I'm watching Adventure Time and I have noticed that some episodes have an amazing animation quality while others are so badly drawn compared. They seem to change the artist at some episodes or something. I have noticed this also in Avatar, The Last Airbender, but only happened in a very few episodes (Maybe for vacation of the main artist), in the case of Adventure Time this quality drop happens quite often, at least at the second season which is the one I'm watching now. Anyone knows why this happens?

  • Well Avatar, Legend of Korra was well known issue of one studio (Mir, South Korean) doing great work while a different studio (pierrot, japan) was horrible. Mir had other duties involving Boondocks, so Pierrot was responsible for some of Book 2, then Mir came back to fix those issues to save their reputation.
    – cde
    Sep 25, 2015 at 1:00
  • 1
    But some examples of the quality issues you describe would be nice.
    – cde
    Sep 25, 2015 at 1:03
  • Sure, let me take some screenshots when I will see this happens and I will bring them here. Sep 25, 2015 at 7:44
  • This episode have a great visual quality: youtube.com/watch?v=3ZCwU4lmRKw Sep 27, 2015 at 10:39
  • and this other is a good example to see the diference: youtube.com/watch?v=fOUJw9QBLFQ . The diference is not that big, but the second one seems less polished and there are some weird drawn shapes (Compare the dog in both episodes). Sep 27, 2015 at 10:50

1 Answer 1


It's probably because the show is animated by two different studios, and because the process involves hand drawn animation.

"This Is How an Episode of Cartoon Network’s ‘Adventure Time’ Is Made":

Adventure Time then contracts their animation out to Rough Draft Studios in Seoul. Founded by Greg Vanzo and his wife Nikki during their work on Ren and Stimpy, Rough Draft Studios has animated some of the most well known properties in cartoonery, including The Simpsons, Beavis & Butthead, The Poweruff Girls, and Futurama.

About three months later, the fully animated product is sent back to America where final changes are reviewed and implemented. “There’s a round of retakes, where we look for mistakes that might have been made or things that didn’t animate the way we intended.” Osborne says. “Then there’s a few weeks of sound design where we add effects or record additional dialogue.

Saerom Animation also handles some of the animation, as proven by this storyboard.

Note that the show is hand drawn, as explained by Andy Ristaino:

My dad and i are arguing how Adventure Time is animated. Is it fully hand drawn every cel frame and inbetween? (he says its not possible) or is it rigged/inverse kinematic? or a mix of other things? help please and thank you(:

except for a few instances, like in guardians of sunshine where we use 3d, all the animation is hand drawn.

The Wikipedia page contains more relevant information WRT the making of the show.

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