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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
While this movie doesn't teach any specific skills or subjects, kids can learn about friendship, teamwork, forgiveness, and redemption.
Messages about good winning over evil and how healthy behavior, friendship, and positivity can prevail in the face of darkness. Also positive takeaways about teamwork, friendship, communication, and forgiveness, plus strong messages about the negative impacts of bullying.
Positive Role Models
The Equestria Girls have their flaws (Rainbow Dash is selfish with a huge ego, Rarity is shallow and obsessed with clothes, Pinkie has no self-confidence, etc.), but through teamwork and communication they're able to move beyond their issues. And though Sunset Shimmer was the villain in the first Equestria Girls movie, she completely redeems herself by the end of this one and ends up saving the day. The strong and positive Princess Twilight Sparkle could be considered the glue for the group, even though she struggles with her own self-doubt.
Violence & Scariness
While none of the characters' behavior is explicitly violent, some of the bullying gets slightly physical, including a few shoves. One of The Rainbooms gets harassed during a performance by a classmate and is forced to crash into her bandmate.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A crush between two characters -- Flash and Princess Sparkle -- but other than one awkward embrace, nothing romantic is shown.
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Products & Purchases
Like all movies and TV shows in the My Little Pony franchise, Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks is tied to the popular Hasbro toy line, which includes toys, apparel, DVDs, games, books, and accessories. There's a hint of another sequel toward the end of the movie.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks is the sequel to 2013's My Little Pony: Equestria Girls and follows the same group of ponies-turned-teenagers at Canterlot High School as they compete against their classmates in a battle of the bands and face off against a witchy trio called The Dazzlings. Though the movie is kid-friendly overall, there are a few sinister moments that could scare very young children, such as when The Dazzlings cast a dark and spooky spell over the entire school and turn into red-eyed, winged dragon creatures toward the end. And while the takeaway messages are overwhelmingly positive -- including valuable lessons about friendship, forgiveness, communication, teamwork, and redemption -- the characters do engage in a lot of mean, bullying behavior before the story reaches its resolution. And, of course, there's all of the tie-in merchandising associated with everything My Little Pony. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Fans of My Little Pony will love the magical Equestria Girls and will enjoy watching them work together to prevail over the villainous, witchy Dazzlings. Kids new to all things Pony will be drawn to the colorful characters, the catchy music, the sweet and enduring friendships, and the fun the girls have together, whether they're taking selfies at a sleepover, working on a new song at band practice, or strategizing about how to break The Dazzlings' evil spell.
But Rainbow Rocks isn't all eye candy and squeaky-clean fun. The Dazzlings' ability to draw power from the students' negativity, creating strife simply by tapping into the dark side of competition, may resonate with older kids who've witnessed -- or taken part in -- group bullying or seen a healthy competition go sour. But the strong friendships between the Equestria Girls -- and the tools of communication, forgiveness, and collaboration they use to work through conflicts and challenges -- provide examples of positive behavior and resolution for kids of all ages to follow, and they're ultimately where the value in this My Little Pony tale lies.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.