Never really got spoilers really. Like, merely the way its told can drastically affect the way you interpret a scene. Like yeah, you can tell me Snape kills Dumbledore, (Oh come now, that's been around for ages! Don't think that was really all that important in the story anyhow. Now if I told you that literally just about everyone died...) but why, how, where, to what ends and the dramatic importance on the story can only be personally experienced. I could sit you down and tell you the entire story of a movie in summary, but it still wouldn't be your journey! A spoil does nothing but encourage you to see how events turn out! Besides... for the most part I can tend to see things coming before they happen in most movies. There's only so many storytelling conventions after all.
Well... for the most part~
The Brony... I mean Pony Movie was & is a big thing for me. Granted, its not the big life changer I had gone in expecting, but it was all the same! I was squealing like any of the kiddos and never before had I felt so free with emotion enough to so genuinely enjoy myself in public. It's a happy movie! Weell... okay, the "experience" is anyway. I think that's why the movie gets such a bad rep with critics like the Tomatoes of Rotting or whathaveyou. From a technical standpoint, the MLP movie is notably lacking. If you go into this movie with a checklist of expectations, of needing things you expect every respectable movie to have, then you'll be grumpy coming out. You go in just to have a fun time, knowing its "just another kids' movie", perhaps escorting your own little humanspawn of your own, then your expectations shall be overflowing! There's a lot of movies that vie for the coveted spot of "A Faaimly Peecture" where both young & old can get different things from it. Like, say, a few times where a goon was assaulted and said goon's hands reflexively went south to the damaged area and my knowledge of anatomy would alert me that there was really only one place that hook just went.
I suppose I'm more of a reaction sort of fellow, rather than an opinion piece. I suppose the best place to start is the beginning! ...Of the short before the intro before the actual movie...
Yeeesh...Can't even remember the name but that was some J-Pop sparkly nonsense! All a bunch of colors and overly expressive expressions and razzle-dazzle animation... golly, that was probably what everybeing against bronies that can't get past the eighties-version of the show probably see MLP as! Though, I will grant it that its not only the first showing of a Tentacle-Dragon, but a truly respectable portrayal of what can only be described as big, goopy, monstery cuteness! While I could practically hear every brain in the audience immediately forgetting the little starchild, her pet color-beings and the... "Little Dreamer" I could hear every body in that place reacting to Ol' drooly face tentacles exactly as you knew the writer wanted them to! I know not who is responsible, but you made a bus-sized Tentacle-Dragon immediately relatable! I salute you writer!
That opening title drop, man... that really leads me along. That building awe of "Omigosh, what's going ooon?!!?" Most would call this franchise sparkly, but it gets pretty easy to ignore all the colors & pastels once you get used to it. That, was well done though!
That opening preparing-the-party scene: That's probably where I accepted my, shall we say, my Theatrical Alignment, with Rarity. Why, YES rainbow~ Just sloppily drape the delicate bows just aaaall over the stage... We need Presentation & Percision, darling!
Have to say though, that opening song of "We Got the Beat" as sung by ponies was rather trite. Cute, but was kind of wholesale stealing that from original meaning. Another thing that we rightfully didn't exactly need in the movie.
The short joke of Applejack trying to fill a mug of apple cider faster than RD can swoop it up was amazing! Kind of want to see what would happen if I could just blur-fill-in enough mugs to the point where Dash tanks too much and faceplants the paved plaza! Glad to see the mare finally gets her fill of her favored cider!
Some might say that the turning point was Pinkie's supposed ruining of the party by attempting a Three-Tier Cake Cannon. I find myself asking the question of why any other being would not want to be instantaneously encased in goopy cake!
And... well, let me tell you now. I'm a character driven fellow. Most of this will be regarding characters. And... well, let's face that some among you are waiting for a point to get angry at me about, so I might as well deliver a point of contention to thee promptly!
Sia is garbage.
