If you walk down the birthday party supply aisle of any major store, chances are you’ll find DC Super Hero Girls. The franchise began as a series of web shorts that turned into a huge merchandising opportunity for DC Comics. In addition to party supplies, DC Super Hero Girls has clothes, toys -- anything a child could want.
Lauren Faust, creator of popular animated series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, had a lot to consider when planning the DC Super Hero Girls reboot for Cartoon Network. CBR recently caught up with her to discuss her process, along with director Jenn Kluska and voice actors Nicole Sullivan (Supergirl) and Grey Griffin (Wonder Woman)
CBR: What is it about DC Super Hero Girls that grabbed your attention?
Lauren Faust: Back around 2011/2012, I actually did some web shorts for Warner Bros. and DC called Super Best Friends Forever, so that’s kind of where this version of the show started. And that featured Supergirl, Batgirl and Wonder Girl, not Wonder Woman.
When they asked me to come back and take a look at DC Super Hero Girls and were interested in the idea of pulling... some of those themes, ideas and characterizations into this new version, I just immediately jumped on the opportunity because I enjoyed making those shorts so much. But even then... I just love superheroes. And having worked on Powerpuff Girls in the past and growing up reading lots of comics, getting a chance to get my hands on these iconic amazing characters was like -- how could you say no?
Can you describe the feel of this show?
Faust: It’s pretty much a complete reboot. We really started from the ground up -- just kind of wanted to refresh the whole brand. We’re still bringing over the idea of superheroes, the themes of being a superhero, the themes of being a teenager, the idea of the female empowerment and positive stuff for girls. That’s all being carried over. But the storylines are different, [and] the characterizations are different. We have Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl and Bumblebee, but [with] very different personalities from the original web series.
Jenn Kluska: What Lauren always kept on saying is this a show about balancing your teen life and your super life. And that’s really a mirror for when you’re coming of age as a young girl. When you hit that age where you don’t know quite who you’re going to be yet, you’re still almost deciding, in a way. Often you’re different around one group -- say, your parents, your teachers -- than you are with your friends.
What Lauren really wants to communicate is that when you’re with your friends, that’s almost like that’s your true self. So, bring back the idea of superpowers. It’s really fun because secret identities are fun. You have to keep them secret, and it creates an extra level of suspense and drama. But also, it’s a really nice metaphor for deciding and figuring out who it is you want to be. Everything in the show we’re trying to do goes back to these big thematic choices and decisions about what it is to be a girl at this age.