Adventure Time Ripoff The Legend of Lucky Pie Is Actually Good - VRGyani News and Media

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Monday, September 13, 2021

Adventure Time Ripoff The Legend of Lucky Pie Is Actually Good

The Legend of Lucky Pie, an animated web series made by a group of independent Chinese artists, was released on January 25th, 2015. Currently, it sits at a little over 95k views on YouTube, but at the time, it was almost completely unknown. However, that would change a little more than a year after its release when a YouTuber known as BlameItOnJorge released a video titled “11 Insane Knockoffs of Popular Children’s Shows From Around The World”. As of now, this video sits at a little over a million views, and though it undoubtedly didn’t have that many when it released in late 2016, this was many people’s first introduction to Lucky Pie. The video states: “When ... content can’t be acquired or officially remade, there’s always one other viable option: just rip it off!” This phrase is overlaid with clips from Adventure Time, interspersed with similar clips from Lucky Pie.Though Jorge’s video argued that Lucky Pie wasn’t really a ripoff, the damage was seemingly done. From more well known videos by The Roundtable to videos under 1k views, nearly everyone that covers Lucky Pie dubs it a ripoff, a knockoff, or a bootleg. But while Lucky Pie is undeniably inspired by Adventure Time, it is its own unique show with a devoted fan base that is well worth your time.

Character designs, visual style, and musical style are three of the largest similarities between the two series. Both cartoons feature sword-wielding, noodle-armed boys who love fighting monsters and going on adventures. Both boy’s heads are similar shapes and colors, and both wear packs. The details are definitely different though, with Adventure Time’s Finn’s head being covered by a hat and having two bumps, and Pie’s whole head being white with four points and a line dividing the middle. While Finn’s pack is a backpack, Pie’s pack is more of a sideways bag. Both boys have animal brothers, Jake the dog and Lucky the horse. Both animals have shapeshifting abilities, though they differ in form. While Jake is able to stretch, squash, and deform his body to incredible lengths, Lucky is really only able to shift between a small, bipedal version of himself and a larger quadrupedal, more horse-like version of himself.

Other than our main duos, both shows sport odd, zany character designs, typically based off of animals, folklore, or types of food, such as Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time and Strawberry Warrior from Lucky Pie. Visual style, or art style, is relatively straightforward. Both shows have a very similar aesthetic. Characters have smooth, bendy limbs, simplistic and sometimes geometric designs, bright colors, and occasionally pull humorously exaggerated facial expressions. The worlds the characters inhabit - the Land of Ooo and Mushroom Star - lean on the surreal and unusual, and an air of mystery surrounds the lore of the setting, especially later within both series. The theme songs in both series also sound quite similar upon initial comparison, with both sporting soft vocals and acoustic guitar.

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There are a few other similarities between the two shows that don’t neatly fall into these three categories. Both have princess characters, especially within their first episodes. Both have themes of brotherly love, friendship, and moral determination throughout their run. Lucky and Pie have a relationship similar to Finn and Jake’s. Both feature monsters and spirited monster fights, and both have surprisingly deep lore underneath their seemingly lighthearted and uncomplicated surfaces.

But while Adventure Time is a multimillion dollar, multi-season cartoon made by Cartoon Network, one of America's giants in the animation industry, Lucky Pie is a passion project quietly produced and released by two Chinese animators. The creators are admittedly fans of American animation, drawing heavy visual inspiration from Adventure Time for their series. But as Lucky Pie goes on, you can see it develop its own visual language and cinematographic style. Backgrounds especially take on a unique style, creating rich textures through usage of broken lines and dotted color. Interestingly enough, the style of the line art in this series varies a lot from its source of inspiration. Whereas Adventure Time is known for thin, polished, smooth lines, Lucky Pie’s lines are thicker, more wobbly, and have a hand-drawn quality to them. The coloring done throughout the series relies on more earthy colors, with blues, greens, oranges, and browns featuring prominently in scenes. Bursts of bright colors in character designs and props are littered throughout the series like candy, and every part of the visual design is beautifully done.

As the series goes on, you can see more daring camera angles being utilized. The cinematography grows into something unique and thrilling, and the Chinese voice actors, though none seem to be very well known, give the project their all. The fun and adventure in the first three episodes are a wonderful romp through Mushroom Star. The mystery and allure of the settings and scenarios in the last two episodes is utterly enthralling. The farther in you go, the more you’ll find yourself wishing to unravel the lore of the series. Episodes make an active attempt to include comedic aspects and explore elements of Eastern philosophy. It all comes together to create a unique and refreshing series.

Though Lucky Pie is thought to be a ripoff of Adventure Time, it’s far more original than that title gives it credit for. Though visually and aesthetically inspired by it, Lucky Pie stands firmly and independently on its own two feet. It exists as a testament to the love two very talented animators have for animation, cartoons, and storytelling. It was made solely out of a desire to create something beautiful and fun, and the series succeeds in being that.

If you want to experience this series on your own (and you should), you can find Lucky Pie online easily. Episodes can be found on its official YouTube channel, all of which are available with English subtitles, and all of which boast impressive 10-20 minute runtimes. The series can be found on Facebook and Tumblr as well. Due to difficulty in acquiring funding, the series ended in 2018, capping off The Legend of Lucky Pie with five episodes. Despite its short run however, there’s still lots to look through, with each content-packed episode available alongside art videos and short comics about various characters. So get going! You might just find the series as enchanting and original as we did.

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