Finn the human and Jake the relentlessly chill magic dog have been fighting monsters and figuring out their emotional biz for eight years now, but on Monday the televised portion of their adventures come to an end. Adventure Time’s 40-minute behemoth of a finale airs on September 3. It’s named “Come Along with Me,” after the show’s melancholy credits theme song, a fitting title for the episode that brings their story—and Princess Bubblegum’s, and Marceline the Vampire Queen’s, and Ice King’s, and Lady Rainicorn’s, and many more—to an end.
At its peak, Adventure Time reached an audience of over 3 million viewers per episode, and it attracted the kind of devotion most shows would kill for. The dozens of artists who collaborated to create it clearly made it their passion project: When Cartoon Network announced the end of the show, creator Pendleton Ward, showrunner Adam Muto, a slew of writers, storyboarders, and alumni like Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar all said publicly how grateful they were for the show. At this year’s San Diego Comic Con, Jake voice actor John DiMaggio recounted crying after the show’s final recording session.
One of the things that made Adventure Time so special was how it attracted some of the most recognizable voices in the world. From the first season, celebrities like George Takei and Andy Milonakis were eager to make their mark on Finn and Jake’s surreal home of Ooo. Takei was one of the first A-listers in the cast, voicing Ricardio the Heart Guy, a villain so bizarre and memorable he’s threatened the Candy Kingdom twice. “I’m heartbroken that Adventure Time is ending,” Takei told VICE in an email.
Milonakis was also part of Ward’s vision from the beginning. “Pen tweeted me, ‘Hey I have a cartoon that just got picked up from Cartoon Network, you wanna be in it?’” Milonakis said. “I watched it and was blown away with how different it was... I was instantly obsessed and a fan.” Milonakis voiced the lovably annoying Never-Ending Pie-Throwing Robot, who raps and would do anything for his creator, Finn.
“There was such a brilliant mix of weirdness/geekery/adventure, and also the colors and drawing/animation style lit up my brain like a pinball machine... It really sucked you in. I was constantly surprised with how weird the show was... I'm constantly disappointed with how generic and obvious most mainstream media is, it's nice to see a show with some balls,” Milonakis said. “It's rare to work on things you're a fan of, I'm definitely sad it's ending, but I'm just hoping it will pop back up in the near future, maybe in movie form.”
Keith David, known for roles in They Live and Armageddon, and whose voice you may recognize as the President of the United States in Rick and Morty, voiced Fire Princess’s controlling father, Flame King. He too is mourning the loss of the show. “I definitely loved being a part of this show,” he said in an email. “It’s sad that it’s coming to an end, and there have been many people that have come up to me to talk about Adventure time… It’s the end of an era but, should there be an opportunity for the show to come back, I will be ready, willing and able.”
When the news of the show's conclusion was announced, Ward wrote in an official statement, “Adventure Time was a passion project for the people on the crew who poured their heart into the art and stories. We tried to put into every episode something genuine and telling from our lives and make a show that was personal to us and that had jokes, too! I’m really happy that it connected with an audience for so long. It’s a special thing, I think.” As the show’s creator, his feelings on the his most famous creation's end are probably very complicated. But based on his most recent tweet, it looks like he may be the only one who isn't sad.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.