Pony Think Tank takes on “Dance Magic”

 

As the author Equestrian City, it’s no secret I’m partial to Equestria Girls. In my humble opinion, it’s got far more potential for storylines that are relatable to modern issues, not that the MLP show isn’t good at it, but it feels more real.

 

That and it has Sunset Shimmer. 😉 Sunset is by far the most 3 dimensional character they’ve ever made, even more so due to the fact she was, by best I can tell, supposed to be a throwaway character for the one off movie “Equestria Girls”. She turned into something must more, my adoration for her is no real secret either.

 

Each year, it became like a superbowl like wait for that years “Equestria Girls” movie, the best being, again in my own opinion, Rainbow Rocks.

 

So when I heard we were doing three shorts, immediately my hopes of a unlimited series for Equestria Girls soared, as most are aware. The Polish dubbed versions came out to give us a sneak peak, and of course then the English dubs came out, followed by the actual reveal recently on Discovery Family.

 

The first of which, I’ll give my two cents on now, since, well everyone and their brother, sister and mother have already posted theirs, why not me?

 

Dance Magic

 

The title and theme song are, lack luster, but I imagine it will be that way, since it’s really just prototypes.

 

My initial thoughts were “Oh great, they are just doing this one to burn off a song they didn’t use in Friendship Games” and thankfully, it was more amusing than just that. The feeling of familiarity came back immediately as I watched the opening, listening to all the voices I’ve come to love. I was thrilled that we were going to see Rarity do something rather than be window dressing. I’ve always thought she needed more work, thankfully, they seem to be listening recently in the main show 😛 But, I was further overjoyed by the fact that one of the biggest letdowns of the Friendship Games (one of many) was the lack of use of any of the Anti-Mane 6 they worked on hyping up and then barely got any interaction with.

 

This time we get to see Sour Sweet, Lemon Zest, Sugarcoat and Sunny Flare, the analogues to various Mane 6 members. Sunny Flare was nice to see, as she got one line in the movie, and oddly, by the midway point, they felt twice as fleshed out as they did in the 3rd movie.

 

I’m still a bit in the middle about how quickly these girls reform (it seems we’re all about reforming people, if we keep this up we’ll have no villains ;/ ) But, by the time we get to the solution of the problem in a tidy package of 22 minutes, it doesn’t even feel like the dance number (which includes a set of repeated animation, but I can forgive that for this time, it’s all proof of concept it seems for a series “Can we do it” sorta thing)

As the episodes winds down after Pinkie’s rather epic rapping, we come to the conclusion that these four of Crystal Prep are in fact now friends, despite all the hopes some had that they’d return like the Dazzlings might, later.

 

Overall, it’s a lovely episode, feels a bit typical. Here’s something I’ve somewhat noticed having watched them all several times in various languages. Each episode seems to be a audition in a way. This one is a typical MLP-ish episode.

 

  • Problem presented.
  • Solution Given
  • Speedbump.
  • Readjust Solution.
  • Epilogue.
  • Sprinkle in a song somewhere and you’re done.

 

The 2nd one is more an homage to Scooby Doo, although the mystery is really easy to guess, and the third one is trying to compress a movie battle AND a cross over into 22 minutes, which, well I’ll go into that later 😛

 

Anyway, thanks for the read, and by all means, please discuss in a civil way, I LOVE to interact and bounce ideas off.

 

Pony Think Tank takes on “Celestia Advice” and “Bottled Up”

Hello all my new readers, and if they are still here, my old ones! Pony Think Tank today takes on the opening salvo of Season 7! I’ve been on a small hiatus as I work on Equestrian City, which is coming along slowly but solidly I might add, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to take a look at the premiere! This season, we aren’t dealing with a major issue that requires at least two episodes to fix, and I’m not sure if that is entirely good, but we’ll see as we dive head on into “Celestial Advice”

Our cold opening is, surprise surprise, Starlight Glimmer, who seems to be the shifting focus of the series since the writers took Sunset Shimmer’s formula and shoved it into a cookie cutter :P We quickly find that the visual gags are more present than previous seasons so far, which I personally like, with Spike turning his (hair?) into Rarity’s facsimile. We’re then given the fact that we’re not that far off time was since last season, as a party and award ceremony is being planned for the Suicide Squad like team of Discord, Starlight Glimmer, Trixie and Thorax (who if you aren’t familiar with his new appearance, seems to have eat a box of crayons and burped.)

