Adventure Time is an American animated television series created by Pendleton Ward (a former writer and storyboard artist of ‘The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack’) and produced by Frederator Studios for Cartoon Network. The series follows the adventures of Finn, a 14-year old boy whose best friend is Jake, a dog with magical powers such as growing and shrinking or stretching into many shapes. Finn and Jake live in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo.Ward describes Finn as a ‘fiery little kid with strong morals,’ while Jake is based on Bill Murray’s character in the movie ‘Meatballs.’ The series is based on a short produced for Frederator’s Nickelodeon animation incubator series ‘Random! Cartoons.’ After the short became a viral hit on the Internet, Cartoon Network picked it up for a full-length series that premiered in 2010.
According to Ward, the show’s style was influenced by his time at CalArts and his work as a storyboard artist on ‘The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.’ He tries to include ‘beautiful’ moments like those in Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ and some subversive humor, inspired by series like ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse.’ Executive producer Fred Seibert compares the show’s animation style to that of ‘Felix the Cat’ and the Max Fleischer cartoons (e.g. ‘Betty Boop,’ ‘Popeye’) but says its world is also equally inspired by ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ and video games. Ward intends the show’s world to have a certain physical logic instead of ‘cartoony slapstick’ — even though magic exists in the story, the show’s writers try to create an internal consistency in how the characters interact with the world.