Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Little Pony: Equestria Girls

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is an adorable phenomenon. For a show designed to teach young girls basic lessons on friendship and then sell them toys, a surprisingly large chunk of their fanbase is adult men. Bronies (and their oft-overlooked female counterparts, Pegasisters) cite the show’s clever writing, vivid animation, and endearing characters as the reason for the allure. It’s no surprise that the first full-length feature, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, would place the ponies in human bodies in an effort to pander to those grown-up fans. Do adult men really want to watch cartoon teenagers get into shenanigans? The millions of animes sold say yes, yes they do. But does the movie live up to the standard set by its television precursor? The nanobots will find out!

  • Opening the film with a cute choo-choo train! = +3pts 
  • Being a princess means having responsibilities? That’s, like, so boring. = -5pts 
  • If we had to choose between majestic Pegasus wings or being able to snuggle under blankets for good night’s sleep, we’d choose the latter. = -4pts 
  • Remixing the intro song to a high enough level of obnoxiousness as to make the listener poke his or her ears out. = -15pts 
  • Naming Twilight Sparkle’s nemesis “Sunset Shimmer.” = -6pts 
  • It’s a real dick move to punctuate your explanation of the obviously important task that is retrieving a harmony-balancing crown with, “Do you realize the importance?” = -4pts 
  • In pursuit of Sunset Shimmer, Twilight Sparkle tumbles into an alternative dimension where she and everyone else is an adorable teenaged schoolgirl. For fan-fiction purposes, they’re all eighteen. = +7pts 
  • Spike, the dragon equivalent of Orko, is spared the schoolgirl metamorphosis and is instead transformed into a cocker spaniel. He’s still cute, we guess. = +3pts 
  • To avoid issues of race, the teenagers are colored like pastel plague victims. = -4pts 
  • Zecora the mystical zebra is unsurprisingly missing from the humanized cast. We were really looking forward to seeing an African character wear neck rings and speak exclusively in rhymes. = -5pts 
  • Schoolgirl dimension Fluttershy is still endearingly awkward and submissive. D’awww! = +5pts 
  • Rather than ask why Twilight Sparkle was suddenly a student at her high school, the principal immediately asks if Twilight was interested in running for Homecoming Princess. = -6pts 
  • None of the ponies get along! Time to inject this mundane schoolgirl universe with the magic of friendship! = +4pts 
  • Sunset Shimmer’s nefarious plan of attack against Twilight Sparkle is to have her henchmen take embarrassing videos of Twilight trying to adjust to being a people and then make them viral. Such villainy! = +12pts 
  • Ruining a silent auction with fireworks and noisemakers. = +5pts 
  • Rainbow Dash brutally destroys Twilight Sparkle in a game of soccer to prove that Twilight will do anything if it means doing it for her friends. We think it was more to show how much of a terrible character Rainbow Dash is. = -2pts 
  • Spike resists the urge to hump Rarity’s leg. = +4pts 
  • Twilight Sparkle has an awkward moment with a boy. That’s precious until you remember that she’s actually a horse. = -4pts 
  • The girls don ears and tails in an effort to dazzle their classmates into voting for Twilight Sparkle as harvest-time princess. Bronies, get your boners ready! = +5pts 
  • Oh, now they’re singing. Belay those bones, fellahs. = -5pts 
  • Guitar solo! = +10pts 
  • Taking the sagacious advice of your talking dog that is actually a dragon without it backfiring. = +6pts 
  • Musical “Let’s Work Together!” montage time! = +9pts 
  • Musical “Let’s Get Gussied Up!” montage time, complete with a magic dog trying on mustaches! Fuck yeah – BACK-TO-BACK MONTAGES!!! = +18pts 
  • +1 point for every teenager losing their virginity at the end of the Fall Formal. = 0pts 
  • Twilight Sparkle has her princess crown stolen once more, but doesn’t anticipate Sunset Shimmer turning into a maniacal She-Satan upon wearing it. She really should have seen that coming. = -2pts 
  • Sunset Shimmer transforms her henchmen into devils and blows a hole in the high school wall. Boy… that escalated quickly. = +8pts 
  • Wilhelm scream! = +5pts 
  • The girls transform into a Sailor Moon team of pony-eared super-heroines because friendship is motherfucking magic! = +15pts 
  • The epic final showdown between demons and super-ponies lasts just long enough for the writers to realize that this scene was included in a movie aimed at young girls. = +5pts 
  • Of course Sunset Shimmer was evil because she knew no other way, and of course the girls forgive her for trying to murder everyone in the entire world. = -6pts 
  • Someone finally hangs a lampshade on Spike’s ability to talk. = +3pts 
  • Pinkie Pie. = +10pts (Just ‘cause.) 
  • Derpy Hooves stinger! = +7pts
Total Score = +76pts
Available: The Hub, Netflix, motel rooms crammed full of pony convention-goers

My Little Pony: Equestria Girls seems tailor-made to entertain children without making their parents regret having children in the first place. It’s colorful, charming, and genuinely funny, just like the television show. Having the ponies made into teenaged girls with teenaged problems made for a fun “What If?” scenario without permanently affecting the characters oh-so-beloved by the fans. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the show, because you either don’t have children or aren’t a cartoon-watching thirtysomething manchild like this score technician, give the show a chance and hold off on the movie until then. If you’re already among the ranks of bronies and pegasisters, then you should find Equestria Girls a fun (and hopefully wholesome) distraction. For the less-wholesome folks with pony waifus, ready your tissues.

Score Technician: T. J. Geise

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