When word of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic reached the ears of this reviewer, I thought that it was just another nostalgia driven cash grab, but after watching it I can say there is a lot to like here.
The series centers around unicorn Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong), a studious unicorn and her friends Applejack (Ashleigh Ball), Rarity (Tabitha St. Germain), Pinkie Pie (Andrea Libman) Rainbow Dash (also Ashleigh Ball), and Fluttershy (also Andrea Libman) as they learn about friendship and have many adventures throughout the land of Equestria (literally translates to “ponyland”). Equestria is ruled by a group of Princesses, Celestia, (Nicole Oliver) who is Twilight’s teacher and sponsor, Luna (again, Tabitha St. Germain) Celestia’s sister, and their niece Cadence (Britt McKillip) each ruling over a specific area of Equestria. Though the series is dominated by female characters, there are also several important male characters, Prince Shining Armor, (Andrew Francis) Cadence’s husband, Big Mac, (Peter New) Applejack’s big brother, the riotous Cheese Sandwich (Alfred “Weird Al” Yankovic) and the equally riotous dragon Discord (John De Lancie, the Q of Star Trek fame). Twilight and her friends face adventure and danger with a smile and a song, teaching small lessons and having loads of fun, but doing it in a way that probably won’t drive parents crazy!
Part of the popularity of this series is the distinctive personalities of the heroines. Every girl can find a pony that she can relate to and I feel that this is a great thing. The writing and animation are solid despite it’s soft and fluffy appearance and cotton candy colors. Stories featuring villains are rare, but when they are they are never all that threatening and are easily defeated by Twilight and her pals. The only exception is in the last two episodes of season three when Twilight must face a powerful villain alone and the villain causes carnage everywhere, even destroying Twilight’s home.
Some parents may have a problem with the use of magic in the show, but it’s really mild, you’d see the same things in a Disney movie. Then of course there is the issue of some members of the fandom drawing or writing about the characters in the show in creepy and perverted ways, letting little ones surf for their favorite pony alone is a bad move. (I realize most of the people reading this wouldn’t let their kids surf the internet alone, but it needs to be said.) There is very little potty humor (I have never once heard any gas jokes) and any violence is usually slapsticky and silly and rarely results in serious harm.
Taking everything into account, I can recommend My Little Pony for little girls first grade age and up. The bouncy, upbeat attitude and innocence of the ponies make for great family viewing. With the addition of adult friendly celebrities like Weird Al and John De Lancie, My Little Pony upped their game to welcome adult viewers, not just little girls to the franchise. Because of the high production quality and welcoming attitudes toward parents, your faithful doll-maker can give My Little Pony two hooves up!
I'm T.K. Wilson, Read my blog for great information and stories about dolls, toy restoration, Christian Fantasy and so much more! Blog updates Fridays.