Movie Review: My Little Pony the Movie

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Movie Review: My Little Pony the Movie

My Little Pony the Movie does nothing wrong; it also doesn’t do anything right. It is a safe, pedestrian- equestrian film full of fluff that dissolves like bland cotton candy.

We really haven’t had a major animated blockbuster on our hands in 2017. It seems like animated joy has abandoned this year, and no film is brave enough to try and inject some fun into our bleak existences. My Little Pony the Movie is not going to be that film, either. It can’t save 2017, because it doesn’t even belong in 2017. Why Lionsgate waited so long after the MLP heyday to release such a safe, paint by numbers movie is beyond me. This film is empty calories, calories it burns up well before the credits roll.

My Little Pony the Movie (2017)

My Little Pony
Welcome to an epic adventure with exotic locales! Wait… this wasn’t in the movie! Promo material, are you lying to us again!?!

Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong) is about to throw the biggest friendship bash ever. Which is her wont, as she IS the Princess of Friendship. Everything is in place for a rip-roaring good time… until the Storm King (Liev Shreiber) sends Tempest Shadow (Emily Blunt) and her goons to kidnap the Pony Princesses and steal their magic. Twilight and her friends (apparently called the Mane 6) escape the assault and go beyond the borders of Equestria to find help. Lots of singing ensues.

Friendship is Tragic

If I had to pin down the central theme of My Little Pony the Movie, it would be that songs are the key to turning backstabbing enemies into best-est of friends. Because it happens again, and again, and again. All the new characters in the movie try to trick, trap, enslave, and otherwise foil our fillies. One song later, they’re besties. The only time they make a friend out of genuine friend material, Twilight Sparkle stabs THEM in the back, and loses their best shot at stopping the Storm King. If you were looking for a story with a moral, look elsewhere.

My Little Pony
So, one of you tried to sell us into slavery, most of you tried to drop us to our doom, and the last one banished us in our hour of need. We cool. Cue the music!

No Trick Pony (or alternately, 8:38)

Everything else in My Little Pony is fast, frenetic, colorful… and entirely forgettable. Each of the Mane 6 gets a song (except Fluttershy, who might as well have been transparent for all the good she did), and I promptly forgot each ditty the second after it was done. The jokes were almost non-existent. Even Pinkie, the certifiably insane Pony did little to move the meter.

My Little Pony
Not Really

I didn’t really get into the MLP thing; Powerpuff girls was the last cartoon for kids I gave a darn about. But I have seen a few episodes, and I know how unique and quirky each pony is supposed to be. And that’s with 22 minutes of runtime to work with. At one hour and forty four minutes, my biggest complaint was how little each pony got to do, other than sing.

Speaking of run-time, even at sub-two hours this movie is too long. The movie started at 7:30. At 8:38, I looked at my phone hoping that we were close the end. The plot was begging to be wrapped up then. They found their magical hippogriff cousins and all should have been well. Instead, they add a “the Princess of Friendship screws up by being a horrible friend” drama arc and waste more of my time. There wasn’t a coherent moral to this story, folks, stop trying to milk it.

Unbridled Regret

The My Little Pony franchise is over the top and wacky. None of that translated into the movie. It was 6 generic horses on a generic quest to defeat generic evil. This could have been insanely funny, if they had kept it insane. Instead they took the safe path, straight to Vanilla-ville. The only credit I can give to the movie is that the animation was nice, and they didn’t cram pop-culture or product placement down your throats.

My Little Pony
Don’t worry though, Funko Pop! will still try and ram merch down your throat. It’s what they do.
My Little Pony the Movie
“I mean, even I got a chuckle out of the emo-sourpuss being named Fizzlepop Berrytwist

There was only one other group in the theater with me: a family with a little girl, all decked out in her Princessy Pony best. She had more joy and exuberance in her than My Little Pony the Movie. The movie even stifled that; I didn’t hear her laugh once. Not even when they revealed that Tempest Shadow’s real name was Fizzlepop Berrytwist. And that was their best joke!

The trailer for Pixar’s Coco played before the movie. Hopefully that movie can scare up a good time (and some good box office business), because these Ponies… they don’t got this.

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