Tag: series

Steven Universe Returns January 30th 2017

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Not to break the library style silence that hovers over this site, but we actually have news.  Steven Universe returns January 30th with a fresh and much needed “Stevenbomb” week.  Double episode on Monday and three single episodes over the next three days.  Seems we’re missing a day from this bombing run.

The full report is directly below.

Via TheGeekiary.com

Steven Universe returns to televisions everywhere on January 30. Five new episodes will air over a week starting at 7 PM EST, in what has been dubbed the “Stevenbomb” format.

These episodes are:

  • Monday, Jan. 30: “Steven’s Dream” – A strange dream prompts Steven to search for answers.
  • Monday, Jan. 30: “Adventures in Light Distortion” – Steven and the Gems take off on a search and recovery mission.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 31: “Gem Heist” – The Gems try to pull off a heist.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 1: “The Zoo” – Steven visits a special zoo.
  • Thursday, Feb. 2: “That Will Be All” – Steven and the Gems make a daring escape!

After this summer’s “Steven Nuke” (a full month’s worth of weekdaily episodes) and a handful of weekly episodes that followed, it seems like Cartoon Network is getting a better handle on how to market and release this show. At the very least, the fandom is receiving more consistent information on when hiatuses are going to end.

Steven Universe isn’t the only show getting new episodes after the new year. Adventure Time will kick off its penultimate eighth season with its own bomb, starting Monday, January 23, at 7:30 PM with back-to-back episodes. The following week, we will be treated to the 8-part miniseries “Islands,” with two episodes a night from January 30 to February 2, also at 7:30 PM.

MLP Review: “To Where and Back Again”

So two unicorns, a draconequus, and a changeling travel to save their friends from an evil queen. Actually, I’m getting ahead of myself like Tiny Pop UK was ahead of everyone. Anyway, Starlight received an invitation to come back to her old village for a sunset celebration. She had a bad dream about it, but Princess Luna enters the dream suggesting that she consult the Mane Six on what to do. They suggest bringing a friend along, so Starlight takes Trixie (much to Twilight’s disappointment).

The get to the village, but when asked to help judged a competition among other things, Starlight panics and leaves in a hurry with Trixie. Starlight tries to talk to the Mane Six and Spike about it, but find they are acting very strange. As it turns out, they aren’t them, they are changelings who have taken their place and have taken the rest of the Royal Family. (They are probably not going to tell us how, so don’t ask.) Thorax tells of the news from the Crystal Empire and they look to Starlight for guidance. Discord appears and joins the party since he wants to rescue Fluttershy.

So MLP’s version of “Suicide Squad” travels to the Changeling Kingdom, but they cannot use their magic as Queen Chrysalis has a magic nullifying-throne. Destroy that, get your magic and your friends back. One plan is to use a password to make sure they are them and not changelings. It’s gets a bit tricky, but one thing to note is that since Thorax made a friend in Spike, he no longer feels hungry for love. Oh, and his wings are a different color than normal.

When initially discovered, they use Trixie’s smoke bombs to get past one stage, then Discord’s “annoying personality” to get past another. But eventually, Discord gets captured as the changelings disguise themselves as Fluttershy. Sensing the Discord they have is an imposter, Trixie then sacrifices herself to allow Starlight and Thorax to escape.

Starlight enters the throne room to discover her friends and the royals trapped in cocoons up top, and Chrysalis waiting for her. Chrysalis pulls a Mane-iac by not thinking much of Starlight to use a drone for her, but Throax had already done that and Chrysalis goes after the real Starlight. The Queen’s plan is to use her drones to harvest all the love in Equestria so they can feed for generations.

However, Starlight tries to convince Chrysalis that she doesn’t need to do that since Throax learned to share love, Chrysalis dismisses that claiming a changeling’s hunger is never satisfied and tries to drain the love from Thorax. Starlight then tells Thorax to let her have all of it, and he does just that turning into something more colorful. The rest of the changelings follow, destroying the throne and freeing the ponies above. Starlight tries to reason with Chrysalis one more time that she doesn’t have to be an oppressive leader (and not just because she is facing the prospect of five princesses, a prince, a draconequus, six more magical ponies, and a baby dragon with daggers in their eyes.), but the latter rejects the offer vowing revenge as she takes her leave.

The rescuers and the rescued apart from Thorax head back to the village to celebrate with Starlight more self-confident and the season ends with Discord and Trixie on flying pigs.

So something different and amazing. We wondered where Season Six would take us in the finale. We knew that Thorax might be playing a part, but no one expected Trixie and Discord to play the same and in the role of rescuers. It’s also about some of the lessons Starlight, Thorax, Discord, and even Trixie have learned over the course of the season. Starlight is Twilight’s pupil and is forced to lead a project without her’s or the Mane Six’s assistance. Thorax, from his friendship with Spike, has learned there is a way to get love without resorting to force and is willing to help. Discord, well to say he’s a bit clingy to Fluttershy is an understatement, but it’s through her that he is on relatively good terms with the Mane Six. Trixie hasn’t gotten along well with the Mane Six in the past on the show—especially Twilight—but is Starlight’s friend and is making an effort to support her in a time of need.

