Adventure Time: Distant Lands
|Adventure Time: Distant Lands|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||2|
|Original network||HBO Max|
|Original release||June 25, 2020 –|
Adventure Time: Distant Lands is the collective name of four hour-long streaming television specials based on the American animated television series Adventure Time, which was created by Pendleton Ward and originally aired on Cartoon Network from 2010 to 2018. The specials are produced by Cartoon Network Studios and Frederator Studios; the first special was released on HBO Max on June 25, 2020. The second special followed on November 19, 2020. The series at large follows the adventures of Finn (a human boy) and his best friend and adoptive brother Jake, a dog with magical powers to change shape and size at will. Finn and Jake live in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo, where they interact with the series' other main characters, including Princess Bubblegum, Marceline the Vampire Queen, and BMO.
- Jeremy Shada as Finn the Human
- John DiMaggio as Jake the Dog
- Olivia Olson as Marceline the Vampire Queen
- Hynden Walch as Princess Bubblegum
- Niki Yang as BMO
- Steve Little as Peppermint Butler
- Y5 – voiced by Glory Curda: Y5, appearing in "BMO", is an anthropomorphic rabbit and 13 year old scientist who lives on a space station called the Drift. Originally named "Y4", Y5 chooses her new name with BMO's encouragement and eventually becomes the robot's "deputy". Y5 struggles with managing the expectations of her parents (voiced by Tom Kenny and Michelle Wong), and finds herself forced to disobey them in order to save the Drift—all the while discovering her own identity. In "BMO", Y5—with the titular robot's assistance—helps the citizens of the Drift defeat Hugo, and after their overlord is dethroned, she proposes a new form of social organization based on cooperation that will ideally allow the Drift to flourish. Curda, the voice actress, said that Y5's story has a "lot of subtext" and is "very representative" of coming out into your own identity.
- Mr. M – voiced by Stephen Root: Mr. M, appearing in "BMO", is a mysterious and suspicious individual who does not care about BMO. This character ends up helping BMO, Y5, and others counter the rule of Hugo. Mr. M is heavily suggested to be Martin Mertens, sharing a voice actor, selfish demeanor, views on parenthood, and even saying some of the same lines including, "Here comes the rascal". Showrunner Adam Muto called this an "unsubstantiated rumor".
- Hugo – voiced by Randall Park: Hugo, appearing in "BMO", is an inventor and self-appointed leader of The Drift who tasks BMO with acquiring a crystal needed to complete a device known as "Unity Pod". It is later revealed that this is a device to allow him to leave the Drift, and that Hugo created this machine by exploiting the resources on the space station. It is revealed that Hugo was once a human who "biohacked" his DNA with the genetic material of aliens before arriving on the Drift. When Hugo tries to power up his Unity Pod, the residents of The Drift band together to foil his plan, launching him into space by himself. While lamenting his loneliness, Hugo is later joined by the small worker robot Olive; in regard to this plot point, Adam Muto stated that they tried to leave Hugo on a "somewhat hopeful note", implying that, with the help of Olive, he may be able to "someday find a peaceful, less manipulative life" apart from others.
- CGO – voiced by Simone Giertz: CGO, appearing in "BMO", is knockoff MO Co. clone, created by Hugo. CGO reveals to the main characters that Hugo came from Earth to escape from a war; the robot also contends that after he arrived at the Drift, he stole the natives' technology for himself. According to Adam Muto, Giertz—the self-styled "queen of shitty robots"—was chosen as the character's voice actress because he was a fan of her videos; likewise, she was a fan of the show, and had long expressed a desire to do a voice on the show.
- Glass Boy – voiced by Michaela Dietz.
- See-Thru Princess – voiced by Charlotte Nicdao.[a]
- Molto Larvo – voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
- Sandy – voiced by Maria Bamford.
- Limeston – voiced by Jeff Bennett.
- Choose Goose – voiced by Jeff Bennett.
- Simon Petrikov – voiced by Tom Kenny.
