Oct-11-2017

Reel Snippet – My Little Pony: the Movie (2017)

Summary: Welcome to the magical land of Equestria, where magic is real and technicolor ponies rein supreme. Of note are the bookish and neurotic Princess Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong), her eager young dragon assistant Spike (Cathy Weseluck), the hard working and forward Applejack, the eager and bombastic Rainbow Dash (both Ashleigh Ball), the fashionable and elegant Rarity (Tabitha St. Germain), the timid and and compassionate Fluttershy, and the exuberant and excitable Pinkie Pie (both Andrea Libman). When their homeland is invaded by a cold unicorn named Commander Tempest (Emily Blunt), an emissary of a conqueror known as the Storm King (Liev Schreiber), it falls to this group of friends to seek help from a ruler they heard mentioned during the attack. Their journey takes them far outside of Equestria as they travel through dangerous territory, meet colorful friends and foes, and test their bonds in the face of a perilous and daring adventure to save their home.

Review: My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) is epic, funny, dark, lighthearted, mature, and a lot better than anything made to sell toys has any right to be. In other words, it’s exactly like the show. It has a lot of fun with its concept, but still knows when to be serious and turns into quite the adventure tale. Okay, a lot of the plot points are pretty standard, but it does them really well and besides, something doesn’t have to be new to be good.

The animation is spectacularly gorgeous, a huge upgrade from the show which relies solely on Flash animation. Granted, the show still looks good, but Flash does have some limitations compared to something hand drawn. What we have makes the actions and emotions much more fluid and epic, giving it that extra punch that the big screen needs. It may take some getting used to for some, but I couldn’t get enough of it.

This movie has guest stars galore, much like the original back in the 80s did with stars like Danny Devito, Cloris Leachman, Tony Randall, and Madeline Kahn, to name a few. Here, we have Emily Blunt, Zoe Saldaña, Liev Schreiber, Michael Peña, Uzo Adubo, Kristen Chenowith, Taye Diggs, and Sia, who lend themselves to some very memorable characters. My favorite has to be Capper (Taye Diggs), who’s charming, smooth, and just plain cool. A close second would be Emily Blunt’s Commander Tempest, a rather chilling villain that comes across rather threatening for a kids’ film. I can imagine a lot of children being on the edge of their seats during her scenes.

Characters who don’t do it for me, however, are the two male villains. The Storm King had potential as a sort of comedic villain, but wound up being underwhelming and one-note. Grubber (Michael Peña), who was supposed to be the comic relief villain, also left no impact on me, though at least his humor didn’t leave me hating life. He was, to put it simply, inoffensively unfunny. To add another few gripes , I found the ponified version of “We Got The Beat” to be a bit too cheeky and certain lines like “Friendship didn’t fail me, I failed friendship” to be kinda cornball.

So now the big question: will non-fans get as much out of it as fans? The answer is definitely no, but I don’t think that makes the movie worthless. It may be tough to figure out the personalities and significance of the main characters while also getting introduced to a ton of new ones, but the film also conveys the adventurous feel of the series and shows that it’s not all tea parties and gender stereotypes. On the whole, I know I can’t recommend it to everyone, but if you want to understand what people see in the show, this is a good place to start… along with the multitude of documentaries and conventions. Those might help too.

Fun Tidbit: Zoe Saldaña’s character, a birdlike air pirate, is named Celaeno. This identifies her and her crew as harpies (women-bird hybrids from Greek mythology), as this name is shared by a harpy who frequently interacted with Aeneas.


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