‘Fionna and Cake’ Review: Better Than an ‘Adventure Time’ Reboot – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

‘Fionna and Cake’ Review: Better Than an ‘Adventure Time’ Reboot


When Cartoon Network’s animated series Adventure Time premiered in 2010, it was destined to become a hit. The show arrived at the perfect time, when its bite-size doses of quirky humor, colorful characters with strange voices and magical abilities, and shades of queerness embedded into its characters’ backstories matched a changing culture that desired more than just one-off, episodic storytelling. Like the network’s other classic shows, Adventure Time further grayed the area between kids TV and adult programming. Its stories were contained enough to entertain younger viewers who weren’t looking for anything deeper than some fighting and giggling, while each installment quietly built the lore of the show’s universe atop one another, catering to the grown-ups intrigued by its enchanting mythos.

The show was also an ideal pick for dominating a new era of online fandom. Adventure Time’s singularity was reflected in a culture that craved the opportunity to tout their uniqueness at every chance they got. (The show’s “Bacon Pancakes” song matched the rising obsession with using breakfast food as a personality, lest we forget the age of bacon paraphernalia turning the world’s brightest young minds to mush.) Adventure Time fortified the early-2010s boom of Tumblr—the social network that dominated this new age of fandom and brought niche communities together with just a few keystrokes—and vice versa. As the years passed and the show progressed, it naturally begat what all beloved media has generated since man could read and write: fan fiction.

Well, sort of. In her off-time, Adventure Time character designer Natasha Allegri created Fionna and Cake, a human girl and a cat—gender-swapped versions of Adventure Time’s leads: the human boy, Finn, and his dog, Jake. After they gained traction on—where else?—Allegri’s Tumblr, Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward canonized the characters with their own episode in the show’s third season, where their story is revealed to be in-universe fan fiction written by the series’ main protagonist, the Ice King. They went on to re-appear several more times throughout the show, offering a gender-swapped twist to the story.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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