A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Explicitly stated but funny enough to avoid preachiness: even when things are hard, it's still important to try, love endures even when friends are separated, and even characters who feel powerless 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 how teamwork can accomplish tasks that are difficult to triumph over solo.
Positive Role Models
Finn and Jake are both heroic characters who demonstrate both how to care for creatures who need their help, and how to advocate for their own emotional and physical needs too. Male and female characters have strong, central roles and the appearance of characters can be deceiving: small characters can be powerful, characters that look smart can do dumb things, a beautiful appearance doesn't always herald goodness.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is comic but involves weaponry and can be a bit startling: a character's skin rips off suddenly, revealing a skeleton monster underneath; Finn collapses a building, crushing a number of small creatures; Finn and Jake are both beaten, leaving their faces bruised and bloody.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Humor can stray into territory that's ever-so-slightly bawdy, like when Jake tells another character he doesn't have the "boingaloings" to do something, and then Finn is seemingly hit in the groin and makes pained faces.
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No cursing, but several times we hear "dang!" or that something "sucks." There are also stand-ins for cursing: "freaking," "flipping."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Adventure Time: Distant Lands - Together Again is an animated show that's based in the Adventure Time and features characters from that series. Together Again is intended to be a standalone special and can be watched and enjoyed by those who haven't seen the original, but emotional messages will be best grasped and appreciated by those who already know the characters. The message is also a bit mature and may go over the heads of younger viewers, who will still like the colorful imagery and overall silly vibe. Violence is usually played for laughs but can be shocking, like when a character's skin rips off to reveal a skeleton monster underneath. Death is a theme and many characters die, but death is also not the end of their appearance on the show. Other humor can be faintly bawdy, like when Jake (John DiMaggio) says that another character doesn't have the "boingaloings" (i.e. a vulgar way to say "courage") to do something. No cursing but there are curse stand-ins ("freaking," "flipping") and we hear several times that situations or things "suck." Finn and Jake are heroic characters who learn from their quest and from each other; messages include compassion for others, physical and emotional courage, and the value of teamwork both on a practical and on a comfort level.
Is It Any Good?
Nothing lasts forever, but that's okay, says this bittersweet but enjoyable finale to an animated relationship many viewers have grown up with, enclosed within a fun far-out 40-minute odyssey. When Cartoon Network fans first met Finn and Jake way back in 2010, after all, many of them were used to tuning into the network for shows like Ben 10 and Transformers: Animated; a loopy narrative about a boy and his faithful dog friends on surreal quests that were a Trojan horse for darker, more nuanced themes was something very different. And though we now live in a world replete with post-Adventure Time animated series, Together Again demonstrates the power of these particular characters to connect.
In some ways, Together Again may remind Seinfeld fans of that show's (polarizing) finale, which featured a parade of beloved past characters. In Together Again we run into many old friends: rival Tiffany, the Lumpy Space Princess, Finn and Jake's parents; some pass through the narrative without much impact, others are central to the story. But the real emotional moments are, of course, between Finn and Jake. As always, they share a strong, close bond, explicitly illustrated in dialogue and visuals ("I was hanging out in nirvana beyond all desire when I picked up your vibe," says Jake to Finn when they meet again), a bond that, the show tells us, will endure even when the friends have to make a hard decision. It's a fitting end to a long journey, and it feels right in a show that's matured along with its fans.
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.