In the times of flashy A.I. dominance or a glamour ensemble movie depiction, a fantasy story in the form of adorable ponies, princesses and magic can sometimes work as a creative relief. My Little Pony does exactly that alongside a boisterous splash of colors and sweet harmony. Directed by Jayson Thiessen, the movie is an attempt to create the classic Sunday morning toons in form of a movie.
The story is about friendship and of unity that leads everyone in the territory to live happily ever after. The first-ever Friendship Festival in the land of Equestria is disrupted by a storm which leads to the fleeing of Princess Twilight Sparkle and her friends in a quest to find the foretold ‘hippos’ who might help break the evil spell. Princess Twilight’s nemesis Tempest Shadow is on a quest to find the eloping party and the movie follows the adventures they all face on the way. It is a saga of rediscovering friendship and of forgiveness.
Entrusting a friend during times of distress and winning over the evil with one’s goodwill is what the movie is about. Through the adventures of Princess Twilight Sparkle and her friends, we learn about love, trust, beliefs and other important aspects of life in general. Apart from the perspective of it being just another fairytale flick, the wise use of colors, music, characters and the underlying morals gives an educational edge for the young viewers.
It is more difficult to voice an animated character and play along with the emotions as the story unfolds. Apart from the regular Little Pony cast, the movie has some household names of actors doing voiceovers. Tara Strong as Princess Twilight Sparkle bought in the perfect voice gestures. A surprising casting, Emily Blunt as Tempest Shadow brought much credibility as the antagonist character. A big applause for the other voiceovers by Michael Pena as Gubber, Liev Schreiber as the Storm King, Zoa Saldana as Captain Celaeno and Uzo Aduba as Queen Nobo among many others who lent their voices to the relentless fluctuations of each characters’ emotions. The eye-boggling surprise in the film lies in Sia’s songs as the voice of Songbird Serenade. The cast is promising and gives a good seasoning to all the characters.
The storytelling and the characters resemble the good old handcrafted animations that give the film a nostalgic touch for adult viewers. Although the movie aims mostly a very young crowd, lack of substance and a shallow garnishing of the elements do not really make the movie linger for long. The 100 minutes screen space though brings justice to the moral preaching of the movie, the ‘friendship can bring down any wall’ approach to animated storytelling, the essence of simplistic pleasures get lost in an over exaggerated and complex plot. Overall, a one time watch, a classic tale of the good princess changing and befriending her enemy, turns out on the average side of the fence, leaving a greater scope for creative improvement.