It was overall just plain mediocre. (So I voted as such.) Over my thoughts on it are that there are some superb things done by the staff at certain times, the overall story and plot is shit. Twilight is completely unrelated as a character as well due to acting out of character, while she may seem in character there are situations in this movie where she should have acted differently based on what we have seen and know about her previously.
Visuals and aesthetics are top notch for most part, on the other hand character designs (graphically.) are very shit. Audio is what to be expected, the voice acting holds the same standard and the musical songs are a bit of a grab bag in terms of quality, background music is not memorable for most parts so no plus points for that either.
I could go about for ages poking holes at how the characters and plot are handled but I'll spare you the details.
Hm, I for one enjoyed it very thoroughly, despite having been heavily skeptical of the concept.
On one hoof, there was cautious optimism stemming from the overall positive reception of the movie, as well as the writer's skills... For instance, they managed to turn "A Canterlot Wedding", which sounds like it should by all rights have been terrible (existing canon gets completely wrecked; Twilight gets a brother out of nowhere; asides from the two deity-like rulers of night and day, there's suddenly a third, random pink alicorn princess because we need to sell toys - maybe making her pink so they could re-purpose the old 'Celestia' toys?; oh, a... wedding, how exciting) ...into literally the best two episodes of the entire series, hooves down.
...while on the other hoof, there was ... well, "Twilight Sparkle goes to High school, Spike turns into a dog, and Princess Celestia is the school-principal". Also, "Magical Mystery Cure" showed that even the best writers can't do the impossible.
Yes, the premise is ... a high school setting. That is a pretty big thing to swallow, and I tried to go into it with an open mind on that particular issue after having had a few months to "calm down". As somepony on EQD put it - "we are regularly watching a show about magical colorful talking ponies who frequently learn lessons about friendship. And it works. Now, we get a movie about teenage girls in high school by the same writers... let's see if they can make it work again." (or something to that effect)
Hm. I can't say I like the character designs. I... can't really explain it or point out why.
At first I thought there was not enough "bouncyness" with the human character models, or that the facial expressions must've been more restricted, but ... neither is actually the case. It's just that I take one look at their faces and it weirds me out on a subconscious level. My only guess is that seeing the ponies as humans drawn and animated in the MLP:FiM style creates some sort of "uncanny valley" effect. (Or should I say... "Uncanny Dream Valley"? Hyuk hyuk. ) It's especially weird in the scene when Twilight looks into the mirror and sees the reflection of her "true self", as a pony. [link]
Can't really say anything about the music, I'd have to download it and listen to it again to really say. The only thing that struck me as odd was the pop-music during the "transformation" scene near the end, that seemed rather out of place. [link] Insert obligatory "Go, go, Powerrangers!" and "Sailer Moon" jokes here.
One issue with the High School setting is that... well, Equestria Girls doesn't actually have much in the way of "Equestria", that is to say, it removes most of the mythical element of the "magical land of Equestria". There are no griffons, there are no dragons, there are no cloud cities and weather factories. In short, I don't exactly see myself getting all eager to find out what e.g. the EQG-version of "Sweet Apple Acres" looks like. There are some elements of 'magic' here, e.g. when Sunset Shimmer turns into a demon. (ROFLMAOXD, I did not see that coming. ) But these 'moments of magic' pretty much exclusively stem from what Twilight, Sunset and Spike brought over from Equestria. I may have found the movie awesome, but I am uncertain how well a series would catch my fancy, unless it kept throwing in some additional mythical elements somehow.
One way to go about that - EQG takes place on an 'Earth', but it is not our Earth. The rainbow-palet skin-coloration taken aside, hints for this would be the decidedly non-human naming conventions and the fact that everybody has a "cutie mark" symbol on their clothes implying strong social meaning of such a symbol representing an individual. Then there is the omni-present relevance of equine symbolism, horseshoes, "Wondercolts", fake pony-ears, etc, as well as the name "Canterlot High", which would make sense in a world inhabited by equinoids, but seems less likely to occur when 'homo sapiens' is the dominant species. That by itself isn't really enough, but... one could try to explore how these things came to be, and why they differ from 'our' Earth. (Asides from the plain "It's just a cartoon, stop thinking too much into it!") ...Although I suppose then again, that seems more like something for the realm of fanfiction, less the actual show...
I... do realize that in retrospect, my perception of the movie is beginning to get skewed by my overeager brain constantly generating head-canon and lore. And while I still remember clearly and vividly that my reaction when the movie was over was a pretty decisive "awesome!", I find that the only characters' actions I keep thinking about are actually Twilight, Spike, Sunset Shimmer, and ... Principal Celestia, actually. I find myself ... just not particularly remembering much from the other cast-members, I guess I need to re-watch the movie.
But to shed some light on the more surprising reveal in that last sentence - I totally didn't expect I would actually not only not hate, but like this concept of the immortal alicorn princess having a human school principal as a counterpart... ...now there's some as-of-yet untapped potential for a story there.
Noticed how principal Celestia doesn't seem at all fazed by the whole "girl turning into demon, demolishing the school with telekinesis, a group of teenagers getting brainwashed, and some girls spontanously growing wings and horsey-ears"? In fact, she seems much more like Princess Celestia in tone after Twilight defeats Sunset Shimmer. Not at all like in the scene where we first see her, where she is practically bored out of her mind at a "regular day at the office" with her paperwork, complete with perfectly flat tone in her voice - which I might add, was hilarious.
