Tag Archive | Michael DeForge

“Little Dude” Review

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Original Airdate: February 4, 2013

Written & Storyboarded by: Cole Sanchez & Michael DeForge

Little Dude is one I usually tend to look over and forget. It’s not a particularly bad entry, but I can’t really think of much that makes it stand out. It’s the most basic form of a fluff episode, but one that does include a decent array of enjoyable moments.

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I think the concept for this episode is certainly a bizarre one, even for Adventure Time’s standards. The idea of Finn’s hat coming to life, turning things into poo, and lusting after control of others is certainly never something I asked to see from the show, but it’s silly enough that it somewhat works. I don‘t really care for the character of Little Dude too much, as I’m not really sure how we’re supposed to feel about him by the end of the episode. Like, he’s nothing but an annoyance to Finn and Jake the entirety of the episode, yet Finn angrily claims “we were supposed to be buds!” when Little Dude does goes berserk. I dunno, it seemed like a weird emotional connection that never really payed off. And of course, Little Dude’s existence meant we had to awkwardly stare at a buzzed cut Finn throughout the entirety of the episode. I admit, it was kind of humorous and interesting to see Finn’s hair this short, but it’s still just fucking weird. I mean, even though we know it’s his hat, we as viewers are kind of all under the illusion that Finn’s hat is a part of his head, so going to entire episode staring at his neck and ears and rounded noggin is just a surreal experience.

Luckily enough though, I think the episode is sprinkled with tons of silliness that I am on board with. I really like entire beginning scene with Finn and Jake trying to make a whirlpool in the water, that was classic bro stuff. I love Jake’s sassage flare, and the absolutely vile way Finn and Jake actually eat the sausages: dipped in milk. What a fucking gross atrocity that I could’ve gone my whole life without seeing. I also love to see BMO as somewhat of a mom to Finn and Jake! I’m not really one for gag characters, but I do love how BMO’s relationship with the boys can change from episode to episode. One episode he can be their sassy robot buddy, other times he’s their child, and here, he’s their mom. And a spunky mom to say the least. He hit Finn on the butt! Also, the “kiss my cook” apron was priceless. That’s gotta exist somewhere on Etsy.

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This is also the Life Giving Magis’ first speaking role after his first appearance in Mystery Dungeon. I do enjoy the Magis as a character, which is mostly driven by Dana Snyder’s voice. But also, how can one not enjoy Dana Snyder’s voice? Magis gets a couple of funny moments in this one; I’m not completely down with the whole contrived daddy issues arc, because even though it’s a recurring theme in AT, there was really no reason for this one to exist outside of it being a recurring theme. I don’t really care about Magis’ daddy problems honestly, and the conflict just kind of seems unnecessary. If Magis was able to take the sentient life out of all the inanimate objects in the end, why wasn’t he able to do so to Little Dude when he was wrecking the Candy Kingdom? The simple answer is that it did allow for a pretty fun havoc sequence, and I did like the incorporation of the Gumball Guardian. It is always fun to watch him get in on the action, even if it is for only a minimal amount of time.

The climax was a bit meandering as well, but one I didn’t mind a whole lot. I did like all the funny one-liners the sentient objects of Ooo offered, and it did provide for a decent conclusion to the episode. But overall, there just isn’t a ton to this one. It’s actually funny to see just how many “fluff” episodes there are in the first half of season five; not that fluff episodes are bad but any means, but I’ve found that a good handful of these are particularly insignificant, especially after coming off of season four, where it felt like every episode was trying to be something impactful. However, season four was only half the length of season five, and things will eventually pick up once the second half of the season comes along. For now, I’ll enjoy these lighter episodes, in preparation for some of the heavier and darker stuff we get down the line.

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Favorite line: “Whomever the hat possesses gains the proportional strength of a hat!”


“Beautopia” Review

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Original Airdate: November 8, 2011

Written & Storyboarded by: Rebecca Sugar & Adam Muto

Beautopia is Susan Strong’s first appearance since her debut episode, and her last episode for a very long period of time. Some general developments are made, as she obtains a wider (albeit broken) variety of vocabulary and a subtle, yet more intelligent grasp of the world around her. It’s even somewhat of a conclusive piece to her arc, even though nothing is explicitly given away and her character returns much later on to drive her story even further.

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The relationship between Susan Strong in her debut episode was driven by Finn’s growing interest in the existence of humans and his fascination with her as a member of his species. Here, it’s quite different, but even more endearing to me. Finn simply wants to help her out as a friend, despite the fact that she may not even be one of his kind, and caused great danger for the Candy Kingdom previously. Finn is still considerate enough to be by her side and never once question her motivation or beliefs. He’s written terrifically in this episode, and it really shows what an honest and caring guy he is. Even when everything Susan does seem to be completely ludicrous and unethical, with her even going so far as to almost drowning Finn, he still has her back completely, possibly due to his belief that she is still strongly connected to him despite her different appearance. His line towards the end “humans and hyoomans gotta stick together,” strongly indicates that, even though he acknowledges that Susan and her people may be different from him, he still considers them worthy of his utmost respect. It mirrors Jake’s line of “we’re all wild animals, brother,” from Susan Strong, and it’s just delightful to see his strong support of his humanoid friend.