Yeah, I'm not saying she's worthless or anything... She's just icing on the cake. A cake most would say is already too sweet... I don't know this Sia sort. I'm sure she's more than earned the right to be called a great singer, but she gives nothing to this movie. She shows up the first time, practically grunts, then leaves. Second time, she's singing in a cage for a few seconds before the scene changes. Third and final is her big number that we've been hyping up... and her song is pretty much unintelligible to me. I'm sure it fits, they wouldn't have paid her otherwise, but its just random noise behind mumbling for me. Sia could have been removed entirely from the movie & not affected anything. I'm not even sure I'm spelling her name right. The whole movie she's hyped up like half the reason anybeing is watching this movie is to see an animated version of this Sia and not the ponies or the actual story. Maybe a few songs I've heard from Sia without knowing about it, but as to Songbird Serenade... I... I just really cannot even care.
This whole shindig is for Sia's sake. I mean, sure, I can understand Twilight doing her usual over-fretting about it but, really? YOu think its a good idea, Twi to have Celestia & Luna divert the very celestial bodies, and Cadence to do some crystal lightshow (because she's apparently a crystal-mancer now?) just to make an already showy show even showier? Oh... and... just one teensy little issue... Isn't getting the Four Leaders of the Free World all in the same city, and away from their kingdoms, a huge liability? I mean, just any mercenary with a handy weapon can just waltz right in and-... oh, see, there ya go.
Must say, using a crystal-forming grenade (corruption crystal matrix does look somewhat familiar... like that rock-infection Shining Armor got on his horn during Sombra's attack. Hmm...) is extraordinarily clever. Not fatal, more like a paralytic. Later, we hear sounds escaping those prisons, so its even weaker magic then the calcification Discord went though.
And that's what I like about our villains. They're mercenaries. Selfish, opportunistic, but not really all that violent if they don't need to be. I like Storm King! He's got no ageless vendetta, no complex scheme with so many, easily misplaced parts. No, he just wants to wield power with the staff he's already got. Had it not needed to be powered up using four leaders as basically batteries, I feel no doubt he'd just as easily rather smooth talk his way in as an ambassador and just steal what he needs before anypony notices. I get this funny notion... that he's the way he is the same reason Twilight Spar-... wait, no.... Starlight Glim-... no, Tempest... Shadow, yes! The reason she is, because it was made clear to him early on that trusting others gets you taken advantage of. I'd say he's more chaotic than even Discord. He doesn't want to listen to your pleas, because it doesn't help what he wants and it kind of bores him. He has not much in the way of an end goal, doesn't want to make you quake in fear... you just have something he wants, and you're in his way.
Pity he's not the actual villain. I mean, sure, his symbol is plastered on everything outside of Equestria, but that's all done outside the scope of the scenes we're shown. He doesn't really even show up until the last third of the movie! That's probably the biggest fault with the movie, it just changes setting far too fast because it got too excited to be "new." No doubt the moviemakers were all excited to put as many details in as possible, and I can't say I or any of you all would have done any better going in with that mindset. But it's... a bit disjointed.
But I digress.
I complained, belligerently, about how easily they dismissed the entire world in To Whatever & Back as the last two-parter finale. We're seeing a REAL bad habit of show-writing where we have to toss out every possible trump card and every ruling body just so we can have more drama to deal with. In this movie however... think they did it pretty well. Celestia & Luna were quickly dispatched, but they don't feel any weaker for the fall here like as what happened when Celly was gunned down by a MacGuffin at Cadence's wedding. Here, the twin leaders of the free world were pretty much suckerpunched out of commission. No doubt Tia could shoot that weapon out of the air were she not distracted trying to order out plans against this invading force and Luna was head dead-on while trying to flee to safety in mid-air. A lucky shot from our villains, I must say. Likely the opposite trope of good ol' Stormtrooper Aim. Perfect aim when it removes major players out of the story. Still... while I'd like to see our Leading Mares actually be competent for... for once, felt its dealt with well here.
So, Twilight & her crew once more happen to get away from the battle to begin our journey, but there appears to be a note I'm forgetting. Ah, oh yes... that would be that...
Ditzy-Doo took a bullet for Equestria!
