About six years ago, a year into college, I had a handful of friends that affectionately termed themselves as “bronies”. Almost all of them, at one point or another, tried to get me to watch the show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”. Despite their suggestions, I did not. Why? Because it was a cartoon for little girls. And every time they recommended the show to me, I told them the reason why I wouldn’t listen.
The responses I got back were kind of hilarious.
“Actually, the writing in the show is really smart.”
“The character development is so good.”
“There are so many pop-culture references that are really funny.”
But when the show got a theatrical release, I figured why not? Let’s see if those brony bros were actually on to something.
…They weren’t onto something. This movie is for children, not for grown men with adolescent brains.
Here’s a summary in twenty words or less:
In this movie for children, six characteristically identical horses fight bad guys (sometimes), make new friends (sometimes), and nothing matters.
Now when I say that all of these horses are characteristically identical, I mean that aside from exactly one character trait, these horses might as well be the same person. We have the good pony that’s a princess unicorn, the good pony with a southern accent, the good pony who is conceited, the good pony that is shy, the good pony that flies fast sometimes I don’t know, and finally we have the good pony that is an absolute cancerous abomination.
The list of “things that I hated about this movie” is expansive, but none of them so easily top the list as this ear-sore known as… “Pinkie Pie”. Pinkie Pie is, and I use this term excruciatingly loosely, the designated comic relief. And because this is for children, the movie’s idea of “comic relief” is a pink horse that shouts a lot, says stupid drivel that killed any tone that this movie marginally attempted to have sometimes, and utilizes a heaping dose of “random” humor. She was abysmal, and I cannot stress enough just how much I hate this character.
Every single other pony uses their scarce resemblance of “character development” merely to make character-themed jokes every once in a while.
So the “plot” of this movie is that Princess Twilight Sparkle (the good pony that is a princess unicorn) wants to have a party to impress her sisters and her friends, and this stresses her out or something… and then evil guys come in and take over or something, and then Twilight Sparkle and her friends escape and go through marginally different landscapes to find help or something… and guys, I’m sorry, but I can’t. This whole film was lazy and witless. Why? BECAUSE IT’S A FILM MADE FOR LITTLE GIRLS, BRONIES.
Any sort of “tension” this movie tried to have was ultimately compromised by the fact that the rules for everything instantly changed depending on whether the narrative needed the good guys to win or the bad guys to win… or the bad guys to win but the good guys barely escape just in time, oh my.
Every single victory any of these characters go through is stupid and/or unearned. They had this repeat occurrence where they would meet a bad guy character, but they change them into a good guy for the stupidest reasons ever.
There’s this sly cat character who tries to con the ponies into being sold so that the cat can pay off his debts or something. But the cat eventually changes his mind because the ponies were nice to him I think…
There’s a scene were some birds were former pirates, but now are flying a cargo ship around for the main bad guy, but the ponies convince them to be pirates again because “Aww, you guys use to be cool! Be cool again!”
There’s this, uh, ocean area where hippo-griffs (which are part pony, part griffin… I think) that turned themselves into… something else that was part pony, part griffin, and part mermaid because of a shiny orb that can transform creatures into other creatures and… uh… the ponies get kicked out of that place because Twilight Sparkle breaks character and tries to steal the orb from them…
… and holy crap I totally forgot. So Twilight Sparkle does something bad, and then she and all the other ponies have this obligatory conflict transition that brought forth the final act, and it was totally out of left field. It came out of nowhere. I hate this movie, guys.
Oh there’s also this bad guy pony played by Emily Blunt (yes, you read that correctly). And bad guy pony is working for the main bad guy because, umm… she broke her unicorn horn off and she wants it back.
And guys, would you believe it if I say that the main bad guy ends up betraying Emily Blunt Bad Pony and then she ends up becoming a good pony? WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT IF I TOLD YOU THAT?????
Also this movie has music breaks. And every time they stopped the narrative to sing a song, I had the same response every single time:
“Oh yeah, this effing crap show is a musical, too.”
And except for Emily Blunt’s solo song, all of the music numbers were just filler to pad out this absolutely empty plot.
But I’m not going to give My Little Pony: The Movie my worst rating. Why? For two reasons:
The animation was actually great at times.
This movie is made for little girls.
And that’s the thing. I hated this movie, but it was hard for me to go all-in on my hatred because I knew what this film was trying to be: a cute movie for little girls. The only people who pretend that My Little Pony is a work of art made for adults are male losers who have made the term “brony” a laughingstock.
Unlike Disney, who churns out mediocre kids films that somehow get praised unironically by swaths of adults, it’s not like My Little Pony is widely regarded as a movie for all ages. It stays in it’s lane.
However, that doesn’t mean this film isn’t lazy, obnoxious, boring, and nonsensical. So my grace for this movie is going to be minimal. If you have an infant child who loves My Little Pony, they will probably love this movie. Otherwise, don’t freaking see it. Holy crap, don’t see it.