Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time was created by Pendleton Ward, and has earned numerous nominations and awards including a Peabody Award, two BAFTA awards, and two Primetime Emmy Awards. The show promises an eight-part mini-series launching this fall.
Toonzone News, along with other members of the press, sat down with voice actors Jeremy Shada (Finn), Olivia Olson (Marceline), John DiMaggio (Jake), and Tom Kenny (Ice King); as well as co-executive producer Adam Muto at San Diego Comic Con 2015.
QUESTION: I feel like the consensus around my friends is Adventure Time is not for kids. What demographic do you feel Adventure Time is for?
JOHN DIMAGGIO: Everyone. There’s something for everyone, and that’s the thing about this show. You come to a convention here and a whole family will walk up to you and they’re all dressed up in different costumes from the show. Mom is Princess Bubblegum and Dad is the Ice King and the daughter has made a Beemo outfit and they have an infant dressed as Lumpy Space Princess. You’ve never seen anything cuter than an infant dressed as Lumpy Space Princess.
TOM KENNY: Basically mentally ill family groups. I want to meet this consensus of friends, could you call them? Get them on the phone. I would say probably Adventure Time traffics in themes that might not have a whole lot of resonance with real little kids. Loneliness and loss and stuff like that, but I think there’s also stuff that kids do understand. Friendship and high adventure and fighting monsters.
JEREMY SHADA: And of course fart jokes.
TOM KENNY: If you’re 7 or 107, fart jokes are the best.
JOHN DIMAGGIO: George Carlin said it. Fart jokes are funny because they’re “blank” without the mess.
JOHN DIMAGGIO: We don’t know anything about the movie. We know nothing about the movie.
ADAM MUTO: It’s still in really early development stages, so we can’t really talk about it, but I think the idea is to tie it into the show so it is satisfying for people who have watched the show for a long time, but obviously, it has to play to people who have never seen the show.
JEREMY SHADA: Accessible still.
ADAM MUTO: Yeah. It’s still a ways off.
TOM KENNY: That’s the thing about doing a show like this or any show that sticks around for a long time and is on every week. There’s always somebody watching for the first time. There’s always someone just boarding the train, and they either catch up or they just go okay, I get it, and they just continue on the ride. The movie would have to serve as a jumping on place without being redundant for longtime fans.
ADAM MUTO: Pen is working on premises that are really interesting. Stuff we haven’t done on the show before, but that’s still off in the future, so I can’t really talk about it.
QUESTION: Have you guys met any crazy fans?
OLIVIA OLSON: I’ve gotten death threats from pre-teen girls.
JEREMY SHADA: This was like two years ago. We posted a picture, we were out at dinner after Comic Con one night or something, and we were clinking glasses at the restaurant, and basically people took it as we were dating, so she got a lot of death threats.
JOHN DIMAGGIO: He didn’t get any death threats?
OLIVIA OLSON: He’s their boyfriend.
TOM KENNY: (pre-teen girl voice) “I can’t believe it. He should be mine. There’s only one solution, I’ve got to kill her.”
OLIVIA OLSON: You can’t kill vampires.
TOM KENNY: I would say most of the fan interaction we have had have been pleasant.
JOHN DIMAGGIO: Unless it’s on a Sunday at the end of a Con, then it can be a littleâ€¦you know, but Sunday’s are always bad.
TOM KENNY: Fragrant?
JOHN DIMAGGIO: Fragrant. Pungent.
JEREMY SHADA: The Lou Ferrigno moment is my favorite.
JOHN DIMAGGIO: The Lou Ferrigno moment. He was given a direction he couldn’t physically do, and he kept getting the direction over and over, and it was just very awkward. It was a trainwreck. It was fantastic, and a week later, I was like “What were you doing?”
JEREMY SHADA: Our voice director didn’t realize that he was fully deaf, and he thought he could hear a little, and you think that sometimes because Lou is really good at lip reading, so you’d have conversations, but he’s like “I need you to sing the line like this.”
JOHN DIMAGGIO: We were sitting there going, “Doesn’t he realize it’s like telling a blind guy ‘You know red, right?'”
TOM KENNY: My favorite was George Takei came in to do Ricardio, and he’s really funny, but sometimes he doesn’t realize that you’re being sarcastic. He’s like “Whoa, this show is crazy, oh my goodness, it’s all over the place” and I said “This show has got a cult following.” Adventure Time was just starting to take off, it’s really starting to catch on, and I said, “It’s got this intense cult following, I don’t know if you’ve ever done a show that has a cult following before,” and he looked at me and “Yes, I think I know” like I was the biggest dumbass in the world. I’m making a joke, George! “Does this guy not know I was on Star Trek?”
OLIVIA OLSON: Me and Jeremy were talking about that yesterday. It’s really hard to pan out when sarcasm is appropriate.
JEREMY SHADA: Yeah, especially with fans because people don’t understand. They’re like “Will this ever happen?” “No.” They’re like “Aww.” No, no, no, I’m totally joking!
OLIVIA OLSON: We just don’t know.
TOM KENNY: The way some people are colorblind, and they can’t tell a black sock from a green sock. That’s how some people are with sarcasm. They don’t have the sensory apparatus to pick up on it. Especially when you’re sarcastic like we are all the time.
JOHN DIMAGGIO: Dirty. It makes me feel very dirty.
JEREMY SHADA: Where did you go? Where was this?
TOM KENNY: And why didn’t you call us?
Q: By the Suicide Girls at the House of Blues.
ADAM MUTO: It’s probably not officially sanctioned.
OLIVIA OLSON: Anything Adventure Time themed is nice. I wasn’t at the show, but I can only imagine it was wonderful.
Q: It was Lumpy Space Princess, I think, Marceline, and Finn.
TOM KENNY: You want to see Lumpy Space Princess put clothes on.
Q: Wait, no, it was Princess Bubblegum.
TOM KENNY: Was Ice King there? G-string?
Q: This last storyline could’ve wrapped a ton of threads and could’ve been a finale, and now there’s an eight part mini-series. Are we seeing a format change?
ADAM MUTO: The eight-parter, that was more like the success of Over the Garden Wall, and they really got interested in that format and that was really offhand, it was like, “Hey, would you like to do more of an event?” And I was like “okay”. It wasn’t to shift the structure of the entire show, it was something that was going to happen within the flow of season seven.
JEREMY SHADA: And it’s pretty epic. Pretty cool.
OLIVIA OLSON: It’s really just an ongoing storyline. Adventure Time could be pretty random, it could have two back-to-back eleven minute episodes that have nothing to do with each other, it’s sort of like a saga.
TOM KENNY: It’s kind of take a rest. They sort of wander around. It’s an episodic eight episodes.