Jun 29, 2017

Initial Impressions: My Little Pony The Movie Trailer

The first official trailer has finally dropped.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has always struggled with epic tale vs slice of life. If you watch any given season of it, the first couple episodes will always be a big season premier two-part story with some big problem or bad guy. Then the last two episodes will often also be another big story/bad guy that's been vaguely hinted at all season long.

However, the other 20-ish episodes in the middle are random episodic things that really explore the concept of friendship and relationships. It's about the mane six learning to even be friends in the first season, and then in subsequent seasons learning to deal with each other's quirks, learning to deal with their own shortcomings, and learning that friends will not only accept you for who you are but also help you to better yourself. All of this is done beneath classic comedy, creative one-off characters, and couched in the concept of diary-like letters that Twilight Sparkle sends to her mentor every week.

“Dear Princess Celestia, today I learned that…”

Can it be a little heavy-handed with that moral structure? Sure. Is it a ton of colorful good-natured fun? You bet. You'll grow to like each one of the girls and eventually even pick your favorite.

But then… it's like they feel the need to do big epic storylines with action and adventure, even though the show's clear strong suit is everyday problems and sitcom-ish shenanigans. They introduce a life force sucking shape shifter queen, or a big giant energy beam blasting centaur that they fight Dragonball Z style. These tonal shifts always feel a bit awkward and they aren't helped that the show's animation favors calmer talking and walking and not flying around blasting magic beams and sending evil doers to the next dimension. Several of the main cast end up being quite useless in fights and action so they just sort of get relegated to the sidelines sadly while the magic-users and strong ones take center stage. Not very fair nor very fun if your favorite pony happens to be one of them. Most of the time these two-parters are never outright bad but… they aren't nearly as cool as the show thinks they are, the storylines are hastily resolved so it can go back to the slice of life episodic status quo, and it's all just ill-fitting at best.

So… am I excited for the new MLP movie?

6 / 10

The animation looks fantastic, the jokes a little flat, and the plot quite frustrating. I guess they felt like it wouldn't be a big blockbuster without an evil villain and crazy action and stuff. Oh well. I'm not surprised one bit but it'll probably still be okay. I'll definitely still see it in theaters because if nothing else it looks great and the voice actors will still all bring their A game for sure.

I have a long history with this show. Some older posts I've done on MLP: The Brony Talk (2012) and it's semi-sequel The Brony Closet (2015). Equestria Girls movies 1 (2013) and 2 (2014).

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