When Sia's character makes her first on-screen appearance, a snippet of her song "Chandelier" plays in the background score.
This isn't Tara Strong's first time playing a character that meditates. The only difference is, Twilight is trying to calm down in her introductory scene while Raven has to meditate every day to keep her powers at bay.
Captain Celaeno and Grubber on the other side. one is a Space Criminal who leads a ragtag bunch of misfits while the other is a sidekick to a criminal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Prior to the movie, broken-horned unicorns only existed in fan works and were portrayed as ponies that couldn't use magic properly or anymore.
Hippogriffs are officially part of the canon.
Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: An odd example that doesn't involve swearing. This is the first piece of the franchise to ever receive a PG rating in the U.S., for "mild action", keeping it in line with most children's animated films rather than risking a G rating. This is especially notable given that the source series has never been rated above "TV-Y", even at its most intense. (The stratagem from The Transformers: The Movie, where parents had to go so they knew which toys to buy, may have been used.)
Taye Diggs says that being in an animated film was on his "bucket list", hence why he accepted the role as Capper.
Uzo Aduba agreed to be in the film immediately, having been a fan of the toys as a child.
Billing Displacement: Early on in the marketing campaign, none of the series' main actors had top billing, with the new celebrity voice actors getting the limelight instead. While their names technically are on the poster, they're all shoved to the bottom and lumped together in the barely readable billing block. Later posters and trailers rectified this, with one Comic Con poster only giving the show's cast, and the second full trailer grouping them together. Meanwhile, the film itself lists the actors alphabetically in the end credits, giving everyone an unbiased credit.
The fact that Sia's character sings goes without saying, but they take it a step further, having Songbird Serenade sing to herself while caged to display just how powerful and unprocessed Sia's voice is, which usually isn't apparent due to the singer's bombastic musical accompaniment.
In a blurb about the movie, Entertainment Weekly claimed that Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenowith, Sia, Uzo Aduba, and Zoe Saldana were all voicing "sparkly-maned ponies." Only Blunt and Sia are voicing ponies; Aduba and Chenowith are voicing seaponies who were formerly hippogriffs, while Saldana is voicing the harpy pirate Captain Celaeno.
Another reviewer dismissed the entire cast as "unknowns" who weren't live-action celebrities.
Creator Backlash: A minor example occurred with art director Rebecca Dart. While she looks forward to seeing viewers' reactions to the completed animation, she was deeply disappointed with the character models' failure to render properly for the teaser trailer, saying◊ she would have never approved of the teaser had she been in charge of it.
Executive Meddling: If the Sony hack is to be believed, Sony's script disagreements were the reason Joe Ballarini was brought in to the project.
Follow the Leader: We have a movie centering on a princess associated with the color purple, who goes on a dangerous journey with those that she's close to, with their bonds being tested. In addition, it's also known for casting some big name actors and songs reminiscent of classic Disney material. That's pretty much point for point taken from Sofia the First, though this series came first.
Harpo Does Something Funny: According to Michael Peña, Grubber was added to the script after he was approached to appear in the movie, and was specifically asked to "just go and say funny things". He later clarified in an interview that it wasn't just mindless ad-libbing, as he still required direction and context.
I Knew It!: Due to the movie entering production before Season 5, many fans debated whether or not Starlight Glimmer would make an appearance in the film. The official trailer would confirm that, yes, Starlight does make an appearance, albeit only as a silent cameo.
Irony as She Is Cast: Played straight with Twilight, who, despite both her voice actors being professional singers, only sings once in the entire movie, having a single verse to herself in "We Got This Together". Curiously, she was present for all the songs except the opening and "One Small Thing".
Network to the Rescue: If not for Lionsgate stepping in after the deal with Sony fell through thanks to the hacked email incident, who knows what would've happened to the movie.
Novelization First: The junior novel adaptation of the movie was released on August 29, 2017, over a month before the film's release. A "Look and Find" book also outlined the entire plot of the film another month before that.
The movie was supposed to come out about a month after Animal Crackers (2017) , another theatrical film with Emily Blunt and Tara Strong playing major characters. Curtis Koeller and Jamie Thomason also serve as voice directors for both movies. However, the latter film was delayed indefinitely until Summer 2020.
Kevin Munroe is attached as a consultant and a storyboard artist. His previous works include TMNT and Ratchet & Clank (2016). The former has Jamie Thomason as the voice director and Tara Strong voicing minor characters. The latter has both American and Canadian actors, the latter of whom are MLP regulars.
Reality Subtext: Uzo Aduba and Kristin Chenoweth, who play mother and daughter respectively, have also played Glinda in different stage versions of The Wizard Of Oz: the former in The Wiz and the latter in Wicked.
So My Kids Can Watch: Emily Blunt, Liev Schreiber, and Michael Peña all joined the film for this reason. In Schreiber's case, he has gone on record saying he was desperate for some kid-friendly roles that didn't give his little tykes the impression that he was a bad person, especially after he allegedly showed them X-Men Origins: Wolverine in a sadly misguided attempt to assuage their concerns. Ironically, they wanted him to voice the Big Bad, though his character is still considerably more appropriate for kids.
Typecasting: Even when playing a My Little Pony character, Emily Blunt still portrays a Jerkass Woobie who starts off antagonistic but ultimately earns her redemption.
Voices in One Room: Played with, just like with the main series. The behind the scenes special showed all the Vancouver actors together while Tara Strong and the American celebrities recorded from their own studios throughout various places in Los Angeles and New York.