters are oxymorons. Pen has some of the most unique animation out there, and some of the best facial hair.

    Great news, Pen!

  • Eric

    Don’t bag on Jason, because he is right, little stoned nerdlings. This a good, cute festival short that as a series will hopefully get every CN exec fired and might force them to re-evaluate what direction they are going in. “The AT sensibility is now the tentpole of what CN is looking for.” – Quote from a CN pitch meeting. Good luck, Puffinstuffs.

  • ahhhhhh, truly a work of genius.

    BIG congrats to Pendleton, Fred and CN !!!

    I will be looking forward to the series, Adventure Time
    just plain-out RULES! :)

  • Chris L

    I’ve been hoping for this since I first saw the short. My only concern is that it will be very difficult maintain the just-cogent-enough crazy randomness of the short over a whole series (or even more than the length of this short).

    Having said that, this is pretty damn exciting. It’s nice to see something positive and quirky getting made.

  • Marianne Hayden

    Congrats Pen! This is awesome news.

    (btw, Richard O’Connor….he went to CalArts)

  • I love rubber hose animation.

  • Kyle Maloney

    Im not sure if I liked that or hated it. lol

    on one hand, its really badly drawn. but on the other, it doesnt have that flash look to it with the overly angular character deisngs and stiff animation. it could grow me I guess.
    it kind of reminds me of the off-beats (a series of shorts aired on Kablam!!) but not nearly as good imo.

    maybe it’ll improve now that its been picked up.

  • Carlos

    How could Nick even let this goldmine slip out of their hands! Well, their loss, at least I think Cartoon Network will let Adventure Time take a few more risks than Nickelodeon may have allowed. This also gives me hope that Zim may one day slip Nick’s grasp too and find a new home at the Cartoon Network…

    *strains in hope*

  • lafay J

    pen u rock and i am verry happy for u keep up the awsome work and i know u will go very far with the stuff u are working on and soo u will be rich$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • Dan

    Finally, something 2D that would have looked better in CG! Just kidding, this thing is hilarious and perfect! It’s Tex Avery on acid. I saw a screening and it was definitely one of the most memorable of the lot. I can’t believe Nick let it slip out of their hands! I should be in development!

  • Mmm… still awesome.

  • Horray for Pendelton! That guy is a comedic anomaly of the prettiest kind.

  • Hazard

    “(btw, Richard O’Connor….he went to CalArts)”

    NO WAAAY. He went to CalArts and he has a job at Cartoon Network?!!?!?

    The incestuous club of CalArts grads (and only CalArts grads) working at CN is one of the most prevailing forces stagnating that network. Want to work at Cartoon Network? Graduate from CalArts!

    Seriously, if i worked at a studio and everyone working there went tot eh same school I did and had the same teachers I would throw up. The situation over there reflects poorly on the studio and CalArts grads.

  • Jason

    *The situation over there reflects poorly on the studio and CalArts grads.*

    So does this short. Lord god, I realize that the glorious 2D days of Disney are over (or very nearly), but does that excuse a school founded by Disney to encourage students to turn out subpar junk and call it animation, with like-minded cronies egging them on? Pitiful. This looks even worse than the old Hanna-Barbera crap that was on in my father’s time. Wow, that’s progress.

  • I couldn’t get through more than 30 seconds of this. I would have hated this as a kid. The character designs are awful, IMHO.

  • Guy

    Are the people complaining about Adventure Time being badly drawn aware of what its competition is? Or if it had corners and thick outlines it’d be just fine?

    At least it can make people laugh. Yes, including children.

  • I wasn’t a big fan of the short (just not my sense of humor), but it IS different, it IS creator driven, and clearly it could have a loyal cult following. I’m glad CN isn’t just replaying stuff from their vaults or building a show around a toy or celebrity personality or video game or rehashing old toons with new ‘tudes or whatever other poor ideas infested Saturday morning when I was a kid.

