The Princess and the Pony (2011)

“A sheltered young princess is sent to live with relatives in America, where she befriends a pony held captive by a shady carnival owner”

– Anonymous, IMDB.

The Princess and the Pony is brought to us by the Asylum, a film company and distributor best known for their low-budget “Mockbuster” films. Previous Asylum releases include Lord of the Elves, Transmorphers, and the Sharknado series. The Princess and the Pony was directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg, who also directed the Asylum’s Sunday School Musical, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and Grimm’s Snow White.

Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below…)
Right off the bat, I’ll say that the Princess and the Pony is a film with enough weird or dumb moments that make it feel like a suitable entry for a Bad Princess Movie night. It’s not so dumb that I’m rushing to show it to people, but I think my group would still find this one enjoyable.

As hinted at in the summary above, the Princess has spent the first 10 years of her life in total seclusion, to the point where there’s a planned media event surrounding her unveiling because no one knows what she looks like. As you might imagine, after the Princess is shipped off to America (where she ends up attending public school), we see she’s woefully inept at being around regular people.

At one point she’s shown sitting at a table in the school cafeteria looking around, eyeing the other students lunch trays. When someone goes to sit across from her she assumes they’re there to bring her food, and is utterly confused when the other student takes back their and leaves. We never actually see her learn the lesson of “You have to get your own lunch”, she just continues sitting there, confused (and presumably hungry).

All this makes you think the story is going to be about the Princess having to learn how to interact with people, particularly kids her own age. Instead, the movie introduces the pony and we never really get to see the Princess start to fit in with the other kids. The best we get is a quick montage where we see that she was able to make some friends, which feels like it was thrown in to justify the ending scene, in which the Princess has invited all her new school friends to her unveiling event. I assume we’re supposed to feel invested in the titular friendship, but their relationship doesn’t have enough depth to makes the time spent watching the two interact feel worth it.

To spoil the funniest moment in the film: After the Princess and the pony have a falling out (Yes, really), the villain takes the time to gloat to the pony about how it was stupid for thinking that the Princess loved it. To make it very clear, this is not a sentient pony. This is just a regular, run-of-the-mill pony, who probably is more concerned about when it’s gonna get it’s next meal. The villain concludes his rant by ordering his henchmen to kill the pony, which leads to a series of scenes in which the female henchmen has grabbed a shotgun and is trying to chase down the pony so she can kill it.

Speaking of the villain, this movie can’t really decide what they want to do with him. In some scenes he’s really dumbed-down and non-threatening, presumably to try and make it believable that he could be outsmarted by a small child. In other scenes he is extremely conniving and threatening. At one point he’s literally holding two 10 year old girls at gun point, and is ready to to shoot one of them dead. The only thing that stops him is that he isn’t 100% sure which one is the real Princess.

So again, this one isn’t the funniest movie I’ve seen, but it’s got enough going for it that I’ll give it a soft recommendation. If for nothing else, watch it for the villain, he’ll be sure to keep you entertained.

References

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