Speaking of Jake, he can be a bit of a jerk in this one, but I feel like it’s necessary and makes sense with the plot. On one hand, he is entirely disrespectful (or as he put, “disruptive and obnoxious”) towards Susan and her people, and even mocks the hyoomans on several occasions. I dunno, isn’t that considered like, racism in the AT universe? C’mon Jake, you’re better than that. On the other hand, his reactions and behavior do seem completely rational, considering the circumstances. In a way, he’s everything that you’d expect Finn to be: distrusting of Susan, completely skeptical about her ridiculous claims, and in fear of death throughout their entire travels. It’s humorous to watch Jake act so completely smug and condescending, and his actions are almost completely understandable. Obviously he isn’t going to trust Susan, because, for one, she almost destroyed the entire Candy Kingdom. In addition to that, she almost drowned his brother, gotten the three of them killed on several different occasions, and has paranoia that seems to be entirely irrational.

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For that reason, it’s really nice to have a blend of both Finn and Jake’s opposing viewpoints in this episode. It’s really refreshing to see the boys on two completely different sides and not have it be intolerable to watch, but instead actually strengthens the episode. It’s a perfect perspective aspect that shows us exactly what we’d want to see from each character.

Susan herself is enjoyable to watch; she’s more used as a plot point than anything. She’s still enjoyable to watch, but not necessarily as amusingly wide-eyed as she was in Susan Strong. That being said, I do like her progression from a character who was completely shut off from the outside world to someone who’s gained a basic understanding of society and the actual dangers within it. It feels like an appropriate growth of her character, and it would’ve been so uninteresting if this episode picked up exactly where the last one left off and just followed Finn teaching Susan new information that she hasn’t learned yet. That’s the fun part about the amount of time it takes for characters to return in AT; time passes within the show somewhat naturally, and progression is happening in real-time, whether we get to see it or not. So characters are allowed to grow and develop without us necessarily getting to see every bit and piece of it. I do really love the brief moment where Finn pulls his hat off and Susan quietly says “you no gills!” It’s a very subtle and downplayed moment, but very crucial in the sense that it’s a moment where Susan comes to a realization about Finn that she hadn’t even known: he isn’t a fish person, he’s a full-fledged human boy, and it wasn’t until this point where she actually began to understand that.

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The design of Beautopia is really, really cool. Michael DeForge worked on a lot of the backgrounds in this episode, and they range from very eerie and dark to something of a post-apocalyptic beauty. I love how Beautopia is actually just some sort of shopping mall as well, as it really adds to the notion of vast worlds and lands just simply being everyday parts of society that we recognize today. In addition, the Lub Glubs are really well-designed too. The way their teeth are practically ingrained in their body in a 2-D fashion is so freakin’ cool to me, and the lack of eyes and gas-like body are both chilling and pretty grotesque as well. The idea that Jake recognizes that one of them reminds him of his mother (and a drawing early on reminded him of his father) is surely more than just his mind going insane and an in depth observation of a part himself that he may subconsciously recognize. It’s a bit of a stretch, as the Lub Glubs don’t exactly resemble what is later revealed to be Jake’s true form, but it’s still an interesting point from Jake’s perspective, and something he probably had a better understanding of than he even consciously knew.

However, those lines are pretty funny on this own, and so is the rest of this episode. Jake plays a major part when it comes to comedy in Beautopia, from his long, panned out attempt at throwing the lantern into the City Heart to his attitude toward everything going on around him throughout the episode, I just really love watching him react to his surroundings in this fashion. His I’m On a Boat song gets a kick out of me every time I watch this episode, it’s so amusing yet so annoying at the same time.

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The last act ends on a perfect note as well, with Finn receiving a private revelation through Susan Strong that we can only assume is positive. It’s a bit more teasing for the audience, but it is entirely satisfactory that one of the characters at least has an idea who Susan Strong is, and Finn’s content, friendly wave to her at the end leaves him feeling closer than ever to Susan, and without any further questions of her identity… for now, that is.

Anyway, I like this one. It’s not one of my favorites of the third season, but it has some really great characterization among the main cast, as well as some further developments in one of AT’s most mysterious story arcs. It’s also one that leaves me feeling completely fuzzy inside, and one that really can’t make Finn any more lovable if it tried. It’s a perfect wrap to Susan’s character for the time being, and left me entirely content until her later reappearance in the sixth season.

Favorite line: “C’mon, Finn, let’s go! I grabbed, like, 100 soft pretzels!”