Posts Tagged ‘My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic’

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has some fantastic references in their show. Some of the show references are subtle, some are in your face blatant. Some of my favorites are references to the original My Little Pony but I’m going to talk about some of the pop culture references  that have appeared. They also name many of the episodes after movies and tv shows, like the Secret of My Excess is named after a Michael J Fox movie, The Secret of My Success.

These are my favorite episode references:

10. Three’s a Crowd (S4, E 11)

In “Three’s A Crowd”  there are to many references to mention. My favorite is when Discord turns into Raoul Duke from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This is such an inappropriate reference for a children’s show but at the same time, they won’t know till their older. If you haven’t heard of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, it was written by Hunter S. Thompson. The story was based loosely off drug bings and experiments with LSD. Knowing Discord is the embodiment of chaos, it fits that he would turn into this particular character.

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9. Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 (S2, E15)/ Slice of Life – (S5 E9) for Time Turner

There is a back ground character named Time Turner. The fans have dubbed him Dr. Whooves. He was so popular fans started writing Dr. Whooves fan fiction and animating their own cartoons. In the episode “Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000,” the creators actually let him turn the time piece in the competition between Apple Jack and the Flim/Flam brothers. The fan community went insane. They lost their minds! I was pretty excited myself. In Episode 100, he has a major part of the episode. It was adorable and he wore the Tom Baker scarf. There were so many Dr. Who references, including his lab!

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8. The Mysterious Maredowell (S2 E8)

Rainbow Dash finds herself

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7. Super speedy cider squeezy 6000

6. Cheese Sandwhich as the stranger

5. Rarity is Audrey Hepburn

4. The Diamond Dogs

3. The Big Lebowski ponies

2. Power Ponies

1. Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep

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Apple Jack is left by herself to tend the farm while Grannie Smith and Big Mac are out on an errand. Apple Jack is gaurding a GIANT apple that will be entered in a contest in Appleloosa. She enlists the help of her friends to deal with the fruit bat problem that’s been growing since the Apple family reunion.

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This episode can be taken so many ways. For me, it felt like they were trying to talk about balancing the need of modern agriculture to balance with the needs of naturally occuring species. Fluttershy brings up several times that the bats in the frield are trying to provide for their families and doing only what comes natural. Everyone is reminded over and over that the bats are not doing this maliciously. Apple Jack is so worked up and worried about the giant apple though that the gang falls in line to help her keep the bats from eatting apples. This episode also seems to be about taking time to listen to your friends before rushing into hasty actions. Twilight uses the same spell she tried on the parasprites. This time it works and the bats no longer want to eat apples. Unfortunately someone got in the way as they rounded up the bats, Fluttershy.

The ladies find that their friend Fluttershy is a more fearsome foe as she has become a WERE BAT!

The episode was alot of fun. They have a silly song and an adorable Flutterbat.

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Not a lot to say about this episode but… I wonder what is going to happen to Fluttershy. I don’t think they cured her completely.

 

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Elements Assemble!

The Power Ponies episode is about Spike and his insecurities. Always in the background, Spike identifies with a character from a comic book named Hum Drum. The comic book is enchanted and  the Mane six, along with Spike get sucked into the pages. Living the lives of super ponies they learn they have to deal with the Mane-iac in order to get out of the comic book.

I have never seen so many leaked scenes from an episode before. Even before the season started there were leaked Power Ponies photos floating around. The Royal Wedding didn’t have as much leaked material. We all knew the episode was coming but I wasn’t prepared for it to be so well written and fun. They didn’t actually ruin the story any so, I guess it’s alright. The over all feel of the episode is similar to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Batman: The Animated Series. The Mane-iac is a combination of the Joker and the Creeper. She was actually created when she fell into a vat of chemicals and then being electrocuted. This accident brought her hair to life and it grows out of control. The Mane-iac’s hair can move on its own and is used as a weapon.

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The Joker from The Batman series.

