My Little Pony: The Movie , the culmination of seven years, staples overcome, fandom created, controversies endured and lives enriched, now. Equestria, the land of ponies, is invaded and our heroes must seek help. They wander out of their homeland into a world beyond friendship.
What Else is New: For as magical as friendship might be, the T.V. show that spawned this movie has already demonstrated it. The movie truly runs with its premise, I’ll grant. The protagonist, sworn protector of her subjects, must save the day but doubts the very help she needs. The movie builds on this by raising the stakes and leading the character towards a definitive make-or-break point. But such ideas have been explored in previous stories. Knowing that, regardless of how good the build-up gets, we’re stuck wondering why we’re being taught what we already know instead of anticipating what’s to come. In addition, throughout the movie is comic relief designed to regulate the mood and keep the kids from bawling their eyes out too much to enjoy the movie. But its handled perhaps the worst possible way. Most of the humor is not only bad but inserted where it shouldn’t be. Instead of regulating the mood, most of the jokes completely change it, then the movie just tries to turn it back, despite it already being ruined. Even the villain is nothing but poor comic relief, not just ruining the build-up, but ensuring that it never even starts. Infuriatingly, the movie-makers have no excuse for this, because there’s actually a scene wherein the comic relief is used perfectly as a transition from pessimistic to optimistic. Ultimately, good stuff is created but doesn’t live up to its potential.
Today I Learned… Again: The movie presents a problem to our protagonist: can friendship save the day? Unfortunately, this is one of those things that doesn’t work because of what we’ve seen in the show. Friendship always saves the day and the reason given to doubt it has already been touched upon. What potential this had as a lesson is thus hampered by us remembering this, but it still holds some value. The lesson is still told well through the secondary antagonist. Her sympathetic motivations turn her into a medium for the theme being taught. You know, the “friendship is magic” thing. because she presents a formula for the audience to make use of it. Her motivations (while spoilerific to disclose) represent something that could happen in real life. As we see it influence the characters and the story, any one of us can see it and apply its consequences to our own lives.
All is Not Lost: In terms of simple entertainment, this movie has two great strengths: animation and humor. As I said before, the humor is mostly disruptive. But as I also said, it can be made to work and work perfectly. The laugh-out-loud moments may be few but they are very strong, both the independent jokes and the nods to the fandom. Your also liable to drop your jaw a couple times just looking at this movie; the animation is so good.