Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Adventure Time" Meets the 3 Bears

By Graham Annable
While Adventure Time episodes (on Cartoon Network) do not, as a rule, base their story lines on fairy tales, though they do have this mythic sense which pervades the series and make it fairy-tale-enthusiast-friendly, it's not unusual to see fan art of the series pop up that takes on plot elements of other popular and myth-based works (eg Star Wars, Game of Thrones etc). This is an official cover illustration by Graham Annable for an Adventure Time comic (release date unknown) so I'm very curious about the issue itself. 

It's fun to see the characters get a fairy tale makeover and while this illustration isn't very different from the Goldilocks tale (Finn is blonde underneath the ear-cap by the way) it meshes very well with his character from the series (he starts out with good intentions then tends to get sucked into Trouble - with a capital "T', usually by his mischievous magical dog). We don't have any sense of the end of this story here (ie. we're meant to buy the comic) but Finn's sense of chivalry means he goes to ridiculous lengths to make thing right again. Of course, things usually get worse (far worse!) before they get better and Finn and Jake have some rather crazy adventuring doing it all. Very fun!

What I'd dearly love to see is these characters, and their world, tackle a few fairy tale plots and see where they end up. The sensibility of the series is such that there's a good chance they'll keep a lot of the fairy tales' "essence" despite the whimsical and wacky framework it's presented in. (Hint, hint Frederator Studios!)

The picture above is of Fionna the Human (who is Finn the Human's alternate reality persona) with Marshall the Vampire (Marceline the Vampire's alternate reality persona) as envisioned by an unidentified fan (although I do see "baby churros" signed). Interestingly, although I couldn't find any reference to an episode in which Fionna acts as LRRH and is pursued/tempted by Marshall, there are many fan art pics on this subject. I guess vampire to wolf isn't such a stretch but why does it make me think of Twilight..? (I mean the book/series phenomenon even before the movie-crazy.)

Oh no.

Is THIS why Twilight* struck such a chord with teenage (and older) girls? Because Stephenie Meyer was influenced/inspired by LRRH**?? Interesting if it is, because Catherine Hardwicke flipping the Twilight elements back into an recognizable Red Riding Hood tale got kind of lost in the woods...

Hmm. I feel as if I have thought-gristle in my teeth.

Having not made it through the Twilight series, despite trying to for the sake of keeping up with pop culture, I can't do a proper comparison beyond using synopsis  and Wikipedia - *grinds teeth* - but the idea is sticking, even after a quick research-binge. As for comparison of Twilight to the LRRH fairy tale (leaving the movie well out of the equation) the internetz are rife with the obsessive idea that Harwicke "Twilight-ed" the LRRH story, rather than any hint that Ms. Meyer may have unconsciously been using LRRH elements in her books.
** Ms. Meyer does not cite fairy tales as being any part of her inspiration for the Twilight series, as far as I can find  but rather Jane Austen and Shakespeare. I find this odd since there's definitely a hint of Beauty and the Beast at least, as well as Red Riding Hood. Perhaps it's one of those "taken as a given" things but I don't see it having been discussed anywhere.

1 comment:

  1. I think probably the fairy tale motiffs are so ingrained in our collective psyches that Meyer made a llrh and batb tale without even realizing. (though I hate when critics try to insert meaning over the author's protests to the contrary!)

    I do like the themes of adventure time, its execution reminds me too much of rin and stimpy to indulge in.