Movie Review: Rainbow Rocks

Hello, Spongey here.

Well, it’s that time again, isn’t it? It’s time to piss people off….or maybe not. I literally just talked about Ponies a few days ago, but I suppose twice in a row ain’t bad.

Last year, Hasbro took a franchise that was created to make money, and  used it to make money. People were pissed, because that way involved a film where Twilight visits a world where all the Humans were ponies. It was set in High School.

A lot of people were …skeptical to say the least, including me. But it came out…and the fandom was very split. A lot of people liked it, while a lot of people didn’t. I reviewed it, but if you don’t want to read it here’s the short version:

It was alright. Nothing amazing, but it was fun with decent moments, okay songs, and a cool climax. It could have been better, but it’s still decent. I see why some don’t like it, but I think it’s fine.

It made money so of course they made a sequel. Some were still skeptical but they were open to a Sequel, since it could fix the issues with the first one. It just came out….and everyone likes it!

Seriously! Every review I’ve seen from a “Professorial” Brony Critic has praised it, even one who HATED the first film! Do you know how impossible it is to get the fandom to like something with an out there concept?!

Yeah, no one is saying it’s the best pony thing ever, but most people like it. That’s impressive. But, how will I feel?

Will it manage to get used to it’s hands and rock out, or is it out of tune? Let’s find out!

This, is My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks

STORY:

Twilight Sparkle has gone home to Equestria and is now the Princess of Friendship, while her friends in the human world have reunited and Sunset Shimmer is attempting to make amends for her evil ways despite the school hating her. However, a new threat enters the scene; three new students Adagio Dazzle, Aria Dusk, and Sonata Blaze. Using some sort of dark magic channeled by their singing, the trio spreads a Hate Plague across Canterlot High School, turning an friendly talent show into a Battle of the Bands.

With the entire school under their control and the students turned against each other worse than ever, Sunset contacts Twilight in Equestria to ask for her help in defeating the trio and freeing CHS before whatever scheme they’re plotting comes to fruition.

So, how does the story compare to the first film? Well, they way they tackle the story is different, and sounds like it should be worse…but it’s actually better. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I suppose I should get my feelings on the film itself out of the way. I feel that The Rugrats Movie is pretty good, despite some people’s issues with it, but I think Rugrats in Paris is better in every single way.

I feel the same way here. Yeah, weird comparison but I won’t be comparing Rainbow Rocks to Shrek 2 or Star Trek 2 anything soon. They pretty much fixed all my issues with the first one, while making the strong parts even stronger. It’s not without it’s flaws, but the flaws are less cringe inducing this time.

But onto the story. The first thing that impresses me is how they use the music element. At first, it seems like they have  create a contrived story, with a poor excuse to shoehorn in a battle of the bands plot.

They actually wrote it so it all makes sense. These new villains feast on negative emotions, and use their music to control people. And due to some stuff I won’t get it into, music is the only way to stop them. I can’t say everything without stumbling over my words here, but they manage to make it work in the context of this story.

It seems contrived, but in context, it works. It’s not even as stupid as I thought it would. be As for the story itself, it’s fine. The first movie didn’t use specific cliches, but did have an air of generic-ness to it, with the dance and all that.

This one uses more direct cliches, but it uses them in a more creative way so it doesn’t feel quite as generic. They do the whole ‘arguing band” thing, where the leader is all cocky, but the writing manages to make it work, mostly since this is Rainbow Dash we’re talking about here. It’s still cliché but it’s not horribly cliché like some other movies of it’s kind.

It also because of the themes used with 2 characters, but we’ll get into that later. Yes, it’s still not the best story ever, because it has a few minor moments that could have been handled better. Perhaps some of the cliches could have been toned a bit so to make the arguing easier to watch at times.

But honestly, the good stuff impresses me so much I can forgive the flaws. Yeah, it is mostly when you compare it to the first one, but it’s solid on it’s own. If you haven’t seen the first one, this may impress you compared to what you thought it would be. But that’s still pretty good.

