|My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks|
|Directed by|| Jayson Thiessen |
Ishi Rudell (co-director)
|Produced by|| Sarah Wall |
|Written by||Meghan McCarthy|
|Music by|| William Anderson (score) |
Daniel Ingram (songs)
| transcript • gallery • allusions|
animation errors • statistics
My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks, or simply titled Equestria Girls 2 by Verizon FiOS, is the sequel to the animated film My Little Pony Equestria Girls. It features a Battle of the Bands storyline and was released theatrically on September 27, 2014. The film takes place after Friendship is Magic season four finale and before the season five premiere.
Development and production
As revealed in the audio commentary of the DVD, Equestria Girls was not initially planned to become a franchise and the thought of a sequel did not cross Meghan McCarthy's mind. Additionally, Sunset did not become a main character until the second draft of the script.
This film was announced by Hasbro as part of a press kit at the 2014 International Toy Fair. When asked about the film on an AMA for Reddit, Tara Strong also confirmed it saying, "It'll be adorable."
On the same day as McCarthy's tweet, songwriter Daniel Ingram tweeted that there would be a total of twelve songs in the film, the greatest number of songs yet featured in a Friendship is Magic episode or Equestria Girls film.
The film's opening credits were storyboarded by Tony Cliff. The illustrations shown during the ending credits were drawn by Katrina Hadley. The storybook depiction of the sirens was illustrated by Rebecca Dart.
The DVD commentary also points out that the midnight snack scene between Twilight and Sunset was actually added late into the film's production.
As revealed in the commentary, Rarity's line "past... ahem... booboos" was ad libbed by Tabitha St. Germain. Also, Snips and Snails' freestyle rap was genuine freestyling courtesy of Lee Tockar and Richard Ian Cox.
PrologueThe film opens at a café in the human world. The numerous café patrons argue among themselves as a strange green mist swirls around their feet. In the corner booth, three girls in hoods sing and absorb the green mist into the red gems on their necklaces. The purple-haired girl Aria Blaze grumbles that she's "tired of fast food" and needs a meal. The orange-haired girl Adagio Dazzle laments that the energy in "this world" isn't the same as that in Equestria.
As the blue-haired girl Sonata Dusk joins the conversation and gets into a light argument with Aria, Adagio notices an explosion of light in the distance. She races out of the café and watches the magical rainbow energy burst into the sky, grinning evilly when she realizes what it is. She explains to Aria and Sonata that Equestrian magic has found its way into the human world, and they're going to use it to make everyone adore them.
Sunset Shimmer's efforts
Six moons later, at Canterlot High School, the students are busy making banners in the auditorium for the school's upcoming musical showcase. Sunset Shimmer offers to help the Crusaders with their banner, but they decline, much to Sunset's disappointment. When Pinkie Pie calls Sunset over to join her and her friends, the other present students glare at and gossip about Sunset, making her uncomfortable. Rarity quickly changes the subject and shows Sunset the banner they made for the showcase.
Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna then enter, and Celestia says how pleased she is by the amount of student participation in the showcase. However, when she mentions the Fall Formal, the students glare at Sunset again and Sunset hides her face in humiliation.Later, in the school band room, Sunset laments how she'll never live her past mistakes down. Her friends, now in a five-part band called the Rainbooms, say they've forgiven her and cheer her up with a rehearsal of Better Than Ever. As they sing, the five bandmates sprout pony ears and wings and longer hair, which disappear when they stop playing. Rarity and Applejack express disbelief at the strange phenomenon, but Rainbow Dash cares little, letting her band leader egotism show.
Flash Sentry enters, having heard the band's playing from outside the room, and compliments their sound. When Rainbow criticizes Rarity and Applejack's playing, they give an annoyed look. Flash asks if "any friends from out of town" will be coming to the showcase. The Rainbooms tell him they're not sure if Twilight will be present, and Flash awkwardly excuses himself. Rarity is amused by Flash's behavior, but she stops herself when she remembers that he and Sunset used to date. Sunset admits that she never liked Flash romantically and further regrets her past actions. As Applejack cheers her up, a speaker announcement by Vice Principal Luna summons Sunset Shimmer to the school foyer. Sunset leaves the room, having promised to give a tour to some new students and the Rainbooms go back to rehearsing. Fluttershy asks if they can sing a song she wrote, to which Rainbow Dash replies that they'll get to it later.
