My Little Pony: Pony Life
My Little Pony: Pony Life is a children's animated television series that premiered on Discovery Family on November 7, 2020 and is based on Hasbro's My Little Pony franchise. It is a successor and spin-off to 2010s My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and the fifth animated series based on the franchise overall. The series is produced by Entertainment One in Canada in collaboration with Boulder Media in Ireland, with voice-acting handled in the United States. It has some of the writers and most of the voice cast returning from Friendship Is Magic but also features a new art style and a slice-of-life narrative. The series also focuses on a more comedic theme than its predecessor. Unlike Friendship Is Magic, each episode is 11 minutes long, consisting of two five-minute segments.
Why It's Anything but a Pony Life
- Similar to Teen Titans Go!, the main problem with this series is that it deviates heavily from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic; whereas FIM heavily relied on storytelling, life-lessons, character development and world-building, Pony Life has its focus on the same exact premise as TTG. Of course, being a spinoff of the main series, it's at least considered non-canon at best.
- The animation, while not terrible by itself, appears to be a very big downgrade from the animation in FIM. The fact that the latter aired ten years prior doesn't exactly help.
- The color scheme is extremely bright in some ways as well. Sure, FiM did have a bright style, but it had some colors that were not as bright too, like Princess Luna and Queen Chrysalis’ color scheme where it’s mostly pretty dark. Here, most of it’s brighter.
- A handful of the facial expressions throughout the show look somewhat off-putting, especially Pinkie’s.
- The character redesigns aren't very good and they look rather unappealing, especially with the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
- The backgrounds are quite generic and really flat, comparably looking like something out of a children’s book.
- Some of the characters have been flanderized and/or exaggerated:
- Twilight is now a psychotic nerd.
- Pinkie is now more annoying than she was in Friendship is Magic.
- Rarity became a hoarder. She also faints a lot more than most would likely tolerate.
- Rainbow Dash became overly competitive.
- Fluttershy is presumably the worst out of them all. There are various moments where more often than not she doesn't retain her original shy yet kind-hearted personality. Instead, she's crazy and will immediately go into a rage about minor things.
- To be fair some do find this entertaining, funny, and outright unexpected in a good way. It fixes the one criticism that Fluttershy never really changes from her shy personality (except when the plot demands it) in the original series.
- Applejack is now a constant fourth-wall breaker. Even though Pinkie Pie is usually the one who breaks the fourth wall Applejack does it more often.
- Fancy Pants is rewritten to be a jerk in this series.
- Some of the voice actors were replaced from their roles in the original series but this isn't really a problem of the series itself in actuality - at least not in Spike's case anyway since his original voice actress declined to be the voice once asked to be in the series. Not being able to get Discord's voice actor may also be excusable since he would be pretty expensive to get again. And to be fair, what other few voices that were replaced isn't much of a flaw anyway since their replacements do a decent job.
- While in FiM there was some slapstick that was used, but the slapstick here is more common in comparison.
- There are now references to modern technology when FiM rarely had any because it was set in a fantasy setting.
- While it’s true that My Little Pony: Equestria Girls also had references to modern technology, it at least made sense judging by its premise.
- The pacing is uncomfortably more quicker here. FiM used more careful pacing in comparison because it had some slowly to averagely paced moments here and there while also some fast ones too.
- Quite the amount of people have pointed out flaws in the series’s pacing after the first few episodes since it switched from a two-parter 11-minute episode format to two 5-minute segments that are packaged into one to make an 11-minute run-time, and that’s pretty confusing. The drastic change will take people who begin watching the series some time to get used to.
- Implied alcohol/drug abuse is included in here as well: The ponies often drink potions that make something random and completely irrelevant happen.
- One would almost get the implication that Hasbro didn’t care about the series after the announcement that it would air on Discovery Family at a certain date. This was then retracted and the show was pulled until 5 months later. Before its American release of course, all episodes in season 1 aired in several countries before airing in the United States. This this didn't improve much with season 2 either since all episodes were leaked on the Pop Player app quicker than anyone could blink.
- The merchandise includes some characters that never actually appeared in the show proper like Starlight Glimmer, Princess Luna, and Mr. and Mrs. Cake (the latter of which the show only mentions in passing to explain why Pinkie is running the Sugarcube Corner by herself). But the biggest disappointment is the abandonment of a llama nicknamed "Cha Cha" who would've been a sweet addition to the show.
- The series has a handful of gross moments which weren’t even present as much as in FiM. One example being in "Sick Day" where Pinkie leaves behind a trail of snot on the floor.
- Though because it was a spin-off it was a slap on the wrist. Overall, this spin-off sadly fails to meet expectations compared to FiM.
- The Brazilian Portuguese dub was also not well-received at all just like FiM.
- The show was made using resources that could've been used to produce other Hasbro Studios shows (or in this case, eOne Hasbro shows) such as the third season of Hanazuki: Full of Treasures since that was put on hiatus to make this show possible and also even the third season of the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls digital series.
- Overall, it was just a sour way to end the fourth generation (unless you ignore the Season 10 comics).
- Despite the ugly character designs, they lead to some great anime-esque visual gags.
- The idea of a short series where every few episodes depict an interesting story arc is pretty cool despite the poor and rushed execution.
- Despite being annoying at times the voice acting is mostly good. Even the replacements did a decent job voicing their characters.
- The theme song is quite catchy.
- A surprising amount of really funny jokes, running gags and quotable moments in just about every episode (except some slapstick and Applejack's fourth wall breaks).
- The show adds a few new characters that weren't present in the original series like Potion Nova and the Wild Siders (Lightning Chill, Sugar Snap and Echo) who are all fun.
- It has its own creative and clever ways of repurposing already existing characters:
- DJ Pon-3 is a mute character. Like the original however, she uses the dubstep music that plays in the background and dances to it to communicate. Most can't understand her except for Rarity who translates the dubstep for her.
- Gummy, Pinkie Pie's pet alligator, has a very crummy attitude and is very defensive towards anyone other than Pinkie. Thus gags revolving around him are funnier than in the original.
- Trixie in this show isn't as much of a selfless jerk as in the original series. In "Friendship Gems", she does start by bragging about how perfect her bracelet-making skills are but then confesses that every attempt she makes at friendship ends up as a disaster. So then she happily lets the Mane 6 help her.
- Season 2 is a bit of an improvement over the first since it introduces supernatural elements of time travel and different dimensions. It’s a pretty cool idea but that’s not saying much.
The show received mixed-to-negative reviews from Internet reviewers and My Little Pony fans. It currently has a 4.8/10 on IMDb.