My swee' babby cheese! I think, beyond any of my doubt, that that moment will go down as the best writing & action having undertaken in any film in forward perpetum for the rest of my life! And, now look, I'm not all that avid of a Derpy fan. I frankly dislike that nickname. There isn't much to her character, but I can understand the feelings & emotions that are moored to her, that she kind of represents the brony fandom as a whole, almost. Really now, think about it. You can't really do too much with Ditzy of Doo. Play her too often and you'll have to give her a character, write her lines and risk running contrary to the ideal the fandom has ascribed to her. Miss Muffins is all about being seen, but not heard. She's silly, cute, but kind and innocent. Any of us fans would have been happy with her popping up that once to break line during a song. That's so her, after all! But... that momentary war that burst out... all the Confusion & calamity. Where I know I would have just become overwhelmed to curl up in a corner to wait it all out... I heard a high lilt of a voice peal out... as a bomb heads right for Twilight, the last royalty and hope for Equestria, all being taken down in a cruel twist of drama having been unforeseen.
I could not place that voice. It did not seem to match any of the previously introduced characters. I could not, for once, fathom what was going on. And the magical aftermath settles... and we see the form of a pegasus having frozen still where she pushed the last remaining hope out of harm's way. ...a small, awkwardly placed party hat haphazardly coming off her head where she had clearly put it there only in a moment of revelry without second thought. That same rash thinking having not only doomed her, saved all of Equestria and... well, everything. The movie, everything else that happens during all of this... Rides on the grey wings of the Sunny-Haired Mare.
We... Just no one could possibly ever ask for anything more of our lass Derpy at this point. That's "Jumping the Shark" done right! Think I have heard it say that that moment was essentially like all of the fandom leaping into to take the proverbial bullet. As if to encapsulate every time any audience member has cried out with the thought of "No! Please don't harm the characters I've grown to love!"
And what's absolutely beautiful even more to that short, short moment is the technical, logistic side of it. You can't do much with her, even making her speak strains credulity when working with Ditzy-Doo. So just have her do what she's always done. Just be there when you need her. Think so very much can be pulled out of so little there. Don't we all wish we just simply had somebeing to be there when we needed them?
Ah, but I must dry my tears of emotion for now. Before I leap into the adventure, I'm reminded of that "We Got This" song. Must say I adored Rainbow Dash's part and in this movie as a whole. Once more I'm reminded of how she seems more like a symbol of Courage rather than Loyalty. But I noticed that, that message in that song feels a little ominous. "I've got this" is the sorta self-reassurement we tell ourselves when we're buckling under stress, and I think that's a tone that certainly carries onto the rest of the movie too.
But anyhow, after this, our six heroines fall off the Canterlot mountain into the river below. Putting aside how that should still be fatal, I have a Big Question here. Just how do the places from this movie line up on the Equestrian map? I'm no good for directions, but... they fall into a river, follow it... East? then somehow wind up in a huge, trackless desert? Deserts seem to be the one severely lacking biome in Equestria, and on top of that, somehow that desert immediately leads right into a port-town right on the ocean? H-how? Can deserts even do that? Be right next to large bodies of water like that? Then, after that, we seem to be up in the air, traveling over the ocean to who knows where to a forested area then somehow poof back into Equestria! I was initially worried about them not being able to juggle as many characters as they wanted to, but holding scenery for longer then fifteen minutes seemed to be the bigger issue!
Did adore that port town! It's a right wonderful thing to see a part of Equestria that ain't so happy-happy, party-all-time sorta place. Cause really, no matter how peaceful and utopic a society is, there will always be shady parts of town! And another thing, that I REEALLY want an answer to: What even was the name of that town? Because this place was MADE to be a wealth of new RPing for the fandom! The place where anything can be bought or sold! Though on top of that, this tiny town gives us all another huge shift to the fandom. Anthropomorphic & Furry characters are now a thing in this fandom! We've all argued about what the difference is between a Furry & a Brony (there has got to be a smattering of jokes for that!) but now, there ain't no reason not to anymore! Kinda woulda preferred this world remaning strictly quadrepedal, but... well, more OC options, eh?