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The Creeper and his hair cape. Weird…

 

Spike winds up as the bumbling side-kick Hum Drum. He’s less than thrilled because every time he gets a chance to help them and win the day he screws it up. None of the accidents are on purpose but seem to be related to his self-consciousness. The issue of Spike has always been part of the show. He is alone in the world and still trying to find his identity.  In the series there have been several episodes that deal with Spike’s insecurities. The first was “A Dog and Pony Show,” where Spike wants to save Rarity so badly. He imagines himself as a big brawny Knight and rides in to save Rarity. This is confronting his Mickey Rourke syndrome, being self-conscious about being small. Then in the second season “Owl’s Well That Ends Well” has Spike feeling like he could be replaced by anyone. Twilight does eventually manage to reassure him that no one could ever replace him in her life. In Season Two, we also see dragon nature in “Secret of My Excess,” which confronts their tendency towards greed. He finds that he’s trying too hard to grow up and decides to slow things down again. The episode also shows that Spike has incredible willpower and can over come anything. They also have “Dragon Quest,” where Spike decides to get back to his roots. He follows the Dragon migration and hangs out with teenagers of his own kind for a while. In the end he decides that his friends are better than trying to hard to fit in with people who don’t share his values. Season Three, has three great Spike episodes even though it’s a short season, starts with “The Crystal Empire.” Spike’s loyalty is on full display as he saves Twilight and the Crystle Ponies by insisting on accompanying his friend.  “Spike at Your Service” also covers issues of loyalty and duty. He finally learns that you shouldn’t do things because you feel you have to but because you like helping your friends. “Just for Side Kicks” wound up being more about not lying, fulfilling your promises and not being greedy. With the help of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, he managed to discover he was being a lousy babysitter. This new episode is just another character building moment where he learns about how important he really is to the gang.

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How he see’s himself.

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How his friends see him.

 

Kids will get a great message from the episode. How many times have we felt like a fish out of water? Good friends need diversity and sometimes you have a talent that seems ordinary but is extraordinary after all. Now back to the Bat Cave!

Holy hoofed heroines Batman!

Apple Jack was Mistress Mare-volus which is a version of Wonder Woman. They have a magic lasso and magic handcuffs. If we had gone any longer there probably would have been an invisible vehicle

Fluttershy was Saddle RAGER! It’s hilarious that she is the She-Hulk rip off because she does have a temper. In this episode she has a hard time really digging into her inner aggression. That is until a little tiny Fire Fly is harmed by the Mane-iac.

Pinkie Pie was Fili-Second. Can you say Flash? Yes, she’s the Flash rip off and hilarious. It was like watching elements of “Too Many Pinkie’s” all over again.

Rainbow Dash became Zapp. Her special powers had to do with elemental and weather control. She was like Storm but her outfit reminded me of Black Lightning.

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Old Black Lightning

Rarity was transformed into Radiance. She could make anything from the energy in her accessories. This was a lot like the Green Lantern’s ability.

Twilight wound up as Masked Matter-Horn. Her powers were an energy beam from her horn that was like Cyclops’ eye beam. Her outfit though reminded me of the Phantom.

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The Phantom in his awesome purple cat suit.

Spike as Hum Drum was an obvious Robin riff. I can’t stop alliterating.

The back ground goons were fantastic. They had one that looked like Tony P of the Disco Boys! If you haven’t seen Mystery Men, you should. Tony P was played by Eddie Izzard and at one point he uses hair spray as a weapon. Compare, I swear they are the same character.

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The episode was definately a nod to the fans. There were elements from classic comic books like the overly elaborate death trap and likenesses to pop culture. I enjoyed it enormously. Some people are calling it pandering to the Bronies. I don’t think there was anything about the episode that couldn’t work on two levels. Adults and children would enjoy this Adam West Batmanesque escapade. Really what this shows is the writers understand their audience and can have a variety of episode styles. They go from action to narrative type story lines very well. They all tie together some how and the continuity will not be lost. I am sure some where later on the issue of the enchanted comic book store will come up again. I really hope it does because at the end of the episode the comic book disappears. How mysterious.

In the end, the day was saved again, by the POWER PONIES and Hum Drum!

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The Equestria Games are approaching and a delegation needs to be chosen from Ponyville. A pony or team of ponies will carry the flag for the delegation of athletes from Ponyville. All they have to do is be picked for the best presentation. Rainbow Dash is in charge of training the young fillies during the whole escipade.

