How "Adventure Time" Makes The World A Better Place

I'm assuming you clicked on this article to find out how Adventure Time has helped the world, right? One, literally so many ways! Two, what rock have you been under since 2010? It’s been a while since a cartoon has transcended the confines of age and interests, but Adventure Time has broken through boundaries the likes of which network television has never seen. The show subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) touches on real world issues. Since its debut, Adventure Time has not only entertained the masses but taught a few important lessons. Lessons that both adults and kids can learn from. 

Adventure Time and Feminism:

AT has done a lot for women. The show has done away with the played out princess narrative completely. The princesses on the show are strong, smart, and heroic in their own right. They save themselves without the help of a prince or superman-esque character. The show helps to change the common ideologies associated with the female gender, like how: women can't be strong, women can't be good leaders, and women aren't as smart as men. The princesses of the show totally defeat those ideals by simply being themeselves.

Princess Bubble is a prime example. She built her own kingdom from the ground up and rules that kingdom with an iron fist. Not only is she a great leader, but she's a freakin genius! She's proves to be the smartest character on the show time and time again, constantly inventing something new or fixing a problem with her vast knowledge on everything Ooo. She shows girls that math and science are both cool and necessary. She also proves that a princess doesn't need a Prince to run a kingdom efficiently.

Adventure Time and Gender Roles:

AT really pushes the limits of the gender binary. With our ideas of gender becoming a little less black and white, AT helps to add even more color. BMO is a genderless character on the show. No one is really quite sure of BMO’s gender, and honestly, it hasn’t been that big of a deal. In reality, gender is this whole made up thing that we’re only choosing to go along with. The creators at Adventure Time really add to this notion with BMO. The character’s completely neutral behavior, neutral tone of voice, and neutral look have only been a small part of the show’s premise because gender identification doesn’t have to be so boxed and focused on. There are a variety of genders that a person can associate themselves with, many people claim to be genderless, just like our little friend BMO. 

There’s also Princess Cookie. Now, Princess Cookie is a male who has wanted to be a princess from the time he was only a crumb. Inspired by the awesomness of Princess Bubblegum, he decided he'd strive to be just like her. Unfortunately, Princess Cookie’s dreams to become an actual princess were constantly shot down leading him to attempt suicide. Princess Cookie lived, and the episode has become a lesson in how support can determine one’s fate. Gender Identification is a huge part of some people’s entire identity, and Princess Cookie’s reality is the reality for many individuals everyday. Neglecting to support Princess Cookie during a time where he felt brave enough to share his dreams ultimately led to his demise. AT directly shows how the impact support, or lack there of, can have on an individual. The program has also shown that gender, and what is associated with gender, is bigger than what is masculine and feminine.

Adventure Time and Mental Illness:

True fans of the show have watched Finn deal with his own stint of depression. We've watched him try to fix his strained relationship with his father. We've seen him heartbroken over the loss of his first love. We've watched him deal with life as an amputee (Finn loses his arm at some point during the show). Watching Finn act as an actual human going through depression has helped many of the show's viewers get through their own stints of mental illness. Many of his issues are super relatable and viewers of all ages see themeselves in Finn. Watching his journey, seeing his good days and bad days, lets viewers know that some times things aren't ok and that, that is ok.

The Ice King and his mental illness has also been a huge part of the show. The Ice King has no real control over his emotions or behavior. He's a good guy with some serious issues that he can't seem to get help for, which sadly, is the reality for so many people. The poor guy doesn't even remember who he used to be. Before he became the Ice King he was Simon; A sane indivual with a lot going for him. Broken down that way, his story sounds a lot like a common real life narrative. 

Adventure Time and Rape Culture:

Adventure Time constantly points out the faults in our, "but they were asking for it" ideals. Instead of victim blaming, the aggressor is often time blamed for their behavior in the show. For example, the Ice King is constantly after the princesses. His obsession with them is frowned upon, unlike in society where obsession over women is completely ok. The Ice King is the enemy, and the princesses are never asked what they did to attract the Ice King or what they did to provoke him. Instead, the Ice King is asked what his issue is. The show definitely fights for men in this way too.

As we all know, it's the opposite for men. They aren't allow to be a victim, but Finn defeats that notion by constantly demanding consent. He's never belittled for it, in fact, he is praised for questioning anyone that enters his bubble. He knows that he owns his body and isn't afraid to speak on that! A man shouldn't have to be questioned when he doesn't accept the sexual advances of a woman, and AT does a good job of rejecting those ideals.

And that's a crash course on Adventure Tume for you! The show tackles show much more than I could ever cover, and I suggest that everyone give the show a chance. Once you get passed the silliness of the show (not sure why you would want to) you really get to see the deepness the show has to offer. It's crazy that a little cartoon has become this huge world altering thing. Who knew our world could learn a thing or two from the citizens of Ooo?