Directed by: Jayson Thiessen
Staring: Tara Strong, Ashleigh Ball, Andrea Libman, Rebecca Shoichet, Tabitha St. Germain
DISCLAIMER: It has been stated by Meghan McCarthy and others who work on the cartoon that the events of this film will have no bearing or effect on season four of “Friendship is Magic”, responding to the concerns of some fans who didn’t want to see the show changed because of this film.
As I’ve stated before, I’m a brony, or to those who don’t know a male fan of the animated series My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. So around the midway point though season 3, there was news that there was actually going to be a feature length film centered on MLP. The fanbase couldn’t have been happier until the name was dropped with a single image. “Equestria Girls” with the mane six humanized and with a high school setting. The fanbase ranged from “this could be good, lets just give it a chance” to “THIS IS THE END OF THE FANDOM!!! ABANDON SHIP!!”
“Imagine if one of them showed up in Equestia saying they came from a place with tall fleshy, two legged creatures with these! We’d think they were crazy!”
So when I finally heard news that the movie was getting an actual theatrical release, I could not be more excited to view it with a group of bronies. Unfortunately by the time I got around to buying tickets it had sold out, since it was only showing at one theatre in all of town and only one show time. Luckily for me a bootleg of it showed up within hours and I was able to enjoy the feature from my computer. So the only question left is how does it hold up once all the excitement is out of the way.
The plot starts with Princess Twilight Sparkle and the group arriving to the Crystal Empire to visit Princess Celestia for a princess summit but, to be frankly honest, I’m not really sure why they are there other than to get the plot going. Short story even shorter, a black-hearted pony named Sunset Shimmer steals Twilight’s crown (her element of harmony) and travels through a magical mirror into another dimension. When Twilight and Spike go through the mirror, she finds that she has been turned into a human (with hands!) and now has to enter into the Fall Formal contest in order to win her crown back.
Ok so I’m sure you’ve probably heard of this plot before and that’s, honestly, the biggest problem with the story, its predictable. I mean, that’s not to say that the story is inherently bad. I did find a certain plot twist at the end to be surprising, but what I didn’t like was (SPOILERS) that Sunset Shimmer just giving up so quickly and begging for an apology. (END SPOILERS) We’ve already seen this kind of ending before in the series with Luna, Discord and The Great and Powerful Trixie. Another minor complaint is that the setting of high school has been done to death and is nowhere as interesting as Equestria.
With all of these complaints that’s not to say its all bad. I really like that there’s a bunch of cameos from background ponies that bronies should recognize. I also found the musical numbers to be very good and the level of humor is also very well written. Overall I do think this film has a higher level of quality than the entirety of season three, but nowhere near as good as season two. I do feel positive about the film but I’m trying to decipher if it’s because I have my fanboy glasses on or if I really like it. Also, the film gets a shiny bright star for having Derpy in the credits with her muffin and derped eyes as a direct shout out to the fans.
“Of course you lost! I’m awesome.”
As some of you will remember, I gave a rather outstanding review to the previous dvd “Princess Twilight Sparkle”, so for this dvd I was expecting the same level of quality. Unfortunately this dvd has a myriad of problems ranging from pixilation, blending, sharp edges and even at times weird coloration. Just to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me I popped in the twilight sparkle dvd just to compare and it was night and day. What’s weird is that this only applies to the feature itself. When I checked out the bonus features with the video footage of the voice actors and producers, none of the problems existed, making me to believe that this is just a very poor transfer.
“Jump up, make a sound, stomp your hooves turn around.”
Audio on the other hand is a completely different story. Presented in a Dolby 5.1, the mix gets the job done. A certain highlight is whenever the musical songs or intro song kick in, making full use of the surround sound stage. I did also notice some hustle and bustle during the hallway sequences but the rest of it was mostly a subtle thing and nothing aggressive or really useful. Its nice but really uncalled for unless it’s a musical number.
Packaging and Bonus Features
“Just a hunch…”
The Dvd comes in a standard white dvd cause with a slipcover that is actually embossed. It also comes with a $5 off coupon with a purchase of a mlp equestria girls doll toy. I do with the cover of the dvd could be something other than the theatrical poster, cause I’ve never been a fan of it, but I did like the holographic usage and colors.
Through the Mirror: All of these feel as though they meant to be seen before watching the feature itself due to them just stating stuff that the audience would know had they seen the film.
The Movie: features interviews with some of the cast and crew discussing how this film is different from all other My Little Pony enterprises, while maintaining a connection with the franchise.
The Look: focuses on the animation style.
The Music: centers on the music and songwriter Daniel Ingram.
Ponify Yourself: um…so this is a minute long video of some 11-12 year old girls just putting on make-up and dying their hair while looking in the camera. I think this is trying to encourage girls to try and do the same, but for me it just felt extremely awkward.
Cafeteria Song: just an instrumental track of the song with the words highlighted as they are in the song. By the end of it I found myself singing along.
Friends for Life
Hanazuki Preview : I think this might be an ad for a show or possibly a video game, but to be honest I have no idea what in the hell is going on in this.
Printable Poster- a high-res poster if you put it in your computer, for when you need that 20’’X30’’ poster on your wall.
Overall(not an Average)
“The friendship of magic isn’t just in equestria…”
While the film has pleased the fandom it’s nowhere near as good as season two. The dvd, while being a dvd, has the video quality being about as bad as one could fear. I will give props for finally having some behind the scenes and small commentary with the cast and producers on how they created the production. Overall I think most of the technical problems could be fixed simply by getting the blu ray, but for the fans of the show who don’t still have a blu ray player, this will get the job done.
Fluttershy is still best pony.
The Movie 7.5/10
The Video 5/10
The Audio 7/10
Packaging and Bonus Features 6/10
Overall (not an average) 7/10