Thursday, 18 August 2016

Equestria Girls

I will say without shame that I am what is known as a 'Brony'.
That's short for 'Bro who likes pony', as in the little girls' cartoon about magical talking ponies.
It did take me a long time to get over the fact that it is My Little Pony, but the simple fact is, it's really freaking good.
And yes, they did make it into a movie.
Kinda.
The movie is about magical talking ponies, but it's also about high school girls with magical powers.
It took a serious turn into weirdsville.
Not only that, but it got a theatrical release too.
So let's take a look at this thing.
The movie begins with-WAIT!
In case there's anybody who's not seen the show but wishes to, there is a spoiler within the first five seconds to be wary of. So, have a spoiler warning.
Eh, close enough.
Now, the movie begins with the Mane 6 going to the Crystal Kingdom so that Princess Twilight can be a part of the Princess summit.
And if you've seen the show, you'll know that almost all of that sentence was a spoiler.
A wild Pinkie has appeared.
This movie takes place immediately after series 3 of the show, where Twilight Sparkle turned into an Alicorn.
That means she grew wings and got taller.
After a short scene setting up the fact that she brought her magical crown with her, they enter Princess Cadance's throne room.
After the greetings Princess Celestia (I am going to get so sick of typing the word Princess) essentially sends them all off to bed.
"It's great to see you, now go away."
Everypony goes to bed, with Twilight expressing concerns about whether she'll be able to live up the title of Princess.
And so, since the universe hates her, her crown immediately gets stolen.
"With catlike tread, I shall-" CRASH "Awww."
After a quick chase through the castle, the mystery thief reaches her escape point and removes her cloak, revealing her true identity.
"O M Goodness! Of all the ponies, I can't believe it's her. Whoever she is. Seriously, we've never seen her before this point."
The mysterious thief gets tackled by Twilight, dropping the crown through a magical mirror, which she dives through shortly after.
The Mane 6 go to Princess Celestia for answers and she tells them of the student she had before Twilight Sparkle.
Basically, Sunset Shimmer was as skilled a prodigy as Twilight, but was even more of a loner. Celestia didn't want her learning too much magic too soon, but Sunset got greedy, eventually rebelling against Celestia and finding herself in another world.
Why she decided to go through the mirror isn't explained, but she did.
What also isn't explained is why her name's so similar to Twilight's.
Heck later on in the series we get a villain named Starlight Glimmer.
Maybe they just like the theme?
Anyhoo, back to the plot. Celestia explains that Twilight must go alone, due to there being too much risk about getting stuck there. Apparently the portal is only active for a certain amount of time and if you miss it, you're stuck for years.
Rainbow Dash is having none of it.
Despite Celestia over-ruling the rest of the Mane 6, Spike realises that making Twilight go alone is stupid, so he charges into the portal with her.
Also, if you meet a woman who looks exactly like your mother but with buttons for eyes, don't listen to her.
When she wakes up in the other world, things are a little different. It's pretty obvious from the DVD cover and the entire concept of the movie, but it's still a pretty big shock to Twilight herself.
I will assume that Starswirl the Bearded realised that humans wear clothes and built his portal with an enchantment to dress anybody who travels through it in suitable outfits.
After calming down Twilight looks around and notices that she's in a school, so she starts searching for her crown.
After some fish-out-of-water jokes set to a pretty decent song, Twilight notices that not everything about this world is different. In fact, some of the inhabitants seem eerily familiar.
And completely disrespectful of school rules.
Exploring the school reveals several human versions of background characters, including Trixie, DJ-Pon-3, Bulk Biceps and Photo Finish.
But it's when Twilight overhears some yelling that she gets the biggest shock yet. There's a human version of Fluttershy, who's being picked on by a bully.
So naturally Twilight does the smart and logical thing.
Nah, she charges straight into the middle of it.
Can you blame her? Just look at how cute she is. Fluttershy confirmed for best waifu.
