• San Diego Comic-Con 2017 - My Little Pony Panel! (LIVE UPDATES)

    Today's the day, everyone! At 10:30 AM Pacific Time, this post will begin live-blogging SDCC's My Little Pony panel! As long as this $13 internet connection holds out in here, expect details about the rest of Season 7, Equestria Girls, and some movie they're releasing in theaters this October, I guess.

    Expect the usual suspects on the panel: VAs Tara Strong, Andrea Libman, Tabitha St. Germain, and Cathy Weseluck; show musician Daniel Ingram; former exec and current writer and movie co-executive producer Mike Vogel; and former writer and VP of Storytelling Meghan McCarthy!

    Oh, and one Liev Schreiber, Storm King.

    Shoo bee doo below the break, y'all.

    Any 'mean' things said about a character were in done in jest everyone. These guys like to goof around.

    Couch talked to the people running the panel and it was a deliberate decision to focus the panel on the movie and it was a hard decision to make. The messaging about what the panel contained had gone out already by the time they made the decision though and it couldn't be changed. 

    Panel Play-by-Play:
    • Intro video! Jaysen said he's always wanted to tell MLP on the big screen! Testimony from Meghan, Tara, Andrea, Cathy, Tabitha, Nicole! And Liev Schreiber introduces his character! He's a bit kooky. Emily Blunt talks about Tempest, Zoe Saldana introduces Captain Celaeno, and Kristin Chenoweth is really excited about Princess Skystar! Uzo Aduba -- Queen Novo, Michael Pena as Grubber -- he loves food and is vertically challenged. Taye Diggs sounds really good as Capper! And Daniel's talking about using a LIVE orchestra! Kristin and Zoe love his songs. Finally, Ashleigh's talking about how everything is gonna be so AWESOME!
    • Mike Vogel takes the stage to introduce the panelists! So he co-wrote the movie with Meghan, who is first on the stage! Next comes Daniel Ingram -- an SDCC first for him? Cathy Weseluck's here reppin' Spike! Andrea Libman, evergreen VA for Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie! Tabitha St. Germain bringing Rarity and half the kingdom with her! Holy crap, Ashleigh is actually here for AJ and Rainbow Dash! And, then, of course, playing the small part of Twilight Sparkle, Tara Strong!
    • Mike: We're 7 seasons deep. What's different about the movie?
    • Andrea: More big-screeny
    • Tabitha: Much bigger trailers.
    • Ashleigh: Took a LOT longer.
    • Tara: More epic-cer!
    • Meghan: It takes a REALLY long time. At SDCC 2015, she had a script draft due the Monday after! Just stay up lat-- no, go get your rest. And to see that we're all here, it's amazing and it's a big job. Everyone stepped up at every level.
    • No spoilers! D'oh. But everyone gets one word.
    • "Broken." "Musical." "Spongecake." "One small thing." (Okay, Pinkie.) "Therapy." (Aw, 'Shy.) "Not a big enough par--" "Granny, how'd you get here?" "Flushed," said Rarity. "Windmill," says AJ. "AWESOME." "Festival," Ms. Sparkle.
    • Let's talk about the look of the show. Oh, I guess we're getting another look at the movie!
    • Meghan: We had to go big. For the first time, our ponies are LEAVING EQUESTRIA. So here's that scene.
    • [trailer intensifies]
    • Oh, they're going south of the Badlands to meet with the Queen of the Hippos. (This was from last year, when they table read this scene :D) And off they go, seven friends!
    • Mike: We're living in an era of amazing girl power. We've got SIX awesome girls as heroes in this movie (and Spike!). We care about the heroes, and not the villains--
    • Oh, there's Mr. Schreiber. And he's brought his kids! Oh, it looks like his daughter dressed up as Harley... and she's run off stage.
    • Liev's son's a big MLP fan, apparently! When he first got the role -- what is the Storm King?
    • Liev thought he was a Tibetan demi-god -- and the directors shot him down. So he looked at the Storm King -- he's a cross between a yeti and a goat. Some kind blue person, too. They got in the booth and started to improvise -- the results of which we're getting a sneak peek of NOW.
    • Meghan's OKing the clip.
    • Telephone by potion! Tempest is speaking with the Storm King, who hasn't quite figured out the system. He's asking her for magic to control the weather -- the Staff of Sirconis (sp?) in his possession. Ooooh, and if she doesn't make the staff work...
    • Aww, Liev didn't get a song in this movie. But he did show off that Tibetan accent that got shot down earlier.
    • Daniel's talking about making music for the movie now. Wouldn't it be great if we could get a song...? The audience is chanting, "Song! Song!"
    • Meghan OKs the song.
    • RD's talking the birds into becoming pirates in rebellion against the Storm King -- and she's taking the lead in song! Geez, she's a changed pony. "Time to Be Awesome!"
    • And she's in a duo with a resigned Captain Celaeno, who quickly cottons to RD's pitch. Nice. AAAAAnyway, we've got Mike to credit for the song lyrics.
    • Oooh, question time.

