It features a Battle of the Bands storyline and was released theatrically on September 27, As revealed in the audio commentary of the DVD, Equestria Girls was not initially planned to become a franchise and the thought of a sequel did not cross Meghan McCarthy 's mind. Additionally, Sunset did not become a main character until the second draft of the script. This film was announced by Hasbro as part of a press kit at the International Toy Fair. On the same day as McCarthy's tweet, songwriter Daniel Ingram tweeted that there would be a total of twelve songs in the film, the greatest number of songs yet featured in a Friendship is Magic episode or Equestria Girls film. The film's opening credits were storyboarded by Tony Cliff.
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The film premiered in select theaters across the United States and Canada on September 27, , which was followed by broadcast on Discovery Family , a joint venture between Discovery, Inc. Like the first film, Rainbow Rocks re-envisions the main characters of parent franchise, normally ponies, as teenage human characters in a high school setting. The film was well received by critics, who described it as "far superior" to the first installment.