As the last season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ended, Twilight Sparkle repeatedly reassured herself—and loyal fans watching—that “everything is going to be just fine!” With Twilight Sparkle becoming a new princess, fans (particularly adult ones) were concerned that the show might be heading off-track into something different than the Equestria that Pony fans know and love.
In the first full-length feature My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, that’s literally what happens as Princess Twilight Sparkle enters the strange world of human high school. With all of these changes, is friendship still magic?
Equestria Girls picks up right where the season ended. Soon after nervously arriving in the Crystal Kingdom to meet with the other princesses, Twilight Sparkle’s crown is stolen by the new villain Sunset Shimmer. To get it back, Twilight follows her into a magical mirror that leads to an alternate dimension, where she is shocked to find herself in human form. She must learn how to navigate through life at Canterlot High if she’s going to retrieve her Element of Harmony. Fortunately, Twilight Sparkle finds some help in the new forms of some familiar friends.
With the show’s lead writer Meghan McCarthy at the helm, rest assured this is still My Little Pony. The film is filled with lively musical numbers that had my daughter dancing along, the same messages about friendship that the show espouses, and humor that gets chuckles from kids and parents alike.
The “Mane Six” might be human teenagers in the movie, but they have the same personalities and quirks that endeared them to fans in the first place. I particularly appreciated the way the film integrated cutie marks into all of the teens’ styles, helping fans spot cameos from all of their favorite little ponies. (Yes, Derpy Hooves is in there.)
For all of these additions and changes, there is only one that gave me pause.
I can accept the new princess and human forms—after all, this is a kids’ show with the end goal of selling toys—but the inclusion of a love interest simply there for Twilight Sparkle to blush and stutter over was unexpected. Twilight Sparkle has always been an unabashed nerd (which is why we all love her) who never loses sight of her goals, so watching a guy turn her into a stereotypical swooning teen was my least favorite aspect of Equestria Girls. Luckily, McCarthy confirmed on Twitter that the character, Flash Sentry, won’t be in the upcoming season, so I can put away my nerd rage.
Is Twilight Sparkle really a princess? Yes. Do they all look like stick-figured Bratz dolls in the movie? Yep. Did my four-year-old love it all? Absolutely.
Equestria Girls is a fun side foray into a new world of My Little Pony. I was fully prepared to dislike it, but overall I enjoyed watching it with my daughter—and I won’t be pulling out my hair when she watches it over and over.
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls comes to DVD and Blu-ray on August 6, 2013.
A promotional copy was provided for review purposes.