There was toad people, bipedal fish, anthro lizards... that cat... All wealth of variety you could imagine! Guess the only rule to Equestria now is no human faces. Eh, a great setting all the same! I loved that scene where Pinkie hollers out for somebeing to (Oh heh, validates my "Somebeing" now don't it? More then ponies about, eh?) guide them to their next destination and she rattles off items, among which is a Picture of Maud. Now, we All know how valuable that is, but I loved how every audience member, especially the older ones laughed out loud along with me when one voice out of the excited crowd shouted out with a somewhat nerdy request of "I'll take the photo of her sister!" Because we all know that One Guy in the crowd!
I can just SEE it now! Some large, overweight, mouth-breathing, wall-eyed fish person slowly picks Maud's photo off the ground and just becomes instantly enamored by her immaculate visage! And so begins an endless, tiring journey for him to finally meet his beloved on her doorstep!
...Oh... yeah... I guess I have to touch on Crapper at some point. He seemed to be another Aladdin copy street-tough. Sure, he was... fine, but he still struck me as an unnecessary addition that we'll undoubtedly never see again. Capper was pretty dapper, I must say, a fine example of the sorts from this port town if we had to only get one named character out of that visit. I do approve of how well he and Rarity "hit it off." There was this whole... sort of betrayal thing he did but... while I loved the town, still seemed to just be a Stage in the movie rather then a part that was imperative to where the story wound up. Will grant him a fair bit of respect for him addressing Spike during combat with the line of "You are a fire-breathin' dragon, ain't you?" How could anybeing worry about their odds when they've got a dragon their side, eh?
Kind of didn't like all that stuff & nonsense about how easy it was for the villain crew to track down the hero crew. I suppose, yes, Storm King kind of had claim over this little Port-Town and would probably know when they showed up, but still, Tempest Shadow sure did show up pretty quickly after what must have been essentially abandoning the three princess they had flashfrozen down. Second time, I'll grant them. Rainbow had been deprived of her chance to show off during that interrupted party, and it was a joyous moment. RD ain't known for patience after all! Third & final time the villains showed up again... that was just a cheap shot at dropping a cage on our protagonist having been left alone for a few minutes. As with the huge issues I had with Whatever n' Back, I kind of feel they made the villain force a little too unreasonably strong to match what we've worked the good side up to after all this time.
Oh, and speaking of that "Joyous Moment." Yeeeah, I dunno Dashie. Probably don't want to be giving a pep talk to a pirate crew. Yeah, sure, no doubt you're loving this, Raininator, but... Well, Each one of these feathered fellows happens to have some form of prosthetic. Sure, I know that's a joke. Peg-claw, Peg-foot, Peg-beak, Peg-tail... funny there, until you realize that this means they've seen Actual Combat. Not PG kiddy show hoofin' of enemies or magicy hoohah... straight-up lopping off of parts, deep wounds that don't heal right that require amputation, actual health concerns actual pirates face. Not to mention that I'm pretty sure a fully-stocked pirate boat usually has significantly more then just four members to keep it running. That seems strongly like they lost quite a few friends in the fights with the Storm King that reduced them down to the mere delivery ship they now are.
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand... that's kinda the thing with pirates, you know? They can't be kept down because of what they are. As soon as they're let loose from being directly pointed at with whatever weaponry you have, they can go back to robbing whoever they want in the Wild Blue, because its kind of hard to track rogues in uncharted wat-... well, skies in this case. That pep talk kind of just reminded them that "Oh that's right! We can just go right back to doing whatever we feel like! We can lie to whoever wants to try controlling us!" So, without the Storm King around Caeleno and her crew are just as likely to go back to robbing everybeing they come across if they want. But I'm sure it's a Friendly Mugging!
Oh! And Caelano herself! Love that design! I... don't know how a harpy has giant feather ears like that, but she's totally beautiful all the same! Loved that one aftercredits scene of Spike trying to chew on her crystal peg leg!
