A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that My Little Pony: A New Generation has very positive messages about accepting others and rejecting stereotypes and intolerance. There's a bit of animated violence/peril that could frighten very young kids, including ponies nearly falling off cliffs or out of second-story buildings, a military-style robot attacking defenseless ponies, and characters being chased, pursued, or imprisoned. Earth ponies believe that unicorns can "zap" them with their "horn lasers" and "fry" their brains, and all the different pony communities are suspicious and fearful of each other. A group of fillies demonstrates compassion and courage in going against mainstream thinking to show that judging others without first-hand knowledge or experience is a mistake; openness and friendship are better than fear and distrust. In that sense, the film conveys that education about other people, places, and cultures can diminish misunderstandings and avoid unwarranted confrontations. Language is limited to childish taunts like "stupid" and "brute," and the word "butt" is used in both song and dialogue. The film is built around the Hasbro brand and may inspire interest in further My Little Pony merchandising and products.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In MY LITTLE PONY: A NEW GENERATION, earth ponies, unicorns, and pegasi live in fear of each other. But one earth pony has been raised differently: Sunny (voiced by Vanessa Hudgens) believes the different species can be trusted, and she wants to build bridges so they can all be friends again. When a friendly young unicorn, Izzy (Kimiko Glenn), turns up in Maretime Bay, Sunny helps her escape. Going against her community, including childhood-friends-turned-local-law-enforcement Hitch (James Marsden) and Sprout (Ken Jeong), Sunny sets out with Izzy to contact the pegasus community. There, they befriend princesses Zipp (Liza Koshy) and Pipp (Sofia Carson) and start to unravel the story behind the distancing of the various pony communities.
Is it any good?
You could easily dig for a political message in this film, but if all young viewers take away is the positivity of the sweet characters, tone, and messages, that's plenty. When My Little Pony: A New Generation's characters sing about welcoming others rather than "building your wall," a marching mob following their leader "brainlessly," or how a sheriff's badge creates an "unhealthy power dynamic," it's hard not to find parallels with the human world. But the film never gets too heavy or tries to make us forget we're in Equestria, with visually-rich and magical settings, candy-colored ponies, cute bunnies and other wild creatures, and language like "everypony," "somepony," and "thank hoofness." The star-studded voice cast brings these ponies to galloping life. Musical numbers vary between sweet, pop, and hilarious, with Ken Jeong's angry mob number standing out as particularly memorable.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the tale of My Little Pony: A New Generation builds on previous My Little Pony movies and plots. What's different in Equestria? What's the same?
Does this film have any lessons for humans? What would you say those are?
Sunny goes against the grain in the earth pony community to insist that unicorns and pegasi can be their friends rather than their enemies. Have you ever felt you needed to stand up to what others said? How did you feel?
How does the group of young ponies, unicorns, and pegasi demonstrate compassion and courage in their quest? Why are these important character strengths? How does their attitude compare, for example, with Sprout's or Phyllis's? Who is proven right?
How does Maretime Bay differ from the bustling city where the pegasi live and the gloomy forest of the unicorns? What do the settings say about the ponies that live there?
- On DVD or streaming: September 24, 2021
- Cast: James Marsden, Vanessa Hudgens, Jane Krakowski
- Directors: Robert Cullenn, Jose Luis Ucha, Mark Fattibene
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Friendship, Horses and Farm Animals, Music and Sing-Along
- Character strengths: Compassion, Courage
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: Some thematic elements; strobing effect could bother the photosensitive.
- Awards/Honors: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: October 13, 2021
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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