Tag: Premiere

MLP Review: “Celestial Advice” and “All Bottled Up”

For the first time in the series, we do not open with a two-part episode. The episodes that aired today were loosely connected with one another as we shall see.

maxresdefault[1]

“Celestial Advice”

There is a medal award ceremony for Starlight, Trixie, Discord, and Thorax for their heroism in rescuing the Mane Six, Spike, and the Royals in the previous episode. They are receive the Pink Heart of Courage. Twilight is especially glowing about pupil Starlight, but is now concerned about what happens next—a point that Discord drives home.

Twilight seeks Celestia’s advice and comes to the conclusion that, like Celestia did with Twilight, she would have to send Starlight away. But where? Twilight fantasizes about where to send her. Changeling Kingdom with Thorax, Dragon Kingdom with Dragon Lord Ember, even to the Crystal Empire to study with Sunburst. Indeed, Twilight fantasizes about the pros and cons of each and gets frazzled.

Celestia laughs this off and tells Twilight that she once had the same conundrum regarding Twilight. As a student, Twilight excelled, but also isolated herself from everypony else. So, ultimately Celestia decided to send her to Ponyville, but not right away because she fretted that she really didn’t want her to go and later not need her anymore. Twilight reassures her mentor that she still needs her every now and then and Celestia says that Starlight feels the same about her.

So Twilight declares the day Starlight’s graduation citing there’s nothing left to teach her and she’s ready to go out on her own. But Starlight isn’t ready to do that just yet, and wants to stay with Twilight a while longer—much to the relief of Twilight. Twilight gives her her present and it’s a mirror with friendship memories similar to the one Twilight has and Twilight promises to be there for Starlight.

This was a refreshing change of pace from the previous seasons. There is no real catastrophe to avert. There are no enemies to face. This is actually the denouement from the previous episode. It’s great to see Starlight’s growth and to see Celestia in a different light than we’re used to seeing. The show has had plenty of “what’s next?” type episode in recent times (e.g. “On Your Marks”), but what is there left to teach your student after she helped save Equestria? For now, Starlight feels that there is still stuff to learn from Twilight and Twilight can still be there for Starlight.

It was nice to change things up by not starting with an adventurous two-parter. This episode ticks all of the boxes for an enjoyable episode.


maxresdefault[1]

“All Bottled Up”

We see Starlight and Trixie in the castle kitchen. Trixie is practicing a transformation spell trying to turn a salt shaker into a teacup. After Starlight gives her some tips, Trixie is successful, but gets overenthusiastic and transforms many things into teacups and ruins Starlight’s teacakes for the Mane Six for their Friendship Retreat.

Starlight is not pleased and a red storm cloud starts to form when she starts to get angry with Trixie. Matters are not helped when Trixie tries a teleportation spell and teleports the Cutie Map instead of an apple. Meanwhile, the Mane Six go on the kind of retreats where the goal is team-building and problem solving (or the kind of thing that you probably do at your workplace every now and then). They go to an escape game where they try to find clues to a puzzle to help them escape from a room. Rainbow Dash gets motivation as there is a record to break for quickest time out.

Back to the A-plot, Starlight tries to bottle up her emotions, literally, with a spell. She and Trixie will also try to locate the map which is where Trixie was probably thinking of last before teleporting it. Trixie keeps frustrating Starlight more and more after stops at Bulk Biceps’ cinnamon nut stand, at the jeweler’s, and at Sweet Apple Acres with Granny Smith. Ultimately, things come to a head and the bottle containing Starlight’s anger breaks and infects Bulk Biceps, the jeweler, and Granny Smith who express Starlight’s frustration at Trixie.

Meanwhile, the Mane Six find the key to the room and break into song about how they are “Best Friends Until the End of Time.” It’s “A Sunshine Day” for them compared to the “Rainy Days and Mondays” that Starlight and Trixie are experiencing right now in Ponyville. However, the song pushed them past the record time by two seconds. Oh, well….

Anyway, Starlight finally gathers enough strength to drain the anger from the other three and vent at Trixie’s attitude. Trixie apologizes and Starlight lets go of her anger. The two reconcile and find the Cutie Map at the spa, where Trixie was reminiscing about when she first met Starlight. The Mane Six return unsuspecting of what happened to the map, and head off the spa (Hopefully, where the spa ponies won’t have a long-term memory if Trixie has anything to say about it.)