- Elise – voiced by Erica Luttrell. Marceline's mother, a human woman who lived a thousand years prior to the events of the series. Luttrell replaces former Adventure Time writer and Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar as Elise's voice.
- Sir Soda – voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.[b]
The series follows the adventures of Finn the Human (a boy), and his best friend and brother Jake, a dog with magical powers to change shape and size at will. Finn and Jake live in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo, where they interact with the other major characters, such as Princess Bubblegum, Marceline the Vampire Queen, and BMO. Common storylines revolve around Finn and Jake going on the titular adventures, discovering strange creatures, and battling monsters to help others.
On September 29, 2016, Cartoon Network officially announced that Adventure Time would end. Storyline writing for the initial series ended in mid-November 2016, and the show's final script was pitched to storyboarders on November 28. Voice recording for the initial series ended on January 31, 2017. Several of the show's crew members were then hired for Cartoon Network's Summer Camp Island, created by Adventure Time storyline writer Julia Pott. The Adventure Time finale, "Come Along with Me", aired on September 3, 2018 to a largely positive reception.
The Adventure Time: Distant Lands specials were produced by Cartoon Network Studios and Frederator, but unlike the previous seasons, debuted on HBO Max, the video on demand service from WarnerMedia Entertainment. The Distant Lands specials have their origin during the production of the show's tenth season. Because the show had had success with specials and miniseries in the past (such as Stakes), the writers started to pitch a number of stories that could be told in longer formats. Two big ideas that emerged during this time were storylines focusing on BMO in space, and another focusing on Marceline and Bubblegum's relationship. Production for these longer stories, however, was halted when the series was cancelled. Later, when HBO and Cartoon Network began to revive the series for the HBO Max streaming service, the Adventure Time writers went back to these old ideas, and in time they generated the four Distant Lands specials.
Longtime Adventure Time executive producer Adam Muto oversaw the production of the specials, with Jack Pendarvis, Anthony Burch, Christina Catucci, Charley Feldman, and Kate Tsang serving as part of the writing staff. Storyboard artists who worked on these specials include (but are not limited to): Ashlyn Anstee, Iggy Craig, Megan Fisher, Hanna K. Nyström, Maya Petersen, and Serena Wu. From June to September 2019, Jenny Goldberg served as art director for the specials.
"Obsidian", the second episode of the series, features six original songs.
"BMO" soundtrack (2020)
The album, "BMO's Mixtape (Gilligan Moss Mix)" was released on September 18, 2020.
|1.||"Robot Cowboy" (featuring Niki Yang)||2:59|
|2.||"Summer Swamp Boogie"||2:11|
|3.||"Good Little Girl" (featuring Donald Glover, Madeleine Martin, and Rox Ryan)||2:05|
|4.||"Dropdown Rainbow/All Gummed Up" (featuring Jeremy Shada)||4:04|
|5.||"Fries" (featuring Jeremy Shada)||1:26|
|6.||"Bacon Pancakes" (featuring John DiMaggio)||2:03|
|7.||"Oh BMO" (featuring Niki Yang)||0:53|
|9.||"Sleepy Puppies" (featuring Jeremy Shada)||3:30|
|10.||"Time Adventure" (featuring Niki Yang)||2:22|
|11.||"Eternity With You" (featuring Michaela Dietz and Gillian Moss)||3:50|
"Obsidian" soundtrack (2020)
The soundtrack to "Obsidian" was released on November 20, 2020.
