In fall of 2013, the world was introduced to My Little Pony Equestria Girls, an alternate reality in which the four-legged friends from Canterlot were re-imagined as teenage girls. At first glance, it seemed like little more than a cash grab - a way for the popular characters to horn in turf previously occupied by the likes of Barbie and Monster High. And maybe it was; after all, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is little more than a series of 22-minute commercials for a toy line, right?
Except that it isn't. Any parent who watches the show with their kids (and you are paying attention to what your kids are watching on TV, aren't you?) quickly recognized the well-crafted stories emphasizing friendship, loyalty, honesty, and diversity. They caught on to the quick-witted humor and were impressed with the excellent voice work. They enjoyed the rich mythology of the show and in my case, they were immediately branded as a Brony by their wife, who teased them for their love of My Little Pony until she actually sat down and watched it and realized that... hey, this show is pretty darn good (and there's nothing wrong with being labled as a Brony either, I might add!).
But I digress. As a parent of a children who have a literally lifelong love of these characters, I was quick to dismiss Equestria Girls. I didn't want to see these characters who were so entertaining and inspiring to my kids perverted into a teenage drama where the only concern was which shoes matched the dress they were wearing to impress a boy. It seemed to be the antithesis of the entire series and certainly didn't live up to the standard of Friendship is Magic. But I had to realize that these ponies that we had come to love were just a licensed property with no real integrity or soul, right?
Wrong. The good news was that the same folks behind My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic were continuing to work their magic in the Equestria Girls film. The same spirit (as well as the same writers and voice actors) was alive and well in this animated film, even if they did trade their hooves for hands and stopped calling everybody "everypony" (which admittedly, was kind of annoying anyway). So it was a no-brainer that we'd be watching My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks when it aired. After all, it's common knowledge that the best way to improve upon a good thing is to add music, sparkles, and glitter. Just ask my daughter.
In this film, a friendly musical showcase at Canterlot High turns into a battle of the bands when three new girls show up at school and use evil magic to pit everypony--er, everyone against each other. And who doesn't love a battle of the bands? So Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy, and the newly reformed Sunset Shimmer call upon Twilight Sparkle to restore harmony to their world. And did I mention there's a battle of the bands?!?! Oh yeah. There are lots of songs for the kids to enjoy and nods to everyone from Daft Punk to David Bowie in this music-filled extravaganza. There's also a few singalong videos that your kids will love and eight prequel shorts that show how the band came together.
Listen, if your kid likes My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, there's a fair chance they'll like Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks as well. And don't worry; the core values of friendship, diversity, and loyalty (and buying lots of toys and accessories) are there too. While I can't say that I loved this movie quite as much as I enjoy the regular show, I was definitely impressed with it and it entertained the entire family. I probably won't even mind when my kids demand that we watch it every weekend for the next three months.
And if you don't trust me, surely you'll trust this review written by my daughter Darby:.