Obviously Thorax needs more color as you can see.

After the cringe worthy intro, we are greeted with the award ceremony where all our team is given the Equestrian Pink Heart of Courage (goodness that is a mouthful). The after party has the newly reformed changeling guests (minus the Queen, thankfully) mingling with the guests, as Twilight and Celestia exchange lines akin to the student has become the master and all that lovely cliche we’ve been hearing in our own heads for a bit.

Not one to be happy about anything for too long, Twilight slowly begins to come to the realization that the lessons she has for her student no longer apply after the writing team seemingly power leveled Starlight to End Game content! Overcome with rapidly sprouting panic, she seeks out her teacher, Celestia, for advice on the matter while Discord seemingly invents a B story for himself, hyping up the announcement Twilight is going to make with gossip and clever manipulation.

Spike’s demeanor is very much attuned to mine personally, each of his lines seems to be for the fans at this moment, most with good humored sarcasm, some with biting cynicism. I approve.

“None of these have me saying more then four or five lines. SPIKE! Bring me the writers!”

As Twilight comes to the conclusion that she needs to follow in Celestia’s footsteps and send HER prize student away, all of which she does without really, any help from Celestia, we come to a chapter break!

Continuing to solve her own problem with the people she has for advice simply watching and, well not really helping per say, we’re given a new spell, this one seems to be a Holodeck spell, where Twilight starts us down the road of my favorite two words: What If?

Arriving at the first stop on what turns into a neurotic spiral into worry, Twilight’s first stop is what if she sends her to the new Changling empire! We quickly find out, based on Twilight’s totally subjective thinking, that the lessons she teaches to the newly reformed critters will be taken in stride and all will be, well, boring and forced. Much like the first and second season.

Just as all seems well, worry hits her and the scenario changes to what seems more likely with a giant hive mind that’s suddenly allowed free thought: mischief.

Snapping out of it we dive into another idea, which to me all sound like story pitches that were flat out rejected, where she’s sent to the dragons and becomes, shall we say, epic friends, with Ember. (You remember her right? We saw her once, everyone free ships with her and Spike, and then we lost her just as quick)

A quick dive into madness and lava later and Twilight is back to square one with her imagination getting the better of her. The final treat we get is what almost seems natural to me, but then again what do I know, in that we send her to the crystal Empire to “study” with Sunburst. This one holds the most interest when a spell goes wrong and they summon a black hole of sorts and everyone seemingly dies. I do enjoy the idea that the spell was to summon something lost in the past, makes one wonder.

So after all that Twilight almost has a break down, and Celestia, as well as the rest of the random I’d imagine, begins to laugh at Twilight.

After explaining she’s not laughing at her she’s laughing…well no she is kind of laughing at her, Celestia sits her former student down and relates that she too had all these years in her head, proving to us Celestia is human after all. So to speak.

“You…actually thought..you’d be the leads forever? Even I was sidelined! Thats hilarious!”

In the interlude, as Discord, in a scene that really seems to me on a subtle level is the rest of the Mane 6 asking each other why they aren’t in this episode, hyped up more around the kingdom until Twilight is greeted with a over anticipated reveal. This seems like the writers again making light of the fact “hey, we’ve really got nothing epic this time out the box.”

“You see girls, you’ve been moved into what they are calling Background Ponies”

 

The rest plays out rather quickly, but it all boils down to the lesson we learn is that, well if You Love Something, let it go. Which is landmark I might add because Celestia is the first in the series to really express the term ‘Love’ in the sense of a deeper emotion and have it mean something.

