Hello, Spongey here.
Well…here we are. The first review I may actually get killed over. And half of my readers (all two of them) won’t get why.
I suppose I should start from the beginning. I’m sure i’ve talked about My Little Pony: Friendship is magic before on here. The 4th generation of My little pony, that adult men have fallen in love.
It has good writing, likable characters, and impressive Flash animation. The Bronies eat up anything the show throws at them…until they don’t like it and they go apeshit. It’s not news that bronies are known for being thick skinned…and even though I am one, it does…kind of bug me.
It seems like the dumbest things cause a shit-fit. DERPY IS OFFENSE?! TWLIGHT IS A PRINCESS?! RUINED FOREVER!
Now, not all Bronies are like this. Hell, i’m the first to defend them. But it’s true that some things just too much hate when it comes to this show. I mean, there’s some episodes that are hated for pretty much no reasons…but I’ll discuss that at a later date. Princess Twilight inescapably bugged me, since people acted like it was awful without even thinking.
Which brings us to this movie. Way back when it just a rumor, people freaked and..I was one of them. One aspect of the concept made me not want to see it any form whatsoever. But then more info came out, and I started to mellow out.
However, I’m in a sticky spot. You know how wound out people are getting over this movie, even now that it’s out. It doesn’t help that Hasbro gave it a limited theatrical release, when it was clearly a TV movie.
If I praise it, the detractors will hate me and claim I’m in cahoots with Hasbro or something. If I pan it, the crazy fanboys will hate me and say I’m not giving it a chance. So no matter what, I’m screwed. However, I went in with an open mind and I’m here to present my review. No one reads this blog, so I don’t need to be worried…but when it comes to this movie, I have to be ready for anything.
I’d explain the concept of the show and this movie, but trust me, I’ll explain later.
This, is Equestria Girls
Following the events of “Magical Mystery Cure“, Twilight Sparkle is still fretting about her recent coronation to a Princess as she and her Ponyville friends travel to the Crystal Empire. There, Sunset Shimmer, a former and bitter student of Princess Celestia, appears through a magic mirror and steals Twilight’s crown, one of the Elements of Harmony. In the tussle, the crown falls through the mirror and Sunset follows it through. Princess Celestia informs Twilight and her friends that the mirror leads to a different world, and that Twilight alone must cross over to retrieve it before the portal closes again for thirty moons, or else the Elements of Harmony will no longer protect Equestria. Twilight and Spike enter into the world and find themselves…transformed into a teenage human girl and dog. She is in a world full of humans, at a high school where Sunset Shimmer is the alpha Bitch.
Twilight decides she must win the crown by competing with Sunset to run for Princess of the Fall Formal, who has won it nearly uncontested for the last three years due to her coercion of the student body Will she get it before it’s too late, or will Hasbro just end their cash cow franchise for no reason?
So, I guess it’s time to discuss the reasons people went crazy: Human ponies. It all started with a small article someone found, showing a pic of human ponies for a possible spin off show. Rumors went crazy until the movie actually came out and oh look, it’s actual canon with the show and it makes sense.
I myself had no problem with human ponies, since it could lead to funny jokes. But what did I go crazy over? Ahem…HIGH SCHOOL. Human ponies IN HIGH SCHOOL BULLSHIT. I thought it was an awful idea…but then I saw it and..oh my god, they did it! They pulled off HUMAN PONIES IN HIGH SCHOOL!
But wait, first the story itself. It’s pretty simple, and not exactly complex or new. But, it’s not an actual big movie so it’s TV plotting, which is usually simple. It works for this show, as they tie in stuff only this show could bring. Thus, it becomes fresh. The whole human thing isn’t forced, and t ties in with the story.
Though I do wonder why high school was involved in the first place, I thought they did it…right! For one, there’s no bullshit. No tests, no drama, no love triangles. Well, there is a romance but we’ll get to it later. They do have the formal thing, but it feels natural and it mangles to be like high school without turning into Desgrassi with ponies.
The pacing does start out kind of fast. Since it’s a TV movie and mostly an extended episode, it starts off pretty quick and the conflict happens about 5 minutes in. I feel they could have set more atmosphere to start with, but once we move to high school, things go slower. It’s about 72 minutes, and they fill it fine and I got what I wanted in that time.
It doesn’t feel panderous, and it feels like a true FIM product, not some lame movie made in a week. The story works, though there are low points. There is a romance so pointless, weak, and underdeveloped that they could have cut it and nothing would change.
