…I should have put this a post back in 2014, but here you go, a video review I actually helped write. It’s an “Spongey” review, but it still needs a post.
Oh, and do you like the new Blog name?
…I should have put this a post back in 2014, but here you go, a video review I actually helped write. It’s an “Spongey” review, but it still needs a post.
Oh, and do you like the new Blog name?
Hello, Spongey here.
It’s not only time for a request, but it’s also time for a hated film from the previous year. Have I even done a live action 2015 movie yet? Honestly, not too much stands out as something I NEED to review, and everything I could review has been done (Jupiter Ascending), or will be done so much I don’t need to touch it. (Fantastic 4, Jem).
Even this one I wasn’t too sure about it, and when I decided to go for it, it got requested. How convenient. This comes from Idyemyhairpink34. I don’t know if they are true to their name. They specifically said “i suffered though it now you will too”.
That sounds lovely.
First, we have our backstory. Smosh is basically just a Youtube Channel knowing for silly comedy skits with typical Youtube humor. I’ve honestly never seen any of their videos. I just know them as those videos that would sometimes appear in the related videos, that I never felt like clicking on.
From what I can tell, it’s typical YouTube stuff, but it’s pretty harmless when compared to some other crap out there. I’ve commented on the rise of Internet movies before, and this is another interesting example.
The ones online have actual stories connected to the world of their characters, and are actual movies. The ones “professionals” try to make use “characters” that barely exist, and barely count as movies.
You all remember Fred The Movie and how awful it was, and it’s mediocre sequels and spin off show. It seems like some of these movies happen because Hollywood wants to make money rather than give talented comedians their big break or something!
I have mixed feelings going in. At least Smosh has some talent to spare, meaning they could work in a real movie when given a decent script. On the other hand, this film is based directly upon Smosh.
…How do you make a movie out of…basically nothing? It even has a real plot, instead of a bunch of skits. That would be fine…if Tim & Eric didn’t’ do something similar and bomb horribly.
And these guys started online instead of a semi-professional Television Block. Oh, and this got very negative reviews. Smosh themselves responded to one review, and said “Poor form smearing a youtuber trying something new”
This is sounding better and better by the minute. But hey….you never know what could be good, so let’s at least try to be fair going in where. I don’t even have a problem with Smosh unlike Fred, so there’s no bias going in this time.
Let’s see who was hired to take on this epic tale. Our director is Alex Winter, who is an actual professions writer and actor, who played Bill in Bill & Ted. Whoa, they get an actual guy with talent instead of some guy who does only TV crap?
..He did the live action Ben Ten movies? Nevermind then. Speaking of TV, our two writers are known for TV work. One has just done small stuff, with the other is Steven Marmel, who I already know pretty well.
He was a writer on classic Fairly Odd Parents. Infact, he did that episode AU Me praised, meaning this is our time a TV review writer also did a movie I reviewed. Cool. He also created Sonny with a Chance.
Yes, really. So this could be either amazing or just okay….or bad like his Modern Family guy Episode. All bets are off.
Oh, and our producer was producer on Fred the movie.
…Let’s get this over with.
This, is Smosh: The Movie
The movie opens with an animated title sequence showing Ian and Anthony, the geniuses behind Smosh…doing their daily routine and watching YouTube videos. What an amazing use of expensive CGI that looks mediocre.
They even just give up and cut to a real life version of these same events. Also, one of those guys leaves a comment just saying “You Suck”. Well, you can’t say this movie isn’t faithful to YouTube culture.
We find out that one of the guys is a freeloader and the other guy is trying to be a professional with an actual job. Glad to see them rely on old cliches for their buddy movie. It’s so original and makes them so likable.
Also, Anthony imagine Steve Austin talking to him in the mirror because…we need a celebrity cameo. It’s not a soulless cash grab without it! They head to some arcade place called “The Gang Bang” because….we also need crass jokes for the sake of it.
They spy a game like Pocket Slave Monsters, which is an amazingly creative joke about how Pokemon are “enslaved”. Nothing but the most original and fresh insights, I see!
“We used to love the games and the Tv show, and the erotic fan fiction”
Oh great, we’re following someone who enjoys Pokemon Erotica. Lovely. Anthony is worried Ian isn’t living in the “Real world” and he keeps being embarrassing. Christ, is this gonna be nothing but buddy comedy cliches?
Then a kid takes a dump on Anthony’s car. Because lolpoopisfunny. They play the sad music like I’m suppose to care. Cute. Because Ian needs more charming traits, we see that we leaves pervy comments on videos of girls getting butt messages.
The comments are always flagged, which makes me wonder why she doesn’t just block him or something. So far this is the typical case of me wondering what I’m supposed to like about this guy. He’s written to be an annoying embarrassment but there’s nothing charming about him.
This came in 2015, I thought we learned this shtick is no longer funny or charming. ….Christ, we’re only 10 minutes in. The mailman arrives and says he refuses to deliver mail to Ian’s house, than he smashes his mailbox because that won’t get you fired or anything.
Oh, and we get it,. Ian sucks, move on. Although the mailman is the funniest part so far. Anyway, Ian thinks he has a thing going on with butt massage girl, but then he is blocked. Why did it take so long to happen to begin with?
“She really cares about me”
Bah. Anthony shows up with the mail and they have an invitation to their 5 year High School Reunion, which is that night. Yep, pile on the cliches, why not. This causes Anthony to launch into a flashback about his crush, Anna Reed.
He seemed to hit off with her but wussed out and didn’t talk to her again, and this Reunion is a good chance to fix that. Maybe they’ll do something clever with it. Maybe I should stop being optimistic.
They checked out a video that was linked to them but they must face a long ad, then a bunch of buffering. Okay, that’s funny because it’s so freaking true. Turns out the video is of him doing some embarrassing thing in front of Anna from back then.
Why wasn’t this is a big deal back when the video was made? Seems like a long time to go without even hearing about it, if they thought it was so funny. He’s worried that Anna will see the video so they must get the video removed from YT before she sees it.
That’s stupid..the video contains a cruel prank, so it’ll stay on while perfectly fair use videos get fucked over for some reason.
They call up YouTube to ask them to remove the video.
“Are you a rich and powerful corporation that can threaten us with legal action?”
“Then I can’t help you, goodbye”
You know it’s sad when Smosh the Movie makes fun of your bullshit. Guess you have to find out who put it up and makes them take it down. Oh wait, that would make sense. …Wait, what ifas bunch of people already downloaded and shared it thus making this pointless?
They head down to YouTube HQ to take matters into their own hands, By that I mean they lie and claim to be a powerful company. They buy it and let them in to see Mr. Youtube.
“Mr Youtube will see you now’
If this turns into 50 Shades of Grey….I’ll stay because that sounds way funnier than this. They talk to him and he says once a video is online, it’s there forever so their best bet is to change the video from the inside.
“So you mean like…go into Youtube, tron style?’
….Care to explain, instead of jumping into pointless banter involving a mention of Gangem style because that’s totally still relevant?
“There’s actually a portal right under my desk’
Turns out he’s lying and he just has his dick out under there. Because….dicks are funny.
“That is the best joke ever!’
Then he says there IS a portal, and it’s just in his closet. So that entire bit was unfunny, boring, AND pointless? Hooray!
As it turns out, he’s right and gives them a Discount Siri to help guide them.
“It’s like Siri”
Explaining the joke, that’s always great, right? But in more important matters, it turns out they can magically go inside YouTube to change the video. …This now it’s randomly supernatural for no reason, with no hint or explanation at all.
Whatever, it’s a Comedy, I can let that slide, and hey it’s not a bad idea, it’s been done well before. Maybe it’ll be funny! ….Maybe?
They end up in a Bear Attack video, and then a Markiplier video because cameo. Well, at least this one makes sense and is relevant. He’s playing a game involving a gorilla with a chainsaw.
‘It doesn’t make a whole lot sense, but then again I don’t really care”
Okay that was funny.
Next they jump into a video Ian secretly filmed of Anthony talking to himself in the mirror, because we didn’t already get that Ian is a dick. …Wow, speaking of which I’m kind of a dick in this review so far.
Past Ian, the one who filmed this, goes outside and they follow him, which is confusing because in the past two videos they only existed in the real of the video butn ow they can interact with something outside of it?
Wait, why am I nitpicking the rules of a movie like this? Past Ian throws milk balloons at the mailman, explaining why he got so pissed earlier, and I’m on his side. Seriously, will he do anything that;’s even the slightest bit likable?
This really only exists for they can realize they can interact with the videos, even though the event that spawned this thought happened as Past Ian his phone were inside, so they are not even in the same area as the video-okay I’ll stop.
He asks Diri to take them to the embarrassing video but she takes them to Jenna Marbles because….more cameos.
“Now she’s just messing with us”
Instead of this cameo doing something funny, she just figures out their situation and tells them how to get to the video. They need to type the adress of the video, and they don’t know it….because there’s no way they can find the video to get the address. It’s not like they have phones they can use to find the original link location or anything!
I’m allowed to nitpick because it artificially extends the plot. Speaking of which, we get a ticking clock as we find out that if the phone dies, they are stuck in YouTube forever. That…kind of makes sense.
Oh, and Jenna says she got stuck and then argues with another her in the background as the scene just moves on. …Okay. They decided to just guess random addresses, and they split up to do so.
Anthony pops up in a video of….uh a Furry party, I think.
Ian ends up in the butt massage girl video…because he put it in on purpose. Ugh. She sees him right away….and says she was just playing hard to get by flagging his comments. Okay, this has to be an imagine spot, calling it now.
Before we can find out, Anthony ends up in a video of Steve Austin, which you think could be kind of amusing but it goes nowhere. He gets fed and just asks Diri to take him to the night of the video, and he is taken to Anna’s house.
Okay, so they can just go back in time? You said they are in YouTube, not going through time wily nilly. You have to obey the premise of the damn movie!
Oh, she’s filming a video. That’s their excuse. …Well, it’s still stupid. She conveniently starts talking about Anthony and it is confirmed that she liked him. Glad to be back to the actual “story” after so many detours.
He gets out there before he is spotted, and we rejoin Ian and butt massage girl. Wait, so it’s real? Ian being a creepy perv basically brought him something good while Anthony just got unfairly punished in that scene for no reason? …Seriously? You’re resorting to bad TV tactics here!
She conveniently recognizes Anthony from the video and pulls it out on her pad, so he can see the address. Like he could have done with his own phone, for reasons I went into. Anthony tells Ian that his love with butt massage girl is not real as this is just a video and he restarts said video to prove it.
I’m not sure I’m going over this, maybe to point how pointless that scene now is. Also, the events go the same as before with her liking him because ugh. With that, the head into the video they want.’
Good, we’re almost done? ….We’re only 40 minutes in?! HOW?! They get ready to stop their 2009 Anthony from embarrassing himself…but then they see that Ian was the one recording the video that started all of this.
….Seriously. As we needed another reason why Ian sucks! They try to justify by saying he recorded it because he thought it would turn out well, and he posted it because he thought it was fun and he wanted to remind Anthony how fun he used to be.
And….well it doesn’t work but….still better than some other similar attempts to justify assholes characters. Ian isn’t even laughing at his embarrassment, he thinks it’s kind of cool, so this bit isn’t as asshole-ish as the rest of his antics….but it’s really forced how he acts likes a dick to Anthony the whole movie only for him to be slightly nice in doing the big dumb that started the plot JUST to make Anthony look like the asshole.
Not to mention it’s incredibly cliché. The “funny” one thinks the serious one has lost his touch and yada yada. It bombs because while Anthony maybe needed to loosen up, he was just being rational to make up for Ian being an unlikable asshat.
And worst of all, this is incredibly boring coming from two people who quite frankly should be more creative than this. And I STILL don’t get why he waited 5 years to post the video. That’s minor but in this plot, usually it gets leaked right away and just now becomes more relevant.
“People change Ian, get over it”
As they start fighting, Diri takes them on a montage trip through YouTube to pad the runtime. They go through like 3 videos, none of which are that creative, and they just end up back at school after like a minute.
Riveting. Ian decides to apologize for posting the video. First off, lamest argument ever. 2nd of all, I’m not buying it. You are not funny enough for me to feel sorry for you.
Oh, and Diri hits on Anthony. Her, this is not.
Ian beats up Past Anthony…instead of getting rid of Past Ian’s phone so the video doesn’t come to exist. …Seriously, that makes more sense and is way easier. Now there’s a video of you beating up your best friend, that’s even worse!
This causes a huge fight to break out, and when they ask Diri to help, she refuses.
“First you idiots barge into my office asking for favors. I am gracious enough to listen but then you won’t even laugh at my weiner jokes!”
…What a twist? Yep, Mr. YouTube is an evil guy who says sending the two into YouTube was part of his evil scheme to keep them in YouTube forever. And he does this because……he’s evil, I guess?
This just makes the story even more of a mess, although I guess I didn’t see it coming so….that’s something. Now the two must get out of YouTube before their battery drops to 0, and they do so by going through their viewing history to find the portal.
With that, Steve jumps into YT himself to take care of them. Well, time for our forced climax because even lame YouTube movies need them. At least Fred had no forced villain that I recall.
We get through the videos we’ve before, but some are slightly funnier than before, which is a plus. It only takes a minute to get back to the Markiplier video, which gives us another buffering joke, which is less funny than before.
“It’s 2014, why is there stll buffering”
This is why you don’t namedrop the year, in case your movie comes out a year after that year. They find the portal but Steve gets in their way. …Then a bear attacks him, giving them a change to escape.
They officially make up here, even though it’s not exactly the time and my rant from before still applies. Either way, they are out….and we still have 15 minutes left. This movie never ends.
They head home only to find that their house is huge and butt massage girl is there. …Yeah, she explains that the video of the past and present Ian and Anthony fighting became such a huge hit that they became rich.
So…they went through time, not YouTube? Seriously, is this movie supposed to make sense or not? Not to mention how improbable this is, and how Ian is now rewarded for being a pervert. Lovely.
Thankfully, Anthony is better off, as he has 30 girlfriends. But of course Anna is the one he wants. I’m going to guess their fame made this timeline’s Anthony too much of a rich jerk to go with Anna. This film has become cliché enough for that to be the case.
We get a few more jokes about how amazing their lives are now, including a reveal that Steve is not ceo of YT in this timeline, for some reason. He still makes dick jokes though.
“He seemed lovely”
Heh, that was also kind of funny.
Now they are off to the reunion to get Anna. He talks to her and they at least confirm that she at least thought he was too busy being rich to be with her. She thought he changed or whatever. I was right enough for me to bitch about it.
