Tag: dnn

MLP Review: “Honest Apple”

maxresdefault[1]

She knows what she likes, but she doesn’t know much about fashion. That’s Applejack in a nutshell in this episode. Rarity is holding a fashion contest at Carousel Boutique with the winner having his or her designs on display at the

Applejack is selected as one of the judges along with Hoity Toity and Photo Finish. Applejack was reluctant at first, but accepts because of her sense of practicality which straight away will not help her in judging fashion. We meet the contestants:  Lily Lace who loves drama in her fashion. Starstreak who is futuristic and avant-garde. And Inky Rose, a goth pegasus who looks a lot like a pony we met in “Canterlot Boutique”, but that pony was a

Applejack goes full Simon Cowell on their designs and the fashion show appears to be in tatters as a result of Applejack’s rather brutal honesty. Rarity then takes AJ to Strawberry Sunrise who gives her opinion about apples (she doesn’t like them). AJ soon learns the error of her ways, brings everybody back to save the show, and cops out by choosing all three ponies to make it a three-way tie.

There is a good lesson in that while it is right to be honest, it is sometimes wrong to be brutally so. That was Applejack here. As a result, the contestants’ feelings were hurt and so were those of Photo Finish and Hoity Toity when AJ says, “fashion is ridiculous”. AJ is more of a practical pony and that’s where the scene with Apple Bloom and her hat works with this episode. What also works very well was the comedy. Photo Finish is as hammy as ever while Pinkie Pie offers comedy relief as well. The guitar scene was hilarious as well.

There’s a lot that works here and with a good lesson included. It’s not a top tier episode, but honestly, it is another very good Season Seven episode where there’s yet to have been a bad one.

Fun Fact:  Strawberry Sunrise’s VA, Maggie Blue O’Hara voiced Sweetheart in My Little Pony Tales. She becomes the third of that show’s core seven VA’s to voice both Tales and FiM along with Kelly Sheridan (Melody on Tales) and Chiara Zanni (Bon-Bon). Cathy Weseluck was also part of the Tales crew, but as singing director.

GRADE:  A-

StatManDan

SU Review: “Wanted” (Special)

Welcome to Season Five. Steven and Lars are stuck inside Topaz. Lars regrets running away and being afraid all the time while Steven’s plan of sacrificing himself has not come completely to fruition. Topaz, touched by Steven and Lars’s conversation tries to help them escape, but Aquamarine stops it. Topaz was going to destabilize Aqua, but would later face being shattered if they did.

Steven is set to go to “The Trial” and is given a blue zircon to help present his case—which is “I’m Rose Quartz and I shattered Pink Diamond even though as Steven I have no real idea how I did it.” Yellow Diamond wants to skip the formalities and shatter Steven, but Blue still wishes to know how Pink was shattered. While Yellow and Blue argue instead of making green, Steven and Lars escape in a blue palanquin and deep into Homeworld.

Steven and Lars try to evade the robonoids who can shoot and shatter rocks and gems, but not Lars as we will see. Steven and Lars come across a group of deformed gems called Off Colors. They include a six-gem fusion named Flourite, Padparadscha (a sapphire who can only see the past), a Rhodonite which has the opposite personality of Sardonyx, and conjoined Rutile twins. The Robonoids come, but Lars sums up his courage and helps destroy the Robonoids with Steven.

It seems as though Lars pays the ultimate sacrifice until Steven heals him, turns him pink, and gives him special powers in the process. Those special powers allow Steven to visit the dimension accessible through Lion’s mane. In fact, he can get out of Lion’s mane as well. So Steven can go inside “Lars’ Head” and come out through Lion’s mane. Steven offers the others come with him (apart from Lars who can’t go himself), but refuse and vow to look for another way instead of leaving Lars.

Steven comes back to the Crystal Gems, Greg, and Connie, and we have no idea when Season Five will continue. We also get no answers as to what really happened to Pink Diamond, either.

Obviously, the best part of this four-parter was when Lars summed up his courage in the third part. No matter how afraid you might be, sometimes you have to sum up your courage anyway. That’s been the Mane Six in MLP, that’s been Steven and the Gems in this show, that’s Lars now. You really have to give him credit for taking on the robonoids to save others to the point of sacrificing himself.

I would say that this was remarkable four-parter, but I cannot. “Stuck Together” and “The Trial” took too long to develop, though it leaves us with Blue Diamond determined to know the truth—which is probably why there was a trial in the first place. It also leaves many wishing that Aquamarine gets poofed in a later episode. We will certainly see the Diamonds (maybe White as well) and the Off Colors again, but the four-parter leaves us with more questions than answers. In fact, it didn’t give us any. Not even when the series will return to give us some answers.

Rebecca Sugar is “Shooting for the Moon” for Season Five (which was originally going to be the second part of Season Three before Cartoon Network Math split things up and made the first part Season Four). So while it gives Lars some purpose, some interesting new characters, and some intrigue; it left us no clue as to where things are going from here. That’s the most frustrating part.

