What time is it? Time to go to New York Comic Con! In anticipation of premiere of the upcoming season, the cast of Cartoon Network’s hit show Adventure Time stopped by at the con last week. After previewing the season with fans at the Hammerstein Ball, the cast took some time to speak with the press. The Motion Picture Club was granted the opportunity to participate in some interviews with the cast. We interviewed the cast in two separate sessions, so due to that, I will split the articles into two parts since they were essentially two separate interviews. You can see part one f the interview with the voice of Finn, Jeremy Shada, and the voice of Marceline, Olivia Olson, here.
In the second session, we sat with Executive Producer Adam Muto, Composer/Lyricist Rebecca Sugar (who also created her own hit show Steven Universe), and the voice of BMO and Lady Rainicorn Niki Yang. We spent the majority of the time discussing more of the production side of things for the show. The show’s creator, Pendleton Ward, no longer works day to day on the show. Muto said that initially they struggled to imitate his style before they realized that the show needed to find it’s own voice, leading to the more serious nature of recent seasons. Muto also addressed dealing with pressure from the network. The upcoming miniseries, Stakes, which Muto called “a boon” is a result of the network trying to create more “events” for its shows. However, Muto said that sometimes when the network asks for a certain theme, they do their best to deliver, but it doesn’t always fit. The episode “Princess Day” was supposed to start a new “holiday,” but the episode ended up being a little too weird to start any new trends.
Muto and Sugar addressed the process of storyboarding for Adventure Time. Due to the prominence of the show, storyboards are presented from various artists. Sugar and Muto were able to work with some of their favorite independent comic artists throughout the show. The challenge is finding artists who can fit with the style of the show. They look for a “unique sensibility” and a “complete world” when picking storyboards. That doesn’t mean that they are averse to trying new things! Muto said that there will be a stop motion episode sometime during the upcoming season.
Sugar talked about her process in writing the many memorable songs in Adventure Time, including the “Fry Song” from Emmy-nominated “It Came from the Nightosphere.” She said that she “never expected” to be composing for a television show. Sugar told us that she comes up with many versions of a song before it gets to the show. Sometimes she “just comes up with rhyming words” that eventually string into a song. She showed us the notebook she carries around that was filled with scribbles and early drafts of songs from the show.
Sugar also addressed a few questions about how her work on Adventure Time has helped with her show Steven Universe. Adventure Time was her “first job” and she “learned everything” from working on the show. She said that now that she watches Adventure Time from the outside, the show “inspires her” when she storyboards for her own show. She also said that “Adventure Time taught [her] how to be honest with her storytelling and her songwriting.” Sugar also said she wanted to capture the “intimate” nature of Adventure Time with her own show.
We also talked quite a bit about Yang’s character, BMO. One of the more influential themes of the show is BMO’s gender identity. Muto said that it all depends on who is writing the episode. BMO is sometimes portrayed as a “little kid … a wise guy … or almost a pet.” Despite BMO’s ambiguous gender, Yang said that she doesn’t really have a gender in mind and just tries to match her voice to the situation. Muto said that there would be a few BMO-centric episodes in the upcoming season that explores BMO’s different types of roles.
Muto said that season seven will pick up right where season six ended. Things are “still broken” from the finale and this season will deal with the consequenses. He also addressed the leaked Adventure Time movie, saying that nothing is confirmed and “it’s a long way from now.”
You can see part one of our Adventure Time interview, with the voice of Finn, Jeremy Shada, and the voice of Marceline, Olivia Olson, here.
Tune in to the premiere of season 7 of Adventure Time on November 2nd on Cartoon Network!