My Little Pony: The Movie (2017)

Movie review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) Movie Poster Image
Positive messages, some scary stuff in sweet, sparkly romp.
  • PG
  • 2017
  • 104 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 32 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 14 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Social-emotional lessons are frequent, circling around concepts like the meaning of friendship, what friends owe to each other, and what working together can accomplish. That said, the science is iffy: Airships can't just float through space without engines or some type of lighter-than-air gas, and it's unlikely that a flying pony could carry several other ponies her same size -- but it is a fantasy.

Positive Messages

Positive messages are emphasized through dialogue, plot, and song, with lyrics highlighting confidence, teamwork, and working hard. Friends are supportive of one another, authority figures are thoughtful and kind, and the ponies' ultimate goals are peace, friendship, and fun.

Positive Role Models & Representations

As on TV show, each pony has individual quirks -- Applejack can get feisty, Verity is vain, Pinkie Pie is daffy -- but they're all reliable, loving friends. Most of the villains are simplistically portrayed, but viewers see the motivation for one pony's misdeeds before she ultimately apologizes and tries to make reparations. Voice acting cast is diverse, with many actors of color in central roles. But note that "good" characters are usually depicted as being colorful, small, and cute, while "bad" characters tend to be dark, hulking, and unattractive. 

Violence & Scariness

Action scenes may be too intense for very young kids: Scary, dark villains come out of the sky in airships that spread spooky black clouds, and several fights take place in midair, with ponies hurtling through the air (before being saved at the last moment). Ponies are turned into black statues with scared-looking faces; a villainous pony shoots electrical sparks from her horn that make other characters fall down. In a scene in which ponies walk exhaustedly through a desert, Pinkie Pie picks up a skull, and a bug crawls out and across her face. Ponies are trapped in cages by villains and almost fall over a giant waterfall. 

Sexy Stuff

Spike the dragon has a crush on Rarity, who in turn seems attracted to Capper the cat: "You are quite charming!" she says. Spike scowls with jealousy. 

Language

"Booty." Plus a couple of prominent burps and a character who scratches his behind. 

Consumerism

The movie is part of a vast franchise inspired by toys; huge amounts of tie-in merchandise are available.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that My Little Pony: The Movie (not to be confused with the 1986 movie with the same name) will appeal to young kids -- especially fans of the Friendship Is Magic TV show -- and that it's full of positive messages. But it does have a few scenes that could frighten very young or sensitive children. Equestria (the pony homeland) is under attack by big, skunk-like villains who come out of the sky in airships that make dark clouds that blot out the sun. And ponies are shown in mortal danger -- for example, falling out of one of the airships -- but they are saved. An evil pony emits dangerous electrical sparks from her horn; at one point, a pony picks up a skull, and a bug crawls out and across the face. Otherwise, the movie is loaded with great takeaways -- support your friends, work together, don't give up, etc. -- as the ponies band together to drive out their rivals and put on a big Friendship Festival. Expect a couple of mildly rude moments -- two belches and a butt-scratch joke -- and a few scenes in which characters appear to be attracted to each other or jealous. But overall this is a sweet, gentle movie ideal for young grade-schoolers. 

User Reviews

Parent Written byRobyn D. October 7, 2017

The scary and sad overwhelms the charming and cute

A few cute, lighthearted moments and songs, and yes, it does aim to teach a lesson about friendship and it does end happily BUT, getting to the happy end was ex... Continue reading
Adult Written byjessicac4 October 15, 2017

Thanks for giving my kid nightmares!

Could the writers of this movie ever have MET a 5-year old girl? Scene after scene was so scary and intense. I was in a theater full of screaming, terrified ch... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old February 5, 2018

Great, but could have been better.

It was a great movie, and I really enjoyed it. Though, I feel like the plot was rushed through the movie so there was not enough time to get to know all the mai... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bytoysorama. October 7, 2017

Better than expected

It's not great by any means, but kids should love it and parents will find it enjoyable enough. The beginning is a bit meh, but it gets better as it goes o... Continue reading

What's the story?

MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE opens during a very special day in Equestria. The ponies' Friendship Festival is about to take place, orchestrated by Princess Twilight Sparkle (voiced by Tara Strong) and all her best friends: Rainbow Dash (Ashleigh Ball), Applejack (Ashleigh Ball), Pinkie Pie (Andrea Libman), Rarity (Tabitha St. Germain), and Spike the dragon (Cathy Weseluck). Everything's going well ... until the evil Storm King (Liev Schreiber) and pony-gone-bad Tempest (Emily Blunt) freeze Equestria's three other pony princesses, stop the Friendship Festival, and steal the ponies' magic. Now Twilight and her friends must make a perilous journey to find Queen Novo, ruler of the Hippogriffs (Uzo Aduba), and learn the secret to defeating the Storm King once and for all.

Is it any good?

Stuffed with magic and sweet messages about friendship and kindness, this pony movie is a worthy pick for young viewers -- as long as the scary stuff isn't too much for them. Speaking of which, did we really need scenes in which the ponies are in danger of falling off a massive waterfall or hurtling through the sky after falling from an airship floating above the clouds? It seems a little much for the movie's young target audience. But there are plenty of positive takeaways to make up for it, with the ponies ready -- nay, eager -- to help each other and everyone else they meet. Parents of princess-mad kids will also appreciate a scene in which Twilight Sparkle doubts her capabilities and an authority figure tells her that "Being a princess means more than just a crown. It's a promise not to let other ponies down." 

The puffy pink-and-purple visuals will appeal to young children, too. There are cupcakes and ponies in every color of the rainbow; there are rainbows that explode like fireworks and undersea dance numbers; there are songs about being awesome and getting by with a little help from your friends. And most of all, there's a magical world where (mostly) female ponies exist in a magical land with all their best friends. It's a place that adults may not be dying to visit, but young viewers will practically want to live there. And My Little Pony: The Movie is made for them. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about friendship in My Little Pony: The Movie. How can you tell the ponies are friends? In what ways do they rely on their friends to help them out of jams? Kids: What qualities do you like most in your own friends?

  • How do the ponies demonstrate courage and teamwork in their struggle to save Equestria? Why are these important character strengths?

  • Why do you think the ponies are brightly colored, while the Storm King, Tempest, and the evil minions are drawn with dark, dull colors? How do movies and TV shows signal that a character is bad? How are they usually dressed? How do they usually look? In real life, are good people always beautiful/colorful and bad people unattractive? 

  • Kids: Do you like the characters in this movie? Have you seen them on toys, books, or clothing? Does watching a movie like this one make you more interested in buying products based on the characters? Do you know what advertising and marketing are?

Movie details

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