The banter between Discord and Trixie is genius and fans will undoubtedly want more of that in the future. One wonders when the Changelings will return to the fold—likely Season Seven—but it does set up an interesting and potential story line in the future. The Mane Six and Spike play no rea direct role in this one (and this is the third time in six season finales that at least six of them have been captured at some point), but there are indirect roles from Twilight (to Starlight), Spike (to Thorax), to Fluttershy (her friendship with Discord). So another potential plot for next season would be how much the Mane Six and Spike have influenced others, but that’s really going back to Season Four on that one.

The only issue here is that there is a possible plot hole since odds are that the changelings are still in the three castles—Canterlot, Crystal Empire, and in Ponyville—and unless there it’s addressed in Season Seven or a chapter book, it’s a plot hole. There will be some who will take issue with the sudden events towards the end, but I won’t be one of them.

Really, this was a good season. It only really suffers because the top tier episodes from Seasons Four and Five are top tier for the whole series. I’ll elaborate more on that in the season review (read:  respond to this). So that’s MLP Season Six and it was an enjoyable season if not all mindblowing (Season Four) or emotionally absorbing (Season Five). That’s all for now. More later.

Pluses and Minuses:
  • +  Background of the Changeling Kingdom
  • +  Equestria’s Suicide Squad
  • +  Discord and Trixie banter
  • +  Starlight Glimmer and Thorax
  • +  Something different for a season finale
  • –  You’re changelings are still in your castle

GRADE:  A

StatManDan

Inside the Numbers: Hasbro’s Q3 Earnings

On Monday, Hasbro announced their earnings for the third quarter of 2016 and it was the highest revenue and earnings quarter in the history of the companyNet revenues are at $1.68 billion, up 14% from this time last year. Net earnings reached $257.8 million compared to $207.6 million last year.

Like the last pair of quarters, revenues and earnings were buoyed by Star WarsDisney Princess, and Disney’s Frozen toy lines. Expect the former to continue to grow with Star Wars:  Rogue One coming out this December.

Franchise brands grew 2% with gains for Transformers, Magic: the Gathering, Nerf (for the 15th straight quarter), and Play-Doh (which grew for the 20th straight quarter). My Little Pony was not among the gainers, though emphasis continues to be placed towards the 2017 movie in addition to the new mobile app game “My Little Pony:  Puzzle Party” that was released last week.

“The My Little Pony franchise continued to drive brand awareness through the strategic use of entertainment, pop culture events and consumer products expansion,” said Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. “In a very competitive small doll segment, our holiday items and new launches are beginning to drive POS gains in many markets around the world. In 2017, the My Little Pony movie will bring global audiences to all new worlds, with both the core cast of characters, along with all new characters.”

Again, it appears MLP is still in a bit of a transitional period as the movie approaches as well as a seventh season. Puzzle Party promises to be addictive (and costly if you want to get to level 143) while the Gameloft game is still a top 100 adventure game app. If we’re being honest, this has been a bit of a low-key year which was bound to happen. However, things might just pick up again with a 2017 movie and a 7th season.

StatManDan

Opinion: From a Show ‘For Girls’ to ‘All-Inclusive’ Brand

(NOTE:  This opinions expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of DerpySquad, Spazz, Marimo, or Sprocket.)

When asked about potential challenges in marketing MLP as it is “limited” to the girls’ aisle at NYC Toy Fair 2016, Hasbro Brands President John Frascotti had this response:

“It’s all about “Friendship is Magic”, said Frascotti. “As we look at expanding that across audiences, what we find is that the brand has a credible authenticity. Last year in out licenses which we now call Consumer Products, [MLP] was one of our fastest growing opportunities in all types of aisles from apparel to consumables. As we look to expanding to Preschool and “Guardians of Harmony,” I don’t think we should think about Pony as being ‘limited’ to the girls’ aisle. In fact, we look at viewership in the United States, over 30% of viewership is actually boys.

“So the brand is evolving into an all-inclusive gender brand. And while it traditionally started as a girls’ brand, it really has the legs to go just about anywhere.”

 On Tuesday, Friendship is Magic Supervising Director “Big” Jim Miller tweeted an open letter after a tweet about the show being “for little girls”. Some interpreted the tweet as an admission of a “lack of effort” in what they believe to be a lackluster season in Season Six. My Season Six Review will come after “To Where and Back Again” airs on October 22nd in the US, but looking back at the grades I have given Season Six episodes, I have give three episodes an A+ (“Gauntlet of Fire”, “A Hearth’s Warming Tale”, and “The Times They Are A Changeling”). An additional 10 episodes were graded A or A- (so far). Compare that to a total of 12 episodes receiving A+, A, or A- in Season Five. Admittedly, I’m not the harshest reviewer of episodes, but that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

I feel all of this is less an issue of the show being “for little girls” than “fans” who feel entitled and feel the show should cater to them exclusively. If these “fans” bothered to recall the moral to “Stranger Than Fan Fiction”, they would realize that different people can like the show for different reasons. Indeed, the target demographic for the show is girls aged 6-12 and still is today and there are simply some things that the show will not be allowed to do unlike shows such as Steven Universe or Star vs. the Forces of Evil. It is a testament that many people outside that demographic enjoy the show, inspired by the show, and even felt their lives were saved by the show. All of that perhaps led to Hasbro declaring MLP an “all-inclusive brand” earlier this year.

