My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic The Movie

Written by on November 11, 2017

Could this be November’s Mane event?

Fillies and gentlecolts, take a seat, get your hooves on some popcorn, because this is a movie review of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: The Movie.

Now hold your horses, because this movie was not paid for, which means the ticket, as well as all opinions are completely my own.

First, a little context. Now for those who are unaware, the MLP:FiM TV-show follows 6 young ponies, affectionately called the Mane 6, Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong) , Fluttershy (Andrea Libman), Pinkie Pie (Andrea Libman), Applejack (Ashleigh Ball), Rainbow Dash (Ashleigh Ball) and Rarity (Tabitha German) , and their daily adventures in finding more about the magic of Friendship. And yes, while the show was initially targeted to young children, some episodes have included some seriously adult themes, like brainwashing, identity theft, and mass destruction, which seems to have drawn in a wider audience, including adult males, such as myself. But that’s enough backstory, let’s get into the movie.

Even before you step into the theatre, one look at the cast should tell you this movie has no holds barred. With the Mane 6 having their original TV show cast, guest appearances include Captain Celaeno (Zoe Saldana), Princess Skystar (Kristin Chenoweth), Tempest Shadow (Emily Blunt) and af course, Sia as Songbird Serenade. Yes. That Sia.
While the Mane 6 seem to have their usual, fantastic performances in order, a lot of these new characters are barely given any time to be developed, in fact one I left the movie, I couldn’t even remember anyone but the main villain’s name.

After the 4, feature-length, TV- released, Equestria Girls titles that explored what the ponies might be like in a human world, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: The Movie is the first in the franchise that takes its setting in the natural setting of the TV series, Equestria.
And that’s not the only big difference you’ll notice. The animation is clearly more hig -end, with rounder shapes and shadows, and a more 3D looking effect to the whole thing. While some shots did seem a bit strange, especially when compared to the TV show, there were other, beautifully animated shots, such as one in the beginning with Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong) in front of the shining sun, that seems to justify the high-budget animation. There is a certain scene involving a windmill, and that is one example of where the 3D truly shines.

If you’ve watched the show, then you pretty much know what to expect in terms of plot. One fine day, when everything is going great, in this case, on the day of the Festival of Friendship (original I know), an evil villain shows up and attacks the gang, entraps the three most powerful beings in existence with ease, and the Mane 6 must go on a chase to find the magical cure. (Yes this is what you’re missing out on). While the plot has been overplayed a million different times, it seems work rather well in holding both its young and old audiences alike. While sometimes, there are plot holes you wish could be explained, a simple plot is probably forgivable, when you take account its target demographic.

The Mane 6 from left to right: Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Fluttershy

As for the jokes in the movie, regular bronies and pegasisters can expect their fair share of references and Easter eggs. Fluttershy’s famous “yay”, the occasional “squee”, even Pinkie Pie’s amazing fourth wall breaking, which takes its time to show up, is present. And who could forget Rarity’s over-the-top drama. “I simply can’t even.” The movie even manages to squeeze every one of their side and background characters from the TV show into little scenes here and there. There are, of course, plenty of visual jokes for the kids, but there are some jokes that could only work in this day and age. A potion made to resemble a cell phone, even ringing to something uncannily similar to an iPhone’s ring tone, and a shameless “Hungry Hungry Hippo” joke. Good job Hasbro. But it was the numerous jokes involving Spike (Cathy Weseluck), Twilight’s dragon companion, that had me uncontrollably bursting into laughter in the theatre. There is even a Shining reference, albeit not very scary.

The movie also is able to jump between several typical tropes quite easily, starting off from the typical happy celebration, to an ominous declaration of war, to something out on action movie, before gliding into a thriller and suspense vibe, even swinging into a pirate sequence, followed by some underwater fun, all this before the grand finale.
The grand finale, is of course, another action sequence, which manages to be amazingly cool as well as stupidly funny, while having its fair share of cheesiness in it. My personal favourite was the moment that Pinkie Pie’s Party Cannon not only became canon, but also useful to the plot.

And who could forget the songs! Ever feel like people just burst randomly into songs all the time in movies? Well, this movie takes it and runs with it. There’s even a joke which specifically calls out a song’s bad timing. But that being said, you have your run of the mill, happy feel good songs from the Mane 6, a dark and gloomy (though relatable) one from the movie’s main villain, and of course, to top it all off, Sia’s main role in the movie, her song Rainbow. Even in pony form, she dons a concealing wig and leaves the dancing to her talented backup dancers.

So, if you’re a fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, there’s no question, you need to watch this movie. If you’re new to the franchise, and want an introduction, or maybe a feel-good time, where you can shut your brain off for an hour and a half, give this movie a try. And who knows? Maybe you might even become a fan yourself!

Written by: Rex Ho


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