It finally aired on Hub, and I caught this beast - girls think it's funny, Bronies think they don't know any better and its an abomination.
Now that I can make my own judgement calls, it was just - bland. I see just a lot of opportunities wasted due to whatever fearful mentality was behind it. I don't think EQ started out with the courage FIM did and everything that went wrong came from that.
First off, there's the character design. So many Bronies hate it that by now it's beating a dead horse, but for sake of completeness, I might as well get it out of the way. I reserved judgement until I actually saw the finished product, and well, first impressions are correct - it sucks.
The fans have been making human versions of the Ponies long before EQ was even in production, and it's telling that almost ANY of the fan-made humanized characters are better.
To me, this is the quintessential Twilight
Obviously, that's far too detailed for animation, but you get the clothing and mannerisms that should have been there.
A quick search of DeviantArt reveals many things that could have been used, maybe simplified a bit, but let the character's individual personalities shine through in their clothing choices and expressions - I'll limit myself to 3 examples
and of course this one here on good ol' FA
The reason I say "shine through" is this is what we actually got
My knee-jerk reaction of "ewww" was mitigated by seeing them in action. Like the creepy eyes of a fursuit, they're not that bad in motion, but still...
Maybe I'm just ignorant of child psychology, but do they really all need to have the exact same skirt and boots to unify them? Did they really have to have the same colors and giant creepy eyes as the original Pony characters to be recognized and accepted by the target audience? I get that the designs had to be simple to be animated, but giant boots to mimic the hooves they once had? Really?
So. Much. Wasted. Potential. They could have been anything - in fanart, Rainbow Dash has been a skater, a biker, a runner... what do we get? Soccer team captain. Ok, I can see that, but it why not a speed-related theme? Fan-art has cast Fluttershy as almost a hippie, or Pinkie Pie as a cheerleader... we only see watered-down hints of those in the movie.
The big issue is we never got a chance to get familiar with these humanized characters. My knee-jerk reaction of the now-familiar Ponies was an even bigger "EWWWWW!!!" followed by "Oh Gods, make them stop looking at me with their creepy eyes!!!!" but the first episodes, the stories, and the show's humor, sold them to me, and my eyes were able to adjust. By the end of the 2-part pilot, I saw the cuteness in the character design. EQ had just as much screentime but failed to accomplish that, and perhaps that has to do with its lackluster plot...