My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks Review

It’s been over a year since My Little Pony: Equestria Girls hit theaters. When it was first announced it garnered many negative reactions from fans. There was so much pre-hate but when it came out it delivered a fun, exciting, and heartwarming story about friendship. Despite reviews for the most part being favorable, many thought it would be a one and done thing. Until of course Rainbow Rocks was announced. There wasn’t as much hype in comparison to the first one. There wasn’t much dislike, but it appeared that unlike the first one there wasn’t going to be any correlation with the pony world. It looked to be solely High School Musical in Equestria Girls format. But if it’s one thing fans have learned by now is that it’s best to never underestimate the MLP team. Rainbow Rocks isn’t quite as engaging as the first Equestria Girls for a few reasons, but overall it’s another solid trip into the MLP universe. (And a solid way to hold you over until Season 5!)

Here’s the official description from Hasbro:

Canterlot High is hosting a musical showcase and Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Fluttershy are going to be performing with their new band, The Rainbooms. But when a new girl group, The Dazzlings, arrives at CHS, they convince everyone to turn the friendly showcase into a Battle of the Bands.

As tensions mount between the competing musical acts, a reformed Sunset Shimmer realizes that the Dazzlings may not be ordinary girls and are after something far more sinister than just being named Best Band at Canterlot High.  The Rainbooms call on Princess Twilight to return to their world to help them perform a musical counter-spell so that they can win a battle that now determines the fate of the entire school.

If it’s one thing Rainbow Rocks lacked in comparison to the first Equestria Girls it’s overall excitement. There was a sense of danger throughout the first one. Arguably here it’s similar but at the same time lacks that big “Uh oh, how will they pull out of this one?” The villains are a trio called the Sirens. Thankfully during the middle they got some much needed backsrtory. Overall they were pretty solid, with Adagio, the leader, being the best. While they didn’t have a generic ending like Sunset Shimmer in the first movie, their ending is still a bit anti-climatic. Throughout the movie however they work. Their powers feed off the negative emotions of others, which is nothing new but still cool to watch.

Sunset_smiling_at_her_new_friends_EG2Another thing furthering the gap between the two movies is the soundtrack. Almost every song in Equestria Girls was fun and different. In Rainbow Rocks, almost every one sounds the same. They’re wonderfully written, but sound exactly alike. There are no specific highlights, the only one that’s memorable is the end credits song, ‘Shine Like Rainbows.’ Moving onto characters, the big highlight is Sunset Shimmer. While I was personally annoyed they went the generic route and reformed her in the ending to the first movie, here she actually proves to be more interesting than the other main characters! It is awkward when you’ve been a bully (and her case she-demon!) so people will have a hard time accepting. Like the first movie, Rainbow Rocks hits some of the school culture pretty well.

The first 25% of the movie lacked Twilight and it shows. While the other Mane 5 are always awesome, for some reason here without Twilight the movie slowly started to turn dull. When she arrived it quickly picked up. There are a couple of negative things regarding her however. For one thing, why was she surprised when Flash Sentry was being rude to her in the hall? Didn’t she know that the whole school was being controlled by the Sirens? Also when has she proven to be bad at singing? In the practice she seemed so awkward when it reality she’s been singing for 4 seasons and a movie! Besides those, Twilight remains as engaging and funny as ever. Though once again, the romance is completely forced. It went nowhere and was there just to be there.

The writing remains solid as you would expect from Meghan McCarthy. There’s admittedly less funny scenes than usual, but still quite a few moments where even even the most hardened of fans will laugh. (The Maud Pie cameo scene was brilliant.) Trixie has a solid role, and one must give credit to her voice actress Kathleen Barr for perfectly saying “The great and powerful Trixxxieee!” every time. The climax involves a sing-off with some mild action. It’s not quite as engaging as the climax from the previous movie, but it’s still decent and delivers a pretty epic finishing blow.

