James Baxter – Adventure Time

James Baxter — or Ja-a-a-a-a-a-ames, Baxterrrrrrrrrrrr! (think horse) as he would pronounce it — is a delightful, whimsical palomino horse from the equally delightful and whimsical television show called Adventure Time. Adventure Time is set in the magical land of Ooo, and we follow the crazy adventures of Jake the Dog and Finn the Human as they foil the plans of the not-quite-really-evil Ice King. Not so much fighting evil as it is pest control services. And I can say quite confidently that only in a land like Ooo could a character like James Baxter exist. I really do highly recommend that you go and watch at least James Baxter’s episodes after (or before) reading this post. I really think you’ll enjoy them!

James Baxter makes his first appearance in Adventure Time in season five, in the nineteenth episode, to be precise. The episode is called, quite appropriately, “James Baxter the Horse.” The episode begins with BMO, a sentient video gams console and friend and roommate of Finn and Jake, dropping an egg, which makes it cry (BMO, not the egg; because BMO is a video game console, it doesn’t have a fixed gender, and the pronouns used to refer to it fluctuate depending on the situation and who is talking to it, etc.).

Anyway, so BMO is crying, and Finn and Jake are trying to cheer her up, but to no avail. Then, suddenly, James Baxter appears! But James Baxter doesn’t simply walk onto the scene and start sharing inspirational words. No, that’s not James Baxters’ style. First of all, James Baxter travels by beach ball. That is to say, James Baxter the horse gets around by balancing on a beach ball on his two hind legs. Which you’d think would be enough to cheer anyone up, but then he tales it one step further. He bursts onto any scene of sadness whinnying his own name as he rolls around on his beach ball. And then there is no sadness anymore. When he is finished for the day, he folds up his beach back into a hat, origami style, and trots away.

We learn about James Baxters’ origin story in the other episode in which he plays a central role, entitled “Horse and Ball.” We see that, before James Baxter took to entertaining full time, he was an unhappy work horse. It wasn’t until he came across a cave full of pre-apocalyptic (oh yeah, Ooo is a post-apocalyptic world) junk and found the beach ball and decided to roll around on it to cheer up a bat, that he decided entertaining was for him.

It was also in that cave that he got his name, which comes from a mispronunciation of the words “games” and “bookstore.” In actuality, James Baxter the horse shares his name with the animator and voice actor James Baxter, who, as you may have already guessed, animates and voices James Baxter. So now that you know a little bit about this lovely horse, go watch the episodes I’ve mentioned. Actually, go watch all of Adventure Time. It’s a hoot.

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