Nother Nonymous No.36828166
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The movie wasn't a complete flop. It probably made its money back, and it's still selling toys and DVDs. But to keep G4 going, it needed to do better than it did. How and where did it go wrong? Here are some thoughts after watching the DVD.
OVERALL PLUSSES: (1) The backgrounds and art design are great. (2) The effects animation is grade A-plus. (3) The character animation is excellent. (4) Everywhere the movie gets dark and/or serious, it's good. Tempest
Storm Shadow is wonderful throughout, and the final battle scenes are awesome once we get beyond the initial sillinesses with baked goods. When Twilight does a bad thing and her friends reject her and she goes off to contemplate her sins in solitude, the audience is truly emotionally engaged for the first time in the movie. And that shot of her descending through the vortex bearing the staff, looking like Rembrandt's painting of the Ascension of Christ, is terrific.
That's about it. The flaws are more numerous.
CHARACTER DESIGN: I don't care what anyone says about red, black, and scars being unoriginal: Fizzlepop (what a great name for a unicorn with a horn like that!) is wonderful, and the other villains are okay. The sea ponies aren't bad. But the mane-sequence ponies are a disaster. Whose terrible idea was it to make their monstrous eyes BIGGER and their squeaky little snouts even smaller and rounder? As I said in an earlier post, watching this movie is like spending 90 minutes stuck in a jar of pig embryos.
PULLING PUNCHES: Almost every time something slightly edgy or serious happens, a low-comedy clown gets sent in to break the tension with a pun or a sight gag. The cumulative effect is the propagation of a vast indifference. I didn't mind the Storm King's madcap craziness -- he has to be Chaotic Evil to contrast with the Lawful Evil of Fizzlepop -- but Pinkie was more annoying than usual, and Grubber needed to be taken out back somewhere and quietly drowned along with his fucking pink spongecake.
THE PIRATES: Pirates are not rough-edged, happy-go-lucky treasure hunters. They are muggers in boats. These golden-hearted pirates were unusually unconvincing.
SONGS: "Open Up Your Eyes" has good music, but awful lyrics. Most of the other songs have dull music AND awful lyrics.
STORY LINE: Nicely handled ending, but the rest was seriously defective -- especially the initial Festival of Friendship stuff, which was tiresome, vapid, forced, and childish, and certain to turn off any film critic who wasn't already a fan of the show. The story probably could have been salvaged if some of the sillier details had been worked out better. Capper defies the most dangerous mare in the world because he's so grateful that Rarity gave him new buttons? Really? Queen Novo decides to risk letting the Storm King get the pearl because Pinkie led a jolly dance number? Pinkie subdues a quarter-ton NFL spear-carrier by throwing cupcakes? As if. And Sia added less than nothing.
That's enough for openers. Any other plusses and minuses?