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MOVIE REVIEW

My Little Pony: The Movie also known as “My Little Pony: La Película,” “Moj mali poni: Film,” “Caihong xiao ma da dianying,” “Mano mazasis ponis. Filmas,” “Minu väike poni: Film,” “Moj mali Poni Film,” “Mon petit poney: Le film,” “My Little Pony Elokuva,” “My Little Pony Film,” “My Little Pony Filmen,” “My Little Pony Filmi,” “My Little Pony vo filme,” “My Little Pony у кiно,” “My Little Pony. Film,” “My Little Pony. Filma,” “My Little Pony: A film,” “My Little Pony: De Film,” “My Little Pony: Der Film,” “My Little Pony: Filmen,” “My Little Pony: Filmul,” “My Little Pony: La película,” “My Little Pony: Le Film,” “My Little Pony: O Filme,” “My Little Pony: Η ταινία,” “Малкото Пони: Филмът,” “Мой маленький пони”

MPAA Rating: PG-Rating (MPAA) for mild action.

Reviewed by: Nicky VanValkenburgh
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family
Genre:
Animation Adventure Music Comedy Kids Family
Length:
1 hr. 39 min.
Year of Release:
2017
USA Release:
October 6, 2017 (wide—2,528 theaters)
Copyright, Lionsgate click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Lionsgate

Bad company corrupts good character

Is is very important to LOVE others. What is Christian LOVE? Many people do not know. Answer

What is MERCY? Answer

What is LYING? Answer

What is TRUTH? Answer

Copyright, Lionsgate

How can I know what is RIGHT and WRONG? Answer

How can I DECIDE whether a particular activity is WRONG? Answer

Copyright, Lionsgate

Who is the ONLY King of storms? God

Who is SATAN, the enemy of God and all people? Answer

Who is far MORE POWERFUL than the Devil?

WIND STORMS in the Bible

Copyright, Lionsgate

What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Is it just “bad people” that are sinners, or are YOU a sinner? Answer

Are you GOOD ENOUGH to get to Heaven? Answer

Do Not Enter


What is GOODNESS?

What is RIGHTEOUSNESS? Answer

Copyright, Lionsgate

Parents: Are we living in a MORAL STONE AGE? Answer


Horse. Photo by Nick Page.HORSES in the Bible

ANIMALS of the Bible

What is a RAINBOW? Answer

Kid Explorers™
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate
Featuring: Zoe Saldana … Captain Celaeno (voice)
Emily Blunt … Tempest Shadow / Fizzlepop Berrytwist (voice)
Liev Schreiber … The Storm King (voice)
Michael Peña … Grubber (voice)
Sia … Songbird Serenade (voice)
Kristin Chenoweth … Princess Skystar (voice)
Taye Diggs … Capper (voice)
Tara Strong … Princess Twilight Sparkle (voice)
See all »
Director: Jayson Thiessen—“My Little Pony” TV series
Producer: Haven Alexander
Arlyn Bantog
See all »
Distributor: Distributor: Lionsgate Films. Trademark logo.
Lionsgate

a somewhat darker pony tale, but evil is overcome by love and friendship

“My Little Pony: The Movie” is an animated musical fantasy based on the TV series, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” If you’ve been to Walmart, Target or other stores lately, you’ve probably seen the various toys and merchandise based on the film, including clothing, bags, hats and towels.

The story is basically a showdown of good versus evil. As you may have guessed, the friendly and colorful ponies are good. The bad guy is the “Storm King” (voiced by Liev Schreiber), a villain who wants to steal the ponies’ magic and use it for selfish purposes.

But wait, there’s a purple and pink pony named Tempest Shadow (voiced by Emily Blunt.) Tempest used to be a good unicorn, but her horn got broken. Now she’s joined forces with the Storm King in hopes of getting her horn restored. Yes, she made a deal with the devil. If he would restore her horn, then she would serve him. Tempest assumed that the Storm King would keep his end of the bargain, but she quickly discovers that isn’t the case.

Let’s backup to the beginning of the story, with the “Mane 6” ponies: Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Rarity. They live in a magical place called Equestria, which is inhabited by friendly ponies and other talking creatures, such as griffons and dragons.

Interestingly, there are no humans in this movie. Like “Zootopia,” this movie is an anthropomorphic tale about ponies (and other animals) talking and acting like humans.

Leading the pack is Twilight Sparkle (voiced by Tara Strong.) She is Equestria’s Princess of Friendship, and is responsible for spreading friendship and harmony across the kingdom. Twilight is a beautiful pony, but she lacks confidence, and is often unsure of herself.

