Sunday, April 20, 2014

Adventure Time Panel WonderCon 2014

Crowds lined up in their finest bear hat things of white for the WonderCon Adventure Time Panel last Saturday evening. Princess Bubblegums, Finn and Jakes, Marcleines and Marshal Lees waited to watch clips and hear from the voice actors and crew from their beloved series on Cartoon Network.

Adventure Time Cosplay At WonderCon 2014

Once inside the panel room they heard the voice of Kent Osborne, voice of Joshua, Finn and Jake's Papi and head writer for Adventure Time. He introduced a panel of his cohorts like the start of SNL: storyboard artists Jesse Moynihan and Andy Ristaino; writers Steve Wolfhard and Jack Pendarvis; co-executive producer Adam Muto; voice actors Jessica DiCicco, Flame Princess and Kumail Nanjiani the voice of Prismo. To the surprise of Kent Osborne, who even asked to clarify if it was right, Pen Ward, creator of Adventure Time looking like a lumberjack, but not as muscular had arrived. The audience lets out shouts of joy. Pen doesn't come out to most events, the audience didn't know who would be attending the evening's smack down of knowledge of the show, so it was a surprise.

Kent made it it clear in a joking fashion that Adventure Time had switched time spots to 6pm, this was repeated multiple times to stall for time when clips were being set up. The first clip showed off the Season 6 opener with The Lich stuck in Prismo's pad at a party attended by Jake. The Lich was stuck motionless unable to move as he weirded out other guests including Peppermint Butler and Death.

After a reminder of a 6pm time slot move again the audience was treated to a special live read and animatic of a never to be shown mini-episode. The drawings for the animatic were done by Pen himself. The story was a parody of Twilight Zone episodes introduced by Prismo. Flame Princess was invited to a very lonely slumber party thrown by Lumpy Space Princess. After some lighting of pine cones the two summoned Joshua the dog from beyond the grave. Lumpy Space Princess soon fell in love with Joshua much too his dismay. They were married by Root Beer Guy or were they?

Kent tried to start the topic of how an episode was made, but Pen would not let that happen. "Don't talk about the process, " he mumbled. "First we make the sausage...we stuff the sausage, " Pen continued before a roar of laughter came out at his example of how boring the process was to him.

We swayed into another clip being shown, an animatic of Princess Day. Princess Day featured many Princesses of Ooo in the Breakfast Kingdom discussing the silliest of problems and sharing a continental breakfast. It bored LSP who was bitterly attacked in words by Breakfast Princess on how she lives like a hobo.

After the clip, Kent asked Adam Muto how much will change from the animatic for the episode to be ready for television. He answered shortly, "Well, it will be colored." Fans laughed at how much the crew didn't want to discuss the show. Adam spoke of a compilation DVD of the Princess for the Princess Day episode, but didn't explain any details.

Finn and Jake will be drawn very differently in "Food Chain" an episode not done by the AT Crew. It will be done by Masaaki Yuasa of Japanese anime fame. The animation is self-contained from Masaaki's own studio which is known for it's currently running anime in Japan "Ping Pong". His episode's clip had Finn and Jake turned into birds by the malevolent Magic Man after a field trip to a science museum. It was utterly beautiful, though not like AT's regular style. It should be a well received episode by fans. Pen told that Masakki was given free reign to do as he wished with the episode with no control by AT's regular team.

Kent said the Q & A portion would open up after one more clip, a second part of the two-part special coming out Monday. "Wait we don't have this clip," a surprised Kent told the audience aloud as he was talking to someone off stage.

Update: Food Chain clip is now online
The Q & A began with a reminder from earlier from Kent about, "We can't say or confirm anything." Pen then chimed in with it's okay to ask anything if you're six, then changed it to nine and under.

A fifth grade teacher stood up and told how she reads Adventure Time comics with her class and asked how to inspire her students.

Pen said, "When I was little, my Mom had post-it notes and I would draw on them." He rambled a bit about his mom was a single mom and drawing at a restaurant, stating mostly to let kids draw, ending with, "Stay in school, that's the end."

Up next the question of Finn's age was asked with his voice actor, Jeremy Shada aging. Adam Muto answered "We've talked about it, " on giving Finn an awkward puberty mustache.
Jessica DiCiccio (Flame Princess) gets a gift from a young fan

"Why does Lady Rainicorn speak Korean?, " another fan asked. Pen answered that her voice actor, Niki Yang, speaks it and translates it and they're are hidden jokes in what she says.

"Animation is in the third trimester, " is how Kent Osborne answered a question of when the actual animation starts for an episode.

Pen was then asked by a child about if more info would be revealed on the Great Mushroom War. He yelled out, "Yes." In fact he agreed to everything the audience asked in a loud joking fashion including: a backstory on Peppermint Butler, a backstory on Susan Strong, Finn and Jake meeting Fionna and Cake and that Joshua went on Adventures with his sons before he died. Kent disagreed with this as is the voice of Joshua, but Pen loudly agreed.

"I cover up my acting by yelling, "Pen added after he did his Abraham Lincoln impression, which is just his voice, just angrier and louder.
Jesse Moynihan

Lemonhope's continuity was brought up and the future we saw for the land of Ooo. Steve Wolfhard, who wrote the episode, explained he had a huge amount of "head canon", in his head, of stories set it what is called "Adventure 1000+", which is set one thousand years in the future of the current Ooo and where we last saw Lemonhope.

Pen was asked if he watched any cartoons growing up and if any affected him pursuing his work. "I watched so many cartoons, " he said. He brought up The Simpsons and referenced the episode where Lisa falls in love with her substitute teacher. He grew very fond of the episode. From past records, it's known Pen had a crush on Lisa growing up.

The last question was on what got rid of humanity. This was a tough one for the attendees to answer with Adam Muto answering not just the Great Mushroom War. He explained, " Some mutated, some went into space, some went underground."

At the end the crew took photos fast before the next panel came in and Ice Kings and Prince Bubblegums got up to leave.

A box of promised prizes was taken away from the event not given to fan. The crew and Cartoon Network had forgotten to give them out to fans asking good questions.