Also, Sunset’s ultimate fate is…weird. No spoilers, but it’s odd. It works thematically, but it did leave my asking questions and I think they could have fixed that. Also, some minor things were odd. See, see every pony has a Canterlot High version most of which are just cameos. Yet, they all have their original names. What human names their kid FLUTTERSHY?!
Also, Twlight never goes to class. Ever. No one sees her roaming the halls and asks her to get her flank to class. Okay, now I’m nitpicking. Also, there is a message and while it’s cliché even by this show’s standards, it still worked quite while and the climax…is awesome. You just have to see it.
The humor helps the story, as most of it has Twilight trying to do human things like writing and such. All of it is hilarious and I also loved the cameos. Oh, they even sneak in a funny slam at youtube commenters which was AWESOME.
The story is kind of cliché but really guys, it’s no more cliché than the show’s episodes can be. They even get in some nice development, but we’ll get to that later. A decent story with good humor, that never talks down to it’s audience. Much like the show itself.
Being a sort of TV Movie, you can’t expect amazing animation, but for it is, it’s pretty decent. Everything is fluid, the colors are bright, and for flash, it can be detailed and the character animations are smooth.
I thought the animation in the human world would be cheap, but it’s as good as the show’s animation. It times there are weak spots and errors, but for a TV show, it’s good.
But let’s get to the thing everyone is talking about: The Character designs. I like them. That’s right, I like how the human ponies look…sort of. They are well designed but…why are they still pastel colored? This seems small, but in a human world it doesn’t work. It makes them look too much like their pony versions, and it just takes me out. Also, they needed to work on the hair, as it too makes them look less human.
I only talked about the animation to discuss the designs, to be honest. For the most part, they work but I wish they looked NORMAL. The animation itself is as good as it was in the show, and the climax gets to show off some impressive stuff. Overall, nicely done.
Of course there are songs, it’s my little pony! There are about 5, one of which gets a reprise. While they aren’t as amazing as some of the shows songs, they are tolerable.
They are mostly catchy. They aren’t very memorable, for the most part, but I’ve heard worse. The best song is “Helping Twilight Win the Crowd. ” as the main 6 tries to get people to vote for twilight as the princess the formal. It’s a buildup song and it has a beat so catchy it will never leave my head.
..That’s about it, really. There are mostly just enjoyable but basic. Only 2 standout, while the rest are just…there. Not bad, you would just want more. But the great song is great enough to make for it. Moving on!
There are quite a few in the show, but thankfully the movie only gives spotlight to a few, so let’s start.
First, our heroine, Twilight Sparkle, voiced by Tara Strong. She became a princess at the end of Season 3, and in this movie she’s still not used to it. She doesn’t know if she can do what she used to do, as a princess. Things only get worse when he becomes human. However, through the course of the movie she helps mend some friendships and has to use some her her powers (both kinds, but no spoilers) to save the day. She learns what it means to be a princess-and how important it is that she has others to help her relate with those she will be leading one day
See, this is why I like the season 3 finale. It really added to her character, and this movie does that very well. It shows how she adjusts to it, and by the end, she’s ready. I’m sure the show itself will go more in depth, but the movie does fine. Tara strong does her usual amazing job, making Twilight incredibly likable, and of course funny. She carried this movie, but thankfully the rest are fine.
Next, our villain, Sunset Shimmer, voiced by Rebecca Shoichet. She’s okay. . Yes, some fans are split over her, calling her cliché and whatever. Yes, she is kind of cliché, with a plan to TAKE OVER THE WORLD and such. There isn’t too much to her, but man is she fun. The voice actress clearly had fun with her role, and she is quite entertaining. Plus, there is stuff to her, like the former student thing. They hint early on that Celestia still has affection for her, and even hopes she would return though of course that goes south.
At one point, you can tell Celestia feels that not keeping her on the path good is her greatest failure. So yeah, she added something, even if it was subtle. So what happens at the end does make sense, and it’s even sweet. However, I agree it is rushed and they should have made her complexities shine more. She also serves as a fun alpha bitch.
Anyway, there’s also Spike, voiced by Cathy Weseluck. He’s a dog in human-land and it’s hilarious. Though it’s creepy that he crushes on human rarirty. Spike is into humans AND ponies. Weird. Besides that, he doesn’t do too much here, but it’s sweet when he consoles twilight early on. Plus, he’s really funny when he wants to be.
