Tag: my little pony

MLP Review: “Secrets and Pies”

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Pinkie Pie is baking a pie for Rainbow Dash’s 73rd Wonderbolt training session. Rainbow accepts the pie at Wonderbolts HQ, but Pinkie soon finds the pie in the dumpster instead of inside her stomach. As a matter of fact, Pinkie has never seen Rainbow eat one of her pies, she’s always been distracted (read: fall for trick of looking away from Rainbow).

Pinkie comes to the conclusion that Rainbow doesn’t like her pies and has lied about liking them. Pinkie’s attempts to catch her in the act come up fruitless until gravity exposes Rainbow Dash as a pie she throws up into the air lands on Pinkie. The truth is Rainbow Dash does not like ANY pies (which comic main series #59 will delve into).

Rainbow though the hassle was worth it because Pinkie would be crushed if she found out someone didn’t like her pies and it made her happy to see Pinkie happy. Also, she was willing to eat a “pie” she baked to make it up to Pinkie. That’s kind of the sour part of this episode. They do mention that Rainbow should be more honest with Pinkie, but her way of trying to make it up to her is as overly-complicated as her schemes to get rid of her pies.

But really, that was the only sore point, though a significant one in my opinion. Other than that, we get some very good facial expressions and Pinkie’s imagination go out of control (liked the “Evil Dash” bit). It’s just that Rainbow didn’t need to overcomplicate things in making amends with Pinkie.

GRADE: B+

StatManDan

MLP Movie by the Initial Numbers and Comment

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My Little Pony: the Movie grossed $8,885,899 over the weekend in North America which was good for fourth this weekend at the box office. It grossed an average of $3,515 on 2,528 screens which was good for third among all movies that weekend. Blade Runner 2049 led the way with $32.8M and an average of over $8,000 per screen over 4,058 screens. The Mountain Between Us was second overall ($10.6M) and It finished third ($10M).

Reviews have varied from good, to middling, to bad as in the review evidently would have given the movie the time of day, but for his/her job as a reviewer and admitted their cynicism as such or stated their irritation at the very existence of the movie. Among critics, the Rotten Tomatoes score stands at 58% with 18 fresh reviews and 13 rotten. Its audience score is at 89% among 3,334 ratings as of 7:30pm ET on October 9th.

Below are the Tomatometer, RT Audience Score, and IMDB rating of the top ten grossing movies as of October 9th, plus the animated movies that have come out this year for comparison:

Movie
Tomatometer
Audience Score
IMDB Score
Beauty and the Beast
71%
81%
7.3
Wonder Woman
92%
89%
7.7
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
82%
88%
7.8
Spider-Man:  Homecoming
93%
89%
7.7
It
85%
86%
7.8
Despicable Me 3
61%
56%
6.3
Logan
93%
90%
8.2
The Fate of the Furious
66%
73%
6.8
Dunkirk
92%
82%
8.4
The Lego Batman Movie
91%
80%
7.4
Boss Baby
52%
52%
6.4
Cars 3
68%
72%
7.0
Captain Underpants
87%
62%
6.2
Lego Ninjago Movie
52%
54%
6.2
My Little Pony:  The Movie
58%
89%
6.9

Of course, a far greater number of ratings have been given to most if not all of the movies on this list besides MLP, but take what you will from it.

As I mentioned, the reviews have been majority good, yet among those who gave it bad reviews, it should make you wonder what these reviewers were playing at. One reviewer thought Rainbow Dash was a boy. Another felt it would rival The Emoji Movie as the worst animated movie of the year. Another all but admitted his irritation that the movie even existed. Finally, the most absurd review came from Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com where she admitted that this film isn’t her cup of tea and claimed that she encouraged her son to keep an open mind heading into the film and then said (“Sorry, kid,” I told him. “Not everything can be ‘Dunkirk.’”) Of course, not every movie has all sorts of explosions, violence, and people drowning in flaming oil on the ocean. It’s not like this was ever going to be Ben Hur. Makes me wonder what are the doing reviewing the movie in the first place if they were so cynical about it.

My problem here is that people not coming into this thing blind, but coming into this with their cynicism of most non-Disney animated fare that isn’t The Simpsons, South Park, or Spongebob Squarepants. I’m always going to have a problem with someone who automatically dismisses either the show or the movie because of its connections with Hasbro or that it was “meant for little girls.” (We as a fandom could be a little less introvert.)

