Monday, December 2, 2013

Make-A-Wish and Adventure Time

As you may know, I work on Adventure Time, the Cartoon Network hit series about a boy named Finn and his best friend, a magical dog named Jake. Adventure Time is one of those rare animated series that has cross generation appeal and works on many levels. It's a silly comedy, a thoughtful look at growing up, and a philosophical contemplation on humanity.

This past spring, a boy asked to visit our production as his "wish" from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The boy's name is Christopher and he wanted to see how we produced the show, meet the show's creator, Pendleton Ward, and most important, he wanted to be a voice on an episode of the show. Christopher knew he could do funny voices and he felt that Adventure Time was the place where he could experience what it's like to be a voice over actor.

Along with his mother and sister, the boy spent the day with us. He got a tour of our offices, met the great staff and learned the entire process we go through to create one 11 minute episode of Adventure Time, had lunch with Pen, got to see two episodes that hadn't aired yet, and was welcomed with open arms by the entire crew. It was awesome.

Then, Christopher went down to the record studio, where he was met by the Adventure Time cast. John DiMaggio and Tom Kenny, two of the stars of the show, were wonderful to Christopher and really made him feel at ease in the record booth. The big moment came and Christopher recorded voices for the show. He was great!

As soon as the editors began assembling the voices for the episode, creating the animatic, our Supervising Producer, Adam Muto, was very clear that he wanted to use one of Christopher's voices. From pre-production through the final edit, Christopher remained a part of the show.

The episode has been completed and tonight it premieres on Cartoon Network! It's entitled "Root Beer Guy" and it airs at 7:00 PM. This episode was written and storyboarded by a talented artist named Graham Falk. Christopher's role is that of the "Gum Drop Guy," and he appears in two scenes.

Making this information known to everyone is very important to me. As a Make-A-Wish parent, I've seen first hand the remarkable work of volunteers and the organizers of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. These people change the lives of sick children and their families. They offer a ray of sunlight and a brief respite from the fear and stress that becomes a part of your daily life when dealing with a serious illness.

The Adventure Time crew are some of the best people I've worked with and the kindness they showed for this young man moved me and should be an example for all to follow.

Tonight, Christopher's wish is complete. He wanted to be a voice on Adventure Time, and now that voice will forever be a part of the Adventure Time legacy. I hope you'll tune in and cheer him on.

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