The blu ray of My Little Pony: The Movie has special features including an Equestria Girls short, and some glimpses behind the scenes of the movie.
My Little Pony: The Movie is a theatrically released 2017 film. It featured the original voice cast from the television show and brought on a cast of A-list actors to fill in other important roles in the film. The film itself follows Twilight Sparkle and her friends Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash (collectively known as the Mane 6), and Spike as they journey beyond Equestria to find help in defeating the Storm King, who is seeking to take over Equestria.
The blu ray of My Little Pony: The Movie has special features including a music video, an Equestria Girls short, and some glimpses behind the scenes of the character- and world-building. Here is a look at ten details that this behind-the-scenes footage reveals.
The Director Wanted To Explore The World Outside Of Equestria
Director Jayson Thiessen said at the very beginning of the behind-the-scenes feature that he felt it was important to him that the movie explored the world beyond Equestria, something that the show had not done. In the movie, Twilight Sparkle and the rest of the Mane 6 traveled to faraway places such as the desert town known as Klugetown and the hidden kingdom of the Hippogriffs.
Everyone from the voice cast to the animators expressed their joy and how much fun it was for them to explore and world build beyond Equestria. The payoff in the movie itself was worth it, too. The creators could not have pulled such a unique and engaging story off without looking past Equestria.
Kristen Chenoweth Was More Excited About Her Character Than Anyone Else’s
Kristen Chenoweth was most excited about the script because of the character that she got to play in the film. She plays Princess Skystar, a hippogriff, who, alongside the rest of her kingdom, was turned into a sea pony in order to hide from the Storm King.
Jayson Thiessen and Chenoweth described Skystar as an enthusiastic sea pony who wants to show her world to the Mane 6 because she was so proud of her kingdom and her way of life. Thiessen further commented that Chenoweth was perfect in the role because Chenoweth had the energy to match Princess Skystar’s.
Taye Diggs Was Already Familiar With The Characters When He Signed On
Taye Diggs plays Capper the Cat, who at first was not the most trustworthy character, which didn’t stop the ever-trusting Mane 6 from seeking his help. He eventually became worthy of the ponies’ trust, ultimately helping them in the fight against the Storm King.
When discussing Capper behind the scenes, Taye Diggs mentioned that he was familiar with the characters from the show and was excited to be apart of the project. He later revealed that he had a six-year-old at the time of production, and was excited to help create something his child would enjoy.
Different Animators Are Tasked With Different Parts Of The Animation Process
According to the Head of Story Doron Meier, different animators have different specializations and different interests. This means that My Little Pony: The Movie, and by extension animation studios as a whole, did not hire animators to be jacks-of-all-trades. They instead found different people who suited their different needs such as portraying emotion or landscapes, to get the highest quality of production that they could.
According to Thalia Tomlinson, an artist in charge of story development, she is better at creating intense scenes in which the characters are typically in danger, whereas Aynsley King, a storyboard artist, is better at heartfelt emotion and dramatic lighting.
Emily Blunt And Michael Peña Resonated With Their Characters
Emily Blunt stated that she enjoyed playing one of the villains, Tempest Shadow. She said that she liked that Tempest had been through a lot, and therefore overcame a lot, such as breaking her horn, and had been hardened by the world outside of Equestria, making the character more cynical. She also liked that in spite of everything Tempest had been through and losing her horn, she was still an incredibly powerful pony and magic-user.
Michael Peña plays Grubber, a hedgehog and sort-of henchman to Tempest Shadow. Grubber is wisecracking, loves food, and is “vertically challenged.” During the behind-the-scenes, Michael Peña said that Grubber was written specifically for him because he also loves food and is “vertically challenged.” Jayson Thiesson said that Peña made the team laugh often when he was in the recording booth.
Uzo Aduba And Emily Blunt Both Grew Up With My Little Pony
Uzo Aduba plays Novo, the Queen of the Hippogriffs. During the behind-the-scenes, she talks about how she is familiar with the My Little Pony characters and the world because she grew up with the toys. Because she was already familiar with the ponies, she was excited when she received a call to sign on to a project involving the ponies.
Like Aduba, Emily Blunt also grew up playing with My Little Pony toys. She also described herself as more of a tomboy, though, saying that she always came home with scraped-up knees. Because of these two aspects of her childhood, she was excited to play a character like Tempest Shadow, as discussed above.
The Movie And The Show Wouldn’t Be The Same Without The Television Voice Cast
Everyone involved in the production of the film expressed their love and admiration for the original voice cast, who reprised their roles for the film. Tara Strong as mentioned above voices Twilight Sparkle, the Princess of Friendship; Ashleigh Ball voices Rainbow Dash and Applejack; Andrea Libman voices Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy; and Tabitha St. Germain voices Rarity.
The screenwriters, Rita Hsiao and Michael Vogel, commented on how the voice actors really do make the characters, meaning that the characters themselves, as well as the storylines of the show and the movie, would not be the same if they brought on different actors.
Seeing Their Characters Helped Actors Create Their Voices
Zoe Saldana plays Captain Celaeno, a pirate captain and humanoid parrot, whose ship and crew has fallen under the rule of the Storm King. Saldana, like the rest of the voice cast, was able to see her character before recording her lines. She said that because she saw her character, she had a better idea of how to shape her voice and the character herself.
Emily Blunt, Kristen Chenoweth, and Taye Diggs were equally inspired by their characters, as mentioned in more detail throughout this article. For Blunt, it was important for her to see how powerful Tempest looked in spite of the broken horn. For Chenoweth, she appreciated knowing what Skystar would look like as she was recording her lines. Diggs said that knowing the facial expressions helped him know how to say his lines and utilize different emotions.
The Animators Had To Rebuild The World Visually For The Movie
Tara Strong said in regards to the animation, that moving from television to film means having to up the animation game. While the show itself is very colorful and has well-designed characters and scenery, animated films are another ballgame.
Jayson Thiessen said that, because of the difference in television and film animation, they had to entirely rebuild the world to create something more nuanced and detailed. The film animation allowed for more subtle acting and three-dimensional environments, as well as allowing animators to do more with lighting, shading, character poses and placement, and color.
Emily Blunt’s Portrayal Of Tempest Is Different Than The Writers’ Original Vision
Michael Vogel described Tempest Shadow as “aggressive for a pony” and said that he and Rita Hsiao originally wrote her “very angry.” However, when Emily Blunt recorded her lines, she was insistent on keeping her character cool. Blunt commented that she felt that the most truly powerful and terrifying people are people who do not raise their voices. Because of this, she decided Tempest would be better off portrayed as quiet and in control.
Vogel stated that at first, he was reluctant to go with Blunt’s ideas because it was different than how he heard the character in his head. However, once he heard Blunt’s performance, he realized that she was right.