Friday, 6 October 2017

What constitutes a movie spoiler?

I've now found a cinema in the English Midlands (my home region) where the movie is open for booking! It's the Broadway in Nottingham, where there are two showings a day from 20/10 to 31/10. The major chains don't tend to open bookings until a week or so out, so it's not surprising an indy would be the first I noticed.

This is a spoiler-free post, in spite of being about spoilers!

Now that we've reached the day when My Little Pony: The Movie goes on general release in North America (and a bunch of other places), the potential for being spoiled on major aspects of the film's plot is about to increase enormously. Most of us in this part of the world are trying to avoid spoilers to some degree – but what actually is a spoiler, especially as far as this blog is concerned?

I think we need to be realistic. If you're expecting to get through to 20th October without even seeing a still picture of any of the new characters, then frankly you're going to fail in that quest pretty hard. You'd literally need to hide in a cave for the next fortnight to achieve that. There's already a ton of merch on the shelves starring the main newcomers, and soon there'll be posters and perhaps even TV ads.

UK PonyCon is coming up just as the film releases, and that convention does indeed have a no-spoilers policy – but again, a total blackout is simply not going to happen. How could a convention like that possibly ban vendors from selling a huge range of merch? Answer: they can't and they won't. You will see images and toys featuring movie-specific characters there, and there is no realistic way of avoiding that.

Since I don't want to spoil people on specifics here, I'll use an analogy to explain Louder Yay's position: that of the first Equestria Girls film from 2013. This was where Sunset Shimmer made her debut – but I would not consider a still picture of Sunset in a neutral setting to be a spoiler. However, I would consider a picture of Demon Sunset to be one, as that's a significant plot twist. See?

And what about trailers? Frankly, neither they or synopses are really spoilers, since they're intended to be viewed before the film itself appears. However, here on LY I've still been reasonably careful to put them beyond a page break if their thumbnails reveal anything of significance. The official "Rainbow" video, for example, has a thumbnail that's simply Maddie Ziegler. Not a spoiler.

Now, how long will my spoiler blackout period last? Another vexed question, as there'll always be somebody who hasn't seen the film, even in ten years' time. I've taken the decision to be careful up until the end of 2017. As far as I can tell from IMDb's not-always-reliable list, nowhere that's going to get the film at all will have to wait until 2018, and that's informed my decision.

I will, of course, be posting a review of My Little Pony: The Movie once I've seen it on the big screen – but that will take a similar format to how I reviewed the Equestria Girls films. The above-the-line picture will be a neutral one, and nothing in the pre-break paragraph will reveal significant plot points. If you click beyond that point, though, I don't want any complaints about spoilers!

If you have any thoughts or comments on what I've just said, please feel free to use the comments section as normal. I'd ask that you avoid movie spoilers in any comments you do make, please.


  1. My definition of a spoiler tends to differ from some other peoples'. But then again I AM responsible for managing my avoidance of spoilers, however static those steps are.

    For example; I'll mostly be off Twitter until after seeing the movie. Considering that about 3 months ago I was managing just fine without an account, that shouldn't be too much trouble.

    1. Right; everyone has their own position on this. I'm a little more relaxed than many, partly because my UK of E modding job means I have to look under spoiler-cuts at least occasionally. But I'd still be annoyed to be spoiled on everything – I haven't read the novelisation, for example.

      You're going to see a fair number of movie-specific images at UKPC, probably more than you've seen up to now. I simply don't think that's avoidable. There's just too much movie-related merch around now – I went into a big Tesco's toy department today and maybe 80% of the entire pony section was movie-branded; they've really been ramping it up recently.

      For example, there's a Tesco bag-for-life that features the Mane Six, Spike and one of the new characters. This is the bag I was talking about "censoring" with stickers on Twitter a little while ago. However, I sense that stuff like this won't be considered spoilery, since the new character is not shown in any sort of context. I may still do the stickers thing anyway, as it amuses me and for £1 the bag is too nice not to use. :)

      Also, I admire your self-control in mostly staying off Twitter for that long. I've been terrible at it on the few occasions I've tried, and that's only been for a couple of days!