Despite not knowing what she's barging into, Twilight manages to get the bully off of Fluttershy's case. But then Fluttershy drops another shock. The bully was in fact Sunset Shimmer!
If only we'd been given some clue to her identity.
The actual shock is that Fluttershy was standing outside the school when the crown came through the portal. Fluttershy thought it was the crown for an upcoming event (Essentially prom) and handed it to the school Principal.
Principal Celestia.
She's as weirded out by this as I am.
Twilight tries to get the crown back, but Celestia has already locked it away and refuses to unlock it, since Twilight can't prove it's hers. She mentions that it will be given to the Princess of the Fall Formal, which is two days away.
meaning that if Twilight wants her crown back, she's going to have to persuade an entire school of strangers to vote for her instead of Sunset Shimmer, who pretty much rules the school as the alpha bully.
Well, at least she's enjoying herself.
Twilight even admits that she has no idea how she's going to do it, but luckily she has already made one friend who can help.
Fluttershy explains the situation and how everybody hangs around in their own cliques, so you just know that this movie's going to have a moral about it.
And considering the cliques mentioned, I think the writer may have watched Breakfast Club before penning this one.
Grumpyshy!
Twilight asks where the head of the party planning committee can be found and if you've seen the show then you've probably already guessed who it is.
Yes, that is Pinkie Pie and yes, she is breaking the laws of physics. Pinkie for best waifu.
Twilight introduces herself and mentions Fluttershy but Pinkie gets upset at the mention of the name, seeming to think rather poorly of her.
Although Pinkie gets easily distracted, saying that Twilight looks exactly like a girl she once saw in the city who had a pet dog named Spike who looks identical to Twilight's pet dog named Spike.
Foreshadowing, you're doing it correctly.
Twilight officially puts her name down to compete for the Princess position, just before another familiar face enters the room.
Applejack.
And her outfit is gorgeous. Applejack for best waifu.
Applejack tells Twilight what a backstabber Sunset Shimmer is, before saying that the only girl less trustworthy is Rainbow Dash, which immediately makes me rescind my "Applejack for best waifu" comment. Rainbow Dash's trustwortheriness is not something that can be brought into question! Rainbow Dash is best pony! Rainbow Dash for President!
Er, not that I'm biased or anything.
After Twilight leaves Sunset Shimmer shows up and complains about the decorations, saying that everything has to be perfect for her coronation, which ticks Applejack off enough for her to let slip that Twilight Sparkle will be competing against her.
Sure, Sunset would have to find out eventually, but did you really have to go and give her forewarning about it? Now she's got time to make plans.
I'm sure only good can some of this.
As she's wandering the halls Twilight comes across a corridor that's rather badly lit.
Well, it's no dark alley, but it'll do.
Seriously, Twilight should be glad she's not in a horror movie. She's got the self-preservation skills of a Disney Lemming.
Sunset Shimmer corners her and basically just gloats about how she's already won and that Twilight clearly isn't as smart as her.
She barely stops short of cackling. Heck, she even makes a "Your little dog too." joke, just to make sure we didn't miss out on the fact that she's the bad guy.
Sunset finds her two henchmen (Because every villain worth their salt needs at least two bumbling sidekicks), who are this universe's versions of Snips and Snails.
How to describe Snips and Snails?
Well, picture the characters from Dumb and Dumber, then make them teenagers and voila! Snips and Snails.
Or maybe Bulk and Skull would have been more accurate a reference?
She orders them to follow Twilight and gather anything she can use to defeat her.
Because if Dick Dastardly taught us anything, it's that even if you're way out in front there's always time to cheat.
And that never backfired, did it?
But before that, we have yet another familiar face for Twilight to meet.
It's a human version of a Unicorn known for her grace, style, pizzazz and natural talent for being fabulous.
No, not Rarity, it's the GREAT AND POWERFUL TRIXIE!
And you better not stop her from getting to those peanut butter crackers.
Twilight decides to take Sunset's advice (That Sunset didn't know she was giving) and do some research about this world.