Anyway, this was another fun episode. I’ve always enjoyed the interaction between Starlight and Trixie and here we get an opportunity for Starlight to interact more often with someone other than Twilight. Trixie’s attitude hasn’t changed too much, but she is willing to learn from Starlight and willing to be by her side. Admittedly, the B-plot exists to give the Mane Six something fun to do, but darn the fool who doesn’t think too much about the song. After all, they have come a long way in seven seasons and it’s also nice to see the Mane Six together just having fun (and “team building” like teams at work do).

Overall, both episodes were excellent and serve as a great start to Season Seven.

Post Episode Notes:

  • Both episodes featured relatable problems.
  • Celestia in a different light
  • Starlight’s growth as a character
  • Starlight’s interactions with Trixie
  • Mane Six song is very catchy.
  • B-plot merely exists to give Mane Six something to do in “All Bottled Up,” though still relatable.
  • Discord, Trixie, and Thorax are still in character.

GRADE (Both Episodes):  A

StatManDan

LPS Reviews: “The Tortoise and the Heir” and “Picture Perfect”

tumblr_nxgvt3J9gP1udz5uuo4_1280[1]

It’s the start of the fourth and final season of Littlest Pet Shop, and we get two episodes this week for the price of one. Both establish potential arcs through for the season to come, though we have to muddle through some issues to get to them.

“The Tortoise and the Heir”

Blythe is attempting to do a video blog what she wants to do with her life. Yes, she had dreams of being a fashion designer in the pilot episodes, but it is natural for kids to change their minds. However, she’s interrupted by Vinnie and Penny regarding TV time. Blythe vents to Youngmee just in time for Vinnie to hear Blythe say she doesn’t want to speak to the pets anymore misunderstanding that she was just kidding to Youngmee. The plot point is dragged on by Blythe listening to her music when Russell tries to speak to her and a Jetsons imagin spot.

That spot is courtesy of a 150-year old tortoise named Speedy. He does have a tendency to wander off and is a bit like Mr. Magoo even though he looks like Carl from Up. Plus, Speedy keeps calling Blythe, “Betty.” Lost on ideas for her vlog, Roger comes in and Blythe tells him about the 150-year old tortoise—something that Blythe’s mom used to have. As a matter of fact, one of Speedy’s former owners was Blythe’s mom, Betty. Betty could talk to pets just like Blythe can now. Thus, Speedy might know more about her Mom.

So Blythe sets out to find Speedy—quickly cleaning up the misunderstanding in the process—and they find him at a construction site he mistakes as a health club. Speedy is spared from harm by an old toy with a parachute given to him by Betty. Speedy also carried Betty’s old diary that he gives to Blythe. That’s quite a game-changer in that it may lead to part of the mystery why Blythe could speak to animals herself (if not solely the bump she took in the pilot episode). It also suggests that Blythe’s Mom passed while Blythe was very young.

It is surprising that the show is going this route given that MLP kind of skirts around things regarding Applejack’s parents, but let’s just see where this goes. It’s only a pity that this episode was built on a dodgy foundation and a bit of contrivance before we got to this point which is a heartwarming moment. One wonders if we’ll get to see more of Speedy this season, but we are going to know more about Blythe’s mom this season.

Pluses and Minuses:

  • +  Info on Blythe’s Mom
  • +  Potential season-long arc
  • +  Focus on Blythe
  • –  Speedy a bit too Mr. Magoo
  • –  Contrivance at times
  • –  Misunderstanding at start seems extraneous

GRADE:  B-


“Pitch Purrfect”

It’s back to a pair of plots with this episode. Zoe is auditioning for a spot in a group named Pitch Purrfect for the Alley Cappella championships. That’s the A-plot. The B-plot is that Mrs. Twombly’s doorknob collection is missing and Blythe, Russell, Minka, and Pepper set out to investigate. At least the latter three are because Blythe is too distracted by her mom’s diary.

Zoe goes to the audition where Pitch Purrfect is fronted by Delilah from “The Expo Factor.” Zoe nails the audition, but because she is a dog, she is passed over for another cat. Penny, Vinnie, and Sunil were supposed to be part of the B-plot, but they are too busy looking at one of Zoe’s first gigs as the Hearty Time Dog Food dog. Zoe comes up with the idea of forming a group of her own called “There’s Note Stopping Us Meow” even though there are no cats in the group.

They get to the contest where not only did Delilah not allow Zoe into the group, but her group then sings the song Zoe sang earlier. MLP fans frowned when they made Spitfire and Fleet Foot devious in “Rainbow Falls,” LPS fans should feel the same here. Anyway, the video from earlier becomes a Chekov’s gun with an updated version and Zoe’s group wins the contest.

