In a desperately needed change of pace for the franchise, A Very Pony Place is an anthology film rather than one long story. While the stand-alone shorts from this era of My Little Pony aren’t able to hold much ground, these three are all modeled and balanced to near-perfection. They stand out as a highlight for a period that is usually seen with disdain.
The first short, Come Back, Lily Lightly, introduces us to the titular character (Erin Mathews), a unicorn whose horn glows when she’s happy. Her ability is unusual and leads her too embarrassment, so her friends try to explain to her that being different is what makes her special. This is the weakest technically but the with the strongest story of the shorts. They cut some corners on the animation, even repeating a good five seconds of audio and video at one point. It also runs a bit long compared to the other two. But the message is solid and delivered happily through song. I was genuinely surprised at how great all of the songs in this video were, after the subpar efforts from most of the G3 movies. The ending is absolutely adorable and was the biggest moment for me while watching this film.
The second short, Two for the Sky, brings us another new pony named Storybelle (Kelly Metzger). She tells the story of Starflight and Heart Bright (both Anna Cummer), two inseparable ponies who dream of flying with wings. I’m not sure what them being so alike has to do with the story. Storybelle really emphasizes on this point and other than having a shared dream at one point, it doesn’t really seem necessary. Still, it’s a cute story about learning to love yourself the way you are. Of the three, it’s the least memorable.
Finally, the third short, Positively Pink, is what ties them all together, in a way. Both of the first two stories were being experienced by Pinkie Pie (Janyse Jaud) and Minty (Tabitha St. Germain), the two flagship ponies of the era. The third story finds Minty learning that it’s Pinkie Pie’s birthday. She decides to gather the whole village to make her a surprise party while Puzzlemint (Kathleen Barr) takes her out of town for the day. This might sound vaguely familiar to some bronies out there. There’s not much else to the story, but it’s a silly, fun little short that delivers on entertainment. Of everything in its predecessor, this short has the most in common with the style of Friendship Is Magic.
All three shorts are engaging, enlightening and enthralling. If you were to ever show your child anything from the third generation of adaptation of the My Little Pony franchise, this would be the most rewarding. And if you are curious yourself, I’d say it’s definitely worth checking out too. It’s just unfortunate that it’s the only G3 pony movie not currently available on Netflix.