Dangit2019's Long Winded Rants: Double Rainboom

"Also, I read that review you posted. I'm not usually one to critique other people's reviews, but yours frankly came off more like a long-winded rant than an examination of the faults and merits of the movie."

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Well, fuck it. I'm in the mood to pick something apart again. It's very therapeutic for me; like gardening but without the sunlight or the patience.

So, Double Rainboom. Is it good?

Is it balls.

Now, before you rush down to the comments and put "BUT DANGIT IT'S JUST A SILLY LITTLE FAN PROJECT WHY DON'T YOU GO BACK TO BITCHING ABOUT TRANSFORMERS OR SOME SHIT", I would've agreed with you if the fedora-sporting director/writer, Zachary Rich (who created this endeavor as a "senior film", or final project to graduate animation school and present to potential employers), hadn't made it clear numerous times that the project was to be show quality. And hence, it will be judged as such.

So yeah, shit.

But while just saying "it's shit" and having the review end here would be good for my beauty sleep, it just doesn't feel as satisfying. Let's start from the top, my lovelies.

We start off with Twilight mixing potions or chemicals or whatever. Here's where we get our first true taste of the animation quality. Is this also shit? Uh, not really... but kind of. A lot of the motions are pretty fluid, but there always seems to be a few minor discrepancies every few seconds that I couldn;t point out to you with my untrained eye, but let's just say that it heads into the uncanny valley in a way I haven't seen before. Instead of an animation trying to look realistic, and not quite getting there, this tries to emulate MLP's style, and it just ever so slightly misses the mark. I'll give it a B- for effort.

Suddenly, after concocting a vial of a mysterious potion/chemical/whatever that she's supposedly been working on since Magic Kindergarten, Rainbow Dash appears, surprising Twilight. She does this by saying "'Sup?" And here's where the leaks in the ship start springing.

Sigh. Look, I'm sure RD's VA has talent and potential, but she just doesn't have the fucking nuances down. The voice cracks. The constantly changing pitch. It's just not there. The whole shtick sounds like a 12-year-old girl trying to act tough at a skate park. Rina-chan does an A-okay job as Twilight, though, so there's that.

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So, apparently Rainbow Dash wanted to know what "egghead stuff" Twilight was doing, which isn't a real reason as RD doesn't really give a crap about science, but it gives her the excuse to:

A. Be there

And

B. Say "egghead". Because Rainbow says it a lot on the show.

ARE WE SHOW-QUALITY YET GUISE?

After Twilight sits Rainbow down and gets back to work, she adds a final ingredient to the plot device and suddenly it flashes and emits smoke. And out of this smoke comes...a trollface?

...

Why?

And here marks the beginning of the oh-so-wacky references. I'll tally them up for the remainder of this review, but if you're wondering what's wrong with them, it's that they usually interrupt the actual story, and are in fact not jokes.

Seriously, there is no joke in pointing a meme or pre-established joke and making note of its existence on screen. It's just a cheap way to get a quick laugh out of your target audience without putting any of the work necessary to craft a joke anyone, regardless of whether they completely understand the context, could laugh at.

After the smoke recedes back into the vial, Rainbow prods it, asking "what's in this stuff?" To whit Twilight says "be careful, it could be dangerous." Take note.

Rainbow at one point asks "does it turn you into a ZOMBIE?" PRT (Pointless Reference Tally): 2

Twilight says that reason the plot device could be dangerous is because she simply doesn't know what it is.

Rainbow Dash gets confused over how Twilight is worried about the device being dangerous when she made it. Because how could it be dangerous if she made it? Apparently Dash has an IQ in the double digits

Twilight explains that it's supposed to be a talent enhancer in theory. Oh. Well why didn't she say that before? Why did she harp on for a full minute about not knowing what it is? What was the bloody point?

Okay, after she explains that, she goes on about what the effects the enhancer would have on each of the Mane 6 as a cute little BBBFF-style animation sequence happens. Not really progressing, but it's cute enough to get a pass.

The Zelda treasure sound plays after RD learns that the enhancer could make her fly faster. PRT: 3

Rainbow Dash, being the cheeky cunt she is, takes the enhancer and gulps it down. Because fuck consequences and safety.

