Adventure Time is a regular component of my family’s entertainment diet, and it’s one of those rare contemporary cartoons that I probably enjoy even more than my kids. So, like most fans, I’ve really been looking forward to a proper DVD release of the series’ first season. Cartoon Network was kind enough to slide me an early copy of this upcoming collection, and I’m happy to say it is exactly the kind of offering that we diehards deserve.
Splitting the 26 episodes of the show’s 2010 debut across a two-DVD set, Adventure Time: The Complete First Season is every bit as odd as expected. Its packaging boasts a Finn-adorned clamshell case complete with a removable cardboard outer sleeve representing his iconic hat, and the subsequent insert and disc graphics break our human hero down into his musculature, skull and brain. And the weirdness doesn’t stop there. This outlandish design plays well alongside first season standouts like “The Witch’s Garden,” “Henchmen” and “Freak City,” not previously available on DVD.
While having the entirety of season one at your easy disposal will appeal to even the youngest Adventure Time fans, the boatload of extras seemed squarely aimed at adult watchers interested in all the unique personalities that come together to produce its pop culture perfection. Disc one, for example, features commentary tracks for “Trouble in Lumpy Space” and “Prisoners of Love” with humorous insights from creator Pendleton Ward, Jeremy Shada (Finn), John DiMaggio (Jake) and Tom Kenny (Ice King). Better yet, the commentary for “Ricardio the Heart Guy” includes its very special guest star George Takei, and the episode “Tree Trunks” is illuminated by Tree Trunks herself, Polly Lou Livingston, and Pen’s mom Bettie Ward.
The second disc takes this supplementary content even further with nearly 50 minutes worth of animatics for four individual episodes — “Slumber Party Panic,” “The Enchiridion!,” “Dungeon” and “Rainy Day Daydream” — complete with additional accompanying commentary from Ward and the production staff. There’s also a trio of ridiculously enjoyable featurettes surreally centered on the going-on with the show’s writers, animators and composers, the full live-action music video currently seen in the Cartoon Network bumper rotation, a two-minute tribute to fan culture dubbed “Finndemonium” and a minisode entitled “The Wand” during which Finn and Jake join forces with their nemesis the Ice King to defeat the titular foe.
All of this combined means nearly five hours of Adventure Time content, a value at the $27 price tag and a lumping steal at Amazon’s current $18 pre-order price. You and yours can make this extended trip into the fantastical land of Ooo next Tuesday, July 10th, and I highly suggest that you do.
Review and promotional materials provide by: Cartoon Network