Enter the DazzlingsAt the school entrance, Sunset Shimmer meets with the new girls - Adagio, Aria, and Sonata - and shows them around the school. During the tour, they pass by a flyer for Canterlot High's musical showcase; Sunset talks about the event, and the girls are intrigued, with Sonata nearly revealing their true nature. When Sunset notices the three's gem necklaces and reaches for Adagio's, Adagio grabs Sunset's wrist in sudden offense. Adagio catches herself and apologizes, explaining that their pendants mean a lot to them and they don't want anything to happen to them. The three girls walk off, leaving Sunset to ponder their strange behavior. Later in the cafeteria, Sunset joins her friends and mentions that there is something "off" about the new girls, worrying that they know about the events of the Fall Formal. Outside the cafeteria doors, Adagio, Aria, and Sonata have a brief argument before they enter. With their beguiling voices and a rousing song, the girls convince the students of Canterlot High to turn the musical showcase into an all-out Battle of the Bands. As they sing, tensions rise among the students, causing them to argue. As each vows victory in the competition, green mist forms around them, which Adagio, Aria, and Sonata absorb into their pendants. Only Sunset Shimmer and her friends are unaffected by the song.
A mesmerized school
Sunset Shimmer and the Rainbooms suspect that Adagio, Aria, and Sonata are using dark magic on the students and go to alert the principals. However, Celestia and Luna believe the girls, now calling themselves the Dazzlings, are innocent and even praise them for their Battle of the Bands idea. For a brief moment, the principals' eyes glow green, indicating that they have also fallen under the Dazzlings' spell.The Rainbooms deduce that the magic that causes them to transform while playing music also makes them immune to the Dazzlings' spell. With the rest of the school under the Dazzlings' control, the friends consider getting Princess Twilight to return and help. The closed portal prevents her from returning, but Sunset Shimmer has an idea. In her locker, she finds an old book with her cutie mark on the cover and explains that she used it to write messages to Princess Celestia, which would appear in a book in Celestia's library. Hoping to get a message to Princess Twilight, Sunset opens the book and begins to write, starting with the three words she hadn't written in a long time: Dear Princess Celestia...
Back in EquestriaIn Ponyville, at the Castle of Friendship, Twilight and her friends lounge about in the throne room when a stallion arrives with a delivery of books from Princess Celestia. One of the books, with Celestia's cutie mark on the cover, appears to glow and vibrate. Twilight opens it and discovers Sunset's call for help.
Twilight determines from Sunset's warning that the Dazzlings are actually Equestrian sirens. Long ago, the sirens used their eerie songs to turn ponies against one another and fed on the negative energy from their hatred and distrust, which made them powerful enough to control minds. But before they could conquer Equestria with their magic, Star Swirl the Bearded banished them to another world—the world where Sunset Shimmer now lives with the human counterparts of Twilight's Ponyville friends.
Twilight wishes to go and help her human friends, but the Crystal Mirror's closure prevents her from doing so. Pinkie Pie proposes that the same magic that allows Sunset Shimmer to send messages from the human world to Equestria should allow the portal to be opened. With a bunch of mechanical parts, and using the book as a battery, Twilight is able to energize and reopen the portal. Her friends want to accompany her, but Twilight tells them they can't because it would be confusing to have two copies of her friends in the same place. Spike can still go along, however, and he and Twilight soon charge into the portal.
Return to Canterlot HighBack at the school, Rainbow starts to lose hope that Twilight will come, when Twilight and Spike suddenly shoot out of the portal. Her human friends meet her in a group hug. Later at Mr. and Mrs. Cake's Sweet Shoppe, the friends all catch up, with Spike revealing Twilight's new status as the Princess of Friendship. Once Twilight learns of what they're up against, she comes up with a plan to ambush the Dazzlings at the pre-Battle of the Bands party being held in the school gym. At the band meetup, Twilight bumps into Flash Sentry and stammers in his presence. Once the Dazzlings arrive, Twilight and her friends declare their evil plans finished and attempt to stop them with a magic of friendship attack. However, nothing happens, allowing the Dazzlings to feed on even more of the competitors' negativity. Having humiliated themselves, Twilight and her friends excuse themselves, but the Dazzlings decide to keep an eye on them, calling them "special".
