Steven Escareno is an amateur film critic who writes about movies in his spare time.
Confronting Inner Demons
At this point, if you haven't been following any of the "Equestria Girls" films, then you'll just be completely lost trying to follow it now. What was originally intended as an idea to sell more toys for Hasbro, as they compete with various girl toys like "Bratz," has turned into an interesting, albeit repetitive and predictable, series thus far.
As the title suggests, this latest adventure takes our heroines to summer camp, where another element from the magical land of Equestria, where talking ponies and other mystical creatures dwell, corrupts someone from the human world; thereby turning them into some magical monster that they have to defeat using the power of friendship. I know that sounds like something you'd get out a mediocre written "Care Bears" film, but it's a lot more interesting than it sounds.
Anyway, if you've seen the previous films, then it's basically the same formula by this point, which has caused the "My Little Pony" spin off film series to become a tad predictable by this point.
Hell, they even give the new Twilight Sparkle a similar story arc that Sunset Shimmer had to go through in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls- Rainbow Rocks. Granted, there's a few differences here and there, but the general idea is still roughly the same. Twilight was turned into a monster in the previous film, so she feels distraught over her past sins. She desperately wants to forget about it, but she can't let it go. And in the end, the conflict only gets resolved when she learns to confront her inner demons. Again, the setup is a bit different, but it's still the same formula more or less.
However, the film's main strengths lie not so much with it's main narrative but in its execution of said narrative. For example, one of the nagging problems, with the previous Equestria Girls films, was that the romantic aspects felt contrived, and never synced into the rest of the story.
Here, the romantic aspects involving Twilight Sparkle and her new love interest work a lot better, as it's based on more than physical attraction. In the previous films, Flash Sentry and Twilight Sparkle rarely spoke to each other, but there was always an implied romantic interest between them that was never fully explored. Whereas in the new movie, Twilight not only talks to Timber on a frequent basis throughout the film, but they actually do share a lot of common interests and chemistry, which makes it a bit easier buy into their romance. And considering Timber's involvement in the main plot, the romance feels more integrated organically into the story itself, so it never feels like a pointless subplot that never goes anywhere. It's quite interesting to watch, and it shows how DHX and Hasbro has evolved in fleshing out relationships over the years.
Another example of this is how they've managed to build on previous relationships, from the past like Flash's relationship with Sunset. It was established that they used to date, but broke up off screen before the first Equestria Girls film ever premiered. In the previous films, we rarely ever saw these two interact, yet that's not the case here, as the film does give us a general idea on what they're relationship might've been like.
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Granted, there are a few intentional plot holes in this story, as it seems fairly obvious that Hasbro already has plans for another sequel, so they intentionally left a lot of things out of the story figuring they'll explain it another movie. (i.e. the secret jewelry that grants them special powers) However, the characters are still likable, and the plot is still fairly engaging enough to keep you interested, which is basically what you'd want out of a slice of life story.
Granted, non fans won't like this movie, nor would half of them understand what's going on because of all the call backs to previous episodes and movies. But then again, why would you even be watching this anyway if you weren't already invested into the franchise?
Overall, "My Little Pony: Equestria Girls- Legend of Everfree" isn't a bad movie. If anything, it's fairly harmless for kids. Would I say it's up there with some of the better animated films of this year like "Moana", "Zootopia" or "Kubo and the Two Strings?" Certainly not. However, it's fairly entertaining movie for what it is. And if you've been following the franchise thus far, then it's definitely an interesting chapter to the story that adds a bit more to the lore of the franchise itself.
Definitely worth checking out if you're already a fan of this franchise, and yearn to see what happens next in the human world dimension of Equestria.
Pros and Cons
- Animation is nice. Nothing too spectacular, but for a film that was released directly to DVD, it's not half bad.
- Voice acting was spot on as always.
- Jokes were funny.
- Writing has improved tremendously for this new incarnation, as they definitely improved on making the relationships of these characters feel more authentic than before.
- The love story is a bit more believable this time, and it's integrated into the main plot more organically, so it never feels like a distraction from the movie itself.
- Songs are catchy and has a nice beat to them.
- End credit scene was funny.
- Story is still fairly cliched. Not to mention the fact that the main plot is a bit of a rip off of some of the previous ones. Magic artifact/element from Equestria corrupts some human, and turns them into a magical beast. The girls use the figurative power of friendship to defeat said enemy. The end. It's getting very formulaic, which makes the series very predictable.
- There's a lot of plot holes in this movie. For example. Where did the jewels come from? Why is the portal to Equestria broken? And so on and so forth. It's gotten to the point that it's kind of obvious they left these plot holes there because they know they're getting a sequel to this franchise. Not saying there's anything wrong with these long forms of story telling, but it does become a bit of a nag,when films do this to their audiences.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2016 Stevennix2001