Well, after their run in with pirates & getting shot down yet again by the villains du jour, the main seven find themselves at.... Happy Hippogriff Land to find the wossnames they thought would help save the day or whatever. And, the... the thing here is... that I want to make a solid point across to any who read this... and... as a mythology buff myself I'm... I'm rather offended by this... But HippoGriffs & HippoCampi are NOT the same thing! Yes, to any fan who actually was excited for the FishMutants... I mean, "Merponies" then I'm sorry to tell you that, no, they are not a race or species of their own. That was all a merchandising cash ploy for... I mean, Magical Effect. Now granted, The Hippogriffs turning into Hippocampi (which is old greek for a horse with the bottom half of a fish.) clearly means that there's a preconceived form for these new forms. Implying that the idea of a Merpony is around in Equestria but none are actually shown anywhere in this movie. I will certainly grant that Hippogriffs are by and far better designed than merponies. Princess Hyperactive looked far better in her original birdy form and alot more withstandable without all the constant, fishy, thrashing about she did as the stereotypical ditzy teenager. Queen Nova though I liked better. Probably just because we finally have a positive Queen around and a princess in her intended role of "daughter of the actual royalty." Was pretty convinced Queen Nova was being played by Queen Latifah.
Thing is... Thing is... Problem most watchers have with this portion of the movie is that they accuse Twilight being out of character & just taking the solo road of just stealing what she wanted when met with adversity. I say that's entirely within her character and the whole point of the movie.
That's what this movie is about. Trust Issues. Everything just about literally blew up around poor Twilight Sparkle and the fate of the world pretty much literally rests on her back now. She can't afford to lose! ...granted, quite sure we covered this issue in the show... when... like, the Plundervines came up and she insisted she had to go on alone when all her friends didn't want to risk losing the last leader in Equestria. But the point still stands. At the best of times, like when this movie opened up, Twilight isn't one to take stress well. This is a situation that really doesn't feel like just a quick party will help. Friendship won't help matters here nor do we have the time to just yuck it up with the natives to gradually earn their trust. Their Queen said she didn't want to help and there was no other options to take. Sure, i can't begin to comprehend how "Giant Orb that Turns Things Into Being Part Fish" in anyway helps the problem at hoof, but still. And on top of that, this point has been made blatantly clear during the past few days. Trusting others hurts sometimes.
They gave the invading force enough trust to talk things over, and they didn't want to talk. Everything blew apart there. They fled to a strange town, trusted a CatPerson when they needed a guide and got backhanded again when he tried to sell them off as slaves... or food, that guy looked rather dubious. They went to the only town they had any information, they're last hope for saving the world, and they simply got shot down because they didn't want to become involved. Their position was habitually compromised time and again. Twilight was supposed to have "Got This" and she can't do anything. (Eh? Eh? And y'all didn't think a song could also be foreshadowing!) Ask yourselves, haven't you ever had a moment when you were backed up against a proverbial wall with no other options for you to take? Simply convincing them wouldn't work & Twilight's only working off of panicked guesses at what to do here. I'd say it was less moral for her not to let her friends in with this plan, maybe talk it over with them first, than her outright trying to steal the MacGuffin object to supposedly win the war.
Huh. Guess that Pearl really wouldn't have helped. The Hippogriffs did show up a little bit towards the end and that Pearl never showed up again anyways.
But, after this, our protagonist is laid low by the character arc she's going through and gets captured and taken back to where everything eventually went down. And this, is probably the best time to touch back onto the remaining characters, the villains. Grubber is best villain! Sure, he's pretty much a useless, comedic relief sidekick that doesn't add much, but I can totally relate! Really has that feeling that he's with the bad guys just because that means he can enjoy the baked spoils of their conquests. Sure, a bit annoying but not as insufferable as Scrappy-Doo levels sidekicks tend to get. He really does seem to know his place in this hierarchy but still manages to keep his own personality in spite of it!
Oh, and Tempest Shadow. (No, While I may not belief in Spoilers, what her Real Name is just too good to ruin for any other fan!) I bring her up now, because at this point in the movie, she gets her villain song. Man... Villain Songs...