Twilight and the others regroup outside the school and try to figure out what went wrong. They reason that, since they can only channel their magic when playing music, only a counter-spell in the form of a song will break the Dazzlings' spell, making the Battle of the Bands the perfect venue. They also decide Twilight should be the Rainbooms' new lead singer, much to Rainbow Dash's chagrin. Before Twilight retires to the school library like she did during her last visit to Canterlot High, Pinkie Pie proposes a slumber party at her house.That evening, as her friends enjoy themselves around her, Twilight has considerable difficulty writing a counter-spell. Later, after everyone falls asleep, she works on it in the kitchen and is soon joined by Sunset Shimmer. As the two bond over the similar problems they each face, Sunset is startled when Pinkie's sister Maud Pie comes in to get a snack for "Boulder".
The next day, the Rainbooms practice their musical counter-spell in the barn next to Applejack's house. Unfortunately, Twilight's singing is so off-key that Rainbow Dash only manages a small bit of transformation. Before long, hostility continues to grow between the Rainbooms regarding Rarity's costumes and Rainbow's insisting that the band is hers. With the Battle of the Bands starting soon, the Rainbooms soon agree to perform other songs and stall for time until Twilight can complete her spell. In addition, they decide to keep their magic a secret from the Dazzlings for as long as possible.
The Battle of the Bands gets underway, with Snips and Snails performing a hip-hop duet that earns only confused looks from the audience and reprimanding from Principal Celestia when they drop the microphones. When the time comes for the Rainbooms to perform, Rarity takes the stage in a hippie-inspired outfit with metal fringes. During their performance of Shake Your Tail, other competitors try to sabotage them: Photo Finish and the Snapshots manipulate Rarity's movement with a magnet, and Snips and Snails take advantage of Fluttershy's stage fright by holding a spotlight over her.The Rainbooms manage to advance to the next round, but they continue to squabble over petty issues. Later, even Flash Sentry starts to show hostility toward Twilight, considering her to be an enemy because she is on a rivaling band. As they part ways, a heartbroken Twilight walks away in tears. At the other end of the hallway, Sunset confronts the Dazzlings about their evil schemes, but the Dazzlings play to Sunset's fragile emotions and make her feel useless in her friends' eyes.
In the following montage set to the Dazzlings' Under Our Spell, competing bands are eliminated one by one, from the Crusaders to Bulk Biceps to Lyra Heartstrings and Sweetie Drops to even Flash Sentry. In the semifinals, the Rainbooms face Trixie and the Illusions to decide who faces the Dazzlings in the final round.As Trixie and her band perform Tricks Up My Sleeve, Twilight still has yet to finish her counter-spell song, so Rainbow Dash takes over as lead singer and the Rainbooms perform Awesome As I Wanna Be. However, Rainbow Dash gets carried away and starts to transform, prompting Sunset Shimmer to leap in and cut the song short. The crowd is convinced that Sunset hasn't changed, adding more fuel to the fire of hatred for the Dazzlings to feed on.
Trixie's dirty tricks
Through the Dazzlings' manipulation of the principals, the Rainbooms advance to the final round instead of the Illusions. An embittered Trixie is later approached by Adagio and given the idea of removing the Rainbooms from the competition so the Illusions can take their place in the finals.
During the Rainbooms' mic check on the stage where the finals are to take place, Trixie and the Illusions arrive to carry out their plan: a lever opens a trap door on the stage, and the Rainbooms fall inside. Spike, the only one not to become trapped, rushes off to find help.That night, the Illusions perform in the finals following the Rainbooms' supposed forfeit. Afterward, the Dazzlings take the stage for their final performance and continue feeding off the crowd. Below the stage, tempers and tensions finally boil over between the Rainbooms and a five-way argument breaks out, allowing the Dazzlings on stage to feed on their hatred.
