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Adventure Time: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray Review)

Adventure Time S4The fourth season of Cartoon Network’s hit show Adventure Time comes to Blu-ray this Tuesday from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.  This show has proven to be a ratings champion for the network and is currently in this sixth season.  Adventure Time will go longer than that, though, as its been renewed for a seventh season next year.  By that time the show, still early in its life (premiered in 2010) will impressively have collected over two hundred episodes.  The show produces its episodes in eleven minute increments which allows it to climb to such a eye poppingly large number.  However high that number is currently (172 to be exact), this show has shown no real signs of losing and steam and continues to keep its audience invested as shown by its solid and increasing ratings.

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Season 

In its fourth season, the show continues the silly adventures of Finn and his dog Jake.  They continue to explore crazy situations and interact with the characters of the post apocalyptic land of  Ooo.  The seasons picks up with the second part of the third season finale and also features an adventure back to the Nightosphere.

Things are business as usual for Adventure Time in its fourth season.  It continues to be a show that features humor spanning a range of ages.  The vibe and humor tone of the show reminds me very much of one I used to love on Nickelodeon in my youth, Rocko’s Modern Life.  A show that looks all fun, airs during the day and appears kid-centric, but you’ll do a double take when you hear some incredibly well placed adult humor (that the kids probably won’t understand).   For instance, I caught a devious reference to Ridley Scott’s Hannibal during an episode of this season.  The humor has a weird silliness that can easily attract both a 2 year old and a 32 year old at the same time.  There’s stuff for them, stuff for me and stuff that both can enjoy.

Since I’ve never written about Adventure Time, I wanna share my praise for how imaginative of a show it is.  It truly feels like its own thing.   The only reference point I would give it is that its sort of like a tripped out version of the board game Candy Land.  Adventure Time‘s writing staff should be commended to that they really do their best to keep this to having its own characters, jokes and sense of humor.  In a time where referential humor is everywhere and the dominant, popular place to look for a laugh, its a breath of fresh air to see something that strives to stay away from that. It really keeps itself from crutching on pop culture references.

Keeping with being original, 99% of the time, the show creates its own music.  And I really enjoy the music they produce as well.  Most of it feels very loose and effortless.  I’m sure a lot of it was done on the fly too.  There’s a piece in the bonus material about them writing the music for the show, and you should definitely check it out.  The songs and such are part of what help make this show such a joy to watch.  Its pretty awesome that they stay away from using known songs to fill the show or try and cash in on some sort of soundtrack.

Adventure Time is one of the very best (if not tops) shows on Cartoon Network and one glance at this fourth season its easy to see why.  Oddly, I honestly think the show could air on Adult Swim as well and feel right at home.  The humor, characters and animation are very satisfactory to viewers of all ages.  If you’re in the Adult Swim crowd and you’ve somehow missed out on Adventure Time, you really should give it a shot.  Also, parents wanting something to watch something with your kids that you can both enjoy, this is exactly the kind of thing you might be asking for.  With how short the episodes are too, you can easily fit them in or binge them without feeling like a day’s gone by.

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Episodes

Hot To The Touch

Five Short Graybles

Web Weirdos

Dream Of Love

Return To The Nightosphere

Daddy’s Little Monster

In Your Footsteps

Hug Wolf

Princess Monster Wife

Goliad

Beyond This Earthly Realm

Gotcha!

Princess Cookie

Card Wars

Son Of Mars

Burning Low

BMO Noire

King Worm

Lady & Peebles

You Made Me

Who Would Win

Ignition Point

The Hard Easy

Reign Of Gunters

I Remember You

The Lich

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Video 

Encoding: VC-1

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  This transfer well represents and is accurate to the original image.  If anything this is a nice step up from the broadcast appearance.  The animation is nice, clear and sharp.

Depth:  This is flat, 2D animation in nature.

Black Levels:  Blacks are solid, and the shading is ideal.  The material isn’t made of complex animation, so if black is used its just solid black.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are bold and distinct.  The show features a simple palette and each color stands out well on its own.  Everything is pronounced with out overly popping too.  Its sort of tempered and tame.

Flesh Tones:  N/A

Noise/Artifacts:  Clean.

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics:  Adventure Time Season 4 comes with a wildly impressive 2.0 track.  There were times where it was projecting itself as if the rear speakers were active.  There is also some really effective low notes in the music as well.  The right and left channels are extremely active and pick up appropriate place and volume of all the characters and sound effects.  Its a loud and proud track, that keeps you full engaged.

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is loud and clear, appropriately placed and focused in the right and left channels as well.

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Extras 

Adventure Time:  The Complete Fourth Season comes with an UltraViolet Digital Copy of each episode.

Audio Commentary On Every Episode – Features variations of Ako Castuera, Cole Sanchez, Jesse Moynihan, Nate Cash, Pendleton Ward, Tom Hepich and Rebecca Sugar.

Distant Bands: The Music Of Adventure Time (HD, 19:38) – This is the bonus feature on the music of the show that I mentioned above.  The creators discuss their history with music and share their takes on the songs and how they fit with a character/episode.  Its pretty in depth and plenty entertaining.

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Summary 

Adventure Time: The Complete Fourth Season should be picked up and placed right alongside the first and second seasons in your collection.  Its 26 episodes that look and sound fantastic, each with commentary and a neat featurette on the music.  All of this one on disc.  Its that simple.  This is a show that continues to be as popular among younger adults as it is their children.  Adventure Time: The Complete Fourth Season comes as an easy recommend.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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