I’m going to make a provocative statement: Equestria Girls is better than Monster High. The latter is re-booting itself after just six years in existence because reasons (i.e. slumping sales) while the other is having its annual movie—this time debuting on Netflix (or Discovery Kids Brazil)—and getting better each time it surfaces with something new.
This time the setting is Camp Everfree and some time away from Canterlot High (and all the magic things). However, the magic follows the Mane Seven (yes, seven) to camp. Twilight can levitate objects, Rarity can create defense constructs, Applejack has super strength, Rainbow has super speed, Fluttershy can talk to the animals, Pinkie can make glitter and sprinkles explode, and Sunset can see the past and sense feelings. More on all of that in a moment.
The camp is being run by siblings Gloriosa Daisy and Timber Spruce (who has a crush on Sci-Twi). Gloriosa it turns out is trying to save the camp from this world’s version of Filthy Rich who is much meaner than his Equestria counterpart. She tries too hard while Timber is itching to go into town one day and feels stuck.
Back to the magic, some suspect its a legendary creature named Gaia Everfree, but Twilight feels that the “Midnight” in her is the cause. There is initially heistation about using these new powers, but Sunset believes the magic can be used for good and that’s displayed in full force when they fix the dock. It turns out that some Equestrian magic has made its way to the cave inside the camp and in the form of seven geodes. Gloriosa is using five of them trying to use its magic to help her save the camp, but it has not come to fruition. Sunset and Twilight try to reason with her, but Gloriosa takes the remaining two geodes and she turns into Gaia Everfree trapping Sunset and Twilight and the tries to do the same with the rest of the campers and her brother.
It’s up to the Mane Seven to stop them with their new powers. Twilight is afraid she’ll turn into Midnight Sparkle, but her friends are by her side and she turns into an alicorn power ranger friendship ranger. They rescue everyone and quickly form a fundraiser to save the camp. The geodes are the Mane Seven’s to keep while we cut to CHS where the portal isn’t completely shut all the way all but setting up a fifth movie.
This is another solid entry into the Equestria Girls lore. One of the reasons this spinoff continues to have legs is Sunset Shimmer. She wasn’t the best villain in the first movie, but her journey through the next three movies has been that of redemption and to taking a leadership role at Canterlot High. She is once again in top form here. There’s the music which I do feel is the best of the four movies—even “Rainbow Rocks”. Kudos to Daniel Ingram for outdoing himself again.
Then there’s Gloriosa who’s doing all she can, and then too much, to save the camp. She’s well-meaning, but there’s that old adage from the show about using magic to solve problems for magic’s sake. As Gaia, she is very powerful, albeit for a brief time, but how is trapping everyone in brambles supposes to save the camp from Filthy Rich? Timber is okay, and I guess it’s a bit surprising that he and Sci-Twi have a crush on each other while Flash is on the sidelines—apparently knowing that Princess Twilight is not going to be stopping by often. Will he and Sunset get back together? I don’t know.
The one thing I take from “Legend of Everfree” is that there’s likely to be another movie in the near future. It does open up tons of possibilities going forward with the new powers and what is truly a Mane Seven in this world. (Will we get one in Equestria in three weeks?). This is a series of movies where some elements, though not all, get better with each movie. It’s truly on par with “Rainbow Rocks” and I truly can’t wait to see what the future holds for Equestria Girls.
Pluses and Minuses:
- + Sunset Shimmer
- + It’s now a Mane Seven
- + Music outdoes “Rainbow Rocks”
- + Visuals
- + Sequel Hook?
- – Gaia’s methods for saving the camp unclear.
- – Dialogue during climax could have been better.