Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake!August 31, 2023
After five long years, the Adventure Time universe returns to the small screen with a new spinoff: Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake. Sliding into TVs on Cartoon Network and STACKTV in Canada, and MAX, in the US, Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake follows the adventures of its titular characters (shocking) as they make their way through their ordinary world.
The show is geared toward a younger adult audience, and its themes will resonate with them: the struggle of working a job you don’t enjoy, not feeling right about your place in the world, and having dreams that don’t quite align with current reality. It also speaks to the possibility offered by following your heart. And, having a great cat.
Season one includes ten episodes, with some fan favourite Adventure Time characters rumoured to make an appearance. Though this show is surely about Fionna and Cake, even if some fantastic friends come to visit.
Spoilers for Episode 1 continue below
Turn back now if you don’t want spoilers.
Episode one starts in the midst of an exciting action sequence, Fionna and Cake are chasing a ratmobile that seems to have taken innocent people, prisoner! Chasing it through the streets (and rooftops) they come to a moment where it looks like Fionna’s done for…until a mysterious Ice Prince saves the day and gives Fionna time to escape.
He begins speaking sweet words to her…before his mouth starts blaring a horrifying sound – the shrill beeps of an alarm clock. Fionna was dreaming, and now it’s time to get back to the real world.
Cake, however, seemed to be having a similar dream. She dream-swims on the bed, like she swam in the rooftop pool, and becomes obsessed with ice, serving herself from the fridge’s ice dispenser.
Maybe there’s more to this odd-behaviour than it appears?
Worried that Cake might be sick, Fionna makes an appointment at the Vet, and bundles the kitty in a carrier so they can go to her job together. Fionna is working as a tour guide on a local bus tour – of course, the tour isn’t particularly exciting, nor does it include many visitors from out of town. It seems more like a bus…than a bus tour.
Her friend Marshall (voiced by Donald Glover) thinks the Ice Prince is a metaphor for her breakup with DJ Flame, but as they pass a skating rink, Cake, still obsessed with ice, gets loose and bounces around the inside of the bus. Shock of all shock, Fionna’s boss is in disguise, and fires her on the spot.
Now in a moment of existential crisis, Fionna admits she’s gone through a bunch of jobs already this year, and is struggling with…people. After visiting with Gary from the bakery (and running into a rat, that may or may not have been a part of her dream) she finds Marshall busking on the street.
He sends her to his associate Ellis to see about Cake, as he’s an “animal whisperer” and she’s broke and can’t afford the vet visit.
After a trip through brambles, and stumbling on a mysterious gardener and a secret garden, Fionna finds Ellis…who is more or less no help. He makes abysmal attempts to do a cold reading, then eventually just feeds Cake a bunch of catnip.
High as a kite, Cake sees a glowing door and begins running for it, rampaging through the park with bright, wide eyes. Where is this door you might ask? Well, it’s inside the freezer of an ice cream bicycle. Because of course, it is.
Cake dives in and disappears in a burst of blue light! Episode one ends on a cliffhanger, viewers will no doubt be excited to resolve immediately with episode two.
This is a great start for Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake! It gives viewers enough of what they loved about the original show, but is also treading new ground, and encouraging the development of new fans along the way.
If you didn’t watch Adventure Time, you won’t be lost. Sometimes spinoffs try to offer too much in the way of fan service and it becomes a wall of impenetrable lore for new fans to pick up the show – Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake doesn’t fall into that trap.
The show premieres on September 15, on Cartoon Network, and is available to stream now on MAX in the US.
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