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My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games (Blu-ray Review)

My Little Pony Friendship Games thumbGame on! A new full-length feature film, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games, will be released digitally, on DVD, and in a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combination on October 13 in the U.S. and Canada from Shout! Factory Kids, in collaboration with Hasbro Studios.Exclusive to this release, there will be a deleted scene featuring a musical performance, a new audio commentary and sing-alongs, as well as animated shorts.  Additionally, fans ordering from ShoutFactory.com will receive an exclusive, limited edition poster. My Little Pony is a global phenomenon and we’re thrilled to be sharing more releases with the fandom.Continue the journey through high school with the Mane 6 in this alternate My Little Pony universe, and find out what happens next in My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games!

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Film 

Canterlot High meets its rival school, Crystal Prep Academy, in a competition that’s a long-standing tradition –The Friendship Games: a series of exciting events that includes archery, motocross, and rollerskating!  Sunset Shimmer is tasked with keeping magic out of the games to keep things fair while she and her friends compete against Crystal Prep’s top students led by someone with an equal amount of interest in Equestrian magic – this world’s Twilight Sparkle.

Well, I can’t lie and tell you I’m a big My Little Ponies fan.  That’ll surely let you know that I’m not up to snuff on any sort of spin offs.  Equestria Girls is an offshoot that focuses on the girls who ride the ponies, but I can’t say from my brief encounter with My Little Ponies earlier in the year that I remember any riders showing up in that show, but oh well, here they are and they get their own feature to boot.

All I can really say about this, is that its not for me at all.  Its not a complete nightmare for me to watch (Boring maybe, but that’s because its not of my interest).  The animation is effective for what its going for.  If anything, I preferred the regular My Little Pony show as that seemed to have its foot in some decent humor and referential stuff that could catch the eye or make sure a person like me was paying attention.

While I was a little lost in character backgrounds and relations coming in to this movie (Like I said, I don’t keep up with this series), it was still easy enough to follow.  There is a competition called the Friendship Games at the crux of it which is follow-worthy enough itself.  No, its nothing like the Hunger Games (Now THAT would have been something).  Am I a converted fan after this?  No, but if you’re a fan of it, I hope this pleases and keeps you going.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  This is as impressive as you’d expect.  The image is sharp and bold looking.  Movements appear very smooth, with no blur at all.  Colors, shadings and the like all shine through in this animated feature.

Depth:  There are some moments that have some good spacing in the animation, but this is more akin to a flat, 2-D animation style.

Black Levels: There are no real deep blacks here, a lot of animation is detailed with deep faded versions of other colors.  When blacks are there its just as you’d think, black being black.

Color Reproduction: There is a nice vivid, pastel colored palette on display here.  The colors look almost like more bold versions of water colors.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  The 5.1 mix here sounds very crisp.  All the foley work is capture quite well, with the effects sounding full and well rounded.  Audio is very detailed and clean.  The track boasts a nice free, loose lossless sound.

Low Frequency Extension:  Some action bits and music in the film gets a boost, but its not a very intense performance.

Surround Sound Presentation:  This one is front heavy, but with a nice adventure of sound traveling from speaker to speaker in the front.  The rear speakers aren’t completely shut out, but are mainly ambiance and music accompaniment.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are crisp, full sounding and at a nice louder volume.

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Extras 

This release comes with a DVD copy and Digital Copy of the film.

Audio Commentary

  • Featuring the executive director of Hasbro, the director, consulting director, writer and art director.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 9:13) – Presented in storyboard form with optional commentary.

Animated Shorts (HD, 12:01) 

  • Pinkie Spy
  • All’s Fair in Love & Friendship Games
  • Photo Finished
  • A Banner Day
  • The Science of Magic

Sing-Alongs (HD, 7:41)

  • Friendship Games
  • CHS Rally Song
  • What More is Out There?

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Summary 

I’m clearly the wrong audience for this, and those who are, are too niche or too young to be posting and writing reviews for it.  I’ll give that its not terrible, but its not something that kept my attention much.  This Blu-ray, though, is well crafted, featuring great audio and video, while boasting some fun extras to enhance enjoyment.  I don’t see any reason why fans (And those silly bronies) won’t be happy with it.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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