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Chestnut horse at the farm
Chestnut horse at the farm
Original photo by Caeleigh MacInnis
Entertainment

“My Little Pony: A New Generation” Movie Review from a Hardcore Friendship is Magic Fan

It is not a secret that I am a pretty big fan of My Little Pony. My Little Pony first originated in 1981 developed by the American toy company, Hasbro©. Since then, there have been 4 generations, and a movie premiering a 5th generation. Generation 4, Friendship is Magic has been, by far, the most successful MLP generation, drawing in fans from across ages and genders. Gen. 4 brought about a new group of fans known as “bronies”, which was a name given to describe the older male fans – it also brought on “pegasisters”, which is the name given to the older female fans. I am considered a Pegasister, since I am an older female fan. Gen 4, Friendship is Magic, premiered October 10, 2010. I first discovered gen 4 when I was 14, and was immediately hooked onto the series. My Little Pony: A New Generation came out on September 22, 2021, and I have had mixed feelings about the release. I have heard good and bad things from the movie, so I decided to write an article on my thoughts while watching the new movie, to bring myself to finally watch the movie. I will be talking about the storyline, animation, characters, towns, and songs; buckle up, there is a lot. I should preemptively say, spoiler alert, because I will be talking in depth about my thoughts throughout the movie, as well as spoiling the entire plot of the movie. 

SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT!!! 

Storyline

So it opens first with a nice cartoony animation style of the mane (pun intended) six from Friendship is Magic talking about facing a danger together, before it transitions into the main characters of the movie. The movie shows us a young version of the three main earth pony characters, Sunny Starscout, Hitch Trailblazer, and Sprout Cloverleaf. Further on, it shows us that the 3 races; pegasi, unicorn, and earth ponies, all live in fear of each other. My original thought when hearing that they lived in fear of each other, was “where are the windigos?” Windigos first appeared in Friendship is Magic’s season 2 episode 11 “Hearth’s Warming Eve” as spirits that feed off of the fighting and hatred of the 3 races. They create cold environments and gain power from fighting. But in the movie, they do not appear, despite the movie being implied to be taking place in the future from the events of Friendship is Magic. Since it would take place in the same universe, it would be plausible that the windigos would appear again, but they are not there. 

Continuing, Sunny is shown to have figurines of the mane six from Friendship is Magic, and they are very important to her. Then the story moves onto when she is an adult and it is heavily implied that her dad is now dead. There is a big show going on about a protection company called “Canterlogic”, run by Sprout Cloverleaf’s mother, Phyllis Cloverleaf, that creates anti-unicorn and anti-pegasus devices that will capture the offending pony or ponies. When I saw the unicorn traps, my first thought was “that’s a little extreme”. It is basically a metal box with a flashing light that captures the pony, with a button on the outside to release the pony, but considering the kind nature I am used to seeing from Friendship is Magic, they seem far too harsh. Then, a unicorn, Izzy Moonbow, appears and terrifies the entire town of earth ponies, before Sunny helps Izzy to her house, where Sunny learns that unicorns have no magic anymore. 

At this point, I needed to take a break from the movie because of Sunny’s voice actress, which I will talk about later. Sunny and Izzy decide to go to the pegasus town to see if they still have magic. We then meet the character Zephyrina, who goes by Zipp, and they are captured by the pegasus guards. They are then brought in front of the queen and two princesses, Queen Haven, Princess Pipp Petals, and Princess Zephyrina who we had met earlier. Princess Pipp is an internet star, which really threw me for a loop because they have phones in this universe, and she calls her fans “Pipsqueaks” which annoyed me because why? No offense to the creator of the movie, but that has got to be the dumbest thing she could’ve called her fans. 

Continuing, we are led to believe that only the royals have magic. But later, when Izzy and Sunny are in the dungeon, Zipp comes to talk to them and we learn that they can’t actually fly, and instead use “wires and clever lighting” according to Zipp. Zipp then breaks Izzy and Sunny out of the dungeon, and to a different room of the castle, where we are shown that there is a pegasus crystal and a unicorn crystal in a stained glass window. In the window, we also see Twilight Sparkle’s cutie mark- Twilight Sparkle is the princess of Friendship in Friendship is Magic- and we see that Sunny’s journal has the same symbol on it. Sunny shows that the crystals fit together, since the unicorn crystal part in the stained glass was broken out on the ground, and they need to reunite the two crystals together. Initially, I knew that there was probably also a crystal for the earth ponies, because there are three races, not just the two, and so it would make sense that there would be a third missing crystal. They manage to steal the pegasus crystal and escape from the royal guards, while also accidentally revealing that the royal pegasi can’t fly, causing Princess Pipp to join the adventure. 

Throughout the movie, we see Hitch Trailblazer again, who is now the sheriff of the earth pony town, travelling solo to find Sunny and arrest her for helping Izzy escape. Finally, Hitch also joins the adventure to find the crystals to help Sunny, because I believe that Hitch has a crush on her, or at least sympathizes with her because he liked her dad, who is now implied to be dead. 