|1.||"It's Funny" (featuring Charlotte Nicdao)||1:02|
|2.||"Woke Up" (featuring Olivia Olson and Zuzu)||2:22|
|3.||"Red Light" (featuring Audrey Bennett)||0:30|
|4.||"See Through" (featuring Michaela Dietz)||0:33|
|5.||"Monster" (featuring Olivia Olson and Half Shy)||1:39|
|6.||"Eternity with You" (featuring Michaela Dietz and Zuzu)||2:23|
This section's plot summaries may be too long or excessively detailed. (November 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Written and storyboarded by||Original air date|
|1||"BMO"||Miki Brewster||Hanna K. Nyström, Iggy Craig, Laura Knetzger,|
Anna Syvertsson, & Adam Muto
|June 25, 2020|
|BMO is traveling through space on a mission to terraform Mars when he meets a small eyeball like robot, whom BMO dubs Olive. The mysterious robot suddenly transports BMO's ship into a distant part of space, which contains an ailing space station called The Drift. BMO encounters a young rabbit girl named Y5 (Glory Curda), who is a scavenger. Y5 plans to take BMO and have him sold for parts so as to impress her disapproving parents (Tom Kenny & Michelle Wong). Hugo (Randall Park), the leader of The Drift, cannot find anything useful from BMO, but needs a crystal from one of the jungle pods on The Drift so as to power a ship that will allow the Drift's residents to escape the station. BMO is hurt when he learns what Y5's plan was and ventures into the jungle pod by himself. However, BMO is betrayed by Hugo's assistant Mr. M (Stephen Root) and is left to die in the pod. Y5 overcomes her parents' disapproval and rescues BMO, with the help of a robot named CGO (Simone Giertz). CGO reveals that Hugo came from Earth to escape from a war and, after arriving at the Drift, stole the natives' technology for himself; he has no plans to bring his followers with him. Y5 and BMO rush to stop Hugo. Hugo is outed, but escapes onto his ship. At BMO's suggestion, everyone works together to remove all the power to save the Drift, but Hugo still escapes. Y5's parents apologize for not listening to her as the Drift natives decide to rebuild together. As Hugo laments his loneliness, Olive is revealed to have joined him. BMO takes a space lard and flies back out into space where he lands on earth. BMO crash lands near the tree house where he spots a much younger Finn and Jake playing out front; revealing that the episode is a prequel to the initial series.|
|2||"Obsidian"||Miki Brewster||Hanna K. Nyström, Anna Syvertsson, Iggy Craig,|
Mickey Quinn, Maya Petersen, James Cambell, & Ashlyn Anstee
|November 19, 2020|
|Years ago, Princess Bubblegum and Marceline visited the Glass Kingdom to repel Molto Larvo (Dee Bradley Baker), a lava based being. Marceline had sung a hurtful song about PB to quell the beast, but resulted in their breakup. Years later, Molto Larvo breaks free from his imprisonment after Glass Boy (Michaela Dietz) attempts to use the lava to heal his crack. While the royal advisors imprison Glass Boy, See-Thru Princess (Charlotte Nicdao) allows him to leave to find Marceline who has settled with PB. Upon returning with them, Marceline attempts to use the same song to repel Larvo, but it does not work and PB reveals that she had prepared for such a thing by placing a force field generator around it. Offended, Marceline leaves to find her anger again. In flashback, young Marceline (Audrey Bennett) and her mother Elise (Erica Luttrell) brave the wilderness. Elise forces her to leave with Marceline believing that she was trying to get rid of her when really it was so she would not see her dying. In the present, Marceline finds the "clubhouse" that her mother had told her about and realizes that she loved her regardless and is further supported by Glass Boy who had followed her. When PB's new plan to defeat Larvo fails, Marceline and Glass Boy return and together lead the beast back into its cave, but the advisors cause a cave in when they crank up the force field. Marceline sings a new song to PB who lovingly accepts it while Larvo, hearing the song, transforms into a happy bright creature. See-Thru Princess is cracked in half, but she embraces her new appearance, causing all the glass people to reveal their cracks. Simon arrives too late with backup including Bronwyn and a much older Finn and everyone celebrates with PB and Marceline cementing their relationship.|
The third and fourth episodes are titled "Wizard City" and "Together Again" respectively.
Reception to "BMO" has been mostly positive. Rollin Bishop of Comic Book wrote that the special's biggest strength is that BMO is "the most innocent and also the most prone to misadventure" compared to the other Adventure Time characters, which made the special itself a "solid watch from start to finish." Others called "BMO" a "blend of dream logic, comedy, and surreal heroism". Other reviewers praised the show for recapturing the magic of the original show, with Petrana Radulovic of Polygon arguing that it shared the same "melancholy feeling" as its parent series. Other reviews were not as positive. Grace Z. Li of Vulture called the special "disappointing" even while praising the performance of BMO. Dave Trumbore of Collider singled out the pacing for critique, writing that the special seemed rushed "when it comes to story beats and character development."
