06th Nov2014

‘Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Written by Chris McDonnell | Published by Titan Books | Format: Hardback, 336pp

the-art-of-Ooo

When you watch Adventure Time the world of Finn the Human and Jake the Dog seems to be crazy and out of control, anything goes and it’s all about having fun.  The truth is though the show created by Pendleton Ward has rules, and these rules carefully evolve to create what we see on the screen.  Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo by Chris McDonnell takes a look behind the scenes of the show, not only looking at how the characters and world should be drawn but also just what goes into creating the magic that is Adventure Time.

With an introduction by Guillermo del Toro, Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo shows how huge the show has got.  I fully agree with del Toro that The Ice King is one of the best characters, especially because of the depth of the character and the fact that yes he may be crazy, but is also a tragic character, especially when you look into his back story.  If anything he is just looking for love, though in his warped mind finding love normally means kidnapping princesses.

The Ice King’s actions are based on the rules that have been created for his character, and they are clearly defined and adhered to.  When reading through Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo we see the official rules about how to not only draw the characters, but also what restrictions they have placed on them and how they act.  An example of this is Jake, who has the ability to adapt his body into different shapes when he has a need to.  This is discussed in the book, and the rules are shown that specify just how much his body can adapt and what limitations he has.  He can’t just become anything, because remember…he has guts that must adapt too, he is a living breathing being.  For fans like me, these sorts of laws are fascinating as they show the level of depth that the artists behind the show and story writers have gone into when creating what we see on the screen.  Adventure Time can be very inventive, but it has to follow clearly set guidelines, all of which we are given a glimpse at in the book.

Although the book is called Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo really it takes a more in depth look behind the scenes of the show, not only the art.  This includes the cast talking about their characters and how they come up with the voices, what it takes to bring them to life and also when required what the musicians have to do to create songs for them.  This is an all-encompassing book that not only looks at the technical side of Adventure Time but also re-enforces to the fans that Adventure Time is a lot more structured than you would actually think.  There is a level of realism in the show that comes from the fact that The Land of Ooo is actually a post-apocalyptic world born out of the nuclear fallout of the “Mushroom War” and there is a moralistic code that is important to all of the characters.  In some sense that does put a darker tone to it, but it also shows that life finds a way to survive.

Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo is a book that will inspire the artistic fans who want to learn to draw the characters, but it also entertains those who want to know more about the show itself.  The best way to learn about a show like Adventure Time is to go to the source, the people behind the scenes who not only created it but help it continue to run.  Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo with its interviews and laws does an excellent job at giving fans a look behind the magic of the show, and Chris McDonnell does a good job in understanding just what the fans want to know.  With plenty of show art, storyboards and most importantly history Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo by Chris McDonnell is an excellent guide to all things (behind the scenes of) The Land of Ooo.

***** 5/5

Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo by Chris McDonnell is available now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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