Tag: editorial

Editorial: Please Be Discrete

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Pepperidge Farm remembers the last time there were leaks (as well as we had actual news). So this apparently happened. For the benefit of those who wish not to be spoiled and prefer to view future MLP and EqG content on proper linear and digital platforms, please do not spoil any leaks. You will be targeted and you will be subject to the scorn of many within the fandom.

The reality is that we do not know for sure when and if Friendship is Magic will end and when and if there will be a 5th generation of the toys. All we know is that the Equestria Girls shorts are running every Friday on YouTube and that an eighth season of FiM is coming up presumably in the Spring. Oh, and the comics are also running as well both with the main series and the “Legends of Magic” series.

We understand how these rumors spread like wildfire and we in the pony media struggle with the resources to quell these rumors. That said, we need to report the facts as they become available as there is nothing alternative to that. If you come across a leaked episode or future project related to MLP, please be discrete and don’t spoil it for everyone. We understand it is impossible to stop every single leak, but what we can control is how they are distributed.

As always, it is the policy of this website that no reviews of episodes of either MLP or Steven Universe will be done until the episode airs on TV. (NOTE: We would like it very much if you want to review Star vs. the Forces of Evil!) MLP has been a very fun ride and continues to be. We do not want to see that ruined by the behavior of miscreants or someone recklessly distributing leaked content that many people put in tons of hours of effort to make for a general audience. So if you don’t want to risk the scorn of the fandom, please be discrete when coming across what might be leaked material and do not spoil it for the rest of us. Thank you.

On a side, yes, there is a reboot of Littlest Pet Shop coming up and the previews from YouTube have been hit or miss (read: Will there really be more than Bev in this reboot?) The Equestria Girls shorts have been of a better quality and any changes to that franchise have been much more subtle than they were with Monster High to the point where you feel EqG have won this battle by default while Mattel somewhere thought Monster High fans had the memory of goldfish.

StatManDan

Help! My Heart is Full of Pony! – Circles

Source: MLP: FIM Marks and Recreation

Her passion is drawing circles.  Her cutie mark is in writing haikus.  These things are actually connected!

Kettle Corn’s circles resemble ensō, a form of Zen Buddhist calligraphy in Japan. Haiku is a form of poetry that originated with Buddhist monks in Japan.

I think this beautifully illustrates how our passions, our talents, and our destinies (as manifested in our cutie marks) are connected in ways that we can’t always see.  It gives a whole new dimension to the themes that the show has explored in post-cutie-mark Cutie Mark Crusaders episodes. Getting your flank tattoo doesn’t set you in stone for your entire life like Rumble thinks. In fact, you can have post cutie mark crises, (as exemplified by Apple Bloom, Diamond Tiara, and Bulk Biceps).  You can find whole other layers of meaning in what you do that weren’t necessarily apparent when you first got your mark!

Kettle Corn has a whole journey ahead of her.  Parts of her personality, and parts of her soul are going to become clearer to her as she explores these Zen-related interests, but she will not have the words to articulate their connection.  She will never know what Buddhism, or Japan is, even if her life’s journey is destined to be *weeaboo af.*

However, that doesn’t stop different elements of Japanese philosophy from making themselves manifest in her.

Think of the implications of that!

What if different life events, or passions that define who we are turn out to actually be connected in ways that we cannot see?  Just like this little girl will never fully be able to articulate that her personality is essentially a running gag, referential to a place she’ll never see or read about, our own lives may never fully be clear to us except in the vaguest of feelings and intuitions.

Simply put, we lack the perspective to “get the joke.”

When I posted this theory on Facebook, I got one cynical comment about our lives being “jokes.” I want to clarify. I don’t mean that we are literally fictional characters and that our lives are literally one big meaningless joke. I’m saying that perspective is everything!
We know ourselves better than anyone else does, and at the same time, only see ourselves from the inside. Those of us who are prone to guilt look at ourselves more harshly than we look at others. We don’t extend the same kind of forgiveness to ourselves that we extend to our friends in the same situations. Conversely, those who are defensive actually repaint their own actions in positive lights. They refuse to acknowledge wrongdoing in their own behaviors, even if they objectively view those behaviors as wrong in others. That’s part of what makes life so confusing. No matter what, we will always lack the perspective to examine ourselves truly objectively.

