Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Day One Hundred and Fourteen - My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Season 1, Episode 11, "Such a simple thing as a song to brighten one's day."

There's something about MLP:FiM's musical episodes that just tickle me for some reason.

While not all of their songs are golden, they do seem to ring with a sort of earthiness and authentic flavor. Occasionally that means there's an awkward phase or two that's off beat or rhyme, but they still manage to retain their homespun vibe.

Episode 11, is kind of the midpoint epi for the first season and, as such, is a full ensemble piece that gives main character Twilight Sparkle time with each and every one of her friends, failing spectacularly to help at the pony version of the spring festival, dubbed Winter Wrap-up.

Not really the fertility or religious gathering that us humans are used to, the writers nevertheless have incorporated the traditional themes of nature's reawakening and planting that should be familiar to most folks.

Unfortunately for Twilight Sparkle, the Ponyville folks celebrate the holiday a different way than she's used to and it leaves her feeling left out... so much so that she breaks their taboos trying to help.

I find this a fascinating study of when cultures clash, even on such a small and harmless scale as this. Sure, Twily messes things up big time, but she also saves the day in a compromise that highlights how her particular talents can help.

A good lesson for the kiddos about respecting tradition while still making a valuable mark in the world.

Yes, it's cheesy and silly, but also cute (in typical MLP fashion)... and also features quite a few background ponies that the Bronies love to latch on to, particularly Dr.Whooves (the Stallion with brown hair and an hourglass cutie mark... whom folks have morphed into a David Tennant analog) and Derpy Hooves (the cross-eyed goofy pony who, in fandom, is The Doctor's companion... usually Donna).

No sign of DJ PON-3 yet, but she will show up eventually.

The fare is light in this one. None of the conflicts are all that thrilling, but they do give mildly entertaining diversions to go along with the overarching soundtrack. While the episode only really has the single song, as opposed to most of the premiere and finale episodes that feature quite a few, it carries the bouncy happy mood of the epi with pleasing distinction.

Most of the time, the art is meh, but there are a few segments that stand out... particularly when Rainbow Dash and the pegasi create a screwdriven whirlwind in the sky to clear out all the clouds. Cool stuff!

MLP:FiM always manages to please, even if only a little, but there's plenty to smile at in this episode. As always, I recommend folks taking a chance on it. It's not all that deep, but it doesn't need to be.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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