HOLLYWOOD—For some people, venturing into an animated film can be a daunting task especially when you have virtually no knowledge of what you’re watching. However, in my case, I’ve known about the world of “My Little Pony” for quite some time thanks to my niece. She has been a fan of these magical little creatures for as long as I can remember collecting the toys and watching the TV series. So imagine the surprise on her face when I revealed that her favorite cartoon was headed to the big screen.
“My Little Pony: The Movie” follows the ponies of Equestria, yes, that is the hometown of the ponies, as they prepare for a big event, the Friendship Festival, which will be helmed by Princess Twilight Sparkle (voice of Tara Strong). The other ponies admire her in ways that you can’t imagine. She is like goddess; she is all about friendship, happiness and all things warm and fuzzy. Her pals include Rainbow Dash and Applejack (voice of Ashleigh Ball), Rarity (voice of Tabitha St. Germain) and Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy (voice of Andrea Libman).
These friends have a tight bond; but just like life, friends have arguments and get into tiffs, which the movie tackles. The importance of forgiveness and accepting ones’ flaws, including those that one may not be receptive to in the begging are recurring themes. The ponies find themselves in a dire situation thanks to the films villains, Tempest Shadow (voice of Emily Blunt), a disgraced unicorn who is eager to replace her broken horn.
She finds herself at the mercy of Storm King (voice of Liev Schreiber). I mean to be honest I’m slightly surprised by the caliber of actors and actresses who lend their voices to a popular cartoon series. Other names involved in the mix include Michael Pena, Taye Diggs, Zoe Saldana, Kristin Chenoweth, Uzo Aduba and Sia. That is an fun element of the animated flick: it does take itself too seriously and finds a way to deliver laughs to the audience with its kid-friendly, yet witty dialogue.
The film plays like an extended episode of the TV series, with a plot that is easy to follow, but not as enthralling for adults, as it is for kids. It is visually fun, but without a doubt requires a bit of a suspension from reality for one to really immerse in this fantasy world. There are laughs along the way thanks to quick jabs by several of the characters, but no immediate standouts.
The theme of being ostracized is heavy throughout the narrative, as well as the idea of bonds being built by those from completely different scopes of the world. “My Little Pony: The Movie” teaches kids even those who are bad, have a bit of good inside them; it’s all about digging a bit deeper to get it to the surface. Kids who are fans of the cartoon will absolutely adore the film and the opportunity to see their favorite characters on the big screen and in evolved roles. The adults may not be the most entertained, but this is an animated flick, so if the kiddies are happy, you will be too!