The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack

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The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack
Flapjack logo 02.png
Created by Thurop Van Orman
Directed byThurop Van Orman
Creative directors
Voices of
Opening theme"The Misadventures of Flapjack" (written by Thurop Van Orman & Dan Cantrell; performed by the cast)
ComposerDan Cantrell
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes46 (90 segments) (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Thurop Van Orman
  • Brian A. Miller
  • For Cartoon Network:
  • Jeff Prezenkowski (Seasons 1-2)
  • Curtis Lelash (Seasons 2-3)
ProducerPernelle Hayes
EditorRobert Gibis
Running time22 minutes
Production company Cartoon Network Studios
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original network Cartoon Network
Original releaseJune 5, 2008 (2008-06-05) 
August 31, 2010 (2010-08-31)

The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack (also known as The Misadventures of Flapjack, or simply Flapjack) is an American animated television series created by Thurop Van Orman for Cartoon Network. It premiered in the United States on June 5, 2008. [1] It stars Van Orman as the voice of Flapjack, a naive young boy who was raised by a whale named Bubbie and is mentored by a crusty old pirate named Captain K'nuckles. Together the trio spend their days in Stormalong Harbor, where most of the show takes place, whilst getting into mishaps on the search for the elusive Candied Island. [2]


Van Orman, who pitched the idea to Cartoon Network as early as 2001, incorporated his own dreams of marine adventures, acquired while living in Florida as a boy, into the series. After three seasons and 46 episodes, the series ended on August 31, 2010. During its run, Flapjack received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations, two Annie Award nominations, and one Golden Reel Award nomination.



Most characters live in the fictional city of Stormalong Harbor. The city is built on a series of docks in the middle of the ocean with little surrounding land. It is possible to actually swim underneath the city, which is often done by Bubbie. The wealthier citizens live on more elevated piers which have vegetation-growing land attached to it, while the lower class lives lower in the city. Stormalong also has a sewer system and a series of tunnels. Most inhabitants are sailors of some sort, and sailors and/or pirates are constantly visiting from other lands. Stormalong has a great variety of (often bizarre) shops, including a bar that serves candy instead of alcohol (The Candy Barrel). The city appears quite dystopian, having a high level of crime and loitering, and the only forms of law enforcement are the Dock Hag and a small police force.


The series revolves around three main characters: Flapjack, Captain K'nuckles, and Bubbie. Flapjack is a young man who was raised by a talking whale named Bubbie. Flapjack and Bubbie lead a peaceful life until the duo rescue a pirate by the name of Captain K'nuckles, who tells Flapjack of a place called Candied Island, an island made entirely of candy. Inspired by the adventurous pirate, Flapjack, Captain K'nuckles, and Bubbie get into strange predicaments and "misadventures" in search of candy, Candied Island, and the coveted title of "Adventurer". The three spend most of their time in Stormalong Harbor, their place of residence and home to many strange characters.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
Pilot 2May 7, 2007 (2007-05-07)
Shorts 5July 27, 2007 (2007-07-27)August 24, 2007 (2007-08-24)
1 20June 5, 2008 (2008-06-05)July 23, 2009 (2009-07-23)
2 20July 30, 2009 (2009-07-30)June 28, 2010 (2010-06-28)
3 6July 5, 2010 (2010-07-05)August 31, 2010 (2010-08-31)



The lead characters, Captain K'nuckles and Flapjack Flapjack K'nuckles.jpg
The lead characters, Captain K'nuckles and Flapjack



As a child, show creator Van Orman lived in Panama City, Florida, and "used to fantasize about living near the dock and having adventures all the time." When he was 13, his family moved to Utah, but Van Orman still dreamed of adventure. He worked after school as a janitor, saving money for a plane ticket back to Florida. There, he packed some rice and potatoes, and paddled a surfboard to Shell Island. He planned to live off sea urchins and "even speared a manta ray," but things soon went sour. Eventually he became badly sunburned and began to starve. He returned to the mainland, but later tried again: he "went to Mexico and lived in the jungles and found [himself] eating out of dumpsters." Orman took his failures in stride, chalking all these bad circumstances up as "part of the adventure". [3]

Many of Van Orman's influences included the likes of Gary Larson, Jim Henson, Stephen Hillenburg, and even his old boss Craig McCracken. Van Orman was well known for his work on other Cartoon Network shows, such as The Powerpuff Girls , The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy , and Camp Lazlo .

