Who is Pendleton Ward? What is Adventure Time? And why does a cartoon matter to adults?

What is Adventure Time and why does a cartoon matter to adults?

 First, let’s look at its concept and creation:

According to series creator Pendleton Ward, the show’s style was influenced by his time at California Institute of the Arts and his work as a storyboard artist on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. He tries to include “beautiful” moments like those in Hayao Miyazaki’s film My Neighbor Totoro, as well as elements of subversive humor. The show began as a single stand-alone animated short which ran for seven minutes.
Recommended Reading: The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia: Inhabitants, Lore, Spells, and Ancient Crypt Warnings of the Land of Ooo Circa 19.56 B.G.E. – 501 A.G.E. 

Recommended Reading:  The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia: Inhabitants, Lore, Spells, and Ancient Crypt Warnings of the Land of Ooo Circa 19.56 B.G.E. - 501 A.G.E.
WARNING! Written by Lord of Evil Himself to amuse and confound the citizenry of the Nightosphere, Adventure Time Encyclopaedia is perhaps the most dangerous book in history.
Although seemingly a guidebook to the Land of Ooo and its post-apocalyptic inhabitants, it is in fact an amusing nightmare of literary pitfalls, bombastic brain-boggles and ancient texts designed to drive the reader mad.
Complete with secret lore and wizard spells, fun places you should visit and places where you will probably die, whom to marry and whom not to marry, how to make friends and how to destroy your enemies–this volume includes hand-written marginalia by Finn, Jake, and Marceline. ... Arguably the greatest encyclopedia ever written since the beginning of the cosmos, it is also an indispensable companion to humans and demons who know what time it is. Adventure Time!

Ward created the short almost entirely by himself, and wrapped up production for the short in the spring of 2006. It aired in January 2007 and again as part of Frederator Studios’ Random! Cartoons on December 7, 2008. After its release, the short video became a viral hit on the internet.Frederator Studios then pitched an Adventure Time series to Nicktoons Network, but the network passed on it twice. The studio then approached Cartoon Network. The network said they would be willing to produce the series if Ward could prove that the series could be expanded into a series while maintaining elements from the original short.

Pendleton Ward is third from right
Ward quickly retooled the concept of the pilot; he wanted a potential series to be “fully realized”, rather than possess the “pre-school vibe” that the original pilot had. One of the major changes from the pilot to the series was the emphasis placed on the background art. Dan “Ghostshrimp” James, an artist, was tasked with fleshing out the background; reportedly, he was told to make the series look like it took “place in a ‘Ghostshrimp World.'”

He designed major locations, such as Finn and Jake’s home, the Candy Kingdom, and the Ice Kingdom.Ward, with help from Pat McHale and Adam Muto, turned in a rough storyboard that featured Finn and an “oblivious” Princess Bubblegum going on a spaghetti-supper date. However, the network was not happy with this story, and asked for another. Ward then created an early storyboard for the episode, “The Enchiridion”, which was his attempt to emulate the style of the original short. Cartoon Network approved the first season in September 2008, and “The Enchiridion” became the first episode to enter into production.