My Little Pony: The Movie. The 2017 release that ties in with the Friendship is Magic TV series. And before anyone says anything, I know IDW did a prequel mini-series during the lead-up to the movie's release. Thing is, I shouldn't have to read a comic book to know everything going on in a movie. As such, I'm taking this movie as is.
I enjoyed this movie purely as an action flick featuring some of my favorite characters in fiction. The songs are nice, even if only two resonated with me at all, and the visuals were enjoyable after I got used to them. But in terms of plot? -PINKIE SIZED INHALE-
Twenty minutes in, and the movie's plot immediately falls apart the instant Tempest says "How about we start with your complete and total surrender?".
Like, where'd Starlight go? Did she decide to go screw Trixie in a bathroom or something? I mean come on.
Where are Shining Armor and the Royal/Crystal Guards? Last I checked, they don't get the day off when all four princesses are making an appearance together. Yeah, they're not all that useful, but Canterlot is usually teeming with them. You'd think they'd be there.
Where are all the other races that the Ponies are on good terms with? The Yaks, the Buffalo, Thorax and Pharynx's hive. Where are Ember, Discord, and the Pillars of Old Equestria?
For my own take on this scene, check the description for a link.
I may as well not even talk about the rest of the movie. It's all downhill from here. An hour-fourty-five time waster. Capper and Kludgetown? Inconsequential. Captain Caelano and her crew? Inconsequential. The freakin' SEAPONIES? INCONSEQUENTIAL.
So with THAT aside, let's talk about the four aspects of the marketing. Those being Tempest and Storm dude, Capper, the Pirates, and the Seaponies.
The only ones that have ANY impact on the plot are Tempest and The Blowhard King. And even then, they're not really all that interesting. Tempest's in-movie backstory is great for explaining her horn, but utter shit as motivation for acts of war against her own kind. And ol' Stormypants? Like I said, Blowhard. Really, the stuff shown in the marketing could have been the basis for THREE movies, not one. So let's look at them one at a time, shall we?
Firstly: Tempest Shadow and The Storm King.
If you're gonna go for this as the main plot, go all in. Don't send our heroes on a wild goose chase for a McGuffin. They ARE the McGuffins now! Use this time to actually get into detail about why Tempest is working for The Storm King. And while you're at it, you can show us why the Storm King is a threat to Equestria in the first place. Show us why we should be scared of him.
Or, better yet, cut out TSK entirely and make Tempest the main villain. She's more dangerous than TSK. She's the one the plot focuses on. So make her the big bad.
Secondly: Capper the Catman.
This guy. He's like Lando Calrissian with Han Solo levels of debt. And I'm not even kidding with that Star Wars thing. When the Champions got to Capper's home, I quoted Obi-Wan's thoughts on Mos Eisley. Also, what's with all the bipeds? That's just dumb for the world of Equestria. With so many established species, do something with those instead. Capper's fine, as a new character and all. But the generic characters? C'mon.
So, have Starlight be teaching Trixie magic. Maybe they're working on Teleportation again. Trixie screws up, as ya do, and they end up WAY down South at Capper's neck-o-the-woods. And, for some reason, Starlight can't just teleport them back home right away. So while they wait for that, they help Capper with his problems. There's a movie right there.
Thirdly: The Sky Pirates.
They had interesting designs, but they really served no purpose other than to pad out the movie. And we already had bird-like things with talons. They're called Gryphons. And we already had a few Gryphons that looked like more birds than just Eagles. Make them Parrot Gryphons, or something.
As far as using them in a movie? I have no idea, honestly. If they really wanted to use the "we were enslaved by The Storm King" route, then they should have made them more integral to the overall plot. Or maybe they're the source of Capper's troubles in his movie. IDK, I'm just spitballin' here. These guys are useless.
Fourthly: The Seaponies.
For as much as they wanted to make these guys important, they really weren't. Skystar is mentally unstable, and Novo came off to me as the "Black Lady" stereotype. They weren't needed at all in order to save the day. That was actually Capper's doing. And it was the only useful thing he did. Other than use Spike as a flame thrower. That was actually pretty funny.
So the Seapony Movie? Just a straight up Treasure Hunt. Lost City of Atlantis kind of stuff. Twilight, Starlight, Moondancer, Sunburst, maybe even Sunset, all solving puzzles and shit. Perhaps even show an origin for The Sirens. Have that be the movie.
I thought all this up in ten minutes after watching the movie. I took all of the inconsequential things in the movie and made them actually matter. I should be getting paid for this, because goodness knows the people who actually wrote the movie don't deserve it.
So my final thoughts? Treat this movie as B-Canon: Accurate until Friendship is Magic or Equestria Girls contradict it.