I may not be a huge Brony (Male fan of ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’, in case you were out of the loop) enough to have seen every episode of the popular sensation, created by Lauren Faust, and based on the toy line by Hasbro; but from what I have seen, there was no reason for ‘My Little Pony: The Movie’ to exist other than to provide fan service. I am not saying this is a terrible follow-up, it just seems slow for an hour-and-a-half children’s movie; and despite its shoehorned musical numbers being toe-tappingly fun, the forced comedy barely helps; I barely heard any laughs from the few children in the audience. I cannot say I did not chuckle at a couple of its lines; ‘My Little Pony: The Movie’ has its cutesy elements that made ‘Friendship is Magic’ entertaining.
What I really liked about ‘Friendship is Magic’ are its brightly colored animation style and characters who look and feel similar to frosted birthday cupcakes; small, colorful, and sweet. The likes of Princess Twilight Sparkle, (Voiced by Tara Strong) who looks like the love child of Pegasus and a titular pony; the hyperactive, cutesy Pinkie Pie and timid, animal-loving Fluttershy (Both voiced by Andrea Libman); the Southern-accented apple farmer Applejack and the tomboyish Rainbow Dash – (Both voiced by Ashleigh Ball) whose middle name is “Speed”; the posh and perfect Rarity (Voiced by Tabitha St. Germain); and Spike the Dragon – (Voiced by Cathy Weseluck) Twilight Sparkle’s assistant/best friend/pet, are what make the cartoon entertaining and make the journey in this movie more bearable, even if they feel more like stereotypical versions of themselves.
Since this is a movie spin-off, ‘My Little Pony: The Movie’ cannot simply be limited to the land of Equestria, there has to be an adventure with danger and peril involved, leading them to meet new characters with a talent of celebrities to voice them, and never come back if the show keeps going. The first two of these characters, Shadow Tempest, (Voice of Emily Blunt) a unicorn with a broken horn and a tragic past to accompany it, and her food-loving assistant, Grubber, (Voice of Michael Pena) are sent by the evil Storm King (Voice of Liev Schrieber in his first family friendly role, which he says is his “most intense” to date.) to destroy these ponies first Friendship Festival where a concert has been planned for a famous pony named Songbird Serenade (Who has the voice and likeness of Sia, whose newest song ‘Rainbow’ may get an Oscar nod.), leading the Mane 6 (As the characters I mentioned above are called) to go on an adventure to save their precious land. Along the way, they venture various lands and encounter characters; a desert city where they get “saved” by a cool cat (literally) named Capper; (Voice of Taye Diggs) a flying pirate ship headed by a parrot captain named Celaeno; (Voice of Zoe Saldana) and an underwater land run by the two seaponies, Queen Novo (Voice of Uzo Aduba – ‘Orange is the New Black’) and her excitable daughter, Princess Skystar. (Voice of Kristin Chenoweth)
You can call that “too many characters crammed into one movie”, especially with the way it all comes together; or you can call it celebrity cameos. I kind of see it as fun even if the movie tends to drag. But if I was really being honest, ‘My Little Pony’ worked better as a cartoon than a feature film.