geek / general geeky things / opinions

Adventure Time: Are you too old?

Last month I was in 5 Below and needed to get a iphone 5 charger until my official apple charger that I ordered came in (because I always need a backup).  Of course while walking through I picked up about $20 worth of stuff because it is simply one of the most addicting stores.  Everything will probably break in a month, but none the less, I still bought it all.  Among those items was a pair of Adventure Time headphones.

IMG_7880*holding money in my hand: do not be mislead, I actually have none*

Now, I was ECSTATIC that I found these because I am a huge fan of the show.  They might be sub-par headphones, but I couldn’t care less. I’ve gotten numerous compliments about them since I’ve started wearing them around campus. Someone said to me yesterday that they liked them, and when I asked them if they watched the show (assuming if they liked them, they probably did) they responded with

“Oh.. uh… no… I think I’m too old for that…haha.”


Now what I WANTED to say was “My dad openly admits to watching Spongebob on a regular basis.  Your argument is invalid.”  Instead I just thought of it in my head because I’m not a catty person.

Whether it was meant to just explain that he just simply doesn’t watch cartoons anymore, doesn’t like them, or whatever I figured I might as well explain why I love this show so much.  Don’t get me wrong, I respect everyone’s opinion, and 100% understand that watching cartoons in your 20s may seem like someone is clinging to childhood, but I sincerely dislike it when people assume that I am immature from watching a cartoon. I’d rather make the point that no one is “too old” for Adventure Time, but rather it’s just not their thing. (I don’t say all cartoons, because I do admit some cartoons are definitely ONLY for kids.)


Since it started airing on cartoon network, the show has gained a large adult fan base.  Usually what happens is that kids who started watching a cartoon show are attached to it, it either gets cancelled and the merchandise becomes nostalgic (think rugrats, legends of the hidden temple) or it comes back years later and their kids watch it and the adults are still attached to the show (i.e. power rangers, TMNT, etc.)  HOWEVER, Adventure Time is more of a case study, in my opinion.  Of course you have the My Little Pony fandom that is also currently popular (remember there have also been doug, ren and stimpy, etc), and a few others that some may find strange to have an adult fan base but there’s something about Adventure Time that brings me, personally, to like it, and apparently, a lot of other adults as well.

I will try to explain it like this:

Imagine this. A show is set in a post-apocalyptic earth after a nuclear war where there is one human left.  This human is raised from infancy by a family of dog-like beings, after being abandoned, and may or may not be a mutant himself.  However, at some point, there were creatures after him for his meat because, being a human, he was considered a rare delicacy.  Exploring this world, inanimate objects take on personalities and the one lone human left on earth encounters many evil beings and other creatures in need and swears to do good.  Many of the other characters are other-wordly beings who either don’t age or take hundreds of years to age one year, which makes the human the odd one out in a world of what looks like immortality. There is a book that he searches for among all the dangerous unknown of the land he is in, and the book includes ancient secrets possibly around before the time of humans, but is able to be read by all creatures.  The book can open worm holes into the multiverse.  There is one king who rules one of the kingdoms of the land who kidnaps humanoid princesses of the other kingdoms, as well as cyborg humans who inhabit the earth.

This is the plot of Adventure Time if you weren’t describing it as simply a silly cartoon.

Movies that can be compared to the above plot:

The Last Man on Earth (1964) – Possibly the best Vincent Price film, a man essentially wakes up as the only human and fights evil

Avatar (2009) – other wordly humanoid creatures vs. humans, humans ultimately lose

Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) – a man raised by non-humans, this was a plot way before the Disney movie so no, it was not originally a childrens cartoon

Star Wars (1977) – dangerous missions, saving the princess, saving the galaxy, futuristic, etc etc

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe (2005) – originally popular about 20 years before the film with it’s books, humans and the earth are wiped out by aliens and they travel the universe having adventures and saving those in need.

Harry Potter (2001) – Magical world, unknown creatures as well as half human hybrids, basically paralleling a lot of the magic in this movie (and the series) with Jake the Dog, best friends fighting to do what’s right alongside magical creatures, while also growing up and going through puberty

Of course there have been hundreds of books and films with these similar plot lines, but to take all of them and weave them into a campy tv series is something that I think is most appreciated by adults. The show also weaves in lessons to be taught such as standing up for yourself and others, preventing bullying, adoption, etc, and the children who do watch this show will only appreciate it more as they get older.

In conclusion, you’re not too old for the show.  You just don’t like cartoons.




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