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DVD Review: ‘Adventure Time: Jake the Dad’

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AdventureTimeJakeTheDad_DVDGiftSet_CoverArtIt is time to put on childish things about putting away childish things. The road from childhood dreams to adult responsibilities can be a painful one, but it can also be an adventure. The silly, surreal adventures of Jake the Dog and Finn the Human are familiar to fans of the Cartoon Network series Adventure Time, but these childlike adventures sometimes pose adult questions. The Cartoon Network set Adventure Time: Jake the Dad is a welcome companion piece to Adventure Time: Jake vs. Me-Mow! and not just because it comes with a sweet Jake hat to match the Finn hat that accompanied the latter set..

Jake the Dad collects sixteen episodes from the animated series’ fourth and fifth seasons exploring themes of responsibility and the avoidance thereof. There are lessons to be learned here, my child, but let us not forget that this is still Adventure Time. Even though this is a set themed around responsibility, it is also themed around Jake, so there is no lack of Jake playing his butt like his cheeks are a pair of bongos. But you also get Jake’s reluctant fatherhood with Lady Rainicorn; the bittersweet origin story of  “Simon and Marcy,” aka the Ice King and Marceline; “Five More Short Graybles,” one of which focuses on the lovelorn Ice King’s unforgettable ploy to marry his own foot; and “BMO Lost,” which isn’t exactly about the anxiety of being a responsible parent, but does feature one grotesquely handsome baby, and a heartbreaking loss  A “Little Did You Know” character special feature is added as a DVD extra, but really, you want this for the hat. And for Ice King’s feet.

It’s a study in silliness for the kids and a study in the loneliness and alienation of power for the adults. And a study in silliness for adults too. Adventure Time: Jake the Dad is an essential addition to your Adventure Time DVD and hat collection.

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About Pat Padua

Pat Padua is a writer, photographer, native Washingtonian, and Oxford comma defender. The Washington Post called him "a talented, if quirky, photographer." Pat has also contributed to the All Music Guide, Cinescene, and DCist, where he is currently senior film critic.