Whenever someone thinks of My Little Pony, they think of the old, jingle-laden commercials that used to fill the airwaves in the '80s, and the toys that they shamelessly hawked. But when the latest incarnation of the toy line, Friendship Is Magic, started airing, a new image began to form. Gone were the days of creepy looking plastic ponies, and here was a bright and colorful, yet funny and touching series that taught children the values of friendship and teamwork. It's this version that's on display in My Little Pony: The Movie, which is not only good news for die-hard fans, it's also great for newcomers.
Princess Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong) and her best friends are trying to arrange a gigantic festival and pop concert in Equestria, only to be interrupted by an evil presence. Enter The Storm King (Liev Schreiber), a new villain who needs the power of the four Princesses to advance his evil scheme of ultimate storm power, and who enlists the help of his own magical cohort, the pony named Tempest Shadow (Emily Blunt). To stop evil from ruling the land, Twilight and her friends will travel to far off lands, meet new characters, and discover the truth behind some lingering mysteries.
My Little Pony: The Movie is, quite honestly, one of the best kid's movies we've gotten this entire year. It runs at a brisk pace, with enough story, song, and slapstick to keep the kids engaged in what it's here to do. Even if your children aren't familiar with the TV show, they're bound to find themselves actually getting wrapped up in the story, as it's easy enough for them to understand, while at the same time deeper than most of its contemporaries.
But what about the adults? Well, there's enough charm in My Little Pony: The Movie that'll undoubtedly win over the more grown-up members in the audience. Which is a good thing, considering that My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has a pretty vocal adult fanbase that'll be watching this movie with their attention fully invested. Though in terms of the TV diehards, they may find this film a little underwhelming when compared to some of the other movies made on the televised side of the house.
While the material in My Little Pony: The Movie is satisfying, it definitely feels a little bit light when compared to the cream of the crop in kids' movies. It's not a totally watered down experience, but it's something on par with an average Disney film, as there's a very A to B to C sort of storyline at work. That doesn't deter the film from entertaining, nor does it hamper the performance of its all star cast, with Emily Blunt and Liev Schreiber acting as the primary protagonists, and supporting performances by Taye Diggs, Zoe Saldana, and Michael Pena also making an impression.
The theatrical market is headed back into family friendly mode again in the coming months, and there's a good chance that there will be more misses than hits. My Little Pony: The Movie is definitely a hit, as it mixes nostalgic storytelling with modern entertainment, to create a truly magical comedy adventure.