Adventure Time: The Complete Third Season
Cinelinx puts the vent into Adventure Time: The Complete Third Season on Blu-ray!
In this Cartoon Network series based in the colorful Land of Ooo, Jake the Dog and Finn the Human encounter an odd assortment of characters and embark on adventures both fun and strange. This Blu-ray set includes all 26 episodes of the third season. Featuring the voices of Jeremy Shada, John DiMaggio, Tom Kenny, and Hynden Walch.
Episodes included in the 1-disc Blu-ray set are “Conquest of Cuteness,” “Morituri Te Salutamus,” “Memory of a Memory,” “Hitman,” “Too Young,” “The Monster,” “Still,” “Wizard Battle,” “Fionna and Cake,” “What Was Missing,” “Apple Thief,” “The Creeps,” “From Bad to Worse,” “Beautopia,” “No One Can Hear You,” “Jake Vs. Me-Mow,” “Thank You,” “New Frontier,” “Holly Jolly Secrets, Parts I & II,” “Marceline’s Closet,” “Paper Pete,” “Another Way,” “Ghost Princess,” “ Dad’s Dungeon,” and “Incendium.”
Adventure Time, the Cartoon Network series about a boy and a dog and their incredible adventures in a fantasy land, has become more than a cult hit - it’s a bona fide phenomenon, with dedicated fans (both young and old) the world over. It may look like a sweet little children’s toon, but it is incredibly clever.
There’s plenty for kids to like, but parents will appreciate the smart writing and often catch onto the subtext. In fact, there may be a little too much subtext, if you listen close enough. Adult fans speculate as to what the cartoon is really saying, but the story and jokes stay family-friendly. In fact, the show’s innocence is part of its charm. That may be hard to believe considering the show is populated with witches, vampires, love stories, and a fair amount of violence, but you can still let your young ones watch it without worrying about content.
Episodes are self-contained stories, and they rarely follow any sort of standard pattern. There is usually a creature or fantasy character of some sort that Jake (voice of John Dimaggio) and Finn (voice of Jeremy Shada) must contend with, although The Ice King (voice of Tom Kenny) is usually behind their troubles. While the Ice King is often the show’s foil, it is usually because of his immaturity and mischievousness; because he never goes truly evil, he’s a sympathetic villain. Jake and Finn can count among their friends and allies Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the Vampire Queen, as well as their personal handheld video game system BMO, whose likeness adorns the Season Three Blu-ray case (which can be customized with an included set of paper arms and legs, which can be glued on to make your own BMO).
Season Three has some standout episodes, as the show really developed its unique character and weird brand of humor at this point. Episode Three, “Memory of a Memory,” is perhaps one of the best, featuring a storyline involving Marceline the Vampire Queen losing an important memory. It includes a flashback scene that includes the biggest laugh of the season, in which a baby Finn sings a song. Suffice it to say, he can punch all our buns.
Other episodes of note are episode #9, “Fionna and Cake,” in which the dreams of Adventure Time fan fiction writers everywhere were answered in this gender-bending twist on the characters, and episode #16, “Jake vs. Me-Mow,” in which our shape-shifting dog battles a tiny cat assassin hiding in his nose. Keep an ear out for “Weird Al” Yankovic as a guest voice (Banana Man) in episode #18 :New Frontier.”
I personally had never watched Adventure Time until last year, when I reviewed a previous DVD set. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did, but I cannot say enough about the imaginative world Pendleton Ward has created. The quirky sense of humor is apparent, and the writing is clever and often touching. Adventure Time has a timeless, classic quality that kids and adults will still be enjoying 50 years from now.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
The video transfer provides an image about as perfect as you can get. Detail is fantastic and colors are bold and bright. If you need to nitpick, one could complain about the jagged edges of the character outlines, which appears to be from the source animation, and not a result of the transfer itself. The audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix, which is surprising that a multi-channel mix wasn’t made and included. However, the 2.0 mix is solid, with good clarity.
A “behind-the-scenes” table discussion featuring Pendleton Ward and the show’s writers is included. It is an interesting look into the minds behind the mayhem. An alternate version of the show’s opening is included, and must be seen to be appreciated. An Ultraviolet digital copy of the season’s episodes are also included.
The disc’s best feature, however, is easily the audio commentaries. Every single episode has one, which is pretty impressive, and they are all worth listening to. They’re fun and insightful, and for fans of the show, it is a real treat. Among those participating are Pendleton Ward, Kent Osborne, Cole Sanchez, Somvilay Xayaphone, Rebecca Sugar, Jesse Moynihan, Tom Herpich, Bert Youn, and Adam Muto.
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Running time: 286 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Special features: Alternate opening, “How an Idea Becomes Adventure Time” featurette
Audio commentary: Included on all 26 episodes. Participants vary.
Label: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
The Bottom Line: Finding fun in the Land of Ooo
Adventure Time: The Complete Third Season is a pleasant surprise for newbie, and for fans, it’s like visiting those crazy relatives who know how to have a ball. The Blu-ray set is fantastic, with decent extras and a solid presentation. It's well worth a purchase and multiple viewings.