[CASE STUDY] Did Adventure Time Create the 2016 Olympic Mascot?

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Yippee Coyote

Graphic Novelist
EDIT (06/22/15): The Rio 2016 Olympic Committee has confirmed that Vinicius will appear in a series of shorts on Cartoon Network. Read the article here.

I recently wrote a case study on Vinicius, the 2016 Olympic Mascot, and his suspicious resemblances to Finn & Jake, which I published as a Community Blog Entry here on Toon Zone. Keep in mind the designers claimed that the Olympic mascots were inspired by pop culture and existing elements of "animation," so there is a high chance my assumption is true. Here is the entry:


Sure, Adventure Time is huge. The show itself has become a ratings phenomenon, built a huge fan base, and has encouraged its storyboard artists and writers to create shows of their own (Rebecca Sugar's Steven Universe and Skyler Page's Clarence, for example.) But despite its popularity, the series could never impact an event as monumental as the 2016 Olympics, correct? Actually, despite the spectacle being two years away, Adventure Time may have done so already.

I follow the Brand New blog, which covers modern design for businesses and recently discussed the 2014/15 Boomerang rebrand. Last week, the new Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic mascots took the spotlight on the front page, and even then, I thought the Olympic mascot looked familiar. Since then, I have started a "case study" to compare this mascot to the main characters of Cartoon Network's biggest franchise, Adventure Time. Why is it "Jake the Dog" and "Finn the Human" may have created the official mascot of the 2016 Rio Olympics? I have currently found three pieces of evidence that I have investigated to prove my theories, as well as my personal theory.

1. Anatomy of Color Tones



I put too much work into that picture. As you can see, the similar color tones are shown with two lines leading to a letter inside a circle, with the color similarity filled in. There's four I found, without noting the white colors.

A. Finn's shirt and the mascot's wrist:
The lighter shade of blue on Finn's shirt is integrated into the wrist of the mascot, leading to the darker shade of blue.
B. Jake's orange fur and the mascot's primary body color:
Possibly suggesting the Olympic mascot is a merger of Finn and Jake, Jake's yellow/orange fur serves as the color of the mascot's upper body and head.
C. Finn's backpack and the mascot's tail:
Finn's backpack has two shades of green; the darker color is used on the mascot's tail, which is directly below the normal position of the backpack.
D. Finn's pants and the mascot's palm/end of wrist:
Paired closely with the lighter blue on both Finn and the mascot, the darker blue covers the rest of the wrist and hand until the fingertips.

Still not convinced? Well, this next piece of evidence(and the one after) may look more suspicious.

2. Facial Expressions

There's not much to say about this one. Look at the two faces, with the left shot taken from a recent episode of Adventure Time and the right from a profile graphic for the Olympic mascot. Suspiciously similar.


3. Abilities



Jake's stretching powers seem too good to be replicated. But somehow, the designers of the mascot were able to copy that trait as well. According to the official press statement:
...his most amazing power is the ability to stretch as much as he likes. This means he can jump higher, run faster and be stronger than ever. But he only ever uses his powers for good. He would never use them to win a sporting competition. He knows that competing on equal terms is much cooler.
But apparently, stealing the powers of the most awesome Cartoon Network character in a decade was "cooler" than creating an ability that makes the character unique. Next!

Theory of "Manipulation"



Now, I have a theory to this, and it may be true based on the information I have collected so far (thanks to @szjdfgs.)

There is an animation studio in Brazil called "Birdo" that created the Olympic mascots. While designing and submitting the characters to the Rio Olympic Committee, the studio was working on a pilot submission to Cartoon Network called Oswaldo.
[video=vimeo;61744531]The pilot submission project, arranged by Cartoon Network LA, would choose one pilot to fund and develop into a full series. Apparently, "Oswaldo" wasn't chosen as the winner, but was still picked up by Cartoon Network and is currently in development. This is where my theory starts. If Cartoon Network picked up and funded a pilot that lost the submissions contest, were any strings attached? Perhaps Turner Brasil knew the studio was working on the mascots and made an offer? Adventure Time is Cartoon Network's most popular series, but what if they thought integrating the likes of Finn and Jake into the Olympic mascot would make the franchise even bigger? It seems likely, as Cartoon Network is not known to making exceptions, especially with pilots. After all, it was not until 5 years that Uncle Grandpa became a series after losing its submissions contest.


I'll finalize this case study with another quote from the press statement I excerpted above. Seems coincidental, but I think not.
Together they will live a thousand adventures and win over Brazil and the world!
In conclusion, the creation of the Finn-and-Jake-esque Olympic mascot was either an act of manipulation, inspiration, or something entirely different. But nevertheless, the mascot would look much different if it wasn't for the success of Adventure Time.
Feel free to discuss you theories, opinions, or comments below.
 
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Gatordragon

Meditative Prankster
Interesting theory you got there. I'd be impressed if Finn and Jake were indeed inspirations for the 2016 Olympic mascot. The similarities are uncanny.
 

szjdfgs

Well-Known Member
To be honest, I thought the theory of the mascot being similar to Finn and Jake was kinda preposterous. To me the only conclusion I could come to was the somewhat wobbly arms as comparison, but I think those have been around since forever. (I just know I'm going to be wrong with this one) I saw the stretching powers as more of a coincidence.
But now that you've explained it in full, I'm halfway convinced.
The resemblances are subtle but they're there once pointed out.

