I had the pleasure of taking my daughter and 4 of her friends to see the new My Little Pony movie this weekend. I was expecting very little, VERY little, but I came out of it quite entertained and they absolutely loved it.
Kinsey and I have been watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (MLP:FiM) since just after the show first aired. It's a decent show: funny, well written, fun musical numbers and has good lessons for all. The show's third season just ended in earlier this year and we are looking forward to a fourth. It's basically an updated reboot of the 80's cartoon where ponies live like humans in a sort of modern medieval world. Some have pegasus wings to fly, some have unicorn horns that let them use magic, and a few have both and are princesses.
The new movie, Equestria Girls, takes place where season 3 leaves off. The new princess, Twilight Sparkle, has gone to the Crystal Empire with her friends when her crown is stolen. This is no ordinary crown, of course, for it holds the element of Magic in it which the ponies need for protection.
The pony who stole the crown (appropriately named Sunset Shimmer) escapes into a magic mirror which is in reality a portal to an alternate universe. When Twilight Sparkle follows into this new world she finds herself transformed into a human in a world populated by human versions of all her pony friends. She has to then get the crown back and return to her world before the portal closes.
When I first saw the trailer I was appalled. I know Hasbro is big on making cartoons to advertise their toys, but this seemed like an excuse to create new dolls and make some more money. I thought it was going to be a cheap spin-off of the show and totally ruin what makes MLP:FiM such a good cartoon. I was very wrong.
The movie was very entertaining. It was well written, it didn't just throw things together and expect us to believe it, it actually worked as a movie.They actually explained that it was an alternate dimension with copies of everyone, even Twilight Sparkle (though her duplicate was not shown, it was mentioned). And watching Twilight Sparkle adjust to walking on two legs and having hands was hilarious.
The movie was also well made; the animation was well done and looked like the TV show, and the music was fun to listen to. The only issue I had with how it looked were all the boots. This human world is one where boots are THE fashion, though I think the reasoning is because no one knew how to draw feet. Or maybe that's how the dolls are going to look, because you know there will be dolls.
I must admit, though, that as a fan of the TV show I probably enjoyed it much more than someone who had no idea what MLP was. There was a lot of fan service, shout outs to previous episodes of the show, and nearly every background pony was shown in human form. I spent most of the movie keeping an eye out for Derpy Hooves, the pony that was mistakenly drawn with crazy eyes in season one and has become a fan favorite (she shows up as the credits are ending). I also enjoyed the way they played with the cutie marks, having everyone wearing them in diffferent ways (Twilight has her's on her backpack then on her dress, others wear theirs as buttons or on tee shirts and headbands). It was fun to spot the cutie marks, and I watched to see if any girls who have no cutie marks in the pony world were perhaps wearing them as humans... yes, I was looking for easter eggs.
The movie was made just like the show, good for it's target audience of young girls but also entertaining for it's adult audience as well. Actually, the adult audience was one of the best things about the movie.
MLP:FiM became very popular with males from maybe 13-40 (Bronies they are called) and the theater showing the movie was probably 75% males in that age group. While outside the theater waiting for one of Kinsey's friends to show up I saw more than a few girls leave disappointed because the tickets were sold out. I was very surprised to see some guys dressed up for the event, it seemed a little over the top to me but to each his own. I was more upset that the movie has such a limited run and that so many little girls would not get to see it because too many older guys were going.
With all these guys watching a kids movie movie you'd think it would be strange or loud or something, but it was really fun. There were one or two appropriate comments shouted out, there were many "Ooooos" and "Ahhhhs" and lots of pointed at the screen followed by "did you see (such and such pony)". It was a blast watching it with an audience and I am glad I was able to go.
As I said, though, many kids (and Bronies) will be out of luck when it comes to seeing it in theaters because of a limited run. It was only playing for 2 days here, one showing per day, with another 2 days in July for it to be shown once each of those days. It was also in maybe 3 theaters around town, all of them Carmike Theaters. If you are looking to see it, here is a link for looking up theaters and showtimes.
So, if you are a fan of the show or an 8-12 year old girl or a Bronie then you should like this movie. If you have never heard of MLP, you may like it but you will miss out on a lot of the references and other inside stuff.
I leave you with a sample of the movie's music from Youtube.
Also, I can't believe I just wrote a thousand words on My Little Pony. That seems crazy to me when I have a hard time writing a three page report on something like Utilitarianism for school. Ponies are more fun than school, though.