Meanwhile, the investigation is going nowhere, and not just because Blythe is still reading her Mom’s diary. However, it leads to another potential arc when Mrs. T returns and tells Blythe that she sold the collection in order to buy up some abandoned lots to start building Littlest Pet Street which is going to be a whole block of stores for pets. That has great potential for an arc, though it could have been guessed that Mrs. T had something to do with the disappearance with the doorknobs.

Again, we have a potential arc for the season, but we have to muddle through some issues again such as the portrayal of Delilah in this episode. She was great in “The Expo Factor,” but comes off as opportunist and deceitful here and some fans will frown upon that. The b-plot sort of drags a bit because it’s going nowhere and we need Mrs. T to bring that to an end. At least, this episode and the one before it accomplished the goal of keeping fans curious of what’s coming up next.

Pluses and Minuses:

  • +  Another potential arc for the season
  • +  Music
  • +  Chekov’s gun with Zoe’s old commercial
  • –  Delilah
  • –  B-plot goes nowhere and drags

GRADE:  C+

StatManDan

Wander Over Yonder, Season Two to begin August 3rd

wanderseason2-02

Good News Wander Fans!

The second season of Wander Over Yonder shall officially begin August 3rd.  This was announced earlier today over on ETOnline with a few details about the second season.

First off, celebrity guest voices…

  • Weird Al Yankovic
  • Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
  • Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World)
  • June Squibb
  • Noel Wells (SNL)
  • Calum Worthy (Austin & Ally)
  • Rob Riggle
  • Ken Marino
  • Andy Daly

Season Two is set to begin August 3rd at 9pm on Disney XD.  Episode wise it has been announced that the second season will feature thirty six 11 minute episodes, and four 22 minute episodes.

mccraigen-wander-shorts

If that wasn’t enough, it was announced via Craig McCraigen’s Tumblr that there will also be eleven 1 minute shorts that will begin to air on Disney XD starting July 20th and air daily up until the season premiere.

The summer of Animation continues.

wanderseason2-01

(Thanks to Da Cobbler for submitting the news)

ToonZone Season 5 Preview Clip

spoiler

ToonZone has tossed on a 37 second preview of the Season 5 premiere onto the fires that fuel the hype train.  Video after the page break.

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS
Season 5 is going to be filled with surprises and special treats for viewers, including the appearance of celebrity guest voice Tony Award-winner Lena Hall, the series’ exciting 100th episode, fun holiday specials and several new, original songs soon to be fan-favorites. Viewers will be introduced to new characters and see background characters brought to the forefront for the first time, all as part of a journey that embraces such themes as individuality, coming of age, facing fears and achieving your dreams.

  • “Cutie Markless” Part 1 – April 4 at 11am ET/ 10am CTThe Mane 6 are summoned to solve a friendship problem only to find a utopian village where everyone has given up their Cutie Marks.

  • “Cutie Markless” Part 2 – April 4 at 11:30am ET/ 10:30am CTThe Mane 6 have had their Cutie Marks taken and must find a way to get them back. When a deep dark secret is revealed about the pony who took them, they think they may have the answer.

[Source]

Read more →

New Star vs the Forces of Evil Premiere Promo Clips

starvs

Fresh promo for the premiere of Disney’s upcoming show, Star vs The Forces of Evil.  The show has already been renewed for a second season despite only airing the first two episodes as a sneak peek a few months ago.  The first season will officially kick off March 30th on Disney XD with two fresh episodes, Match Maker and School Spirit.  After that there are two more episodes listed in the Wikipedia article, Monster Arm and The Other Exchange Student.

Fifteen second promo after the page break.

Multiple promo videos behind the page break.

Read more →

New MLP Season 5 Teaser via MLP YouTube

seasons5

Another MLP Season 5 teaser (this one dubbed #2) via the official My Little Pony channel on YouTube.  This teaser is more than just random clips and epic narration, and actually has Brian Lenard & Meghan McCarthy talking about what Season 5 is going to hold for us, story wise.

The hype train shifts into high gear.  Video after the break.

Read more →

14+ Hour Gravity Falls Marathon + New Episode

S2e1_grunk

Tonight @ 8:30pm ET on Disney XD, fresh episode of Gravity Falls entitled Not What He Seems.

Right now?  If you’re lucky enough to have access to Disney XD, there is a fourteen hour marathon kicking off of every single episode of Gravity Falls to date (minus Headhunters).