Wednesday, February 4, 2009

cartoon time! with Pendleton Ward

while one will swear things were better "back in my day," i think the general landscape for children's programming has seen better days. that's why i'm excited for "Adventure Time" at Cartoon Network. besides putting animators and artists to work, the original short that its based on is a stream-of-consciousness ball filled with fun and imagination.

young CalArts grad Pendleton Ward (born only three years earlier than I) created the short for Nickelodeon's animation showcase "Random! Cartoons" put on by Frederator Studios, the program itself an offshoot of the earlier "Oh Yeah! Cartoons" which spawned the highly successful The Fairly Oddparents. the short was nominated for the best animated short film award by the Annies in 2006. he then went on to do storyboards for "The Misadventures of Flapjack" at Cartoon Network until a deal for Adventure Time was finally made. he first came to minor fame with a webcomic in 2003 called "Bueno the Bear".

this animation opens his website:

the Frederator blog for Adventure Time shows a great deal of the behind the scenes work as well as loads of artwork, layout, and model sheets to eat with your eyes. here's a background for an episode entitled "Good Buddies":

and, of course, the Candy Kingdom!:

and finally, another Ward creation for Random Cartoons: "The Bravest Warriors". it retains his very unique drawing style as well as his sense of humor, but just didn't seem to catch on the same way Adventure Time did. see if you can spot Rob Paulsen with your ears... (and yes, that was Bender as the dog in Adventure Time -- John Di Maggio)


  1. I remember seeing the Adventure Time short last year. My classmates and I would quote it constantly and still throw in the occasional Rhombus! I'm glad to see it's becoming it's own series. I can't wait!

  2. Eight years later. Adventure Time has aired its series finale. It became an icon not only on the network, but among all animated shows. Many folks who worked on it ended up starting their own shows which received critical acclaim as well, including Justin Roiland with Rick & Morty, and Rebecca Sugar with Steven Universe. The community will miss it always, and thanks the show and its creators for all they've done in terms of groundbreaking animation. April 5, 2010 - September 3, 2018