Cartoons have drastically changed over the years, and in many cases not for the better. However, amidst this new wave of modern art stand a few series that have soared in popularity enough to acquire mass marketing. One of these “treasures” is My Little Pony, a collection of toys that have kept their hooves into the pulse of relevance and captured the hearts of many ages. This weekend, the series proved popular enough to warrant a movie, in hopes of keeping the magic strong. Robbie K here, accompanied with my friends, with another review, hoping to help guide your viewing pleasures. Let’s go!
Cute: It’s a movie about talking ponies, of course it is going to be cute. This film capitalizes on the big sparkling eyes, high pitched voices, and snappy one-liners that are all the rage in kid’s animation. But amidst these ear-splitting tactics, the theme of friendship may also warm your heart and make you say Awwwwwww, much like many of the young viewers did today. Side note, the cute also coincides with a family friendly theme as well, so one doesn’t have to worry about mature surprises.
Pony Adventure: When TV shows are given a block buster movie, one fears that it may deviate far from the show, unless you’re a kid in which case you don’t care. Good news, this movie feels like an extended My Little Pony episode, filled with all the adventure like elements that have made the show fun. The simplistic goals, the musical numbers, the feel-good atmosphere, and the grandiose villain whose bark is worse than its bite. It’s all packed in the 1.5 hours and amplified with an atmosphere that feels like a kid’s version of lord of the rings. All this positivity will certainly bring you into the kid mindset and add a little more joy to your experience, or annoy you depending on your tolerance to this series.
The Animation: One thing I love about Hollywood budgets is the ability to capitalize on technology. My Little Pony took the technology and ran with it, crafting an incredible display of cartoon animation to keep me hooked into the movie. The movements of the heroes are fluid, the flying in particular was impressive to watch as it added excitement to the mix. The attention to detail to accurately capture lip movements is also impressive, as it adds that anthropomorphic touch they were going for. Outside of movements though, this film is a colorful display, brimming with various hues and shades that brings out the unique character design even more.
Annoying at times: If you aren’t younger than 8, or a die-hard fan of the series, you will most likely get a little annoyed at times. The movie goes a little overboard with its gimmicks, primarily with Pinkie Pie’s overzealous energy, that hits that tolerance wall and shatters it. These elements are to be expected, but when you combine it with younger audience member’s inability to remain quiet… it pushes those buttons even faster.
Shallow Elements: I didn’t expect much character development as this was done in the show. However, the elements you are going to base the story on, I expect there to be more commitment to this. My Little Pony the movie was able to execute a few characters quite well including Tempest and her little crony alongside Princess Twilight. The other characters though…well they dropped the ball on their development pretty hard. Many of the new additions to the universe come in with a flashy opening, often in the form of an inspiring song that holds promise for a colorful character. But then that flash fades and the characters are hastily tossed to the background until the end. The multiple incidents of glazing over the characters didn’t impress me, and proves again that too many characters in a movie, do not make quality films.
Not Theatrical Special: Despite the shortcomings of the characters, the story team managed to craft a salvageable story. Unfortunately, it didn’t’ feel theater worthy to me. Sure, the animation and voice acting were incredible and worthy of the bigger budget. Then the predictable plot hit me and I realized this story didn’t stand out enough to be considered unique. In addition, the movie seemed geared towards the music instead of the other crucial elements, which only further made me feel this wasn’t the theater worthy masterpiece they wanted. Such a shame given the groundwork already laid by the shows team.
My Little Pony the Movie should have been, My Little Pony the Extended 5 part special. It is a cute, fun, well-animated adventure perfect for the younger audience members, but outside of that there isn’t much. While it does capture the feeling of the series, there wasn’t enough in this movie to warrant a theater viewing. Die-hard fans won’t mind much of my dislikes, but for the general audience your money is better spent on a more balanced movie that won’t make you pull your hair out or try to take a nap.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.0