Wednesday, 10 December 2014

My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks. Don't let this Siren cast her spell

So those who have been paying attention, I started reviewing the series the week this film was due to go to cinemas and the week I posted the first film was the day it was released on DVD... to my knowledge, there is no connection to the film and today, or this week, I just wanted to give it some time to settle. When this is done, while I have one final post to make at the end of this week, I will have covered the FiM series released to date. I won't review the latter seasons on their own, but I am still willing to review other aspects of the franchise if I get requests for them. With that out of the way: Rainbow Rocks.

Before I begin though, I'm honestly surprised this exists. The first film wasn't widely accepted from what I can tell. There were a lot of people who hated Equestria Girls and, from what I can tell, still do. At first glance, it didn't seem like a great idea. However, with all the promotional videos Hasbro uploaded, it started to win fans back, but as of the final result...

Lets start with the plot. Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze, and Sonata Dusk (I've honestly given up when it comes to the pun names, they haven't beaten Granny Smith yet) have discovered Equestrian Magic in the Canterlot High area, due to the finale of the last film, and intend to use it to, and I quote "make everyone in this pathetic little world adore us". Upon enrolling into Canterlot High, they discover that the school is preparing a musical showcase (aka a concert) and using their power, they take control over most of the school (not including the main 5 (minus Twilight) and reformed villain and friend of the group, Sunset Shimmer along with another character. As a result of the whole school falling under their spell (no I wont apologies for that), the main character call back Twilight and use her experitse to try and stop the Dazzlings. Twilight informs them that they are Sirens, who are based on the actual mythological Sirens so if you don't know, Google is your friend.

While the group tries to work on a way to stop the Dazzlings by joining the now Battle of the Bands under the name "The Rainbooms" (I not making this up I swear) and attempting to make a *sigh "Musical Counter Spell", Adagio, Aria and Sonata use their control over the student body to raise tension in the group and as a result, allowing them to use the Magic left over from the last movie to regain their true power. I should note that the main characters can actually transform into their Anthropomorphic forms when they play music, why? I don't know, its barely explained in the film. Sirens get their power back cut to the final battle, Sunset Shimmer becomes the Twilight in this realm (in theory, before the transformation), cut to credits and a post credits scene gearing up for the next movie (only if I get requests). While I openly admit that I've butchered the plot to compress it, the story itself is much better when compared to Equestria Girls as it is, as far as I can tell, a unique plot for the series. However it still suffers from the same problem as Equestria Girls in the form of self imposed time constraints. There are several problems with the story that could have been fixed if the movie was longer. People are fine with a 2-3 hour movie nowadays, so if needed, make a 2-3 hour movie.

Animation wise, as with Equestria Girls, it still feels like its a extended episode of the show and not a movie. While it is more complex then Equestria Girls was, in the form of a few more diverse shots and more locations then just Canterlot High, it still looks like it was the show itself and while that may be fine for some people, for me, if I'm watching a movie, I want it to be a movie, not an hour + long TV episode. The characters have also been expended, with several cameos of favorite characters in the series including Derpy Hooves, Bulk Biceps (to which I will admit, gave me a laugh), Octavia Melody and Vinyl Scratch who I honestly thought would play bigger roles in the movie as they are two characters with strong musical connections, it just seems like a wasted opportunity. Vinyl does play a role in the climax of the film, but even still, the role seems minor for a character who was featured a lot in the lead up to the release. There's a lot of attention to detail in the animation and music and while the animation is perfect (minus one or two small details), the music is very hit and miss. I'm going to provide examples on Friday but one of the things that they do is edit the each of the songs to put more emphasis on specific aspects and while some songs are much better as a result, others become much worse. Again, details on Friday. Adagio, Aria and Sonata are strong villains and can carry the movie, but there's still a hint of length limitations. They're more apparent in the movie then Sunset Shimmer was in EQ but their motivation isn't great, good for the series, but not compared to other villains of movies.

At the end of the day, Rainbow rocks is still a good movie (in comparison to other Direct to DVD films) and is much better then Equestria Girls, there are a lot of great interactions with characters and the villains feel more fleshed out then Sunset Shimmer did. But with every step foreward, there's a step back and the problems of Direct to DVD are still here, just not as much of an issue compared to its predecessor. Come Friday, it will be time for me to talk about the music, the Top 20 songs in the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic generation.

And because I can't resist...
"Meet Soundwave's Stage mode."
... It was the first thing that came to mind when I first saw this... Are you honestly surprised?

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