Sunset notices what's happening and finally intervenes, pointing out that their arguing has warped the magic of friendship into something that the Dazzlings can feed on. Twilight is ashamed that she hadn't realized it sooner, and Sunset tells her no one is supposed to have all the answers, but friends can help you find them. The Rainbooms thus make amends and finally come to a compromise, and Spike arrives to rescue them with the help of DJ Pon-3, whose headphones shielded her from the Dazzlings' spell.manage to overpower the Rainbooms.
As the Rainbooms fall, Twilight's microphone rolls next to Sunset Shimmer's feet, and Twilight says they need her help. Sunset finds new resolve and, upon removing her jacket, starts to sing. Before long, the rest of the Rainbooms join her, and their combined magic creates a rainbow shockwave that weakens the Dazzlings and severs their spell over everyone, much to Adagio's disbelief. The magic of friendship builds inside Sunset, granting her a half-pony form of her own. All the students then join in, and as the Dazzlings look on in shock and horror, the magic coalescing in the sky takes the form of a giant Alicorn that destroys their astral projections as well as their gem pendants.With their power sources destroyed, the Dazzlings are unable to even sing and re-cast their spell. The enraged students boo, jeer, and pelt them with fruits and vegetables, forcing them to flee in shame and disgrace. Flash, now free of the Dazzlings' influence, meets Twilight in a happy and warm embrace. However, Trixie, still upset about her competition loss, makes it clear she isn't done with the Rainbooms yet. As for Sunset, with Twilight now having to return home to Equestria, Rainbow allows Sunset to join the band in Twilight's stead—especially after Sunset reveals she can play the guitar.
Dear Princess TwilightBefore Twilight leaves, she promises to visit whenever she can now that the portal can be opened at any time. Later, as the girls tune up their instruments, Sunset uses her old journal to write the friendship lesson she learned to Princess Twilight, ending it with the closing statement: Your friend, Sunset Shimmer.
As the film closes, Sunset picks up her guitar and joins her bandmates in a performance of Shine Like Rainbows. During the credits, Sunset is seen having now been accepted by the rest of the school, as the Cutie Mark Crusaders help her with her books and walk with her and Bulk Biceps helps her get Angel down from a hard-to-reach perch.
EpilogueIn a post-credits scene, the human world's version of Twilight Sparkle is seen documenting strange events that are all connected to Canterlot High. She confides in her dog Spike that "something strange [is] going on at that school..."
- Tara Strong: Twilight Sparkle/Sci-Twi
- Ashleigh Ball: Rainbow Dash, Applejack
- Andrea Libman: Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy
- Tabitha St. Germain: Rarity, Vice Principal Luna, Photo Finish
- Cathy Weseluck: Spike
- Rebecca Shoichet: Sunset Shimmer, Twilight Sparkle (singing), "Ringo" (uncredited)
- Kazumi Evans: Adagio Dazzle, Octavia Melody (uncredited), and Rarity (singing)
- Marÿke Hendrikse: Sonata Dusk
- Diana Kaarina: Aria Blaze
- Vincent Tong: Flash Sentry, "Brawly Beats" (uncredited), "The real Sunset Shimmer is back!" (uncredited)
- Kathleen Barr: Trixie Lulamoon
- Nicole Oliver: Principal Celestia
- Lee Tockar: Snips
- Richard Ian Cox: Snails
- Claire Corlett: Sweetie Belle (credits only)
- Brian Drummond: Delivery Pony
- Ingrid Nilson: Maud Pie
- Peter New: Big McIntosh
- Shannon Chan-Kent: Pinkie Pie (singing)
- Madeline Merlo: Sonata Dusk (singing)
- Shylo Sharity: Aria Blaze (singing)
- Eva Tavares: "Blueberry Cake" (uncredited)
- Paula Berry: "Cherry Crash" (uncredited)
- David Mongar: "Captain Planet" (uncredited)
Publicity and branding
On February 13, 2014, Entertainment Weekly published an article about the film. Details about its plot were limited; however, the article included a trailer showcasing several clips and new song by Daniel Ingram, all from the animated shorts.