This scene is trying to be sad, but with the set up I can’t really get into it, the characters aren’t good enough, and it’s incredibly cliché and boring. Much like the rest of the movie. So to get her to like him again, he goes on stage to pretty recant the video, but it goes without a hitch this time.
He does screw up something after, which makes her see that he is still the crazy Anthony she loved. Yawn, I don’t care, okay? Can we wrap this up? We’ve seen this moral before, and it does nothing new with it at all.
They get up on the stage to celebrate, and Anna meets Butt Massage girl.
“My name’s Brad”
“What the fuck?’!”
Roll credits. Way to end on only the classiest of notes. Also, abrupt ending, yada yada. At least we get like 4 minutes of bloopers. …And a post credits scene?! Unless Howard the Duck shows up, I don’t care!
If you do, it has Ian getting married to “Brad”….and he says he has a boner, and Anthony cries, The end. ….That was a good use of my time.
While this was way more bearable than Fred, this was still pretty bad. For the simple reason that it has no idea what it wants to be, and doesn’t even feel like a Smosh movie. Both major plot lines clash with each other, as it’s both realistic and off the wall with no explanation.
The YouTube plot line would be good as a 5 minute sketch, but it outstays it’s welcome when stretched to 75 minutes, and they barely even take advantage of it, doing only a few skits with it.
The more down to earth plot line is boring as all hell, as it’s incredibly predictable with everything being forced. It’s also insanely cliché, and does nothing to make different from every other take on this plot.
It hits every note and the heart doesn’t work because it’s rushed and we barely know anyone. Anthony is just the boring straight man who gets punished too much and that’s about it, while Anna is just the slightly quirky girl who prefers him as himself.
Meanwhile Ian is the annoying one who never really learns his lesson. His “arc” ends when he apologizes, and does NOTHING in the actual ending to show he learned his lesson. He acts like a jackass and is excused because he was teaching a lesson. What a load.
The writing is just terrible, which how it fails to balance anything and it’s not interesting at all. I’m okay with a weak plot if they at least try to make us care, but they failed. The twist with Steve feels like it’s trying to be crazier with the plot, but it pretty much adds up to nothing.
To be fair, the humor isn’t as the worst, as it has a few amusing moments, but a lot of it is cliché. Plus I bet I’d laugh more if I watched any actual Smosh video, and it would waste less of my time.
The acting and production values are fair for this kind of movie, but it’s nothing special either. The worst thing about this movie is how much of a waste it is. At least Fred was what you would aspect from him in terms of humor and felt mostly like a Fred video, and the attempts at heart were short.
While this has a few Smosh-eqsque jokes, most of it is too tame and barely uses their talents. If they want to make an extended Smosh skit, do it. If you want to make an actual movie do it, but you can’t have both unless you actual try.
And even if you want a plot, do one that is actually interesting and gives the two funny things to. Outside of some reactions, Ian and Anthony get very little to do here, and are just boring for the most part.
A movie like this should not be as mind mindbogglingly boring as it was. I’m okay with them trying something new, but with major backing and their talents, they should have made something better than this.
At least Fred had the excuse of being a TV Movie, this only has the excuse of having a sort of lower budget than most movies. While I’ve seen more annoying movies, this one of the most poorly written films.
It could have at least pleased fans but outside of some jokes, it doesn’t even do that. It’s just a waste of money and talent all around. You’re better of watching Smosh videos for an hour than sitting through this.
By the way, one of the production companies behind this also made Genie in a Bikini ….Now it all makes sense.
I hope you enjoyed my torment. Next time, we take a break from requests to do a sequel to a movie I reviewed a long time ago.
Hello, Spongey here.
Well, I promised I will get back to the Goosebumps Horrorland reviews, and while it took me a month, I still stuck to my promise. There’s no schedule for these, but with my other projects, you never know how long it could be until I get around to doing each review.
…Plus, I had laptop issues, so it set me back. Thankfully, I did not start on the review before that happened.
With that said, onto Number 8. This time it’s one that references another book, without actually being a sequel. Despite the title, this has nothing to do with “Say Cheese and Die” and it’s terrible sequel.
It has the same set up, but the evil camera has a different backstory, so it doesn’t even have that connection going for it. However, I’m all for another crack at this story as long as it’s better than the last one.
Besides that, there’s not much to comment on, so let’s just get started and see how the 3rd attempt at making cameras evil pans out.
(Also, the short summary on the back blatantly rehashes the cover tagline from the first one. Good going)
This, is Say Cheese-and Die Screaming!
The book opens with our main character, Julie talking to her best friend Reena.
“I’ve only been talking about it for months, remember? To shot the entire student body for the big two page spread in the Tiger?”
Feels good to use that again. Julie happens to into photography and does various assignments for the school paper, and stuff like that. So while Greg couldn’t give two shits before and just did the pictures by accident, this chick is into that stuff to begin with.
Eh, photography clubs and the like exist for a reason, so it’s not too far fetched. What is a bit strange is that she has a Sitcom Arch Nemesis named David who is always trying to one up her.
She is trying to get the office before he does, but he beats her to the punch. Yes, he does act like an asshole in front of authority figures and somehow gets away with it. He also rambles on about cameras in a way that makes it obvious this is 2009.
Even Modern Goosebumps gets outdated! ….Man, these new books started in 2008? Somehow I feel old.
Julie pitches her idea for the big Yearbook photo: Every stands in this huge empty pool, and she takes the picture from ontop the high dive board. Yeah, I can’t see anything wrong happening when you do that from a notable height.
“It’s a very wide platform up there, with railings on both sides. No way I could slip”
….You win this round.
David suggests having a contest to see who takes that picture. Yep, this is our main conflict that the supernatural element will mess with. …Eh, still less far fetched than anything in the other books.
A few days later, Julie and Reena are out on a bike ride and end up a creepy house that is having a garage sale. There’s only so many ways I can point out that somehow bad may happen after this event takes place.
Julie spots an old camera asks for the price, but is told it’s not for sale. This is why you check to make sure you have hidden all your evil artifacts before you put it on sale.
When the owner is not looking, a little girl, supposedly her daughter or something, gives it to Julie and asks her to take it. Despite this being incredibly suspicious, Julie takes it. Well, it was nice knowing you.
Also, I think Julie later explains why she wants an old camera. If my memory is bad, I’ll admit it at the end. She has Reean over for dinner and there she takes a picture of her as her first photo.
You know how this goes, so what is the evil thing going on the picture? She has red eye in it. ….Spine tingling. Just hope her Dad doesn’t become an evil monster or something. Suddenly, her eyes start burning and it comes out of nowhere, almost seemingly for no reason.
Hm….yeah, that works as our first evil camera deed. It even kind of makes sense. Heck, I can even see why they would think it’s a coincidence. Julie doesn’t have a lot of time to mull over this as she must go to this school basketball game to snap some pictures.
She brings the old camera by accident. Oh hey, a decent reason to have it pop up again. They say she got it to begin with for fun and is only using it because she picked it up by accident. That makes more sense than just using it because….reasons.
She takes a picture of this girl making a basket, but only her arm shows up in the photo. What happens next is….actually kind of confusing. The chapter ends by saying she’s hanging by her arm, but the arm looks all broken.
Then it says bones are poking out through the skin, and Julie looks at the photo showing only the arm. So…what happened? When I first read this, I thought her arm fell off since the photo only had the arm, but now it seems like it broke….but bone is coming out so what the heck did the camera exactly do?
It’s pretty creepy either way, but it’s not clear enough. Both explanations make sense because the camera only got the arm, so at least there’s some logic to it.
“Maybe I should have left the camera in her garage. This CAN’T be coincidence!”
…Speaking of logic, holy crap she notices the obvious patterns, and how it’s kind of strange someone’s arm broke after a camera somehow only got her arm. This is getting creepy, it’s like Julie is smarter than Greg will ever be!
Then out of nowhere, David takes the camera and snaps a picture of Julie. Wah wah. The pictures sticks stuck halfway throgh coming out, which randomly causes her tons of pain, making her feel like she’s being cut in half.
Right as this happens, she figures that out and takes the picture out with force, solving the problem. Okay, this is another creative creepy idea AND it has her being smart again! Seriously, are we sure this is the same writer?
From this, Julie now knows the thing is evil. I think the short length of this story (84 pages) is why things happen so quickly, and logic is applied to keep things moving. Either way, this is one of the few GBH books so far to actually benefit from being shorter.
She goes home and bumps into her annoying little brother.
“If I took his picture with this evil camera,he probably would become a skeleton”
Haw, get it because the covers to these books have skeletons?
She puts away the camera and calls Reena, who blames her for the red eye thing.
“That woman warned you not to take the camera”
Whoa, now the best friend sees it right away instead of being the skeptical one? What is this witchcraft?! Although it is harsh to be angry over a mistake like this.
The next day, she tries to return the camera,but of course the woman is gone as she has moved on. Julie says that the sale must have been for this reason, and since it’s clearly been 2 days, that gave them enough time to do this.
Okay, what is this logic doing in my Goosebumps? This is getting ridiculous! Julie decides to just leave it here, since no one is likely to find it in an empty house…unless someone buys it, but eh, that’s something kids don’t tend to think of.
But of course the camera mysteriously is there for her at home. She gets desperate and throws the camera in a pond and After the obligatory dream sequence involving skeletons, the camera predictable appears in the kitchen the next morning.
As predictable, as this is, it’s nicely down. She’s actually trying to get rid of the camera, and it feels like the thing is truly evil with it appearing everywhere,. It’s a lot more effective than the characters just waiting for things to happen.
She takes it to her photography teacher guy, because he’s likely to know about evil cameras, I guess. He does research and finds out the backstory of it. I guess he does, nevermind.
“The camera was made for a movie called Say Cheese-And Die Screaming!”
The film had to stop production due to strange accidents. So, how was it made? How did it become evil? Come on, your logic has been so good, don’t drop the ball now!
She gives the camera to him and runs away, having gone to the Greg school of pushing evil on others. A few days later, she’s taking pictures of the school musical, when David shows up with the camera.
Yeah, turns out he….followed her all those times and was the one putting the camera back. …Uh….can you say creepy stalking?’
“To mess with your mind”
….That’s stupid. He did it to stress out so she could lose. Seriously? Not even a Goosebumps villain is that petty. Forget the camera, you’re the creepy evil thing in this story!
And how he could not think the camera is actually evil after seeing the stuff Julie witnessed? Where did the logic go?!
Before Julie can tell on him for being a creepy stalker, he takes a picture of these two girls. In the picture, they have alligator skin. Because….the camera is now back to doing evil shit for no reason.
Well, that logic was good while it lasted.
Julie runs away but before she can leave, the camera takes effect and they get big lipped alligator skin. They blame Julie and call her a witch, since it was her camera. That….kind of makes sense, given how random this event is…but it’s still weird.
After that, Julie tries to break the camera, and of course it doesn’t work. She calls Mom and tells her the story, and again, only so many ways to make a joke about how no one believes it. She even tells her to write as a story….which was also said in the previous book.
I know they have to try to tell someone, but how about a story where they get proof and get the parents involved? Please?
She goes home with the camera, and the results are what you expect. Her brother finds it and a picture is taken of him while he’s dealing with a bee. There’s a bee in the photo really close to his head.
Then he takes a picture of Julie to be a jerk. Julie…tears up the picture,. Holy crap, no one ever did that before! More logic! To be fair, in Again they think of it, but decide against it because they think it could tear them up for real.
But it’s nice to see it attempted anyway. Sammy then gets a Bee head. …Well, at least this one makes sense, but just don’t tell me about how bees can’t fly or whatever. He ends up in the hospital and everyone is puzzled. Also, the two alligator girls just so happen but in the room next door and are telling people about the camera, which Mom says lines up to Julie’s story.
Of course she doesn’t put two and two together and think this might be real. Julie comes up with one last desperate idea to defeat the camera. See, the picture taken of her showed her falling, and she figures it involved that high dive board. So much for safety.
Anyway, she figures she should…actually try to prevent the prediction from coming true! Holy crap, no one did the most obvious thing to do in the previous books! Welcome back, logic!
We cut to the big day as she has told David she is afraid of heights, and thus wants David to do it. Wow, that’s actually a good way to do it. Although does that mean he might fall in your place?
Things go well…until, of course he starts to fall and Julie has to save him…which means she ends up on there and begins to fall. Huh, that’s pretty clever but why would she bother going up there without even thinking?
Thankfully, David manages to save her, which is nice. That was our climax, by the way. Epic, I know. Her plan worked, as all the pictures from before turn to normal. Being clever in Goosebumps pays off, who knew?
But the camera still exists, and she has a plan. She’ll go to a mirror and have the camera take a picture of itself, so it will break. ….That’s also kind of clever. This book is something else.
She does it and looks at the resulting picture.
“I was staring at TWO evil cameras on my dresser side by side!”
Whoa, that’s crazy. What’s the reasoning? What will happen?
….Bah. Wait, there;s the Horrorland section. Does it explain anything?
…seriously? You can’t do a twist like that then never do anything with it. In a normal book that would be fine but Julie’s saga continues. The book right before this one explained the twist, why can’t this one?
Ah well, we’re done.
Guess what the word of the day. In all serious, this one was actually pretty good, for the most part. It fixes my problems with the previous Say Cheese and Die books and takes advantage of the premise more. Julie is actually a pretty smart charterer, so you actually care about her as this stuff happens. The things that happen makes sense and are creepy enough to get you invested.
The good points in the first book are here, without the logic issues. Granted, some of it’s best elements regarding the story are absent here, but this is a better simple story than most. The logic is glorious and really helps the story.
My only real problem is the ending. It being rushed is normal, but the twist is weird and never explained. It’s not a deal breaker, but it makes the story feel unfinished.
Despite that, I enjoyed this one. It’s nothing amazing, but it’s solid and enjoyable entry with intensity and logic. Easily the most even of this sort of trilogy. It shows me Stine can actually improve on previous mistakes.
Although given the logic here, I’m not sure he’s behind this. Eh, still good.
Next time on Horrorland, we go to camp again, only this time with snakes.
(Gotta start crediting the pics from other media I use, so Spongebob is property of Viacom and Nickelodeon)
Littlest Pet Shop the comic series is property of IDW
Hello, Spongey here.
When it comes to Media, I grew up on Television and Film, so that is what I know best. I know how it all works and how to properly critique it, and all that good stuff. However, as I started to use the Internet and gain knowledge about other mediums, I actually become invested in those mediums, even though I didn’t have much experience in them.
I like to keep myself up to date on most things when it comes to Media, because I am interested….and so I don’t look like an idiot when others may get me in a conversation about them. Of course, I’m talking about Video Games and Comics.
