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Grand Galloping Visuals
The decision to bring the world of My Little Pony to the movies involved staying true to the fans, the franchise, the aesthetic, and the sassy, sparky, bright-as-a-gemstone characters.

Rather than alter the visual representation of these beloved heroes into computer-animated updates, the filmmakers chose to stay true to what fans know of the My Little Pony visual world, but added distinct adjustments and flourish to highlight what makes this vibrant animated world so special.

"We had to completely rebuild everything from scratch," says Thiessen. "It's leagues ahead of what we were able to do on the TV show. We have much more versatility. So, for instance, the throne room in the castle is a real 3D place where we put our 2D characters, but it actually looks 2D. Merging that 2D with the 3D has been a bit of a challenge, but it works well."

"We also have lusher environments overall," adds Thiessen. "We're able to do a lot more lighting, a lot more shadow passes, and the colors will be more vibrant. Everything is just more painterly, too. MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE looks rich and lush."

Helping the film achieve a cinematic look was cinematographer Anthony Di Ninno, who was a previsualization artist on blockbusters including Sausage Party (2016), Godzilla (2014), Man of Steel (2013), and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011). Di Ninno was also director of photography on 2016's Ratchet & Clank.

"There's a lot more movement capability," says Thiessen. "So, the next level of animation is really about the subtle acting - we were able to put a lot more detail and nuance into the performance. There's less limitations in shots, and integrating more three-dimensional environments. Here, we can get a lot more subtlety, a lot more fuller animation. We can expand on the acting, and really get into the characters' little quirks and personalities."

Kevin Munroe, creative consultant for MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE, says that the animation in the film is "leaps and bounds beyond what you would see on the TV series, in terms of animation style. There's a richness of color and lighting. And working some CG models as well into it adds depth. It's all about making it a really big, immersive experience."

Tabitha St. Germain, the voice of Rarity, notes that, "The scope of the artwork on this movie is far beyond our usual 22-minute episode, and there's some incredible details and bigger world-building. There's now so much more 'Pony world' to live in. If you've ever sat through an episode and wished you could just walk into it, this is that immersive experience. Audiences will be like, 'Yes, please!'"

Andrea Libman, the voice of Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie, adds that "The designs are gorgeous. The way the ponies look on the big screen, with so much more detail, they'll seem larger than life!"

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