Western Animation: My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks is an upcoming sequel to My Little Pony Equestria Girls, itself a spin-off of the animated television show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. It is set to be released theatrically onSeptember 27, 2014, with the DVD/Blu-ray release exactly one month later on October 28, 2014.A Hasbro investor press release describes the film as Twilight Sparkle and pals complete for the top spot in the Canterlot High "Mane Event" talent show. The girls must rock their way to the top, and outshine rival Adagio Dazzle and her band The Dazzlings, to restore harmony back to Canterlot High.An extended summary is Canterlot High is hosting a musical showcase and Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Fluttershy are going to be performing with their new band, the Rainbooms. But when a new girl group, the Dazzlings, arrives at CHS, they convince everyone to turn the friendly showcase into a Battle of the Bands. As tensions mount between the competing musical acts, a reformed Sunset Shimmer realizes that the Dazzlings may not be ordinary girls and are after something far more sinister than just being named Best Band at Canterlot High. The Rainbooms call on Princess Twilight to return to their world to help them perform a musical counter-spell so that they can win a battle that now determines the fate of the entire school.As part of the release, a series of eight, self-contained shorts that help to drive towards the story of the film will be released on The Hub's various media channels. Word of God has stated that these are new scenes, not part of the film proper but as lead-in to it. These include:
"Music to My Ears", featuring DJ Pon-3 strutting across town to the rhythm of dubstep in her headphones.
"Hamstocalypse Now", featuring Fluttershy dealing with rowdy hamsters with the calming sounds of a tambourine.
"Pinkie on the One", featuring Rainbow Dash discovering that Pinkie Pie's inexhaustible energy is ideal for a drummer.
"Player Piano", featuring Rarity discovering the benefits of a lighter-weight keytar over a grand piano.
"A Case for the Bass" featuring Applejack trying to get her bass guitar back after Granny Smith sells it to the Flim Flam Brothers by mistake.
"Shake Your Tail!", departing from the character-focused shorts, has the Mane 6 trying to decide on a theme for the upcoming school dance to the tune of the title song.
"Perfect Day for Fun", showing the Mane 6 having fun at a school carnival before performing for the crowd.
There is also a book, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks, written by Perdita Finn, that novelizes these shorts and with additional details for leading into the film. A third book, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks: The Mane Event, has been shown to be released in October 2014, which is anticipated to be the novelization of the actual film.
The film provides examples of the following tropes:
All There in the Manual: The shorts and book tell how Twilight's human friends came to form a rock band and got their current instruments.
The toy boxes for Adagio Dazzle and the other Dazzlings, having been promoted already through toy shows, show both the human characters alongside pony (or pony-like) versions, which have translucent, moth-like wings, hinting towards their "sinister" nature.
While Pony!Trixie is by no means an "extra", Human!Trixie from the first film only appears for a handful of scenes.
DJ Pon-3 is given far more prominence for this movie, and even has an entire short dedicated to her. Quite impressive for a background character who beforehand had a total screentime in both the cartoon and first movie of less then two minutes and stillhasn't verbalized so much as a single sound.
Battle of the Bands: The Mane 6 are involved in one. Based on toys and other Hasbro marketing information around the film, the Mane 6 will battle it out against a another band, the Dazzlings, to be led by a new character, Adagio Dazzle.
High School AU: Returning again to the humanized world of Canterlot High.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: Sort of. The Transformation Sequences at the end of the previous movie were left out of the trailers for it and thus treated as a spoiler, but it's the default look in the toyline. The teaser for Rainbow Rocks shows the hybrid forms almost right away.
Also, Sunset Shimmer's Heel-Face Turn from the first movie is in full effect here.
Trailers Always Spoil: While it wasn't put together before the season four finale aired, it soon becomes obvious that the transformation sequences used during the battle of the bands are similar to the Rainbow Power from the harmony box. This was most likely overlooked due to it easily being passed off as simply part of the glam rock look.
Theme Naming: The Dazzlings have musically-styled first names, while their last names are light-based phenomena.
Transformation Sequence: The Mane 6 still transform into their pony-human hybrids as at the finale of the first film, but now the transformation appears to be powered by their musical talents rather than magic.
The shorts provide examples of the following tropes:
Absentee Actor: Twilight is absent from the character shorts, as they are set prior to her arrival.
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Flim and Flam try to make a 50,000% profit (selling AJ's bass for $1,000 from AJ's quoted price of $2). Their excuse is that they need to cover their overhead and transportation costs. AJ manages to talk them back down to $2 in exchange for crier services.
Answer Cut: In "Pinkie on the One", Rainbow Dash and others are in the cafeteria, with Rainbow worried by who can be their drummer, all while Pinkie is bouncing around the table, banging out a rhythm with utensils across glasses, dishes, and her friends. Inspiration suddenly strikes Rainbow, and we cut to Pinkie laying down a wicked drum solo on a full drum set.
Ascended Meme: DJ Pon-3 spends nearly all of "Music to My Ears" dancing and strutting to dubstep.
Aside Glance: From Pinkie Pie, not surprisingly: she winks to the audience at the end of "Guitar Centered", with an Iris Out closing on her eye.
Asleep in Class: Probably a habit for Rainbow Dash, considering it just takes a demonstration of Twilight Sparkle's suggestion for a classroom-themed party for her to fall asleep.
Big Entrance: The five friends are waiting for Rarity to practice, and Applejack comments, "She probably just wants to make a grand entrance." Cue the doors bursting open with Rarity being carried in on a grand piano by the humanized Diamond Dogs.