Let’s focus on Comics. I think most people are pretty aware of Comics in general, due to them being the source of most of the big blockbusters that come out these days. But, it’s the Medium I was the furthest from, not counting Web Comics.
I never had a Comic Store near me, that could be why. Unlike Video Games, I didn’ even bother to look into them….until I discovered Atop the 4th Wall. Things changed, and I became pretty knowledge like with Video Games.
Since then…I still haven’t read a ton of actual comics, but from what I’ve seen, I’m a fan of the medium. Like with animation, it’s a place where you do the craziest things and still be taken seriously, for the most part.
I really hope to get more into Comic Books, because what I’ve seen (that is actually good, anyway) I’ve quite liked. But of course, it took some of my favorite works being turned into Comics for me to actually pick up a few.
Which brings us to today’s topic. I rambled about Comics just to show my history with the medium, so you get my position. I am no Comic Critic, so in the following posts about the subject, I will be reviewing them the way I do any other story.
I’ll briefly comment on art, but since I don’t know much about that stuff, I won’t go too deep into it. So if you have any issues with my opinion, that could be why. I also went into this because I had no other way to introduce this thing.
I’ll be going into detail on other aspects once I dive into the real meat of this project. I will be reviewing every Comic under the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic line, as I’ve done everything else I can do with that property so far.
But I want to nicely segue into that, so I wanted to start small. So…yeah, let’s talk about Littlest Pet Shop. I did a big post about this 2012 series, so you can go there for detail. In short, it’s a solid show that managed to stand on it’s own despite it’s big equine sister looming over it.
The My Little Pony Comics have been a huge hit, so of course they had to do some for other Hasbro properties. Actually, the last few years have seen a boom of Cartoon Comics, from old classics like Darwking Duck to modern fare such as Adventure Time and Steven Universe.
MLP has just been another example of this, and with LPS being MLP’s Cousin, it only makes to give a comic series, which they did in 2014. This was a smaller endeavor than the MLP Series, as it’s just one series of only 5 issues, with an extra “Annual” in 2015. Primarily written by Gerogia Ball, with art by people like Nico Pena and the like,(I don’t know these names, I’m just saying this stuff because I kind of have to to give the staff credit) this series has been a decent enough hit to even get the annual by “popular demand”.
I didn’t have a ton of interest in the series until a certain cameo (which we’ll get to me) which convinced me to look into it more. And since I decided to review the MLP ones, I figured I would do the same for LPS.
Like I said, there are only about 6 or so issues, and they are smaller in scale than MLP, so they will be easy to review. Hell, I may not even say that much, I haven’t even read them as I’m writing this part.
Either way, it’ll be fun to take a peek and see how these comics fare on their own. Not much else to say. Let’s see if Blythe and pets can deliver good fun in the Comic world.
This, is A Look at the Littlest Pet Shop Comics
Before we begin, I’ll comment on the art in general. The style is fairly faithful to look of the show, and is pretty decent to my eyes. Nothing amazingly fancy, but neither was the show so it’s acceptable.
Although a few characters like Zoe can look a bit off at times, and Blythe just looks…off. I can’t put my finger on it, but she never looks right to me. Something about the way her head is drawn just looks odd, and it took awhile to get used to.
But that’s a nitpick, otherwise it generally looks presentable enough. Although it may change a bit depending on the issues, is this is just from skimming some of the issue 1. Without further ado, let’s get started.
(Oh, and SPOILERS in case you care)
#1: The Bracing Race/Pet Rocks
“People love to have opinions”-Blythe
Blythe takes the pets on a sort of Scavenger hunt when she sees they are getting a bit too lazy, with Russel and Penny staying at the shop to tell them/write the clues.
So this is our big debut issue,and it does set the stage for what to expect, it is a simple story that isn’t too crazy in terms of story or development. It’s….alright. Yeah, you can tell they had some restrictions here and couldn’t quite get too crazy yet.
An interview I heard confirms this, so at least I know it’ll get better. The basic idea is fun and done mostly fine. The pets split into teams and they have some fun with the quips they make at each other at the various locations.
But it doesn’t too crazy and plays it a bit safe, and the story is nothing too special. That itself is fine, but It could have been a bit better in some areas. Also, remember how I said Blythe looked kind of strange in this style? Here’s some proof:
…Her asking to play a game doesn’t help this at all.
This one is just silly. It’s a good “DURR’ face.
This last one is a two for one sale, as the Biskits would put it,. Creepy Blythe and even creepier Sue! …Okay, I’m just kidding around, I think at least two are these are supposed to be kind of creepy. It’s just an example of the strange art sometimes.
Going back to the actual writing, I can’t help but feel that Russel is just a bit out of character here.
“I’ll be the clue master! The mastermind working behind the scenes…the puppeteer pulling the strings…Dance Puppets, dance!”
…Yeah, I don’t recall him having control issues before, and it’s not even addressed again after this. It’s just weird. My other big problem is the ending. See, the prize is this box of Pet Treats, and Penny Ling gets stressed out having to do these clues by Russel’s demand.
Eventually she gets so stressed out she eats the whole box, causing Russel to put them on a wild goose chase so they don’t win and find out. But in the end they get back and find out.
Then it cuts to Penny Ling and Russel acting out infomercials (because they were watching them for “fun” earlier”), with Russel cutting onions I think, with Penny complaining that her “Tummy hurts”, likely due to eating those treats.
“Now THIS is Edutainment”.
…They barely explain this, so I can only assume they are being punished. Even though from their POV Russel was just helping a friend, and Penny was stressed out due to Russel being a jerk-ish person.
…Yeah, this is kind of awkward Russel doesn’t seem too troubled by this, but they seem to not care that Penny is in pain and got to this point for somewhat legitimate reasons. And all Blythe has to say is some snark comment?
Not the greatest way to end your first real story. It’s done in such a way that I think it’s not meant to be taken that seriously, but the way it’s done is a bit too harsh, especially for this series.
I think the problem is they don’t explain anything here. Is this punishment? Is Penny being punished or did just happen to be next to Russel while this is going on? I hope not, because she was shown crying while telling them what happened, and it would make this a million times worse.
A better explanation could smooth this out, but even then the fact that Russel almost deserves this is just…off to me. …Wow, I’m ranting more than I thought I would when I first saw this.
On the bright side, there are plenty of amusing moments throughout this thing. Like this guy who wants to tell Blythe about the “exciting world of rocks”.
Insert Maud Pie joke here.
Then there’s the Biskit’s obligatory cameo, because this was technically made in between Season 2 and 3. Apparently they will buy toothpicks if they happen to be on sale. Now that’s funny.
Also, I find it amusing that Sue makes an appearance in the Comics before Youngmee. Then we have the backup story, which is just a short 3 page deal. This has different arc that is closer to the show, but honestly doesn’t’ look quite as good.
It’s fine, but not the best, and Zoe looks weird. Blythe looks a bit better here at least. Some rocks are shipped to the shop, and the pets think they are pet rocks that are replacing them. Then Blythe comes in and reveals that they were ordered by Roger to use as a joke.
The end. How riveting. Okay, this is just a short story so it’s allowed to be simple, and it’s fairly amusing at least. Especially when Vinnie suggests that they kid rid of the rocks.
“Not like that!”
….You know, for kids?
Not much more to say about that. As a whole, this first issue is just okay. The idea is good and there are some funny moments, but Russel feels a bit off and the ending is poorly explained and a bit harsh.
Kind of disappointing honestly, but I have faith in the writers. I think the next ones will be better, since they said themselves that they were given more reign on those. Although I’m not sure it excuses messing up some of the characters.
Either way, this may not be the best debut issue but it’s not bad, and at least it had it’s moment. I’m not rating these, but I guess you could call this “Okay”. Let’s move on and see if it gets better.
#2: The Scratching Post/Ready, Aim, Achoo!
Okay, let’s get this out of the way:
Yeah, that happened. I mentioned this in an alternate universe before the guy I was pretending to be made a similar joke about it later. Yeah, that was strange.
This is kind of amazing when you think about it. For one, MLP is the one to make these kind of references, but instead the lesser known LPS does it in it’s comic series. It’s one thing to reference nerdy shows or something, but this is an internet reviewer who is popular, but isn’t exactly the AVGN in terms of popularity.
(That reminds me, I haven’t seen AT4W the move yet…)
And yes, they have confirmed that this is meant to be Linkara, it’s not a weird coincidence. I mean, he’s looking at Comics here, for pete’s sake. The Sonic cameo was big, but with how smaller this property is, this is insane.
…So yeah, it’s cool, but let’s look at the actual story.
The pets suspect a new store opening up is a competing shop, while Blythe gets wrapped up in a card game.
This one a better, and fairly decent, although nothing amazingly special in terms of plot. The plot is pretty predictable, as you know this isn’t a pet shop or anything. It turns out to be a coffee shop with a “quirky” theme.
Many jokes are made at the expense of hipster. Now that’s funny. Despite being named after it, the plot just kind of ends so that Blythe’s plot can become the “Climax” and ending. It should have been called “Battle Pets” since that plot is more important, and also more interesting.
I kind of wish it went further with Blythe’s obsession but they still do some amusing things with it. I imagined this being like that one All Grown Up episode (which would have been hilarious) but what we have is nice too.
Aside from the Linkara thing, they mention Katy Perry by name. It’s not a discont name like they usually do for some reason. The context is that one card will force you to sing Katy Perry songs, Blythe remarks that it might be a penalty
There are other amusing jokes, like Pepper suggesting they do a training montage. This was before the actual show made a training montage joke, but this one is funny too. The story of this one is nothing too special, but it’s a lot more straight forward and interesting for the most part.
I think I would like it more if the pet plot was better, though. It being predictable and not adding much kind of drags this issue down. It does at least lead to some amusing jokes with the pets conversations butting into Blythe’s imagine spots regarding the game.
Although the shtick with Blythe being too distracted in her plot to help the pets has been done before, and better.
There’s some nice satire about competitive card games, and as a whole it’s an enjoyable little story. Again, nothing amazing but it’s at least decent, and everyone is in character this tine. Also, first true comic appearance for Roger and Youngmee. While Roger doesn’t do much, Youngmee gets Blythe into the game and gets some funny moments, so that’s good.
The backing story is an fantasy sequence with the pets going up against something that turns out to be Russel sneezing, as the title implies. It’s cute, and takes advantage of the short format better,
There isn’t much else to say about this issue. The pet plot is kind of weak but the other side of the story makes up for with it pretty solid jokes, and an amazing cameo. I’m sure we have better stories coming up, but this one was at least decent and sold me a bit more on the whole comic thing better than the first issue.
Yeah, I told you these may not be too long, as there isn’t a ton to say for some of these. This one was decent and amusing, that’s all there is to it. Let us move on!
#3: No Value Added/A Fine Day for a Parade
Before I begin, I must mention that from this point forward, I will not be covering the backing stories like I did for the first two. Why? Well, I bought the collected versions of these comics off iTunes since it’s easier than buying them all separately, but the collection only contains the backing stories for the first two.
(I already had to buy Issue one on it’s own cuz the collection lacked it….for some reason)
I am not sinking more money than I have just to see 3 page stories, sorry. I will still list them to be complete. If I’m missing anything with those, you can let me know. But onto the real meat we have here.
Blythe is forced to work with the Biskits on a School Project, while the pets try to find Blythe’s notebook, and Sunil ends up trapped in a cage with a snake.
This one proved to be even better. The story is a lot more even with every part working together solidly, with plenty of things to enjoy. Maybe there aren’t as many great jokes in this one, but the rest makes up for it.
The bit with finding the notebook is kind of pointless, but that’s my only real problem here, It does lead to a great joke where they keep looking for it after Minka finds it.
They keep the energy up decently by going between 2 big plot are equally interesting and enjoyable, so things don’t slow down like in the previous issues. My enjoyment was a lot more consistent between the humor and the plot points going on. Sunil’s plot doesn’t exactly connect too much, but the Notebook plot causes it to happen at least, and it’s a nice break from the main story.
It’s always nice to a well done Biskit story where they not only funny but serve as interesting for this story instead of just being villains. In the end Blythe gets them to work on the project by just appealing to their interests. In this case she has their project focus on the fashion from the book the project is based on.
That’s clever and features a decent moral without exactly hammering it in. Reminds me of Testing, Testing, 1 2 3 to an extent. Also, the book is The Great Gatsby. I find that amusing….but I don’t know why.
Sunil’s plot is just a nice bit of him bonding with someone who can’t get out much due to being stuck in this cage, and it’s just an enjoyable little plot. There isn’t a whole to say about it other than that, it’s just fun and gives another okay guest pet. The first one of the comics, I think.
Speaking of comic debuts, Jasper. He does as much as he always does, moving on. I’m not gonna act like this story is amazing, it was just very even and amusing. The plots were all mostly solid and kept my interest with good jokes, and had a solid conclusion.
We’re starting to get a bit closer to what the comics can do. This is nothing huge compared to the show, but it’s a little something extra, mostly due to the Biskit plot. You can see them giving better with each issue, which is good.
As a whole, this one was pretty solid. Decently interesting plots with good humor and energy. Nothing crazy but solid. Yeah, even less to say because when something is solid for solid reasons, there isn’t much to analyze.
Hopefully we keep up this improvement for the 2nd half of the series.
#4: Zoe Come Home/A Rockin’ Fathers Day
Zoe tries to do a charitable act to land an audition for a TV show…but Madame Pom has the same idea. Meanwhile, the other pets deal with some pests that are accidentally delivered to the shop.
First off, yes we get some continuity with Madame Pom showing up, which is always nice. Anyway, not much to say about this one. It’s about as solid as the previous, although not quite as strong.
It still works due to good humor, but there’s too special about the plot. Typical Madame Pom stuff, but…i like typical Madame Pom stuff, so I didn’t care. It’s amusing enough, and has an okay conclusion.
It also has some satire on TV, especially with the conclusion which I won’t spoil in this case. The guy directing this says it’ll be the same kind of thing you grew up with, but ‘with more explosions”
Gee, who could they be making fun of here?
Speaking of subtle references, Blythe uses “Fandora”. In all seriousness-, I don’t mind references like this as long as they are subtle like this, or at least funny, and here they usually are.
Speaking of jokes, I think the pet plot is a bit better because it has plenty of decent jokes with the pets taking care of the pets. My favorite part is when Sunil and Pepper argue like an old married couple. That was amazing, even if it only gives the shippers more fuel.
This one, like most of the others, is far from ambitious but does a good job with the story it has, and has some fun jokes. The plot is fairly decent, even if the conflict is nothing too new, and gives some interesting ideas and moments.