    Questions and Answers (kids first!):

    Q: Who are your favorite villains?

    A: Ashleigh - "Trump?" No, sorry, in the pony world. Tabitha likes Trixie, even if she's not that big a villain. Ashleigh's won over by the Storm King. Cathy likes Liev, too, but settles on Discord. Andrea says Storm King or else everyone gets in trouble. Liev approves.

    Q: The MLP's changed colors. What's up?

    A: Tabitha! "It's the Rarity Show!" Spike seconds the change. "I'm purple, too." Tibetan Storm King mentions he's having a tough time understanding these ponies.

    Q: Are you gonna make more dude ponies?

    A: *raucous laughter* Spike: "I second that so I can have more friends."

    Q: Favorite movie characters?

    A: Cathy likes Grubber! He and Spike would get along. Two votes for The Storm King from Tabitha and Andrea, Tempest for Daniel and Meghan. Twilight's down for herself, haha.

    Q: What happens if a human crosses the portal into Equestria?

    A: Meghan: I need to make sure I'm answering this correctly.

    Tara: This is an IRL question. If you went through the portal, would you become a pony?

    Meghan: Oh, yes.

    Q: Least favorite pony?

    A: Mike: Twilight Sparkle. Oooh, Tara didn't like that. Cathy doesn't have one... so far. Tabitha didn't like "Poopy Pony", but he didn't make it into the series. Liev, as Storm King: "It's hard to choose. I hate them all so much."

    Q: Discord in the movie?

    A: Meghan: I can't say.

    Q: IF you can make up any pony name, what would it be?

    A: Ashleigh: "Dude Pony. Tabitha: "Diaphonous Foof." How about yours, kid?

    Q: ...

    A: RD, to kid in RD costume: "But I think your favorite pony might be Rainbow Dash!"

    Q: What's it like hiring all that star power for the movie?

    A: Meghan: We had these parts and found the people we thought would bring them to life the best. Everybody really embraced their roles and they had to with the main ladies doing just that.

    Daniel was really happy that Emily Blunt was online, Liev mentioned how Brad Pitt read for Spike (hahaha.)

    Q: Who's your favorite Crusader?

    A: Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, Chicken. (Jesus, Andrea.) All of them, says Cathy.

    Q: Any plans to keep the movie style going forward? And what's it like working in ToonBoom?

    A: Meghan: It's much more expressive than what we're working with in Flash. No answer for the first half of the question, though -- they basically had to build the ToonBoom rigs all from scratch. DHX Vancouver really brought their A-Game.

    Q: How did Pinkie Pie get her Pinkie Sense?

    A: Pinkie: I've just always had it and it's gonna rain tomorrow.

    Spike: You just looked at the forecast.

    Pinkie: Sure did!

    Q: Starlight's element of Harmony?

    Meghan: We talked about this.... we're settling on Forgivene-- glimmerness. But don't hold us to that if we change our minds.

    Q: Favorite part of the movie?

    A: Mike: "Canterlot blows up forever."