Flight to the Finish is all about bullying, growing up and growing past your insecurities. Let me tell you something though, you never really escape these things. At least these topics are progressing past the Babs Seed episode or the first episode with the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

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The girls, Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom and Scoot-a-loo are competing against their classmates for the chance to carry the Ponyville flag. Their enemies Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara are up to no good though, trying to bully the girls into losing. It’s actually an interesting observation because SS and DT only become aggressive after they watch the Crusader’s skit. This shows the real impeteous behind the bullying, SS and DT don’t feel secure in their own skin. No matter how much money or how aweful they can be to their classmates, the Crusaders have something SS and DT can never touch. The crusaders will always have talent and spirit. Although, Diamond Tiara is slowly learning how to play mind games. (Look out men! She’s going to be a game player.)

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Watching the Crusaders like creepy stalkers, DT and SS learn that Scoot-a-Loo is very self conscious about growing up. They find her missing scale and toss a black arrow at it. They made fun of the fact Scoot-A-Loo can’t fly yet. She’s not growing up as fast as the other pegasus ponies and Scoot-a-Loo feels weird about it. She starts to over think things and gets completely trapped in her own head. Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom are good friends and first they try and talk her through things. Then they try to work through things her way but it doesn’t work. When they try and reason with her, it doesn’t work either. Eventually they do get frustrated, almost letting SS and DT destroy their trio. Luckily an adult, and Scoot-a-Loo’s hero, Rainbow Dash has a talk with her about things.

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The episode was pretty sophticated because Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle both realize what’s going on and try to undo the damage to their friend. They also don’t give up even when one of their team does throw in the towl. Luckily, Rainbow Dash knocks some sense into Scoot-a-Loo and she decides to perserver. They realize that no matter what, they will always be friends. They also discover that everyone grows up at their own pace.  I think everyone remembers that time… when you were a little more akward? For girls you never know when you are going to bloom into a woman or get your period. For guys it’s that whole hair every where and voice dropping time. Sometimes you just progress at your own pace, may that be faster or slower than you friends. They still love you if they are real friends.

I am enjoying the developement in the characters. The girls are way less bratty, adults are calling them on their antics and the trouble makers are feeling the consequences of their actions.

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Secret bonus of the episode…

SCOOT-A-LOO ISN’T HOMELESS! See… even she isn’t surprised. Where are the parents though?!Scootaloo_hears_Rainbow_Dash_S4E05

*** This review contains SPOILERS. ***

Episode Four of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic was a little polarizing to the community. It changed the way we think about the universe that the Mane 6 exist within.

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That’s Twilights “Ugh, Fan Girls” face.

The episode starts with Rainbow Dash freaking out because they still have a few months till the new Daring Do  adventure comes out. She’s read all the books over and over again. It’s the only thing she will talk about annoying her friends because every conversation becomes about Rainbow Dash and Daring Do. At a party thrown by Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash tries to find out if Twilight knows the author A. K. Yearling since they are both from Canterlot. Rainbow Dash is also crushed because she finds out the book has been pushed back. Twilight doesn’t know the author but mentions she might be able to find out how to contact the reclusive author. Rainbow Dash over does it though. They find out where the author lives and all the ladies set out to see if the author needs help.

When they arrive at the Author’s cottage, they find the place ransacked with no sign of A.K. Yearling. Rushing in they look all over only to have the author discover them in her house. It looks bad for the girls.

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A.K. Yearling is unimpressed by their fan devotion and everyone else excuses themselves. Rainbow Dash continues to annoy the author just as they are attacked.

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This reveals that Daring Doo and A.K. Yearling are the same person! Everyone freaks out and watches as the bad guys steal a magical ring. Daring Doo then dashes off after them and Dash tries to help out only causing more chaos. Daring Doo get’s captured because Rainbow Dash interfers.

 

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After the Mane 6 catch up, Rainbow Dash is retreating. They find out that their hero is in trouble and Rainbow Dash is so down on herself she tries to go home. The Mane 6 talk her into a daring plan to help resuce Daring Doo and remind Rainbow Dash of her own worth. That was really the lesson, that one hero, even though you admire them does not negate your own worth.