As part of the San Diego Comic-Con International "Hasbro Studios: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic and My Little Pony Equestria Girls" panel on July 25, 2014, "Guests from Hasbro Studios My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic airing on the Hub Network in the U.S. and My Little Pony Equestria Girls share details of the making of the popular animated series and a sneak peek into the new My Little Pony Equestria Girls Rainbow Rock[sic] movie coming this fall."
On July 24, 2014, Yahoo! TV posted not only a new trailer for the film, but also a song performed by the Dazzlings. In the teaser, Rainbow Dash was removed from the shot where Sunset says, "I turned into a raging she-demon."
On September 10, 2014, Shout! Factory, through Equestria Daily, revealed a new 30-second trailer including more footage of both pony and human Twilight. Two days later on September 12, a 50-second trailer was released on YouTube. Six days later on September 18, a full theatrical trailer was released on Yahoo! TV; the trailer was uploaded to Hasbro's YouTube channel four days later.
Sneak peeksOn August 18, 2014, Hasbro posted a two-minute-long clip of the film featuring the Dazzlings on their animated shorts YouTube channel; a week later on August 25, another clip was released. Four days later on August 29, a third five-minute long clip was published. A week later on September 5, a fourth was released.
Like Equestria Girls before it, this film was distributed to American and Canadian theaters in limited release on September 27, 2014. It also received a 'Purple Carpet' premiere at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, which was attended by the cast and crew as well as some celebrities such as Jamie Foxx, Modern Family's Ariel Winter, and Academy Award nominee Quvenzhané Wallis.
My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 28, 2014, a little over a month after the theatrical release. Special features include a new featurette, the first eight animated shorts that were released on YouTube, three sing-along songs, and audio commentary by screenwriter Meghan McCarthy, director Jayson Thiessen, co-director Ishi Rudell, VP of Development at Hasbro Mike Vogel, and executive director of Hasbro Brian Lenard. There are also three store exclusives for the DVD only. The Target edition includes a bracelet, a $4 coupon for one MLP toy, and the original Equestria Girls DVD. The Walmart edition includes a music CD, a digital copy of the film, and the same $4 coupon. The Kmart edition includes a "backstage pass" and the coupon.Upon initial release, the DVD version of the film had an error in which chapters 5 and 6 play in reverse when the DVD is played from the main menu ‘Play’ listing. Shout! Factory has a listing on their site where a free replacement disc can be sent.
A Region 2 Rainbow Rocks DVD by Primal Screen Entertainment was released on March 23, 2015 for various countries, including France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and UK.
Alongside Equestria Girls and Friendship Games, this film was released in a box set on October 13, 2015 in Region 1.
The film made its TV debut on the newly rebranded Discovery Family on October 17, 2014. On November 8, 2014, it made its premiere on Family Channel]l in Canada. On November 15, 2014, it made its premiere on Disney Channel in Spain. An Italian dub of the film premiered on the Boomerang channel in Italy on November 16, 2014. In the UK, the film premiered on Pop on December 24, 2014 with no cuts.
Equestria Girls: Friendship Games
A follow-up film entitled My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games premiered on American and Canadian television on September 26, 2015. It was released on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download on October 13, 2015.
Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree
The fourth Equestria Girls installment was teased by Rainbow Rocks co-director and Friendship Games director Ishi Rudell and later confirmed by Hasbro Studios president Stephen Davis. It is available on Netflix as of October 1, 2016, followed by a DVD and Blu-ray release a month later on November 1 and a television airing on Discovery Family four days later on November 5.
Two chapter books, one an expansion of the prequel animated shorts and the other "The third exciting adventure in the Equestria Girls series! The girls rock a new story about friendship at Canterlot High. The follow-up to Through the Mirror and Rainbow Rocks", were posted on Hachette Book Group's website and enlist the books for respective April 8, 2014 and October 7, 2014 releases.
Rainbow Rocks merchandise was showcased at the 2014 American International Toy Fair, including pony and human versions of the main cast and human versions of Octavia Melody, DJ Pon-3, Sunset Shimmer, Adagio Dazzle, Sonata Dusk, and Aria Blaze.
