What time is it?!
Today I’m going to talk about one of my all time favorite TV shows. Adventure Time!
On the surface the show is a simple surrealist cartoon about a boy and his dog in a silly fantasy world. Upon closer inspection it becomes clear that this silly fantasy world is actually a post apocalyptic wasteland and the simple cartoon is often a deep and philosophical look at mortality, morality or some other word that don’t start with MOR. A great example of this was one of my favorite episodes. It is called “Bad Jubies”. It is episode 20 of season 07.
One of the great things about this show is that they aren’t afraid to try new things. Normally the show is animated with traditional 2d drawings, but this episode was made with claymation! I loved all the imperfections that are inherently part of the claymation medium. It makes it feel more real and touchable. The opening sequence is redone, shot for shot, in claymation and it looks awesome.
To summarize the story quickly the episode starts with our heroes Finn and Jake, Bmo and Lumpy Space Princess learning of an incoming “MEGA-DEADLY THUNDERQUAKE DISASTERSTORM”. Each character prepares for the storm in their own way. Finn the young pragmatist starts to prepare by building a bunker. BMO helps Finn the best that his little robotic body can. Jake takes the calm before the storm to connect closer to nature and LSP pretends to help Finn, but mostly she just complains that Jake isn’t doing anything.
The bunker is completed but the food quickly runs out (and expired years ago) and the door is broken. Eventually a personified storm breaks into the bunker and threatens the group. When things are looking grim Jake reveals he was learning to imitate bird calls and other nature sounds and uses this ability to calm the personified storm. He then agrees to give his notes on how to imitate nature to the storm and the storm is so touched by this gesture that he leaves.
The story is simple and light for children, but what if we look a little deeper at what happened.
The first bit of dialogue in the episode is LSP explaining to Finn that some peoples bad attitudes can ruin things for everyone else. This is really what the episode is all about. LSP herself is known as one of the most negative and toxic characters in Adventure time. The fact that she is saying this is pretty ironic. In a weird- ‘meta’ -way negative people can bum people out by complaining about how negative other people are, but as this episode shows it’s also possible to rise above this behavior. People often have bad attitudes because they don’t feel like they have enough control in their life. They try to spread misery because it is very quick and easy to do and it gives them some semblance of control.
I think the moral of this episode is that reacting to negativity with kindness is the best course of action. Another thing to take away from this episode is that you don’t need to get caught up in other peoples storms of negativity. Finn LSP and BMO all actively try to build a barrier up against the storm, but Jake is more introspective and does nothing to build any walls or barriers and he is the one that saves the day.
Maybe I’m totally wrong, but that is what I got from this episode. Let me know what you guys think if you check out the episode, or if you don’t. Whatever.