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The episode ignited a minor scuffle amongst Bronies because they discovered the fictional character is real! Oh No! Honestly, I wasn’t to impressed by this revelation but it does make sense that there are bigger things happening in the world outside Equestria. Obviously, this is outside Celestia’s realm otherwise she would be more concerned with 1000 years of drought in her land.

There are some great nods to Indian Jones and Allan Quartermain. The episode was written very well and is a good set up for episode 6. I guess it is going to be a very literary season!

There wasn’t any obvious build up to the major story arc for the season, but who knows what will happen in future episodes.

Episode three of My Little Pony: Friendship is magic was a hilarious romp through an abandoned castle in the middle of the Everfree forest.

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Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers!

Twilight is looking for information about the mysterious chest found at the Tree of Harmony. Nothing in the library in Ponyville has any information. Celestia suggests she search the old library at the Castle of the Two Sisters. This was the original seat of power for Equestria so it makes sense. Spike and Twilight head out to the castle without telling their friends.

Meanwhile, Apple Jack and Rainbow Dash are in a “Most Daring Pony” competition with Pinkie Pie keeping score. They decide that the tie breaker after the bee stare should be staying in the abandoned castle over night.

Rarity asks Fluttershy to come with her to the castle because she wants to pull down some tapestries and textiles. Under the auspices of restoring the textiles and getting inspiration, Rarity maintains it’s a purely professional motivation behind her trip. Fluttershy is of course reluctant.

In this fashion, all the ponies, except Pinkie Pie wind up wandering the crumbling halls of the castle.

It’s also STAR SPIDER SEASON! RUN IN TERROR.

The episode is funny, everyone is running around the castle and no one knows anyone else is there. It’s very Laurel and Hardy meet Frankenstein or a Three Stooges movie. They keep bumping into each other sending the other group running away in terror. Everyone is telling scary stories and thinking that the other group is the Pony of Shadows! You even get to see a creepy hall way with disembodied pony arms!

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This whole time Twilight is reading in the Library. She found a diary in a secret room that was kept by Luna and Celestia. The story is framed by Twilight reading from the book and ends when Twilight discovers her friends all freaked out in the main hall. They realize that they’ve just been scaring one another.

I am really enjoying the story arc this season. I can’t wait to find out what is in the box. WHAT’s IN THE BOX!

SPOILERS! Don’t even read further if you don’t want to know what happened.

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This past Saturday an amazing event took place… Season Four of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic started!

YAHOO! PARTY CANNON! The episode was a two part adventure with the whole gang.

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Princess Twilight is helping Princess Celestia and Princess Luna prepare for the summer solstice festival. This will be the first time Princess Luna has been able to help her sister with the ceremony since she returned from the Moon. On the eve before the ceremony Luna and Celestia go missing. Twilight heads back to Ponyville in the midst of the mystery because the Everfree forest is attacking. The herd looks for clues, questions the usual suspects and seeks advice but it takes a little magic to get to the bottom of the matter. The a few moments in the history of Luna and Celestia holds the key to what’s happening all over Equestria.

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The episode is great! It’s a wonderful return to a great show. My only wish… was that there had been a song. The story is complex and uses the old adage, learn from you past or you are bound to repeat it. Using a potion they look into the past and you get to see the history of Equestria first hand. It’s pretty neat to see Luna, Celestia and Discord in action. Discord is in the episode too, he’s brought in as a suspect.

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What did I like about this episode? The in depth look into the past was awesome. They also set up a great story arc for the season. I love seeing Twilight get help from her friends in the way of flying lessons. There were some nerdy moments, like when Discord is holding a poster that looks just like a Harry Potter wanted poster of Sirius Black. I made a squee noise. It was hilarious to see Discord back in the picture. Its nice to know that he’s still friends with Fluttershy.

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They also had a throw back to the OLD My Little Pony movie.

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Haha.. yes that is SPIKEY WIKEY in the Gen 1 movie.