Another minor nitpick is that the story is a bit similar to the first one. The (Hu)mane 6 must stop arguing so they can go to a big event and use Deux Ex Machina powers to fight a villain. But it feels a bit different, and it’s written better, so I can forgive it.

Overall, the story has it’s generic elements, but it manages to use them in a creative way that improves on the first one. It doesn’t line up with the best stories of the show, but it’s still pretty good. The Grade for the Story will be lower than implied here, but that’s just cuz it’s not the best thing ever when put on it’s own.

But hey, it still works as a story, so I’m not complaining.

ANIMATION:

Yeah, the animation is better too. The animation in first was solid, but it’s obvious the animators had to get a hang at animating humans, especially with the slapstick-y parts. This time around, they tone down the extreme stuff.

Now the humans look a look better, and I got used to the designs. Also, since this isn’t enough for the Characters section, I’ll say we do see more Humanized Ponies this time around. But spoilers, No Cheese Sandwhich. Drat.

There are more show-y moments that show off the animation nicely. Especially whenever the villains pop out. Their scenes, especially their songs, show off some impressive shading and all that stuff.

The true highlight is the climax. No spoilers, but damn, it looks good. It’s not “Twilight Vs Tierk” good, as it’s not one of the best pieces of flash animation I’ve ever seen…but it’s still pretty damn good.

Not much else to say. While it won’t go down as the best animation ever, it’s still impressive and better than the first one. But then again, it kind of had to since they had more time to practice this thing. Still good, of course.

SONGS:

Of course the songs are better! But even put on their one, they are pretty solid. The songs in the first movie were fun, but only 2 come to mind, and of those 2 one could be called ‘Great”. This has 7 songs in the film proper (one of which can only be heard uninterpreted on the Soundtrack).

Pretty much all of them are memorable, and at least 3 them are AMAZING. Most of them won’t go down as the best pony songs ever, but those 3 could honestly be in the runners up on my upcoming song list remake. They are that good.

The main reason they are better, is that pretty much all of them are rock songs, rather than pop tunes. I like rock music, so there you go. The ones sung by the Humane 6 are solid wich manage to be memorable. Not the best, but better.

So which ones are the greats? Well, you know how the best songs in a lot of musicals are the Villains songs? Yeah, that’s no different here. Holy crap, these villains get the best songs. “Under Our Spell”, “Lets have a battle of the bands” and “Welcome to the show” (the actual villain song part) are all really awesome. They have a very interesting sound, making them stand out, even among the main pony songs.

Even the Sub-Villain gets a really good song. I won’t spoil it though, even if followers of Equestria Daily may know who. Crap, I’ve said too much.

Awhile before I watched the movie, and the soundtrack was out, I picked a random song to feast on while I wait for the movie to came out. It was “Under Our Spell’ and I ended up listening to like 80 times before I saw the movie.

That’s not a joke. Here’s proof.

under out spell

Yeah. That’s why I’m listening to a different song as a type that. I got spent on that song. The villain songs are fun, unique, and show off the best visuals in the film. The normal songs are songs are good, but the villain songs are better.

Hence why the climax is awesome, as it uses a song that starts off as a villain song and goes into a full on battle. It’s amazing.

Overall, these songs manage to better than the first film’s songs, while still being good on their own. Looks like The Autobot’s aren’t the only Hasbro group to rock out…

CHARACTERS:

Look, I know you’re tired of me saying __ is better than the first…but yeah, the characters are better. But in this area, in succeeds in the same area, while eliminating the weaknesses. The two main characters people bitched about? They fixed them, but we’ll get to that.

First, the show characters. The Humane 6 get a bit more time to shine this time. The plot lets them each have little moments to shine. I said in my review of the first one that they work fine as a group despite little development.

Well here they still shine as a group, but they developed more. The main one is Rainbow, as the title implies. She fulfills the cocky band leader cliché, but the sweet moments make up for it. The way the cliché plays out leads to some nice moments with the mane 6, both sweet and funny.