We can try, we can even come a little bit closer with every revelation, but at the end of the day, we are still viewing ourselves from the inside. There’s an old saying, “I don’t know who discovered water, but it wasn’t a fish.”

It is as tragic as it is humorous. I think there’s joy to be found in that. I also think there’s a greater understanding to be had by it. While there are some truly messed up and evil people in the world, for the most part, when folks do wrong, they are usually just doing the best they can with what they have. Simply put, we mess up because we’re human.

Once you recognize your own trappings, however – once you contemplate and appreciate just how difficult it is to try to make sense of your own life, you start to realize that everyone else is going through the exact same thing. We are all feeling around in the dark. We all lack the perspective to gain a fully objective picture of ourselves. We are all suffering because of it: our friends; our enemies; our ideological opponents. That existential question – that suffering – is at the core of all of our beings. It is the one thing we all have in common.

While we, like Kettle Corn, will never find the answers – will never fully be in on “the joke” – we can still look at one another and attempt to be compassionate, and to show compassion whenever we can, even to those whom we oppose. After all, we’re all in the same boat.
Or at the very least, maybe we, like Kettle Corn, should stop, and simply take joy in doing something we love every now and again, and do it for its own sake. Maybe that’s all the answer we need.

A girl loves circles
But is meant to write haikus.
They are the same thing.

-Sprocket

Please support me on Patreon. That is, if you want to.  No pressure of course.
You can also follow Heart Full of Pony on Tumblr or FimFic.

Editorial: Let’s Go to the Movie!

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Sethisto at Equestria Daily already said it, so we’ll say it again. With the Movie two weeks away, this is an opportunity to re-energize the fandom as a whole and introduce MLP to a new set of fans and keep the brand worthy of is franchise status at Hasbro. Nerf may be the biggest brand, but MLP is arguably the second most popular right now behind Transformers.

Yes, viewership of the show is down, but it’s been down across the board for shows that have been around for more than a season and at least we still get to see the show on a weekly basis as opposed to the likes of Steven Universe and The Lion Guard to which Cartoon Network and Disney Channel, respectively, shows it when it gets around to it. Besides, most fans primarily see the show online whereas Discovery Family is still part of that extra package you have to spend extra on most cable systems while Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channel are still part of the basic tier.

I’ve been saying for almost a year now that Hasbro has put a lot of effort into the Movie and it all culminates towards October 6th. Forget Rotten Tomato scores and neigh-sayers for the moment. Sia’s “Rainbow” song already has over two million views on here VEVO YouTube channel and has been met with mostly positive reviews. The third trailer has over 5.5 million hits on Hasbro’s channel. Oh, have I mentioned there’s Liev Schreiber, Emily Blunt, Zoe Saldana, Taye Diggs, Michael Peña, Kristen Chenoweth, and Uzo Aduba in addition to the voice cast of Friendship is Magic that we all know and love.

If you indeed have read the junior novelization or the art book, that’s fine. However, there’s nothing that beats the actual experience of seeing the Movie itself in the movie theater. I recall when fans traveled miles on end to see the first Equestria Girls movie in theaters during special showings. Personally, I hope the same effort is made if the Movie is not showing at your nearest movie theater. As for pirate copies to YouTube, there is a time and a place for everything. With regards to the Movie, there is neither.

Naturally, there are things that we will not be able to control such as a bad review from a movie critic (who most likely will not have seen the show at all prior to reviewing it and/or dismiss it because it’s not Disney/Pixar) or a Rotten Tomatoes score that does not rival Zootopia. It would be nice if the Movie made as much money as Zootopia, but that’s unlikely. However, it would be nice if it made over $125 million domestically at the box office.

