So the new MLP movie, marking the start of G5, came out the other day. I wasn’t even sure I was going to watch it, and maybe I’d just collect the toys because I’m a responsible adult and what do I need with a kiddy show? That would just be absurd. (Nevermind the aforementioned toy collection.) But the day of release, my five-year-old came running into the room, all excited because he’d seen a commercial for the pony movie and I had to see it. So we sat down and watched it. (He was humoring me.)
G5 already has an advantage over G4 for me – it’s on a streaming platform I have, not locked down behind a cost-prohibitive pay wall. Cable is crazy expensive. It always felt like FiM was being made for *other people* and I was always an outsider because I didn’t have the deluxe cable package. I’m not bitter or anything. Except maybe.
To set the scene, the three species of ponies (earth, pegasi, and unicorns) hate each other with a passion, and the events and characters of G4 are distant history. So it seems that the magic of friendship wasn’t all that enduring, which is perhaps a little too depressingly close to real life to be satisfying. Growing up with G1, I never separated ponies like that, and they were all just ponies; so I find it interesting that the powers that be at Hasbro are fixated on driving the pony species apart, presuming that ponies default to a separatist society, going so far as to create a military dictatorship to maintain divisions. (This is a theme that has been around since at least G3. G2 wasn’t incredibly diverse, but at least the few outliers weren’t in separate communities. I guess, in G1, the Flutter Ponies were isolationist, so there were hints of it even that far back.) My gut instinct would be that colorful magic ponies are naturally inclusive, but what do I know.
So, the unlikely friends go on an adventure to recover some mcguffin crystals and restore magic and friendship to the land, but it turns out they had the power inside themselves all along. Bottom line, it’s a kids movie, and it’s fine. It’s amusing and colorful. I mean, we’re not breaking new ground in the art of storytelling, but that’s okay.
We’ve got a healthy dose of product placement for toys that have been released: Sunny’s rollerskates and smoothie cart, puffball animals, unicorn disguises, the pegasi crown, Izzy’s bracelet and tea set, Pip’s phone. I admit, it was kind of fun seeing in context the things I’ve been unboxing.
One thing about the story that is eating me is the revelation that pegasi can’t fly without magic. Really? To me, that’s just a biological feature. Birds don’t need magic to fly. Are the wings literally just for show, with no actual function? Are they conduits for magic like a unicorn’s horn (and that, incidentally, is what an alicorn actually is – a unicorn’s horn)?
An unexpected nod to G3 appears in the form of Alphabittle, the gruff bartender (the drink is tea). It’s like the writers just hunted down the most absurd name from canon that they could find. And he’s kind of my favorite character. He’s cool, he’s tough, he didn’t let a little thing like lack of magic prevent him from living the dream and being a tea room operator. I kind of have a soft spot for unicorn stallions.
And it’s going to bug me that the core team of friends is unbalanced. Two earth, two pegasi, and… one unicorn. And is Sunny permanently transformed into a unipeg, or is it just a temporary power-up? (We don’t use the a-word here in this context, no matter what pressures the outside world puts on us.) I hope it’s just temporary because then the team would just be further unbalanced and I just can’t deal with that.
There is a scene after the credits that seems unremarkable enough, three foals running off to play – is that indicating that the story would continue with them? But we just got to know Sunny et al. and I’d like to allow them more time to develop. But if the foals aren’t significant, why give it that significant after-credits scene if it doesn’t mean anything? Is it just a nod to the Cutie Mark Crusaders? What does it mean?
Anyway, for what it’s worth, those are my thoughts and observations upon viewing My Little Pony: A New Generation. What are your thoughts? Comment below!