It’s not their development ever, but it works for the movie. Each of them have significant big moments, except maybe Pinkie but she’s Pinkie so she’s not wasted. Much like in the first on, Twilight gets the best development of the normal characters.

Like always, she’s trying not to let everyone down, but the situation is making it hard. She has a lot of nice moments that give her character even more depth, especially after she became the freaking princess of Friendship. It is a bit derivative of her development in other episodes, even in the first film, but it works on it’s own.

Actually, one other issue with the movie (and the first one) is that it does hit all the marks that the show’s two parters hit. The whole Mad Lib thing Silver Quill came up with came to my mind here, while it didn’t while watching Twilight’s Kindgom, even after his review. But the way they make it work is fine.

But seriously, when you think about, the plot as a whole is The Return of Harmony meets Luna Eclipsed. (We’ll get to that in a second).

So now onto the EQG exclusive characters. First. I’ll just address the Elephant in the room. I was not a fan of Flash Sentry in the first one, as he was just a romantic interest, and nothing more. In this one…he’s not in it that much.

There’s a minor thing with him hating on Twilight thanks to the Dazzlings magic, but his total screentime barely clocks in at 4 minutes. If that. Fans of him will get enough, (all 2 of them) whole others will be happy he doesn’t do much. Also, he spends pretty much most of the being a prick which is awesome. Though the fact that’s a tad obsessed with Twilight is ….creepy I mean, the Twilight he likes is not a human. She’s originally a pony, and is thus a pony at heart.

Yeah…think about that for second.

Anyway, let’s got into the character with the best development…Sunset Shimmer. Yeah, I’m not joking. She didn’t suck in the first film, but she wasn’t the best. But now she’s reformed and awesome.

She’s a good guy, but as you would expect, no one outside of the Humane 6 is really accepting her. She’s trying her hardest, but she can’t quite fit in. Yeah, that sounds a lot of like the plot of Luna Eclipsed (Adding to the Derivative thing I mentioned) but it still works because of the…quality of her character in the first one.

She has some really nice moments that work very well. These moments tend to be either sweet or badass, and that’s cool. One of the best involves her and Twilight talking about their problems. No spoilers, but it’s pretty awesome.

Her development, just works really well. Everyone has praised her, saying she was the best part…and yeah, she was. I grew to really like her by the end, which I didn’t expect. Next you’re gonna tell me Sombra will come back and become a fully complex villain!

…Nothing? Usually when I say that I get faced with something showing me that what I said will happen. ..Huh, guess he’s just that dull. …Yes, I know he’s kind of in the comics….sort of. I think.

The other normal characters like Celestia are just there but they work. Spike doesn’t get as much to do, which sucks, but he’s still Spike so that’s cool. But seriously, even a background pony…er human gets more to do in the plot! …Shit, I’ve said too much.

And lastly, we have our villains, Adagio Dazzle, Aria Dusk, and Sonata Blaze, voiced by Kazumi Evans, Diana Kaarina, and Maryke Hendrikse. I should mention that they continue the trend of the head villain of an EQG movie being voiced by the singing voice of another character. (Kazumi sings as Rairty and Luna)

Are they an improvement over Sunset? Is Applejack a silly pony? Yep, even the villains are better. Their whole shtick is that they are using their weird siren powers to make everyone fight. Throughout the whole film, they are actually somewhat threatening and cool.

They play a much bigger part in the plot than Sunset and that makes far more interesting. They also happen to be very entertaining when they appear. Mostly because Sonata is kind of dumb, and Aria is a bitch to her, which leads to funny moments between the 3. It’s typical but it works.
They aren’t all that complex, but they are still surprisingly enjoyable. They have an interesting backstory, which I won’t say since it may be a spoiler, even if it’s stated about 20 something minutes in. But I will say I liked that they found a way to cover up a potential plot hole.

It’s hard to explain, but these villains manage to be cool. Mostly due to having an creepy nature, with interesting animation and awesome songs. Everything about them is cool, and that’s even without comparing them to Sunset.

