Adventure Time: James Baxter the Horse   Rewatch 
December 13, 2014 7:52 PM - Season 5, Episode 19 - Subscribe

After watching James Baxter the Horse masterfully cheer up BMO after a tragedy, FDH and JDD decide to learn how to make others happy through entertainment.

Here is a YouTube video of the best scenes in this episode (the ones with James Baxter), animated and voiced by master animator ... James Baxter.
posted by bleep (11 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This episode is my everything right now. I'm sorry it's out of any kind order. I've been making my way around seasons 5 and 6 and this is the first episode I'm in complete awe of. Many other episodes have left my jaw dropped, but this episode left me googling for that pencil sketch so I can watch it over and over. Because of the weird way Amazon repackaged the episodes, I actually saw that pencil sketch credits sequence a few episodes prior with no context and I was like, "Holy glob, what is THAT."

I like how this episode is a little journey through the creative process. You see your hero doing their thing, you get inspired, you impersonate your hero, you learn and perfect your craft, and in the end you have to accept that your hero is a damn horse on a beachball who you will never get even close to.

I love especially how the real life JB comes in and does such a great job IRL enacting the plot of the episode. Meta!
posted by bleep at 8:01 PM on December 13, 2014 [5 favorites]

That's terrific. That's exactly why I love Adventure Time, but it might also be why none of my real-world friends are nearly as enthusiastic about it. Because an episode about a silly cheerful horse that whinnies its name balanced on a beach ball would make most of them scratch their head and look at me funny, because that's not enough for them. Sheesh.
posted by JHarris at 12:29 AM on December 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

Yay! Oh man I love this episode.

BMO's song at the beginning is one of my favorite Adventure Time bits ever. "Oh, oh BMO, how'd you get so preg-nant? Who's the mother, oh, who's the father?" First, the song itself is just delightfully funny. I sing it to myself more often than I'd like to admit. Second, having the butterfly come along and immediately break her egg is such an incredible choice for a "kid's show". It's kind of Buddhist and fucked up and I love it so much. Third, I love the playfulness about BMO's gender. They describe him as a he sometimes and as a she sometimes, and BMO is the only character to stay the same in the genderswapped Fionna and Cake AU. I love that BMO is genderfluid and the show never explains or draws attention to it except in playful ways like this.

I always love the way this show looks, but the art is especially beautiful in this episode, particularly from the point where they decide they have to go to the special studio and to when they find their room. The landscapes are just fantastic. They pass through at least two amazingly beautiful and fascinating-looking forests, but they don't linger there; their landscapes provide textural depth that makes their world seem endlessly interesting and delightful.

Lots of other great grace notes: all the fun diagrams, the four little soil and grass clods they cheer up, the flower clump giving a lecture about the dung beetle. The only thing I don't like is that rattling bones sound that the skeleton makes me feel really uncomfortable, like an audio version of the trypophobia feeling or something. But then James Baxter rides out of another beautiful sunset to save the day so it's all OK.
posted by dialetheia at 2:42 AM on December 14, 2014 [6 favorites]

"I love especially how the real life JB comes in and does such a great job IRL enacting the plot of the episode. Meta!"

The... WHAT?

Oh. OMGlob.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:06 AM on December 14, 2014 [5 favorites]

I just accepted that there was a horse on a beachball with the name "James Baxter" - I mean, there are so many surreal things in AT why would I question it? But I see there's more to it, now...

FanFare - it's educational.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:07 AM on December 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

I had been informed that James Baxter was an actual person, but I never looked into it further than that. That guy has a very impressive resume! No doubt he really has inspired a lot of people over the years with his work.
posted by Green With You at 8:30 AM on December 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yes I also really love BMO and BMO's gender ambiguity. I was disappointed that the Spanish-language BMO is more obviously male though.
posted by bleep at 12:41 PM on December 14, 2014

I just accepted that there was a horse on a beachball with the name "James Baxter"

Haha me too! I only found it out when I googled the episode name.
posted by bleep at 12:43 PM on December 14, 2014

This episode is one of the best out there (maybe of anything, ever). I've not watched it for ages now, but just reading the lines to BMO's song is making me crack up at my desk. I'm going to have to go and give it watch when I get home.

This episode is my everything right now. I'm sorry it's out of any kind order.

Don't apologise, not for this.
posted by Ned G at 4:58 AM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

BMO's pregnancy song brings joy to my life.
posted by Julnyes at 12:54 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

If I ever open a recording studio, I'm calling it the Institute of So Und.
posted by drezdn at 6:38 AM on February 27, 2015

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