One day, a dark and menacing “air boat” comes down from the sky. It turns out to be the Storm King, a character who appears to be part demon (with horns coming out of his head) and part bodybuilder (extremely fit and muscular.) He also looks a bit like the “abominable snowman” from the old Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer movies, but that’s probably just a coincidence.

Copyright, Lionsgate

The Storm King commands a fleet of air boats to hunt down the ponies, with the intention of capturing them and taking their magic away. The Storm King’s main henchman is Tempest Shadow, a purple and pink unicorn with a broken horn.

As soon as the Storm King arrives in Equestria, the ponies run for cover. In town, the ponies meet “Capper” the cat (voiced by Taye Diggs.) Capper helps the ponies escape onto a passing air boat, which turns out to be run by pirates. At first, the pirates want to report the ponies to the Storm King. However, the ponies convince the pirates to defy orders and escape to a nearby island.

On the island, the ponies meet Queen Novo (voiced by Uzo Aduba, ) who is the leader of the underwater sea ponies. The Queen is very strict and doesn’t tolerate any nonsense. She uses a giant pearl to transform the ponies into fish, giving them fins and tails, so that they can breathe and swim underwater. Yes, now they are sea ponies, and are powerful enough to fight the Storm King’s army. It will take everything they have to overcome the Storm King, who wants to take away their magic powers, so that he can use it for his own selfish purposes.

Some may wonder if the movie has occultism overtones. There are no spells, incantations, omens or fortune telling. In the film, pony magic is a total fantasy that seems to be defined in terms of kindness, being friendly and helping others.

You might be wondering what the film’s effect is on children. I attended the screening with friends, including a mom and her 5-year-old daughter. The little girl watched the movie clutching her little stuffed pony, and became frightened during some of the chase scenes. She crawled up into her mom’s lap and covered her face during the brief scary parts of the movie. There are scenes where the ponies are chased and hunted down by the villain and his henchmen. However, there is very little violence in this movie. What’s scary is the thought of someone capturing the ponies against their will, and stripping them of their powers.

For the most part, the little girl enjoyed the movie. She loved the film’s brightly-colored ponies, especially one scene where the ponies unleash a “sonic rainbow boom” and sing and dance. “I like it when the ponies get along and are nice to each other,” said the little girl.

The animation is hand drawn, and retains the look and feel of the Little Pony TV series. Actually, the movie kicks the animation up a notch. It adds rich color plus creative music that’s fun and upbeat for children. The animation style is contemporary, and switches between 3D and 2D. Certain scenes are entirely three-dimensional, and give the impression of stepping into an alternative universe. The 2D animation tends to be a bit too flat in comparison, at times, but is used to express the character’s feelings, and even flashbacks, such as Tempest Shadow reflecting on how her horn was broken.

One thing that bothered me about the animation were the extreme close-ups. Occasionally, the camera zooms in so close that we’re looking at the ponies’ eyes and ears. I mean, the entire movie screen is covered with this extreme close-up. It is way too big and too close for my comfort. I wished the animators had stepped it back a bit; it would be easier on the eyes. (If you see the film, you’ll understand exactly what I’m describing here.)

Message of friendship

The movie has a message of friendship, and of working together to overcome obstacles. One of the main characters, Tempest Shadow, eventually realizes the err of her ways. She used to be a part of Equestria, but didn’t have a positive experience like Twilight Sparkle and her friends. When Tempest’s horn broke, she blamed the other ponies and teamed up with the villain. She assumed that the Storm King would make good on his promise. Later, Tempest realizes, “friendship didn’t fail me, I failed friendship.”

The film may be a springboard for discussion with your children. The Bible says, “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33), and that’s what happened with Tempest. She was corrupted by the Storm King, but later realized that he was leading her astray. This realization caused her to part ways with him and makes amends with her pony friends.

Violence: Moderate
Profanity/Vulgarity: Minor
Sex/Nudity: Minor—involves a lie about there being a color infection that makes body parts fall off—the story causes a male character to immediately cover his crotch

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Neutral
Neutral—Some caution, but good wins in the end. My daughter (age 7) loves MLP. We were very excited to see the movie. There are some darker moments that may scare smaller kids (visual, not storyline dark) (such as when the villains arrive in the clouds, Tempest going after the Ponies). My daughter did not have a problem with it, but it is worth mentioning.

There is also magic type elements like the show has, this is something I am cautious with (some episodes she cannot watch) but my daughter understands it is not real. The “magic” is on par with the old fairytales or the Smurfs (not like Harry Potter) and the main villain who is trying to gain the power is shown as evil.

The music is extremely catchy and fun and very good quality. One of the villains (Tempest) is shown as evil, but has been hurt in the past. In the end Love, Loyalty and Friendship win, and evil is crushed. As mentioned above use caution for the things listed above.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Laura, age 40 (USA)

PARENTS: PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.