    Bravo Pen, bravo CN. Hope it’s a hit and encourages more people to make their own shorts and more networks to take risks.

  • Dave

    I can’t help thinking that if that still you posted was from a Disney or Dreamworks film that there would have been quite a point made out of the poor composition of the shot , with the tree growing out of the kid’s head and the meditating dog’s arm line forming that nasty tangent along the front edge of the kid’s shirt.

    (ok, sure maybe it’s just a poorly chosen still and what we’re seeing is not a key pose , but is this supposed to be a good example of 2D animation and design ? )

  • Carlos

    No, you detractors are right, I mean, I’d much rather keep the visual feast that is CN’s block of generic flash shows.

  • Gobo

    Criticism is one thing, but to bag on “Adventure Time” because of its childlike art style, rubber-hose animation, and stream-of-consciousness storyline is missing the point entirely. Apparently the detractors have never had a story told to them by a ten year old.

  • Dave

    “No, you detractors are right, I mean, I’d much rather keep the visual feast that is CN’s block of generic flash shows.”

    I’d rather not have any of it , generic Flash shows or this.

    This little short Adventure Time has some clever/quirky qualities I suppose … it’s ok . But a series ?

    To me , this stuff is so boring in terms of the animation and design (CN’s generic Flash shows , too). There’s got to be better stuff than this ?

  • I’ve liked this short a ton since I first saw it. If the series is even half as excellent, it’ll still be a success. Congrats to anyone/everyone involved; may you create a series that will surprise us all (in a good way).

  • Mr. Semaj

    Why the hell is Nickelodeon taking so damn long launching Random Cartoons? It’s been almost two years since the series was announced?


  • Chuck

    Cartoon Network is a breeding ground for horrible cartoons. I hope Adventure Time will change this.

  • Kelly Tindall

    I’m thrilled by this. I’ve been a big fan of this short for ages and I can’t wait to see it swing for the fences as a series.

    Now, about Korgoth of Barbaria…

  • fun b.

    …and yet another low for CN. Weak, thin, low in color and character design, even less quality in story. What passes for acceptable on CN these days should give all decent animators/story/designers a lot of hope that their work will one day be recognized…LONG LIVE VENTURE BROTHERS!!!

  • Carlos

    “I’d rather not have any of it , generic Flash shows or this. ”

    Even if you dont care for it’s humor or art style, animation wise, it has a surprising amount of bright spots. Like when Pen is running while talking to the elementals, or fighting the wizard, there is some very satisfying movement and timing in there, something lacking in many American show these days. Except like Avatar or something.

  • If ever there was a show that was a hit before it aired, Adventure Time is it. Everyone I’ve ever showed the short to has flipped out over it. Friends of mine were quoting lines from it for months after they saw it. What’s not to love? Adventure Time is a totally original and brilliantly crafted show. It has that rare ability to entertain adults and kids. Since the current state of television animation is so abysmal, I’m amazed that this show slipped through. That said, what was Nick thinking when they passed on this?

  • Seems like Cartoon Networks is taking some awesome creative “risks”…I am a huge fan of Flapjack, and will be overjoyed to have this and Adventure Time both on the air.

    I don’t know how to gage how popular shows like Flapjack are with children. I would really like to know… Maybe Flapjack will strike kids in the same funny bone as Pee-wee did in the late 80’s. I hope.

  • philippe

    I think this show is influenced by Tex Avery but with the indirect influence of the cartoons of “Pic Pic” the crazy pig from the Pic Pic et André show (early 90’s) from belgian animators Stéphane Aubier. If you haven’t seen this guy’s work it is well worth a look on youtube.

  • Better late than never with a post, but finally, after what has seemed like forever, we get confirmation of the all-too-obvious. It would have been a tremendous opportunity lost of this show was not picked up in some form. I’m very much looking forward to the series.

  • Becca


  • Congrats Pen!

  • Pen Ward is brilliant!!
    Best news I’ve heard all day!

