ADVENTURE TIME: SEASON FIVE / CERT: PG / CREATOR: PENDLETON WARD / STARRING: JEREMY SHADA, JOHN DIMAGGIO, TOM KENNY, CLORIS LEACHMAN, RON PERLMAN / RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 25TH
After the algebraic cliffhanger at the end of Season Four, it’s great to be back on Ooo (albeit initially in an alternate timeline thanks to a dodgy bit of wishing at the end of Season Four). Kicking off with Finn the Human, we’re catapulted into a time before the series’ fabled Mushroom War but with a major difference that changes the future events that we know. Thank god that Jake the Dog bonds with the universe-bending Prismo while hanging out in his hot tub and manages to put things right.
With everything back on track and the apocalypse restored, Adventure Time goes from strength to strength, not only by doubling its episode count but also by really investing creatively, providing some stellar episodes that push not only the series’ narrative, but animated storytelling as a whole. Stand-out episodes (besides the opening two-parter) include the quotable Up a Tree, the heart-breaking Simon and Marcy, A Glitch is a Glitch, the ST:TNG The Inner-Light-inspired Puhoy, bitter-sweet BMO Lost and frankly mental James Baxter the Horse.
This season is a real game-changer for a show that already seemed to have pushed the boundaries of kid’s entertainment in every conceivable way. The over-all arc of Ooo’s origins fleshes out some of our favourite characters in ways we couldn’t have imagined, while the trademark surrealist insanity punctuates every 10-minute episode to maximum effect.
Compared to previous season releases, this box set is a little thin on the ground where extras are concerned, featuring just a short featurette on the series’ impact so far by the talented creators and brief animatic clips from each episode. It’s a good job the episodes are so good!
Is it the best season of Adventure Time ever? No. Are the bonus features a little thin on the ground? Yes. Is this the best season of Adventure Time to exist on DVD like the amazing show that it is? Yes. In my mind. In. My. Mind.