Okay I just rewatched the movie again, and here I go with my review of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls.
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (2013)
Director: Jayson Thiessen
Cast: Tara Strong (Twilight Sparkle), Ashleigh Ball (Applejack, Rainbow Dash), Andrea Libman (Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy) Tabitha St. Germain (Rarity, Princess Luna), Cathy Weseluck (Spike), Nicole Oliver (Princess Celestia), Rebecca Shoichet (Sunset Shimmer), Lee Tockar (Snips), Richard Ian Cox (Snails), Vincent Tong (Flash Sentry)
Distributed by Hasbro Pictures
Runtime: 72 minutes
MPAA rating: G
To be honest, and to my parents' mercy due to the fact I was born a guy, I had no earlier interest in My Little Pony. But due to the Hub series being what it is, I felt it would eventually have a crack at a film (something only the 80s series did in theatres). Due to this being a limited release I don't consider it a major animated film (it didn't come out in theatres where I live).
Then there is also a dividing opinion I have heard: some people claim this movie was made as fanservice to all the viewers that try to envision the characters if they were actually humans, okay, but on the other hand courtesy of Jenn Blake (one of the artists behind the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic book), she has the idea this movie was made largely to promote the toyline and hopefully steal some thunder from the Monster High dolls. In any case...
The story is about Twilight Sparkle having just become an alicorn and now may end up with a kingdom to rule. However, during the night a former student of Princess Celestia's breaks in and steals Twilight's crown, leaping into another dimension in the process. To recover the crown Twilight must venture into the magic mirror (and Spike does, voluntarily) to reclaim it and in order to do so adopts a completely new identity as a human teenage girl in a world where there are humanized versions of every character in the show.
I'm going to start with what I liked about this film first. First off, the animation is non-CGI (largely) and it's very faithful to the series which I liked. The characters, who include Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rarity and Rainbow Dash are also appealing and it proves something that I had an underlying hunch about: if these characters were not ponies I could see them as human girls. Going past the novelty gimmick I consider that a good thing as it makes the characters relatable and helps the target audience like them better. And despite some controversy about Spike being cast as a dog it doesn't seem too jarring.
I will also say the songs are nice and well-choreographed and lots of humor manages to hit its mark. As well the movie does, as evidence that they love their fans they do quite a bit of fanservice. A hardcore fan will be able to point out exactly what episode certain actions happened and there are an awful lot of humanized versions of pretty much every single character in the show. This is nice and definitely appreciated, but for reasons I will get into later it is also something of a double-edged sword.
Now for things I didn't like: first thing I will say is while is a commercially available movie about the Hub series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, like with the two Smurfs movies it spends little time in the universe we want to see. This movie could very well have, with some minor rewrites been all about these humanized ponies. You could have just made the movie at first be about Twilight's mother dropping her off at school and she goes about making her friends, in a way similar to the series' premiere two-part episode. The sequences with the actual ponies are not essential as they only bookend the movie. I'll give it a pass since the franchise has a long history of being seen as the butt of a joke and there is the element of novelty on its side, but I would pass if you expected me to see a Transformers movie where Optimus Prime dimension-hops to another world where we see human versions of all the other Autobots and Decepticons.
Another problem I tended to have was the overabundance of fanservice. It's nice to see that they acknowledge their fans are watching the movie and want to remind them of why they love their show in the first place, but they go too far in that regard. For one thing, they go and reference Fluttershy's first response to Spike, okay. Cutie Mark Crusaders making their song? Great. The dress sequences courtesy of Rarity? Nice. Rainbow Dash saying "So awesome"? You're pushing it. When Trixie appeared on the show? I'm drawing the line. Another problem that I have is this takes up like half the movie and it interferes with the story.
Then some of the story doesn't make sense, like I don't understand how Sunset Shimmer manages to divide everyone in the school into different camps yet still manages to be so popular. Also, did anyone else think it was wrong for Twilight, who is supposed to be a pony in the guise of a human girl, to openly crushing on human boy? He does have a pony counterpart but she falls for the human first.
Speaking of which Sunset Shimmer is not really all that strong of a villain. For one thing she doesn't get much exposition into who she is or why she decided to rebel in the first place. All we really get is that she was a former student of Princess Celestia's who wasn't getting what she wanted when she wanted it without any fault on her mentor's part, so all it looks like is she is nothing more than a spoiled brat. The poor pacing and overreliance on fanservicing leaves very little room for development on her part and we are left with a rushed explanation in the final few minutes.
Finally I will say that My Little Pony: Equestria Girls is not art by any means, but it's not painful either. At best it acts like an animated babysitter that should leave fans mildly satisified. Hopefully in the future the suits at Hasbro will shoot a bit higher with Rainbow Rocks... actually maybe they should just give fans what they really want and just do a legitimate movie about this series because the novelty of seeing the ponies as humans has worn off, so... I'm not getting my hopes too high for the next movie.
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (2013)
TreyVore rates it: C