It’s another pretty solid story. Not a whole more to it, really. Man, this post will end up being quick filler ….like it was meant to be. But yeah, pretty enjoyable issue once again.
Also, this was the only backing story I am disappointed to lose. A Roger story? Come on, that sounds amazing!
#5: Precious Village
Buttercream invites Blythe and the pets to play an online game with her, as Russel tries to prove he can be unpredictable.
Well, we’ve got an interesting comic debut right off the bat. Buttercream is always fun, and even in Comic form, she works. Although her running gag is a bit forced here. Anyway, this one was really enjoyable.
I’d say on par with Issue 3. It would be better, but the main meat with Russel is kind ofa rehash of Russel Up Some Fun. Russel is criticized for being boring, he tries to fix that, problems arise that require him to be himself, so he changes back.
It doesn’t help that they actually point this out. It’s nice continuity, and I love that Zoe says Fun Russel lasted 30 minutes (guess she counts commercials), but it’s still a bit of rehash. Everything else is good though.
Since there’s no backing story, they have more time to flesh it out and give us some fun stuff. Since we’re dealing with Buttercream in a video game, you can expect a lot of creative visuals and gags.
The art is different in the game and it looks good. Not sure how to critique it, but it works. This comic is just plain fun, and the plot moves along pretty nicely. It does some stuff we may not be able to do in the series, despite Russel’s rehashed deal, and gives us more creative fun stuff.
It takes advantage of the comic medium more than the others, and it’s a lot of fun. And while Russel’s deal is rehashed, it’s not too badly, even if that other one wrote it a bit better. The story thankfully it’s focused on enough for it to be a flaw, and the entertainment value makes it more than solid.
There isn’t much to really get from analysis compared to the others, it’s just meant to fun and it is, so it’s good.
It’s just another creative and solid story, and it makes for a pretty good one to end the first “Season” of the Comic Series proper. It would have been the flat out best if it weren’t the minor rehash, but it’s still very enjoyable.
Shortest review, but whatever. That ends of the main series but now for our last piece of business.
2015 Annual: Spring Cleaning
This one is split into a few stories, so let’s go through them. There are two big ones, and two small ones, so we’ll do the small ones first.
Whatever You Say, Sunil: Sunil seemingly makes Minka magically obey his every whim. It’s okay. Very short and predictable, but not bad since it has no time to do anything terrible. Pretty forgettable.
Exclusive Taste: Cashmere and Velvet visits LPS on their birthday to get something only sold at LPS that the Biskits would never get them. This one had me at page 1, because I dig Cashmere and Vevlet, and I don’t like how they have basically none nothing since they’re debut . They did more in one of the online shorts than in the show, so it’s great that they have spotlight.
It’s nothing to special, but it’s amusing and Francoise is always great. Although I wish it was a bigger story where the Biskits actually appear, since I do want more development with them that involves these two. Eh, what we have is fine. Now for the “big” stories.
The Old Switcheroo: Pepper stays at Penny’s Ling house for a few days. Similarity ensues. Oddly enough, the show did this kind of plot recently, making this story kind of pointless in hindsight. But for what it is, it’s done well despite being cliché. Pepper at least apologies in the end and isn’t that annoying.
There’s more nice continuity, as they say makeovers didn’t work for Pepper before. And we get a location we’ve never seen properly before. AND we learn Penny Ling’s owner’s last name!
There’s some standout jokes, like Penny dreaming this is a sitcom, complete with her screaming at the laugh track. That’s amazing. The minor Vinnie subplot was amusing too. This one pretty enjoyable all around, despite the cliché plot. And last but not last.
The Spring Break Beach Bummer: Blythe attends a beach fesitval thing, and makes new friends that may not be that nice after all. Okay, first I must mention that in one of the stories here, Blythe was waiting for a letter and here she gets. They have Arcs in the comics now, that’s amazing! Sorry, I just like that these shows are doing arcs, even if they are small. Anyway, the main story has Blythe finding out her new friends mock people that are different from then and she has to dump them.
It’s another really cliché story, and while it’s plenty enjoyable, the bits with this story are the weakest since it’s nothing new. Heck, the only people they mock are the Biskits who are…The Biskits.
Speaking of, I am disappointed Fisher never appeared in these comics. I want the saga of Fisher Jelly kl Hyde to continue!
The rest of the story makes up for that stuff though, since we have tons of good jokes…and Sugar Sprinkles shows up! This festival thing mainly features hipster type people, or people implied to be well…uh…let’s just stay this supports my headcanon that Sugar Sprinkles is a stoner.
We also have the pets forming a band after the beach-goers enjoy their animal sound singing….but they only enjoy it ironically. Damn hipsters. It leads to an imagine spot amazingly spoofing the band arguing stories, and thankfully doesn’t go through with this is a story.
The actual main plot is weak but everything else works, from the subplot, to the jokes. It’s a lot of fun. I’d tie with the other big story, although that has a better plot…so I guess it wins by default.
And that’s the big comeback issue and final one for now. This one is my favorite since it has two really enjoyable stories for the price of one, along with two small but fun ones. The plots are cliché in three of them but they are mostly done well enough.
As a whole, a fun collection and a good way to end the comic series for now.
And those were the LPS comics. Overall, these were mostly decent. Like the MLP comics, they serve as a good way to expand on things from the show and so some new things, while also sticking to what makes the series work to begin with,’
Although it’s clear it took a bit for them to be allowed to do crazier things, and they can use cliches sometimes. I don’t think I’d call any of these great, but most of them were good fun. They managed to keep up the humor of the show as well as the creativity, most of the time.
I hope they keep these going despite the show ending. There’s a lot of potential and I think they can keep the series alive and do things it might not have done by the end. I had fun reading these, even if they didn’t give me a lot to talk about it.
Given the nature of the show, it makes sense that the stories would be simpler. The only thing these are missing is a MLP plot done better, aside from that (and a song, for obvious reasons) that got most of the shows strengths down fairly well.
I’d recommend most of these. They aren’t anything amazing, but most of them are fun. Fans will enjoy them, and maybe some of them could get an outsider into the show. Although I would personally suggest some of the online shorts as a gateway into the show rather than these.
Either way, these weren’t quite as interesting as the MLP comics, they have their own charm and are mostly solid and fun. Even if the artists love to make Blythe as derpy as possible.
That’s pretty much all I got for this one. You may find these comics pretty easy online through the usual services. I’d suggest getting the volume collection thing since most of these are kind of short. There’s a 2nd Volume that has Spring Cleaning and the missing issue that should not have been missing to begin with, by the way.
If they have the other backing stories, I’ll kick myself.
This was just a quick filler thing to ride you over until I get some other projects back in the works. A broken laptop kind of set me back so I did something small while I get back in the groove.
My big look at the MLP comics shall be coming eventually, split into sections because there are just that many. Now that’s gonna be a big fun projects. Oh, and I may end up talking about LPS again before it ends, but you’ll see if I end up doing it.
Hello, Spongey here.
I’ve promised to focus on General Reviews this year, and I plan to keep to a promise for once. Since I have the means, I’ll be seeing plenty of films this year, so I figured I would share my thoughts on most of them.
Except the bad ones, I’ll save those for full reviews, which is why you won’t hear about Norm of the North until it’s out on DVD. …Yeah.
Anyway, time will tell which films I end up seeing, but I hope to catch most of the blockbusters I have interest in. I also plan to see every single widely release animated film. Yes, that means I did see Norm but more on that come review time.
You’ll be seeing a general review for almost every animated film of 2016, unless Trolls or Angry Birds ends up being as bad as norm. …Which will hopefully never happen. With that said, let’s get onto our first review.
Let’s go back to 2008. Dreamworks was known for comedic films that used pop culture references and celebrities, and the films tended to be hit or miss with critics. This was the dark age known as the mid 2000’s, after all.
You know the story from here. They came up with something called Kung Fu Panda, which everyone thought was going to be terrible from the title, but it ended up being really good. It took itself rather silly while still being funny, with great animation and action.
This started their rise, and soon after they came up with stuff like Megamind, and of course How To Train Your Dragon. Now they come out with a better mix and put a lot more thought into their comedies.
And it all started with Kung Fu Panda. Who figures the story of a fat panda who wanted to be a Kung Fu master would actually be incredibly solid all around? I really do enjoy this movie for it’s Martial Arts action, great animation and solidly likable characters.
Then in 2011 there was a sequel. You think this would be the crappy cash grab everyone was expecting from the first…but no! It’s actually even better, continuing the story in an natural way giving us more character development, even more awesome action, a great villain, and even some emotion.
It was actually better than the Pixar Sequel from that same you, who figured that would happen?! There was also a Holiday Special I haven’t seen, and a Cartoon series that was pretty decent.
This franchise has been pretty surprising so far. It might actually be my favorite Dreamworks franchise. As classic as Shrek is, it’s aged a bit and while I also love How To Train Your Dragon, it’s a bit more of a big epic Pixar production than a Dreamworks movie.
Kung Fu Panda perfectly mixes their more comedic style for the studios recent dramatic turn, giving two excellent movies. They aren’t without their flaws, but I mostly love them. But now have the 3rd one.
This is where things get trick. Can they keep up the awesome like Madagascar or droll the ball like Shrek? With this series, either is possible. When I heard about the concept, I was pretty excited.
But two things worried about later me. One thing was some of the ideas shown in the recent trailers. It sounds fine but slightly sillies than the previous film, which was a lot more dramatic. That’s fine since the first one was silly but it was still something to note.
Then they announced it was coming out in January. Oh boy. That doesn’t mean it’ll suck, but it means the studio doesn’t have as much faith in it as some of their other projects. But on the other hand, I mostly have faith that the writers and artists will try their best to give us another solid experience.
With all of that said, is this 3rd entry in the series more of the kung fu action we’ve come to except, or is it finally going to stumble? Let’s find out.
In the Chinese Spirit Realm, the spirit of Grand Master Oogway has his chi stolen by an evil Yak chi master called Kai who was sent to the spirit realm. Kai soon becomes determined to steal the chi from the dragon warrior. Meanwhile, Master Shifu announces his retirement and passes of the role of teacher to Po who is struggling to find his true place as the Dragon Warrior.
This doesn’t become easier when Po’s biological father turns up and reveals a whole secret panda village. Now Po must became the teacher as he tries to stop Kai and resolve his personal issues as well.
In general, I think the story is…pretty solid! It does come with some of the issues I was worried about, but the high points really make up for it. I’ll talk about the negatives first. In general I do like the structure of the story, as Po must train with his Father to be ready to take on Kai.
However, it does look a bit seem a bit lighter than before. It doesn’t really have the same epic weight to it as the previous film. That itself isn’t bad, but at sometimes it did feel like the same ofl stuff from before, with Po finding himself and all that jazz.
But that I can forgive, my other issues are still problems. It’s a bit rushed in the 2nd act, and they use the liar revealed cliché in a pretty predictable way. Neither are huge problems, but it may effect your enjoyment a bit.
With that said, the writing mostly works. The set does work to give us some solid character develop, as well as the usual action and heart. While it’s not as emotionally rich as the 2nd one, it has it has it’s moments, and it feels natural.
As familiar as some of it is, it’s a natural direction to take the series. The last movie teased Po’s father and it figures that Po would find his true place as dragon warrior. Each part of the plot is done well, especially Po’s Father as his backstory is pretty heart breaking, if a bit cliché.
My favorite aspect of the these films in terms of writing has been the mix of humor and drama, as these films have pretty solid humor, especially with Po, that is mixed well within the story. This entry thankfully keeps at it.
There is perhaps a bit more humor in this one, but most of it works because the characters are likable enough to carry it, and most of it is pretty funny. Only a couple times does it inter with the drama and even then it’s not that bad.
The highlight is the ending, where the whole trilogy comes full circle in glorious fashion. No spoilers, but it’s incredibly satisfying. Speaking of the ending, it’s actually not abrupt and leaves me satisfied!
The last time I said that was Twas the Night….which means Bryan Cranston should be in every movie now. We’ll get to him.
As a whole, the story is a bit familiar and has a few problems with pacing and cliches, but makes up for it’s nice mix of humor, some nice emotion, and a decently engaging plot that helps bring the trilogy full circle.
A bit more problematic than the previous film, but it’s at least as surprisingly solid as the original film.
If there’s one thing that’s even better than before, it’s the animation, which is expected. I won’t go into a lot of detail since it’s pretty straight forward. The character animation is very good with some nice variety in the animal designs, and Po is especially well done as they play with his weight.
They do some of that in this one, since they have multiple Panda’s to work with. Of course the action scenes are done very well, enough if there aren’t quite as many this time around. And like the first, we have some 2D animation in the flashbacks and stuff, that is pretty awesome.
For me, the highlight in terms of animation are the training montage, and climax. No big spoilers, but they use colors in an incredibly beautiful way. The climax is especially awesome with the animation.
They really set it up this time with those scenes alone, but the rest of the animation is great too. I’ll admit maybe the 2nd one did a better job due to having more action scenes, but the animation here is still great for what it does.
That’s about it, very solid character animated with some moments that are just amazing. We can move on.
This should be quick, as this is the kind of movie that has 3 or so big charecterst that have development, and everyone else is just there. However, that works out for this one….for the most part. I’ll get my issues with the characters out of the way first.
Like some people, I find the celebrity casting of the Furious Five to be kind of pointless. They do decent jobs, but they add nothing to the characters, especially since they rarely get development for the most part.
It’s even worse her as they have less screen time, for spoiler reasons. It’s not a huge deal, but since the other big names they have in the movies are used well, it sticks out as a flaw. Among the many Panda’s is this girl, voiced by Kate Hudson who has a crush on Po.
It’s not very funny and it goes nowhere. Seriously,. It’s barely brought up but they make a big deal out of her first scene. She doesn’t do enough to be a huge problem, but I just didn’t find her funny. Also, her voice actress was replaced and it’s obvious because the character is modeled after the original VA.
Now onto the actual characters. Of course first is Po, voiced by Jack Black. This guy is incredibly likable, as he’s fanboy in the funny way. He also naturally develops in all the movies in a way that makes him more complex and interesting.
He’s just as good here, with his development and relationship with his father, not to mention which I still won’t spoil. Again, he may have familiar development but he still works, and he’s as charming as ever.
Then there’s Shifu, voiced by Dustin Hoffman. He doesn’t do much but I figured I would bring him up because why not. He was the mentor before, but now he’s retired leaving Po as teacher. Again, he doesn’t do much but I find him pretty enjoyable with how he interacts with Po and he does learn some things as he tries to get Po to find himself.
For that reason, I figured I would bring him up. Then there’s Ping, voiced by James Hong. He spends of the movie bitching about Li because he thinks he’s stealing Po from him. Pretty cliché and honestly not that funny….but they resolve it decently, so I can let it slide.
Now let’s move on to the new characters, starting with our villain, Kai, voiced by JK Simmons. He’s a pretty decent villain, boasting a cool power and even being pretty humorous at some points.
His backstory is cliché and he’s not as interesting as the previous villain, but I thought was a pretty decent threat. Not the best villain ever, but he works for what he’s trying to be. Plus, his power adds a sense of urgency that worked pretty well.
Next is Po’s Father, Li, voiced by Bryan Cranston. While he is used for cliches, he’s still really likable due to what he goes through, and the chemistry he has with Po. His backstory, as I said, is quite emotional and do enjoy his development.
And…I think that’s about it. Yeah, the ones I went into detail on are the only ones that do anything important. The rest exist, but don’t do enough for me to go into any detail, like the other Panda’s.
This works for what the movie is going for, but perhaps more development for the Furious Five could have been nice, since that is an issue with this series. With that said, the characters that do important things are still either likable, or as used well.
The returning characters are still solid, and the new characters are enjoyable too. Sometimes cliches are used, but the likability or emotion makes up for it in most cases. Once again, the 2nd film developed most of the characters better, but this was done pretty well too.
Overall, Kung Fu Panda is a very good conclusion to the trilogy. While it has minior pacing issues, some cliches, and feels a bit familiar, it makes up for it with the usual great animation that uses other styles, likable new characters, decent use of old ones, and a pretty solid story that brings everything full circle with great emotion and humor.
In the end, my suspicions of it being weaker 2 were confirmed, but thankfully it still managed to be a really enjoyable film. It does a lot right and still decent heart, and a really cool ending that is very satisfying.
Most of my flaws are forgiven due to the new things we got, although it makes it weaker than the 2nd film. I know I keep talking it up, but it’s just that good. It has everything great about the other films, without most of the flaws.
Compared to the original, this one is about equal. That one also had a few minor flaws, mostly due to the set up. Both are also equal in their strengths, although the first film has the edge for being surprisingly good, while this about as good I expected it to be.
Either way, it’s a really good family film on it’s own with good humor, great animation, and a decent story. If you liked the first two, you might as well check out this one. How much you like it will depend on your expectations, but if you keep them in check ,you’ll like it.
If you didn’t like the others, don’t bother. It’s more of the same. But if you do like them, you’ll have fun with this one. While I still have no idea why it came out in January, it at least gives us something to watch in this dry month.
So yeah, I recommend it, I really enjoyed it, at least about as much as the first one, even if the2nd one stands out as the best. Which is odd, since usually part is the boring middle chapter, but sometimes part 2 ends up being the best ala Empire Strikes Back.
I hope they stop here, because I can’t see them doing anything else with how this one ends. I want this to stand as another really good animated trilogy, where each film is very solid and has few flaws between the 3.
Now 2016 animation can redeem itself and really get started. I think next up is Zootopia, which should hopefully be good.
Hello, Spongey here.
…You might be wondering what I was last week. Well, I was supposed to review Bionicle The Legend Reborn for that guy who reviewed Walking with Dinosaurs, but my laptop kind of broke in the middle of it.
Meaning the review is lost and will never happen. …Sorry. I lost a couple other things but I can replace those easily, so the review was the biggest casualty. While the film wasn’t giving me a ton work with, it sucks I lost a request.
I deeply apologize for that. But hey, life goes on so we must quickly move on to our next request, which is an odd but interesting one. This one comes from TheListenerCanon, so let’s go.
Remember how I said Skyrunners and Pants on Fire were the only Disney Xd Movies at that time? Well….i was technically wrong. There is another….from Canada. Yes, Disney XD Canada took it upon themselves to make their own movie….for some reason.
I knew about it, but I thought it was just some random Direct to Video movie they happened to air, but I guess it’s an official Disney XD Canada Product. This isn’t too surprising, as other foreign version of Disney have made their own products before, like Disney Channel Latin America’s very own Telenovla.
So by request, I’ll see how this Canada’s attempt at a Disney Channel-ish movie fare. It was made by Fresh TV, who also made My Babysitter’s a Vampire. That’s a good start.
Our director, of course, has only done TV Work as such episodes of My Babysitter’s a vampire (of course) and the Once/Twice Upon a Christmas films that Cinematic Excrement covered.
With our 3 writers, with mostly have people from the companies other product such as the aforementioned Babysitter, and the Total Drama Series. At least we know what kind of humor to expect.
Not much else to say, let’s just jump in and see if this is any good at all.
This, is Bunks
The movie opens in 1972 at a Summer Camp, as a kid is running from some scary thing. He is cornered in his bunk and suddenly we cut to later as the kid has vanished, and some cops are looking for him.
Oh, an actually intriguing opening. Canada is already doing it better!
We flash forward to present day, as our heroes Dylan and Dane are headed off to military camp, as their Mom tells them to stay from fire because burned stuff before. Well, I like them already.
“I love you boys, you are my whole world, I just need a little less of you in it”
Oh that’s even better. Also, they are still acting rather nice considering how extreme this situation kind of see. The boys spot a bus going to a Summer Camp, and decided to sneak on it.
Can’t wait for them to get some horrific supernatural punishment. They pretend to be two counselors, and are headed off to Camp InsertFunnyNameHere. On the bus they spy two girls, who I assume will serve as our love interests.
When they get to camp, we meet our Camp Directors, Wookie, played one o the guys from My Babysitter’s a vampire, and Crawl played by Chris McLean from Total Drama. Well, that means these kid are all doomed.
After some jokes, Dylan and Dane are put in charge of Chipmunk Cabin and find out about this Cup that goes to the Cabin that does the best, and of course the Cabin that tends to win is full of assholes.
“This is the Summer of the Chipmunk”
Well Winter didn’t turn out well thanks to Star Wars….wait..
Speaking of obvious things, their Cabin is full of loser kids. Don’t worry, Fred 3 taught me that losers make terrible movies….wait..
The losers do indeed include a nerd and a fat kid, by the way. After a happy montage, we get the obligatory mess hall scene where the asshole rivals show up to be assholes. He’s funny but pretty stereotypical.
The Chipmunks find that Cup thing and hide it, as a big prank. We all know this will end poorly, so can we just skip to that part? They hide it in a bunk they were told to never go in. Eh, maybe it’ll just turn out this a test camp for aliens or something, no need to worry.
After some false scares, the kids don’t find much of anything except for a bag full of old stuff, including a book of creepy stories.
“We could read these at the campfire tonight”
Yes, use a creepy thing you found in an old cabin. What could possibly go wrong?
Sure enough, they try out the stories that night. One tells the story of this kid who almost drowned while at camp, and had to be taken to a hospital. But the only one close by happened to be for animals, and I guess it was better than nothing.
It didn’t matter since the kid dies right. It’s the backstory, it’s allowed to be dark. The doctor says he can try something to…bring him back. Yep, we’re gonna play god here. Again, what could possibly go wrong?
And of course, the kid came back as a zombie. They found an antidote, but the kid was too far gone. Now it is rumored that he’s still around looking for flesh. Given what kind of movie this is, this will either turn real or seemingly be real, but actually be a hoax.
Once they’re done making kids piss their pants, they decided to raid the kitchen because….why not. This girl they are with, played by the Alpha Bitch from Zapped, decides to go with to prove she isn’t the “fun police” because proving a point is more important than being intelligent.
The other Chipmunk kids aren’t doing as well because a zombie pops and attacks them. …That escalated quickly. And yes, we now have a sort of Disney movie with a Zombie Apocalypse.
10/10. best movie ever. The raid goes well for our heroes until one counselor walks off and bumps into a zombie. We cut to morning so I assume the worst. He’s the one that is from Babysitter, meaning he has the worst luck with supernatural beings ever.
He does appear the next morning, but of course as a zombie. Also, a girl grows a mustache. ..It happened in one of the stories, and I guess the Zombies weren’t “funny” enough.
Because no finds either of this things strange, things move on as normal. Also, the Netflix Captions screw up big time by claiming someone is saying “We’re getting raped’. Really.
We get a Dodgeball game where Dylan and Dane shape up their hopeless kids so we can briefly act out an underdog sports movie.
After a bit of that, one of our heroes has a moment with Lauren. Sure took their sweet developing this possible pointless romance.
She figures he’s a phony but doesn’t quite know the full picture, so she’s fine with it. But the Douche-y rival overhears it and evily plans accordingly. Crap, it just hit me this is a liar revealed story, and I know it’s gonna be painful when it comes full circle.
He and Lauren try to continue with their bonding, until he notices a Zombie but of course she doesn’t believe him then storms off. Yeesh, being fake is fine but one lie is apparently horrible.
He tells Chris McLean about this, and Zombie Wookie pops up, with people still thinking his lack of vocab and need for food is totally normal. He tells his buddy about the Zombie, and thankfully the Zombie pops up right before we can through the whole disbelief thing.
Now this becomes a Zombie Apocalypse movie. Like I said, best movie ever. They all run and take refuge to gather supplies. They conveniently discover the Antidote from the story and now must figure out how to use it on Anson the Zombie.
As it turns out, it’s just a collar they need to activate…and they do, returning him to normal. …That was easy, yet we’re only 51 minutes into a roughly 80 minute movie. Lamest Zombie Apocalypse Ever!
Anson has no reaction to being dead and just decides to just make dumb jokes. They decide to keep him around, which we all know will turn out badly. It does right away as Anson bumps into the Douche-y rival who breaks the collar controls, making him evil again. Wow, they wasted no time in making that bit pointless.
He starts an assault on the Cabin, as well as Zomibe Wookie. Elsewhere, his girlfriend does see issues with him….but still not the Zombie thing. Maybe that’s the joke, but it’s not tha funny.
The kids are able to stay safe in their Cabin until morning, when they head out to see if the coast is clear. Dylan bumps into Lauren, who sees him bump into a Zombie, making her believe him.
They explain everything and she’s kind of pissed, since it is technically their fault. Oh, and Dane got scratched last night but for the sake of a dramatic bit to happen later, they ignore it. The kids are called to Crawl’s office, because the Zombies haven’t become a big enough problem for people of authority to catch wind of it, I guess.
See, way earlier the kids snuck onto the bus by tricking these counselors into getting on the boot camp bus, and we sometimes cut to those kids being miserable. It didn’t go anywhere until the last bit where they ran away, and the Sergeant called Crawl about it.
Since those kids carry Dylan and Dane’s fake names, he got suspicious. There, now onto the liar revealed crap. But first, Zombie time again! …This plot is a bit jumbled sometimes. More Zombie pop up, finally bringing us a real Zombie Apocalypse, complete with rock music!
They know they must get that antidote, even though they didn’t find out about the collar being broken at all. They must head out to the hospital from the story to get it, so they must pretend to be Zombies to get past them.
Also, someone says Sorry in a way that confirms this is a Canadian production.
The younger kids head out while the bigger kids hide out, which makes all of the sense. They somehow make it there and get the antidote without any trouble at all, but I guess it would be kind of boring to watch every single step of that.
The real Sanjay and name I forget (would it be oh so hilarious if I called him Craig?) make it here, along with the kids so we can get our epic climax. And for what it’s worth, it’s always fun to see people fight Zombies, no matter how it’s done.
Lauren even gets n on this so we can have a little “girl power” I guess. Oh, and Zombie Wookie finally becomes a true Zombie in front of his girlfriend, because that “subplot” needed to be addressed.
Speaking of Zombified characters, Dane finally becomes one….and a quick bit of antidote turns him back to normal. ….Well, that was pointless. It would have been really interesting to fully tackle that concept, but nope.
With that, all of the Zombies have been taken care of. I would call that a weak climax, but it’s never this easy so I expect one more undead guy to appear.
They quickly take care of him. Why is everything in this movie solved so damn easily!? Anson walks off, likely to be in big trouble due to being well over his age by now…and invented by our main character via that story.
And that’s our climax, as everyone celebrates. Kind of cool but a bit weak and some of the character arcs set up barely mattered, but we’re not quite done yet.
Sanjay and other guy become the Counselors they were meant to be, while Douche-y rival is punished. Their sort of arc added nothing in the end. Dane and Dylan are still counselors….because pretending to be counselors, among other crappy acts somehow means nothing to them.
Hooray for no comeuppance for your actions! Okay, they do Sanjay and other Guy’s Laundry but that’s barely enough punishment given what they did. They burn the scary story book we won’t have a sequel.
“Books are bad, and TV is good, guys”
Except INSERT SHOW YOU HATE HERE.
With that taken care of, we have a dance party ending. But we need a twist, so it turns out a girl old one story from the book, and we fade out on a shark swimming by. Dun dun dun! …Yeah, I don’t care.
Another ending that’s a mix of slightly satisfying, and really rushed. Although it causes enough problem for me to say thumbs down to this ending, for the most part.
Eh….it was okay, I guess. It was kind of enjoyable, but the script suffers from quite a few character and story issues. I’m okay with the story being simple, but it’s almost too simple, yet it has too many subplots going on sometimes.
Most of them are to add to the cliché count, like the cabin full of fat and nerdy kids, and douche-y rival. The kids at least do something, while the rival just exists to break the collar in that one scene.
As I said, I am okay with the main storyline with the Zombies being simple, but everything outside of that has problems. Our leads are barely punished for impersonating counselors, even then it would make sense to do so in this kind of story.
Usually, I’m glad they avoided the liar revealed stuff, but it feels like they forgot about it. Some stories play with the concept by just admitting their characters are bad or something, but this doesn’t even lampshade it.
It kind of makes them unlikable when you think about it. Other story elements are just kind of dropped as soon as they are brought up a 2nd time. The script is fairly messy in that regard, making the ending kind of unsatisfying despite a few bits.
With that said, the whole Zombie thing is kind of cool and there are some funny moments and enjoyable scenes. The basic idea behind the Zombie stuff is decent, and most of the acting is fine. The humor, while hit or miss, isn’t too bad either,
The characters are molly kind of dull though. Some are enjoyable, but no way is really that interesting and the leads are kind of unlikable, since they didn’t learn their lesson. But I’ve seen far worse.
As a whole, it’s just okay. Fairly enjoyable, but is dragged down a messy script. It’s pretty much what I expected. Really. This is exactly what I thought I would get out of Pants of Fire, and it’s somehow more enjoyable despite being kind of worse.
I don’t know how that happens. Either way, it’s okay. Nothing too special, but it’s at least kind of memorable and gave me stuff to make fun of. I wouldn’t recommend it too highly, but if you enjoy this kind of thing, go ahead.
As for me, I’ll stuck with My Babysitter’s a Vampire.
These requests have turned out okay so far. Sure, this was average, but still slightly enjoyable. Although we did from a decent film to an average one….which means the next request is gonna suck, isn’t it?
Whatever, bring it on.
….Can’t be worse than Fred.
“Regardless of whether you liked an episode or not, every single person who touches this show gives it everything they can.”-Jim Miller
(Long intro is long, so if you just wanna see my picks, you can skip to the actual list)‘
Hello, Spongey here.
Well, another Season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has come and gone. Season 5 was most certainly very interesting, both for me and in general. While I always had a critical mindset with the show, this was the first Season were I was very aware of the analysis community all the way through.
Between roughly the middle of Season 4, and the start of Season 5, I got more critical of the show, as you’ve seen in my various lists. Heck, I even did VLOGs on the episodes on they aired. It was interesting to look at them critically when they come out, and compare how I feel to what the general reaction was.
Thankfully, the fans tended to agree, at least on the general quality. This Season was certainly big and ambitious. Not only did it have the 100th episode, but it also had some big changes, most of which thankfully went over well.
Like last Season, we have a big theme: Cutie Marks. All across the season, we had seasons really looking at what a cutie mark means, and all that good stuff. We found out it’s possible to misinterpret one, and a pony kind of went crazy over the fact that they could tear friends apart.
It was pretty interesting, and it ended up being a natural extension of the themes from the previous season. While not all of it was perfect, they mostly did a very good job with this theme.
And like last season, we had an arc featuring episodes set aside for said arc. In this case, it was the map. In the Season premiere, Twilight’s new Castle (that people finally stopped bitching about) randomly grew a map, that used their cutie marks to tell them about new locations where friendship problems can be found.
So at random points, the map would call two certain ponys to go to a location to solve a friendship problem. This was mostly done alright, as the episodes themselves worked out decently, and they were all thankfully solid.
Although the overall arc didn’t really lead up to much. The finale didn’t address it that much, except that it can apparently survive time travel anomalies. People thought the ponies would go all over the place in quite a few episodes, either in a row, or spread throughout, kind of like LPS’ own Pet Jet/Fashion Expo Arc.
But instead, two ponies are randomly selected for like a few episodes. Meh. At least it as better than the Equestria Games arc.
This season also had new writers, and interesting changes with old ones. Some worked better than others, but most were solid. Merriweather Williams sadly left, supposedly to work on Pig Goat Banana Cricket, and this sadly marked Amy Keating Rogers final episode for the show.
That one is (spoilers) not on the list, but I will say it was a good one to end her run. And quickly, here’s a sum up and how each new writer turned out, and how the old writers were this season.
Joana Lewis/Kristine Songo: This pair turned out well, with fairly well received episodes, all with decent humor mixed in with solid humor stories. Can’t pin the style too much but these gals seem fine. Castle Sweet Castle gets my vote for their best, mostly cuz of another epic joke from Bulk Biceps.
Neal Deasdu: Congratulations Neal, you’re the new Merriwether Williams! Yep, his two episodes got the most hate of any episodes this season, which is amazing. Even Merriwether threw in one well received episode upon her debut. I will say that his writing could use a lot of work, but the episodes were certainly not nearly as bad as people say. I’ll address them in a bit. I will say that even If I found them flawed, I certainly won’t be going to his Twitter and bashing it to his face anytime soon.
….Yeah, that was the worst.
Nick Confalone: He seems pretty fine with Pinkie Pie in the very least, and both episodes were solid little stories to boot. He also gave us a proper Christmas episode that aired in October for some stupid reason. He might actually my favorite new writer since both of his episodes were notably good in some way. Not much to say.
G.M. Berrow: She’s mostly known for the MLP Chapter books, which I have not read. Her one episode was a mixed bag. Kind of weak plot, but some very good comedy. If she comes for S6, we’ll see if that continues, and if she just goes back to books…it was an interesting experiment, at least.
Scott Sonneborn: Well, it looks his problem of unfortunate implications despite solid humor and creativity is still here. Okay, his episodes were well received, and Cutie Map mostly lacked this, mostly due to MA Larson being a co-writer. Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep is another story.
(That one did have a story credit, so maybe he’s not fully to blame…)
While I personally wasn’t too bugged by the whole twist with Luna, some people saw some issues with it, and I can kind of see why. I don’t think it’s a horrible moral about self destruction or something, but it is another case of the writer simply not seeing the implications, despite good intentions.
My problems are based around what it does to the character and overall narrative, but that’s just me. I do think it’s his best solo episode, due to some insane creativity, but that issue was….well an issue. Please, get partners for your next episodes or just try to keep it really simple.
Josh Haber:While I wouldn’t say he pulled a Dave Polsky, he did make a turn around. People loved The Cutie Remark, and tended to enjoy Bloom and Gloom as well. While you could see his “by the books” problem, he got way better at being creative this time around, especially in the latter.
He also penned the epic conclusion to Equstria Girls trilogy, Friendship Games. While it’s not quite as good as Rainbow Rocks, and his flaws were there, it was still pretty solid, with some enjoyable conflicts and fun moments. Even if it did have my least favorite villain. Hey, say what you will about Sunset Shimmer, but at least she left an impact, and I can say things about her personalty!
Natsha Levinger: She’s fine. Both episodes were received well, and were quite good. Both had stuff that was cool to see, along with fun moments. And anyone who brings back the Shmooze is good in my back.
…Even if she hasn’t actually seen the movie. Whoops. While neither episodes were amazing, and not as good as her previous work, she still did fine.
Also, I want to use the “I think they’re… jokes?” clip at some point.
Noelle Benvenuti: She only came back for one, and it’s fine. Didn’t keep up the traits of Maud Pie, but it was a decent and fine episode either way.
Meghan McCarthy: Oddly, she didn’t write a full episode this season. She’s just on the story for The Cutie Map, and Rartiy Investivages. I get the former, but I don’t think the latter exactly needed someone to help with it’s basic mystery story. MA Larson was promoted to Story Editor for most of the Season, and Meghan was promoted to “Head of Storytelling” for Hasbro Brands.
I guess that’s why. Either way, good to see her great work is paying off.
M.A Larson: After writing a book, he came back this Season, and he’s still got it. All of his episodes were notable, for better or worse. He brought the craziness, and even callbacks fans tended to like. He even gave us Episode 100, which was interesting regardless of what you thought about it. So yeah, he’s still good
Cindy Morrow: Another one who came back from absence. Her one episode brought back her heart, was pretty damn good, if a bit flawed. I hope she comes back in Season 6 to be even better. …Also, how is it that TinkerBell’s take kind of had more stakes than this one?
Dave Polsky: Well, he’s still awesome after suddenly becoming amazing in Season 4. Appleloosa’s Most Wanted was one of his weaker Good episode, it still had some fascinating stuff with TroubleShoes. And Brotherhooves social more than made up for it. Yeah ,I think he’s good with the CMC,and the Apples in particular. And the latter continued Dave’s tradition of unnecessary controversy!
Amy Keating Rogers: Easily the best writer this season. Each episode of hers was notably good, and helped her become even better. Yeah, they each had flaws but their good points made up for that. She most certainly left with a bang. I wish her good luck over at Disney.
As a whole, this Season was pretty good. Not as good as Season 4, not at least almost on par with Season 2. It had the same pros and cons as usual, I just happen to like the pros of other seasons more. While I wouldn’t say the episodes reached the highs of Flight to the Finish, they at least could almost as solid.
They still did new things and for better or worse, this season was decently experimental. And they even did the In Between episodes thing way better than when Season 3 did it. Oddly, this also had a Magical Mystery Cure-ish Musical.
This also had the least amount of episodes that bugged me. To compare, let’s look at each Season’s track record for episodes I could not call objectively good. Season 1 had 5 (including my overall least favorite episode), Season 2 had 4, Season 3 had 3 and Season 4 had 2. Weird how we get one less each Season. Although some kind of change depending on my mood.
This season also had roughly 2. I say that because at one point Princess Spike was the only one, but the more I thought, the weaker What About Discord Got in terms of story. However, I would actually call both okay.
Princess Spike did have a good story, and Spike development that wasn’t just him screwing up. It just wasn’t all that engaging or fun in the end. What About Discord was fairly funny, it just had a couple messy elements. I do kind of enjoy it, it just could have been better.
Don’t worry, I still have no ill will to Neal. Hell, I liked both episodes until I really thought about them again. They are at least far from painful, and I really don’t see what’s so terrible about them.
So yeah, not the greatest season, but it was more consistent than most in terms of how the overall products turned out. That’s all I got for the overall Season review.
And since I went over my favorite episodes from previous Seasons, I suppose we have to do the same again. This season had plenty of gems, and it’s time to look at them. With that long intro out of the way, it’s time to which episodes came out on top.
Which ones had the best stories and morals? Let’s find out!
This, is The Top 5 My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 5 Episodes
Before we get into it, we have to look at my Favorite Songs. Yeah, there weren’t enough for a top list of this, so they are going here. For me, it’s a tie between The Vote [Crusaders of the Lost Mark] and In Our Town [The Cutie Map].
Yeah, picking a song from the former was hard, and I could have gone with the emotional ending song, but I just really enjoyed seeing an actually fun election for once. Also, it was sort of a Diamond Tiara villain song, which is amazing.
Speaking of villain songs, In Our Town is just a lot of fun. It’s a nice example of a villain song that makes a bad way of life sound good. It’s also creepy in a good way. And the line “You can’t have a nightmare, if you never dream” is…yikes.
Honestly, I only love this one because the thought that Barbie is singing that is…amazing. So yeah, now onto the actual list
Writer: Amy Keating Rogers
Like plenty of lists, choosing the bottom spot was hard, and in this case I had to pick between this and Canterlot Boutique, as they are about equally great and I have plenty of reason to put either on the list.
While you can argue the other one had more merit, I eventually with this one simply I enjoyed it a bit more. It was a bit more of a complete package, it doesn’t matter, let’s get into the episode.
This is our first map episode, and it’s easily the best one. Yeah, the others aren’t on here, sorry. The map brings Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash to Griffonstone and find that it’s a run down dump and must find some lost idol to bring things back to normal, and maybe Gild will have a hand in that.
This highlights all the good things about the map episodes, and I kind of wish the others took more advantage of those things. Hoofields has some interesting stuff but the actual location was just kind of there, and Made in Manehattan just used a setting we’ve seen before.
This really takes advantage of the setting and goes into it’s history, and it uses it for a cool story, and then some. With the map concept, we can explore new locations do some creative things. Granted, the concept also means they must go to solve friendship problems so things could have gotten repetitive, (hell two of them involve making the city less asshole-ish) but the three we have managed to work fairly well.
This one happens to not have the problems of the others, and is very interesting on it’s own. I really like exploring the Griffon’s history, and the art style in the exposition bits is very cool looking. This season had a decent amount of art shifts, and that’s always nice to see.
Anyway, onto the world building stuff. We find out that Griffonstone was once a grand city of proud and united griffons thanks to the Idol of Boreas. But sometime during the reign of its most recent king, a monster named Arimaspi attacked and stole the idol. The idol was eventually lost when Arimaspi fell into the Abysmal Abyss, and Griffonstone fell into a state of misery.
And in the end, things are fixed when Pinkie reminds Gilda of friendship and such. Yeah, a pretty easy solution but it mixes nice moments, development and world building quite well. I really like how all these elements are mixed.
We have quite a few reformations and this season, and I think Gilda’s was done well. Honestly, she deserves more than some others. She was a bully but not a horrible one who mocks disabled kids. She was Rainbow’s friend so clearly she had some good in here.
Why is that a guy who corrupted the mane 6 was turned good before a bully who was a friend a mane 6 member?
I never got why people really hated Gilda to begin with, to the point were they bash her episode. She’s a bully. Yeah, that’s the point and I rather enjoy how stereotypical she is. Also, the fact that she is voiced by Sonata is amazing.
They do a good job of trying her reformation into something deeper, and it leads to some nice moments. We’ll go deeper into how this kind of things works later, but I will say this case does it well.
Then of course have the comedy. Not a ton of great moments, but since Pinkie is here we have plenty of amusing interactions. Although my favorite joke is Rainbow’s Twilight impression.
It’s just amazing.
I think the combination of elements is what makes it so great. It has great comedy, sweet moments, good development, adventure, and nice world building. It just does a lot of things very well.
I suppose the only issues are that it might be a bit predictable, and a few jokes kind of jail. Like the one where Rainbow asks Pinkie to throw down a rope, and she does so…but just does that instead of what she was actually supposed to.
It’s one of those dumb Pinkie Pie jokes that makes her dumb because it’s “funny”. Plus, Phineas and Ferb did that exact same joke and it was funnier then.
But other than, this one is very good. I suppose it’s not amazing in it’s great-ness like like Canterlot Boutique kind of is, but there’s something about this one I really like. It’s a lot of fun and combines a lot of elements, and I love episodes that do that.
The thing about Canterlot Boutique is that it’s great-ness comes more for the themes and such, rather than a complete story in the same way as others. It’s just as worthy as being on here, but I can’t help but find some story driven episodes more complete than others.
I suppose it’s just the way I tend to look at things. Anyway, not exactly the biggest episode but it’s very enjoyable with it’s various elements and interesting plot. It’s just a nice fun adventure that has good world building and really takes advantage of the map episode formula.
Fun Fact: This was supposed to be written by a Larson with Amy doing Slice of Lice, but it got switched up due to complex stuff. I may have liked this even more if Larson did it, but eh it’s still good, and it adds more to Amy’s list of great episodes.
That’s pretty much all I got. Incredibly enjoyable with great jokes, very nice moments, and all that great stuff. I’ve been itching to see Gilda again and I’m glad it turned out this well.
Overall, another very solid adventure with everything I could ever want. Not a whole more to it than that, and things only get better from here.
Writer: Dave Polsky
Dave has really been improving since Season 3, and he has given us some good dramatic stories. But he started out with Comedic episodes, and typically his episodes are either funny or dramatic.
Sure, there is humor in some of these but it’s not the main focus, or what you remember. When you think about Rarity Takes Manehattan, you recall the story rather than the humor. While in something like Too Many Pinkie Pie, the humor is likely to come to mind instead of the story.
The reason I point this out, is that he finally did an episode where both the humor and drama are equally memorable. Yes, the drama is what puts this on here, but the humor is also noteworthy….for better or worse.
Apple Bloom is bummed out when Applejack is called to Manehattan and must miss the Sisterhooves Social. So Big Mac takes it upon himself to disguise himself as a cousin named Orchard Blossom in order to compete with her.
I suppose we can begin by talking about the Comedy. Now, I don’t usually care fo-….hm…? What? …You want me to be talk about the controversy? …Oh, you mean that thing where a bunch of worried those darn “SJW’s” would get up in arms over this and call it “Transphoic” and they basically took it as a challenge and got offended, causing this big crazy thing?
Aka that thing where there were more people bitching about people finding it offensive then there were people actually finding it offensive. That was…incredibly stupid. They basically created a non existed controversy.
I mean, I don’t like people getting worked up over nothing, but this was pathetic. Now, I certainly don’t see it as Transphoic at all because…it’s not a Trans person we are dealing with.
Big Mac is dressing up as a woman as a way to compete with Applebloom. That’s it, it’s a means to end. He’s only a woman because he thinks he must be a sister. It’s basically like Mrs. Doubtfire.
Not to mention no one has bad reactions to him being a woman. They just look at “Her” weirdly for a bit just because they do suspect something, but clearly won’t say anything as not to start something.
Heck, in the end they are actually more bothered by him kind of cheating with his strenght, then him being in disguise, since they knew Big Mac was just unaware of how loose their definition of sister is.
So yeah, nothing offensive here. Onto what I was saying before. I don’t usually care too much for “Men dressing as women” humor because a lot of it is just lazy. Although it can work, and this episode actually does it well.
Although I do have one problem with it here. It seems that every single time they do this in a show, at least one male character fall in love with “Her”. No matter how little sense it actualy makes, and it’s almost never ufnny anymore.
They sadly do that here, and while it thankfully downplayed, it’s still incredibly pointless and just there for one quick cheap gag. Thankfully it is quick so it’s not a big problem. Speaking of problems, I do think they piled on Applebloom’s sisterly love for AJ a bit too much.
She goes on about how AJ is amazing, and it’s just a tiny bit too much. But that’s just another nitpick. Now onto the good stuff. I just find Orchard Bloom to be very funny, even though I really shouldn’t.
I think it’s because it’s Big Mac. Not because “lol a strong guy is a woman” but because he’s playing this posh exaggerated character. He actually sticks to it all the way until they are caught, and that makes it work even better.
It’s just funny seeing this character going around, knowing it’s Big Mac under there. I also love that this is the most Big Mac has spoken at once, but its in a woman’s voice. Kind of like how Hearts and Hooves Day was one of his extended dialogue bits in a while, but it was all love talk.
There’s something about him in this episode that just cracks me up, and I’m not quite sure why. They don’t exactly do a ton of jokes with but there’s something about it I find very funny. They do take advantage of the humor, but are still respectul and don’t try anything too dumb with it like a lot of shows tend to do.
It’s pretty much Spongebob’s“That’s No Lady” done right. That one also had someone doing it for a bigger reason and they almost had it right, but the jokes were just too dumb and it took that cliché with the guys liking her” too far.
This one underplays the creepier parts and is able to make a joke out of the base concept without making it too disrespectful or lazy. But let’s be honest, if that was the only thing going on here, this wouldn’t be on the list.
All of that is indeed fun, but it’s the ending that makes this one so great. See, this is our first pure Big Mac episode. Sure, he’s had notable roles, and even an arc in the Comics, but not a full episode that really developed him.
But man was it worth the wait, because this develops him incredibly well. Basically, Big Mac sees how AB looks up to AJ, since she goes out and does all of these amazing things, while he just stays behind and doesn’t much of anything.
He’s just a tiny bit jealous and really wants Applebloom to look up to him, and he figured if he were to win the Social with AB, they would bond a lot better. I really love what they did here. It’s great development for Big Mac that makes sense.
I am certainly on his side, but AppleBloom doesn’t look that bad here, since …well Big Mac really doesn’t do a ton but she still loves him no matter what AJ happens to do. I can’t really do this justice, Big Mac says best in his speech.
Speaking of which ,that whole ending is amazing. It has to be one the sweetest scenes in the whole show. Yes, really. It’s incredibly heartwarming, and so interesting to hear Big Mac’s thoughts. Whenever Big Mac has extended dialogue in his normal voice, you know it’s going to be awesome.
Hearing this guy just pour his heart out is awesome, and the whole scene is incredibly heatwarming, especially Applebloom assures him that she appreciates him. It’s one of those happy tearjerker moments, and it’s just awesome.
It’s one of those things you just gotta see because I can’t exactly capture how good this scene is. It dies deeper into Big Mac’s character in an interesting and way it’s incredibly heartwarming, and even puts in a nice joke at the end.
The whole episode is good, but it’s the ending that makes it great. I enjoy the antics of Orchard Blossom but this takes it to a new level. That’s pretty much why it isn’t higher, there are others that are great throughout the whole thing, but it’s still a great episode because that moment is just that good.
I’m very happy to finally get a Big Mac episode, especially one this good. While that ending is what puts it on here, it is good all the way through. The main gimmick is done well with some fun jokes, and it develops Big Mac and has an amazingly heartwarming ending.
There’s really nothing that much more complicated to it than that. Yes, it’s another “Easy to like” one, but the ending is so good that it doesn’t’ even really matter. It’s a fun episode made great but an awesome ending.
It proves that Dave Polsky can combine his strengths very well, and while I wouldn’t call it his best work, it’s still incredibly good. It’s funny and sweet, and it has Big Mac. Really, that’s all I can say at this point, it’s just great.
Oh, and this was the In Between thing, taking place at the same time as Made in Manehattan. Again, better than Season 3’s take on it, and Made in Manehattan was nice too.
3. The Cutie Map/The Cutie Remark
Writers: Scott Sonneborn and M.A. Larson (Cutie Map) and Josh Haber (Cutie Remark)
That’s right, we not only have a tie, but it’s between the Season Premiere and finale. Typically I easily like one more than the other, or I just know one should be higher in my eyes. In this case, I just really couldn’t decide which one should be higher, and honestly neither are quite my favorite, or even the “Best’ necessarily.
I suppose I could put the finale higher, but it didn’t quite feel right and I wanted make some room for Griffenstone. It is fitting to discuss these at once, so we can go into the big theme of the Season at once. And yes, it did hurt to put the big finale at only number 3 this time, but sometimes ya gotta go with your gut.
But let’s talk about the episodes themselves first. In The Cutie Map, the Map calls the Mane 6 to a town for the first time, and it sends them to a town where nopony has a Cutie Mark and their leader Starlight Glimmer wants everypony to be equal, believing Cutie Marks ruin friendships.
This Season opener is an intentionally supposed to be smaller, but also a bit deeper and darker to an extent. I suppose that kind of ties into it’s flaws. I do kind of miss that epic feel of other premieres and it being smaller means it does kind of drag in some parts.
It also doesn’t quite have any epic amazing moments. It has some parts, but all the great moments are in the smaller parts, and the writing. It does kind of have something missing in general, although I’m not quite sure what it is.
Despite that, this episode is very good. For one, they really had fun with the facial expressions here. The animators keep getting better each Season and here they got really good with the character animation.
There are a lot of funny and crazy expressions here, most are from Pinkie but the others get good moments as well. The fandom already loves silly faces, so you can imagine those people had a ball with this episode.
Speaking of funny things, the lax tone does mean they can fit in Comedy a bit better, giving us of nice little moments. Again, most do come from Pinkie but it’s all still quite amusing. And of course, we have that song, which I already went into.
I think the big thing that makes this episode notably great is how….creepy it is. Yeah, it’s not exactly nightmare inducing, but the whole thing has a disturbing vibe to it. We have a town full of ponies forced to give up on their special talents in order to be equal, and just smile away and one breaks down when being punished for showing interest in Cutie Marks.
….Yes. They take the themes here and run with them in a pretty disturbing way. They did a pretty good job showing all this stuff and having it be creepy while not going insanely overboard. Yes, they could have shown it an even creepier way, because this kind of thing can go deeper.
Just the sight of Twilight’s Cutie Mark being taken away is pretty dang disturbing, even if it’s kind of small compared to some of the other stuff in the episode. The idea that someone would just take away their identity simply to be equal is some Harrison Berugron-shit.
That leads to the themes going on here. Plenty of people have been comparing to communism or some crap, but I really just care about the narrative aspect of these themes. In a sense, Starlight kind of has a point to an extent, but of course it’s clear that she is wrong in the end.
Some friendships do sadly go downhill because someone is better than the other, but that’s not really a general rule. If this does happen, the friendship wasn’t the best to begin with. But still it is something to think about it.
What exactly doing it mean to be equal? As plenty of works have asked, should we strip away what makes us special just to be “equal”? In the end the episode pretty much says that while some are better than others, true equality is TREATING everyone as equal despite our differences.
Plenty of works have said this before, but it’s really interesting to see this in a family show like this. They also do put some creativity into it with the humor and just how creepy it gets. Then there’s Strarlight Glimmer herself.
I’ll get into her more when discuss Cutie Remark, but I do like her for the most part. Some could find her annoying since she does sort of exist to be proven wrong, and some just don’t like this type of villain, and while I get that, I mostly enjoy here.
She’s quite good here with how creepy and cheery she is, and the fact that she is voiced by Barbie will never not be amazing. Actually, that reminds me of something. Some people have pointed out that Starlight looks a bit like Aria Blaze….another character who’s voice actor has portrayed Barbie.
Coincidence? …Most likely.
As a whole, this episode works very well. It’s not only amusing, but also has a decent villain, some interesting themes and is very creepy. It does what it wants to do very well and it’s very enjoyable.
I’d put it on par with the other Season Openers, honestly. Besides the pilot, they all have the same amount of strengths and weakness. It could be argued that this is the best, but I sometimes I like the concepts and certain moments in other ones more.
I can’t really say one is easily the best, since it’s a bit complicated. Either way, this one happens to be very good and introduces the concepts of the season pretty well. Now onto the grand finale!
Strarlight Glimmer returns, but not with a spell that allows her to travel back in time and prevent the big Rainboom that gave the Mane 6 their cutie marks. Now Twlight and Spike must go on a big time travel adventure and stop Starlight.
First off, in Friendship Games they cannot contact Twilight while all that stuff is going on, and when she appears at the end she says it’s because she was in a big time loop, and it was the craziest thing that ever happened to her.
Yes, it’s cute to hint at this finale, and basically have enough in between thing. But…this is not even close to the craziest thing to happen to you, Twilight.
Anyway, I think I will start with the negatives, because I’m an asshole. The ending song is nice, but just makes me want to pop in Let the Rainbow Remind you instead….which is why I’m listening to that one right no instead.
There in some weird time travel logic as per usual. It’s far from the worst, but it’s there. A lot of people were critical of how the other timeliness were done. First, we jumped to when Sombra came, and how now he took over since the Mane 6 (and spike, remember he threw the crystal heart). Then it goes to a timeline where Chrysalis took over, THEN we do Nightmare Moon. It seems a bit strange, especially since Sombra has the worst effect, with causing a flat out war.
But of course everyone focuses on how it doesn’t make sense that some events in that timeline happened and some did not. Honestly, I just assume Celestia was able to stop some people in those timelines but happened to be helpless when it comes to others.
Speaking of which, people really didn’t like the effect this happened on Celestia. She was the most stable original Princess up to this point, since Cadence does nothing and Luna is so troubled she’s frankly unfit to be ruler, but this showed she basically is nothing without the Mane 6.
We saw that in Canterlot Wedding, but this takes that further…Yeah, I can see the problem. To be fair, this kind of needs to be the case for the sake of this episode, to show how important their friendship was. But it does have adverse effects as well, and let me tell you, THIS kind of makes Twilight overpowered rather than everything people said was.
While I can see their point, it’s just something that had to happen for the sake of the episode. Hopefully we can go deeper into Celestia in Season 6, because now she needs an episode more than either. Magical Mystery Cure made me love her after losing my respect way back in A Bird in the Hoof, and arguably Keep Calm and Flutter on, and now everyone else needs the same.
Then there’s the issue of Starlight Glimmer’s reformation. Yeah, I was going to talk about this when go deeper but we can cover it here. I’ll go over the negative aspects of it here, and do the positives later.
To put it quickly, it works great for story….not so much for the character. For one, I get that it’s the tragic thing where something bad happened in the past and she’s so caught up in her stuff that she can’t see the easy answer, but it does make her seem a bit lame.
I mean, our evil villain is stopped by a speech that tells her the obvious. Lame. And let’s go into exactly how she is reformed and what this could mean for the show. They see how powerful she is as magic and wants to keep her around as a friend.
They imply this could mean she stays for the long run and becomes a major character. Honestly….I’m a bit worried. Let’s think about it. I’m sure what this could add that other characters do not.
Having a villain use their unique magic to help is cool….but it’s been done with Discord. He was also use to have a villain learn about aspects of friendship or the first time, like they are doing here.
It’s awesome to have a villain become an asset to the Mane 6 in ssome form, and perhaps reflect on their villainy. I know this because we have that with Sunset Shimmer.
Actually, that’s it. The reason they are doing all these reformations is because it worked wonders for her. While it’s neat to have in the proper pony world, it’s still kind of dumb. In general reformations can be neat, but they are doing them a bit too much. Yes, it’s nice to teach kids that people can change, but we should also teach them that some people just won’t change and will always be assholes.
Heck, Lauren Faust mentioned in the Elements of Harmony Guide Book thing. ….Her example of a bully that will not change was Gilda. Whoops.
I think the stuff they did with Discord and Sunset was great, but perhaps they should slow down, although the damage has already been done.
But okay, enough bitching, let’s about why this episode is still great. It’s just cool to see these alternate timelines. It kind of builds on Cutie Mark Chronicle’s statement about how things may be connected that you do know about.
I’ve gone on about how Fluttershy is the one who started all of this….but thinking about it, it’s the Bullies! Yeah, these assholes caused Rainbow to stand up for Fluttershy. Which teaches us all that bullying saves the world!
I like seeing how these alternate time lines play out, with my favorite being Sombra. I like the concept of them being trapped in a war, with some being forced to leave to help the cause. See, this is exactly why I defended Sombra, he easily had the worst effect when he won.
Most of the episode has them going around from time line to time line, so it was important they get that right, and they did. Although it does make the episode a bit repetitive, as that is all it is until the end once we give Starlight that speech.
It makes things a bit less engaging than some other finales, but it still mostly works due to how cool the other timelines. I also do quite enjoy Starlight here, mostly because Kelly seems to be having a lot of fun here.
Which brings me to the good side of the reformation. As I said, it works for the story. The big moral thing I addressed about the Cutie Map is said here, as she is told that it’s really not the fault of Cutie marks that her friendship went south.