As the episode winds down, Starlight is thrilled to be graduating, but doesn’t end up leaving the show…I mean the Castle because she doesn’t want to. Thus breaking us from the formula we all thought was destined to happen.

Overall I find this episode is a 5 out of 10. Average. The Celestia section is the only saving grace, as the B story is almost an afterthought. Spike’s overhaul as the straight man is by far more evident this time and is a welcome change from being the comedic foil for the most part. It’s a good start, not a disaster, but there’s room for improvement.

We dive right into episode 2, “Bottled Up”

We’re given another episode where our favorite up and coming ship, StarTrix, opens the show. Greeted by Trixie’s inability to use proper magic, she’s given a quick tip by the one person who knows how to misuse magic, and quickly turns a salt shaker into a teacup. Why? You got me. Still, Trixie’s ability to go overboard with it makes me chuckle as we quickly end up with way way way too many teacups, including a teacup poodle! Full of herself as usual, Trixie annoys Starlight to the point she starts to manifest a dark cloud of..well…dark side energy. Set with the pieces of this episode, we are quickly thrust into the opening song many of us turn down to prevent embarrassment at work ;)

Starlight is not amused!

Coming back from commercial, Starlight and Trixie see our Mane 6 heroes, who seem to be slipping into the backseat of the entire show I might add, off to their Friendship Retreat. Whats a Friendship Retreat you ask? I know I did immediately after it was said, and just as quick, we’re given the explanation most would THINK was the proper one. We find out that’s only half right later on as our two stories divide and our adventure begin!

“Bye, Twilight! We’ll take good care of your show!”

Back at the castle, Trixie and Starlight begin her next lesson, and letting Trixie pick, we find is the worst idea so far. She immediately wants a hard spell: teleportation! Spike, who like the audience, seems to see where this is going, decides to run off before he’s used as the subject of the spell. An interesting point Starlight makes is that her magic is based on her emotions at the time, which just screams Jedi and Sith, but I think is a nice element we can exploit down the road, or later in the episode, as we’ll see.

You have Hate. You have Anger. But you do not USE THEM!

The B story, a little weak as last time, switches us to our Mane 6, who quickly find out the Twilight’s Friendship Retreat is not a Spa, but a locked room that focuses on teamwork far more brain twisting then simply doing the Trust Exercise. The narrative feels at this point, very expedited I might add.

Meanwhile back at the ranch er I mean castle, Trixie eventually goes off half cocked and ends up losing the entire Cutie Map! Thus answering the question how you lose an entire giant magic table many of us were asking after the leaks. Starlight has a minor stroke of course and panics. Quickly becoming upset with Trixie’s ho hum approach, Starlight realizes her anger is manifesting itself in the form of the red cloud. Of course the smartest thing to do is to cast a spell to bottle up her emotion (and we get the title of the episode…ta da!)

Spinning back to the Mane 6 story and the StarTrix story happens far far too quickly again, though it seems only to do so to exploit a transition device as clever as using the last line of the scene to contrast or satirize the opening line of the next. The basic overall plot reveals that Starlight is afraid of losing Trixie as a friend if she doesn’t bottle her anger up, which is why she gets weaker and weaker the more they search for the table in the places Trixie leads to to find. Each successful bottling of the emotion takes it’s toll on Starlight, much like it does in real life, thus and applicable lesson!

“Even THIS comic has better pacing!”

Of course the Mane 6 break into song after they solve their problems, and a very appropriate character tells them the consequences of having broken into song may not have been worth it. I enjoyed that line the most out of the entire episode incidentally.

Back to the StarTrix plot (heh) Trixie eventually notices the magic being bottled up and tries to find out what it’s all about. The ensuing tug of war sends the bottle flying up and down, shattering it and releasing the anger into nearby citizens, all of whom become angry at Trixie for different reasons reflectance of the moments in time Starlight was angry.

“Don’t worry girls, the writers told me next episode *I* have a major part!”

