A preview from iTunes for next week’s issue! Friendship is Magic #48 will be the first part of a new three part story arc. Check out the preview after the break.
625 & 626 – “To Where and Back Again”
Written by: Josh Haber, Michael Vogel
“Without the assistance of Twilight Sparkle and the Mane Six, Starlight Glimmer must work alone to assemble an unlikely team of heroes to defend Equestria from the return of one of its greatest threats.; To rescue her friends and save Equestria, Starlight Glimmer leads an unlikely band of heroes against on of the ponies’ oldest and greatest foes.“
- My Little Pony Friendship is Magic 625 – To Where and Back Again – Part 1
- My Little Pony Friendship is Magic 626 – To Where and Back Again – Part 2
My Little Pony – Explore Equestria Greatest Hits (Hasbro Studios/Legacy Recordings)
Hasbro Studios, the Los Angeles-based entertainment division of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), announced the release of a new My Little Pony album, Explore Equestria Greatest Hits, just in time for the holidays. The new album, which includes a collection of top tracks from seasons 1-5 of Hasbro’s hit animated television series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is now available as a special edition Record Store Day vinyl record pressed with colorful Pony artwork.
Explore Equestria Greatest Hits includes 16 original tracks performed by the cast of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’s ‘Mane 6’ – Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Pinkie Pie – as well as other popular characters from the series. Each of the songs is produced by Emmy Award nominated composer and songwriter Daniel Ingram.
This will be the second vinyl release after “Magical Friendship Tour” was sold exclusively at Hot Topic in 2014 containing songs from Seasons 1-3. The stores sold both a Celestia and a Luna variant–each with a pair of songs exclusive to that variant.
There have been four soundtracks pertaining to the show, four soundtracks for each of the four Equestria Girls films, a re-mix album, and a Christmas album (with an update). Again, “Explore Equestria Greatest Hits” is set to release in vinyl form on Friday, November 25th.
And now for something completely different.
While we have been called the “Mtv” of pony media, due to the fact we branched out beyond the colorful equines, our only real reason for doing so is the fact this site was started by a bunch of animation fans who generally enjoy animated flicks from television shows, to movies, to fan films. I would personally call myself a general animation fan due to the fact that I do not exactly pay close attention to the animation industry. I’ve watched plenty of it, was that one ‘stoner’ eons ago who caught the premiere of Adult Swim’s original shows airing unannounced at 4am on Cartoon Network. As someone born in the early 80s, I got to ride that now very classic wave of cartoons, from the Saturday Morning shows like He-Man, Voltron, Transformers, Thundercats, My Little Pony and then advancing to the Disney Afternoon after its inception. I say general as one of the big draws to Friendship is Magic from many people in the pony community was the fact such industrial names as Lauren Faust & Rob Renzetti were attached to the show. I fell into the void thanks to nostalgia, as I watched the show and had the toys as a kid. But enough about me.
Earlier in the year we had a featurette dubbed Piper, about a Piper chick learning about life along the coastline. In line with much of Pixar’s content, it was emotionally filled and light hearted. And while the studio has experimented with some dark concepts within their movie franchises, Their new featurette was created to show that animation can be dark and gritty, but not in that emo Hot Topic way.
Borrowed Time is the short story about a Sheriff and his son in the old west, and a life changing event. Clocking in at 6 minutes and 45 seconds total, like anything Pixar produces, you might want to be prepared for some feels, and possibly a tear. Unlike other features and featurettes from Pixar, the story covers some really dark subjects in a mostly visual story. A few words are spoken in it, but for the most part it is pure eye candy.
The darkness of the short film was one of the main points of it. Its creators wanted to show the general media world that not all animation has to be aimed at ‘kids’, but that animation could tell a really good story. While most fans know that, the fat executives think otherwise, though are now just slowly coming around to it in many established places. Watch this feature, its practically better than anything mainstream Hollywood has crapped out. Don’t worry though, I’m sure they’ll reboot this short story in another 5 years and change a few things.
Since I’m a fan of telling people to go form their own opinions, do not consider this a review. Just a ‘hey check it out’ deal. Directly below is the featurette, and a behind the scenes clip from its creators.
So two unicorns, a draconequus, and a changeling travel to save their friends from an evil queen. Actually, I’m getting ahead of myself like Tiny Pop UK was ahead of everyone. Anyway, Starlight received an invitation to come back to her old village for a sunset celebration. She had a bad dream about it, but Princess Luna enters the dream suggesting that she consult the Mane Six on what to do. They suggest bringing a friend along, so Starlight takes Trixie (much to Twilight’s disappointment).
