Interview with Adventure Time’s Niki Yang
ToonBarn is celebrating today’s release of the BMO-shaped Box for the Adventure Time Season 3 DVD and Blu-ray by sharing an interview with the voice of BMO, Niki Yang. Niki is also the voice of Lady Rainicorn on Adventure Time. Niki’s other duties as an animator and storyboard artist keep her very busy at Frederator Studios.
ToonBarn’s Marc Morrell had the following conversation with Niki Yang:
Marc: Can you compare the two characters you voice on Adventure time, BMO and Rainicorn, and how you prepare to get into character for each one?
Niki: Rainicorn is pretty much my voice and how I speak, no filter. Since she is a grown-up girl, it’s easy to put myself into her emotional status. On the other hand, BMO, a naive-innocent boy (I always think he is a boy, even though it turned into genderless) I have to imagine what a child would think and say. My ‘no-acting’ reading has somehow worked wonderfully! I guess, that’s how children talk – honest and straight forward.
Marc: BMO has a classic case of Pinocchio syndrome. Have you ever researched any Pinocchio films or stories to get ideas for becoming a video game console that thinks he is a real boy?
Niki: I think BMO does not desire to be a human boy. He is just curious like a boy who wants to do what his dad does.
Marc: In your opinion, why are unicorns and rainbows classically tied together, and how do you embody that in a character?
Niki: Because.. they both are beautifully magical?(giggle!)
Marc: Cartoon Network gives a lot of space to the world of Adventure Time, without censoring it. Can you name any specific instances where they didn’t allow something to air?
Niki: Yeah, we have a lot of freedom. However, they always triple make sure that I don’t say anything bad in Korean when I read Rainicorn’s lines (that I translated!).
Marc: Adventure Time has the rare gift of appeal for adults and children, using humor, classical mythological themes, fantasy, and stories that take the characters through the whole spectrum of weird to wonderful. Where does this wide-ranging appeal come from, and after a few seasons, has it developed a life of its own?
Niki: The strongest element of the show is like-able characters who we can relate to easily. First lovers can relate to Finn’s romance, adventurers love Finn and Jake’s quests, married couples can relate to Jake and Rainicorn’s love and hate moments. Oh yeah! There is a conflict between a dad and his daughter too! These characters have grounded emotions just like us but they happen to live in a magical land.
Marc: You’ve met with fans of Adventure Time at conventions. What is the wildest fan story you’ve encountered with respect to Adventure Time fandom?
Niki: They are all nice and cute! 🙂
Marc: With respect to your art, is there any place where it is publicly on display, or do you have a place online people can go to see some of your artwork?
Niki: Yes – you can check out http://cargocollective.com/spiritualanimal and Nikiyang@vimeo
Marc: What type of camaraderie do you have with the other staff or voice artists, and does anybody ever play pranks on each other?
Niki: We record as a group. It’s super fun! Very high energy!
Marc: Adventure Time is showing no signs of slowing down. What do you think are the keys to making Adventure Time last as long as a show like The Simpsons?
Niki: Once the show generates strong and three-dimensional characters, they write stories by themselves. Long life to ADVENTURE TIME!!
Marc: Thank you for spending time with us on ToonBarn!
Niki: Thanks for having me, ToonBarn!
Adventure Time: The Complete Third Season came out today and, as you know by now, the Blu-ray and DVD packaging comes complete with cut-outs of BMO’s arms and legs, allowing you to build your very own BMO. So, with that in mind, it’s PHOTO CONTEST TIME!
Cartoon Network wants your help in finding out whose BMO is the most adventurous! Snap a photo of BMO giving your dog a hug, updating his Facebook status, playing Adventure Time Card Wars, or helping Finn and Jake defeat Magic Man. Then post it to Facebook with the hashtag #ShowUsBMO and on Friday, March 7th, Cartoon Network will share its favorite B-MOment on its Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/adventuretime) with a special shoutout by Niki Yang, the voice of BMO! Just make sure you post your pictures between February 24th and March 4th.
— Promotion starts on Monday, 2/24/14 and will end on Tuesday, 3/4/14.
— Winner will be announced via the Adventure Time Facebook page on 3/7/14.
— Fans can submit their BMO photos through Facebook ONLY, using the hashtag #ShowUsBMO. Just remember, BMO likes to be the center of attention, so no photobombing, please.
— While we would love for you to own Adventure Time: The Complete Third Season on Blu-ray/DVD, purchase is not required. Fans can print out this PDF version of the box art cutout here.