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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to sell toys and entertain, not educate.
Encourages kids to embrace their magic (talents and specialness) and use it for good. Promotes friendship, forgiveness, perseverance, trust, and being "in charge" of yourself.
Positive Role Models
The six leading Equestria Girls are a bonded unit; they are protective of one another and understanding, and they take risks for the well-being of each member of the group. Some stereotypes: Rarity is consumed by her interest in fashion and design; Pinkie Pie is obsessed by sugar and all things sweet. They're representative, one-dimensional characters. Adult characters are reliable, trustworthy.
Violence & Scariness
More suspenseful events than usual for the Equestria Girls. Twilight Sparkle has nightmares with strange magic, ghost-like apparitions, a malevolent Midnight Sparkle who hovers above. The actual "Legend of Everfree" is a ghost story, told around a campfire, dominated by a giant creature, an evil spirit with "rock-like teeth." A climactic sequence and battle find Camp Everfree swallowed up by giant blackberry brambles, which crash and envelope everyone and everything. The battle is filled with laser strikes, branches bursting through the earth, campers finding themselves trapped.
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Products & Purchases
Equestria Girls are a component of Hasbro's My Little Pony franchise. This DVD is a cross-promotional tool for the brand that sells toys, games, clothing, related electronics and media, and other assorted merchandise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree follows three earlier DVD releases starring the human, teen versions of the characters from My Little Pony. This successful rendition of the Pony brand was designed by Hasbro to appeal to older kids and tweens and doesn't retain the younger, kid-friendly, gentle tone of the original films, particularly in this story. The Girls, headed by Twilight Sparkle, join other kids from Canterlot High School for a week at Camp Everfree in a beautiful rural setting. They encounter numerous strange occurrences, including ghostly spirits and scary personal nightmares, and they're introduced to the legend of Gaea, a giant, evil, rock-toothed creature. Most surprising to them, they each begin to discover magical abilities of their own. There's lots of suspense, visual images of the girls in danger, and a climactic battle that may be frightening for younger or more sensitive kids. This release is tied to a whole new line of Everfree Equestria Girls dolls and toys, as well as a six-tune soundtrack from this film. Appropriate only for kids who are comfortable with pretend scares and action. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While My Little Pony attracts all ages with its gentleness and positive messages, the Equestria Girls subsidiary is aimed at tweens, so peril, spookiness, and trendiness take center stage. The six main characters are engaging and attractive even as they're superficial and one-dimensional -- here's the fashionista, there's the athlete, and the animal whisperer is quietly saving the planet one squirrel at a time. There are lots of references to characters and situations from the three earlier DVD stories, so kids new to the brand may be wishing for a little help with backstory. Still, despite that, the forgettable songs and the fact that the plot is dense (with multiple antagonists), My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree has enough going for it to appeal to old fans and new audiences as well. Hasbro has created this franchise to compete with tween-favorites such as Monster High, Barbie, and Scooby-Doo! -- all runaway money-makers. It's OK for kids who are clear about real vs. cartoon violence.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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