I'm ashamed to say it has taken me A VERY LONG TIME to give the cartoon series Adventure Time a go. Initially I thought the designs were ugly*** and expected crude/cruel humor, awful/hard-to-watch animation and a high cringe factor of subject matter but I was completely wrong. Not only was I wrong but the mythic and creative aspects have made sure Adventure Time is now being DVR'd in our house as often as possible. I now completely understand how this independent show built a strong underground following and is getting more and more popular over time.
Although Adventure Time will not be to everyone's taste I was happily surprised by the high degree of both creativity and continuous myth-based references throughout. Finn the Human and his magical dog Jake are not only decent and sweet characters but incredibly heroic and venture into all kinds of different worlds (eg. Candy Kingdom, the Underworld etc) rescuing those in need while figuring out what is good and what is not. They're also incredibly funny*. :)
Another nice surprise was seeing how the designs actually made sense when animated (commercials don't give you the correct impression at all) and how whimsical it all became.
The Thanksgiving special, titled "Thank You", shows just how sweet and mythic this show can be. (It has a snow golem and fire wolves for goodness sake! There's a summary of the episode HERE in case I can't convince you to watch and be surprised. PS. I dearly want a fire wolf pup now.) My son, along with me, has watched the episode 4 times again today and still isn't sick of it. The episode is making waves around the internet with how touching it's proven to be.
Just watch**. You'll thank me. :)
* You can expect a degree of boy humor (because that's who the main character is) and the episodes, as with all shows, differ in their appeal but personally, I have enjoyed more of them - and found a lot of fresh mythic references throughout - than not. I think a key element in tolerating these aspects is that in this show, they are not mean spirited at all. the characters are clearly have hearts of gold. Very much like the naive yet pure-hearted Jacks of fairy tales.
** I don't know if this will be available online for very long so take advantage of the freebie viewing while you can.
*** The design work on the show is actually top notch! The commercial-editing just doesn't do justice to the look. The pace and spirit of the show backs up the wonderfully naive-like approach to the character looks and it actually works so well, by the time you've watched an episode like "Thank You" you find yourself looking up Adventure Time Art sources on the web for hours!