So then they travel to the unicorn town, where Izzy puts fake horns on all the characters, and for Zipp and Pipp, they wear cloaks to cover their wings as well as the fake horns. Sunny learns from Izzy that the unicorn crystal is owned by the character Aplhabittle, who seems to be the leader of the unicorn town, as well as a gambler. Alphabittle then gambles against Sunny, who tries to win the crystal from him with the pegasus crystal, where they do a “Ultimate Challenge” that is basically a “Just Dance” knock-off version, called “Just Prance”. Alphabittle bets she can’t win one out of three games against him, which she agrees to. She ends up winning one against him with help of Pipp cheering her on, and after she celebrates that she won, and her fake horn falls off which causes them to reveal that the only real unicorn in the group is Izzy. They get the crystal by quick thinking on Hitch’s part, where he says all their “forbidden words”. According to Izzy, unicorns are very superstitious, and in order to avoid “jinxies” or bad luck, they have to do certain actions once the word(s) are said. The main characters manage to make off with the crystals, and they try to fit them together to bring back magic. Since there is a third crystal, it obviously does not work, and Sunny, who was so sure it would work, gets sad that it didn’t. The group separates, and Hitch and Sunny both head back home and we are led to believe the others do the same.

Back home, Sprout Cloverleaf, the earth pony deputy, had taken over the town, and formed a mob against unicorns and pegasi, and made the decision to attack the other races. Sunny, now disheartened, heads home where she packs up her mane six figurines, and the night-light that her dad made for her, which features the 3 races and a crystal that diffuses light and projects the 3 races all on her ceiling like a starry sky. Spoilers; that crystal is the earth pony crystal. So Sunny sees in her table that there are grooves for the crystals, and when she places the crystal from the nightlight in the center, the center part of the table descends and she realizes that the crystals fit in the table’s grooves. The rest of the group, including most of the unicorn town, and the guards and Queen from the pegasus city, catch up to Sunny, where she reveals to them that there is a third crystal, and they need to join all three together. At this point, Sprout has brought his weapon — a giant robot of himself — out and starts attacking the unicorns and pegasi that had showed up. Sunny and Izzy run inside Sunny’s house and put the crystals together, with difficulty, because Sprout is trying to destroy Sunny’s house since he wants to attack the unicorns and prevent them from getting magic back. The crystals don’t work again, and Sunny is confused and sad over it. Her house gets destroyed and Sunny ends up giving a speech about how “it isn’t the crystals that need to be joined together, it’s us” meaning the three races. She has a picture of her and her dad, which, when her house gets destroyed, the frame of it broke. So the movie then shows the three “leaders” of the races pushing the broken frame together, as this big moment and they all exchange smiles with each other. Then, all three crystals glow and surround Sunny, who is magically lifted into the air and she gains magical wings and a horn, which I believe she becomes an alicorn through. Then all races regain their magic and it goes to the credits, where we see a nice scene of three foals, one of each race, running and playing together. 

All together, this storyline of the movie was very cute. There wasn’t really a main villain, although Sprout did become the villain at one point. I enjoyed the movie, despite believing I wouldn’t. 

Animation

I don’t have a lot to say about the animation, since I don’t animate but I respect the animators so much. It is animated in a 3-dimensional style, and the mane and tails alone had to take hours to animate. Each model had individual strands of hair, and there are even scenes where a character’s hair is messy, and you can see each individual strand that is out of place. I enjoyed how beautiful and fluid the animation was and the style of animation. While I enjoyed it, I have two complaints. The color palettes of some of the characters seem to clash, Sunny is an orange pony with a magenta mane and tail, Hitch is a yellow pony with a turquoise mane and tail, and Zipp is a white pony with a multicolored mane- which I did like, but it was strange. I enjoy Izzy and Pipp’s color palettes the most, because Izzy is a purple unicorn with a blue mane and tail and Pipp is a pink pony with a purple mane and tail. I did like the colors, even though they clashed a bit, they still look fine. 

Characters

I am just covering the main characters that are laid out in the cast tab of the about page I found in the first result on google.

Sunny Starscout: Sunny is the main character, voiced by Vanessa Hudgens. She is an earth pony, and seems like a basic hero character to me. She is painfully optimistic throughout the whole movie, which honestly is endearing. She also uses roller skates for the beginning of the movie, which I am impressed that she can wear them. Vanessa Hudgens being her voice actor was a lot, especially when she sang, because all I could imagine was Gabriella from High School Musical, which is why I had to take breaks from the movie.

Izzy Moonbow: Izzy is another main character, voiced by Kimiko Glenn. She is a unicorn and is also fairly optimistic. She first shows up to the earth pony town and believes that they are playing a game, when the earth ponies are panicking and running away. Izzy reveals that they have no magic, and joins Sunny in her adventure. At one point, she uses her horn like a woodpecker’s beak, which leads me to believe she has a hard head. 

Hitch Trailblazer: Hitch is the sheriff of the earth pony town, and is also a main character. He is voiced by James Marsden. He seemed to me to be a show off, but is rather nice to Sunny. I got the feeling from his interactions that he has a crush on Sunny, even if he doesn’t. 