Before we get to the mane six…there’s Flash Sentry, (BEST NAME EVER), voiced by Vincent Ton. Fans are not fond of him and…I’m right there with them. He’s this boy Twilight meets in human world, and there’s a romance. Only he has no personality, and he has no bearing on the overall story. He does one thing, but it could have been anybody. He’s just…dull. However, he’s barley in it. He just pops up now and then with like 30 minutes between appearances. I kept forgetting about him, which means he didn’t bug me that much. The romance was weak, but I can forgive it. Mostly cuz he isn’t annoying and he doesn’t get in the way of anything. But one bit near the end needed to go, cuz writer Meghan McCarthy said something that makes it pointless. Lame dude, but i’m okay with that.
Then comes the human mane six. Individually, they don’t do much but together they work. There’s BEST PONY Fluttershy, voiced by Andrea Libman, who is of course very she and adorable. She’s even more awesome here. See, thanks to a scheme by Sunset, the mane 6 have split up and flutters is on her own. The first time we see her, she’s being cornered and viciously bullied by Sunset Shimmer and like usual, she’s a huggable woobie.
It’s just heartbreaking to see fluttershy is HIGH SCHOOL. Stuff like that makes her as likable as ever. Anyway, there is also Pinkie pie, also voiced by Libman (Quite a range she has) who is her usual hyperactive self in both forms. She coins my new favorite word, and has some nice comedy.
We have Rarity, voiced by Tabitha St Germain, who again is her usual self, being all fashion savvy and what not. Yeah, like I said, not much going on by themselves, but I’m, sure if you watch the movie you’ll see how well they work together. Applejack and Rainbow Dash, both voice by Ashleigh Ball, don’t get that much either but AJ is still southern and RD is still…tomboy-ish. Yeah, Tv tropes points out that dashy is kind of useless here, but she has her moments so there’s that.
Even Applejack has some nice moments when she stands up to Sunset at one point. Anyway,i do like how we see the mane 6 become friends all over again, with Twilight’s help. It may seem pointless, but the way it plays out leads to some moments, and a bit in the climax helps tie in the main theme pretty well.
That’s…actually sort of it./These are all the main ones that get some type of focus. The rest are minor so they are not worth talking about. But i’ll say I flat out love Principal Celestia, and Vice Principal luna. Fun concept, and I just like it when luna gets screen-time, pony or human.
Oh, and even a certain great and powerful mare has a funny cameo. As does Big Mac, and the cutie mark Crusaders…who are seen watching a youtube video of a song they did. Said being their theme…which makes no sense since it’s about cutie marks…which humans do no ha-okay i’m really digging deep now.
There are few characters here, and only one given a great amount of development/focus…but I’m giving them a pass anyway, due to all being funny and likable. The mane six do get focus but more as a group than by themselves. Usually few characters and little development is bad, but when humor this good and personalities this strong, I quite like them a lot. ..
Even if one is pointless and dull.
In spite of all my worries, this ended up being a pleasant surprise. It’s not the best stand alone movie, but it’s a good continuation of the show. The story is simple but it works duue the incredible humor and concepts. The animations is very good for flash with passable designs. The songs are catchy fine, and the characters are funny and likable.
It doesn’t feel like a cash grab at all, and the writing is fine. Sure, it’s not perfect but compared to what I expected, it’s a masterpiece. While some plot elements could have been handled better, and Flash should have been cut, it mostly works.
It isn’t the pony movie you likely wanted, but it has everything from the show, including good development. It ties into the show better than I thought it would. It will have no bearing on season 4, but it was nice to have some pony to enjoy during the 3RD ANNUAL PONY DROUGHT.
They handled high school well, they got the human stuff right, and they avoided almost every cliché I thought it would touch. Keyword being almost. (I’m looking at you, Flash). That should be applauded. If you are skeptical, check it out. Some fans are nice about their worries, while some hate it cuz..
DOUG WALKER: I DON’T WANT CHANGE! I DON’T WANT CHANGE! I WANT EVERYTHING TO STAY THE SAME!
Yeah. If you are worried because it feels like a cash grab or that putting it in high school will lead to cliches, I don’t blame you. But if it’s just cuz it’s not what you wanted, or it’s different, shut up. Either way, give it a shot. It’s a fun little flick that will please little girls and grown men everywhere.
(I can only imagine the porn that will come of this movie..)
Well, that’s over. So…now I wanna do something I promised to do, but never did. A…certain theme month. Yep, that’s right, finally next month is..
DISNEY CHANNEL ORGINAL MOVIE (DCOM) MONTH!