Tanner Reviews My Little Pony: Equestria Girls

200px-Equestria_girls_movie_posterWe have to chalk this up to this just is not for me. I am not the target audience for this movie at all. I have seen My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and I do not see what the fuss is about. It is a really good show, sure. But the fandom that surrounds it is just as baffling. For every theory that comes into my mind on the existence of ‘Bronies’ just as many questions spawn from it. It could be that the show was created by Lauren Faust, it could be the animation, it could be touching on some more deep seceded psychosis left dormant in the human mind for generations… Or it could just be it is a good show and people like to watch it. Who knows? If you are a fan of the show, cool! You will not receive any hate from me on that area. All I’ll say is, I have seen the show, it is a pretty good show, and that is about all I have to say when it comes to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Now for the feature-length movie that was released earlier this year, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls… I am having a hard time finding words to say about it. In a way, the movie is pretty harmless. It is a movie that is clearly meant for kids and kids can watch it with few questionable morals being told in the story… But at the same time from a story telling stand point, the film is a pretty hard watch for anyone who isn’t a child or in the fandom.

The story takes place after Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong) has been made a ‘Princess’ by Princess Celestia (Nicole Oliver) and she is still trying to get acclimated to the new title, noticeably her new wings.  Twilight and her friends go to the Crystal City for a ‘Princess Summit’ where her crown is stolen by one of Celestia’s former bitter students Sunset Shimmer (Rebecca Shoichet) who takes it into another realm. Twilight is then tasked with going to the other realm and reclaiming her crown from Sunset before midnight of that night or spend the next 30 moons (so a month I guess?) in this world. She goes through to the other side where she finds that she has been transformed into a human and finds herself at a high school. In the high school is where Sunset Shimmer rules over people and is using her crown to be crowned the Princess of the Fall Formal. Twilight with the help of this world’s equivalent of her friends intends to beat Sunset Shimmer at her own game and be crowned the Princess.


It is Pretty Harmless

I mean… There isn’t a lot that is wrong with it. Besides the areas we get into later, the voice acting is good, the animation is good, and it can be entertaining for the right viewers. I guess what I could say is that on the grounds of what makes an animated movie a movie it is alright and if you are apart of the demographic or a fan of the series… Then you will enjoy it.


The Characters Can Be Construed As ‘Sexualized’

After watching the movie, I was reading some criticisms of the film. Many of whom stated that the film portrayed the characters in a very sexual tone in order to appeal to the adult audience that the series picked up and I do have to say that I do not understand where the criticism comes from. Maybe it is the fact that people are aware of adults who watch this show and are a little uneasy with the fact that the main characters have been ‘humanized’. But overall, the characters do not appear to be overly sexual. They are all on the ‘skinny’ side when it comes to body shape but other than that, their clothes and appearances seem relatively modest compared to other shows.

I mean they are by no means demure, but nothing on the level of hyper sexualizing the characters for an ‘adult’ audience’. I do think a lot of it has to do with people knowing ahead of time that there was going to be a large adult fanbase who would watch this and some of them did think of them in a sexual way. But ultimately I do not think it was the creators intention to sexy up the characters.


It Goes Against A Lot of What the Show Stands For

This is a huge criticism I have for this movie, mainly because the antitheses of this is a major praise I have for the show. One area that I love about My Little Pony is the fact that it seems to be very empowering to young girls. Most of the time the main characters of the show are the ones who are performing the heroics. They are very active characters and are by no means damsels in distress who need the help of a ‘stallion’ whenever things get too hard. It is a show that does not recycle gender roles to the younger audiences.

However in this movie, a lot of it falls into a lot of those old tropes. First, the whole premise of the movie focuses around Twilight Sparkle winning a Prom Queen sort of competition. The whole premise seems to say ‘in order for you to succeed in life, you need to gain the adornment of everyone around you and pander to the crowds.’ It also shows the humanized ponies in fickle spats that seem to be generated from ‘high school drama’. They are all in a fight until Twilight Sparkle comes along to unite them because they believed emails that Sunset Shimmer sent ‘humiliating’ them in various ways. It seems to go completely against the fact that these girls have such strong friendships that a single email could tear them apart.

The fact that the major parts of this movie go against what the show created in the first place and seems to reinforce gender roles is really tragic. Before this movie I would call this movie one of the Best Anti Gender Role Series I have ever seen… And that hasn’t changed… But it certainly put a black spot on it.


Unless you are a fan of the series or part of the target demographic… I really cannot recommend this movie. It puts a nasty black spot on a really great children’s show in my opinion by reinforcing classic gender roles and is just not a very satisfying watch unless you are a big fan of the show.

Final Score 1.5/5

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