Monday, July 9, 2012

Adventure Time: Complete First Season Review

Adventure Time: Complete First Season

What time is it? DVD release time! Adventure Time fans and newcomers to the series you have a chance to see all of season 1 of the mathematical Adventure Time! It really doesn't contain much math, it's just fun to say. You're getting the entire first season of the show in one place to finally watch without any commercials.

If you've never seen the cartoon it's about the heroic boy hero Finn who wears a rabbit
 ear-thing hood and his best friend Jake, a dog whose magic and can change his body into almost anything. They save the day in the Land of Ooo, meeting both bizarre, scary and silly inhabitants. They might being saving Princess Bubblegum in the Candy Kingdom or beating up the Ice King. Jamming with Marceline the Vampire Queen or fighting some strange monster, going on quests or overall bro-fisting and kicking butt.

The episodes are laid out over two discs with some commentary and extras.

Uh, painfully I have to say the video transfers aren't the best quality. I noticed some blur and smudges in different episodes on Disc 1, I can't understand how they could screw this up unless the didn't use the master tapes or just didn't go over their work. Some of the episodes are of a darker tone than they should be, not in being scary, I mean they literally should be brighter. It makes me want to have a Blu-ray version to compare it too, but alas it's only DVDs for Cartoon Network properties.

Audio worked fine so no worries there, you can finally listen to the ending theme song and different songs through the DVD menus.

The menu system is a bit poor in my taste. Having Finn's hood is nice and all for each button and it's good to see each title card art for each episode, but I've seen much more fun and interactive menus. You can fit a lot on a DVD menu, just look at any IT Crowd DVD. I've seen some better DVD menus through Adult Swim shows as well.

Commentary is priceless for fans of the show. In the episode "Tree Trunks" the voice of Tree Trunks and Pen Ward's Mom sit down and chat giving a huge back log of info on a early Pen growing up. It seems he went to art school classes with his mom when he was just a lad.

Only 4 episodes have commentary on disc 1, I think there could have been more. So many people who work on the show could have given other commentary, it didn't have to be so few of the crew.


Extras include Finndemonium which show a montage of fan art of AT, clips from last year's Comic Con and is also kind of a music video.

Featurettes include a very silly camera phone video by Pen Ward using some sort of steady cam, which he mentions cost him $150, for no real reason, claiming he broke his back so he must use it. It's beyond silly, but it shows you inside the offices of AT at Cartoon Network Burbank. The best part is when a animated mini-Finn starts annoying head writer Kent Osborne who didn't shave very well for the shoot. Then things get weirder and many things are broken, I don't want to ruin it. You"ll see a cameo of Andy Ristaino being hit by Jake and it just gets better. One of the best extras ever for silliness.

Then you have the making of the featurette with Thurop Van Orman, creator of Flapjack, in a green screen suit supposedly playing the part of Finn. Seeing him mount Kent Osborne will have you laughing.

After that feature you have a strange look at how the music is made for AT. It is a very important part of the show and you get first hand accounts of how it's made by the musicians who created it, someone decide to just add random final cut affects so the doc is visually stupid looking or may look like you've eaten some bad pie.

The short "The Wand" which I don't recall being shown before is also added. It has one very funny wand that just farts magic in a rainbow of colors.

Music Video is really an ad campaign promo I've seen online before for a live action Adventure Time made with arts and crafts. It looks fantastic, no idea why it's titled Music Video.

Animatics with commentary show off the early work of animating a scene. Very helpful to see the shows creation process.

Here's my review of the DVD case itself, which I think is quite funny dissecting Finn by anatomical layers and hood. The DVD plastic case get some lower marks for not just putting the two discs on each side. You have this cheap middle plastic ring for Finn that could break off easily, it's happened to me with other DVD cases.

-I'm giving it a B Minus for not really putting that much effort into it. With minimal commentary and with some bad transfers and boring menu system it gets lower marks. With so much that could have been added for the fan it just wasn't there. You have some great featurettes, and all the first season episodes, with a funny DVD case with Finn's hood sleeve, but there easily could have been more. Hopefully for the Season 2 collection they ask fans what they want on the disc for extras.

I'm not sure who did the DVD menus, sometimes there's  some ending title credit sequence saying who did it on DVD's, but there isn't, maybe they knew they did a bad job.

No Easter Eggs found yet.