Friendship is… Unnerving? A My Little Pony: Rainbow Rocks Review

The holidays this year have been hectic, but I got to spend some quality time with my family. To my delight, my little sister’s favorite way of passing the time was to watch My Little Pony: Rainbow Rocks. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy MLP:FiM as much as the next Pegasister, but the films are known to be disastrous for a reason. Regardless, I had hope for the movie already knowing the prequel shorts Hasbro released on YouTube were pretty good.

For better or worse, this movie does try to have more of a plot than the first film. There aren’t as many tropes, but the overall story is a hot mess. They poke fun at the hokey magic during the first movie, while ignoring the message that friendship is important in this film. There was essentially nothing added to this universe outside of the small scene that happens during the end credits.

Spoilers ahead!

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All Fear the Horsewomen of the Apocalypse: An ‘Equestria Girls’ Review

Don’t let be said that I’m not a woman of my word: a couple days ago I finally sat down and watched Equestria Girls with my brother. (If you don’t remember, I made the damning promise in this post right here.) I appreciate the fact that I got to watch it with him because unlike myself, he’s an actual fan of the shows and would be able to pick out the inconsistencies between this ‘movie-verse’ and the universe created by the show. Unfortunately, even with his Equestria Girls Movie Posterhelp I don’t think that the phrase I uttered the most during the film changed all that much from if I had been forced to watch it alone. (That phrase being “this is the dumbest shit.”) Not even ‘dumb’ in terms of Equestria Girls being a film made for an audience that is obviously not in my age bracket, but dumb in all the trite ways one would expect from a piece of media designed solely around marketing. This is not to say that it was all terrible, mind you, and some of my assumptions from the earlier post were certainly proven wrong. So let’s dive right into the plot and find where this movie went from enjoyable kid’s movie to jumping the shark.

Twilight and her friends travel to Celestia’s castle so that she may receive some lessons on being royalty from the other three princesses. During the night however, Twilight’s crown containing the element of magic is stolen by a mysterious pony. With their combined chasing skills, the six younger ponies catch the thief but only momentarily as both the crown and the mysterious pony fall through a magical mirror. In the aftermath, Celestia reveals that the pony was no other than the pupil she had before Twilight, Sunset Shimmer, whose impatience and mean nature led her to leave Celestia’s teachings and follow her own path (presumably the path of ‘evil’). Also, the mirror which the crown and Sunset fell through is actually a portal to another world. Twilight must chase after Sunset before she wreaks havoc on this unknown universe with the element of magic.

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Trailer Tuesdays: Equestria Girls

Okay, so I know this isn’t hot off the presses or anything, but I bring this up for one reason and one reason only: I’m going to watch this pony-tastic movie with my brother and I wanted to know what I was getting into. I can’t say that I’m particularly surprised by what I’m seeing, but I’m still not happy.

Equestria Girls, which I mentioned earlier in this post, seems to be taking the route that I expressly didn’t want it to take. Which is to say it’s a complete rip-off of Monster High. If you haven’t experienced Monster High, allow me to briefly explain that it is perhaps the most vapid, shallow show in existence, enveloping all possible tropes about pre-teen girls. For My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a show that seems to pride itself on breaking free of that damaging marketing chokehold, the lack of integrity in following Monster High’s footsteps is astounding. But let’s see what we’re dealing with here.

Twilight Sparkle is for some reason made to go to the human world and discover the magic of friendship there too, I’m guessing. I have no idea why else she would bother going, or why else she would be made to go. Somehow I feel like the movie won’t really explain this either. When she arrives (magically clothed), she’s horrified by her new form, but gets used to it quickly enough to walk around and attend high school, because that’s where every good girl’s show takes place. That’s where we meet our tropes: the boyfriend and the popular bitch, both of whom seem to have the personality of a cardboard cutout. Why is the boyfriend drawn towards Twilight? Because she’s purple? It seems as good a reason as any, seeing as I didn’t see any other purple humanoids in the trailer. And why is the popular girl such a bitch? Because what else would a popular, pretty girl be? It’s absolutely necessary in any good show for pre-teen girls to set up the dichotomy between the nice smart girl and the bitchy popular girl. Yes, absolutely.

I can tell you the plot right now: Twilight finds the counterparts to her pony friends, they learn the friendship magic, Twilight becomes prom queen, and then she goes home after having learned the important lesson that friendship is magic… which she should have already known. Bitchy popular girl probably learns said ‘magic’ too and becomes friends with Twilight at the very end.

Though the main draw of this film is definitely to see your favorite characters transformed into more relatable human girls and boys, I have to say that I’m really disappointed in the designs. In my post that I mentioned before, I remarked that I hoped that their designs would change, but they didn’t, to my chagrin. Even worse, in looking through all the background characters, I didn’t find a single female character who wasn’t wearing a skirt or impossibly proportioned.

And why is Spike a dog? Couldn't that be considered borderline racist?

And why is Spike a dog? Couldn’t that be considered borderline racist?

MLP is supposed to celebrate diversity and it’s silently understood that while the ponies don’t have many biological differences between them—they’re horses, after all—their personalities are enough to bridge that gap. However, when adapting to humanity, which has thousands and thousands of different body types, it is irresponsible to only stick with one. This move will make manufacturing the dolls easier, and oh, there will be dolls, but it presents the message to young girls that there is one standard of beauty, one way they should look. What a terrible message!

The one good thing I can say about Equestria Girls is that they decided to make it a film and not a show. At least a film is easy to forget after a while, and I’m sure that this movie will be quickly forgotten.

Equestria Girls: They’re Kind of… Terrible?

The other day, my brother handed me his phone with only the preface of, “you should write an article about this.” He knows me too well.

The last time I talked about My Little Pony, I touched on some of the good messages that the show brought to younger girls—confidence, hard work, and perseverance—and how moves within the show can serve two basic purposes: one of teaching the younger female audience the virtues that will help them when they’re older and the other providing business investors with revenue. Today I’ll be discussing this latter point in concerns to the negative implications to MLP’s audience. However, I won’t be doing this through the Friendship is Magic brand. Instead, I’m going to be looking at the newest member to the franchise, Equestria Girls.

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