My Little Pony: The Movie

I have been a fan of My Little Pony since I was a girl and had my fandom reignited when the show returned to television a few years ago. The new personalities, catchy songs, cute animation, and the focus on friendship in a Disney Princess world of romance was very refreshing. My Saturday mornings found some joy again.

The latest film sticks to what makes the series so great. We get to see our core-pony group being themselves while planning for Twilight-Sparkle’s first big event since becoming a the Princess of Friendship; The Festival of Friendship. Twilight, being her usual self, is letting the pressure get to her as she strives for perfection. Her friends assure her they will help, and that everything will be fine.

And it almost is fine, until the Storm King’s (Liev Schreiber) emissary, Tempest Shadow (Emily Blunt) appears. She is cold, calculated, and disturbing in her appearance. Once a unicorn the remains of her horn are jagged, broken, and sparking with unstable magic. She’s intent on capturing the princesses of Equestria and securing their magic for king. Twilight manages to escape with her friends for an epic adventure.

The twin themes of MLP: The Movie are friendship and redemption. We meet several characters along the way who are all running from something. Through their decisions or a power imbalance, they’ve been forced to live a life that is isolated, less than honest, and sometimes cowardly. Through the power of friendship, they find their way back to themselves and to doing what is right, even though it may be hard. Even Twilight falls short of her crown and her learns her own lessons.

However, the ponies of Equestria may not be ready stay up past the usual 20 minute episode run time. The music was wonderful, but the snappy lines and silly jokes are far too spread out. Never once did my theater, full of children, break out in laughter. Even though this film has a 99 minute run time, it felt like a full 120, if not a little more. The ponies plod through one too many journeys. You could pack a snack and take a nap before they return to save Equestria.

Maria Jackson
Review by Maria Jackson
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