It's definitely an interesting theory, and one I could back up.

And it's funny considering how there were more people comparing the two mascots to Pokémon rather than Adventure Time.
Maybe they were more vocal about this on Twitter but most of the comparisons I've seen were to Pokémon. The Rio 2016 Olympic mascots look a lot like Pokemon
 

RegularCapital

Well-Known Member
I think it's a plausible theory, I had my suspicions while reading the article on Cartoon Brew because of their animation deal with CN.
 

Yippee Coyote

Graphic Novelist
According to my friend @Mariana (trust her, she's a proud Brazilian.)
CN.com.br uploaded on its website a video from Rio 2016 to choice the Mascot's name. :) It's so nice.

Cartoon Network | Free Games, Online Videos, Full Episodes, and Kids TV Shows

PLEASE VOTE AT VINICIUS AND TOM!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.rio2016.com/mascotes

Now I know for sure Cartoon Network LA was behind this. Confirmed. Which means my Theory of "Manipulation" (see first post) is about, 87% confirmed. :D

@RegularCapital assumes this was a marketing strategy, which treads on my theory as well!
 

RegularCapital

Well-Known Member
According to my friend @Mariana (trust her, she's a proud Brazilian.)

Now I know for sure Cartoon Network LA was behind this. Confirmed. Which means my Theory of "Manipulation" (see first post) is about, 87% confirmed. :D

@RegularCapital assumes this was a marketing strategy, which treads on my theory as well!
I wouldn't be surprised if Birdo makes some animated shorts featuring these Olympic mascots and then air them on Cartoon Network.
 

RandomMe

Bloo
I wouldn't be surprised if Birdo makes some animated shorts featuring these Olympic mascots and then air them on Cartoon Network.
That would be a great idea, considering that CN BR's website has a video of the mascots.
---
The Paralympic mascot reminds me of a cross between a tree, a peacock and a mascot of a Japanese television station.
 

szjdfgs

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't be surprised if Birdo makes some animated shorts featuring these Olympic mascots and then air them on Cartoon Network.
This.

Plus, I've read a couple of articles about the mascots before and it's rumored that the organizers are trying to get an animated series based off the mascots to air one year before the games (or in a couple of weeks, next year).
The cat-like thing's out of the bag: Rio 2016 Olympic mascots unveiled | Sport | The Guardian

Organisers are hoping the mascots help engage younger audiences in the Olympics, with a television series starring the mascots planned to run on Brazilian television one year before the games.
“We are close to signing a partnership to produce a TV show,” Sylmara Multini, head of licensing for Rio 2016, said, adding they would also be developing apps and games with the mascots.
“The crucial thing is to turn the mascots into characters.”
I'm not sure what this tells us but if they ever come around and produce (even if just) a couple of shorts based off of them, they would definitely be aired on CN. The official Brazilian website already has their video up, and there's also Oswaldo who's led by the same people who designed the mascots, maybe they could air but these are purely my assumptions.
 

Yippee Coyote

Graphic Novelist
The mascots' name-voting poll ended tonight, and the choice @Mariana and I picked won! :D

I like it much better than "Oba", which seemed like the social media favorite. Some people on Facebook were going psycho for it win!
 
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rockmonster

Member
I think these guys are tied with the Vancouver 2010 mascots as "Most Huggable." Congrats on your choice of name winning [MENTION=65481]ObamaSoundoff[/MENTION] and [MENTION=53425]Mariana[/MENTION] !
 

Yippee Coyote

Graphic Novelist
I was on the Facebook page for one of the mascots, and a recent link was shared for a new part of the mascot website:
Selfie with the Mascots

Then I found this in the background.

Look familiar? :v:



I now think they're lacking critically in the creativity department. :(
 

Yippee Coyote

Graphic Novelist
With one of the images resembling Ruff and Reddy, was that show popular in Brazil?
[video=youtube;FjLmpYYrbcY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjLmpYYrbcY[/video]
I guess it was airing on a Brazil broadcasting station instead of Boomerang back in 2001. The fact it continued to air on their stations before the launch of Boomerang in Brazil may be a sign of its popularity, but I'm not sure. It doesn't air on Tooncast.
 

RandomMe

Bloo
I guess it was airing on a Brazil broadcasting station instead of Boomerang back in 2001. The fact it continued to air on their stations before the launch of Boomerang in Brazil may be a sign of its popularity, but I'm not sure. It doesn't air on Tooncast.
Some obscure Hanna-Barbera shows are popular over there, thanks in part to SBT's cartoon blocks and the occasional current airing of an H-B show.
 

Yippee Coyote

Graphic Novelist
It's not really an obscure series, it was the first production by Hanna Barbera after Joe and Bill left MGM Studios. In fact, its success was the reason why all of the shows that followed even existed.

But I don't think it was a creative decision on the 2016 Olympic Committee's behalf. :(
 

szjdfgs

Well-Known Member
I was on the Facebook page for one of the mascots, and a recent link was shared for a new part of the mascot website:
Selfie with the Mascots

Then I found this in the background.

Look familiar? :v:



I now think they're lacking critically in the creativity department. :(
I see no resemblance, if you ask me.
All I see is a generic dog and a cat. It could be compared to anything.
 

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