Back in the saddle

The My Little Pony brand has been popular since the 1980s. Fittingly, “My Little Pony: The Movie” (⋆½ out of four stars; PG) has a remarkably retro vibe. It’s done in the classic 2-D animation style and embraces the flat, colorful, Saturday-morning cartoon look and feel. All we’d need is a bowl full of sugary cereal to complete the experience. Storywise, Princess Twilight (voiced by Tara Strong) wants to throw the best Friendship Festival in Equestria, and her pony friends support her by singing about it. But all too soon their happy kingdom is upset by the Storm King (Liev Schreiber). It’s a classic children’s story — parental figures in peril, a misfit group of pals, a hero’s journey and lots of songs along the way to underscore the pertinent message and pad out the running time. Alas, it feels like four episodes of a cartoon strung together, and there are times, especially during some of the latter musical numbers, where it truly drags.

Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service