Pinkie shows Rainbow a banjo and a tuba, two instruments her pony version could play in "Swarm of the Century".
Rainbow Dash does what can be only be described as a "Sonic Rainstomp", producing a similar effect as her counterpart's Sonic Rainboom.
"A Case for the Bass":
As in Equestria, Granny Smith is the one in this universe to get Applejack into hot water with Flim and Flam, in this case, having sold Applejack's bass to them.
One of the items Flim and Flam try to sell is a scientific headpiece similar to the one Twilight uses on Pinkie in "Feeling Pinkie Keen".
"Perfect Day for Fun":
Applejack beats Rainbow in the "Test Your Strength" game just like in "Fall Weather Friends".
A Discord plushie freaks Fluttershy out.
Flash Sentry makes his first reappearance.
Cheerilee and Big Mac walk side by side once more.
Convenient Color Change: During her "shred-off" with Trixie, Rainbow Dash goes "full pegasus" and her Transformation Sequence also transforms her guitar, making the body a shiny sapphire-blue and the neck red with lightning bolts. Rainbow decides that guitar, not the double-necked one, is for her.
Duels Decide Everything: Rainbow Dash and Trixie have a "shred-off" to decide who gets to buy a coveted double-necked guitar. RD wins, only to give the guitar away to Trixie since she came to like the one she used against her.
Eyed Screen: During the shred-off in "Guitar Centered".
Feet-First Introduction: DJ Pon-3 in "Music to My Ears". And yes, those are not the same shoes as in Equestria Girls.
Funny Background Event: In "Hamstocalypse Now", one of the hamsters rides on the kitty cat like a cowboy. In another shot, one hamster in a suit and tie proposes marriage to another in a dress with a ridiculously large ring, which she promptly smacks away.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the "Perfect Day for Fun" short, the second picture taken in the photo booth shows Twilight might be groping Applejack, much to AJ's dismay.
Human Hummingbird: Rainbow Dash, shortly, when about to fall from the scene in "Perfect Day for Fun".
Hypnotic Eyes: The hamsters get these while Fluttershy plays her tambourine.
"Music to My Ears" is mostly nothing but DJ Pon-3 and the world around her Mickey Mousing to dubstep. There is exactly one line of dialogue, spoken by Mrs. Cake when DJ Pon-3 takes her headphones off to order something.
"Shake Your Tail!" and "Perfect Day for Fun" have the title song as the only audio, though the latter has AJ speak one line that rhymes with the lyrics.
Missed Him by That Much: The Mane 6 are separated into three groups of two in "Perfect Day for Fun", and half of the short is about them trying to meet up.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "Hamstocalypse Now", Fluttershy asks Rarity to keep watch on the otherwise tame hamsters while she cleans their habitat. Rarity causes the hamsters to break out into chaos because she felt the need to design cute little outfits for them and making some jealous of others.
Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Throughout "Shake Your Tail!", the Mane 6 have been trying out different party themes according to their own preferences. In the end, they just combine them all and rock out.
The Power of Rock: In the character-focused shorts, the Mane 6 transform by playing their respective instruments.
In "Guitar Centered", Rainbow Dash forfeits the double-necked guitar to Trixie after their guitar duel; Trixie has only so much time to savor her "victory" before realizing her prize costs $12,000.
It happens again in "A Case for the Bass". When Applejack proves her ownership of her bass, Flim and Flam propose a trade instead of the $1,000 sale price. What does it entail? Applejack playing her bass outside as an advertisement for the Flim Flam Brothers pawn shop. To add insult to injury, she has to wear a banana outfit as well.
Granny Smith: Since when do you play the bass? Applejack: (face palm)
Photo Booth Montage: In "Perfect Day for Fun", the photo booths are the meeting place of the girls, and when they're finally together, a few pictures of them fooling around inside are shown.
Reality Ensues: In the "Guitar Centered" short, Rainbow Dash lets Trixie have the chance to buy the double-neck electric guitar they were competing over... but Trixie can't afford it. Naturally, the flashiest, most elaborate guitar in a store is also the most expensive one.
Shown Their Work: For "Pinkie on the One", the phrase "on the one" (which James Brown often used to cue his band) means that the first beat of each measure should have a heavy drum accent. This pattern is uncommon in popular music, which typically emphasizes the second and fourth beats. Thus, a song that is "on the one" is strange and unusual, a perfect way to describe Pinkie.
After Pinkie completes her drum solo / transformation sequence in "Pinkie on the One", she spends a few moments breathing heavily, her hair a mess and her tongue hanging out, the same as one Animal would do.
In the cafeteria scene for "Pinkie on the One", one of the geek characters is apparently reading 4Chan on his laptop; 4Chan is typically credited with being where the brony fandom originated even if entirely not intentional.
Skirt over Slacks: DJ Pon-3 joins Rainbow Dash on this fashion statement, though with tight leggings instead of bike shorts.
Split Screen: Lots of them in "Perfect Day for Fun", as the Mane 6 are separated into three pairs and looking for each other at the carnival.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In all of the Mane 6 centered shorts, no-one seems to bring attention to the fact that the girls are suddenly regaining the pony ears and pony tails from the previous movie. Then again, no-one really seemed to notice their transformation in the previous movie either.
The Voiceless: DJ Pon-3 appears to be this. In the novelization of the shorts, she does not speak at all, instead communicating through text messages.
Watch Where You're Going!: In "Shake Your Tail!", Pinkie and Twilight smashes heads when they're both trying to catch a basketball and ends up too focused on it.