Tara Strong Teases The 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic' Season Finale
February 16th, 2013 9:20am EST
Today marks the season finale of The Hub's My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, and it's literally a magical send-off! BFTV caught up with prolific voice actress Tara Strong, who voices the show's main protagonist Twilight Sparkle, to preview the episode and discuss the epic My Little Pony fan base.
What makes today's episode so great? "The ending's pretty spectacular," Tara explained. "[Twilight Sparkle] finally gets rewarded for her good deeds by this amazing growth and transformation. She becomes a unicorn." It's a plot development that was heralded by the special coronation concert that The Hub hosted last weekend, and celebrated by a My Little Pony marathon today, hosted by Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan.
She added that the series is something that can be enjoyed by more than just young women. "When you first hear My Little Pony, you think it's for little girls, but it's not for little girls," she added. "It's literally a show families can sit down and watch. There's nothing that you can say, 'I'm not going to let my kid watch that.'"
Voicing Twilight Sparkle is one of many lines on Tara's amazing resume, which also includes the likes of Rugrats, The Powerpuff Girls, The Fairly OddParents, and The Hub's own Pound Puppies and Dan Vs. "I've been incredibly blessed. the roles that I've booked are just so iconic, like Batgirl, Harley Quinn and The Powerpuff Girls," she reflected. "The list really goes on and sometimes I have to pinch myself. The sequel to Little Mermaid [The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea] was my ultimate fangirl [moment]. When I was singing with Jodi Benson, I just burst into tears looking at her! I'm so lucky to have had this career."
With hundreds of voices in her repertoire, that's a tall order to keep straight, or avoid duplicating, but Tara explained how she keeps everything sorted. "I'm really conscientious about not doing the same voice on two different shows. I'm like 'No, Timmy Turner lives with The Fairly OddParents.' Even if you just tweak it a little, once you create a character, they sort of live in your brain [and] I don't confuse them. I don't mix them up. I know when I'm going somewhere, I become that character."
Tara is one of the folks who is in the elite echelon of voiceover actors, including but not limited to the likes of Billy West (Futurama), Maurice LaMarche (Pinky and the Brain), Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs), John DiMaggio (Futurama), Grey DeLisle (Young Justice) and Tom Kenny (SpongeBob Squarepants). Asked to name one of her favorite voice actors, she said, "I did my very first job with Cree Summer. We loved each other then, and we still do now. We've worked together on many shows and she's just so gifted. I consider her a sister really.
"We all do know each other, and we all get along," she added. "I'm amazed daily in the studio."
She's happy to be a part of My Little Pony, with its varied and devoted fan base. "I've been doing animation for a very long time. I've seen some pretty incredible fandoms and I've never seen anything like the My Little Pony fans," said Tara. "It's creating this community all around the world. It's sort of bringing the world together in a feel-good world. And I think that's a huge testament to the writing, and how beautiful the show looks, and the creation of this world."
"Sometimes as a voiceover performer, you don't know how your stuff is affecting people," she continued, adding that social media has helped her realize the impact. "There's nothing new about a show that attracts an audience, What's new is them being so vocal about it. It's just so lovely to hear people talk about how it's changed their life."
That particularly extends to the show's ability to work against the common adolescent problem of bullying, with the positive messages it portrays. "I'm really glad to be a part of helping kids that feel bullied, because the show's all about love and tolerance and friendship," she said, pointing to the song "Take My Hand", which she co-wrote and recorded after being inspired by stories of MLP fans being bullied. "Just the fact that I was able to make them feel good. Iif I could have one person feel like they're not alone and to ignore bullying, I think that really makes me extremely proud."
She's even seen the positive effects of fandom in her own life. "i've raised a lot of money for a good friend of mine's little girl who has a brain tumor," Tara added, directing fans who'd like to help out to Kiki's Cancer Fund. "This girl wouldn't be alive today without the MLP fans." Talk about a great fan base!
With everything she's done and no official word on a next season of MLP (although the network and the studio are said to be very committed to the series, so we'd say outlook good), what's left for Tara Strong to do? Well, first she's campaigning for another Shorty Award, and then...
"I'd love to be a part of The Simpsons," she said. "I think that's the only show I haven't done that I'm like, 'Wow.'" Paging FOX and Matt Groening...
You can keep up with Tara on Twitter (@TaraStrong). My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic airs today at 10:30 AM ET/1:30 PM PT.
For more from Brittany Frederick, visit my official website and follow me on Twitter (@tvbrittanyf).
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.
Photo Credits: The Hub