Last night, I watched The My Little Pony The Movie at my local theater. Before I went, I made the mistake of trying to find a Brony shirt from the following stores: Hot Topic, Media Magic, Spencer’s, Think Geek, and Wal-Mart. None of those stores had anything MLP related in the men’s or even the women’s section, except for Wal-Mart having a G1 shirt. I wanted to mention this, due to the fact that it’s worrisome when a movie such as this comes out without a merchandise blitz. It’s honestly enough to make you question if the fandom is dying, and I really hope that I am wrong to be worried.
Now, I went into this movie 30 minutes before worried, because I was the only one in there. 15 minutes before, one other guy showed up, then a couple of families. Then, I met someone who saw my Fiesta Equestria 2015 shirt and sat next to me. My shirt was a mistake.
This brony was very polite, asked to sit next to me, and despite him being a senior in high school, I agreed because the show is supposed to bring fans of all ages together. The kid was a little odd, and was most likely somewhere on the spectrum, but hey I have a touch of the deficit when it comes to paying attention, so who am I to judge. I had to eventually sit a seat away from him, as he kept rocking back and forth and laughing to himself… I was just uncomfortable, honestly. He wanted to be twitter or facebook friends,but I declined as the last thing a 32 year old needs is more 17 year old friends…
The Movie started with an unexpected splash card explaining that there was going to be a short cartoon before it called Hanazuki: Full of Treasures, which I was unaware of. It was ok… but I personally think that if they were going to go with a girl in space, why did they not go with Lauren Faust’s Milky Way and The Galaxy Girls, but whatever. It was cute, and unoffensive, and short. I would have proffered an Equestria Girls short, but whatever. MOVIE TIME!
I am going to spoil The Movie, just a heads up. If I was to score this movie, as a Brony, I would say that it was a 7-7.5 being generous. As a movie goer, I would argue that this movie is a 5, at best. The reason for my low score, is due to the fact that we have seen most of what The Movie does before in The Show, and honestly… The Show did most of it better and with a faster pace.
I said that The Show did things better than what The Movie did, and if you want my examples for it, watch the two part finally from Season 4, against Lord Tirek. He was a better fleshed out character, and the journey to the final encounter is certainly better, and heck the fight scene is better against Tirek than The Storm King, who honestly is the weakest main villain to date. Liev Schreiber gave a decent enough performance, and was sort of William Dafoe like, but since we focus so much on Tempest Shadow, we never really get a feel for him other than his base personality.
I mention Tirek and Storm King because The Movie was first announced October 20, 2014, and Tirek was the season 4 villain on May 10, 2014 so they were both most likely conceptualized around the same time.
Nightmare Moon, Discord, Chrysalis, Twilight Sparkle, King Sombra, Tirek, and Starlight Glimmer were all better villains with better motivations. Hell, even Sunset Shimmer from The Equestria Girls movie was better or even Trixie who was just in a couple random episodes.
All right, well… maybe the plot was not that great, but how was everything else? The animation change from Flash to Toon Boom is a bit jarring. Thankfully, this movie does it better than when Digimon made a movie and changed it’s art style up. The colors are vivid, the animation is fluid, but everything seems a little off considering how things normally look.
For me, the most jarring thing was not the use of 3D for air ships, or how the mouths look animated… it’s their eyes. In comparison, here is Sailor Moon’s eye vs. Twilight Sparkle’s. The highlights and reflections put Sailor Moon’s to shame when you consider all of that shine and tiny sparkles inside of them make up MOST OF THE FACE for the characters, and they are HUGE on the big screen. Seriously, they look like doll eyes… which, to me is a little unsettling.
eye I have gotten a little off topic. I gave this movie a 5-7.5 because ultimately, it’s a little ho hum. It does a lot without really doing much at all. It has celebrities but the characters they made for them are not used all that much and probably wont be used later on The Show.
They have Sia who plays the performer Songbird Serenade, does an original song and, but the song is only all right and may not match the tone of The Movie/The Show, while Lena Hall’s TV show character Countess Coloratura did and her character played a major part in the plot of that episode. Sia’s character is just there, and I guess she’s there because she’s Sia? Weird Al’s character Cheese Sandwich has a cameo but has no speaking lines.
Emily Blunt’s character Tempest Shadow is a Starlight Glimmer type of character, Taye Diggs’ character is a somewhat roguish anthropomorphic cat in a world with pets that are cats, Zoe Saldana is a cool parrot pirate who is there for a little bit so Rainbow Dash can sing another song about being awesome, and Michael Peña is there as the stupid henchman similar to the kind found in Disney’s Hercules or the Gargoyles from Disney’s Hunchback movie.
Those celebrity characters are just fine… but that’s the problem. They are just fine, but we never get enough time with them to develop them, so what was the point in spending the money and time on them? Kristin Chenoweth’s character Princess Skystar has probably the most screen time of the celebrity actors, and while she and her home are important to The Movie, the Mcguffin there is pointless and is never explained how it could exactly help, so she’s ultimately not that important outside of a friendship kind of way… which is a shame because I liked her character the most, possibly due to her interesting voice and the fact that she is a Broadway actress who is a great singer. Uzo Aduba, who played Skystar’s mother Queen Novo also did a fine job, and I wish I had more to say about her and her Mcguffin.
Oh, and all of The Show voice actresses are in The Movie, and they do pretty well, even if I do not love all of their songs. I wish I could talk about them more, but they did their jobs, and they did it well like the professionals they were. Fluttershy yay?
Sadly, their names do not appear on their movie poster, which I think is rather upsetting, and it may make some people think that Taye Diggs plays Pinkie Pie, and that Michael Peña plays Apple Jack.
Apparently Ninjago did not have their TV actors reprise their characters for their movie? Which I actually know nothing about. The Jetsons movie, reaching way back for this one, replaced Judy Jetson, so the fact that we have everyone, including Spike The Dragon, playing their actors is definitely a plus for this movie.
If it feels like I am bagging on this movie, I’m sorry. I feel that if you are a fan of The Show, it is worth seeing, however it might be one of the lesser movies in the series, as I would put possibly the first Equestria Girls movie above this, and you never want to lose to your direct-to-dvd counterpart.
Don’t get me wrong, it is still better than some of the later movies though. I just have a ‘go big or go home’ mentality for Tv shows turned movie, as I remember when these used to come out all of the time and it actually was not always a good thing.
To wrap things up, I would like to say that I have faith in this series still, and I hope it has more movies. My experience is my experience, and unfortunately the circumstances in which I watched it, complete with a baby crying, makes me really weary seeing future My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic movies in theater, as an adult with no kids… which maybe is for the best???
Unless The Transformers show up. That would be incredibly insane, and I would respect the hell out of it… just because it was a bold choice.