Above all else, let’s remind ourselves about what drew us into Friendship is Magic in the first place. I would like to think that most of us were drawn in because of its positive and bright message and the characters (flaws and all). Didn’t some of us hope for the day that the ponies—and not human versions thereof—would hit the big screen for a movie of their own? That day is two weeks away!

This is a chance to re-energize the fandom and to introduce us a new collection of fans to what those in the fandom have known for seven years now, that not only is this not your parents’ My Little Pony, but these ponies are awesome! Go watch the movie!

StatManDan

MLP Review: “It Isn’t The Mane Thing about You”

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Rarity is getting ready for a photo shoot for “Vanity Mare” with Photo Finish with emphasis on her mane. She goes around town enhancing business for the Flower Ponies, a Scottish pony selling fans, and Davenport (Quills and Sofas). However, Rarity’s mane gets messed up by some super sticky string from Pinkie Pie celebrating the Cake Twins’ one-year sneeze anniversary. (It’s Pinkie Pie. Don’t question it.)

They both go to Zecora for a mane conditioner and a magical cleaning potion. Of course, without labels to tell which is which after Zecora pointed out what Rarity should take, the potions get switched. (By the way, those asking about labels have a more legitimate point than those asking why Rainbow Dash didn’t try to fight off/fly away from Caballeron’s hench ponies in last week’s episode. That said, this is a cartoon and the switcheroo is as old a trope as time.)

So instead of a soft, bouncy mane; Rarity has most of her mane removed. Since a new potion would take a while, she frantically goes to her friends to help fix her mane with the expected results that they are not super effective. This hurts Rarity since after the switch, ponies appear indifferent to her presence and now she has to cancel photo shoot.

The rest of the Mane Six and Starlight remind her that her mane isn’t the main thing about her and bring up her accomplishments on the show. Rejuvenated, Rarity inspires many a fandom artist by shining from the inside out. Oh, that photo shoot did take place thanks to Rarity’s friends and Rarity ends up on the cover of Vanity Mare.

If there is one given about MLP over the years, Rarity episodes are usually on song and wind up some of the better episodes of the series. This is no exception. Rarity’s MO is to bring the beauty out in everything, so it’s understandable that she wold get distraught if she can’t bring it out of herself after this incident. That’s why you have friends to help bring it from the inside out. Of course, when Rarity sports the punk look, that sets the episode alight.

Just when you think Season Seven might have been tapering off a bit (not that it really has), here’s Rarity to get every pony energized again.

GRADE: A

StatManDan

MLP Episode Review: “To Change a Changeling”

In this episode, Starlight and Trixie pay a surprise visit to Thorax in the Changeling Kingdom. However, the “welcoming committee” is Pharnyx bagging them to brother Thorax. Pharnyx has yet to fully reform preferring the old ways of the hive. Most of the other changelings have reformed (thanks to a more assertive Thorax with advice from Ember), but Pharnyx is the last holdout.

Starlight and Trixie try to reform him, but the former starts to think it’s a lost cause and that Thorax will eventually have to chase him out of the hive since no one else likes him. Starlight then impulsively alters a trail of leaves to lure a maulwurf so the hive can see Pharnyx’s good side in his role as a protector like he was for Thorax at an early age. However, Pharnyx apparently has left and the maulwurf is on his way.

Thorax, Starlight, and Trixie go after Pharnyx to see him battling the maulwurf, but is overpowered. Two changelings and two magical ponies is not enough either. The rest of the hive, initially unmoved by Starlight’s speech, is almost there. Ultimately, Pharnyx comes up with the solution by getting the maulwurf to keep hitting itself and retreating. Pharnyx ultimately transforms and is welcomed back into the hive.

This was a very good episode. You have a complicated character in Pharnyx who yearns for the old changeling ways, but yet is still interested in the hive’s safety. Thorax is really good here in not just converting the kingdom into something out of “The Office” in terms of activities, but in admonishing Starlight for altering the trail. It did work ultimately, but it is another impulsive move that could have backfired horribly. And then there’s the dynamic between Starlight and Trixie which is very solid.