GRADE:  B-

StatManDan

MLP Review: “Hard to Say Anything”

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic 7x08 - Hard to Say Anything (1080p.HDTV.ac3-5.1.x264) [derpyhooves].mkv_snapshot_04.43_[2017.05.27_22.33.57]

Well, that sunk a couple ships! Big Macintosh has been delivering bushels of apples to Sugar Belle in Starlight Glimmer’s old village. Big Mac has developed a crush on her, but his shy demeanor prevents him from expressing his feelings. Just as he musters up the courage, a Justin Bieber look-a-like pony named Feather Bangs, muscles in.

The CMC, who are stowaways will try to give Big Mac relationship advice short of love potions because that worked so well in “Hearts and Hooves Day”. It all comes to a head when both Big Mac and Feather Bangs participate in an epic sing battle for Sugar Belle’s affections, but she has had enough of the nonsense.

Finally, Big Mac comes up with a solution that dates back to Sugar Belle wishing for more space to display her baked goods. So, Big Mac and Apple Bloom build a new shelf and Big Mac gets the girl. Meanwhile, the CMC offer Feather Bangs advice on how to woo the three ponies who resemble those who fawn over Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. And yes, waifu-stealing specialist Vincent Tong voices Feather Bangs.

This episode adds nothing to what we have seen before with love triangle episodes in animation, but that was not the goal. One goal the episode did achieve was that it made things far more tolerable than average. Big Mac got some much needed development in “Brotherhooves Social” and this episode does well to build on it. It also does well for the CMC to learn the error of their ways from “Hearts and Hooves Day” and their ideas are much more reasonable this time around. Sugar Belle was also likable here and I enjoy how Sugar Belle went into WTF mode early during the duel as things started to get awkward since Big Mac is a little bit country and Feather Bangs is a lot of cheesy pop.

Overall, it’s a good episode that builds on the development of Big Mac and to an extent the CMC after their misadventures in “Hearts and Hooves Day”. Plus, Big Mac gets the girl. What’s wrong with that? (Seriously? Why can’t he be with Sugar Belle?)

GRADE:  B+

StatManDan

MLP Review: “Parental Glidance”

x240-El5[1]

We’ve been waiting for this one! Well, at least those in the US who did not wanted to be spoiled by the early Canadian releases. Scootaloo takes a page from Wil E. Coyote’s playbook to vault herself up to Cloudsdale to research on Rainbow Dash for a school paper on the Most Inspiration Pony. Unlike Wli E. Coyote, Scootaloo is successful in getting to Cloudsdale and right into the yard of Rainbow Dash’s parents—Bow Hothoof and Windy Whistles.

Bo and Windy give Scootlaoo a tour of Rainbow Dash’s foalhood home and Scoots is like a foal in a candy store. Plus, Bo and Windy are extremely supportive of her daughter. However, when Scootaloo tells Dash’s parents that their daughter is in the Wonderbolts, we find out why Dash did not tell them.

There’s being supportive of you children at what they do, and there’s taking it to eleven like Dash’s parents do. To put it lightly, they can be a bit embarrassing while Scootaloo does not see anything wrong with it. Dash finally snaps when her parents cheer her putting away a towel and asks them to leave. This upsets Scootaloo because she has not had parents as supportive as Dash’s are.

Dash then tells a story about how she wasn’t always the best at racing, but got better as the years past with her parents supporting her all the way from participation badges to gold medals. Realizing that she has taken her parents for granted, she tries to make it up with them. I’ll skip the working title and say that Dash and the Wonderbolts put on a show in honor of her parents. And then the episode ends with Dash and her family giving the same supportive treatment to Scootaloo with her report (which only got a B since it was heavy on photos and a moldy sandwich).

We have seen the evolution of the CMC as the show has progressed and they have become much better characters from Season Four onwards. Last week, we had Sweetie Belle giving a lesson to Rarity about how the former is no longer the sweet little filly from years past. Here, Scootaloo is giving Rainbow a lesson about how important it is to have supportive parents—even it is to the point of embarrassment which sometimes parents do.

Admittedly, Bo and Windy are very likable in this episode and sometimes reminded me about those MasterCard ads with Peyton Manning. Rainbow is also not completely unreasonable here. It does get embarrassing if your parents cheer every single little thing you do, but the point here is that they have been very supportive and helped give her the confidence to be who she is today. That’s something you just do not take for granted.

Overall, this was a fantastic episode with a lot of heart in it. Not just for seeing Rainbow Dash’s parents for the first time, but the role Scootaloo plays as well.

Post-Episode Notes:

  • CUT THAT RIBBON! CUT THAT RIBBON!
  • Dash’s parents are very likable
  • Scootaloo does very well in central role
  • A ‘B’ for the report?!?

GRADE:  A+

StatManDan

MLP Review: “Forever Filly”

x240-7UW[1]

As a reminder, reviews for both MLP and for Steven Universe will follow when the show officially airs in the United States. So the review for “Parental Glidance” will be after next Saturday.

Rarity has been busy with the Spring Transition at her Canterlot shop when she comes across a picture of her and Sweetie Belle—and then realizes it’s been ages since she last spent time with her. Determine to make amends, she sets aside a day with her to do the things they used to do together (or so she thinks).