There were a few things I didn’t like about the new episode. Pinkie Pie was really annoying at times. Her character was written a bit more immature than normal. Oh yeah, I also didn’t like that there wasn’t a song. I WANT MORE MUSIC!

Those are small gripes. I loved the episode and I’ve watched it several times already.

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“A beginning is a very delicate time.” Dune (film 1984), by Frank Herbert

Everyone has to start some where. Dune starts with Paul Atredies’ future wife telling the story of how her future husband became Moab’dib. Looking for Group is based out of Seattle. There are two authors, me, Noccie,  and my darling husband, Kane. Kane and I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog for a long time. PAX 2013 made us realize, this needed to become a reality. We do too many interesting things and love so many geeky things that it just makes sense. To start out we are going to discuss memorable beginnings.

Everyone has played a game, read a book or seen a movie that has a beginning that just sticks with you. As a writer, there is so much pressure to grab their audience from the start.

What are your favorite beginnings?

Video games: I will never forget the beginning for Final Fantasy VII. The scene was set on the train as you speed away with our heroes, Barrett, Tifa and Cloud. There is also Fallout. All three Fallout games have great starts. The first game where you find out about life in the vault. You are cast into the wastes in order to find a water chip. The second game where you have to fight your way through a temple to get your vault suit and find… a water chip. Wait… how does the third one start? Your child hood and then you have to leave the vault, exiled because you Father has abandoned your fellow vault dwellers. They all have a memorable story that frames games that are digital choose your own adventures.

Movies use action, imagery, or narration catches your imagination right away. They almost cheat because just getting you into the theater and showing you an image is easier. This summer introduced the American audience to GIANT ROBOT COMBAT. Pacific Rim is technically not the first movie to do this but it had a big budge and really affective advertising. The beginning sequence of the movie leaves you stunned and exhilarated at the same time. Every movie should start with robots fighting kaiju. Pacific Rim actually starts with Raliegh and his brother co-piloting a giant robot. The robot has a neural link between the two pilots. When they are locked in they share memories and thoughts. This was a design decision, if they didn’t have this link, the machine overloaded the pilots brain. I am not ruining anything but it is a little bit of a spoiler. Raliegh’s brother dies after an intense fight with a Kaiju named Knifehead. For those of you that don’t know, kaiju are monsters like Godzilla and Cloverfield. The whole set up was exciting and then emotionally shocking. You get involved in these brother’s lives in a short time and then one is ripped out of the control bay of the robot, whole still linked to the other. I won’t forget that opening for a long time. Not only was I engaged visually by the amazing CG but my brain was stimulated by empathizing with the main character right off the bat.

Books have even more pressure to grab your attention at the first word. “The Hobbit,”  “Twilight” (oddly enough) and “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,” all have beginnings that stick with you. Some of them you wish didn’t stick with you, but they do. Damn you “Twilight!”

YES, I did read those books. YES, I did see two of the movies. I watched the movies with the RIFF TRAX. “Twilight” is memorable in some weird, twisted, mundane alternate reality. Really, just take a Jane Austin novel and make Mr. Darcy, or whoever, a vampire. There you go, “Twilight,” except Jane Austin was a better writer. I will go into that later. I prefer my vampires more like Armond and Lestate, or Gary Oldman as Dracula. Maybe we can talk about vampires verses whampires later.

Let’s talk about a book that’s not as reviled as it loved by prepubescent girls. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is a wonderful start to a fantastical science fiction series. Anyone that knows Douglas Adams, is aware that his books are funny but artfully written. Picture yourself about to start your day with a cup of morning tea. Suddenly, your world is shaken because the city shows up to demolish your cottage to install a highway. Oddly enough, your very strange friend Ford Prefect appears with his towel because the Vogons are trying to do the same damn thing to your home world. Don’t panic and don’t forget your towel. I loved this series and read them all. I have a lovely, leather bound edition with all the books and a short story included. What always tickled me about this set up was the juxtoposition. The author was trying to show how while we are wrapped up in small things, in our small lives, the same things are happening on a bigger scale in the world around us.

In closing, the I hope our beginning is memorable. Please don’t remember that I read that horrible series with sparkly vampires. Remember that… I love My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic instead.

Noccie