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The Postmodern Genius of Adventure Time

Cartoons written for children run a range of risks when it comes to fulfilling their creative potential. Oftentimes, these shows get caught up in rehashing moral themes and absurd jokes while cycling through the same cookie-cutter characters. On the surface, Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time seems in danger of falling headfirst into these tropes. The series features the archetypical boy-and-his-dog duo who fight bad guys across a magical fantasy land. Additionally, the zany animation style and bite-size episode length appear to offer little that would interest adult audiences. Yet Adventure Time thrives on upending any and all expectations.

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