Sweetie Belle and her fellow CMCs are working with Zipporwhill to help her with her cutie mark and her dog Ripley who does not seem to want to play with her anymore. However, Sweetie Belle is pulled aside when Rarity wants to spend time with her. They do all the things they used to do when Sweetie Belle was younger and things the latter is clearly not interested in doing now. She’s grown up a bit and wonders if Rarity even realizes that.

Sweetie Belle does realize that Ripley is a bit older and suggests to Zipporwhill that he may not want to play with puppy toys, but rather chase sticks, etc. Rarity sees this—after jumping to the conclusion that Sweetie is being ungrateful—and is proud of the pony that she has become as they try to find new things to do together.

So here’s yet another episode that is an example of how things have changed over time with the show. Sweetie Belle is more mature than in earlier seasons and of course Rarity now has three stores instead of one. The CMC are now in the business of helping others with cutie marks. I have a feeling we are going to get quite a few of these episodes this season. This was still a good episode, it just does not add anything special or does anything new. However, many will get a kick out of the sister photos, especially with Rarity being a ham.

Post-episode notes:

  • Another episode of how times have changed
  • Does not really add anything
  • Photos are hilarious
  • Rarity overdoes things, but that Rarity being Rarity

GRADE:  B

StatManDan

SU Reviews: The Good Lars, Are You My Dad & I Am My Mom

jKEj3[1]

“The Good Lars”

Here we find Lars has a gift for baking, but doesn’t want to share it with anyone afraid people will think it’s not cool. Lars, Steven, and Sadie are invited to a pot luck by the cool kids. Steven tries to get Lars to come with his pastries, but he bails (or so Steven and Sadie think). Sadie, who brought paper plates, wonders if she should fix her life first before Lars’s. Well, I feel that it might have to wait as those shadowy figures were following.

We’ll see where this all leads on Thursday.

StatManDan


020b8776335643bfaa74106c9a780ff2[1]

“Are You My Dad” & “I Am My Mom”

As a reminder, it is my policy to only review episodes when they have their official US Release. So the “Wanted” special review will take place after Memorial Day (May 29th).

This is what everything was leading up to. Add Jamie and Connie to the list of abducted and we meet a gem named Aquamarine who has a fusion named Topaz and who keeps asking, “Are you my Dad?” Gems do not have Dads. ‘My Dad’ is part of a list of humans given from Steven to Peridot way back in “Marble Madness.” Lars, Sadie, Connie, Jamie, and Onion so happened to be on the list. ‘My Dad’ is actually Greg.

Both Aquamarine and Topaz appear to have been sent by Blue and Yellow Diamond to collect them for Pink Diamond’s Zoo according to the Crystal Gems. Steven attempts to sacrifice himself by saying he is ‘my Dad’ in an attempt to rescue his friends. Steven feeling guilty that he is the cause of all the troubles, then offers himself as Rose in exchange for his friends’ freedom (except for Lars who is still stuck in the spaceship). That ends Season Four with Season Five starting with the one-hour “Wanted” special on Memorial Day.

We didn’t know how this Steven Bomb was going to build, but the end result was quite explosive (no pun intended). Steven is very conflicted at this moment. On one hand, he believes that his Mom is a war criminal and thus, he is part war criminal since he has Rose’s gem. Now, he is determined to end this once and for all. Things are about to come to a head in Season Five.

Post episode notes:

  • Clever use of call backs
  • Sets up a climax brilliantly
  • Steven is very conflicted and feels only he can ‘end things’
  • Things are going to get intense!

GRADE:  A

StatManDan

SU Review: “Lion 4: Alternate Ending” & “Doug Out”

lion-4-diamond-ship[1]

We’re back with another Steven Bomb. And like the last Steven Bomb, grades will be handed out at the end of the Steven Bomb on Thursday.

We start with Steven looking for secret messages in the video from Rose. He’s unable to find anything that could answer what his “magical destiny” when Lion coughs up a key. The key opens a door in the desert that leads to…..Rose’s garbage bin. But wait, there’s a video there and it’s entitled, “For Nora”.

Lion then takes him to Greg and they see the video and it’s merely the same video except if Rose gave birth to a girl instead of a boy. So, it would’ve been Nora if a girl, and Steven if a boy. In the end, it turns out that Rose just wanted Steven to be Steven—nothing really more.

We’ll see if there is more to that story, but it might be that Steven was trying too hard to figure out the “magical destiny” from the video. But of course, we are certain to find out more as the week progresses.

StatManDan


maxresdefault[1]

We get a visit from Connie’s Dad and he’s on a case of a break-in at Funland. Doug asks Connie (aka Veronica Cucamonga) and Steven (aka Peter Pizzapopolous) to join him. For most of the episode, Doug’s flashlight is not super effective as the culprit is giving them the slip. Connie and Steven finally corner the suspect and it’s Onion.

Doug was trying to show that his job is adventurous, but ends up looking silly, especially compared to the adventures Steven and Connie have been on. Connie says that she enjoys spending time with him as a respite from the serious things in her life. They let Onion go thinking they scared him straight, but did he really do it?

Well, we’ll just have to wait for the rest of the Steven Bomb to figure out.

StatManDan