Trixie is her usually hammy self while Starlight has to play the straight pony. This has become quite the partnership as the show has progressed and I wouldn’t mind more of this.

So overall, this was a very good episode thanks to the humor and the dynamics between the changeling brothers and between Starlight and Trixie.

GRADE: A-

StatManDan

MLP Review: “Campfire Tales”

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Gather around as we expand on the Legends of Magic comic series, Tales 2-4. It’s the annual Big Sister/Little Sister campout to Winsome Falls. However, their campsite is disrupted by a swarm of fly-ders and the sisters have to retreat inside a cave. There, they start to tell campfire stories to pass the time until the fly-ders move on.

Applejack is first by telling the story of Rockhoof (from Legends of Magic #2) and his origins and how he joined the Mighty Helm. Rockhoof gained his mighty strength by digging a trench to redirect the flow of lava from an erupted volcano to save his village. Apple Bloom was really excited by this tale.

Next up is Rarity and she tells the story of Mistmane (Legends of Magic #3) and how she sacrificed her own beauty to save her kingdom. Finally, after Rainbow Dash prevents the fly-ders from coming into the cave by blocking the entrance, she tells the story of Flash Magnus (Legends of Magic #4) and how he braved past a couple of dragons to rescue a pair of comrades.

After making the best of the situation, the CMC and their respective big sisters take the back route and discover a shortcut to Winsome Falls. That’s a bit contrived, but the rest of this episode was quite fascinating.

Every since Issue #51 of the main series, the direction has been to link much closer to the main series in Season Seven. That apparently holds true with the Legends of Magic series and the ever present world building even at this stage of the series. If you have seen the three issues in question, you at least have an idea of all three. If not, I’ll post after the grade (WARNING: SPOILERS!). But seriously, do read the comics. Some of them could well have been episodes on the show—especially some of the early issues.

The best of the three was the story of Mistmane with the scenery which seems to inspired from Ancient Japan as well as the Double Dragon battle between Mistmane and Sable Spirit.

Overall, this was a pleasant episode, as these flashbacks to a different usually are, and a nice tie-in to the comics which was promised just prior to the start of Season Seven.

GRADE: A-

StatManDan

WARNING: COMIC SPOILERS BELOW! If you do not wish to be spoiled by the synopses of these comics, look away now.

Read more →

MLP Review: “Triple Threat”

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This reminded me of a “Brady Bunch” episode once. Anyway, Spike has invited Dragon Lord Ember to Ponyville—as well as Changeling pack leader Thorax. The former is seeking friendship advice from Spike since the dragons’ competitive nature is a bit of hindrance. The latter wants to talk to Spike because he’s having a hard time with a pack of changelings who still prefer to feed off love. Spike is deathly afraid that neither will get along with each other and cause a war. This becomes Spike’s friendship problem to solve.

So, Spike (with the help of Twilight and Starlight) go out of their way to make sure Ember and Thorax do not see each other. After several awkward moments, the Thorax and Ember meet each other and nearly come to blows before Spike admits that trying to keep them apart fearing they would not get along. Ember thinking that because she’s “bad at friendship” and Thorax thinking that he may be too soft.

Actually, Thorax and Ember do get along on their own. Ember gives Thorax a lesson on being more assertive when enforcing rules of his pack and Thorax giving Ember lessons about talking about her feelings (what she didn’t like to do in “Gauntlet of Fire”). And then Spike learns a lesson about trusting his friends would get along with each other and his scales glow which means his friendship problem is solved.

About those awkward moments, some of them were funny. For example, Ember getting used to Pony customs and also mistaking Starlight and Twilight with each other. Of course, Twilight’s scene with the chairs was funny as well. However, this whole episode was weird with one awkward moment after another. It’s when Thorax and Ember have time alone that they start to click. It’s about giving them space to learn friendship and that was something Spike (and indirectly Twilight and Starlight) was not giving them. They are actually good in this episode, it’s Spike that was a bit iffy until late.

Nevertheless, it’s not a terrible episode, it’s good because of and despite some awkward moments from all the characters involved.

GRADE: B

StatManDan