Rick Morales, the producer, is no newcomer to animation, the DCverse, or Lego. He has directed several animated flicks, including Batman vs. Two-Face, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, Lego Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood, Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League – Cosmic Clash as well as numerous TV series.
He has not only produced Lego DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain, but also three Lego Scooby-Doo! movies and shorts and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 2014 for Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program for Beware the Batman.
He is also an acclaimed storyboard artist since 2002 and has worked on a multitude of animated movies and TV shows like Ultimate Spider-Man (TV Series), Batman: Assault an Arkham (Video), Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery (Video), and even the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (TV Series)!
I asked him how the DC Girls and Lego merger occurred: “I think the … overwhelming success that the DC Super Hero Girls property had … Lego was lined to capitalize on that. I think as far as the Lego DC Girls goes, it … just allowed us an opportunity to… do something really different I think, in the Lego world. Design-wise and character-representation-wise… I think it’s a lot different in tone and what you will have seen from some of these other Lego Justice League movies… Pacing, the type of humour that’s going on and… actually, some of the action, I think, is in some ways heavier than what you’ve seen in some of the other Justice League stuff. ”
He continued, “For myself personally… we were making a show extensively for girls, right? But I didn’t want to necessarily do that in the sense that I just want to make something that’s good, that’s entertaining for everybody… and not try to narrowly focus it…” He concluded, “Lego is all-encompassing… parents remember it… it’s just a really well designed toy system. You can do anything with it… it’s got a lot of charm…”
Grey Griffin has been the voice of Wonder Woman in Lego DC movies since 2014 (Batman Be-Leaguered, Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom, Justice League: Cosmic Clash, Justice League: Gotham City Breakout, and Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain) and has been releasing albums since 2000. Grey is absolutely delightful. She is warm and friendly and does the best voices. She also is one hell of a singer and her version of Holy Night is breathtaking. She sadly stopped putting out music back in 2007; she became a mom and no longer had time to tour, but she still records a song here and there, so be on the lookout for those. She has worked in animation since her time on Rugrats in 1996 and made her live action TV debut on that ‘70s Show in 1997. She has voiced characters in almost 200 film, episodes, and video games over her career so far.
She loves playing Wonder Woman. “It was great when Wonder Woman came out… I have a daughter, she is 7 months old… and all these Wonder Woman stuff came out… I have this onesie that says, ‘My mom is Wonder Woman!’ and of course everybody bought me (one).” Despite all the work she has done, she doesn’t often see her characters on merchandise, so seeing herself on pajamas and dolls at Target was wonderful.
One of her other favorite strong female characters she got to voice was Azula in Avatar: The Last Airbender – Into the Inferno, “I really did love that character,” she reminisces as she effortlessly slips into character and recites lines from the movie in this fantastic new voice. A little later, she demonstrated how some characters can be made to sound younger or older or thinner or heavier – it was absolutely mesmerizing. She transformed her voice half a dozen times in the space of a minute and now, listening to the recording without seeing her in front of me, the illusion is even more perfect – she becomes the character. Incredible. “I always did voices since I was little. Honestly, if I didn’t do this job, I would just be a very strange adult,” she responded when I asked her how she got started.
Tara Strong reprise her two iconic roles, Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy, in the first Lego DC Super Hero Girl full length feature. She first voiced Harley in Batman: Arkham City in 2011 and then joined the DC Super Hero Girl series as both Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn (and let’s not forget Chestchire) in 2015. She also played Barbara Gordon/Batgirl in Batman: The Killing Joke.
She has extensive experience with voice acting, having been a regular on shows like Powerpuff Girls, Teen Titans, and Family Guy as well as in full length features like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. She also worked in the video game industry voicing characters in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Final Fantasy X and X-2, and Akham City and has appeared in live action movies: National Lampoon’s Senior Trip, Sabrina Goes to Rome, Sabrina Down Under, and The Last White Dishwasher and live action TV shows: Forever Knight, Party of Five, and more.
I had to ask her what type of legacy she felt her portraying such flawed and unhinged characters would leave for young girls: “Well, it’s always different. So, for this version, you know, Harley and Ivy are in High School so it’s before anything bad happens so they’re actually good… This version is very inspiring to young girls to be strong and powerful, sensitive, and… friendships and caring about the planet and working together…”
But when we started talking about dark Harley, whom she prefers to play because “she is so complicated and fun and interesting,” she continued, “I think people are drawn to her [dark Harley] because as hard as she loves is as hard as she is crazy and willing to do anything for that love. I think most people recognize that… it’s all from such a good place and you feel sorry for her that there are moments when she is abused or treated badly… I think people really empathize with Harley and so I don’t know if she is necessarily a role model in her actions, but more in… people … want to fight alongside of her.” She then slipped into character and said, “We really need our strong women to be there for each other.”
I asked her if it was challenging to play Harley in a way that made her comfortable. She responded that because when she voices a character, she becomes that character, she lives through what her characters go through, even crying when the Joker died in one scene she recorded. “I really feel like I am her and with her on this journey and hopefully the girls… are inspired by … the powerful side of her and not necessarily the abused side of her.” Tara feels that over time, Harley has become less of an abused woman and more of a powerful woman: “Even her character is moving away from the earlier version when she was like [in Harley’s voice] ‘Ok, I love you!” to… this powerful chick.” Indeed, in Tana’s words, Harley is unadulterated and never apologizes for who she is.
And Tana did prefer playing Harley in this movie more than Ivy because “in this version, Ivy is very shy, so in terms of getting your tenth into a role, Harley is more exciting and more fun.” But after admitting she just loves playing Harley, in any version, she concluded, “She is my spirit animal!”
Anais Fairweather started playing Supergirl in the short DC Super Hero Girls: Super Hero High in 2016. Since then, she has been in several made for video DC Super Hero Girls films as well as the TV series. Being so new to the character, Anais reminisced about the prior year, when she was just getting started and didn’t quite understand what it meant to voice Supergirl: “I understand the questions now so much more, like how is it doing the voice of this iconic character because I didn’t quite know. I was finding it myself … it’s been so amazing… Supergirl having this vulnerability and the dual relationship between that and her power…” Lego has made the character even more fun because it has revealed Supergirl’s quirks and her humanity.
She saw Wonder Woman and having voiced Supergirl made that experience even more memorable: “I used to watch the Adam West show growing up, you know, and I loved it and I loved Cat Woman… but now it’s like I get to see comic books … the super hero world… in a totally different way! And experience it as a woman and I think … my experience in that movie theatre was what little girls experience when they watch the show.” The movie inspired her greatly.
I asked Anais how much of herself she brings to the role of Supergirl. She said that the Supergirl of the Lego movie very much matches Anais’ personality. Anais has a background in stand up and is part of the Upright Citizens Brigade, a comedy group that focuses on improve and sketch comedy. “It was wonderful to get to use this part of my personality in this… world.” And as far as how similar they are to each other, Anais had this to add: “I would say she is very much like me. You know, quirky, strange, a little weird, but using her power to the best of her knowledge and using the power of friendship.” She laughed and finished off by stating, “So what I’m saying is that I am, personally, Supergirl.” She was joking, of course… or was she?