Hasbro’s My Little Pony has gone through a number of variations since the early creation of the popular Pleating in the 110’s. Pushing from the theatrically beautiful cartoon style, the anime-inspired look has not only changed the toys, but every film and television series has increasingly modernized their aesthetics and storytelling. The franchise reached its all-time high in 2010 with the launch of the “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” era, which started a new congregation of hardcore fans for the affectionate nickname “Bronze”, not just for young girls. Enthusiastic (some toxic point) adult male fanbase.
The recent iteration, “My Little Pony: A New Generation,” lightly taps the reboot button, another step to the sensitivity of the previous decade’s series. Paying homage to the past while telling a new story about Philly’s seemingly impossible quest for the reunion of three broken lands and cultures works wonders in delivering an innovative, subtly destructive family-friendly product. While it has parted ways with the previous blueprint with new characters and CG animations, it retains the lively, cheerful drive of its predecessors centered on friendship, empowerment and magic.
The mythical kingdom of Equestria has been hit as its three species – the pony, the pegasus and the unicorn – have become extinct for reasons no one can remember. Distrust and hatred of uricorns and pegasus are ingrained in the minds of the ethnographic ascetic population of Maritime Bay – and that prejudice has spread. Schools have erased the past from their history books, and their main commercial business, run by warlord Phyllis Cloverleaf (Elizabeth Perkins), has been built around the fear of the winged or horned ponykind. Yet foreign animals have become a matter of curiosity for the headstrong sympathetic Sunny Starscout (Vanessa Hudgens) and her father Argyle (Michael McKinn), who both believe in understanding.
A few years later, after her father dies, Sunny proudly carries a torch for reunion, protesting xenophobic propaganda – to the frustration of her pony friends, the heroic sheriff Hitch Trailblazer (James Marsden) and sniffing deputy Sprout Cloverleaf (Ken Jeong). Yet with the arrival of Easy (Kimiko Glenn) his world turns upside down, a bubble, bright purple unicorn desperate to regain its lost magic. Fleeing from the unconscious townspeople, the dynamic couple flee to Pegasus-occupied Jeffer Heights, hoping to get answers from strangers, their guess is still their magic: narcissistic Queen Haven (Jane Krakowski) and her two daughters, social media influencer Pip Petals (Sophia). Carson) and Rebel Zip Storm (Liza Koshi). But when the mystery is revealed and the truth of their world crystallizes, Sunny begins to question everything.
Directors Robert Cullen and Jose L. Ucha, along with co-director Mark Fatiben, gives their film a cinematic texture-best seen in sequences like Sunny and Easy from a sticky situation, where the pair have to avoid slim balls. Virtual camera lenses, and a large number of musical instruments where a fluid, clear-eyed visual skill effortlessly blends in with a useless, pop-infused soundtrack (executive created by Ron Fair).
The story of saturated colors reflects the narrative change in tone, the coolness in the moment of sorrow. World-building is important in such a reboot, and filmmakers give each environment a unique identity: Jeffer Heights is populated by affordable, golden-trimmed Art Deco architecture reflecting the beauty of Pegasus; The land of the Unicorns, Bridlewood, is a forest of lively fairy tales that jokingly contrast their current laziness mantra; And Earth Pony’s Maritime Bay is a strange, comfortable hamlet that reflects their tradition.
Screenwriters Tim Sullivan and Gillian Bero follow a predictable path and add layered, smart subtext to the narrative despite having significant similarities to “Raya and the Last Dragon.” When it comes to the qualities of a franchise when it comes to brands, female heroes discover that their combined voices are a powerful force. The filmmakers keep the tone light-hearted and pleasantly humorous. Yet their brilliance speaks to the ability to hide in heavy-duty content, systematic oppression, corruption and fascism.
That said, there are some notable frustrating aspects when it comes to character. There is no consequence for those who have deceived the people in positions of power. Sprout, who became a dictator when Hitch stayed away from his position, became scott-free like his mother Phyllis, Queen Haven and Pipper. While that creative decision may be consistent with the pony’s forgiving power (which has not been shown), or it may be a supervised full stop, it is still a misleading idea conveyed to the film’s young audience. Also, the third act climax was unnecessarily confined to itself, where a simple, orderly resolution would have been more beneficial.
Yet, with a resonant sense of overcoming fear, overcoming orthodoxy, and facing adversity with courage, Tun finds his strength and emotional draw. Life-lessons are humbly run to use gifts for personal talent and greater well-being. Entertaining and fantasy-capturing adventures alone are not enough to launch another favorite herd of Hove heroes; They should create a new generation of kids in this process.