"Let's Compare EQG" blog part 4! This time, we take a look at the movies' animation. Which film was the most visually appealing? The best character/background designs? The most fluidity in character and scene movement? Or which film had more animation errors than a room full of Alicorns?
Here's my own ranking:
- Legend of Everfree: Each new piece of Equestria Girls animated media bumps up the quality of animation in some way or another, so this should come as no surprise. From the very first dream sequence onward, Legend of Everfree is beautiful to look at. Character designs not only fit the camp setting but are also cute and varied (FEWER SKIRTS AND KNEE-HIGH BOOTS), and almost every background is breathtaking. The opening sequence isn't as creative as Rainbow Rocks or Friendship Games were, but it fits considering the lighter tone and music. Characters' facial expressions are even more expressive (and in some cases goofy) than ever, flashback sequences make use of clever screen bordering and tinting, dream/fantasy sequences are very imaginative (especially Pinkie Pie's mind), and everything in the final act is an amazing spectacle. One thing I definitely appreciated on rewatches was how the main characters' hand movements while playing their instruments were animated to match the music as closely as possible.
- Rainbow Rocks: If any of you remember my reactions to the first Rainbow Rocks sneak peeks, you'll recall that I thought the Dazzlings' designs stood out in such a way from the other characters that they almost seemed to be from a completely separate property. (I think partial blame for that could be placed on their thick eyelashes.) As time went on, however, they really grew on me. Non-character-wise, Rainbow Rocks makes some definite improvements over the first film in terms of animation and special effects. The opening sequence is very creative (almost like a well-made fan PMV), character movements and facial expressions are more fluid, angled and POV shots are greatly improved (resulting in some very nice depth of field), and some of my favorite sequences include Twilight and Sunset in the kitchen, Under Our Spell, and the climax -- especially the Dazzlings' brief three-dimensional turn during Welcome to the Show. The Rainbooms' outfits during the climax, however, are incredibly gaudy to look at.
- Friendship Games: While not as visually impressive as Rainbow Rocks overall, Friendship Games was no slouch in the animation department. I love Sunset Shimmer's new design, the opening sequence is fantastic, and I think it's by this point that the animators have become very used to the human character models and angles. (Take a second look at Twilight's hand on the glass trophy case during What More Is Out There?, and you'll see what I mean.) Facial expressions are a lot more... expressive ((:P)), special effects and wardrobe designs are nicer to look at, and transformations are much flashier and more appealing.
- Equestria Girls: Being the first Equestria Girls film to be produced, this is naturally the most rough around the edges, but credit where credit is due -- the animation team took the focus-group-tested images of the human characters and managed to make them okay to look at. The animation in Equestria is as good as it's been over the past three seasons, the SFX used in the opening sequence are pretty creative, and the human characters all have some very amusing facial expressions. The backgrounds in the human world are a little uninspired compared to those in Equestria, and character designs are pretty cookie-cutter (SO MANY SKIRTS AND KNEE-HIGH BOOTS), but the animation flows adequately enough as a whole. I especially like the ambient lighting used in Twilight and Sunset's hallway scene and the transformation sequences in the climax.
How do you rank these films in terms of animation quality? Hit up the comments below and let me know!