My Little Pony: The Movie doesn’t really need to do much to succeed.
Pushing for ambition
Jayson Thiessen’s film only had to come up with a bigger plot to deserve to be called “the movie.” It needed to be the main event especially when compared to the many episodes of the long-running My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic that spawned it.
It already has the characters and the curiously charming, traditionally animated aesthetic. It just has to have the characters do more than just prance around spreading cute slogans about friendship. It just has to broaden the world those little ponies live in. It just needed to push for a little more ambition.
In that sense, My Little Pony: The Movie is undoubtedly successful.
The film has a band of ponies, headed by Twilight (Tara Strong), stepping out of Equestria, the fictional community headed by a council of princesses with various powers, to recruit help to defeat an overlord named The Storm King (Liev Schreiber) and his general Tempest (Emily Blunt), a disgruntled unicorn who is lacking a horn.
The ponies jump from one location to another, with the film maximizing the more expansive storyline to explore locations looking less friendlier than their jovial town. They meet new friends, all emphasizing the core value that the show espouses. My Little Pony: The Movie definitely feels like an event, the same way all toys and cartoons brandishing the words “the movie” manage to do.
Other side of the coin
That said, My Little Pony: The Movie will definitely keep the kids wide-eyed with wonder. It is great fan service.
Now, the other side of the coin is that when a children’s television show or toy graduates to become a movie, it has to acknowledge that it now has to also please the parents who will have to accompany the children that they are targeting.
The very best examples of these kinds of movies, such as Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s The LEGO Movie (2014) and Stephen Hillenburg and Mark Osbourne’s The SpogeBob SquarePants Movie (2004) contain a healthy dose of sarcasm to tickle the imaginations of adults.
My Little Pony: The Movie scrimps on sarcasm, relying heavily on safe and cutesy humor to sway the adults to ride along its song-ridden adventure. The effort isn’t enough but thankfully, the film is too amiable to provoke disdain. The unadulterated barrage of pinks, smiles, and rainbows is surprisingly tolerable, even to the most stone-hearted of adults.
The film breezes through, notwithstanding some kinks and clunks along the way, to its predictably happy ending. – Rappler.com
Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas’ ‘Tirad Pass.’ Since then, he’s been on a mission to find better memories with Philippine cinema.
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