Adventure Time: Distant Lands - Together Again
Adventure Time: Distant Lands - Together Again
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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.
The show is 10+ but death themes are 8+
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What's the Story?
Years after fans last saw Finn the Human (Jeremy Shada) and Jake the Dog (John DiMaggio) during 2018 Adventure Time series finale, the duo are back together, though revealing too much about how or where they make contact ventures into spoiler territory. So just know that this entry in the Adventure Time: Distant Lands series reunites the duo in a strange otherworldly realm with a selfish and tyrannical ruler. They must go on a noble quest to help others, and in the new land Finn runs into old friends and rivals before learning something important about himself and his friendship with Jake.
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.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can discuss the messages in Adventure Time: Distant Lands - Together Again. What does this special seem to be saying about letting go of people and places beyond our grasp but retaining and appreciating their impact on our lives and our emotions towards them? What about the importance of remembering what has gone before, but also fully living in our present?
Adventure Time has released many miniseries and specials. How are these different from seasons of the show? Do you like this format where episodes are released on an unpredictable schedule, or would you prefer they come out all together? Does anticipating the next episode make you enjoy it more when it arrives? Or is it frustrating?
How do Jake. Finn and other characters show courage and compassion in Adventure Time: Distant Lands - Together Again? How do they use teamwork to get through obstacles? Why are these important character strengths?
- Premiere date: May 20, 2021
- Cast: Dee Bradley Baker, Tom Kenny, Jeremy Shada
- Network: HBO Max
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Courage, Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: October 5, 2021
Our Editors Recommend
Original, if nonsensical, hilarity; expect minor weapons.
Adventure Time: Distant Lands - BMO
Worthy extension of classic cartoon is cute and familiar.
Adventure Time: Distant Lands - Obsidian
Animated special has LGBTQ+ representation, great messages.
For kids who love animation
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate