[source] 406 - “The Ponyhead Show!; Surviving the Spiderbites” Written by: Kristen Gish, Amelia Lorenz; Gina Gress, Cassie Zwart "Star asks for Pony Head's help to increase Eclipsa's popularity.; Star… (More)
The episode begins with Scootaloo fast-tracking the meeting of the Rainbow Dash Fan Club with a new Washouts fan group—which makes an eavesdropping Rainbow Dash worried that she has competition… (More)
In a brilliant ode to the Road Trip movies of Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, Starlight and Trixie go on a road trip to Saddle Arabia. It’s similar to “Pinkie Apple Pie” in its setup, but it’s Starlight looking forward to a road trip with her best friend Trixie and her cramped caravan that must be her home—though they don’t really specify why Trixie prefers her caravan to the most spacious one from the Saddle Arabian Hoo’Far.
It is a straightforward story that is an ode to the Crosby-Hope “Road to…” pictures of the 1940s and 1950s. The song was the highlight as Starlight and Trixie play off each other in comedic fashion mixed with the usual problems encountered in a road trip episode such as finding a room, going off budget, etc.
Starlight and Trixie attempting a friendship chant like Twilight’s and Cadance’s was also hilarious. The appearance of Hoo’Far during each scene was timely. The one issue I have besides not giving a specific explanation as to why Trixie does not want to part ways with her caravan is that Starlight indeed had no right to trade it away in the first place. Outside of that, the episode is a continuation of the slow, but certain improvement of the episodes as Season Eight, for those following the US broadcast schedule, winds down.
August 5, 2018, 8:48 pm EDTMy Little PonyComments Off on MLP Review: “A Matter of Principals” and “The Hearth’s Warming Club”
Before they aired “Yakity-Sax”, there was half the season gone and half the season to go. The second half of Season Eight starts in earnest with two episodes—both a step up from that monstrosity.
“A Matter of Principals”
Discord likes testing ponies. Starlight is the target as he sends the Mane Six on a wild goose chase and makes life hard for the interim head mare since he got passed over. We also learn that smart-watches and long-distance plans are now canon. Starlight is a tougher nut to crack than most while Discord was being a bit too jerky like he was in “Make New Friends But Keep Discord”.
Some of the gags were funny, some of the cameos were great, but the episode does suffer a bit from Discord’s antics. Starlight finally tones done Discord by apologizing for flatly rejecting his “help” in the first place (though fans would have approved of her zapping Discord). Also good is that Starlight learning that magic does not solve all problems—especially miscreant draconequeses.
“The Hearth’s Warming Club”
We’re going Breakfast Club for this one, but thankfully neither Twilight, nor Rainbow Dash ends up like Assistant Principal Vernon. The comparisons to the actual ‘Club’ do not really work here since there were five of them and we have six in this episode. (OK, maybe Gallus is Bender).
Remember how I said MLP usually does a good job of giving a fresh take of a oft-told storyline? This is what I am talking about. With the theme of the season, it does give everyone a chance to tell holiday stories from back home. Ocellus’s was great. Yona’s was good and everyone thought we would be in for a running gag at that point. Smolder’s was…..original. Silverstream’s was terrific. Sandbar’s story was the kind of story either Hamton from Tiny Toons or PBS’s Between the Lions would tell.
That leads us to Gallus. It’s actually sad, yet understandable that he grew up in a culture where friendship is virtually non-existent. Even their “holiday” is more of tolerance than anything. Gallus is having a better experience with the rest of the Young Six at the School and didn’t want to let go of it even for a couple weeks, so that’s why he pranked the tree.
This was actually a nice episode and give something of a backstory to some of the Young Six and how other cultures in the MLP world celebrate holidays. Though, one has to wonder why this episode is airing in August. Then again, of the four Hearth’s Warming Episodes, just one originally aired in December (“Hearth’s Warming Eve”). Then again, there is a Holiday Special on the way after the season.
For the first time since May 6, 2011 (Best Night Ever), a new episode aired on a Friday. That’s about the only significant thing there is about this episode. In the episode, Pinkie Pie begins playing a new instrument called a yovidaphone. Much like every bagpipe gag in every Warner Brothers cartoon there is one, Pinkie is not that good at it.
Her friends tell her to stop playing and she does. Pinkie is fully deflated she loved that instrument so much in this episode. She is so deflated that she cannot be cheered up in Ponyville and moves to Yakyakistan to hear the yovidaphone fo happiness. That doesn’t work, but her friends coaxing her to play once again despite her not being good at it (so everypony thinks) does.
This episode may have been better served if the lesson were “practice makes perfect” or if Pinkie really did get better by the end of the episode instead of what we saw. It’s a gag as old as time where a character is poor at an instrument and/or singing and his or her friends try to go end around with being honest. This show usually does a good job of supplying something fresh to something cliche, but not in this case.
It needed to take a better tack knowing how Pinkie can easily get depressed if she feels rejection and also minus points for Twilight suggesting something similar to what she tried in “Horse Play”. In short, this was not a good episode.
“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it.”
—To A Mouse, by Robert Burns
While the Mane Six and Starlight go on a retreat near the Tree of Harmony, Chrysalis plans to clone versions of the Mane Six to steal the Elements of Harmony—and get revenge on Starlight which she swore to do in the end of “To Where and Back Again”. Things go awry straight away when the clones are more in line from the Discorded Six we saw in “The Return of Harmony.” The Fake Twilight proves to be even more devious when she plans to betray Chrysalis once she and the other clones get the elements.
We go through the standard interactions between real and fake Mane 6 and before the Fake Six go after the Elements and the real Mane Six and Starlight make-up thinking that they were giving each other a hard time. However, the Fake Twilight betrays Chrysalis, but in a twist, the Tree of Harmony grabs the fakes and turns them back into the clumps of wood they were originally. In other words, the Tree knows fakes when it sees them, and Chrysalis flies off in disgust.
Note that the Mane Six and Starlight and Chrysalis do not meet each other (or at least realized it was Chrysalis in disguise at the beginning taking photos and hair samples). So the Mane Six have literally no idea that Chrysalis was around. Chrysalis simply did not think this plan through from not realizing that her clones would embody the opposite of the personalities of the ponies she is cloning. I do give the episode credit for giving the clone Twilight some depth as well. There’s already a meme that she is/was the most competent villain the show has had.
The only bad spot is that the interactions/mix-ups with the real and fake Mane Six get to be a bit tedious throughout the second act. I do like that Twilight stops her group’s bickering by admitting she got carried away with her schedule. It’s not the best of Season Eight, but it is in line with the more recent episodes of the season making that in the higher end of Season Eight.
So that is the first half of the season. If I were to rank this episode among the other Episode 13’s of previous seasons, here’s how it would go (I exclude Season Three since that was only 13 episodes):
1. The Perfect Pear (S7)
2. Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep (S5)
3. Stranger Than Fan Fiction (S6)
4. The Mean 6 (S8)
5. Simple Ways (S4)
6. Fall-Weather Friends (S1)
7. Baby Cakes (S2)
I cut to the chase and say that this was a good episode apart from one part being telegraphed and one part extraneous.
The telegraphed part is of course Big Mac thinking (mistakenly) that Sugar Belle is in Ponyville to break up with him. The extraneous part is the whole thing with the CMC and thinking Sweetie Belle may have a secret admirer after the postal mix-up. I guess there needed to be a B-plot in this story and something else for Big Mac to bounce off of.
Now let’s get to the good parts. Discord is actually making an effort to be helpful and cheer up Big Mac. The part with “Skelanor” was quite humorous. Spike was good in this one too to tie in with “guys’ night”.
Long story short, Sugar Belle is taking a part-time apprenticeship with Mrs. Cake while her cousin is running the bakery in Starlight’s old village on weekends (to be on his own for once apparently). Of course, Discord “stalled” Sugar Belle so that Big Mac can square things away with her.
So overall, a better effort from last week apart from the telegraphed mix-ups and the extraneous portion with the CMC.
The map is calling the Cutie Mark Crusaders to Mount Aris for a friendship problem. It is their first and the first time the map has called some pony creature to a place outside Equestria. It’s either been Ponyville, Canterlot, Manehattan, or where the Pony of Shadows hung out.
Twilight is coming along for an excuse to visit Mount Aris since the events of the movie research and to get Silverstream’s parents to sign a permission slip so she can go on field trips (shouldn’t that be Silverstream’s job?) They come across Silverstream’s brother Terramar who can’t decide between living on land as a hippogriff (like his father Sky Beak) or in the sea as a sea pony (like his mother Ocean Flow). This being Hasbro, they are not going to mention that the parents are separated/divorced. (Is it only Arthur who really goes that far?)
The CMC get a tour of Mount Aris and Seaquestria and Sweetie Belle is in love with Harmonizing Heights on Mount Aris while Scootaloo enjoys Seaquestria (while Sweetie Belle does not). That doesn’t help Terramar with his problem which he believes he needs to choose between the two. Actually, no hippogriff or pony told him to choose and Terramar’s parents realized that he shouldn’t be compelled to choose either and he can go back and forth.
While fans may not appreciate Hasbro possibly going end around with the parents living separately, they do establish that some of the hippogriffs got used to the sea while others returned to Mount Aris after the defeat of the Storm King. In the case of Terramar, it splits down his family. There does not seem to be any animosity between Sky Beam and Ocean Flow, and there are ways hippogriffs can go back and forth as the magic pearl has been split and distributed throughout the realm.
I guess Twilight has been forgiven for trying to steal the pearl in the movie as she is treated like a celebrity here. Of course, the bar is low for forgiving characters here.
Overall, this is a very good episode, though some may find some aspects a bit off. Terramar, Sky Beak, and Ocean Flow seem like nice characters and we get a decent bit of world building.
Such a dramatic title, like The End of the Creator-Drive Era in TV Animation that accidentally spawned…a culture. But over the past decade we have witness the nostalgia train roll into various stations. Just like Hollywood is a skipping and broken record of mediocrity, this has gone with the world of animation. Let us start with Teen Titans Go, the show Cartoon Network likes to ram down everybody’s throats all day, every day, until the end of days.
While I am an animation fan, like many other things, I don’t get that deep, but do come to an understanding. I understand Teen Titan Go, its always had the Japanese flare and ‘Go’ is something I have seen done in the world of anime a few times. Much like my knowledge, I am not overly a big anime viewer, and in fact barely watch television in general. My wife on the other hand floats in an ocean of it. So I’ve witness several cutesy version of otherwise serious shows, like Attack on Titan: The Junior High years, which my wife only watched a few episodes, promptly when I told her my conclusion that it was the AoT version of TTG.
Powerpuff Girls. Honestly beyond the initial hype up and several weeks afterwards I heard very little about the show, but during that time I heard and saw all sorts of crap about it. No offense to the people behind the show, but the general vibe I got from it all was trying to be ‘too fresh, too hip’ with its meme faces and other over the top facial expressions to please the younger generation, while the older nostalgia folks wanted a faithful reboot. Maybe if they had waited another decade, the gap between those two groups could have saved the show.
And now we’ve come to the reboot, of ReBoot, the cgi animated series that ran four seasons from 1994 to 2001. Granted we should not judge a book by its cover, or a show by its trailer, and even more so my opinion is meaningless as the original show is one of those on my bucket list to watch front to back, but during its airing and somewhere in the mid-2000 I did catch a fair share of the show, especially the last season and what I remember was an epic finale.
On March 30th 2018 a “reimagined” version of ReBoot (The Guardian Code) will hit Netflix. And from what I’ve seen, if you had fond memories of the original, abandon all hope before clicking on it. If we were a real animation site, we’d probably have at this point a hookup with Netflix to see this stuff earlier, but as the underground hide of the crossed eyed gray mare, that would be a major nope. So I’ve only seen the trailer which currently has 345,000 views, 3,424 comments, 1,000 thumbs up and what might as well be a middle finger, 12,000 thumbs down.
I had hoped they wouldn’t screw this one up. Its actually part of the reason this site branched out beyond just colorful equine (and other fun shows like Gravity Falls, Star Vs, Wander), thus I was planning to poorly cover it like we do with the rest, but no.
The general comment echo is “Did these people even watch the f**king show?”.
As said above and ripped from Wikipedia, its a reimagined show that is mixing live action (real world) elements in a cgi world. The preview shows the angsty teenage High Schoolers get roped in to being ‘Guardians’ for this world, against what looks like is Big Government folks after “The Guardian Code” who are using a hacker to reawaken Megabyte (the villain of the original series) in an epic computer world battle.
The other comment echo is comparing it with various live actions shows like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Tokusatsu, Code Lyoko, and other various shows of the complete and utter opposite of what the original ReBoot was. Like someone took their childhood and held it head under the water for a little too long.
Will I give it a chance? Hell no, I barely have time to watch anything let alone something that will probably waste time I’ll never recover. No offense to the people behind it, either you knew nothing of the show or more likely the suits upstairs dictated to go in this direction, but its like how hard is it to hit the mark. Just from the YouTube comments and 1k + vs 12k – we all know what its going to be…a pile. I’m sure someone out there will find it entertaining, and it will be watched, but you could have also hit the bulls eye dead on and at least generated some money from this, even the suits should be aware of the nostalgia factor with people now a days and how they can now cash in on those once young who wanna relive happier times, before this wretched mud ball of planet turned into some timeline crossing dystonia (looking at you hadron collider).
But thems the apples. Another missed mark, another butt load of money wasted. Happy Sailing ReBoot: The Guardian Code, them seas look quite (12,000) angry.
If you want to watch something fun and interesting, especially if you have never bothered to watch it. Go find yourself a copy of the original ReBoot series. Again, its been eons since I have watched it, but I know it was good enough to go revisit someday, and actually with the reboot of ReBoot coming this way, I’ll probably do just that. The original series is completely immersive as it takes place inside a computer, features a Guardian named Bob with a pair of companions, and they protect the ‘City of’ Mainframe from viruses such as Megabyte and Hexadecimal. And much like the Wikipedia article I’m reading from, it was also the world’s first ever half hour, completely CGI animated TV series, which is pretty much the norm now for, well everything animated.
We give it no muffins out of ten delicious muffins.