Adventure Time is one of those excellent pieces of entertainment that some people either truly love with all of their heart, or dislike with a burning passion. It’s clear which camp the Chinese animators responsible for the short The Legend of Lucky Pie is in, if the following clip is to be believed, anyway.
Looking at this short certainly conjures more than a few comparisons to the popular Cartoon Network show, from the noodle arms, to the expressions, to the totally out-there things the characters get themselves into. Over at the Cartoon Brew forums, where the Lucky Pie short was posted, user Wendy Zhao shed some light on the project.
“The Lucky Pie short is currently one episode long, debuted around January 1, produced by what seems like just a team of enthusiastic animation friends (there’s a photo of them here). In these posts introducing the show, they talk about how even though they have no funding and no fancy computers or studio setup, they are determined to make this show and fight the ‘tacky’ and ‘trite’ animated shows usually shown in Chinese media.”
Zhao went on to include info straight from Chinese viewers themselves as well: “Here is a thread in Chinese that raises the question, ‘What do people think about claims of this show ripping off Adventure Time?'” and answering it along the lines of, “Kind of, but not really.”
For the uninitiated, Adventure Time is a sensation over here in the US. Finn the human and Jake the dog have some bizarre adventures, most of which are accompanied by decidedly adult innuendos, uncomfortably weird character designs, and a much darker narrative than is easily discernible upon casual viewing. For instance, it’s easy to assume Princess Bubblegum is a delicate, royal authoritarian figure without a destructive thought in her head. That all comes crashing down when you witness her performing experiments on her subjects of the Candy Kingdom or tune into one of the moments where she becomes unhinged in the name of science.
The adorable handheld video game, B-MO, is ripped straight from the history of Nintendo and speaks with a child’s voice. But when he’s alone, he’s pondering what it means to be a “real boy,” speaking to what could possibly be an alternate personality. Let’s not forget the Land of Ooo itself was ravaged by a nuclear blast — it’s all extremely dark stuff, and it’s flying over the heads of the younger audiences who probably wouldn’t appreciate it anyway– though those of us who get it do appreciate it. We giggle at the inane songs about bacon pancakes and Gunter’s “stank booty.” It’s the whimsy of childhood expertly blended with the attitudes and mannerisms that creep into our speech as adults. And it’s good. Creator Pendleton Ward’s struck a fine balance between the two extremes, and we’re grateful.
So with the comparisons you can draw between the two shows, you have to admit that Lucky Pie is definitely an interesting and personable cartoon that’s got moxie. Who knows? Let it pick up some steam and we might see a crossover between that and Adventure Time one day. If you’re going to dream, dream big!
What do you think about Lucky Pie or Adventure Time, for that matter? Let us know in the comments below!