Maybe this episode would have been better placed closer to February 2nd than March 2nd. Indeed, Groundhog Day the movie was released on Lincoln’s Birthday in 1993 (February 12th). I should’ve known that when there would be a groundhog in the episode and given the title, this would be an homage to Groundhog Day. We just didn’t know it would be a full-on homage. More so than how “Sleeper” was an homage to Weekend at Bernie’s.
The episode begins with Sue winning a race in a track meet and the Principle awarding her a medal for being the city’s best athlete and asks her to give a speech at a special assembly. One problem: Sue has a fear of public speaking. Blythe, Youngmee, and Jasper will have to help her overcome her fears. That’s the A-plot. The B-plot is a guest skunk named Mitzi comes to the day camp and is able to emit fragrant scents that makes the other pets happy—much to the dismay of Pepper. Actually, this should have been the A-plot because it seemed like more time was spent on this than the other.
In any case, Sue gets so frightened when speaking in public that her voice goes into a higher pitch. Index cards don’t work out too much. Imagining others as clowns doesn’t work (as she’s afraid of those as well). Studying Blythe reciting the speech almost works, but the high pitch comes just before she’s supposed to give the speech. Blythe finally comes up with the idea that Sue is most confident when she’s running. Thus, Blythe brings Sue out to the assembly on while on a treadmill and she’s able to give the speech flawlessly. In fact, this whole plot was flawless. I mean it. There was nothing wrong with it. The B-plot was not perfect—at all.
The other pets completely ignore Pepper and get addicted to Mitzi’s scents. It may make the other pets happy, but it turns out Mitzi is not. She eventually confides to Pepper that she envies her that she gets to be a real skunk who could emit not-so-fragrant scents as well as fragrant scents. Pepper suggests that Mitzi get in touch with her skunk feelings which she does when the other pets keep bothering her to product scents of colors. The other pets eventually apologize to Mitzi for overworking her and all is forgiven. In all honesty, they should have apologized to Pepper as well for ditching her and being insensitive, if not oblivious, to her feelings. Pepper has every right to be disgusted with the other pets because how would you feel if your friends just suddenly dumped you for someone who could be better at your talent than you and make them happy?
I know some LPS fans hate it when I compare an episode to one of MLP, but I think it’s relevant here. In “Pinkie Pride,” Cheese Sandwich is arguably better at planning parties. Pinkie is dismayed that every pony in town is in awe of Cheese Sandwich and challenges him to a goof-off. There, Pinkie is in the wrong since she is letting her pride get in the way what was supposed to be Rainbow Dash’s special day. The rest of the Mane Six and Spike do apologize for getting carried away with Cheese, but they and Cheese make it clear to her that she cannot be replaced as Ponyville’s permanent party pony.
Indeed, no scent-off occurs in this episode. Actually, a very good country song occurs as Pepper and Mitzi find common ground. Indeed, Mitzi is not looking to replace Pepper. However, Pepper is clearly in the right for being dismayed at her friends. I’m sorry, but I cannot defend the behavior of the other pets in this one. And again, it seemed like more time was devoted to this plot that the one for which the title of episode is for. They broke away from the day camp for one minute a la a game break during sports telecasts to show you what’s going on at the school. It just came off as imbalanced this week which is a shame because the plot involving Sue was very well done.
Pluses and Minuses:
- + The A-plot with Sue
- + Song
- + Interesting guest character
- – Episode tilted too much towards what’s supposed to be B-plot
- – Pets are a bit too insensitive to Pepper and deserved apology.
The following review is brought to you in living color—on…..the site. It would be nice if Littlest Pet Shop and My Little Pony were on NBC, but I digress. We’re back to two plots this week. The A-plot is a peacock named Basil (Peter New) comes to the day camp prior to his plumage presentation for the Botanical Gardens. The only problem is that he’s nervous as all heck and breaks out in hives just thinking about. Pepper takes the lead in trying to give him the confidence for his presentation. The B-plot involves Youngmee trying to convince Blythe to use her pet communication skills for the benefit of humanity, but Blythe just wants to study Algebra.
Some of Youngmee’s ideas are a bit optimistic (who uses discs?) including an idea that’s kind of a cross between CSI and Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers. Anyway, Blythe eventually tells Youngmee that she is just not ready for that sort of thing, yet. She just wants to be a regular kid for as long as possible. And that’s a very reasonable thing to ask for given her special ability. However, thanks to callback from “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” (more on those later), Youngmee and Blythe get an idea to organize a Pet Fest. Yes, you can pretty much guess that’s going to be part of the season finale (along with Heidi Klum). But just in case, Youngmee has the list of unsolved crimes in case it doesn’t work out.
An ant infestation courtesy of Penny Ling, who named one of them Coconut, leads to LPS being closed for three days. So Blythe and Mrs. Twombly have to place the pets at another spot during that time. With Largest Ever Pet Shop NOT being an option, they go to the Pawza Hotel which looks five-star on the Internet, but run down in reality. It turns out Madison designed the website for the owner Sophie. Mrs. T, Blythe, and Roger all volunteer to help restore the place.
However, it turns out Fisher wants the place as the site of his own pet hotel because he wants to be first. Thinking Blythe and Mrs. T are building the “Littlest Pet Shop Hotel,” Fisher then hires Mr. Dale to pose as a building inspector to close the place. However, Zoe and Pepper get suspicious and track Dale’s scent to Fisher and then tell Blythe. Since Sophie is not initially believing that the inspector’s a fake, Blythe offers to show the “inspector” around with the help of the pets.
Have you ever wondered why almost every sibling pair in almost every cartoon ever made had to get along like Tom and Jerry? There are exceptions (Dipper and Mabel; Rarity and Sweetie Belle; Applejack and Apple Bloom). Today, we are treated to a Roger Baxter and his sister Mo (Blythe’s aunt). To say they are overly competitive and immature at times would be an understatement. This goes on throughout almost the entire episode—embarrassing Blythe in the process.
Meanwhile, Vinnie and Sunil have their own competition to see who’s the better prognosticator because…mandatory pet appearance(s). (After all, the show is called Littlest Pet Shop).
Before I ask where Spazz got the artwork for the episode guide, wouldn’t it be nice to talk about the episode itself. It starts with Youngmee attempting to communicate with Buttercream in the way Blythe does with animals. It’s unsuccessful. That leads to our solitary plot. Professor Shuperman (Sam Vincent) has brought his monkey Cheep-Cheep (Colin Murdoch), who is also Minka’s cousin, to LPS. The professor invented a helmet that is supposed to translate pet sounds into words so that the pets could talk to their owners. Unfortunately, the sounds translate into gibberish—which is kind of funny.
This is the first of two upcoming episodes where we have a classic rock reference in the title. This is the one for the song of the same name by the ironically-named band War. Now back to the current day.
After chasing a fly “Tom and Jerry”-style, Vinnie befriends a genial spider named Weber (voiced by Peter New). However, this may be a problem with Sunil since he has arachnophobia (fear of spiders). So, Vinnie and the other pets try to hide him from Sunil. That is our A-plot.
The B-plot is Blythe also meeting a new friend named Cora. She works at the thrift shop and is into fashion like Blythe. They strike up quite a conversation to the point where Blythe is unintentionally neglecting Sue and Youngmee. Blythe is so caught up with Cora, with the latter suggesting that the former apply her pet fashions to people, that Sue and Youngmee feel pushed aside.