Erin Wilhelm writes from San Diego Comic-Con:
The My Little Pony panel today at San Diego Comic-Con was full of surprises, new clips, funny voices, and adorable little kids stumping writers with tough questions.
Moderator Eliza Hart was joined by writers Meghan McCarthy, Nicole Dubuc, and Josh Haber and voice acting stars Tara Strong (Twilight Sparkle), Cathy Weseluck (Spike), and Andrea Libman (Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy).
The panel started with a recap of the first half of My Little Pony's eighth season (yes, there are eight seasons). Twilight Sparkle has opened a friendship school for all the creatures of Equestria, not just ponies, and Chancellor Neighsay is determined to shut her down. This season also features a group of students at the school that the writers referred to as "the young six": Silverstream, a hippogriff; Ocellus, a changeling; Smolder, a dragon; Gallus, a griffin; Sandbar, a pony; and Yona, a yak.
After sharing their Equestria patronus and their likely cutie marks, the staff started talking about what they are most looking forward to in the rest of the season. New tidbits (spoiler alert) for season 8 were revealed including an upcoming road trip episode, a new villain, a touching Hearths-warming episode, and Twilight Sparkle and Star Swirl. The audience was also treated to a preview of an upcoming Spring Break episode of Equestrian Girls where the girls take a cruise vacation and end up falling through a portal to Equestria and turning into ponies!
The My Little Pony team was not done with the audience yet, however. Amid discussion of how much they like to have special guest stars, the panel announced that Rachel Bloom of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend fame will be guest starring as a Kirin, a mythical creature with a split horn that resembles a mix of a unicorn and a deer. They showed a clip of Bloom's character Autumn Blaze singing a song about the history of her fellow Kirin and what made Autumn Blaze leave the Kirin community. At the end of the clip Bloom herself came out and joined the panel.
Once the audience calmed down and Bloom shared what her cutie mark would be (jazz hands), the panel decided to have some fun. Given a setting and a scene from the writers, the voice talent joined together with Bloom to improv a scene of Spike, Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie planning a heist with Bloom playing Twilight's brother Shining Armor.
The question and answer session was, quite possibly, the cutest Q&A I have ever seen, with most of the question askers being under the age of 10. Pinkie Pie was asked the most questions, including how many parties she has planned (a gazillion, more than one a day), how she gets her energy (cupcakes), and what her favorite hobby is (making and eating cupcakes). But the writers got the hardest questions, including one that completely stumped them: where was Princess Cadence born? The writing staff apparently had never thought about that particular detail, so after a brief confab (and rejecting Toledo as a possibility) they settled on Vancouver. Boom. New canon.
To close out, the audience was treated to a preview of an upcoming holiday episode clip showing a song about buying gifts. The clip was raw, still not colored in, but it looks like a lot of fun.
If you like friendship, and ponies, and magic, and Rachel Bloom, the second half of My Little Pony season 8 starts August 4th.