I should be playing Deltarune, but new horse just dropped.
For a while now, I’ve been saying to anyone who will listen — which, let’s face it, is a depressingly low number of individuals — that they are not ready for an MLP generation switch. So many fans got into MLP:FiM specifically, never looking into past shows or toylines, expecting everything to just continue as-is forever and ever, amen.
I’m not one of those fans. But I’ve also never experienced a generation change, either.
Sure, I’ve watched practically every episode of anything My Little Pony to date, but that all came after discovering the brand in its fourth iteration. I had no idea what to expect.
So what can I say?
Movie good. Nice horse. Very friendship.
Look, the worst thing I can say about this is that it’s not a story so much as it’s a movie script. Like, there’s no real attempts at world-building, or establishing anything beyond what’s necessary to cram everything into 90 minutes. The pacing is breakneck, half of what goes on makes zero sense — though, lemme tell ya, I was way happy the crystals were not the key, to the point that Sunny even says so out loud — but the fact is? This is the kind of movie or show or what have you where the flaws just don’t affect the watching experience.
Well, not unless you’re sitting there, analyzing it in real time. Like me. Don’t be like me, kids.
But no, seriously, I had a lot of fun with this. A few of the jokes felt like corporate oversight, but for the most part, it was really funny, not to mention really fun. The songs barely made sense in context and always surprised me, but they were entirely enjoyable if maybe a little forgettable.
I’d say my favorite was Izzy’s, except for the rap break. And not because it’s rap; that was actually pretty good on its own merits. If the whole song had been hip-hop of that caliber, it’d have been just fine! It was the genre change that wrecked the flow, ironically.
Okay but can we just talk about Sprout’s song for a second? I’m sitting there listening to it, boggling at the absolute madness that is flashing before my eyes, and some autism spark in the back of my brain is going, “THIS IS A PARODY! WHAT ARE THEY PARODYING?” Well, no, it wasn’t. Except the riff was “Smells Like Teen Spirit”!! Like, literally! And then the “Seven Nation Army” visual reference? What the fuck!
Not that any of that is bad, again. Like, I never liked the designs, they’re very Filly Funtasia, but I had started saying they’d look fine in motion, and they really did. The animation was fantastic, this is easily the best thing Boulder Media has ever done. Next time, fewer closeups on the lips, though, please.
I think I’ve hit the part of the review where I just start talking about whatever crosses my mind. Like, damn, was Sprout’s character arc easily the best example of writing in this thing. Did anyone think he was gonna be the villain? No, it was going to be his overbearing mother, or the evil pegasus queen, or the big, mean unicorn, if not all three! Not the whiny little momma’s boy with delusions of grandeur! I really appreciate that whole setup, my god, it’s full of stars.
Also, Izzy is best pony and I will hear no arguments otherwise, thank you, good night.
Uh, guess I’m talking about characters. Sunny was surprisingly likable throughout the whole thing. Hitch, eh, he’s kind of a hanger-on, at least he’s got more personality than Flash Sentry. And I kind of hate Pipp, although ‘hate’ is a really strong word in this case.
Okay, but can I talk for a second about what I have to assume is a failure of marketing? Coming into this, I knew there were going to be five main characters, and three of them were going to be the focus: Sunny, Izzy and Pippy Longstockwings. Except… Zipp was actually the tertiary Rider of this crew? And Pipp was the other hanger-on? I’m really not sure how I came to that conclusion ahead of time, but again, I blame the marketing. Not that it’s a deal breaker or anything, but someone did mess something up there.
Other than that… Okay, wait, what is it with Hasbro and DDR? Is it just Hasbro? There was DDR in Viva Las Pegasus, and maybe the other G4 episode that took place in pony Vegas. And there was DDR in Shang-chi, which, y’know, completely unrelated, except that I saw “Butterfly (Upswing mix)” in the song credits for that movie and realized it was the second Marvel movie I’d seen that used that specific song. (God, I can’t remember what the other one is, I’ve clearly failed as a reviewer.) It’s just a weird running… thing in recent movies. What is going on here?
I wanna talk for a second about another thing that’s actually a big deal for me: The G4 link. That intro, with its non-Boulder animation was a complete mindfuck. And I’m going, wait, why the hell are they acting like this? And then you realize, oh, it must be a TV show or, oh, yeah, it’s kids playing, that makes sense.
Those toys Sunny has are clearly modelled off the Funko vinyls, just sayin’.
But like, we knew there were going to be background details of G4 in the movie. They were all over the promo screen shots. (And there’s also a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it literal insertion of the G1 MLP show into one particular mid-song scene!) My main concern was, is it all going to come back to G4? It kinda sounds like G5 is built upon its bones, y’know? Ponies used to be friends, they used to have magic. So, what, are they going to find the skeleton of Princess Twilight Sparkle and bring her back to life? Will any of the Mane Six have speaking roles? (In, y’know, a diegetic way.) Are they just going to find the Elements of Harmony?
Well, I needn’t have worried. There was no connection, no strong connection anyway. For all that I was kind of hoping those original designs for G5 — where Fluttershy was a unicorn and Twilight was an earth pony for some godforsaken reason — would be the direction the new generation would go in, I also really didn’t want them to do that, either. Leaning too hard on G4 would cheapen its essence, not to mention deprive G5 media of any character of its own.
But like I said, this is more a movie than a story. And because of that, I have to wonder, what’s next? I could see there being a large time skip to an Equestria — and I was surprised they were still calling it that! — that’s become more integrated, where the old fears are distant memories if they even still exist.
Regardless of what form G5’s story takes, though, what will it look like? A line of Netflix movies? A show? A series of what passes for TV specials these days, a la G3? I think I’ve heard there’s going to be a show, but at this point, I’m not sure.
So yeah. Today is the day the MLP fandom moved kicking and screaming into Pony: Generation Five. And I, for one, welcome our squishy-cheeked overlords.