Letters to Celestia: Thoughts on My Little Pony: The Movie (2017)

Well, Seven years into the fourth generation of this franchise, another My Little Pony movie has been made. Of course, with the fandom that has surprisingly spawned from the series, this was definitely anticipated and wanted for a while now. When it was announced, everyone was ecstatic (myself included). Though, of course, there is some hesitance considering how the original movie from the 1980’s turned out and how every other Hasbro product movie has been a dud (especially with Transformers). So, having seen it, I’ll share my thoughts on the new movie and show whether it lived up to my expectations or ended up being a total mess.

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SPOILERS AHEAD.

 

Synopsis: While getting ready for the first Friendship Festival in Canterlot, they are soon visited by Tempest Shadow who has come to take the magic of all Four of the Princesses for her leader, The Storm King. After turning Celestia, Luna, and Cadence into stone, the Mane Six soon escape her and try to seek help outside of Equestria to stop Tempest and the Storm King.

 

So, how does the plot fair over?

Well…the movie shares the same plot structure as the 1986 MLP Movie: Evil entity conquers home and they leave it to go seek help and they meet new people along the way. It became rather predictable and it was obvious what would happen along the way (then again, the show tends to be the same way as well). Not to mention the story felt rather rushed. It took a little bit of time to get use to some of the new areas and characters that we get to see but then it quickly moved onto the next one (plus the whole first few minutes of the film basically felt like an Exposition Dump). Sadly, it was something that needed some work done on it.

 

Of course, with it being a motion picture funded by major studios, the animation got upgraded.

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It is highly noticeable that the characters have a more Three-Dimensional look to them, are more rounded, the outlines aren’t as thick as the flash used in the show, and they are even more bright and colorful. Plus the background and setting designs look great and really do feel like a location that is right out of the show. Although, there are a few times they use some 3D models that do look out of place at times which could be obnoxious if you’re picky about those type of things (it didn’t bother me a lot though).

 

With all the major cast announcements for the movie that were made, it’s obvious that they should be interesting characters popping up in the film.

Grubber (Michael Pena) was basically a lackey for Tempest and all he really did was eat food and provide some “comic relief” (I was oddly expecting him to be like Lefou from Beauty and the Beast). Captain Celaeno (Zoe Saldana) was a harpy/anthro parrot who was a member of a cargo ship under the Storm King’s rule but she soon had a change of heart after meeting the girls . Princess Skystar is about the same as most of Kristin Chenoweth’s characters: she’s very upbeat and happy most of the time (so it’s no surprise he and Pinkie get along rather well) and she ended up being one of the better characters in the movie. Queen Novo (Uzo Aduba) was a strict yet caring leader of the seaponies who was hesitant to help the girls considering they’ve had to deal with the Storm King in the past. She had some dialogue that I found funny, mostly dealing with Skystar.  Sia’s character Songbird Serenade only appeared a few times in the film. From what I gathered, she’s basically a well like pony musician (much like Sapphire Shores & Coloratura) and that’s about it.

The one new character who ended up having the most development in the film was, predictably, Tempest Shadow.

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She serves as the second-in-command to the Storm King who joins him so she could get her horn back. The main reason of her becoming a villain is a bit predictable in the fact that she became an outsider after she lost her horn and earned her scar from being attacked by an Ursa Minor in her childhood and everyone else became afraid of her and she ran away because of it. It was also was a bit obvious she would be redeemed by the end of the movie and become friends with Twilight. Still, I think she’ll be the most popular character from this movie (and I think she’s a better redeemed villain than Starlight).

 

Surprisingly, my favorite from all the new characters ended up being The Storm King.

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He was basically a power hungry villain who had constantly changing emotions throughout the movie and I thought he was hilarious. Unfortunately though, he didn’t have as much character development in the film as Tempest and it was rather disappointing. Never the less, he was one of the more parts of the film for me.

 

The one character I did have some worries about was actually Capper.

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The fact that we know have an anthropomorphic Cat as a character, there was a lot of confusion, especially in regards to Opal (similar to Goofy & Pluto for Disney). Not only that, but some of the promotional material did seem to point to him possibly being a romantic interest for Rarity.

 

Remind me again, how did they fandom react when they tried that with Twilight & Flash Sentry?

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Yeah, it didn’t go over lightly. So having it with Rarity probably wouldn’t be the best course of action.

To my surprise though, it didn’t happen. There was no romantic tension between the two of them and nothing ever developed far beyond that.  Aside from that nonsense that I really shouldn’t worried over, he was an alright character. He did seem to be more developed than some of the other characters since he’s the first being they encounter outside of Equestria (who seems to help them).

 

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a My Little Pony movie without being a musical.

For me, the songs aren’t really my favorite parts of the series. While there are many that are good, a lot of them I don’t really care much for and, unfortunately, that was the case for this movie. Aside from a cover of the Go-Go’s “We’ve Got the Beat” which irritated me at the very beginning, I found most of them to be a bit forgettable and didn’t find too memorable (for me at least). The one song I did enjoy however was Sia’s song “Rainbow” which was right near the end of the movie.

 

Overall, what did I think about it?

 

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It has some colorful animation, some of the characters are fun and it was made with care and love (unlike the other Hasbro movies). Although, I didn’t find any of the songs memorable (aside from Sia), the pace of the film felt rushed, it was corny and predictable at times, some of the characters needed a bit more development, and I don’t think that would serve as a good introduction for people who want to get into the series. It’s definitely a movie that was made for the fans of the series and they are definitely the ones who will get the most enjoyment out of it.

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