What do I think? The movie is not perfect, but I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. The pacing could have been better and some elements could have been fleshed out more, but that didn’t deter too much from the movie. The animation was stellar as was the music from Daniel Ingram. Could it have done a better job of introducing the characters to people who are not in tune with the show? Maybe, but then you would have a two-hour movie and kids are unlikely to stay attentive for that long and the other option is to cut one significant portion of the movie. I feel most fans of the show will have, or will enjoy the movie. I’ve heard a few naysayers, but they are in the minority.

Should this movie have happened sooner? Define sooner. Mind you we didn’t know if the show was even going to continue after episode 65 (we’re at 165 and will go to at least 195). We’ll know later on in the month how Hasbro will view this movie when it announces its third quarter earnings. Chances are most of MLP’s numbers for the movie will occur in the fourth and final quarter of the year.

So in hindsight, the numbers are not the most stellar for the Movie to the outsider’s eye and to some in the fandom. For others, the wait was very much worth it and will dismiss (if not dispute loudly) the critics. No, the movie is not perfect and some will not like it for whatever reason. But to many fans, this was the movie they were waiting over two years for and it was worth the wait.

StatManDan

MLP Review: “Once Upon A Zeppelin”

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I have to think that this episode was made with the notion that it has been 100 episodes since Twilight became an alicorn. This is the 165th episode of the series.

Twilight has been invited by her parents to be part of a family vacation on board an airship. Shining Armor, Cadance, and Flurry Heart are also on board. It appears Twilight Velvet and Night Light won a contest for this vacation (without reading the fine print). However, it turns out the other ponies on board have paid to see the Twilight and Cadance courtesy of Iron Will now offering themed vacations with the motivational speaking market drying up.

Twilight offers to make a deal that she’ll perform the “Princess functions” as long as her family get to participate in events they want to. However, it turns hard on Twilight since she is unable to play bingo with her Dad, race boat with an airsick Shining Armor, or barrel riding with her Mom. Meanwhile, Cadance is watching Flurry Heart in the day care center on the ship. Plus, Twilight has a contest winner named Sky Tracker on her tail as an “honorary family member”.

Things come to a head when Twilight misses the Northern Stars after signing autographs. She even stomps on Sky Tracker’s foreleg in anger. A heart-to-heart with Cadance shows her that while she’ll always have responsibilities as a princess, there must be some boundaries set between responsibilities to others and responsibility to one’s self like Cadance had to draw when she had Flurry Heart.

Twilight apologizes to everyone and, gasp!, goes off schedule to treat every pony to ice cream. Meanwhile, Iron Will jumps the ship after he loopholes his way out of facing customers who learn that the cruise never guaranteed the participation of “actual princesses.”

In the end, Twilight is treated to a family version of the Northern Stars show and finally gets some downtime with her family.

This was a very sweet episode despite Iron Will’s participation (who’s even more of a jerk here than in “Putting Your Hoof Down”). We’ve seen family episodes featuring five of the Mane Six (we haven’t gone in depth with Rarity’s parents, yet) and just about all of them so far have been very good episodes. “The Perfect Pear” is still the best of the five, but I have to feel it’s now a toss-up between this and “Parental Glidance” for second.

In “A Flurry of Emotions”, Twilight needed to draw a line with adding babysitting her niece on top of a full schedule for the sake of spending more time with her. Here, the line needs to be drawn with regard to keeping everypony happy and keep herself happy. Sometimes Twilight needs some…ahem…”Twilight Time.”

Still, this was a very enjoyable episode with Twilight and her family and one of the top entries of Season Seven.

GRADE: A

StatManDan

MLP Movie Opened to 2,500 Theaters

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According to Box Office MojoMy Little Pony: The Movie will open at around 2,500 theaters next weekend. By comparison, Blade Runner 2049, opening on the same weekend, is set to open in 3,900+ theaters and The Lego Ninjago Movie opened at 4,047 theaters, but has grossed just $23.6M domestically as of ThursdayTransformers: The Last Knight opened in 4,069 theaters on June 16th and ended up grossing $130M domestically (and over $475M overseas). The 1986 MLP Movie’s widest release was in just over 1,000 theaters.