The original extended theme song for the show was used only once, for a musical special titled 'All Hands On Deck'. Modest Mouse singer Isaac Brock, a fan of the series, provided vocals for the version in the special.

Van Orman attempted to pitch the concept to Cartoon Network in 2001. He created a short and incorporated many childhood favorites, with visual inspiration from older adventure novels. His first pitch was rejected, but he received a lot of feedback and re-pitched the concept in 2003. [3]

The series works with Screen Novelties to produce the stop-motion and title card portions of the show. [3]

Paul Reubens was originally selected to be the voice of Flapjack, but when Reubens did not show up to any recording sessions, Van Orman himself decided to voice Flapjack. [3]

The series ended on August 31, 2010, after 3 seasons, 46 half-hour episodes, and 91 episode segments. The final episode, entitled "Fish Out of Water", focused on Flapjack and K'nuckles turning into fish due to eating too much candy and, at the end of the episode, featured an appearance by creator Thurop Van Orman and his son Leif Van Orman, who played live action versions of Flapjack and K'nuckles after they once again eat too much candy. A live action version of Bubbie also appeared.

In other media

DVD release

The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: Volume 1 Region 1 DVD was released on September 15, 2009, and contains the first ten episodes along with four bonus featurettes. [4]

Video games

A Flapjack video game was confirmed by series creator Thurop Van Orman in Spring 2010 for the Nintendo DS system. When the show was cancelled, the game was cancelled with it.[ citation needed ] Flapjack and Captain K'nuckles appeared as playable characters in Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion ; Peppermint Larry and Candy Wife acted as assist characters, while one of the stages is set within Bubbie's Mouth. Eight-Armed Willy appears as part of Flapjack's Punch Time Explosion and appeared as Ben 10's transformation in Crossover Nexus .


In his book The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows, David Perlmutter regarded Flapjack as "a cleverly produced and amusing series that never completely got the exposure or respect it deserved. Creator Van Orman combined his life-long affection for the sea with a uniquely designed steampunk-type universe that brought to mind the technology and the moral ambigiuity inherent in 19th century media, as reflected in many fictional narratives from that time."

Journalist Melissa C. from Game Rant praised the show, stating, "The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack was creative, funny, and aesthetically pleasing. It should have at least gotten a few more seasons. Its legacy lives on because of the shows it inspired. If new episodes were made today, possibly with more live action elements, it would rival any show it was up against." [5]

Industry impact

Alex Hirsch and Grunkle Stan puppet at San Diego Comic-Con International 2013.jpg
Pendleton Ward at the Tomorrow Show.jpg
Patrick McHale in 2014 at New York Comic Con - Photo By Peter Dzubay.jpg
Some of the notable animators who worked on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, listed here from left to right:
(Top Row) Alex Hirsch, Pendleton Ward
(Bottom Row) J. G. Quintel and Patrick McHale.

Several former storyboard artists and production crew members who worked on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack have gone on to create their own series, incorporating many of the humor and surrealism of the aforementioned series. [5] These included Pendleton Ward (a former writer and storyboard artist who went on to create Adventure Time ), [6] J. G. Quintel (a former creative director and storyboard artist who went on to create Regular Show ), [7] Alex Hirsch (a former writer and storyboard artist who went on to create Gravity Falls ), [8] and Patrick McHale (a former writer and storyboard artist who went on to create Over the Garden Wall ). [9] These shows also had crew members who went on to make their own shows as well, creating what many refer to as the Flapjack family of cartoons.


2009 Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing – Television AnimationNominated [10]
2009 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement in AnimationChris Roszak (for "Sea Legs")Won [11]
2010 Annie Awards Best Animated Television Production for ChildrenNominated [12]
Best Directing in a Television ProductionJohn Infantino & J. G. Quintel (for "Candy Cassanova")Nominated [12]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Short Form Animated Program For "Tee Hee Tummy Tums"Nominated

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