I’m withholding judgement for now…
I get the premise behind Equestria Girls, Hasbro has grown envious of Mattel’s rampant success with Monster High fashion dolls longtime success of Barbie, so they want a cut of the cake. Hasbro is a toy company first and foremost, they provide entertaining cartoons to different demographics only as long as the money flows. But it does seem to me they simply grabbed one of their most visible Girl’s Toy brands and quickly worked in an angle for human dolls that came right out of left field. Yes: I find the whole project very odd, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.
Having seen the trailer earlier this evening, I remain cautiously optimistic about the quality of the film. The animation looked okay, the movements seemed fluid, and the horse-to-human jokes were creative. At the end of the day, regardless of corporate rationale underscoring the inception behind a piece of media, an entertaining story with charming characters are what I want. Yeah, the whole plot to win “the Princess crown” from a condescending bully-character rival is a little smaltzy, but we’ll just have to see. Maybe the movie won’t be very good, maybe it will be. I’ll reserve final call for when it comes out.
I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with high-school themed stories about prom planning, self confidence, and paling-it-up with your BFFs; just so long as its told well. The Monster High webisodes and specials are basically 100% typical highschool stories, but presented through the quirky lens of well developed, freaky fab monster teens, with equally creative ghoulish set-pieces. It’s not so much the “what” of your stories but the “how”, “why”, and “who” that ultimately make the difference between something paltry versus something entertaining. The trappings of a “girly” show ought never to be considered automatically condemning. The Barbie films are likewise fairy tales and other related fantasy world retold through the eyes of Barbie and friends with extra a little extra sugar and spice for flavoring.
So, to answer your question more concisely… I personally think the whole project is a little strange and, yes, a transparent money-grab, but I hold out hope that the resulting movie will be fun to watch.
However, I’ll admit the candy-colored skin on humans is very weird for me. True, I suppose Hasbro wants to stay “on brand”, but it just looks strange and disrupts the immersion.
Plus, I can’t help but see it as a way to conveniently dodge the who race issue of the ponies, but that’s a discussion for another day.