Now, before I get into my thoughts on the movie itself, let me explain to you why I was so excited to see this movie in the first place.
The show was doing fine up until the season two finale. After that there were many instances where I thought the show could have done a much better job with the stories themselves if, instead of two-part episodes, they were movies. Such episodes such as The Crystal Empire and especially Magical Mystery Cure. Those episodes were, in my opinion, highly crammed in terms of story (The songs were fantastic, though, aside from BBBFF).
That's why I've been craving a My Little Pony FiM movie, and when I heard one was in production I was over the moon (poor Luna).
When I saw that the story would include Twilight turning into a human (along with human-counterparts that looked like the mane six) I thought "interesting." I have noticed a lot of negativity from fans and such assuming it would be terrible (though I'm not sure if any of those people had actually seen anything more than the trailer), but that didn't make me any less excited to finally witness this movie with my own two eyes. And ears.
As for the story itself, I rather enjoyed the beginning. We saw Twilight's thoughts and fears about her new status as a princess. In the episodes I'd mentioned earlier, I felt this sort of exposition was highly lacking or put to the wayside. To see them not just show the characters acting a certain way as a hint and the fact that this exposition had more than five lines of dialogue was refreshing.
MMC: "Can't you fix it?" "Nope, they're all doomed and it's my fault" -insert song- "They're your friends" "You're right, now I know how to resolve this situation instantly by glowing for no reason!"
Anyway, Sunset Shimmer's presence as a character brought some things to light about Equestria. We now know that Celestia had a second student, and possibly has more out there. As for traveling to another world, we have learned that this is possible through magic and that no matter what form he's in, Spike is doomed to be puny forever.
Now, as for the Fall Social Dance plotpoint, well... I had to snicker to myself that the fate of two worlds hinged on a teenaged girl winning a popularity contest. XP
Concerning the identical characters, I got some serious deja vu from the very first two episodes of MLP FiM. The main difference was that instead of everyone knowing each other beforehand (and seemingly getting along), the main cast held grudges between each other. I was interested until the truth between their fighting was revealed. I had my hopes set too high for Pinkie Pie stealing Rarity's boyfriend to be a plotpoint in this movie (hint: that doesn't happen in the movie).
And now this brings us to Brad, as I want my final spoiler-filled stuff to be lumped together at the end. I wish he had a more prominent role in this movie. My impression of his importance to the story was to be a love interest and little else. Granted he did come in handy a grand total of one time, but that role could have easily been given to someone else.
So, those are my in-depth thoughts on the movie. Overall, though? It's a pretty solid movie for what it is. The songs may not have been as strong as others in the show (although "Helping Twilight Win the Crown" is catchy and enjoyable) and there are still a few elements of the story that could use work (love interest, silly drama such as not-Brad being Sunset's exboyfriend which isn't brought up by Sunset at any point in the movie making it a moot point altogether, etc), but overall I did think the story was executed better than some of the two-part episodes out there. This had the room for exposition and the right amount of tips of the hat to fans which I've been dying to see for a while now. It's not as rushed as Magical Mystery Cure, more personal than A Canterlot Wedding which threw new characters at us left and right and focused on them, and handled the fate of a complex new world better than throwing a fun festival for ponies at the Crystal Empire (in this movie, you could definitely tell there was a lot at stake, especially towards the end).
Is it perfect? No, but it's definitely a good first movie for the series. I know I enjoyed it, and I sincerely hope another movie is in My Little Pony's future.
What's that, Billy?
You think the dolls look spot-on to their cartoon counterparts?
GET OFF MY LAWN!