My Little Pony
Director: Jayson Thiessen
Cast: Ashleigh Ball, Andrea Libman, Emily Blunt, Zoe Saldana
Based on the 2010 TV Series, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (which in turn was created on the success of the My Little Pony toy line), the animated musical film is nothing more than a dud. Too inane to appeal to adults, even the kids that enjoy this one might have to lower their expectations before entering the cinema hall.
The first twenty minutes of My Little Pony have the power to kill the entire story in one clean sweep. Though it gets a little more watchable after the adventure begins, it leaves the viewer disappointed on multiple levels. Even the animation, which is usually the high point of those films that fail to come up with a decent story, is just about average – which begs the question: why would you go watch it in the first place? Well, if your child possesses the range of toys the story is inspired by, it’s a good bet for sure. Otherwise, it’s a tough sell.
My Little Pony is presented as a musical, with the characters breaking into song at every given opportunity. This aspect, along with a blast of colour flooding the screen throughout, may have your children interested. But the story, if anyone cares for such specifics, is predominantly a snooze fest. The only parts that work well involve Capper (the con-artist alley cat) and the pirate ship headed by the Captain Celaeno (the humanoid parrot) – and these are only part of the supporting acts. I can’t think of one instance of good entertainment from the main cast of ponies. While humour plays a pivotal role in most good animated features, it falls flat in My Little Pony. Again, what little laughter there is on offer, comes from the supporting cast.
The ponies of Equestria are preparing for their very first Friendship Festival under the organisational skills of Princess Twilight Sparkle. As Twilight and her friends scurry about putting the finishing touches to the event, their upcoming party is spoiled by an invasion of storm creatures headed by Tempest Shadow (a broken-horned unicorn). Twilight’s fellow princesses are incapacitated by Tempest Shadow’s magic. Just before being trapped by the spell, one of the princesses utters the incomplete phrase, ‘the queen of the hippo’, while seeking help. Twilight flees with her five friends, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Applejack, Fluttershy, and her dragon assistant, Spike. They set out in search of the elusive queen of the hippos, in order to rid Equestria of the Storm King’s stranglehold.
My Little Pony proves to be a huge disappointment. Ordinary animation, a subpar storyline with a serious dearth of humour, and perhaps too childish to be appreciated by discerning children, the film fails to capture your imagination. It isn’t new to base ambitious projects on toy lines and ranges. But the makers must not assume that the film will sell on the popularity of the brand, alone. To think such a thing would be an insult to your target audience. Hopefully, they learn from the pitfalls of this effort, and come up with something better the next time around