Cartoon Network's Wildly Creative "Adventure Time" Deserves Better Than Releases Like These Review

Few animated series today have the imagination and originality of Adventure Time with Finn & Jake which goes to all kinds of weird and creative places sure to fascinate children while also sneaking in subversive humor to entertain an older crowd. In an era when so many cartoons are spawned as tie-in for movie or toy franchises and haven't got a single original story line in their heads, Adventure Time restores your faith in cartoons as something that can potentially stimulate the imagination and not just nudge it overtly towards a toy store. And while I love heaping praise on this show for all that it is (including one of the last remaining sources of a weekly John DiMaggio fix now that Futurama is gone), this particular release is a product I'm often loathe to recommend: an episode sampler.

So many children's shows attempt to milk parents of cash by releasing episodes in drips and drabs as volumes that feature a variety instead of just doing what makes the most sense: full season releases. Doing it in this obnoxious manner they can force people to double dip and buy episodes they've already purchased in past DVD releases and then hope the parents will drop even more cash when the full seasons come out that finally lets kids watch the series from start to finish. In the case of this release, named "Fionna and Cake" after one of the episodes on the disc, the episodes come randomly from the first 4 seasons with no real explanation or apparent rhyme or reason.

The show might be fantastic, but releasing the episodes like this is anything but.

This release features the episodes:

"Fionna and Cake", "Storytelling", "The Other Tarts", "The Silent King", "Death In Bloom", "Still", "Wizard", "What Was Missing", "From Bad To Worse", "Marceline's Closet", "Ghost Princess", "Incendium", "Card Wars", "Princess Cookie", "You Made Me", "Lady & Peebles".

The episodes are all very funny and entertaining (with "Marceline's Closet" and "Card Wars" being highlights), it's just a shame they're so scatterbrained in a DVD release that doesn't make much sense. Release the full seasons!

DVD Bonus Features

Short little bios on some of the characters are the only extra.

"Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake 4" is on sale February 19, 2013 and is not rated. Adventure, Animation, Children & Family, Fantasy. Directed by Larry Leichliter. Written by Pendleton Ward. Starring John DiMaggio, Madeleine Martin, Jeremy Shada, Roz Ryan.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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