The get to the village, but when asked to help judged a competition among other things, Starlight panics and leaves in a hurry with Trixie. Starlight tries to talk to the Mane Six and Spike about it, but find they are acting very strange. As it turns out, they aren’t them, they are changelings who have taken their place and have taken the rest of the Royal Family. (They are probably not going to tell us how, so don’t ask.) Thorax tells of the news from the Crystal Empire and they look to Starlight for guidance. Discord appears and joins the party since he wants to rescue Fluttershy.
So MLP’s version of “Suicide Squad” travels to the Changeling Kingdom, but they cannot use their magic as Queen Chrysalis has a magic nullifying-throne. Destroy that, get your magic and your friends back. One plan is to use a password to make sure they are them and not changelings. It’s gets a bit tricky, but one thing to note is that since Thorax made a friend in Spike, he no longer feels hungry for love. Oh, and his wings are a different color than normal.
When initially discovered, they use Trixie’s smoke bombs to get past one stage, then Discord’s “annoying personality” to get past another. But eventually, Discord gets captured as the changelings disguise themselves as Fluttershy. Sensing the Discord they have is an imposter, Trixie then sacrifices herself to allow Starlight and Thorax to escape.
Starlight enters the throne room to discover her friends and the royals trapped in cocoons up top, and Chrysalis waiting for her. Chrysalis pulls a Mane-iac by not thinking much of Starlight to use a drone for her, but Throax had already done that and Chrysalis goes after the real Starlight. The Queen’s plan is to use her drones to harvest all the love in Equestria so they can feed for generations.
However, Starlight tries to convince Chrysalis that she doesn’t need to do that since Throax learned to share love, Chrysalis dismisses that claiming a changeling’s hunger is never satisfied and tries to drain the love from Thorax. Starlight then tells Thorax to let her have all of it, and he does just that turning into something more colorful. The rest of the changelings follow, destroying the throne and freeing the ponies above. Starlight tries to reason with Chrysalis one more time that she doesn’t have to be an oppressive leader (and not just because she is facing the prospect of five princesses, a prince, a draconequus, six more magical ponies, and a baby dragon with daggers in their eyes.), but the latter rejects the offer vowing revenge as she takes her leave.
The rescuers and the rescued apart from Thorax head back to the village to celebrate with Starlight more self-confident and the season ends with Discord and Trixie on flying pigs.
So something different and amazing. We wondered where Season Six would take us in the finale. We knew that Thorax might be playing a part, but no one expected Trixie and Discord to play the same and in the role of rescuers. It’s also about some of the lessons Starlight, Thorax, Discord, and even Trixie have learned over the course of the season. Starlight is Twilight’s pupil and is forced to lead a project without her’s or the Mane Six’s assistance. Thorax, from his friendship with Spike, has learned there is a way to get love without resorting to force and is willing to help. Discord, well to say he’s a bit clingy to Fluttershy is an understatement, but it’s through her that he is on relatively good terms with the Mane Six. Trixie hasn’t gotten along well with the Mane Six in the past on the show—especially Twilight—but is Starlight’s friend and is making an effort to support her in a time of need.
The banter between Discord and Trixie is genius and fans will undoubtedly want more of that in the future. One wonders when the Changelings will return to the fold—likely Season Seven—but it does set up an interesting and potential story line in the future. The Mane Six and Spike play no rea direct role in this one (and this is the third time in six season finales that at least six of them have been captured at some point), but there are indirect roles from Twilight (to Starlight), Spike (to Thorax), to Fluttershy (her friendship with Discord). So another potential plot for next season would be how much the Mane Six and Spike have influenced others, but that’s really going back to Season Four on that one.
The only issue here is that there is a possible plot hole since odds are that the changelings are still in the three castles—Canterlot, Crystal Empire, and in Ponyville—and unless there it’s addressed in Season Seven or a chapter book, it’s a plot hole. There will be some who will take issue with the sudden events towards the end, but I won’t be one of them.
Really, this was a good season. It only really suffers because the top tier episodes from Seasons Four and Five are top tier for the whole series. I’ll elaborate more on that in the season review (read: respond to this). So that’s MLP Season Six and it was an enjoyable season if not all mindblowing (Season Four) or emotionally absorbing (Season Five). That’s all for now. More later.
- + Background of the Changeling Kingdom
- + Equestria’s Suicide Squad
- + Discord and Trixie banter
- + Starlight Glimmer and Thorax
- + Something different for a season finale
- – You’re changelings are still in your castle
A preview for Saturday’s episode and the season 6 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is now available!