Zephyrina “Zipp”: Zipp is a pegasus princess, voiced by Liza Koshy. She reminds me a lot of Rainbow Dash from Friendship is Magic. She reveals to the main characters that the pegasi don’t have magic, and joins the adventure after helping Izzy and Sunny break out of the dungeon.

Pipp Petals: Pipp is the other pegasus princess, voiced by Sofia Carson. She seems like a basic princess character; stuck up, a bit prissy, but overall kind and polite. She is an internet star in the show, which made me confused and slightly angry because why would ponies have phones, they don’t have fingers???

Sprout Cloverleaf: Sprout is the earth pony deputy, voiced by Ken Jeong. When Hitch leaves town, he reveals he is wildly jealous of Hitch. He reminds me of the character Ratchet from the movie Robots, in his actions after Hitch left town He lets his ego grow when he takes charge, and becomes a villain-like character. At the end he repents his actions, and to my knowledge, becomes deputy again. 

Queen Haven: Queen Haven is the pegasus queen, Jane Krakowski. She is the one who wants to uphold the idea that only royals can fly through the use of wires and lighting. After the truth is revealed, she gets arrested for faking it, and encourages her daughters to run away.

Phyllis Cloverleaf: Phyllis is Sprout’s mother, voiced by Elizabeth Perkins. She reminds me a lot of a “Karen” type person, and she is the leader of the town and Canterlogic, which is over the top on panicking about the other 2 races. She also dotes on Sprout to the point that Sprout seems like a spoiled child. Eventually she stops Sprout from hurting anyone.

Alphabittle: Alphabittle is implied to be the leader of the unicorns, voiced by Phil LaMarr. He reminds me a lot of the house when gambling, because he is big on bets and rigging the bets in his favor. 

Argyle Starscout: Argyle is Sunny’s dad, voiced by Michael McKean. He is very loving and allows Sunny to believe in anything. He reminds me a lot of Nani from Lilo and Stitch in how he let’s her be herself and teaches her how to believe in herself. After Sunny is older, it is heavily implied that he is dead.

The casting was spot on for voices. Based on their personalities in the show, each voice fits the character very well and I love the casting choices, despite Vanessa Hudgens’s voice causing me to have to take a few breaks from the movie.

Towns

Maretime Bay: Maretime Bay is the earth pony town. It is a pretty basic, seaside style town. Sunny’s house is a lighthouse, and we see smoothie carts and a railcar track in town. I like the town. But the unicorn traps throughout the streets are a little extreme.

Bridlewood: Bridlewood is the unicorn village. The entrance is rather morbid, with how many anti-earth pony and anti-pegasus signs that there are. The village is very depressing to see, and all the unicorns are sad and depressed, since they have no magic. The village is in a crystal forest. The unicorns are very superstitious, and have forbidden words, which are “magic”, “wing”, “feather”, and “mayonnaise”. None of which are explained, which I feel like mayonnaise needs an explanation.

Zephyr Heights: Zephyr Heights is the pegasus city. They live in the clouds, like in Cloudsdale from Friendship is Magic, and they have a palace, which appears to be very similar to Canterlot castle from Friendship is Magic. 

The towns all seem to fit the vibes that each race seems to inhibit. Maretime Bay is over the top about panic, Bridlewood is depressing, and Zephyr Heights is snobby. 

Songs

“Glowin’ Up”: I didn’t know when this song played, so I had no thoughts about this song. 

“Gonna Be My Day”: This song is very fun and boppy. It is Sunny singing it when she is Roller skating through Maretime Bay to the show of the new defense mechanisms from Canterlogic.

“I’m Looking Out For You”: This song was a lot. I had to take a break from the movie when this song played, because it was just a lot for me. Though it is a fun song sung by Izzy and Sunny together. 

“Danger, Danger”: All I have to say about this song, sung by Sprout, is Racist war propaganda

“Fit Right In”: This is a fun and boppy song, sung by Izzy and the rest of the main 5 characters. It had a lot of different music genres spliced together into one song and I had to take another break at this point because it was also a lot. 

“Together”: This was one of the end credit songs. It has the classic “happy ending” movie feeling to it. I don’t really have much else to say about it.

“It’s Alright”: I didn’t find when this song was played, so I also didn’t form an opinion over this song. 

My Little Pony; A New Generation is available to watch on Netflix. I used google and Wikipedia for some of the research I did about when MLP first was created, as well as to know who voiced each character and the names of the songs in the movie. Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It was a lot for me to handle, going from being a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fan, seeing generation 5 starting now. I am very optimistic to see how these characters evolve, if they do in other shows or movies. As a Friendship is Magic fan, I give this movie a rating of 9/10, I would recommend it. I do not give the movie a 10/10, purely because I enjoy generation 4 so much more.  

my name is Annie Zalewski, and I enjoy writing random stories. I write about artistry, hunting, and other random things I enjoy, or find appealing.
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