So I Just Saw My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks

Okay, actually I saw it a couple weeks ago right after Christmas.  I was super excited to have some new working earbuds, and I was trying them out with my PS Vita, when I saw that there was a new My Little Pony movie on Netflix.  The first Equestria Girls movie was okay (I wasn’t totally in love with it like Friendship Is Magic), and it did at least have some catchy music, so I was willing to give its sequel a chance.

TL;DR assessment: It was good.  I liked it.

Rainbow Rocks Poster 2.jpg

Also, your eyes will bleed from the multitude of colors throughout the movie. This is perfectly normal and not cause for alarm. (Image credit: Wikipedia)

In case you want to read more about Rainbow Rocks, I guess I can give you a few thoughts.

The basic plot goes like this: after the events of Equestria Girls, the students at Canterlot High in the human world are getting back in the swing of their lives after nearly becoming a mindless zombie army for the formerly power hungry Sunset Shimmer, who is now a mere mortal (though she’s friends with the human versions of the Mane Six, so she at least has that going for her).  Sunset’s struggling with the fact that most people at Canterlot High haven’t yet forgiven her for the whole trying-to-conquer-the-world thing, but she gets by knowing that she has the support of her new friends.  At the same time, a group of new girls who call themselves the Dazzlings have arrived at school, and they apparently feed off the magical energy of negative emotions, so they immediately set about using their own magical voices to up tensions around the school, just in time for the school’s upcoming musical showcase, which becomes a battle of the bands in the wake of new found hostilities among the students.  Sunset and her friends become aware of the Dazzlings’ plan and send a magical message to Twilight Sparkle, who finds a way to reactivate the portal between the two worlds and comes to help her human friends find a way to save the school.

There are some nice character moments, particularly for Twilight and Sunset, who continue to play bang-you-over-the-head-with-the-obvious foils to one another.  The Rainbooms (the human versions of the Mane Six) come under a lot of stress as they lean too heavily on Twilight to be able to singlehandedly solve their problem (it turns out that for all Twilight’s magical prowess, she’s a complete dunce at composing musical counterspells), and conversely, they practically ignore Sunset, who just wants to be able to help out in any way possible (and who happens to be the key to the Rainbooms finally defeating the Dazzlings during their big musical showdown).  The whole arc between the two characters works well, and it thankfully never veers into the cliche territory of our former villain Sunset Shimmer being tempted into evil by the crappy way her friends treat her (it’s entirely unintentional on their part, but the Rainbooms still say and do a lot of things that are really insensitive to Sunset’s recent recovery from villainy).  As long as you keep in mind that the target audience skews relatively young, it’s even easy to overlook the fact that it takes our heroes over an hour of screen time to learn the lesson about not pigeonholing your friends into preconceived roles.

Aside from all that though, the big star of the movie is the music.  There are tons of songs in this movie, and they’re all absurdly catchy in an “I can’t believe I’m grooving to tween pop” sort of way.  Once you get over that bit of socialized anxiety (remember, if you’re watching this movie and you aren’t a parent, then you’re probably already into a show about magical talking ponies, and there’s really no reason to be ashamed that you’re also enjoying a spinoff about magical sometimes-half-pony high schoolers who also happen to be musical prodigies), the songs really are a lot of fun.

So, yeah.  Rainbow Rocks is currently available on Netflix, so give it a watch if you’re into My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic; it’s much improved over the first Equestria Girls movie, and it has some fun music to boot.

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