The_Dazzlings_stand_in_the_shadows_EG2Overall, Rainbow Rocks is a solid sequel. It’s not quite as engaging as the first Equestria Girls, but still a fun watch. The Sirens, mainly Adagio, make for not bad antagonists. (The other two get some good lines here and there, but one has to wonder why the writing would have Aria want to be leader, but never explored again.) (And another thing, wouldn’t one think that Twilight would let Princess Celestia know she would be traveling into the mirror again?) Sunset Shimmer is surprisingly one of the primary highlights as a protagonist. If they make a show out of this world I’ll be looking forward to seeing her again. At its core the story’s goal is to finish Sunset’s redemption story which began in the ending of the first movie. With that goal, it succeeds. The rest of the movie remains a solid, but sometimes flawed watch.

Author
I was born in the Big Apple and currently reside in New Jersey. Marvel is my favorite comic book company, with Spider-Man being my favorite character. But the absolute biggest thing you'll find me talking about is Godzilla. Besides the big G, my other favorite subject is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the greatest cartoon ever. My personal contact e-mail is djdjalvarez@Gmail.com
  • colorsofplaydough

    Personally, I thought it was better than the first one; there was a better story, great fan service, had breathtaking animation, humor was on point, and it gave the viewers a chance to really explore the Equestria Girl’s characters and world, unlike in the first movie. The writers also handled reformed Sunset Shimmer in a wonderful way, and I actually really liked the villians, and was statisfied that at the end, the writers didn’t just make the defeated trio fade into light, or disapper in a dramatic flash, but kept them alive; as normal, tone-deaf, teenege girls. And even if the songs sounded similar, the lyrics were great and were preformed very well by the voice actresses. Plus, I was relieved that, instead of having a cliche, expected ending of the Rainbooms winning the ‘Battle of the Bands’ the winner/s are never annonuced. There’s so many ways that this move shone and I’m happy to admit that, even though I first believed the movie was going to tank, the MLP writers worked their magic and made the first sequel to a movie that was better then its predecessor in my mind.

  • Kerk

    This one was miles better than the first one.

    Sunset Shimmer was a generic villain and she was never threatening. The stakes never seemed high. In comparison, here she carries the movie. Who needs Twiligh’s trouble over a spell? That’s petty. Give me a person whose entire worldview has been shattered, who is learning to walk anew, who is being made fun of by almost everyone, and who gets a second chance from a group of real friends. That story and its message are timeless, and Sunset aces her role.

    As villains, the sirens are much better than her. They just enjoy being evil so much, that you can’t help draw guilty pleasure from watching them.

    Songs in the first one were better? I don’t remember a single one! I’m just sitting right now, listening to the “Battle of the Bands” over and over.

    And lets not forget the cameos! Those were such great fan service. Elegant and light. Derpy, Lyra, Maud, Big Mac – all get perfect scenes.

    And now there is that after credit scene. There is definitely going to be a third movie.

  • DisneyDreamer

    I have to agree with the article. I have all the songs from the first film and I just listened to the rainbow rocks soundtrack this morning on my way to work. They do sound the same! The songs from the first film are wayyy better than this film. I actually only like the rainbow rocks song from the soundtrack where as in the first film, I can play those songs non-stop. There’s no diversity in the songs like the soundtrack in the first film. I like the first film better. This film did lack something, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed it. I just didn’t get that omg, this good feeling when I left the theatre. I will say this I wish they could have let Flash and his band get on a soundtrack!

  • schris3

    I want to say that the soundtracks from both movies are overall mediocre. From both each I can get one that is legitimately good and other that is guilty pleasure. From Equestria Girls: MLP opening remix and Time to Come Together; and from Rainbow Rocks: Tricks Up My Sleeve (maybe biased, but I think it was legitimately good) and Awesome as I Want to Be.

  • Jose Galapagos

    I liked this movie better than the first movie. I love the soundtrack to this movie, especially the songs by the sirens (Dazzlings)