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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Positive messages are explicitly stated but funny enough to avoid preachiness: even when things are hard, it's still important to try, and even small creatures can make a big impact. Themes include compassion for people who look and live differently than you, the courage needed to complete a heroic quest, and teamwork between those with common interests.
Positive Role Models
BMO and Y-5 are heroic and thoughtfu. They work together to save Y-5's world despite many obstacles, including Y-5's disapproving parents, who eventually are able to tell their child "You're an amazing person." BMO is a robot but still has thoughts and emotions: "Big guys like us don't have feelings," says one villainous character, but BMO disagrees: "You make my feelings happy."
Violence & Scariness
Violence is cartoonish and silly. Characters fly out into space, or shoot each other with "lava blasters" that make pools of blue goo. Some visuals may disturb young or sensitive children, like a shot of a planet (that looks like earth) with a nuclear mushroom cloud over it, or a creature that threatens to eat a creature he's just called a baby, while flashing sharp teeth (he doesn't eat the "baby").
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Romance/sex is not present, but at one point BMO makes a faintly naughty joke, commanding a character who's turned BMO upside-down not to "look at my bottom!"
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One "heck" and a character uses a string of words that kinda sounds iffy: "You no good rootin' tootin' four-flusher!"
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Products & Purchases
Adventure Time is a successful and long-running franchise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Adventure Time: Distant Lands - BMO is the first of four hour-long specials that are an extension of the popular animated series Adventure Time. It's set in the same universe as the original but focuses on the small robot character BMO (voiced by Niki Yang). The amount of mature content is similar to the original series, with sci-fi weaponry/violence and scenes of battles and conflicts that are softened by a light tone and surreal visuals. Some characters shoot a "lava blaster" that makes puddles of blue goo. Other characters are shot out into space, where they're shown floating. A backstory involves escaping an earth-like planet, which is destroyed with a mushroom cloud hovering over it. Language consists of one "heck" and the insult "You no good rootin' tootin' four-flusher!" Positive messages are frequent and concern courage, compassion for others, and the importance of even those who feel small and powerless. Characters team up for a heroic quest.
Is It Any Good?
Adventure Time ended with a bang in 2018, but this first of four new specials in surreal lands other than Ooo shows that its creators have plenty of stories left to tell. Like its predecessor, Distant Lands - BMO blends surreal visuals, a whimsically heroic quest, and sharp jokes, veering away from Finn-and-Jake-centric storytelling to relate a side story about their sentient little robot pal. BMO was always a cutie, not the least because of Niki Yang's loopy line readings, which have an eccentric charm all their own. Careful listeners will also hear a host of guest stars along with returning voices: Stephen Root, Randall Park, John DiMaggio, and Tom Kenny, amongst others.
Distant Lands - BMO conjures up a Finn cognate in Y-5, a tween-aged hero with rabbit ears. Naturally, it's up to BMO and Y-5 to team up and defeat the evil forces plaguing Y-5's world, but what this demi-movie's really about is a young character learning to find her voice, and then finding a way to make the adults around her listen. It's a potent lesson for young viewers to absorb, and it goes down easily thanks to the abundant charm of the lovely animation with its subdued palette, and the positively kittenish cuteness of BMO. Mostly, Adventure Time fans will just feel grateful to be in the show's orbit again, steeped in its specific and wonderful blend of emotion, playfulness, and ironic sincerity. Welcome back. We've missed you.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.