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Old 11-05-2014, 12:03 AM   #1953
Talon87
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So, over one year late to the party, I finally went and watched the first movie, Equestria Girls.

Spoiler: show
I thought this movie was incredibly cute and fun. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that "I loved it" right on up until the part where Sunset Shimmer transformed into a demoness. From that point on until Twilight's return to Equestria, the story just got really stupid. Though it wasn't perfect until that point either: there were a lot of little grievances here or there, sprinkled throughout the first four-fifths or so of the film. But for the most part? I had a really fun time watching this.

Pros: First of all, "mai waifu" Twilight Sparkle was super fun to see anthropomorphized. I've always enjoyed the small selection of MLP:FiM fanart that anthropomorphizes the girls well, and while the film's art style left something to be desired (more on that later), Twilight still definitely came across loud and clear as Dream Girlfriend material.

I enjoyed that the writers understood that the story they wanted to tell would not fill ninety minutes, much less one hundred twenty, and that they didn't try to force it. "We've got 75 minutes' worth of story to tell, so let's just tell it in 75 minutes." It makes for a bit of a ripoff as far as the expectation of a $10 movie ticket goes, sure, but it's better than a 75-minute good story being ruined by 45 minutes of padding.

I enjoyed many of the cameos or other nods to longtime fans. Just listing off a couple examples ...
  • Trixie's cameo
  • the Cutie Mark Crusaders checking out the YouTube comments on their unintentionally hilarious performance
  • Derpy Hooves' cameo at the end of the credits, muffin and all
I enjoyed seeing our favorite pony characters not only in human bodies but with the consequences of living in our human world as well (e.g. YouTube usage).

I liked that Sunset Shimmer had originally been a pony. When I first saw the trailers for this film, I wasn't sure whether she was originally a pony herself or whether she had always been a human. I considered both, but I'll admit that right on up until seeing her steal Twilight's crown in pony form in an early scene of the film I was leaning towards the guess that she would be an exclusive to the human world.

Cons: I disliked several aspects of the character designs. The biggest specific complaint I had with them was the skin tones. It was just really, really unrealistic and distracting. Reminded me of Doug, a popular children's show from the 1990s. I would have much preferred an anime approach to the girls where they retained their exotic hair colors but their skin tones were all realistic. I suspect that Hasbro deliberately went with the pony skin colors because they didn't want to touch the race issue with a ten foot pole, but blah. :\

I disliked that every pony had a doppelganger in the human world except Sunset Shimmer. And I disliked even more the fact that they alluded to the existence of Twilight's human doppelganger (by having several characters remark that they'd seen a girl who looked just like Twilight before) yet never bothered to explain why the human Twilight wouldn't have interacted with all of the others. Like, you can argue "home schooling" all you like, but that still doesn't explain why the mirror universe Twilight wouldn't have her mentor in her life.

I really disliked the decision to have the student body discover the supernatural side of things (e.g. when they saw Twilight with wings and horse ears) and to then not question it or freak out over it. The part with Principal Celestia near the end of the film (after the fight with Sunset Shimmer is concluded) was especially strange. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that she was the real (i.e. the equine) Celestia and that she was just pretending to be a human who was ignorant of Twilight's history.

I don't mind giving Twilight a possible romantic interest, but it felt really poorly written. He was just a pretty boy jock who ran into her a couple of times and that was it. I would've much preferred it if their love had been "earned." For example, if he'd been the first person to befriend her on this side of the portal and if he had stuck with her through thick and thin over the past 30 days. And speaking of 30 days ...

I really disliked how quickly they forgot their own temporal premise! They claimed that the portal is only open once every thirty days, that if you miss the window to teleport back over then you'll have to wait a month to do it. So why is it that the dance was written to take place a few days after Twilight's arrival? Wouldn't it have made way more sense to have had the dance be scheduled for 28-30 days after her arrival?

And I really, REALLY disliked Sunset Shimmer's transformation into a demoness. I just plain did not like it that the writers decided to say that Twilight's crown has the power to transmogrify bodies belonging to wicked hearts. It felt like a poorly thought-out plot element in a fanfic that has undesirable consequences for the greater MLP:FiM universe.

In conclusion, I enjoyed the film a heck of a lot more than I thought I would; I look forward to starting Season 4; and Twilight Sparkle remains the best character in the series.
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