Small Details You Missed In My Little Pony: A New Generation

This content was paid for by Netflix and created by The List.

Equestria experiences a bit of a revolution in "My Little Pony: A New Generation." The film takes fans of the beloved "My Little Pony" series far into the future, when the nation of colorfully maned creatures has become heavily divided. In fact, Earth Ponies steer so clear of Pegasi and Unicorns that they can't even imagine a time when they weren't all foes — let alone, a time when they were ever friends.

But there's still one lonely pony who believes in unity amongst all with hooves, and that's Sunny Starscout (Vanessa Hudgens), who was raised by her father, Argyle Starshine (Michael McKean), to cherish the historic bond between all ponies, whether winged, horned, or otherwise. She may be a bit of an outcast in her home city of Maretime Bay, but when a spritely Unicorn named Izzy Moonbow (Kimiko Glenn) strolls into town in search of new friends, Sunny is beyond delighted to join her in a journey to restore magic and togetherness throughout the land, traveling to meet the Pegasi of Zephyr Heights along the way.

"My Little Pony: A New Generation" is a delightful watch for audiences of all ages, and it's full of wholesome new characters who definitely bring this long-tailed series into the 21st century. The film is also packed with small details, so here's a deep look into what you might not have noticed the first time around in "My Little Pony: A New Generation."

A future foretold

Sunny's father, Argyle, is a bit of a mystery in "A New Generation." Thanks to his creative beard and come-what-may vibes, we can easily gather that he doesn't mind being different from others in Maretime Bay. However, why he's become such an avid believer in restoring relations between the three types of ponies in Equestria is left unknown — as is the event that ultimately takes him out of his daughter's life when she grows up.

What we do know about Argyle, though, is that he's something of a soothsayer. It's no coincidence that he chooses to live in a lighthouse, which is completely metaphorical when it comes to his daughter turning into the guiding light for all of Equestria. And it's certainly no accident that he quietly entrusts her with the key — er, crystal — that will unlock the return of magic in the land.

Perhaps the most poignant piece of future-telling on Argyle's part comes very early in the film, when he and Sunny play dress-up, and he gives her his homemade Unicorn horn to match the Pegasus wings she's already sporting. It's just child's play at this particular moment, but later, when she's successful at reuniting ponykind and restoring magic to Equestria, she becomes exactly what Argyle made her that one magical day — a Pegasus-winged, Unicorn-horned Earth Pony who boasts the best features of all three species at once. It's almost like Sunny's dad knew this would be her destiny right from the start.

A colorful homage

Speaking of Argyle's impact on Sunny, the film also features a subtle tribute to how much Sunny has adopted her father's spirit when she finally makes her first real-life Unicorn friend in Izzy. Though Sunny is surprised to learn that the widespread rumors about Unicorns aren't true — in fact, she and her companions discover throughout their journey that most of the widespread tales about other members of ponykind totally miss the mark — one power Izzy does apparently have is the ability to see other ponies' sparkle.

This information comes up in an unfortunate context. Izzy first reveals her talent for spotting sparkle while laying out her misguided concerns about rubbing hooves with any Pegasi types. However, what's really important about this moment is what she has to say about Sunny's luminescence.

She tells Sunny that her sparkle happens to be lavender, and the happier she is, the brighter it shines. Sunny herself does boast some flecks of purple in her fuchsia mane and tail, but otherwise, her hue is mostly tan. Her father, however, had a lot more of that purple shade to show for himself, from his hair to his eye color and beyond. So, even if Argyle has left her life by the time Sunny meets Izzy, perhaps he continues to shine through in his daughter's sparkle — even if she doesn't see it yet.

A (bad) wish granted

When it comes to parental foreshadowing in "My Little Pony: A New Generation," the film also gives a very early indication about what's ahead for young Sprout. And let's just say, perhaps his mother should've been more careful about what she wished for from her offspring.

In the opening scene, then-baby Sunny has to stop playing pony dolls with her childhood friends Hitch (James Marsden) and Sprout (Ken Jeong) because Sprout decides to turn the Unicorn toys into the villains of their little story. Soon after, Sprout's mother, Phyllis (Elizabeth Perkins), shows up to collect her child. She also has a few unkind words for Argyle, who she believes is "brainwashing" the children's minds with all his unity talk, and as Sprout walks away with her, he mentions his interest in one day becoming a sheriff to keep everyone in line.

Phyllis quite likes the idea of "Sheriff Sprout," but little does she know, even she will eventually come to hate that concept. In fact, later on in the film, after Sprout seizes control of Maretime Bay, runs the town like his own little militaristic empire, and is eventually toppled, Phyllis can't even spare a kind word for Sprout when the now-former "stallion-in-chief" asks if he was a good sheriff. As she trots away under the guise of distraction, Phyllis clearly knows as well as anyone else that the true answer is a resounding "nope."

A cinematic touch

Another little treat that "My Little Pony: A New Generation" has to offer to fans is a series of cinematic homages scattered throughout the action. Seeing as Maretime Bay and Zephyr Heights are both thriving cities, perhaps it's no surprise that they each boast a lot of entertainment options for their citizens, including unique pony movie productions.

In Maretime Bay, we see that the marquee feature of the moment is a film called "Judgement Neigh," with a muscle-bound pony named Brisk Bronco as its leading star. Between the sunglasses and the tight frown, the poster for this faux film is a clear nod to "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." Later, in Zephyr Heights, the folks are watching more upbeat fare with the live musical "Filly Elliot," a cheery nod to the beloved "Billy Elliot." Unfortunately, the "bad words"-fearing folks in Bridlewood don't appear to have much in the way of movie selections, but if we had to guess, based on their obligatory dance routine, they'd probably have some kind of equestrian-themed version of "The Wizard of Oz."

A sales pitch

In "My Little Pony: A New Generation," we learn that a lot of the most influential ponies in the picture are ultimately motivated by little more than their own personal interests. From the outset, Phyllis is really just riling everyone in Maretime Bay up about the supposed threat of dangerous Unicorns and Pegasi as a means of selling her wonky robotic defense products at Canterlogic. So she's all too happy to see her son, Sprout, step in as the acting sheriff in Hitch's absence and get everyone in even more of a doomsday spirit so they'll pony up the cash to buy her products.

But she's not the only one who's capitalizing on and lying to local citizens in this story. Over in Zephyr Heights, Queen Haven (Jane Krakowski) and her daughter, Pipp Petals (Sofia Carson), have concocted quite a cottage industry based on their feigned ability to fly. Princess Pipp has certainly made the most of her social media fame, and she even boasts her own perfume brand, as we see in a dramatic black-and-white commercial. And even in the downtrodden Bridlewood, the de facto leader, Alphabittle (Phil LaMarr), just spends his days in the local tavern swindling locals out of their prized possessions.

So, basically, even in the best and brightest of situations before Sunny intervenes, there's a whole lot of selfishness and cynicism afoot in Equestria. It's a good thing Sunny and her new pony crew hoof it across the country in hopes of a better outlook for everyone, no?