We spiral towards the end of the episode with a quick realization by Starlight that Trixie had no idea how she felt, as she bottled it up inside. Trixie as well admits that as difficult they were to hear, she needed to hear the anger to fully grasp Starlight’s feelings. Again, we use the term ‘Love’ by Trixie to Starlight which let me tell you, probably has the entire shipping world in an overdrive mode. I can hear the lemons being written as I type this. :P

“Did…did you say you Loved me?”

All in all I give this a 5 out of 10. The first thing that stuck out to me was they recycled footage DURING the song that was as even pointed out by the writers, unneeded. I find that concerning. Trixie is fun in moderation, as is Starlight Glimmer, I can only hope we aren’t entirely shifting gears to the next generation to a point we lose our footing on what made the show fun to begin with.

Thanks for stopping by and don’t be shy to make a comment! :D

 

The Death of Celestia and Luna – An Analysis of the future of MLP

 

I propose we may be losing Luna and Celestia soon, and Twilight and Cadance will assume their roles, thus completing a cycle of life that the world of Equestria has had for eons.

DeadCelestia

How did I come to this conclusion? I’ll highlight the elements now:

 

According to all “history” we know of Equestria, Celestia and Luna are “immortal”. Through their teachings, the world molded into one based on cooperation, friendship and understanding. However, during the first few seasons of the show, Twilight is regaled with stories of previous foes Celestia and Luna defeated using the Elements of Harmony together.

 

Two sisters. Together.

Luna and Celestia Discorded

They defeated all the problems in the entire world whenever they arose, is what we’re given as fact.

maxresdefault

Occasionally we hear of Starswirl the Bearded, but no real evidence save the word of Celestia and Luna who are the only living witnesses of that time. For all we know, Starswirl could be an amalgamation of all those that had bit parts to do during these issues?

Stay with me now.

IF in fact previously, thousands and thousands of years worth of troubles were always handled by Celestia and Luna…

Celestia_and_Luna_firing_a_beam_at_King_Sombra_S03E01

why did that tradition change suddenly?

h79118__safe_applejack_animated_suited-for-success_thinking

Why did Celestia take on a student that she pushed, trained, and taught to be a princess, eventually turning into an alicorn and becoming the “Princess of Friendship” ? If ALL the problems of the world had previously been solved with no issue, and Luna was indeed back from her banishment, would there need to be ANY reason she’d need to have a student?

 

We hear only of one other student she took that had any real “potential” and that’s Sunset Shimmer…

apology_accepted__captain_snails_by_mayorlight-d6tyetw

….who went rogue and ran off. She never really talks about what happened, just that she left, and was very upset with Celestia to the point she wanted to return and take the world from her.

Keep going now, this gets more interesting.

I present as the reason this is all happening is that Celestia and Luna are dying, or need to leave for some reason. She’s training her replacements in both Twilight and Cadance.

 

 

I can postulate a few ideas, but one I’ve always had since around season 3 was that Luna and Celestia are not terrestrial to the world called Equestria. Before anyone goes rolling their eyes, let’s examine this for a minute: both Luna and Celestia have powers no one else does, not even Twilight or Cadance can match these powers. Furthermore, we have never heard them speak of their past as young or growing up together prior to being the rulers.

 

In fact, the history of Equestria given to us by local lore is that there were three bands of ponies that hated each other, and only out of desperation did joining forces prove fruitful. Not once is Celestia or Luna mentioned in these lessons. For being the only two rulers in Equestria… EVER… you’d think they’d have had a footnote in the history that retold every year on Hearth Warming Eve.

 

Perhaps they are merely explorers from the stars that ended up there, trapped, and decided to make the best of it, shaping the world into a utopia the best they could with what tools they had at hand.

 

Perhaps..just perhaps…they inadvertently affected the flow of nature order there and as penance they both decided to stay and watch over the world out of guilt or honor? I put forward the basic idea of the Caretaker in the Star Trek Voyager series.

(A decent watch if you have a moment…I own all seasons)

Whatever the reason… TIME… has grown short.

