Recap of Cartoon Network’s NYCC 2016 Adventure Time Panel

(By Brian Davidson)

Friday at New York Comic Con kicked off with a packed house at Hammerstein Ballroom for a panel of Cartoon Network’s wildly popular hit Adventure Time. Diehard fans lined up several hours early for a chance to get in, and by the scheduled start time, the line had stretched three blocks towards the Javits Center. The wide appeal and reverence for Adventure Time was most evidenced more than anywhere else outside by the range of cosplay tributes to the show. Of course, there were plenty of white eared hats and green backpacks to be had, but the real standouts were those referencing very pointed, specific moments in the show: Marceline’s one-off causal outfit from I Remember You, the Ice King’s pre-apocalypse persona Simon Petrikov; a very ornate Breakfast Princess. And with hours to spare before the start of the panel, we saw these passionate fans connecting with each other.

The panel consisted of the show’s main voice actors: Jeremy Shada (Finn), John DiMaggio (Jake), Olivia Olson (Marceline the Vampire Queen), and Nikki Yang (BMO), along with executive producer Adam Muto and moderator Eric Bauza of Marvin the Martian and Cartoon Network’s Uncle Grandpa. The lengthy 90 minute panel allowed fans a Q&A, and showed several clips from the upcoming season.

NYCC Adventure Time

The sixth empty chair on stage was later filled by special guest Rebecca Sugar, who has since moved on from Adventure Time after creating the wildly popular show Steven Universe. Sugar is hailed and loved as an integral creative contributor to Adventure Time, responsible for storyboarding, animating, and composing some of the series’ most well known songs. Shortly after she came on, it was announced that Sugar had been cast in her first ever acting role as the part of Marceline’s mother in a eight-episode miniseries called Stakes that will explore backstory of the Vampire Queen. This is a huge development for the canon of Adventure Time – in the six seasons that have aired so far, the Marceline’s history is perhaps the most compelling element, as she is the only character that existed prior to the mysterious nuclear event that was a catalyst for creating the colorful, weird world of Ooo. Fans were treated to the first bit of the miniseries at the panel, including the brief and touching scene of Marceline and her mother signing a lullaby (composed by Sugar, of course), and some of her teenaged escapades with Princess Bubblegum. Although fans continually ask for a definitive answer on the ambiguous relationship between Marcy and PB, but to their chagrin, Muto avoided the question: “The theory is real, or it isn’t. It’s not something we can talk about here.” Stakes will begin airing November 14.

Muto also announced that the holiday episode for this year will be a BMO-centric half hour special, which garnered a very positive reaction from the crowd. In the short clip shown, BMO excitedly awaits the arrival of his creator Moe, who was introduced in the fifth season episode Be More. These developments evidence a new direction for Adventure Time in the next season: focusing on building the backbone the world, and hashing out the stories of supporting characters. Muto also stressed that the show would be shifting away from the heady narrative episodes to more simple storytelling, which is truly the cornerstone of this celebrated series.

Adventure Time’s seventh season will air starting November 7th on Cartoon Network.

(All photos taken by Brian Davidson)

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