My Little Pony: Equestria Girls
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that My Little Pony: Equestria Girls is the latest movie stemming from the popular Hasbro toy line and TV show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The ponies are back in vogue with everyone from toddlers to teenagers, so the movie could appeal to a wider age range than parents might expect. The content is mostly fine for even the youngest viewers, but there is a tiny bit of romance -- Twilight Sparkle has a crush on Flash -- and a bullying, power-hungry villain (Sunset Shimmer) who turns into a winged evil creature by the end of the story. Being a Pony movie, everything turns out just fine, and the Ponyville friends prove that together they can always overcome any obstacle.
What's the story?
In MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS, newly crowned Princess Twilight Sparkle (voiced by Tara Strong) attends her first Princess Summit with her Ponyville friends in tow. Jealous of Twilight's position, the status-seeking Sunset Shimmer (Rebecca Shoichet) tries to steal the crown, but it falls through a magical mirror. After Sunset Shimmer follows the crown through the portal, Princess Celestia (Nicole Oliver) instructs Twilight to go alone on a mission to retrieve her crown. Twilight's pet dragon Spike (Cathy Weseluck) manages to sneak through with her, and when they land on the other side, the princess is human and Spike ends up a dog. In the parallel universe, Twilight, now a teen girl, encounters the human versions of all her friends at school, flirts with a boy named Flash, all while tracking down her crown before Sunset Shimmer claims it.
Is it any good?
It's fashionable to be enamored with the My Little Pony franchise; just walk into any middle school or a teen-friendly T-shirt store, and you'll find that the pony craze goes way beyond preschool-aged girls (heard of Bronies?). So it's no surprise that Hasbro is putting a spin on their cash cow of the pony universe to literally transform the ponies into teenagers. The dimension travel conceit is incredibly simple -- the magic mirror as a portal to another world isn't exactly a novel idea -- as is the animation, so even the littlest viewers will understand what's happening.
Serious pony fans will get a big laugh out of seeing characters like Pinkie Pie, Apple Jack, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash in teen form, but with their same unique personality traits. Pinkie Pie is particularly hilarious as the super peppy, fast-talking fall formal organizer. As for the villain Sunset Shimmer, she's a perfect "mean girl" who bullies and intimidates everyone at the school. It's sweet relief, therefore, when Twilight Sparkle inevitably defeats Sunset Shimmer's Machiavellian ploy for total control. Pony power indeed.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how the ponies transition into teenagers in the other world. Do their personalities stay the same in the alternate universe?
At the beginning of the story, Twilight isn't sure she "has what it takes" to be a princess. What events make her realize she can be a good leader?
How familiar are you with the My Little Pony characters and toys? Does seeing the movie make you want to get the associated toys? Would you have wanted to see the movie if you didn't already watch My Little Pony or have some of the ponies?