The film's soundtrack was originally announced as being released on September 9, 2014. The following day, Hasbro explained there was an "unforeseen delay" in the release of the soundtrack. It was released a day later on September 10. The soundtrack contains nine of the eleven songs with one bonus track.
- ↑ Jim Miller (2014-03-27). The #EQG shorts and.... Twitter. Retrieved on 2014 March 27.
- ↑ Ishi Rudell (2014-04-18). Yes, I'm.... Twitter. Retrieved on 2014 April 18.
- ↑ Sherrily Connelly (2014-10-22). The 14 Coolest Things from the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Rainbow Rocks DVD Commentary. Topless Robot.
- ↑ Sethisto (2014-02-03). International Toy Fair 2014 Report. Equestria Daily. Retrieved on 2014 February 3.
- ↑ Tara Strong AMA. Reddit (2014-02-09). Retrieved on 2014 February 9.
- ↑ Meghan McCarthy (2014-02-13). In case you were wondering.... Twitter. Retrieved on 2014 February 13.
- ↑ Mike Vogel (2014-04-02). In other words.... Twitter. Retrieved on 2014 April 2.
- ↑ Daniel Ingram (2014-02-13). @JustGame4It yup, I have.... Twitter. Retrieved on 2014 February 13.
- ↑ Ishi Rudell (2014-09-27). If you like the opening title sequence .... Twitter. Retrieved on 2014 September 27.
- ↑ Ishi Rudell (2014-09-27). “@EquestriaGuy: @ishiH3Art whose art was that .... Twitter. Retrieved on 2014 September 27.
- ↑ Ishi Rudell (2014-04-03). ishiH3Art: @JamieKilpatrick because all .... Twitter. Retrieved on 2014 April 3.
- ↑ Ishi Rudell (2014-04-17). ishiH3Art: “@ErcJac: @ishiH3Art Will .... Twitter. Retrieved on 2014 April 25.
- ↑ Ishi Rudell (2014-04-21). ishiH3Art: “@nhSnork: at this point, .... Twitter. Retrieved on 2014 April 29.
- ↑ Hillary Busis (2014-02-13). 'My Little Pony Equestria Girls': Yes, there will be a sequel. And we've got a clip! EXCLUSIVE. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2014 February 13.
- ↑ Comic-Con 2014: Hasbro Studios: My Little Pony Friendshi.... Sched. Retrieved on 2014 July 12.
- ↑ Yahoo TV (2014-07-24). First Look: 'My Little Pony' Posse Goes Up Against a (Mean) Girl Group In 'Equestria Girls — Rainbow Rocks'. Yahoo TV. Retrieved on 2014 July 24.
- ↑ EQD Exclusive: Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks 30 Second Shout Factory Promo. YouTube (2014-09-10). Retrieved on 2014 September 10.
- ↑ Equestria Girls Trailer Highlights More Characters!. YouTube (2014-09-12). Retrieved on 2014 September 12.
- ↑ 'My Little Pony: Equestria Girls — Rainbow Rocks' Trailer. Yahoo! TV (2014-09-18). Retrieved on 2014 September 18.
- ↑ MLP: Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks - Official Movie Trailer #1. YouTube (2014-09-22). Retrieved on 2014 September 22.
- ↑ MLP: Equestria Girls - Rainbow Rocks SNEAK PEEK #1. YouTube (2014-08-18). Retrieved on 2014 August 20.
- ↑ MLP: Equestria Girls - Rainbow Rocks SNEAK PEEK #2. YouTube (2014-08-25). Retrieved on 2014 August 25.
- ↑ MLP: Equestria Girls - Rainbow Rocks SNEAK PEEK #3. YouTube (2014-08-29). Retrieved on 2014 August 29.
- ↑ MLP: Equestria Girls - Rainbow Rocks SNEAK PEEK #4. YouTube (2014-09-05). Retrieved on 2014 September 5.
- ↑ Ishi Rudell (2015-10-01). Yup, there's a pretty good chance... https://t.co/PE3xE1zrxr. Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 October 6.
- ↑ mipmarkets (2015-10-03). Keynote: Stephen Davis, Hasbro - MIPJunior 2015. YouTube. Retrieved on 2015 October 3.