The second film, Rainbow Rocks gave a glimmer of hope for the Equestria Girls line-up, while it doesn’t live up to the Friendship is Magic series, it surprised me in many ways. They brought in villains with complete origins and personalities, catchier music, and an engaging enough story. Even if it had its flaws, the movie set the bar high for upcoming sequels. To my dismay, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Friendship Games limbos straight under it.
How to Stream or Download My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games
To stream or to download the film, click on the Download button at the end of the review. You will be able to choose a digital store and buy or rent the film.
The Movie Review
Every four years, Canterlot High hosts ‘The Friendship Games,’ in which they compete against other schools in a variety of sports disciplines, with Crystal Prep winning the cup each year. Twilight Sparkle, the only pony that can travel between the human and pony realms, finds herself back in there. She isn’t, however, the Twilight we used to know.
The six friends are beginning to get a deeper understanding of their secret magical abilities, which they must learn to manage in order to participate in The Friendship Games. To win the cup, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Applejack, and Sunset Shimmer must team up. However, they learn that Twilight Sparkle is a member of the other side.
This marks the first movie where Meghan McCarthy steps down as the writer and is instead replaced by Josh Haber. If you don’t know who he is, he’s previously written episodes for Friendship is Magic from seasons 7 to 8 and earned quite a bad reputation amongst fans for making bland and repetitive episodes.
While this isn’t the case for other fans, Friendship Games proves that the rumors are all true. The story is almost a replica of Rainbow Rocks, with the story revolving around rivalry and teamwork. The only difference is that the girls drop the musical instruments and battle it out with crossbows, motocross, and rollerblades.
On the bright side, they did improve in some ways the previous movie did not. The writers paid more attention to Twilight Sparkle as a character, she’s much more likable and developed. There is a good balance of comedy and drama, and there isn’t an awkward romance subplot forced in this time.
As always, the animation is vibrant and magical, and the character design is decent enough. Twilight Sparkle is played by no other than Tara Strong, who makes us love, hate, and pity her all at the same time. The rest of the cast did an excellent job of projecting their characters’ emotions, and adding Sunset Shimmer to the team was a great decision.
Unfortunately, other characters don’t get enough love this time. The title tricks you into thinking it’s a friendship story, but it’s really not. What’s even more disappointing is that they barely focus on the games, and the games actually seemed fun. When they do show up, they don’t even get enough screen time.
Twilight spends the majority of the film wandering about Canterlot High, stealing magic with a gadget she created and barely interacting with the Humane 5. Another issue I had with the film was the “villains.” Principal Cinch wasn’t intimidating in the slightest and the Shadowbolts – who are meant to be evil counterparts of the Humane 5 – barely face off against each other.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Friendship Games might just be worse than the first movie. It’s ultimately a copycat of Rainbow Rocks and rehashes elements from the first film, it’s like a plagiarized homework badly covered up. Even though the first Equestria Girls was shallow and bland, it did have a three-act structure and some character development. I wouldn’t recommend this film even if you’re a diehard brony, because even the music was hard to listen to. If you’re watching Equestria Girls, it’s better to skip Friendship Games.