That was just far too intense & mature! ...What? You don't think the Pony Movie can be mature? The entire time during that song, there's little in the way of distracting visual effects, no chipper music, just the whole thing set in the brig (prison area) of an airship while Miss Shadow's giant head looms center screen staring over the audience the writers know have small children and she says with a matter-of-fact tone of what is esentially: "Wake up Little Ones. Life is Pain. Sometimes things turn out wrong, hurt you, make you incapable of playing nice with others. Life will hurt you, test you, and make you wish for the times you were happy like you are now when you're young & protected. Expect others to hurt you, because they often will."
Ah Jeez... I've never thought I would see media meant for children take the effort of teaching the lesson that we're not special, that life isn't always easily solved by being happy at it, that you should be afraid & scared sometimes. Maybe some haven't seen this, expecting it to just be another kids' movie of fluffy nonsense like so much has lately been. T.S is undoubtedly Emo, but she has well enough reason to be so.
Ah, Jeez. Poor Tempest here. Got mauled when she was young, and as a result she was handicapped and prevented from ever having anypony be her friend. Granted, there's still, like, her entire teenage years for her to be social... there's a big time span there to do, like, whatever to fix that so still moping about that now when you're adult enough to be leading an army kinda seems to point out that maybe you're standing in your own way here, but... still convinced that you've got a reason to distrust all the time, Tempest.
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIf it weren't aaalso, the little fact that you're working for Storm King too. Cause, you know, you did say you were expecting him to "Make you whole again." (Yeah, that phrase setting off anybeing else's Feminism Alarm? Or maybe a little heavy on the Handicap Discrimination there?) Isn't that kind of a great deal of trust there too? Yeah, being mean to others because that's what you expect is one thing, but crying to Storm King her and acting surprised that he suddenly doesn't want to hold up his end of the bargain kind of makes you a massive hypocrite.
So too, I was balking at the notion of a broken horn. Seems be that having the last two inches snap off still doesn't effect your magic usage all that much. A bit random & dangerous, like having a perpetual firework stuck to your forehead, but still. Kind of seems like whining if you you complain about your horn damages in front of your hornless earth pony friends, ya know? I mean, ya don't see pegasai constantly flaunting their wings in front of-... well, okay, I'll grant you that. I still hold that breaking a horn, especially at a young age when it ought be able to grow back somewhat or at least get used to it being like that; its kind of like breaking a toe. It doesn't really cripple your life, despite that being the point of designing it broken like that, but it might be something to be shy about if its pointed out too much.
This... really raises curious questions about that one vendor in that Port Town that was selling unicorn horns. ...does this mean he killed the pony that had it,or are there ponies walking around with their horn having been sawed off entirely? Are unicorn horns supposed to be an aphrodisiac in this world too?
So, really, Tempest is kinda of a bit shallower then I first thought. Still quite relatable and a welcome somber change to ponies as a whole. And... yeah, still kinda love her too. Hey, I gotta thing for Mayaderes and Pathos!
As for the ending, can't say I remember it too well at this point several days away from having watched it. Seem pretty by-the-numbers really. Everything wrapped up nicely I suppose. I do kind of find that funny though... that it seemed that "The Storm King" really only wanted to make the biggest storm he could. Like he just wanted to live up to his title. Kind of a shame that he straight-up done got murdered. Just full up broke to dadgum pieces he done did dere. Sure, they made a joke about that in the credits, what with the stacking back up the shattered pieces of the body of the defeated leader among the crowd of his goons you left behind and convinced to play along with your party. Bit of a dark connotation there, I must say. If there was any villain in the MLP franchise that I would wish for a reformation it would be Storm King. He seemed fun, and willing to listen to others if it benefitted him. Not nearly as bloodthirsty as Sombra, Tirek & Chrysalis were! Besides, I'd love to see that seven foot yeti try to walk peacefully among ponies!
Well... they're not yetis per se... the official Wiki states the Storm King & his goons as "Storm Creatures" being their species name. That's, like, another thing I want somebeing to get back onto me about. Name of Port-Town & Storm Creatures... this is gonna bother me now...