A number of reviewers commented on the episode's social commentary. Alexander Sowa of CBR argued that Hugo is a futurist akin to Elon Musk or Steve Jobs, whose characterization is "a clear satire of modern-day corporations and capitalists." Sowa also argued that contra Hugo—a capitalist and colonist who "destroys the world around him"—Y5 can be seen as a fighter for equity who pushes for a new form of social organization that is fairer to the inhabitants of the Drift. Joe Matar of Den of Geek noted similar themes, saying that the story is about those living in Drift realizing that "their Elon Musk-esque tech capitalist overlord [Hugo] is destroying their world," which forces them to come together and rely on one another. Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times likewise noted that the special hints at social commentary toward the end, referring to the destruction of Earth, the nature of resource management, the importance of cooperation, and "the way that certain human billionaires look at space as an escape pod."
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Writing for The A.V. Club, William Hughes gave this episode an A, calling it "fan service at its finest" with "plenty of the usual lovely Adventure Time touches". Additionally, Rebecca Long also gave a positive review of the episode for Polygon. She wrote that the episode gives fans the "emotional payoff and answers" they have been yearning for and that the special uses the plot to explore Marceline's childhood trauma, her romantic history with Bubblegum, how the two are interconnected, and fills in gaps about her past. Long also stated that while the special is not "as offbeat" as BMO, it is heavier in terms of emotional weight and plot, and making clear that "romantic subtext" in the original show has "always been straight-up text." At the same time, she states that not all interactions between Bubblegum and Marceline are loving, that the special has flaws due to a conventional structure and storytelling, even with some "inconsistencies in Princess Bubblegum’s character design," but is still heartfelt and effective, complete with new music, with Marceline and Bubblegum having "a shared future that feels real."
Rosie Knight of IGN wrote that the special was a "perfect example of why [Adventure Time] made such a huge impact." Knight contended that the special's strongest asset was "how accessible it is to new viewers", given that both "hardcore fans" as well as new viewers who had little understanding of the characters could still come together and "enjoy this fantastical romp about aging, falling in love, and settling down". Knight further complimented the special for its message that Marceline's power comes from her love of Bubblegum. Knight also applauded the "Monster", which she argued is as iconic as "I'm Just Your Problem" (from season three's "What Was Missing") and "Everything Stays" (from Stakes). Knight concluded her review by noting that while the special could be seen as mere "fan service", it is "fan service of the highest order", "a wonderful animated episode", and "a fitting addition to Adventure Time's legacy."
- She also voiced the Ancient Glass Princess.
- He also voiced Smudge.
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- In a Reddit Q&A, Curda considered this one of her favorite moments in the episode.
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- Catucci, Christina [@Catuchee] (December 2, 2019). "hello! i am looking for an in-studio staff writing gig. i've written for: -Craig of the Creek -Adventure Time: Distant Lands -Story on Trolls World Tour -Toca Life Stories -Sundance Feature Finalist 2018 here I am as a child equally talented" (Tweet). Retrieved February 23, 2020 – via Twitter.
- Feldman, Charley [@charley_feldman] (October 25, 2019). "Come on, grab your friends! A secret thing I've been writing on just got a lot less secret. And believe me, I can barely believe I get to be doing this either! Adventure Time: Distant Lands!" (Tweet). Retrieved February 23, 2020 – via Twitter.
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- Craig, Iggy. "About". iggy.zone. Retrieved October 25, 2019. Note: "Rumble Jaw" was the secretive name used during the production of these specials.
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- Nyström, Hanna K. "Hanna K. (@HannaKtweet)". Twitter. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
storyboard artist/writer. Adventure Time // Summer Camp Island // Rumble JawNote: "Rumble Jaw" was the secretive name used during the production of these specials.
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