I submit for consideration that both 'principal' Celestia and 'vice-principal' Luna are actually both immortal, equal to their Equestrian counterparts. However, where such a thing would be looked upon with awe and adoration in a world full of magic - not so much in the human world. Maybe they did rule a kingdom, a long, long time ago, when such 'magic' and such things were commonly seen as benevolent. But... times changed. Be it witch-hunts in the mid-ages, or secret government agencies in the modern days... Being immortal, you'd need to keep a low profile. She probably still can pull some strings 'behind the scenes', making sure to cover her tracks and that of Sunset Shimmer's demonic temper-tantrum. (Could you imagine that this would NOT warrent an investigation not just by the police, but probably some sort of "X-files" task-force? Not to mention what the parents of the school's kids would have to say on the matter - "Throw this Sunset Shimmer girl off your school, or I'll take my little Scootaloo to another school!" )
And while we're on it, here's another thing I didn't at all expect to be pulled off so well.
"Spike is a dog" - Now that had me smacking my head against a metaphorical wall when I first heard it. "Spike isn't Twilight's pet, he's basically her adoptive 'little brother'! And now he's getting demoted to 'the talking dog'? What the buck? Now that's just demeaning!" Now color me surprised when Spike turning into a dog not only didn't deminish his role - but in fact, Spike actually played a major role for once, and his characterization didn't at all fall "flat" just because he was 'a talking dog'. In fact, more than once he was Twilight's voice of reason! And that self-conscious joke at the end, with the random student exclaiming "Woah! A talking dog!" and Spike just going "Seriously? The 'talking dog' is what's strange to you?" was priceless. (Although on the part going "You can talk?!" "And that's not all! Where I'm from, I'm actually a real, fire-breathing dragon...!" I kinda expected one of the other girls to just say something like "Yeah, don't overdo it." or "Uh... let's keep it at 'the dog can talk' for now, okay?" )
With that said, there were many things that simply threw me for a loop and subverted my expectations. The entire scene from the 'winner announcment' to the defeat of Sunset Shimmer is the best example for that. When the principal walked on stage with the votes and the box containing the crown, I expected that either Sunset Shimmer had manipulated the vote, or that she'd stolen the crown and the box would be empty. (Heh, possible call-back to S02E01. ) What I didn't expect was her kidnapping Spike and threatening to destroy the portal. What I didn't expect was Twilight to tell her off regardless, and for Sunset Shimmer to let Spike go because "Afterall, I am not a monster". Her THEN turning into a demon and then brainwashing the students was the icing on the cake of unexpected twists.
That said, there still are numerous holes left to fill, I won't argue with that, though I guess the majority only becomes aparent in hindsight as a "fridge realization".
The biggest hick-up in the story is that Twilight doesn't just ask to get the crown back and finishes her entire adventure in less than 10 minutes.
Yeah, they adress it in-movie immediatelly afterwards with "I couldn't tell the school-principal that I came from another dimension", but I don't see how she would've needed to even mention that when asking to get her element back. Hm, I guess with her being unfamiliar with the workings of this world, only having been there for 10 minutes, it's somewhat excusable. Though then again you have to ask yourself why exactly the element of magic was mistaken for the highschool-ball crown to begin with. Doesn't seem like the school principal would just confiscate any jewlery she finds and use that as a price in a school-contest. One could theorize that Sunset Shimmer was the one who originally provided the designs for the ball-crown so she could get somebody else to manufacture the fake element-of-magic for her, seeing how she didn't have magic and metal-work / jewlery-making probably isn't a talent of Sunset's. Of course, this still leaves the questions of "How did Sunset Shimmer know how to navigate the Crystal palace? The mirror had, until recently, been stationed in Canterlot, and the Empire could not have been there when she left Equestria for the human world. Why wasn't she surprised to see a new alicorn?" ...although one possible explanation could be, that nobody mentioned how long the mirror had been active before Sunset stole the element. She could've already been scouting out the castle and made preparations for a week until she made her move three days before the portal was due to close, for all we know.
...Geez, I should probably post this as a journal instead.
But like I mentioned in my other post there are so many things I could rant about and it take me forever to do so. I kinda want to do so at some point, but maybe I'll look into using my tumblr for that or something. (As I kinda only want to write my thoughts on the whole damn thing once and then refer people to it.) :v
But yeah, there are definitively tropes they subverted and things they handled very well in the movie; It's just that there is so much bad that my analytical mind is bothered by that I can't enjoy it. I won't say I did not get any initial enjoyment out of watching it the first time but I do feel that if I were to try and enjoy the movie now I simple couldn't.
Ich glaub das hatten fast alle nicht erwartet, das es so gut wird. Was ich auch nicht erwartet hatte war, dass es so viele Leute nicht gefallen hat, das die für die Menschen die gleiche Farbe für die Haut genommen haben, wie sie als Ponys hatten. Ich meine wo ist da das Problem? In der Zeichentrickserie Doug hatten da auch viele ungewöhnliche Hautfarben.