It’s Saturday, May the 30th, and Discovery Family played both Equestria Girl movies AND the prequel shorts to Equestria Girl: Rainbow Rocks. For those of you who don’t have the Rainbow Rocks DVD, these shorts are the extras. They can also be seen on the Hasbro YouTube Channel. Six of the shorts show how each of the six girls playing their chosen instruments, or how they came to play them. It also shows how they “pony out” when they play, which is sort of like a magical girl transformation sequence in anime. One of these is an original music video of the song, “Shake Your Tail” from the movie. The last two are original songs and videos not in the movie, so these shorts are well worth watching if you are an Equestria Girl fan. It’s like a bonus twenty two minutes…and that’s why I love you, Discovery Family!
And now, why I hate you.
Do you not view what you are airing? I know you’re not directly owned by Hasbro anymore, but do you not understand dramatic story structure? You aired Rainbow Rocks, but cut off the last song and replaced it with minimized, generic credits in the background of a programming promo piece. I know this is commonly done to save airtime, and that most people don’t care about the credits. However, most movies replay songs from earlier in the movie over a plain background, and this is not how the pony movies work. The closing song, “Shine Like Rainbows,” is an original piece with original animation, and the last bit after the credits is VERY important. I won’t spoil anything, but not showing it is like walking out of an AVENGERS movie and not staying to the very end. Serious Marvel fans know what I mean.
This may seem trivial to some…allow me to explain to you why this hack and slash job is a sin deserving of you having your life energy sucked out of you by three sirens from another world.
Most people assume that, because it’s a pony movie, Twilight Sparkle is the star, that it’s her movie…only it’s not! Yes, she has problems to deal with. She has to learn that she doesn’t always have to have all the answers. In the end, however, it’s really Sunset Shimmer’s movie. She’s the protagonist.
In writing terms, the protagonist is the one who goes through change. More than one character in a story can go through changes, but the protagonist is the one who goes through the biggest, life-altering change. You will recall that in the first movie, Sunset Shimmer is the antagonist who raises an army of hypnotized students to try to take over Equestria. In the end, she is defeated and repents, intent on changing her ways. In this movie, Rainbow Rocks, she is still struggling with the repercussions of her past, and the student body has not forgotten what she did, dividing friendships and setting them against each other. The five friends who accept her: Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Apple Jack, Rarity, and Fluttershy, have formed a band, but she’s not in it. So, even among her friends, there is still that feeling of being an outsider. She watches her friends being torn apart by petty arguments, but doesn’t feel she has a right to say anything. In addition, she has the sirens tearing her down by reminding her of her past in much the same way she once did to Twilight when she told her, “You don’t know the first thing about fitting in.”
In the final musical battle, it’s only when she adds her voice that they are able to defeat the sirens. When she sings, “You’re never gonna tear me down,” she finally has her magical transformation and it’s the Equestrian magic of the seven that finally defeats the sirens.
So why is the last song such a big deal? Because it’s not an epilogue, it’s the end of her story arc. In the end song, she is part of the band. There is no more sense of being an outsider. It is the defining moment that tells the audience that she, Sunset Shimmer, is part of this world’s Mane Six. Through the end credits we see that those who once rejected her now accept her. The Cutie Mark Crusaders pick up the book she drops and walk down the hall with her. Bulk Biceps picks her up to retrieve Fluttershy’s bunny. Twilight has gone home to Equestria. This world’s magical protectors are Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Apple Jack, Rarity, Fluttershy, AND Sunset Shimmer. They all shine like rainbows, just as the song says.
But, of course, we missed that today. I know it’s there because I have the DVD, but others don’t. There is a philosophy in the theater world that says an actor may preform the same part a thousand times, but for someone in the audience, it’s their first time. It was someone first time seeing Rainbow Rocks today, and they missed the ending.
For those of you who did, here it is. It’s a beautiful piece all by itself. Enjoy.
– The AFOL Husband