Original Airdate: October 25, 2010
Written & Storyboarded by: Somvilay Xayaphone & Kent Osborne
I could’ve swore that It Came From the Nightosphere was the official season premiere, but I guess the season two DVD episode order would suggest otherwise. So, here we have Loyalty to the King! Certainly not one of Ice King’s strongest outings, but it is a delightfully silly opening to the second season.
Right off the bat, it seems like this episode has somewhat of a different tonal shift from the first season. There’s something about season two that just seems much more rounded in writing, character depictions, and humor than season one. The animation also seems very fluid in this episode, more so than usual. This is actually the first episode to welcome Somvilay Xayaphone onto the series as a storyboard artist, and he would later stick with the series till the very end. I’m not the biggest fan of Somvilay’s episodes; his whole writing style revolves around avoiding actual jokes at all costs and mostly just focusing on weird or quirky dialogue and gags. This has potential to be really funny, but can also completely slow down an entire episode. Luckily, he does just fine in this very humorous episode.
This isn’t Ice King’s most sympathetic appearance, but I think it’s really the point where we can sort of identify with him as a character. Staff members on AT have mentioned that Ice King is the easiest for them to empathize with, and I think this is the final transition that turns Ice King from a psychotic jerk to a psychotic sad sack. In fact, I like that a majority of the beginning of the episode is through Ice King’s perspective. We only had a few moments in the past 26 episodes where we got to spend time with him without Finn and Jake’s company, so it’s a refreshing treat that he finally takes the spotlight.
One of the things I love about this episode is that it’s a nice outlet to see some of the many princesses of Ooo we rarely get to see, including Princess Princess Princess, Ghost Princess, Bee Princess, etc.. I think it’s most interesting that Princess Bubblegum is completely absent from this episode. I get the feeling that once she heard about a “Nice King” she was completely uninterested. Considering her stance about kings in Ooo, such as the one true King of Ooo, it makes sense that’d she’d immediately deem the Nice King as a fraud. And it’s also quite possible that she’s the only princess smart enough to know that the Nice King’s true identity is the Ice King.
And I could listen to that title card music all day long. Man, is that a jam!