So naturally, she heads to the library.
"To the LIBRARY!"
Twilight attempts to use a computer, but she's utterly stumped by the keyboard. She manages to muddle through somehow, but she has a few pratfalls along the way, which Snips and Snails manage to take photos of.

It's still rather rare to see a movie that remembers that phones have cameras.
Twilight stays at the library until closing time, which reminds her that she has nowhere to sleep.
So she sleeps at the library.
She had to kick out some other kid named Bastion, but I'm sure he wasn't doing anything important.
The book Twilight's holding is the school yearbook and inside it she found a photo of the girls. More importantly, it's a photo of the girls being friends during their first year at Canterlot High.
I officially classify this picture as adorabubbles. No other word can describe it.
In the morning, Twilight has a plan to win over all of the students.
Her plan involves a list, because she is Twilight Sparkle. Lists are kinda her thing.
But just as Twilight attempts to greet her fellow students, they all start sniggering and laughing at her.
Luckily, rarity is on hand to save the day.
She doesn't even know Twilight Sparkle, but she's willing to give her a dress and wig to help. Rarity for best waifu.
The other girls that twilight's met enter and after some internal bickering they tell Twilight what's going on. Sunset Shimmer released the embarrassing photos that Snips and Snails took, making her the clown of the school.
But when Fluttershy offers Twilight her aid, a big argument breaks out among the girls, which prompts Twilight to finally ask what actually happened between them.
Basically, Sunset Shimmer has been sending texts and e-mails to each of the girls pretending to actually BE another one of the girls, causing them to think they've got their plans arranged when in fact they haven't.
And none of the girls thought to actually ask anyone else anything in person.
The perils of living on social media.
"That's it, now kiss and make up. And let me watch. With my camera. For research."
And finally, after 38 minutes, we get to meet the true best waifu of this movie.
Rainbow Dash.
Rainbow Dash, 20% cooler than your average waifu.
After she and Applejack hug out their problems Rainbow Dash says that she'd be happy to help Twilight Sparkle take Sunset Shimmer down a notch.
If Twilight can beat Rainbow at a game of football.
Now remember, Rainbow Dash is an athletic and highly skilled veteran of just about every sport known to man or pony. Twilight Sparkle was a four-legged creature until yesterday. But Twilight doesn't let anything stop her, so she puts her all into winning the match.
It goes about as well as you'd expect.
Despite Twilight's inevitable loss, Rainbow decides to help her out due to the fact that she never gave up.
But there's bad news, Sunset Shimmer was watching the entire time and her little minions took photos of Twilight as she played. Why? I'll get back to that.
For now, the girls meet up in a cafe to plan their strategy.
And have their waifus stolen!
That guy's name is Flash Sentry. I haven't mentioned him before now because he's not been important, but he's about to be and now's as good a time as any to talk about him.
This guy has a kinda-sorta romance with Twilight Sparkle, whom he literally keeps crashing into. She kinda-sorta returns his feelings, which is a little awkward.
Naturally, many fans hate him. They think he has no place in the show and they'd rather keep romance out of it.
Others love him, saying that it's about time that romance came into the show and that he's a genuinely nice guy.
I don't really have much of an opinion on the matter.
I don't hate the guy, but I'm not over-joyed at his inclusion either. He's just kinda there, hanging around and not really doing very much.
Now, in the later movies I have a very different opinion of him, but for now I'll just give him a 'meh' and move along.
Back to the plot. And just what in tarnation is Applejack doing sitting like that? Girl, you're wearing a skirt, show some modesty please.
They discuss their plans to get Twilight voted in as the Princess and rarity comes up with an idea.
Accessorise!
"If enough of the school are secretly furries, we've got this in the bag."
Her plan is a little more complicated than just cosplay though. The school is called Canterlot High and their sports teams are referred to as the Wondercolts, so it's not quite as out of left field as it looks.
Also, her plan involves singing, because this is a musical where you can sing a little song and all of your problems magically disappear.
