I watched the new My Little Pony movie with my kid and I was so, so pleased with the ending.
SPOILER ALERT (since I’m going to be talking about… the ending).
I should start by saying that we love the recent reboot of My Little Pony around at our place. It’s one of the few shows we don’t mind watching with the small child; it’s funny and interesting and generous and kind.
The movie isn’t any different. The story’s major villain is supposed to be this Storm King guy, but really, he’s hardly in it; the main villain is really Tempest Shadow (whose look is amazing btw. Also she’s played by Emily Blunt):
Now, the audience finds out that Tempest is really just doing all this bad shit because the Storm King promised to repair her broken unicorn horn once he had all the power that she could get him; a horn that she really only seems to want back because the lack of it ostracised her from her friends when it was first broken, in an accident when she was very young. She doesn’t seem to actually need a whole horn to do magic; she has adapted to work without one.
The small child and I talked about this while we were watching the movie; wondering why Tempest was so set on getting her horn restored since she was fine as she was, broken horn and all. Even so, at the end of the film, we were still expecting a magical solution to give her back her full horn — but instead, they ponies don’t even offer.
They just accept her as she is; and she realises she doesn’t need it. She doesn’t need fixing. Her “deformity” makes her unique but no lesser. She shows the whole of Ponyville what she can do with it, and everyone thinks it’s great.
I felt that showing a female character who feels like she needs fixing come to terms with the fact that no, she doesn’t, was incredibly powerful in a children’s film.
I felt like showing someone who ended up doing bad things out of feeling left out, and hurt, and desperate, and damaged, decide to just stop doing them, and redeeming themselves and being accepted for the person they are, not who they were, was incredibly powerful.
This movie had big, fat messages. I think most of them went over my kid’s head, but I feel a bit like these days, when the world appears to be going to shit, this sort of thing benefits parents too.
Anything to remind people to be kind, and forgiving, and generous, with themselves and others, has to be a good thing.