Australian Council on Children and the Media

My Little Pony: The movie

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Short takes

Parental guidance recommended under 7 due to scary scenes and characters.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for My Little Pony: The movie
  • a review of My Little Pony: The movie completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 9 November 2017.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Parental guidance strongly recommended due to scary scenes and characters
Children aged 5-7 Parental guidance recommended due to some scary scenes
Children aged 7 and over OK for this group, although likely to lack interest for older children

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: My Little Pony: The movie
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild sense of threat and animated violence
Length 104 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Princess Twilight Sparkle (voiced by Tara Strong) is organising a Friendship Festival and ponies from all over Equestria are coming. Everything is going smoothly with the help of her friends: Rainbow Dash, Applejack , Pinkie Pie, Rarity and Spike the Dragon . But suddenly, the festival is overtaken by Storm King (Liev Schreiber) and Commander Tempest (Emily Blunt), who capture the city and turn three of the pony princesses to stone. Princess Twilight and her friends escape but they must travel across the Badlands to find the Queen of the Hippogriffs (Uzo Aduba) in order to save their home and their friends. 

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Separation from friends; getting lost; natural disasters (storms); crime

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • The villains attack the ponies and cast magic spells on the princesses which turn them to stone. Many of the ponies are shown locked up in cages
  • Commander Tempest electrocutes many ponies with her broken horn.
  • There is a big fight at the end between the ponies (and their friends) and the Storm Kings. This fight includes throwing against walls, swords, lighting, explosions and fire.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The scenes with the Storm King, Commander Tempest and their minions may be quite scary for younger children. They fly around in spooky black clouds and shoot electrical sparks.
  • When the ponies are in the desert, Pinkie Pie picks up a skull and a bug crawls out.
  • The ponies often look as if they are in danger (e.g. falling off a cliff, almost drowning etc.) but they are always fine in the end. However, these scenes may still be frightening for young children.
  • The ponies walk through a scary looking town in the Badlands and some of the animals talk about trying to kidnap the ponies.
  • The ponies get captured by some scary looking pirates, but they turn out to be friendly.
  • The Hippogriff town looks empty and deserted. The ponies get worried that something bad has happened to them.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be scared by the above mentioned scenes

Product placement

The movie is part of the My Little Pony franchise

Sexual references

Spike the Dragon has a crush on Rarity and blushes when she talks to him.

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

Nothing of concern

In a nutshell

My Little Pony: The Movie is an exciting animated epic adventure for young children. The movie includes lots of catchy songs about the importance of friendship and being yourself.

Parental guidance is recommended for children under 7 due to some scary scenes and characters.  These may particularly scare children under 5. At 104 minutes, the film is also rather long for this age group.

The main messages from this movie are the importance of friendship and working together, and to be yourself and accept who you are.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include kindness and bravery.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the effects of using violence as a way of solving problems.

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