Twilight puts a hat like the one 50's Doc Brown wore in Back to the Future and puts her in the same chamber as the one from Incredibles to "record the effects". She also records the effects through the same machine as the one she used on Pinkie in "Feeling Pinkie Keen". PRT: 6. We're just getting started with these, folks.

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Our supposedly science-abiding purple horse sees that Rainbow has normal readings for the first, oh, 30 seconds or so, so she decides to let her go free, throwing caution to the wind. Sigh.

As soon as she's free, Rainbow busts through Twilight's ceiling. Great job respecting your friend's property, hero. After this, a companion cube can be seen next to Twilight. PRT: 7

So, Rainbow Douche starts flying frantically around Ponyville, and oh boy, here's where the references start getting really grating.

After being knocked over by RD, Rarity's hair looks like Twilight's. They make a "Scootaloo is a chicken" joke and a "Scootaloo can't fly" joke. Roid Rage shows up and says "yeah". Derpy fucking Hooves sits at a café trying to eat a cunting muffin as flowerpots break on her head and eventually on the muffin. This touch of comic genius takes almost a half-minute in a scene that's supposed to be frantic in pace and tone. I can't stress this enough: this isn't a good cutaway gag because it stops the story dead in its tracks for a cheap reference. Yeah, we get it, Derpy mouthed the word "muffin" in Season 1, and now that's like a third of her entire character according to the fanon writers, whatever. Stop wasting my time. PRT: 12

A scared Twilight runs out of her house and sees Rainbow fly up into the atmosphere to a point where the moon is in view, and it has Domo's image on it. PRT: 13

Realizing her power, RD says that with it she could even do a "double rainboom", a concept that has only been mentioned in the title. So, she starts flying towards the ground, and as she dives, the film cuts away to: Berry Punch looking through her window surrounded by bottles, Lyra and Bonbon staring at the sky, Derpy and Doctor Whooves in the same frame, Cherilee, Vinyl Scratch, Lyra and Bonbon again, Big Mac and the CMC. You know what, fuck that tally; you get the point by now.

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Eventually, she flies more than 88 mph, nothing happens, and she crashes into the ground, forever paralyzed by her one bad decision.

NAH, KIDDING! She does a Double Rainboom and destroys the whole town instead! Seriously!

OUR HERO, EVERYBODY!

Now, while this sequence is very visually engaging, it still falls due to bad storytelling. Right now, we're at the 15-minute mark of this little half-hour extravaganza, and the "big event" has already happened with little to no setup. Outside of the title, itself a reference to the tired "Double Rainbow" joke, there's nothing happening emotionally to make this scene as effective as it should be.

Okay, in the episode this is a sort of sequel to, "Sonic Rainboom", the Rainboom itself is such a great payoff because it represents a climax in multiple story threads all getting resolved. Rainbow wants to win the Young Flyers Competition to get a good impression on the spectating Wonderbolts, she's having trouble getting the motivation to pull through with it, her old schoolmates are counting on her losing, and Rarity's temporary wings are bringing all the attention on her in Cloudsdale.

That episode doesn't end with Rainbow just finally doing it because she believed in herself or some bullshit, Rarity's wings melted in the sun (gr8 symbology m8) and both she and the Wonderbolts were falling to certain death. Rainbow realized the motivation that was most powerful to her was protecting her friends and her instinctual reaction gave her the strength to do a Sonic Rainboom and save everyone.

Let's reiterate this: THINGS THAT PAYED OFF WERE SET UP IN THE STORY BEFOREHAND.

Really, half of good storytelling these days is just knowing the ending. Everything else is filling the blanks in a satisfying and entertaining way.

So what conflict setup does the Double Rainboom resolve? Nothing. Not a damn thing. Rainbow ignored Twilight, drank the enhancer, and therefore it's Rainboom time. Not because it's the right thing to do in the situation, not because her friends are in danger, not because she's trying to impress the Wonderbolts, but because she just fucking feels like it now that she can do it.