That day they start singing in the cafeteria, getting everybody pumped and excited before introducing Twilight Sparkle.
Your new Lord and Saviour!
The song is probably the best one from the movie. It's no Let It Go but it's definitely one that'll stick in your head for a while.
However, bad tidings abound as Sunset Shimmer visits the Principal's office after school. Why? Because the party decorations have been ruined and she has evidence that it was Twilight Sparkle that did it.
Fuzzy photos? The most concrete evidence there is.
Luckily, just as Vice-Principal Luna is about to punish Twilight, Flash Sentry shows up to save the day.
He may not know it, but he just saved the universe. And every one of us.
Flash is holding some pieces of paper that he found in the bin outside school, which are photos with the person cut out. And the outlines match up to the images of Twilight Sparkle, proving her innocence.
And that Sunset Shimmer spent way too long becoming Queen bully and not long enough practising Photoshop.
Although whomever cut those out is really skilled with scissors... Oh, I get it. Snips! Duh!
Luna accepts the evidence, but doesn't seem too concerned about finding out who attempted to frame Twilight. Seriously, she just casually mentions that the party will have to be postponed and then wanders off.
Flash plucks up the courage to ask Twilight out, but it's at just that moment that Twilight suddenly realises that if the party is postponed, the portal will close and she'll be stuck there for 30 Moons.
I've not had much success asking girls out, but at least I've never had a girl scream "No." repeatedly whilst running in the other direction.
Twilight rushes to Rarity's place (I assume it's Rarity's place. She's there with the other girls and there are clothes everywhere. Could be a shop but, well, Rarity. It's an even chance it's her house.) and hides in a changing room.
Spike decides that they need to tell them the truth about the situation. But just as Twilight steps out to do so, Pinkie Pie spills the beans.
How she knew is a complete mystery. Even to Pinkie Pie.
Just look at how happy she is. Then be afraid, be very afraid.
None of the girls believe her, until Spike confirms it. Because a talking dog would kinda make you question reality too. Or at least, your grip on it.
But they all agree that having a friend who's really a magical talking pony Princess from another world is actually pretty darn cool, so they get to work tidying up the gym.
With a montage. Because montages are never getting old.
"Come on Twilight, join in with the cliche already."
The montage song is again, pretty good. It's enjoyable, but probably won't stick in your head forever.
During the montage several students walk past and decide to help out, meaning that Sunset's grand plan actually ended up helping Twilight in the end.
Celestia and Luna show up just in time to see the end results and Celestia happily declares that the Formal is back on.
Then she immediately tells everybody to leave.
"Good job everybody, now get out!" ACTUAL QUOTE!
That box Luna is holding is the ballot box for the Fall Formal Princess.
Gee, I wonder who will win?
But Sunset's hiding in the closet (No, this has nothing to do with my headcanon) and she chastises Snips and Snails for destroying the place too much, since she needs the Formal to go ahead on time.
Once the girls are back at Rarity's (I'm now certain that it is both a shop and Rarity's home.) we get another montage, this time of them trying on dresses.
And why yes, it is set to another song. Did you expect anything else?
Although I certainly didn't expect that.
Just in case you forgot that this series was about selling dolls to little girls. Also, I just love Rainbow Dash's outfit.
That night the girls arrive at the party in a limo (Because Rarity, presumably) and Flash arrives in a car which might just be a tad too egotistical.
"Twilight, will you date me now that I have a car? That's what women want right?"
Flash asks Twilight for a dance and she says yes this time, locking their arms and entering the school.
Turns out Twilight's not special, Flash just bumps into everything.
After a lot of partying (And Twilight looking adorably awkward learning to dance on two feet) the Princess if officially crowned and Twilight is reunited with the MacGuffin, I mean, her Element of Harmony.
Shiny!
But just as Twilight is waving to the crowd, Snips and Snails dognap Spike, so she chases out after them. But when they get there, Sunset Shimmer threatens to destroy the portal if Twilight doesn't hand over the crown.