  • Jeffrey Leiser

    YES! yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes – I actually typed all those yesses because I’ve known Pen for years on and off and I’m SO excited Adventure Time got greenlit!!!


  • I decided to do a review of this show on my blog. Welll, not so much of a review, but more of a screeching dissatisfaction.

    “I didn’t get no/

  • Lockey McHammond

    This is AWESOME NEWS. I’ll watch the show FOR SURE.

  • sean

    this was terrible, not even funny in a weird way, not even well drawn in a bad way, it was all crap and not funny, and dont tell me i “dont get it” Tex Avery had talent, please stop comparing this to him, if people talk about “adventure time” in 30 years, I will resign my successful argument of the crappyness of what I just watched.

    “Adventure Time is one of the best pilots ever made”

    really? do you REALLY believe its one of the BEST EVER. I think you need to think that one through again.

    • Nita

      well i think they proved you WRONG! >:)

  • JOe six pack

    I was expecting more quotes from the short and less people telling me how cool this is, i already know how cool this is. so to start you guys off.


  • Kim Kambell

    As someone who has had decades of experience in the animation industry, I have seen many, many animation shorts, but this one is probably the best one I have seen ever.
    I have taught professional animation for ever 15 years, and never in my life have i seen such amazing talent and such wonderful creativity. The talent shown here is better than many feature films of the 80’s and 90’s and of recent.

    Truly amazing!

  • Brian

    Great choice, this is an awesome short…

    Very nostalgic.

  • Carly

    YEESS! This is fabulous news. Pen Ward is so amazing! Flapjack is awesome, and with Adventure Time on the air as well, I would say that Cartoon Network is doing a wonderful job lately! Yayayy!

  • For anyone who doesn’t know and loves Flapjack, Thurop is good friends with Pen – they both have amazing shows that deal with adventures of children as well. I already love the short, and I know that there’s more good stuff to come from Pen. And Thurop. :)

  • Jakerooski


  • This is going to be so trippy. I can’t wait.

  • charlette

    hehehe i loves adventuere time!!!!! :D

  • jacob

    adventure time is going to be sweet

  • that game is for someone totally richteous dudes and that is sintifficly proven

  • Jill

    I am forbidding my 10 year old from watching your show, Adventuretime. How dare you teach these young kids that “frickin” is an acceptable word in any way, shape or form! Are you telling me you couldn’t make it just as funny without using a slang, supposedly less offensive expression for a demoralizing and demeaning word?

    • Sandra

      Crybaby parents like you are irritating! Why dont you just get a frickin bubble and put your sheltered 10 year old in it and then you wont have to worry about subjecting him/her to things that are “offensive”.

      • Roxy

        Umm…are you a parent? I don’t think that expressing you don’t want your child to use a certain word is being a “crybaby” parent. And if 10 year-olds were the only one’s watching I don’t know if I’d dislike it so much…but the younger kiddos really don’t need to see some of the stuff in this show.

      • Craig


    • Bob

      Sorry to say but your child has most likely heard much worse words than “frickin” before.

  • Roxy

    As the parent of a 5, 12 and 14 year old, NONE of my children like this show. I can’t even get into it. Cannot wait until I don’t have to see the ads for this anymore. It’s not funny, has lots that is not appropriate for the 5 year old and the older kids think is just dumb.

  • Beat Finn and Jake Down!!!!
    Let’s just kill Finn(“Adventure Time” hero) for what he’s done!
    Use Zircon the genderless creature from Phantom Quartz,who’d called from his work,Z-H Inc.

  • Does Connie dad(from Steven universe) really is the Phantom Quartz,and are now planning with Lich king and Melissa of Lumpy Space really going to release all the inmates and form an evil posses/armies of criminals with new armers and technologies and gem hybrids just so the 3 settled their personal grudge with Finn?
    I’d think that reanouced Finn,so that he should retire and tends to married with Princess Bubblegum and while Releasing all the Criminals icons/bios in Adventure Time would be a good thing for the Shows!