Sometimes you take one for the team. In my house this is a team of one, namely a nearly ten year old girl called Ruby. She was keen to see this film as she is a) a nearly 10 y.o. girl and b) has a handful of My Little Pony toys (that are dwarfed by her considerably more sizeable collections of Lego, Shopkins and Sylvania Family.)
So it was for no other reason that as a treat for Ruby that we went along to see My Little Pony : The Movie, and to her I now defer to explain what the hell was going on….
In the land of Equestria, home to the My Little Ponies, there are four princesses. Luna, Celestia & Cadance and Twilight Sparkle.
Princess Twilight Sparkle was preparing for a Friendship Festival, featuring special guest performer Songbird Serenade (voiced by Sia) when a banished Pony – Tempest – flew in with her broken horn and froze three princesses under the instruction of the Storm King who wanted to use the Pony’s powers for evil. Twilight Sparkle and her friends, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie along with her assistant dragon, Spike, managed to escape to embark on a mission to find the “queen of the hippo”.
Turns out the “hippo” in question is actually a clan of “hippogriffs”, who live in Seaquestria, and are in possession of a magical pearl capable of defeating the Storm King. However the “queen of the hippogriffs” will not allow Twilight Sparkle to use the pearl.
On their way to Seaquestria, the Ponys travelled on an airship commanded by a crew of birdlike pirates. These pirates come in rather handy in the final third of the film, as the ponies make their way back to Canterlot to confront the Storm King and save the day.
Ruby really liked how they made friends along the way, the music and the animation. She says it was quite funny.
Ruby’s score – 4 Stars “Bright and Bursting With Colour”
I found it confusing as I had no idea of the backstory of the characters, and thankfully had Ruby to guide me. The plot is so jam-packed with action that it was almost impossible to follow, and hard to remember afterwards. I found it an assault on the senses that was offset by the catchy songs and the occasional gag that hit the mark. Definitely not one I would choose to see, but almost guaranteed it is one the kids will want to watch multiple times before acting out proceedings with their own toys. To see how happy Ruby was in the lead up to seeing it, whilst watching it , and her enthusiasm for it since our screening enhances its appeal. I think the original Lego Movie was such a blast, that the fact that it was based on a toy range was incidental. With this one it feels like a long advert for the almost infinite toy range.
One other positive was the strong female presence with of course all the ponies voiced by female actors, and the inclusion of Sia to add some show-biz razzamatazz.
My score – 3 Stars – “Dazzling”