The Bravest Warriors

Most people who view Pen Ward’s Adventure Time either passionately love it – or don’t get it at all. I’m in the camp that loves it, and I’m delighted Cartoon Network has gotten behind it. It’s practically the only animated series on the horizon I’m excited about (admittedly, I’m not that aware of most series currently in production). In fact, I think Invader Zim was the last show I felt had the potential to shake up the TV cartoon landscape as this does.

Adventure Time could be considered a perfectly skewed update/reimagining of Tom Terrific crossed with references to several early anime features… though Pen told me he hadn’t ever seen Tom Terrific nor any vintage anime for inspiration. Wherever he gets it from, Pen has the freshest vision in TV animation today — and it’ll be fascinatining to see how his cartoons fare with the general public.

His other short for the Random Cartoon series hasn’t gotten as much attention, but I think it’s equally good. The Bravest Warriors (co-directed with Randy Myers) proves (to me) that creator Ward isn’t a one-shot wonder. Warriors plays like his take on the Johnny Cypher-Captain Scarlet-Space Angel school of space cadet adventures (with a heart-felt dose of teen angst), but I bet he hasn’t seen those old cartoons either.

It’s all coming from somewhere inside his soul — and that’s where the best cartoons come from.

I, for one, would like to see more Bravest Warriors cartoons. Click here to read the brief production blog.


  • Dave

    I have to say that I enjoyed “Adventure Time” about 86% more than “Bravest Warriors”

    ..but I still enjoyed it.

  • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

    I’m very excited about “Adventure Time” as well.

    Cartoon Network’s been having good track record with their comedic shows lately, with the last two being the most imaginative that I’ve ever seen (ironically, Pen Ward was a writer on one of them: “Flapjack”)

    Thanks for uploading the video. And I wish Ward nothing but success.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    This is the kind of talent that needs to be deeply encouraged and accurately funded.

  • Carlos

    Go Pen! Adventure time can’t come any sooner. One of the only genuinely funny cartoons to come in a while.

  • Nic Kramer

    I thought this was from the same guy who did “Adenture Time” when I first saw the short.

  • http://blog.ninapaley.com Nina Paley

    LORD OF EMOTIONS! TEACH US HOW TO CRY!

    That is genius.

    ….Pen told me he hadn’t ever seen Tom Terrific nor any vintage anime for inspiration.

    It all goes into the zeitgeist. There are so many cultural influences flying around today, it’s impossible to identify each one. That’s a good thing.

    It’s all coming from somewhere inside his soul

    which is channeling, processing, and remixing our shared culture. That’s why we enjoy his work!

  • Theodore

    A massive improvement on “Adventure Time”. Were that all new cartoons so playfully absurd.

  • vince bayless

    You’re right Jerry, this cartoon is great. I would like to see more too.

  • epidicus

    why no love for the “Venture Bros.”? It’s brilliant and the crown jewel of CN creativity

  • Ryan

    That’s my new favourite theme tune, right there.
    Good luck?

  • Doug Drown

    I got it — and I loved it. Wonderfully creative, and funny to boot. Thanks for sharing it.

  • http://otherthings.com Cassidy

    Looks like the video’s been taken down from YouTube.

    Anyone have a mirror?

  • mike r baker

    I’ve been a fan of Pen Ward ever since I found his funny little cartoons on his crappy website when he was still in school. His humor is so fresh, like a child making a little world with funny toys, a silly story line, and adult humor. Charming, sweet, and not always safe for work. :)

    I agree with Nina Paley. All part of the zeitgeist. Whether you know the original or not, we have a collective cultural connection.

  • http://saturdaymorningcentral.com/ Tommy Day

    I could almost swear there was a voice from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon I grew up on. The red Bravest Warrior maybe? If not it was pretty dead on.

    UPDATE: Yeah, it was Rob Paulsen, who played Raphael in TMNT. Pendleton Ward just got so much cooler in my book.