This may be true to why certain things happen in real life, but in the writing world, saying "and then this happens" is a horrible attitude to approach a screenplay with. You should be saying "THEREFORE this happens" or else you're not writing a story, you're writing an organized shopping list of fictional events.

Also, because it bears repeating, RAINBOW DESTROYED PONYVILLE WHAT THE FUC-

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(ahem)

Afterwards, Twilight finds where Rainbow landed which just so happens to resemble the fire trail from a certain time travelling DeLorean as FUCKING BACK TO THE FUTURE MUSIC PLAYS BECAUSE HOLY SHIT GUYS IF YOU HAVEN'T NOTICED ZACHARY RICH REALLY LIKES BACK TO THE FUTURE AND HE PUT IN A REALLY CLEVER JOKE DID YOU GET IT DID YOU GET IT DID YOU GET IT

As Twilight approaches ground zero, she sees an inter-dimensional portal close.

"An inter-dimensional portal? Dangit, could this imply-"

Yes.

...

A crossover.

An 8-minute long, pandering, circlejerking, hugboxing, pointless, toneless, masturbatory crossover.

With the Powerpuff Girls.

But at least the animation's good.

Fuck.

Suddenly, halfway through the short, we're interrupted by a giant copyright disclaimer for a few seconds because if you were somehow immersed in this story before, they'll make sure you snap right out of it.

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You know what, with the crossover scenes, I can't even. I just can't. They're well done technically , but there's no precedent for them. It's not like Rainbow goes on some epic adventure with them, or has actual conflict; no, she just beats up a monster-of-the-week and then has a pseudo-chase scene with the PPG wanting her to be their pet.

That's the big "spoiler" of this story. A shitty overlong crossover with no actual story weight. Sigh.

Anyway, that happens for a while, and than she's pulled out of the PPG realm by Pinkie Pie. You can probably guess where that's going.

Rainbow Cunt sends a letter to Celestia entertaining the idea of not being a total short-sighted cunt. Huzzah.

In the middle of the letter, she suddenly realizes that she never learned how Pinkie saved her.

She explains that Twilight made another enhancer (because they're so easy to produce, remember), which gave her increased abilities in breaking the 4th wall. They show this by her being able to see through the Adobe Flash software.

Suddenly, she pulls out Bloo from Foster's Home for Imaginary friends.

Instead of going into a whole spiel on why that was a shitty Deus ex machina, I'll just say this:

Dangit2019:

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I think you might need therapy soon for the rage these Deus Ex's send you into =P

On the whole I'm not as harsh about it, but I agree it wasn't too good. There are certain parts of the fandom that I'd say I'm "plugged into", through twitter, youtube, and a few other places. This thing was being hailed as a "fan made episode" and just wasn't. The whole bit where they showed up just made me scratch my head.

The animation was ok, but the whole thing fell short for all the reasons you described, plus an added plunge for me since all the hype backfired on it. I'm also one of those people who think Rina Chan doesn't sound like Tara Strong's Twilight Sparkle AT ALL. Twilight being my favorite of the cast, I pay more attention and think it was sub par, and I'm being generous with that assessment.

I think a lot of people (including the creators) thought that by putting in the crossover bit, they'd get people to overlook or at least be distracted from all the other poorly executed things. Similar things happened in Equestria Girls I think. There is a checklist of certain things to put in the media, whatever it is, and once those things are done certain fans will love it. In EQG it was the fan nods and easter eggs. In Double Rainboom it was the PPG in the crossover section.

I know you like to zero in on writing and screewriting so I feel I should bring this up if you weren't aware. Double Rainboom had no writers, that is to say, no people whose sole involvement in the thing was to write the script/story. And, as was painfully obvious, it suffered from that big time. However, an animation that didn't suffer from something like that was Snowdrop. That animation was better than this by leaps and bounds. Better voice acting and an actual story that made sense, its also quite the tearjerker. The whole thing spends its time yanking your heartstrings, but that is something I didn't mind, and it got me. I cried. Watch that when you get a chance if you haven't already.

Ishal:

Dangit2019:

snip

I think you might need therapy soon for the rage these Deus Ex's send you into =P

Again, it's my weird version of therapy.