For “fans” and “analysts” who feel the need to nitpick anything and everything on the show and go ballistic when it smashes their precious head canon, it really does come of as entitlement or being incapable of getting off their high horse (or really a certain other ungulate that I shall refrain from using on here) because the show is not Ben-Hur or Batman:  The Animated Series. It’s insulting.

It is especially insulting to believe that just because some TV shows have females are the main characters and is set in a universe that is predominately female and the primary target audience is female—they are automatically inferior to shows where a male is the central character and most if not all the females on the show are one-note. I’ve gone on record saying this show is one of the best of this decade—if not the best this decade.

On a side note, I’ve repeatedly spoken out against harassing show staff whether it is concerning this show or others. Frankly, I feel more people in the Pony Media and prominent members in the fandom should do the same. It’s far too easy to say “just ignore the trolls.” Sadly, some people continue to act like jerks go out of their way to be jerks towards show staff or the “horse famous” in the fandom. Conversely, everyone has their own way of dealing with this garbage. Unfortunately, there are times where ignoring them is simply not an option and that additional steps need to be taken root out such misbehavior.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a show whose target audience is girls aged 6-12 that so happens to have a massive following outside that demographic. Girls deserve quality entertainment like “Big Jim” said and I still feel they and those who aren’t girls aged 6-12 are getting it through this show. To suggest that because the show is targeted towards the target audience in question somehow automatically makes it inferior, is an insult and is ridiculous.

StatManDan

PS:  Below is the full text of Big Jim’s note:

Report: Season 7 of MLP on the Way, Plus 3 EqG ‘Specials’

Trade website Worldscreen is reporting that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic will indeed get a seventh season in 2017. What is unclear is what channel the season will air as well as the number of episodes. The article also says that three new “Equestria Girls” specials will take place in 2017. Unknown about that is whether they follow up on “Legends of Everfree” and whether there is a new feature-length movie included in the package.

Please see link below:

http://worldscreen.com/tvkids/mipjunior-spotlight-hasbro-studios-2/

THOUGHTS:  It was more likely than not that the show would get a seventh season and that “Legends of Everfree” all but promised that Equestria Girls will continue on. Hasbro would be wise to build momentum for the movie which debuts one year from Thursday. While 2016 may be a low-key year for the franchise (relatively speaking), things are set to pick up next year.’

StatManDan

Tiny Pop Airing Season Six Finale Early?

A look at the Tiny Pop UK schedule has the channel airing Part 1 of the Season Six Finale (“To Where and Back Again) this Thursday at 8am UK time (3am Eastern time) with a rebroadcast at 4:30pm UK time (11:30am ET) and Part 2 the next day at the same times. Tiny Pop also lists the finale being aired back-to-back at 4pm UK time (11am ET) on Saturday at 9:30am UK time on Sunday.

“Top Bolt” (Episode 624) is scheduled to air on Monday at 8am UK time. There is no word on when “Where the Apple Lies” (Episode 623) will air in the UK. Discovery Family is schedule to air “Where the Apple Lies” this Saturday at 11:30am ET/10:30am CT. “Top Bolt” is airing on October 15th and “To Where and Back Again” (both part) airing on October 22nd starting at 11am ET.

It is not unprecedented that Tiny Pop would air a season finale of a Hasbro show ahead of the US. Littlest Pet Shop’s second season finale was aired in the UK prior to airing on The Hub in the US.

It is all guess work right now as to whether these UK listings are legitimate. Also, there is nothing confirmed as to whether the show will move to Netflix or somewhere else for a 7th season (which is also not officially confirmed) due to the low viewership on Discovery Family. We’ll just see what happens over the next few weeks as Season Six winds down.

StatManDan

Samurai Jack SDCC Recap via Chevistian

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Our friend over at Madame Pom News (Chevistian) was able to snag some details from the Samurai Jack – San Diego Comic Con panel.  It was mostly a show of the work they’ve been doing for the upcoming 5th season, 10 episode “mini-movie”, including the prototype opening, and discussion about the show itself, such as the storyline picking up 50 years after the end of Season 4.  The biggest news though was the fact the show has been pushed back to 2017.  Check out Chevistian’s Twitter account for other SDCC news.

From Chevistian:

  • Show moved to 2017
  • Evil Cults &  Childbirth  in the first clip animated
  • S05 will have 10 episodes as a 5 Hour Movie
  • This time we have one really big story for jack – we could tackle more of the drama of his storyline”
  • it’s going to be action-packed & very cool
  • A prototype of the opening sequence of is shown.
  • Gennedy showcasing prototype ideas for the aged Jack
  • The series will take 50 years in the future. It was originally a film, but became a new season
  • Adult Swim has no limits
  • The Scotsman is planned to return
  • A fan ask did if Sym Biotic Titan could return. Gennedy’s response: Never say never.
  • Gennedy got someone who can replace Aku  TBA