(Twilight assumes that she's planning to hurt Spike, but Sunset says that of course she won't, since she's not a monster. Remember that for later.)
Ain't she such a sweetheart?
Sunset says that if Twilight hands over the crown, she can go home safe and sound.
So Twilight says no. She won't let Sunset hurt the people of Canterlot High, even if it means that she can't go home. She'd rather be stuck than live with that hanging over her head.
Sunset Shimmer wins best face award.
Sunset is understandably shocked, but eventually relents and reveals that she was bluffing about destroying the portal.
Whether or not a sledgehammer would have had any effect on a magical portal to another dimension notwithstanding.
Seriously, shouldn't it just pass through and get transported to Equestria? I wonder what the other ponies would have thought?
Despite having officially given up, Sunset sees red when everybody starts praising Twilight and tackles her to the ground, trying to just grab the crown.
Despite outnumbering them 2-1 the humane 6 somehow manage to lose the crown, letting Sunset put it on her head just as the rest of the school show up to find out what's going on.
For someone who just claimed ultimate victory, she doesn't look very happy.
As Sunset is lifted into the air in a pillar of light, she starts crying. Her tears literally turn to steam though as she transforms into a literal raging she-daemon.
Nope. The joke's too easy. I'm not going anywhere near it.
The new and certainly-not-an-improvement Sunset laughs maniacally and uses her newfound dark magicks to turn Snips and Snails into similar-looking daemons.
Anybody here seen Disney's Hercules?
Sunset notices the students cowering in the school entrance, so she tears the front of the school off and zaps them, turning them into her own personal mindslaves.
Huh, I didn't know that they were all secretly named Steve.
Sunset announces her plans to conquer all of Equestria, but Twlight stands in the way, alongside her friends.
So Sunset decides to blast them all to smithereens and be done with it.
Doesn't she know that the Spirit Bomb never actually defeated anybody?
Her attack hits dead on, but of course it doesn't work. Despite being on Sunset's head the crown's still an Element of Harmony and is connected to Twilight, so it protects her. As twilight monologues about what magic really is, her friends suddenly gain new magical forms.
So My Little Pony is now a Sailor Moon parody?
Twilight focuses the magic and blasts Sunset Shimmer, who recoils in horror as the magic of friendship removes the hatred and jealousy from her heart.
In order to fire the friendship beam, you have to form the shape of a heart. It's just basic logic.
After the massive love explosion, the girls fall to the floor and look at the crater it left. A crater containing a very embarrassed Sunset Shimmer.
A very embarrassed, very sad, very repentant Sunset Shimmer.
Twilight decides that Sunset deserves another chance and asks the girls to look after her.
It sounds rather naive to just casually forgive your enemy so quickly, but this was the exact same magic that turned Nightmare Moon back into Princess Luna, so Twilight knows that Sunset is genuine.
This confirms it, Sunset Shimmer is best waifu.
After a bit more partying (Sans Snips, Snails and Sunset, who're cleaning up the mess) Twilight says her goodbyes and goes home, transforming back into an Alicorn Princess.
When her friends ask what happened, Twilight says that she left Sunset in good hands.
Since Dragons and Minotaurs exist, the concept of hands shouldn't be so alien to them.
Was this movie good?
Hells yeah it was!
Was this movie perfect?
Yeah, no, it wasn't.
There were a bunch of plotholes (The crown was formed back in ep 1, after Sunset left, how'd she know what it looked like? How'd she know where Twilight would be keeping it? How'd she know anything that had happened in Equestria since she left?) and the final battle was kinda a lame duck (One blast and it was over, plus the explanation was a bit of a deus ex machina).
But the good stands out. The characters are strong, the moral is decent and the villain isn't an idiot. The music wasn't quite Disney level but it was certainly decent.
Let's just say I'm excited about next week, when I get to review the sequel.
And finally, the true best waifu.

No comments:

Post a Comment