On the whole I'm not as harsh about it, but I agree it wasn't too good. There are certain parts of the fandom that I'd say I'm "plugged into", through twitter, youtube, and a few other places. This thing was being hailed as a "fan made episode" and just wasn't. The whole bit where they showed up just made me scratch my head.

The animation was ok, but the whole thing fell short for all the reasons you described, plus an added plunge for me since all the hype backfired on it. I'm also one of those people who think Rina Chan doesn't sound like Tara Strong's Twilight Sparkle AT ALL. Twilight being my favorite of the cast, I pay more attention and think it was sub par, and I'm being generous with that assessment.

The problems I had with performance here weren't really with her not sounding like Twilight, but it just sounded like she was constantly giving off the wrong reaction in more subtle ways. I'm going to put the blame for that one on poor direction until given evidence otherwise.

I think a lot of people (including the creators) thought that by putting in the crossover bit, they'd get people to overlook or at least be distracted from all the other poorly executed things. Similar things happened in Equestria Girls I think. There is a checklist of certain things to put in the media, whatever it is, and once those things are done certain fans will love it. In EQG it was the fan nods and easter eggs. In Double Rainboom it was the PPG in the crossover section.

Yeah, that was the pandering that I mentioned more in the EqG review, but applies more severely in this case. Really, the stupid memes and references weren't just a distraction, they were all the writers had-

I know you like to zero in on writing and screewriting so I feel I should bring this up if you weren't aware. Double Rainboom had no writers, that is to say, no people whose sole involvement in the thing was to write the script/story. And, as was painfully obvious, it suffered from that big time.

...

Really?

Actually, that makes so much more sense. This really doesn't feel like something that has any singular vision whatsoever.

However, an animation that didn't suffer from something like that was Snowdrop. That animation was better than this by leaps and bounds. Better voice acting and an actual story that made sense, its also quite the tearjerker. The whole thing spends its time yanking your heartstrings, but that is something I didn't mind, and it got me. I cried. Watch that when you get a chance if you haven't already.

I have. It was pretty good. A little manipulative, but at least it tried to tell a story and make the audience actually feel things other than "hey I recognize that random internet thing". Also, some real effort put into it.

Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention: the editing is almost non-existent in the "humorous" scenes. So much of the dialogue scenes were empty space and bad comedic timing.

Dangit2019:

Really?

Actually, that makes so much more sense. This really doesn't feel like something that has any singular vision whatsoever.

Yep, as far as I know. I think a lot of people in the fandom underestimate the importance of solid writing. It was what made MMC a success. It was what absolutely clinched Luna as one of the best developed characters in the entire show in Sleepless in Ponyville. The show's linchpin is its characters and how they react in certain situations to subvert genre tropes like in Best Night Ever and Suited for Success. Little character nuances are only going to go so far.

The focus just wasn't there for Double Rainboom, literally. I mean, the fact that they didn't even consider not having writers would be a problem was just... I don't even. They felt like trying to capture little things about the characters and put them in the animation would sell it, and I think it did to at least a few folks. But Snowdrop is the one the fandom seems to have chosen as the better, for whatever thats worth.

If nothing else it shows that the guy should probably just stick to drawing or animation rather than writing or editing. I didn't watch it, and I'm not planning to watch it (never heard of it till I saw your review pop up in the thread feed); I washed my hands of the show and its fandom at the end of season 3. Judging from your review it would seem the project suffers from being done by a single person who's really only got talent in one area.

If the point of the project is to show that he's a competent animator then it probably doesn't matter he can't write for shit or has no sense of editing rhythm.

Though really if they were boasting it was going to be show quality then expecting anything other than shit would be setting one's hopes far too high. I mean really, a rag-tag group of fans with zero budget, amateur voice actors, and a fraction of the skill set diverse staff that works on the show thought that they could produce the same product?

An MLP fan episode that uses unlicensed copyrighted music as a senior project, seriously? If he tries to include that in his portfolio or demo reel he's going to be laughed out of interviews; if he even gets that far.

 

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