My daughter is quite fond of the newer My Little Pony series, and my son enthuses her and can be heard yelling in excitement for her.
We’d had intentions of camping during my birthday weekend, however upon the request to cover this film’s review, I was suddenly faced with a dilemma. I figured I’d leave it up to The Man, in the morning. I thought it’d be a miss, but who knows? A family event where the kids would likely enjoy some pre-show face painting is always something we are up for.
I never expected such a vocal excitement from my husband when I mentioned it to him. He will tell you, “Well she loves it! Why wouldn’t we take them,” but I’m beginning to think he’s actually paying attention to this show.
Post trailer viewing, the kids were stoked. It didn’t matter where or when, they wanted to see it. As if The Man still needed to be sold, he was all in when “Emily Blunt” and “Kristin Chenoweth” appeard on the screen. With an awesome cast also including; Uzo Aduba, Ashleigh Ball, Taye Diggs, Andrea Libman, Michael Peña, Zoe Saldana, Liev Schreiber, Tabitha St. Germain, Tara Strong, Cathy Weseluck, I was cool with the change in plans. Then, “SIA” popped up on screen, and I dialed the campground number to cancel immediately.
At the pre-show party, the kids nommed on cookies they frosted and decorated with sprinkles, Biggs fulfilled her costume with Rainbow Dashs’ signature, cloud-with-a-rainbow-lightning-bolt symbol, while Littles became his favorite pony, Twilight Sparkle. Personally, I’m a bit more of a Pinky-Pie myself.
Now that we’ve had a few of these events under our belts, Littles was more prepared and excited to go. The popcorn came alongside little kids cups to sip on. We were all set.
It’s so gratifying when most of my favorite movies begin. The known My Little Pony chime began, and you could see the kids wiggling with excitement, even in the dark.
While scenes began to play out, the film felt like any other MLP episode. Ponies were dancing and singing while carrying out their tasks. The songs seemed fun and well written. Lyrics and life in Ponyville made us giggle. Twilight Sparkle and every-pony else are prepping for a concert by Songbird Serenade (Sia *yayee*)f
Then the bad-guys busted in, and I felt like I was a kid again. The voice acting, writing, and slightly altered artistic animation styles reminded me of films like Anastasia or Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
After the threat had been delivered by Tempest Shadow (Emily Blunt), Twilight Sparkle and the crew escape the grasp of The Storm King, leaving Equestria in search of a way to defeat him. Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, and Rarity travel far through a variety of climates and regions, meeting an array of species. We are introduced to Capper, voiced by Taye Diggs, who’s a more innocent mix of Cat R. Waul (John Cleese, An American Tale: Fievel Goes West) and Honest John (Walter Catlett, Pinocchio). Capper doesn’t seem spiteful, but rather that he’s trying to get by in the rough and tumble world he’s grown up in.
Soon after their second close-call, the Pony Pals become stowaways aboard a freight ship. The crew members, once adventurous pirates, now work for The Storm King. They’re quickly cornered, and Captain Celaeno (Zoe Saldana *swoon*), who has lost the luster of her once exciting life, is quick to follow the rules. This passage of the movie is too great to divulge into more.
Eventually they find their way to Queen Novos (Uzo Aduba) underwater kingdom, where they befriend her daughter, a very bubbly and lonely Princess Skystar (Kristen Chenoweth). Though they give Princess Skystar a great time, they leave empty handed, and are soon disbanded.
Not to fear, no pony would leave all of Equestria in dire straits. The best animated films wouldn’t be complete without the reunion of all characters, who fight in the epic battle of good vs. bad. The fight didn’t leave my kids questioning the morals of the ponies, or confused as to why they were being physical. I found that appealing.
Finally, Songbird Serenade takes stage and rocks the horse shoes off of every pony, including the little kiddos in the audience. My kids dance at the end credits, almost every time. This was definitely one of those times, and they quickly rushed to the front of the theater. I was glad when they’d created a bit of a fad, and soon other little kids were getting down to Sia, and end credits jam. *win*
In all, I would suggest this film to parents, kids, grandparents, and those of you who channel their inner Fluttershy or Bro-nie. It was enough story for everyone to be content, and not too much where everyone’s groaning. I liked the art variation, and throw back to older film styles that we grew up with. I loved the casting, and the story stayed interesting. It’s good, but a lot of this film, I think, was the hype to those who are die-hard MLP fans.
I give this 3 of 5 Nerdskulls.
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