It is possible for a film to open in more theaters as it’s run progresses (read:  Zootopia), though it is up to the fandom to come out and see the movie wherever it’s being played. If you are concerned about all the teaser material and trailers coming out in the lead up to the movie, go see the movie and see how it all comes together anyway. It’s a lot more fun that way.

Let’s be honest, it would be an immense leap of faith if this movie were to gross as much as the likes of Zootopia and Frozen. However, it is imperative for this fandom to support this movie by going out to the nearest theater that’s showing it (and not create and spread pirate copies).

StatManDan

MLP Review: “Marks and Recreation”

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With their counsel high in demand, the Cutie Mark Crusaders open a day camp to help foals and foster teamwork as that’s how the CMC got their cutie marks. All the foals are enthusiastic about it (one of them getting a cutie mark for haikus on the first day) except for one—Rumble—who was last seen in “Hurricane Fluttershy”. He has grown up a bit since and his big brother Thunderlane is now in the Wonderbolts.

Rumble could not be more disinterested in the camp’s activities, nor a cutie mark in general. He’s afraid that once he gets a cutie mark, he’ll be boxed into doing just one thing for the rest of his life. Rumble convinces others to break from the camp for a while. The CMC are flummoxed by this. How can a foal not want a cutie mark?

So they go to Thunderlane to see what’s up? Thunderlane discloses that since he himself became a Wonderbolt, Rumble wanted to emulate him. He is good at the camp’s activities, but he is afraid the cutie mark will prevent him from becoming a Wonderbolt. That is what Apple Bloom concludes and they bring in Thunderlane as a guest of their camp.

Bored from being limited by what activities they could do (that could lead to a cutie mark), the foals return one-by-one to the CMC camp and learn that their cutie marks will not prevent them from doing just one thing for the rest of their lives.

This episode presents the CMC with a unique problem: What to do about a foal who DOESN’T want a cutie mark? After seeing nearly five seasons worth of the CMC obsessing over them, it’s actually interesting to see how they come across a pony who isn’t as enthusiastic about them.

You could be forgiven if you were expecting Starlight Glimmer to appear at some point. What didn’t work was the song which ran a bit long and Rumble being a bit jerky at times. I also feel there was a missed opportunity to have either Starlight or one of the Mane Six come in to talk to Rumble, but asking Thunderlane is a viable substitute.

The episode is not overly spectacular, but it is still a good episode nonetheless that presented the CMC with a challenge they have not come across.

GRADE: B+

StatManDan

MLP Review: “A Health of Information”

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In this episode, Zecora is helping Fluttershy gather moss for oxen visiting the latter’s sanctuary. However, a flower spews its poison and Zecora comes down with Swamp Fever. Because this is MLP, Zecora will turn into a tree if she cannot be cured.

Fluttershy takes it upon herself to find the cure no matter the costs. Twilight helps her research and they come across a healer known as Mage Meadowbrook and she lived in a place called Hayseed Swamp. There, they meet one of her descendants called Cattail. They find the cure, honey from flash bees who are immune to the flower’s poison. However, just as they figure out the cure, Fluttershy has contracted swamp fever and is in full determinator mode to the point of exhaustion that takes her three days to recover. The stare doesn’t work, magic won’t work, and whatever Cattail tried didn’t work.

They try again and finally come across disguising Fluttershy with the mask that looks like the face of a queen bee. They get the honey and cure both Fluttershy and Zecora.

Now we’ve seen Applejack work to the point of exhaustion in determinator mode some 159 episodes ago. But here, Fluttershy takes it to another (distressing) level. She nearly kills herself trying to help Zecora. She prides herself on being a caregiver and caregivers sometimes go at all costs to treat their patient—to a fault.

If you have read some of the comics, then you can see where this ties into the Legends of Magic and one of the issues of the main series. There’s also a strong hint that all of this will build up for the season finale in five weeks.

Back to the episode, this was a very good one that has a lot going for it such as building up the Legends of Magic, to Fluttershy and Twilight, to the fact that the show can worldbuild so well in its seventh season. However, fans might get a bit disturbed by Fluttershy’s determinator status in this episode. Outside of that, this is another solid Season Seven entry.

GRADE: A-

StatManDan

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