Walking into the Excel this weekend for the first of MCM’s Comic Con events of the year, VultureHound were once again greeted by the usual swarms of superfans, each dressed as their oft obscure fantasy heroes.
Amongst them, however, one fandom shone like no other. A fandom so fierce in their love for their show that they flock in their multicoloured glory, overshadowing even the most day-glo of anime otaku.
This is the cult of Adventure Time.
The innocent adventures of Finn the human and Jake the dog have enchanted a generation like few other shows, and we were lucky enough to grab a rare five minutes with star Jeremy Shada as he flitted between mobs of adoring fans and rocking out on stage with his band, Make Out Monday…
Looking around today, it’s clear to see what a massive phenomenon Adventure Time has become. What do you think the appeal of the show is to such a broad audience?
With Adventure Time, I think there are so many things that go into why it has such a broad appeal, but for me, I think the art style… It’s very colourful, very vibrant… You just get drawn into the world and you wanna go see every little bit of this amazing, magical world. And then the characters, even though they’re all kinda crazy and they do crazy things, ultimately, they’re all very relatable in a very real way, and they’re going through real things in the way that anybody would. Even though they’re fighting dragons or going through these mystical lands, they’re still very real people. I think that’s what people like about it the most; they can really see themselves in a lot of these characters. Finn is the little boy in all of us. A boy and his dog going on a lot of adventures… It’s kinda like an idealised version of what we all wanna be in a lot of ways!
Speaking of “the boy and his dog”, how do you feel the relationship between Finn and Jake has changed over the years?
I think the fun thing about Finn and Jake is that they do hit on a lot of different levels. Straight up, they are brothers; they grew up together so they are brothers. There’s the whole “boy and his dog” type thing, but then there’s also the almost uncle/nephew type relationship ‘cause Jake is older than Finn, so he almost directs him sometimes when Finn doesn’t know how to deal with a certain situation. But at the same time, Finn is there to bring Jake back to reality sometimes when Jake is being all doggish and selfish. So, they balance each other out really well. That’s why I think their relationship works. They love each other very much and they’re great friends, but the weaknesses they both have, the other one has the opposite strengths.
How has it felt shooting the final season of the show?
Going into the last episodes of anything is always a surreal thing, especially with Adventure Time, because I recorded it for eight years, from when I was twelve to twenty. So I really grew up on the show. It’s bittersweet. You grow to love the cast members that you see every week… But it’s also exciting! We got to end it on a good note, and wrap everything up. I think people are really gonna love the ending of it! Then, you also have the opportunity to do new projects and new things, and try out different stuff. I do think in some way, shape or form, they’ll probably continue Adventure Time one way or another. I dunno what form that’ll take, but I do think a movie is very possible. (laughs) Eventually…
What can we look forward to during the last chapters of Finn’s quest?
A lot of laughs! That’s what we generally try and hope for with Adventure Time! Definitely some emotional beats as we say goodbye to some of these characters… Not deaths or anything, but you’re seeing them wrap up their stoylines, so that’s always gonna be emotional. Just expect what you always expect from Adventure Time; lighthearted humour that brings levity to these situations, but also that emotional depth that they balance, somehow, extremely well!
Now you’re wrapping up, what’s been your favourite part of the Adventure Time experience?
Man, there’s been a lot of favourite parts. That’s hard… I mean, getting to do it was obviously the best part! (laughs) Having a job is nice! But, no, seriously, I think it’s probably the people that I work with. I get to work with the coolest voice actors in the business, and I’ve grown up listening to them before I even got into acting, so getting to learn from those people and call them my peers, just hanging out with them and getting to know them, that’s just the coolest thing in the world. Whenever you have a show that just blows up and becomes so widespread across the entire world… that’s just insane. You never expect that going in. You hope that the shows you work on are successful, but when people really take to it and make it their own like they have with Adventure Time, that’s always super special.
You can catch the final adventures of Finn and Jake on Cartoon Network UK right now.