Overall, the characters as a strong bunch. The Mane 6 have fun interactions, Twilight gets decent development, Sunset is awesome, and the villains are fun. Now these are characters I can get behind.

Final Thoughts:

Once again, the writers have listened to fan complaints and took them into account. This sequel outdoes the original in mostly every way. The story uses cliches and an odd premise very creatively, with good humor. The animation is impressive, the songs range from Good to Awesome, and the characters are well written.

While some minor things were probably better in the first one, pretty much everything that mattered was better here. However, it does have issues, mostly with the cliché stuff, if you ignore the first one and pretended this is the only one. But even on it’s own., it has creativity, solid songs, and very nice moments.

With the first one, Meghan and the crew managed to handle the concept well but they obliviously had trouble completely selling us on it. Here, they did it. They made me fully care about pastel humans. Obviously, it’s not as good as the show, but it’s kind of it’s own thing, so it’s unfair to fully compare. Besides, this one mostly has the same quality we come to expect.

The creators put hard work into the first one and it payed off, and it pays off even more here. It’s not the best thing ever, and if it was an episode, it may only crack Number 10 in a list of the best episodes of that season, but that’s still pretty good.

Overall, it’s a fun sequel that fixes the problems with the first one keeping everything that made it good in the first place. Pretty much every Brony should see this, if they are open to it.. If you aren’t a fan, because you haven’t gotten around to watching the show…watch a bit of that first, but still check it out.

It’s pretty good. Oh, and as a side note, stick to the end of the credits. No, we don’t have see the Humane 6 eating Shawarma…but it’s still VERY interesting indeed.. ..I’ll spoil it below.

Story: B

Animation: B+

Songs: B+

Characters: B+

OVERALL: B+

See ya, Non Spoiler guys.

SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS

Okay, there are only 2 points to discuss, but they are interesting. First, the Dazzlings backstory. They come from Equestria, and they are actually Sirens. They were doing their siren thing, using music to corrupt people.

And so Starswirl the Bearded banished them to the Human World, hoping that would get rid of their powers, as they require Equestrian Magic to function. That went sour though, as their necklaces light up…due to the climax of the first film. Way to go, Celestia…or whoever I should blame.

The important thing is that Starswirl did it. First, he was introduced in Luna Eclipsed. Told you this was a mash up of that episode and another one! 2Nd, when I heard at the start that they were from Equestria, I wondered why they weren’t’ sent to Pony Hell like Tierk.

Well, it’s because Starswirl handled that, and I assume he doesn’t have that jurisdiction. That was a pretty smart move on their part. There a lot of theories as to why he handled that. Most say that this all happened while Luna was in the moon, and thus, Celestia is a bit too busy to do all this crap. Idk.

Another thing to praise about these villains is that they don’t turn good, even though it seemed like they would go that way. Mostly because one of them isn’t all that evil. Since Sunset turning good was rushed, I’m glad they stayed evil to the bitter end.

Now for the 2nd important part. Now, back when I even heard of the first film’s premise, I wondered is there was a real Human Twilight/Dog Spike. After all, it doesn’t make sense that this world would just exists without a specific pony person. Keep in mind, the Dazzlings were banished here a bunch of moons ago, before Twilight was even born. Why would she just not exist in that world, along with Spike?

…In the stinger, we see a Human Twilight, with glasses, saying that something weird is going on at that school. Dog Spike barks.

Well, that’s interesting.

…See ya.

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About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
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4 Responses to Movie Review: Rainbow Rocks

  1. Mark says:

    Hi Spongey. I’m not sure if you remember me, but I left a request for you to review an animated Halloween movie a couple of years ago, but you never got to review it. However, I have another thing that I think you’d like to review. I tried to send you something about it here, but it didn’t get posted for some reason. So all I can say is that it’s this book series that’s sort of like Goosebumps. And since you love that stuff, I thought you might review what I have to offer.
    If you’re interested, contact me at markiej0523@yahoo.com and I’ll tell you more about it.
    All the best, Mark

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