Parents' Guide to

Adventure Time: Distant Lands - BMO

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Worthy extension of classic cartoon is cute and familiar.

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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.

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