She is told to just try again as that was just circumstantial, There was no need to go crazy because of one bad friendship. Yes, this had bad aspects like I went into but I do like the moral and maturity here.
It is basic to just say “try again” but it works nonetheless. The emotion is very strong and while the song isn’t my favorite, it does work to give you a great feeling at the end. It’s just really nice in the context of the story.
As for the Cutie Mark thing, they don’t exactly go any deeper here beyond the whole Rainboom thing, but I suppose it works fine. It was displayed better in the Season as a whole then here.
This Season did show us just how Cutie Marks how, and how it’s up to you and friends to figure out what it means and how to deal with it. Heck, this seaosn goes into how to deal with friends in general. What to do when a friend has other friends, what happens when you leave a friend, and how to react if a friend is better than you.
It’s all very interesting, and this finale finishes that off very well, despite it’s flaws. It is fitting I put these together, as it has a more relax tone than other premieres and finales, and uses it to go a bit deeper.
It all comes down to personal preference. Some prefer these simpler stories that aren’t exactly bombastic, and that’s fine. I happen to prefer those kind when done well, and that’s great.
It was a choice to do them like this, and I respect that. It does mean the finale is not as good as something like Twilight’s Kingdom but, it’s still great in it’s own way. By the way, If I had to pick I’d say I like Cutie Map slightly more.
Yes, Cutie Remark is a bit more fun but some flaws do bring it down to an extent. They are roughly equal though. While it may be flawed, this finale is still very good due it’s fun time travel plot and nice moments.
We’ll see if Starlight does effect the show positively or not, but for now we do have these episodes to enjoy. They do something a bit different but it works due to fascinating themes, some great moments, and even a fairly decent villain.
Overall, these episodes were a great introduction and farewell to Season 5.
2. Amending Fences
Writer: M.A. Larson
Yeah, you all saw this one coming. This is the “Pinkie Pride” of the Season, and it either tops most people’s lists, or comes in at this slot. But in this case, I only have it here because I subjectivity got more of a kick out of the number one.
Meaning this is objectively the best. I had a hard time arranging the top 3 as it is, but I think this fits here.
Twilight gets the idea to visit her old friends in Canterlot that she ditched to do something kind of important. They are mostly doing fine…except for one named Moon Dancer, who went a bit downhill after Twilight left, so now she fix the problem she left behind.
This episode is interesting because….no one really asked for. I’m sure if you asked, most people would have liked the idea, but no one cared about who Twilight left behind. Who the heck is that Moondancer pony they mentioned? Who cares?
But as soon as we got, we wanted it bad. It’s a great example of how you should give your audience what they don’t know they wanted, as they’ll love it way more than what they actually ask for.
Considering this is the same writer as Slice of Life, that’s kind of amusing.
I think everyone has explained why this one works so well, so this will likely be a bit short. This is just a brilliant idea, and while it’s pretty easy to make it work, it’s still great with the execution.
Moondancer basically shows us what Twilight would be like if she stayed in Canterlot, but it also kind of shows us the effect we can have on our friends if we don’t exactly do the right things.
It’s a very interesting idea to explore, and it kind of makes you think. As I said, it’s just a brilliant idea when you think about it. They do a good job fleshing out Moondancer and showing what she went through, and how she came to this way.
While she is just like an Alternate Version of Twilight, they do a fine enough job of making her great on her own. Although my only problem with the episodes comes with her: Her design. She is literally a Twilight recolor.
Not only is it lazy, but it’s also on the nose. They have done this before, but usually because they actually are lazy (Daring Do is literally Rainbow Dash), not because they make a conscience decision to be lazy. …But that’s a really tiny nitpick.
Also, she is voiced by Adagio Dazzle, which is distracting but awesome.
Needless, the episode is pretty heartbreaking at points, especially when Moondancer explains how she felt when Twilight didn’t show up to the party. See, she was kind of shy but was starting to open up, and even threw a party.
But when her best friend didn’t show up, she figured friendship was useless and just gave up…. Ouch, now that’s the stuff that puts previous materiel in a new light. So if I watch the pilot again and see Twilight just running off and ignoring her friends…it’ll be awkward.
That makes the ending all the more satisfying when things turn out all right. It is a bit predictable, and the story itself doesn’t exactly take a ton of turns, but it still turns out pretty well.
The story plays out nicely as we slowly learn more about Moondancer and find out how she felt. It’s paced nicely and is done very well in it’s well. They even put in a bit of humor there like with Pinkie’s cameo.
It’s just a very enjoyable watch, that has plenty of things to chew on analyze. It’s such an easy episode to love, but it’s still a great idea done extremely well. While I honestly find other episodes to be a bit more tearjerker, this does go a bit deeper than most episodes and due to hitting close to home for some, I can certainly see it being more tear jeker for others.
As I keep saying, it’s just very interesting to see this play out. It’s interesting how Moondancer lost faith in friendship because Twilight was so busy with her own problems. Although if she did show up, I don’t think she would have gone to Ponyville and ended up doing all that…sort of important stuff.
So it’s a bit of a mixed bag, I suppose. Either way, it makes for a great story. I’m not sure what else to say. You know why this episode is great, why even go on any further? It’s one of the most fascinating stories I’ve seen from the show.
Just the concept of it is enough to spark some interesting conversations, and the execution is even better. The character insight is really interesting, and there are damn heart wrenching moments which make the ending one of the most satisfying things ever.
It’s just a great little episode that we never even knew we wanted. You just gotta love when something comes out of nowhere and does that. It’s an interesting story that plays out very well, with some nice humor bits, and some damn tearjerker moments with a great ending.
It’s another episode that deserves every bit of love it gets. It’s yet another awesome gem, and once again, I never knew I wanted it.
But of course before we get to number one, we have our Honorable Mentions. And like in the Top 15 List, I will just go Numbers 10-6, so here we go.
8. Hearthbreakers (Nick Confalone): Another really good Holiday episode that in this case is better than the first one. Besides introducing us to more of Pinkie’s amusing family, it gives us some really heartwarming moments and is another episode I can happily watch every December.
7. Party Pooped (Nick Confalone): While I do agree the Yaks breaking stuff was a bit much, Nick himself said that they wanted to do a scene justifying that but ditched it help the fact that Pinkie is the only one to break through to them. And that is what makes this one good, by showing how Dedicated Pinkie is. Another great Pinkie episode.
And my favorite episode of MLP Season 5 is…
Writer: Amy Keating Rogers
Okay. Is this objectively the best episode/? Probably not. Once again, this and Amending Fences are so close that if you don’t like that this is number one, you can pretend that one is. When I eventually do have to do a full top 20 or so list when the show ends, they will be right next to each other.
Sometimes I cannot help my own biases, and I can say no episode left me with a greater feeling than this one. It’s not only fun but incredibly satisfying with it’s ending. But let’s get into it, because there’s a bit to cover.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders help Pip run for Class President against Diamond Tiara, but along the way they learn something about Diamond Tiara….
I know you all want me to gush over…what happened in the end but we gotta go over everything else first, sorry. First off, this is indeed our third Musical episode, and this one is like Magical Mystery Cure.
By that mean…it’s almost the same in terms of structure. Both use the songs to display emotions more deeply, and have a big change at the end, and have a different storyline to help make that change happen.
You could almost call it a rip off, but I think it works on it’s own. I happen to like MMM’s style of musical storytelling, because it makes more fun to watch, and the emotions help when the songs may not be the greatest.
I do perfer the music in Pinkie Pride to an extent, even if my favorite songs in MMM are a bit better. The songs here are very solid and catchy, even if I sadly could not find one in my Top 11. I said I like The Vote a lot, but after typing that I decided I prefer “We’ll Make Our Mark”, as it is the Celestia’s Ballad of the episode.
It’s the song that really makes me love the episode and the change they did. It also has reflection which you all know I love. The songs do a very good job of showing the emotion as well, which I will get into it.
I went into how Magical Mystery Cure worked as a musical and people’s reactions to it, but I suppose I can go over it again. I think some Critics actually don’t get how a musical works.
As Teen Beach Movie said, it’s a way to move the story along, just minus the inefficient part. It’s used in place in boring dialogue, and in cases like this do a better job at showing what a character is going through than dialogue ever could.
If you don’t care for that style, that’s fine just admit instead of looking like an idiot when you say it has too many songs in place of story, when the songs ARE the story. While I do kind of prefer some aspects of how MMC did it, this does it better in other ways. It handles more complex concepts such as Diamond Tiara’s redemption, and does very well with showing that.
Again, I do understand that some not care for that, but I think the music makes things way more fun. But let’s get to Diamond Tiara’s redemption. Remember how I said Starlight’s worked better story wise than character wise?
This is the same, to a bigger extent. Yes, everyone is right in that we don’t care about her enough to ant to see her change and that in real life, it would be hard to feel sorry for her and all that.
Personally, despite how I like it here, I will never flat out buy her being good. She mocked a disabled kid to get a head. When oyu do that, you just won’t earn my sympahthy full time.
However, it’s done very well in the context of this story. We find out her Mom, Spoiled rich (Her parents must have had high hopes for her) is the real bitch here and has been forcing Diamond Tiara to do most of this stuff.
It is a bit of a cheap excuse, but her excellent song saves it. WE see that she wants to be better, but doesn’t know how. The song is called “The Pony I Want to be” for a reason. It makes for a very interesting story, especially when how it ties into the big thing at the end.
I also like SilverSpoon standing up to her. Everyone said she has potential to be good, since she does nothing on her own, she just seems like a follower. It’s a bit cliché but it works. I do hope this is an excuse to kick Diamond Tiara off, and just not use her often again.
Because really, a reform Diamond Tiara just sounds boring. At least Pacfica Northwest had that possible Dipper romance thing. Actually, Gravity Falls did this kind of thing better in general but ….I’ll save that for another time, hint hint.
The most interesting aspect of her changing was done with Sunset, so I just hope they don’t use her in a big way again. Actually, this episode would arguably make more sense near the end of the show, so we could excuse it’s flaws as it was just a way to end the CMC thing.
Which makes me think they thought this might be the last Season, hence why this happened. But that’s just me, I guess. As a whole, Diamond Tiara’s redemption is flawed but works well as a story, and has so much emotion to it that it just works for me.
I personally think it would work better if they hinted at her having humanity early on instead of waiting 5 Seasons. Chalk to up as another LPS managed to do better. If the Biskits change for real, I can welcome it because they built it better.
(Also, they had a better election song, sorry).
One last note on this: It does bug me that people just decided to love her after only one episode of her being good. I’m not sure it bugs me but it’s dumb that people flipped so easiyl. Meanwhile, after like 3 episodes going deep into Lars, some still hate it and say he’s just irredeemable.
…But that’s besides the point. But remember, I liked Diamond Tiara before it was cool!
But okay, let’s finally get to the real reason why I do love this episode…..The Cutie Mark Cruaders get their Cutie Marks. Holy shit. I didn’t think I would see this until the very end, but it happened!
I sadly had it spoiled for me because I saw it, but man imagine if I went in blind like most people. You will notice that this episode aired on October 10, 2015….exactly 5 year after the show premiered.
It was unintentional, but it makes for a perfect way to celebrate the occasion. Hell, the episode ends with a reference to the theme! I actually think is a better love letter than Slice of Life, but that’s just me.
First off, I do like exactly how they get their marks. They help Diamond Tiara figure out what her Mark means, and by seeing their nemesis change, they realize that they really like helping people find their marks.
The seeds were planted in Apploosa’s Most Wanted (which actually helps make that one better, instead of making it pointless like I first thought) and it’s addressed here. They realize that no longer care about trying so hard to get their Cutie Marks, and just want to help others.
Then it happens, and it is amazing. They connected the two story lines better here, as it just flows a tad better. While they could have done it with a new villain as well, it works better with an established bitch as it makes it more emotional, and honestly more engaging.
It’s a nice idea, and could lead to interesting stories. If it means an end to repetitive CMC stories, and leads to better ones, I don’t mind this being done here. And oh man, does the song do a great job of making this satisfying.
In this case, a song covering everything works since it’s not as complex as Twilight being a princess. It does a great job of showing us how hard they worked, and how they get here. It’s an incredibly satisfying moment.
I can honestly I have never felt prouder of a cartoon character….since Twilight. Sure, this didn’t have to work as hard, but it’s still done very well. Words cannot describe how happy I feel at the end of this episode, especially with the ending shot.
It does the exact same thing MMC does: Give you a great feeling that has to reflect on the series up to this point. Granted, that one being the season finale made it better, but whatever.
That is why I had this as number one. Yes, the witting isn’t quite as special as some others, but it’s still a really great episode. This episode uses emotion in the same way as MMC, and appeals to me because I am kind of emotional.
I don’t feel it is cheap either. They clearly put a lot of heart into this one, and that really makes up for any flaws it has. The ending just really gets to me, and works so well. Now, are you a cold hearted asshole if you don’t like this episode?
…Maybe. Jokes aside, I would maybe question you at first, but I think that’s not the case. Some people aren’t swayed as easily, and that’s obviously fine, as long as you respect what they tried to do.
This episode isn’t as exactly the “Best” but it is my personal favorite of the Season because it just happens to get to me with what it does. The songs help the pacing and are very enjoyable, the story works decently well, and of course the ending is amazingly satisfying. I do understand if you don’t agree with me, but this is my list, so I don’t care.
With everything it does, this episode is just tons of fun with one of the most satisfying endings ever. Like the show as a whole, it features notable flaws but makes up for it with it’s heart and great moments.
And all of that, is why Crusaders of the Lost Mark is my favorite episode of My Little Pony Friendship is magic Season 5.
Those were my favorite Season 5 episodes. Certainly an odd list to make given how things shuffled. I almost considered putting it no real order, but I found one I was happy with. This Season may not have been as Good as Season 4, and is not my favorite, but it still did a lot of things right and still showed how the show is evolving.
For next Season, I would suggest either no arc or an arc that will give us more development, like what Season 4 did. I also want a Celestia Episode, now more than ever. Keep doing what you are doing, just find something that can please most people, as some of the issues with the Season bugged others more than I, although I think it has the same amount of issues as other Seasons.
We have no news of Season 6 right now, beyond vague things. I just hope it’s another good one. You can expect a list for what when it ends, as well as LPS Season 4, where I will also remake my previous full episode short list for that.
Also, I will finally start my look at the MLP Comics soon, staring with the Specials such as Feindship is magic. Want to start small.
So, where will we go from here? It seems like the show has done everything, down to having three AU films that are mostly made for a small screen.
They gotta do something big, like really big. But what?
….That will do.