 

That concept in mind I just gave, I propose the reason we’re seeing a sudden change in the way things are (Twilight, Cadance, ect) is that Luna and Celestia are not in fact, immortal. They have very long lifespans compared to others, but still, are in fact, dying. They then know that they have little time before their time in the light passes, and Celestia begins to train replacements for when the time comes they cannot serve in the capacity anymore, rather then let the world die. Perhaps they simply think it’s their duty now, after having shaped the world, that they leave it with some level of similar leadership, leadership and lessons they instill in Twilight and Cadance.

 

No doubt, somehow towards the end, Twilight and Cadance will be given longer lifespans via magic, that in turn finishes off Celestia and Luna. A symbolic, final gesture by the twin gods of the world.

 

Now, that all being said, this occurrence would be but part of the circle of life on the world. Maybe… just maybe…this is the way it’s always been, in a historical sense.Luna and Celestia…

Celestia_and_Luna_form_a_Yin_and_Yang-like_symbol_S1E01

two “sisters” who govern the world and have long life spans could easily… easily be turned into two others that do it.

5bea627bdc83ac838c16d7f9d264baf4eb0ed5807c96fa619e024c39716753cb

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twilight and Cadance would in fact outlive their friends, leaving them to continue on as Luna and Celestia did. In time, as time does, history would forget things, stories would change as they are passed down, seeing as there’s no computer records, in the end, all they have is written word and storytelling.

 

The story, of two “sisters”, who are “immortal” with fantastic powers, who live up to the highest standards of friendship, and expect the world to do just that as well, through their teachings. Teachings that are no doubt bestowed on by various students they both teach. Students that, with each time they teach them, they hope to find what Celestia and Luna found in them: the right person to finally take their place, and let them rest, as did their predecessors.

 

The world would still have it’s two rulers, and all the basic texts would be true if read without question for the most part. No one tends to question the past, or makes a point to reiterate the idea that history is really only written by those that survive it.

 

So we come back to this full circle, that closes, when Princess Twilight and Princess Cadance, the two sisters, find their replacements, and bestow upon them the same gift… or curse… that was given to them.

 

Now, if you’re still with me, let’s wrap this up in a nice little bow:

 

Most, if not all “animated” movies of series are done for the primary reason to tell a story you cannot or would not be able to tell in the span of a regular episode. The 1986 Transformers movie is a good example, as is the G.I. Joe movie of the same decade… both Hasbro I might add.

 

We’ve watched as Twilight has ascended her position as the Princess of Friendship, and now, with the help of her friends, she’s fleshing out and expanding her exposure from the little town of Ponyville to both sides of the Equestrian Map. Learning the lay of the land, and learning of the different cultures, making contacts, fixing problems, exposing her presence to a population that may not entirely be aware of her, but are aware of Celestia.

 

Now that she’s done that, we come to a movie, a movie where no doubt something monumental is supposed to happen, because otherwise, it would have just been another episode.

 

Transformers had the death of Optimus Prime to bring in a new toy line.

G.I. Joe has the “death” of Duke (who was in a coma thanks to ADR after the Fallout from Optimus Prime kicked Hasbro in the marketing breadbasket)

and now…

I propose, as said originally, the My Little Pony Movie… will have the death or departure of Luna and Celestia with Twilight and Cadance taking over their positions, and Starlight and the new characters we’re meeting in this latest season, assuming the roles they had.

 

After mulling this over with various fans in a chat, I seem to have most of them interested in the idea being right, some even feared I was right and told me to stop telling them my idea.

 

Either way, I think we’re heading towards something we may not be ready for, or wanting: the end of an era in the MLP fandom. Hopefully they’ll see an ending as a beginning and give the mature fandom base a bone and make a series geared towards us with the girls, but that would make too much sense 😛

 

Thoughts? Love to hear ’em!

 

Thanks to Rivet Rose, Silver Arrow and iPone for their input and 360 degree feedback during my initial theory crafting session that led to this 🙂