    Meghan: There's a joke in there that was there since the first draft, and when it happens I'm gonna stand in the theater and yell. It's an Applejack joke.

    Andrea: I like it when I said "yay". It's my vibe.

    RD: When Rainbow Dash sings and is awesome, of course!

    Q: Funny behind-the-scenes moments?

    Meghan: Not publically, no. Haha, we've worked together for a very long time - it was like making a movie with your family.

    Mike: It got intense -- when you're yelling at each other not because you're angry, but because "Pinkie Pie would never do that in a million years!!"

    Q: Who's Pinkie Pie's mom and dad?

    Spike: If you guys find out who my mom is, that'd... that'd be awesome. Just wondering. If you came across someone who looked like me a bit...

    Q: I'm from Scotland. Any chance Celestia is Sunset Shimmer's mother?

    Meghan: There is NOW! We may need you to sign some papers.

    Tabitha: Could you ask a few dozen more questions in that accent? We'll give you a job.

    Q: Why do the ponies have magic?

    RD: Because friendship IS magic.

    Q: Favorite fan-story?

    They can't answer this... they can't read any.

    Q: Why doesn't Twilight write to the Princess anymore?

    Twilight: She uses email. She's a great texter. I dunno.

    Meghan: That's my fault, that we stopped doing that. We felt she evolved as a character and her relationship with Celestia was changing, so she didn't have a need to update her in that way.

    Mike: More time to spend with her daughter, Sunset.

    Q: What are the challenges of coordinating stories across all the formats?

    Meghan: We've really tried to make a concerted effort to do that across the TV show, movies, and comics. So the comic premises are sent to us, and we talk with the comic writers about the movie so that one thing pays off in a different medium. Sharing each other's work and talking it through.

    Q: Is there gonna be a new pony?

    Mike: Dudebro pony, Poopy pony, Scottish pony...

    Meghan: We're always introducing new ponies. We think Tempest is gonna be great, and we've got Songbird Serenade coming up too!

    Ashleigh: Pinkie Pie gets replaced by Haggis Bagpipes...

    Q: Will Discord change if he goes through the portal?

    Meghan: Oooh. He would change. That's just science.

    Cathy: All his parts would just fall off.

    Q: Storm King, what is your command?

    Storm King: *laughter* Let's just hang back for now. Let's let this go on peacefully. Talk to me outside. You and me, it's on.

    Q: Will we see RD's parents again?

    Meghan: ,,, maybe?

    Mike: That's the best answer you're gonna get.

    Tabitha: I thought he said "Rainbow Dash's pants."

    Q: What happened to Starlight Glimmer in the movie?

    Meghan: She's at CHS.

    Q: [bog standard aspiring VA question] How do I become 20% cooler?

    Spike: Did you go to a cool school? I'm kind of looking for one myself.

    Q: Any complaints from other companies about similarities in animation style?

    Meghan: So many calls. "Why's your movie look so good?"

    Q: If there's a human counterpart for everyone in Equestria, where's Sunset's counterpart?

    Mike: She's in a van down by the river...

    Meghan: She WOULD have a counterpart... but she's not at CHS.

    Q: Sparkly Bearded Alicorn Man! Geez, great costume. Anyway -- he just wanted to thank the cast and crew. Applause all around!

    Q: Favorite MLP season?

    Ashleigh: This last one was really good! Lots of backstories and plot twists. Season 13 will be epic.

    Spike: Six and one! The first season is when it all happened, right?

    Tabitha: Fifty-seven.

    Q: Is Sunset ever going back to the pony world?

    Meghan: ... yes.

    Mike: For a three-day weekend.

    Q: Final question, from a kid! Favorite buddy from the show?

    Meghan, Thorax, Angel Bunny, Granny Smith, Twilight Sparkle is best pony... Storm King's favorite buddy?

    Storm King: ... what? I don't do the whole friendship thing, to be perfectly honest.

    Twilight: We can teach you!

    That'll wrap it up! Thanks for joining us, y'all! CouchCrusader, Out!