Adventure Time is a rather bizarre cartoon to which I’ve become addicted. The story takes place in the Land of Ooo, in a post-apocalyptic future thousands of years after the Mushroom Wars (an atomic holocaust). The creator, Tim Pendleton, says it is “after the bombs have fallen and magic has come back into the world.” I was initially attracted to the weirdness with Ice King and Rainicorn, but I realize that the underlying story attracted me as well. My generation grew up with post-apocalyptic futures in movies (A Boy and his Dog, Logan’s Run, Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man, etc.) and one of my favorite childhood games (Gamma World) felt a lot like the Land of Ooo. In that game, Finn would be a PSH (Pure Strain Human) adventuring with a mutated animal (Jake) with the ability to speak, shape change, and change size. In the beginning of the show, there was just random strangeness (an Ice King who flew by means of his beard, a variety of princesses to be rescued, including Princess Bubblegum who rules the Candy Kingdom and the Lumpy Space Princess. The post-holocaust stuff pokes out occasionally, especially in the story of Marceline and her protector Simon Petrikov. both are thousands of years old and met during the Mushrooms War. Marceline’s father is the demon who rules the Nightosphere. Simon protected her when she was a little girl and eventually became the insane Ice King through the agency of the evil magic Crown he wears. Somewhere along the way, Marceline became a vampire, but still cares for the Ice King. Finn and Jake go on various dungeon crawls, as does Finn’s girlfriend, the Flame Princess.
For those interested in recreating the world of Adventure Time, there is an Adventure Time Wiki that can serve as a repository of information about the world.