Selling millions of toys back in the 80’s, the rainbow pack has left their hoof print in nerd culture with the recent Friendship is Magic TV series. As far as that show goes, I’ve caught up on one season based on its screenwriter, Lauren Faust (Powerpuff Girls, Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends and Wander Over Yonder). And too its credit, it does teach a lot of good lessons about being yourself and with others. But this is pretty much a longer episode with a bigger budget, celebrity voices and the feeling of acquiring diabetes from marshmallow vodka without the bottle. Not even The Emoji Movie can prepare you for such madness.
Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong) and company are preparing a festival of friendship (get used to that word). But the horn-broken unicorn, Tempest Shadow (Emily Blunt) invades Equestria in the name of the storm king (Liev Schreiber). Setting out to find the queen of the hippos to aid them in taking back the land, they come across a variety of characters including a con artist cat (Taye Diggs) and a group of parrot pirates (Zoe Seldana) who’s problems are solved as soon as they’re introduced.
Generic? Absolutely, but the over-the-top extreme execution in everything is a huge compensation including many dark curveballs for a sugary acid trip. The side villain, incredibly threatening yet sympathetic. Too bad the main villain is less intimidating than a pop gun. Unlike Lego Ninjago the original pony cast isn’t replaced despite the over saturation of celebrities. But for some reason, all the problems are repetitively resolved with the power of friendship you can practically hear Slappy Squirrel say That was pointless at the end of it all. The songs are hit or miss especially when the transitions are clunky, though the Pinocchio cat gets the catchiest tune. I know this is all over the place and obviously geared more towards kids than a broader age group, but there’s some entertainment to take away after sobering up.
And look, 2D western animation is back on the screen, even if it can feel awkward when combined with the computer animation. But Equestria is expanded upon with new locations, characters that fit the world and run much fluidly no matter the situation. Pinkie Pie definitely gets the royal treatment whenever her emotions go on a psychotic mood swing from happy to hungry. When comparing to Michael Pena’s sidekick role, he’s very restrained and held back from his full potential. And the physical comedy is still some of the best this year: quick, out of nowhere and always leaving an imprint on the victim. When Stacked against the mountain of interchangeable computer animated schlock this year, that’s saying a lot.
For all the uncontrollable insanity, My Little Pony: The Movie is harmless for the fans though I can’t say go see it in theaters unless you’re die hard attached. The same can’t be said for people who aren’t the target audience. They’ll probably end up in a color overdosed coma in just 10 minutes. Will I see it again? Who knows cause in all honesty, one season of the show was much better than this. But from a company that just released it’s fifth Transformers cash grab, it could’ve been much worse.
Pros: Pinkie Pie, Capper, dark moments, sympathetic secondary villain, creative journey, physical comedy, upgraded theatrical 2D animation, ok songs, harmless,
Cons: boring main villain, annoying villain sidekick, quickly resolved problems, awkward song segways, uncanny clashing animations