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Found Footage: Chinese Adventure Time

by Piers Rae

February 3, 2015

Reading Time: ( Word Count: )

It’s never been easier for people to generate video, of whatever they want and in staggering levels of detail and variety. One hundred hours of video are added to YouTube alone – every single minute. You could watch day and night, for a hundred lifetimes, and still see but a fraction. The bad news is it’s mostly terrible, and a good chunk of the terrible is being marketed pretty heavily at you.

Found Footage trawls through the internet’s endless sprawl to collect the best short films, sketches, home movies, ads, training videos, newscasts, cell phone footage, and other obscurities. We’re looking for the brightest gems and the strangest mundanity. We seek out the videos that fell through the cracks,  and missed out on the attention they so richly deserved.

FOOTAGE FOUND: The Legend of Lucky Pie

Pilot Episode: What’s That Sound? (Who Makes That Voices?)

Fans of Adventure Time may recoil at the pilot for “The Legend of Lucky Pie”, an animated series by Yi Mu Mu (蚁木木), a group of Peking University students. An adventurous boy (Pie) with a sword and his best friend, a shape-changing wise cracking horse (Lucky), travel a magical land seemingly devoid of other humans on adventures, generally just having a pretty great time of it. Adventure Time doesn’t have a patent on these elements, but to deny the show has influenced Lucky Pie would be preposterous.

The quirky, fun-loving feel of every element, right down to the music. The focus on friendship, exploration, and food. Heck, that opening credit crawl has the same close-ups on it’s two heroes, the same mountain vistas, and the same sword-plus-show-logo ending before a poster-art card introducing the episode. If you’re  All that being said, there’s no sense in calling something this good and original a ripoff. It’s clearly inspired by Adventure Time, but it’s inspired in its own right as well.

A Good Ripoff

Lucky Pie remains very much its own beast. It will blindside you with moments of blatant darkness (discussion of pedophiles!), which would feel very much out-of-place on Adventure Time.  AT builds the darkness of its’ world into the backgrounds, into off-hand remarks and casually placed items. There are remnants of the old world everywhere in Ooo, even in its characters, and the foreboding sense of more destruction to come. The bleak animation sequences accompanying the Lich, or the Ice King’s tragic history, are among the most direct in doling out black moments like this. But you’ll never hear a character in Ooo warn another character that they’re coming across as a bit of a pedophile, as you do in the Lucky Pie pilot.

Totally okay with this

It’s a wee bit stomach-churning at first, and if it wasn’t played so quickly for laughs here, it would’ve been a powerful stranger-danger warning for the young audience. But just as suddenly, the show turns on a dime back to light-hearted adventures, colourful set pieces, and the doling out of battle-slogans. There’s also a nice bit of dancing marine life, including a head-banging seagull, that makes the pilot a great pleasure to watch. No energy goes to waste laying pipe here, our role as audience is simply to set off on adventure with a couple of affable pals. Affable pals with swords and magic to be explained someplace down the road.

Da Best Quotes

  • “It appears to be a pile of gold. We should be careful though. It could be a trap!”
  • “It’s called the gluttonous fish. It eats everything it sees!”
  • It seemed like a wild pheasant monster.”
    “That sounds like an exotic delicacy! I’ll go look.”
  • To be merciful to your enemy is to be cruel to yourself.”
  • Pie’s secret eye-watering flower pollen!

Really, everything you need to understand the spirit of this show can be summarized by the opening lyrics:

Everyday we are together,
Striving hard for dreams and justice.
When there’s trouble, I’ll help you.
Side by side, without giving up.
Lucky and Ah Pie,
We are family.
Lucky and Ah Pie,
Being a hero’s the best!

Terrific.

Have an amazing video we’ve missed, or a project you’d like to shed a little limelight on? Let us know. We’re happy to oblige.

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