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After 'Adventure Time': Cartoons to watch from the show's alums

After 'Adventure Time': Cartoons to watch from the show's alums
Finn outside his Tree Fort in "Adventure Time."

“Adventure Time’s” legacy extends beyond its popularity, critical acclaim and 10-season run. The Cartoon Network series also provided a pool of artists to help produce the studio’s next generation of shows.

A number of “Adventure Time” alumni have launched their own shows through Cartoon Network’s shorts program, while others went a different route, such as finding their audience through Frederator Studios’ internet channel Cartoon Hangover. Even Emmy Award-winning “Atlanta” creator Donald Glover has “Adventure Time” credits as the voice of bad boy Marshall Lee.

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Here’s a look at some of the shows in the Cartoon Network universe created by people with “Adventure Time” on their resumes.

“Bravest Warriors”

"Bravest Warriors" on the streaming service VRV follows a band of young heroes righting galactic wrongs.
"Bravest Warriors" on the streaming service VRV follows a band of young heroes righting galactic wrongs. (Zachary Sterling / Frederator Networks)

A 2009 short by “Adventure Time” creator Pendleton Ward inspired the Cartoon Hangover web series “Bravest Warriors,” centered on a team of teen heroes who travel the galaxy to help out innocent and often adorable aliens. Because of his “Adventure Time” duties, Ward turned to friend and then-roommate Breehn Burns, a voice actor, illustrator and co-creator of the internet series “Dr. Tran,” to develop the series for Frederator. Burns then brought on “The Adventures of Pete & Pete” creators Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi as reinforcements.

“I wanted to carry the spirit of Pen's original pilot into something more sophisticated, and knowing we'd get compared to ‘Adventure Time’ set the bar unbelievably high,” Burns told The Times in 2014.

“Bravest Warriors” is notable for introducing one of the cutest characters ever created: Catbug, a childlike cat with ladybug wings.

The show originally launched online on YouTube in 2012. Starting with the third season, new “Bravest Warriors” episodes have been released on the streaming platform VRV.

“Steven Universe”

Steven and the Crystal Gems in "Steven Universe."
Steven and the Crystal Gems in "Steven Universe." (Cartoon Network)

“Steven Universe” follows the ordinary and extraordinary adventures of Steven, a half-human, half-magical alien teenager who is learning to navigate his powers while protecting the Earth with fellow Crystal Gems Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl.

Created by Rebecca Sugar, a former writer and storyboard artist on “Adventure Time,” the Emmy-nominated “Steven Universe” is the first Cartoon Network series to be solely created by a woman. Debuting in 2013, it is currently in its fifth season.

The series has been hailed for its inclusive storytelling as well as its standout soundtrack. But “Adventure Time” was where Sugar first started writing songs for TV.

“The [‘Adventure Time’] team was so inspiring,” said Sugar. “Everyone was making beautiful art and to know that millions of kids would have access to really good art was just so exciting to me.”

“Bee and PuppyCat”

A scene from "Bee and PuppyCat."
A scene from "Bee and PuppyCat." (Frederator Studios)

Everything changes for Bee, a young woman with employment woes, when she is introduced to the world of space temp work by the adorable but mysterious PuppyCat, whom she meets when he falls out of the sky one day. “Bee and PuppyCat” was created by “Adventure Time” alum Natasha Allegri, best known for creating the gender-swapped version of the show’s characters such as Fionna and Cake.

After the 2013 debut of a two-part pilot on Cartoon Hangover, a successful crowdfunding campaign lead to the production of “Bee and PuppyCat’s” first season. Episodes were released on YouTube starting in 2014 before eventually moving to VRV.

Allegri’s follow-up series “Bee and PuppyCat: Lazy in Space” will debut in 2019.

“Uncle Grandpa”

A scene from "Uncle Grandpa."
A scene from "Uncle Grandpa." (Cartoon Netowk)

Uncle Grandpa is everybody’s uncle and grandpa who travels around in a magical RV to visit children everywhere. Accompanying Uncle Grandpa on his adventures? A talking fanny pack, a grumpy anthropomorphic dinosaur, a sentient pizza and a giant realistic flying tiger. The weirdness works.

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Created by Peter Browngardt — who worked on the “Adventure Time” episode “Wizard” — “Uncle Grandpa” ran on Cartoon Network for five seasons from 2013-17.

“Over the Garden Wall”

Brothers Greg, left, and Wirt in "Over the Garden Wall."
Brothers Greg, left, and Wirt in "Over the Garden Wall." (Cartoon Network)

“Over the Garden Wall” was Cartoon Network’s first animated miniseries — and in 2015 it won the Emmy for animated program. Created by Patrick McHale — an “Adventure Time” creative director, writer and storyboard artist — the 2014 10-episode limited series centers on brothers Wirt and Greg, who are lost in a strange forest called the Unknown. The show also features an irritable talking bluejay, some rock facts and a mixtape meant for a special crush.

“‘Over the Garden Wall’ is like a bunch of my interests sort of meshed together,” McHale told The Times in 2015. “Every episode had its own unique color and pattern and everything but overall it was supposed to become one quilt that all works together. Every episode should feel exciting.”

“Clarence”

Clarence, left, Jeff and Sumo from "Clarence."
Clarence, left, Jeff and Sumo from "Clarence." (Scott Banks / Cartoon Network)

The everyday adventures of Clarence and his best friends, Sumo and Jeff, are what drive “Clarence.” Enthusiastic, outgoing, optimistic and occasionally a bit too friendly, Clarence is a kid who just likes helping others.

The Cartoon Network series was created by former “Adventure Time” storyboard artist Skyler Page. Shortly after “Clarence’s” 2014 debut, Page was fired from the show and exited Cartoon Network amid allegations of sexual misconduct. The show continued without his involvement.

“Clarence” concluded its three season run earlier this year.

“OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes”

Enid, left, K.O. and Rad in "OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes."
Enid, left, K.O. and Rad in "OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes." (Cartoon Network)

The characters and world of “OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes” were initially introduced in Cartoon Network’s original mobile game “OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo,” released in 2016. Created by “Adventure Time” and “Steven Universe” alum Ian Jones-Quartey, “OK K.O.!” follows young K.O., who’s training to become the greatest hero ever while working at a bodega at a mall for heroes.

The series was announced in 2017 and premiered on Cartoon Network later that year. “OK K.O.!” kicked off its second season in 2018.

“Summer Camp Island”

A scene from "Summer Camp Island."
A scene from "Summer Camp Island." (Cartoon Network)

In “Summer Camp Island,” best friends Oscar and Hedgehog discover magic is real as soon as all the parents leave. The camp counselors are teen witches, and various monsters, magical creatures and even aliens inhabit the island.

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“Summer Camp Island” creator Julia Pott cut her teeth as a TV writer on “Adventure Time,” and in a sense her show is a spiritual successor to the long-running series — it was picked up around the same time that “Adventure Time” was ending.

“A lot of the crew from ‘Adventure Time’ moved onto ‘Summer Camp,’ which was crazy cool and hugely lucky and amazing,” Pott previously told The Times. “I don’t think the show would be what it is at all if that hadn’t happened.”

The first season of “Summer Camp Island” premiered in 2018.

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