The animated feature film feels like four episodes of a cartoon strung together. But for fans, it’ll be just right. Rating: 1.5 stars out of 4.
Perhaps it’s unfair, but one has to wonder for whom the animated feature film “My Little Pony: The Movie” has been made. Ostensibly, it’s for young kids, who count for double the ticket money with their parents in tow. But there’s also a large market to be found in the “bronies” and “pegasisters,” young adults who have developed a cultish fandom around the animated TV series “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” No matter who you might encounter in the theater, “My Little Pony: The Movie” signals that the unrelentingly positive pastel ponies have hit the big time.
Directed by Jayson Thiessen, the film has a remarkably retro vibe. It’s done in the classic 2D animation style and embraces the flat, colorful, Saturday-morning cartoon look and feel. If part of the appeal of the My Little Pony renaissance is the nostalgic warm-fuzzies about childhood cartoons, then this film fully delivers. All we’d need is a bowl full of sugary cereal to complete the experience.
Movie Review ★½
‘My Little Pony: The Movie,’ with the voices of Tara Stong, Liev Schreiber, Emily Blunt, Uzo Aduba, Kristen Chenoweth, Taye Diggs. Directed by Jayson Thiessen, from a screenplay by Meghan McCarthy, Rita Hsiao and Michael Vogel. 99 minutes. Rated PG for mild action. Several theaters.
Storywise, the stakes start out quite low. Princess Twilight (Tara Strong) wants to throw the best Friendship Festival in Equestria, and her pony friends support her by singing about it. But all too soon their happy kingdom is invaded by the Storm King (Liev Schreiber), an ape/ox hybrid beast who wants to steal the ponies’ magic so he can control the weather, and everything else.
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Truthfully, this film feels like four episodes of a cartoon strung together, and there are times, especially during some of the musical numbers, where it truly drags.
It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who already love it, it’ll be just right.