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 Friendship Is Magic: Royal Pony Wedding is inspired by a well-known product line from Hasbro, so if your kids aren't already aware of the toys, games, and accessories bearing the brand, they most likely will be after watching. But if this kind of commercialism isn't a concern for your family, this movie is a fine pick: It incorporates valuable social messages into a well scripted, relatable story that has wide-range appeal. The concept of good and evil is central to the story, as are sinister plots and the possibility of being impersonated by someone. That, combined with a physical clash between the two sides -- marked by some hitting, kicking, and an exchange of colored bolts fired at each other -- warrants some thoughtful previewing if your younger kids are sensitive to this kind of content.
What's the story?
Wedding bells are set to chime in the enchanted land of Canterlot as Princess Celestia's (voiced by Nicole Oliver) niece, Cadence (Britt McKillip), prepares to marry Shining Armor (Andrew Francis) in MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: ROYAL PONY WEDDING. But the news doesn't sit well with Shining Armor's little sister, Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong), who fears the union will change her relationship with her favorite brother. Twilight and her Ponyville friends travel to Canterlot to help out with planning the big event, but her resentment turns to concern when she alone notices Cadence's uncharacteristically selfish and cruel behavior toward everyone, including her fiancé. When her friends disregard her worries, Twilight sets out to discover the truth behind Cadence's strange behavior. In addition to the feature story, this DVD also includes three extra episodes from the TV series.
Is it any good?
Even if your kids aren't up to speed on the characters and their relationships, they'll easily settle in to the magical land of Equestria and come to love its colorful, jovial residents. Royal Pony Wedding is the culmination of two seasons of the popular TV series My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. It's tempting to presume the movie is just for the very young, based on its recognizable Hasbro-inspired characters, but in fact there's a lot of humor and some more mature themes that are designed to entertain older kids and, to some degree, even adults.
As with the TV series, this story pulls double-duty as entertainment and an illustrator of life lessons that have value for kids of all ages, this time centering on perseverance and self-reliance in the face of adversity. Twilight's experiences teach her a lot about respecting others' needs and accepting change, and she becomes a better sister and friend because of it. There are some tense moments during a face-off between the Canterlot clan and an army of imposters, so take some precaution in sharing it with very young kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about overcoming challenges. In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Royal Pony Wedding, Twilight has to face doubt from her friends as she works to prove her convictions. What gives her the strength to keep going? Is it hard to fight for something when you're the only one who believes in it?
Kids: Have you ever been jealous of the time a friend spends with someone else? How did it make you feel? What are some ways you can work through a situation like that?
Are you familiar with the My Little Pony characters? Do you have any of the toys? How does seeing the characters on TV influence your desire for the toys, clothes, and other items with their faces on them?
- On DVD or streaming: August 7, 2012
- Cast: Andrew Francis, Britt McKillip, Tara Strong
- Directors: James Wootton, Jayson Thiessen
- Studio: Shout! Factory
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Horses and farm animals, Music and sing-along
- Run time: 120 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
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