Is Equestria Girls a Shallow Concept or Ingenious Idea?

Equestria Girls is something no one saw coming. Humanized-ponies are nothing new, you can can find them in fan-fics and fan-art, especially fan-art. It’s a concept fans have joked about and played around with. But never did they think Hasbro would actually make a thing with human versions of our favorite characters. This was rumored some months ago, reception was not very positive. Then images started coming, showing off the designs. But it was yet to be ‘confirmed.’ Once it was, it drove a pretty big shock into the Brony fanbase. Many, including I, thought it would be a spin-off TV series. It would actually turn out to be a feature length movie. The trailer officially came out a few days ago, leaving many bewildered.

Friendship is Magic strayed away from the high school scene, focusing on these young adult ponies living their lives in a town called Ponyville. It was simple, it was nice, it was pretty much all one could ask for in a modern cartoon. Many hoped for the day it would get a movie of some kind, a big event. That day is coming, just not what anyone had in mind. Equestria Girls could seem like a cheat. Finally MLP was getting the big screen treatment, but not with the Ponies. Instead, they would be high school students in a high school setting. First and foremost, I think we should be getting a Pony movie first. It’s the series with those specific incarnation of characters that brought the brand back and made it a culture phenomenon. Of course, Equestria Girls contains the same characters, excellent voice talent, and writers. So in essence I’m happy we’re getting it, because it has the same production team. It could be questionable of why we’re getting it ahead of an actual pony adventure, but it is what it is. There are however some questionable things…

The human designs received plenty of flak. And I have to agree, they were looking way too thin, almost like stick figures. Maybe not as bad as the Bratz, but I think they could have been given a little more weight on the arms so they look a little realistic. (Adding the fact that it’s a high school setting.) They do look better on screen than paper thankfully, it works. The most interesting part might be the story. Twilight goes through a magic mirror which leads into another dimension where humans reign supreme. (I wonder if actual ponies exist there.) She’s apparently looking for her stolen crown. The plot itself is definitely ripe for a two or three-parter, so making it into a movie was fine. Some might not like seeing our favorite Ponies as humans that have hands and walk upright, but it’ll make for an interesting hour. No reason to hate on it. A questionable thing is definitely the guy Twilight runs into, and even hugs later.

 Friendship is Magic avoided the high school scene of crushing and dating. In fact, the only episode which dealt with that was ‘Hearts and Hooves Day,’ in comedic fashion. (And of course Spike’s ongoing crush with Rarity.) None of the Ponies was ever shown to have feelings for someone, or wanting a boyfriend for that matter. (Well, maybe except Rarity in ‘The Best Night Ever.’) It was definitely refreshing to see romance playing a very little part in the show. That’s why Equestria Girls could be worrisome. Truthfully, seeing Twilight fall for a guy would be painful to watch, and generic. Because if there’s a high school setting, there’s gotta be a crush for the main character, right? While that is worrying, a theory is that the guy is actually Shining Armor’s human counterpart. This is believable I’d say, he looks like him and the hug could be a BBBFF hug. But then that begs the question…why wouldn’t he recognize his sister? Does she not exist in that dimension? It’ll be an interesting thing to see on screen and I truly hope it will avoid any type of teenage romance.

One pretty controversial thing was having Spike be a pet in this dimension. If you look closely in the trailer, you can catch a glimpse of him in the portal with Twilight. I don’t think many caught that. Spike is a dog here, which his controversial because he’s a character in the pony-verse. He’s one of my least favorite characters, but it’s easy to see why fans would be annoyed. Spike has been gaining a lot of fan respect lately, I’m sure his heroic intervention in ‘The Crystal Empire‘ was a cause . In the Pony-verse, he’s Twilight’s #1 assistant and friend. He’s gone on to star in quite a few of his own episodes. So to see him reduced to a pet could be disheartening for his fans. If anything, I would have imagined in the human-verse he would be a little kid as opposed to a pet.

Not too long ago a Pony called Sunset Shimmer was confirmed to be getting a toy. Her description was interesting because apparently she was also a student of Princess Celestia at one point. Fans wondered if she would be in Season 4, but that was shot down by Meghan McCarthy herself. Lo and behold, she was actually going to appear in this thing. In the trailer you can get a good grasp of her character, which is stereotypical mean girl. She’s basically Trixie, which begs the question of why she wasn’t used since these two are virtually the same thing. Of course from a toy-making perspective, it makes sense to introduce a whole new character. We’ll see if she turns out to be someone special as opposed to a Trixie clone.

The more I see the trailer, the more I begin to like it. Equestria Girls is not a shallow concept, but a very interesting idea. It’s not going to replace the Ponies, we still have Season 4 coming in the winter. (Wow, that is a long time.) This movie will still have our beloved characters, the same amazing voices, and humor. (Twilight attempting to eat her lunch like she normally would as a Pony is pretty darn hilarious.) Granted, it is baffling why we’re not getting a real MLP movie first. The brand is expanding, maybe not in the way Bronies like myself imagined, but I am intrigued and happy to see where this goes. It’s easy to forget whom the real target audience is sometimes, we should be happy with what we’ve gotten and what we will be getting. Unless this movie turns out to be bad, instead of hating on it we should be cautiously optimistic and look forward to seeing what the team brings to the table. Even if it turns out to be a flop, at least the music will be incredible, if the trailer song is anything to go by.

Equestria Girls comes out next month on the 16th, it will have a limited theater release in over 200 cinemas across the country. Go here to see if it will be playing in a theater near you.

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Daniel is a huge fan of My Little Pony: Friendship and is awaiting Equestria Girls with cautious optimism. His favorite pony is Fluttershy and you can follow him on Twitter: @Destroyer_199