My Little Pony: The Movie - Movie Review

Thursday, January 31, 2019



After a dark force conquers Canterlot, the Mane 6 - Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity - embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship to save their homeland.*




The announcement of  My Little Pony: The Movie left me super excited. I have loved the Friendship is Magic incarnation of the ponies for years and find the Equestria Girls spinoff to be just as entertaining. How could things go wrong, right? However, as soon as individuals such as Sia and Liev Schrieber began to be revealed as additions to the movie and images of the ponies began to be shared in a fancier animation style, my excitement pretty much evaporated. So, I put off watching it until I started catching up with the most recent season of the show. They kept making references to the film and it began to drive me crazy. I went into this movie expecting to be disappointed but honestly, I did not hate it. Don’t get me wrong though, My Little Pony: The Movie is full of flaws that I am sure angered and/or annoyed many of the individuals in the community that love the franchise, myself included.

*Notice*

This review contains spoilers (and I got carried away with the images).



Season One Ponies


The main problem with this film is that it seems that some of the individuals in charge of writing the story knew absolutely nothing about the ponies (and the ones who did suffered from sudden amnesia). They saw images, so that told them that Twilight was an alicorn and I think they may have watched a few episodes of season one. Why does it seem this way? The film ignores ALL progress they have made over seven seasons. There is a scene showing Fluttershy TERRIFIED of bats...even though A. she loves animals and B. she doesn’t react that way outside of season one (and maybe two) and Rainbow Dash is back to being rude and bossy. Then you have Twilight, the princess of friendship, acting like she knows absolutely nothing about how friendship works and treating the others in ways she would NEVER do. Specifically, there is a scene close to the end where Twilight EXPLODES at poor Pinkie Pie. That is not Twilight Sparkle. The PRINCESS of FRIENDSHIP would never do anything to hurt her friends, regardless of the situation. There’s also the whole issue with stealing the Pearl of Transformation from the seaponies/hippogriffs while her friends are, well, doing what I would expect of the ponies and spreading the magic of friendship. Finally, there’s the Pinkie Pie problem. Pretty much everything about her was wrong. Similarly to Twilight, she behaved in ways she never would have. The animation makes her look insane and it seems the writers' vision of her was a super hyperactive girl who only cares about parties. Parts of that are...accurate...in season one. Over the years, Pinkie has calmed down a little and she has always cared deeply about her friends. She also has learned how to be more considerate of others, but the writers seemed completely oblivious to all of this.
Thankfully, Rarity and Applejack were able to survive mostly unscathed...perhaps because they spent most of their time in the background (which, fangirl moment, I know, but HOW DARE YOU IGNORE MY FAVE PONIES and NOT GIVE THEM THE SPOTLIGHT THEY DESERVE!) (editing note: each time I read that sentence I imagine it the way Rarity would say it...and it just...makes me so happy) What makes this more infuriating and confusing is that Michael Vogel and Meghan McCarthy work on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. They knew...but somehow these problems still exist.

The “Hollywood” cameos



Let’s be real, they were only there for promotional reasons. The film did not need them and the characters they played were either weak (I’m looking at you Schrieber) or did not bring much to the story (sorry Sia). Emily Blunt as Tempest was wonderful and sad at the same time. (I’ll get to the reasoning later) and the characters voiced by Taye Diggs and Zoe Saldana, while interesting, were not given enough time to really do anything. I also hate how the official poster lists them instead of the voice actors that play the Mane Six.

Nothing Special about this mess.


You would think that since they were throwing a lot of money and resources behind the film that they would have a movie-worthy story. However, it could have easily been cut down to be a two-part episode for the show.
The Storm King is, in my opinion, one of the weakest villains they have faced and he definitely fits the “henchman stronger than the leader” problem that many animated shows have (ex. Lollirock). There just wasn’t anything “movie” worthy about this film except the higher budget for animation, which was inconsistent at best. The Mane Six looked...off, especially Rainbow Dash and several moments during the movie looked like there was an issue with syncing the voice acting with the animation. The opening song made me want to bash my head against a wall (I hate bad cheesy covers) and the logo looked cheap and somehow reminded me of Trolls.


What they did right and what I enjoyed:

It still looks weird in images, but when they are moving, it is beautiful.

The initial introduction to the seaponies/hippogriffs was done beautifully and although I scoffed upon seeing the Mane Six as seaponies before watching, I actually found this part of the movie to be one of my favorites. Copper seemed like he was a bit lost (like he walked in the room from a different movie or something) but I loved how Disney-esqe he was.
I admit I'm a sucker when it comes to felines.
The best thing about MLP: The Movie was definitely Tempest. Her song "Open Up Your Eyes" was the highlight of the film for me and I love how they didn’t “fix” her horn at the end (this is great for those dealing with disability and mental health difficulties). It would be wonderful if she showed up on the show, but I find it rather doubtful that will ever happen because of how busy Emily Blunt is these days. I suppose they could use a different actress...but it wouldn’t be the same.
HIGHLIGHT of the film.
The movie ended, leaving me pleasantly surprised that I did not want to burn in it a pit of fire. I was still annoyed by many of the things I have mentioned (and angered by how Pinkie was treated/portrayed), but, while it was promoted mostly at those who were fans of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, I do not think it was actually meant for them (or at the very least, not the die-hards). If you went to see the movie as just a casual viewer of the show or with no idea who they were (or how they act), it is actually a pretty decent film. In my opinion, though, it was, ultimately and unsurprisingly, just another cash grab by Hasbro. Considering all of the movie-related merch and that it made $21,885,107 with an estimated budget of $6,500,000, I would say it was a successful one too.

 Rating: 5/10
Did I mention I love Tempest? She would be a
WONDERFUL
addition to the show.


Credits:



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