Something bad happened in Equestria a long time ago: earth ponies, unicorns and pegasi parted ways and they rubbed salt on the wounds, so that now, in the distance, they hate each other.
But Earth pony Sunny Starscout (Vanessa Hudgens/Nerea Alfonso) doesn’t believe the rest are her enemies, something she’ll find out firsthand when she meets Izzy Moonbow (Kimiko Glenn/Elena Barra and, in the songs, Sarai Martinez), a intrepid and funny unicorn that suddenly appears in her home, Bahía Yeguamar.
Why did the magic of Equestria disappear? Is it possible to restore it? And more importantly, is it possible for all three species to bury the hatchet and be friends again? It is on those questions that he focusesMy little pony: A new generation‘ and he does it in a surprisingly funny way. It is directed by Robert Cullen and José Ucha, and you can see it on Netflix.
The magic of reaching the whole world
Despite being born in the early 1980s, the ‘My Little Pony’ franchise didn’t have a very good reputation until a decade ago. Although there was an intermediate effort in the late 2000s, in the form of an animated series that looks terrible today, the truth is that he earned his fame as a franchise destined for a repipi palate.
It was Lauren Faustin the fourth generation of the franchise, when he hit the bell with a more stylized redesign and less concerned with looking like real ponies, as well as a more casual and fresh tone of the stories, which managed to captivate the child viewer, the youth… and to the surprise of many, the adult. the rocker Andrew W. K.for example, has no qualms about admitting brony, a word that encompasses the male, adult and unrepentant fans of the franchise, but especially those of this iteration. If you’re curious about how this stage was made, there’s an episode of ‘The Toys That Made Us’ on Netflix dedicated to it.
When the stage created by Faust was finished, as is logical, there was some reluctance. Why kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, if the series had nine seasons, a movie released in theaters and two specials? And the most pressing Would the substitutes for Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy or Applejack be charismatic enough?
New generation, new flavor… same taste
The answer, that begins with this film and will continue with two series, one for Netflix and one for YouTube, is yesthe new protagonists have enough charisma to sustain the franchise.
Again, it is not just about targeting the desires and tastes of the little ones in the house, but also about giving the story enough substance and watering the way of numerous nods to popular culture. In a second and third viewing, it has been worth pausing to see, for example, how many brands have been “ponized”, such as one as obvious as Sony, now Pony, or Harry Trotter instead of Harry Potter.
The most remarkable thing is that this fifth generation has not made a clean slate as it had happened the previous times, but it is a continuation of the fourth: the world of the protagonists of ‘The magic of friendship’ is presented as part of a mythical past that, it is not clear why, led to a segregated world, confronted and without magic.
Not all the answers are in the movie (something they want to save for the series), but at least one of the initial unknowns is resolvedyes, very much in the style of what is demanded of any animated movie: with a showy and spectacular climax.
We are afraid and something must be done!
The film’s protagonist, Sunny, believes that all ponies can be friends, but every year she runs into the same problem: it turns out that the business of hating and fearing unicorns and pegasi is too lucrative, with a large corporation that presents crazy inventions with which to neutralize or protect: watch out for the pony that goes flying with the balloons. Inventions that later, with the appearance of the unicorn Izzy, are put into practice.
Although Sunny is the lead, it is Izzy who deserves all the praise for her cheerful and festive temperament., but without the effusiveness of Pinky Pie. Together they become fast friends, and set out to travel the world to restore the magic. Soon after, they are joined by pegasus princesses Zipp (Liza Koshy / Jana Massot) and Pipp (Sofia Carson / Lourdes Fabrés) and Bahía Yeguamar’s sheriff, yet friend, Hitch (James Mardsen / Sergio Mesa).
One of the most successful parts of the film, aside from the formation of a new group based on friendship, is that during Sunny and Hitch’s absence, Bahía Yeguamar is watched over by Sprout (Ken Jeong / Raúl Rodríguez), the clumsy deputy sheriff who wants to validate his position through fear and misinformation. Just in case you thought it was impossible to fit a commentary on the current state of society into a pony movie and do it right…
How they talk, how they walk, how they sing!
Finally, two things that I do not want to leave without commenting on this film. The first is the animation, which is spectacular. One more time, Hasbro (and Netflix) He has had fans of the franchise to redesign the ponies and that love in giving them a new face shows. In the technical part, the modeling, the fluidity of the movements, the light looks incredible… while in the narrative part, the care put into the world stands out, with thousands of details as I have said before and, for example, a running gag hilarious with a pony carried by balloons.
The second is the songs. Unlike fourth generation ponies, or most children’s movie songs, the arrangements are not orchestral: the idea is not to sound musical, but rather (very) catchy pop songs. Maybe that’s why there are only five, but one led me to get up and chant: danger, dangeringeniously translated (like the rest of the film) by Rosa Perez Pedrero.
Although this song, in Spanish, depends too much on accepting the ironic context in which it occurs, since the translation loses almost all the nuances that were in the original version and that underline that a group of angry people lose their reason if they are pushed fear and racism. In English it is a hymn to brainwashing within a mob: in Spanish it is simply a hymn.
Either way, imagine a mix of Smells like a teen spirit of Nirvanawith Self Steem of The Offspring Y bad-romance of Lady Gaga and that visually winks at the video clip of Seven Nation Army of The White Stripes, starring a pony who uses the racism of his peers to rise to power. The video is even more impressive than what I just wrote… and this is supposed to be aimed at children, if it is candy for those of us who have more than two decades!
Luckily, and it’s not spoiling for what series with these ponies are coming, ‘My little pony: a new generation’ serves as a fantastic introduction and is also self-contained enough to be satisfying. And when they premiere the series, they’ll have me waiting here. I don’t need ponies to convince me of the magic of friendship, but it’s not a bad thing to be reminded why they’re worth watching.