A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show offers subtle social-emotional lessons when characters are kind and caring, as they frequently are.
Adventure Time is a cheerful yet complex world -- its inhabitants care about each other and usually treat each other with respect and kindness, but they frequently have complicated emotional and social problems best understood by tweens and up. They’re sweet, though: Before the Ice King relates a terrible story, he takes time to kiss his friends goodnight.
Positive Role Models
Finn is always willing to help his fellow creatures -- when he hears Sweet Pea crying in the candy forest, he comes immediately to figure out what's wrong, pats her arm, and calls her "Buddy." On the other hand, he frequently draws his sword when he senses danger (though the sword is not ever used to kill and is frequently not used at all).
Violence & Scariness
Cartoonish and comic violence/grossness includes an attack by a giant s'more, Princess Bubblegum vomiting a stream of pink candy, characters knocking into each other and slapping each other in the face. Finn always carries a sword and draws it in the face of danger but only uses it infrequently and then only to poke at creatures or knock them down.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Very subtle references to sex, like when Finn tells Jake he likes getting "late-night bedtime calls" when his friend is "sleeping over at Lady's." One of the subplots of this miniseries is romantic, so there's talk of dates, what to wear on dates, how one acts when they have a girlfriend, and the like.
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No cursing, but there's questionable and sometimes hurtful language: "heck, yeah," "sucks," "dang," Jake calls Finn a "worry baby" and Fern a "weirdo."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Adventure Time: Elements is an eight-episode miniseries that stars many of the same characters from the animated Adventure Time series. Like the original show, this miniseries is absurd and sweet. Characters treat each other with kindness, try to help each other, and give each other hugs and pats on the arm. They also have complex emotional and social problems that are best understood by tweens and up. Violence is comic and silly; in this show, Finn is attacked by a giant s'more, characters slap each other in the face, and a giant ruler threatens to turn people into candy. Finn also carries a sword and sometimes draws it, though he never stabs or slashes anything. There's no cursing, but there is some questionable language: "heck, yeah," "sucks," "dang." One of the show's subplots is romantic, so expect talk about dating and having a girlfriend, as well as subtle references to sex, like when Finn refers to Jake "sleeping over" with a female friend.
Is It Any Good?
Less emotional than the Islands adventure that preceded it, this entry into the Adventure Time canon returns to cheerful silliness. We're clued in that something is different this time around when instead of promising that we'll go to "very distant lands," the theme song tells us we're on the way to "very messed up lands." Indeed. Fish are now made of gummy, the tree house is made entirely of candy, and instead of being her sweet, charming self, Princess Bubblegum is now a giant elemental monster who wants to transform Finn and Jake into candy, too.
It's the same sort of absurd adventure fans are used to seeing, which asks the question of why this particular outing is a miniseries rather than a regular season. No matter, Elements is classic AT fun, with Jake pausing in the middle of a quest to explain to Finn why he should always have a phone: "You'll think it'll make people want to talk to you more, but they just forget to invite you to stuff." Later, Ice King pooh-poohs the possibility of a second date with a woman he excitedly describes as possibly some type of exotic bird: "I don't want to be that guy who's always hanging out with his girlfriend and doesn't have time for his friends." Then he pauses and says softly "I so want to be that guy.' It's silliness, but with a heart, which makes it the best kind of whole-family viewing.
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.