Littlest Pet Shop is property of of Hasbro, DHX, and Discovery Family.
Hello, Spongey here.
When a network has one show that is amazingly popular, it’s always hard for other shows to get any sort of attention. After all, usually the network’s biggest hit will be shoved in your face so it’s likely to take away the attention from any other show you could possibly get into.
Or the other shows simply get overshadowed, regardless of how popular the other shows might still be. If you’re REALLY lucky, a new show will come along and become the new king. The only example I can think of Gravity Falls becoming way more popular than Phineas and Ferb.
But they both overshadow Wander Over Yonder. See what I mean? One of the prime examples of what I mean is Nick with Spongebob. We’re just glad any show got popular, even in this age with how they treat that guy.
One extension of this is when the big hit is be loved that people will refuse to give anything on that channel a chance. All of this stuff naturally happens and there’s just no stopping it. And as you guessed, the punchline is that My Little Pony Friendship is Magic is popular.
Let’s face it, this little show is the single reason The Hub took off at all. It’s also the reason that Discovery Family exists now so it’s a doubled edged sword. For reasons not even I still comprehend, this show about ponies has become one of the most popular things ever.
I don’t need to explain further, do I? It’s an incredibly popular show, and sadly, that means everything else on the channel sits in its shadow. Thankfully, most of the other shows managed to be popular, most notably Dan Vs, and Transformers Prime. While TFP didn’t need to work hard, given it has a built in Fanbase, the fact that Dan Vs still managed to get a cult following is pretty amazing.
But here’s a question: Do you remember the Pound Puppies reboot show? Or that newer Care Bears Show?
And if you’re wondering about that show I’ve talked about to death, it did sadly get overshadowed by all that stuff, and while it managed to stay alive, it bit the dust recently. I can’t blame that on those confounded Ponies but you never know.
Despite all that crap, one show managed to stay alive and be just as big a hit for the channel. Of course, that’s due to having a lot in common with the ponies, but we’ll get to that.
While it still isn’t anywhere as popular as MLP, it’s managed to get its own solid fan base and it’s arguably the secondary show on the channel, next to MLP.
Naturally, that’s what I’m here to discuss. We will talk about a cartoon that I quite enjoy on its own merits despite the ever looming shadow of the equine.
This, is A Look at Littlest Pet Shop
Before we get into the meat of things, we gotta cover a little history. Being on a channel owned by Hasbro it is based on toys. Created in 1992, Littlest Pet Shop was a toy line that…involved a pet shop, I’m pretty sure.
Wikipedia isn’t being helpful, but from what I can gather from obvious, these are toys that revolve around pets and pet assocorices. You know, the usual toy stuff that little girls eat up. Despite being kind of new when compared to something like My Little Pony, it was quite popular and naturally, made a lot of money.
So like with any toyline, it got an animated series in 1995, produced by Sunbow Entrainment. I know nothing about it. Hell, I barely know anything any other versions besides the toys before this new show came out. It only lasted for 1 year but they got 40 episodes out of it, which is impressive. By the way, this same company produced G. I. Joe. Yeah.
The franchise was bought out by Hasbro in 2003, which means they milked more money out of it than ever before. Once My Little Pony proved to be very successful in the modern era with Friendship is Magic, Hasbro naturally looked at other franchises that can bring back.
They picked the one that honestly sounded the dumbest. But hey, MLP sounded dumb too and look what happened. So in 2012, the world was introduced so this version of Littlest Pet Shop.
Produced by DHX, which, as you expect, is also attached to you know what, this show was created by Julie McNally-Cahill and Tim Cahill, the same people behind My Gym Partner’s a Monkey. They must really like animal centric cartoons. Two writers from that show are on this, but we’ll get to one of them later.
Before we go into the influence the horses have had on the show, let’s go over it on its own for a bit. It centers on Blythe Baxter, a teenage girl who is forced to move out from her suburban hometown because of her father’s promotion. She moves into an apartment located in a crowded city. Her apartment is located above titular Littlest Pet Shop, a pet store containing a day camp for various pets.
She discovers that she alone can miraculously understand and talk to all of the pets as well as others. Hilarity ensues.
Allow me to answer your first question: 3 Seasons in and we still do not know exactly why she has Doolittle powers. Heck, there’s a subplot in one episode the pets wonder for once why she can understand them and in the end they’re all “eh” and that’s it. What an amazing subplot.
But I do have a theory. See, the pilot opens with her back home hanging with animals and of course she has to say that she wishes she could understand them. She clearly has no powers her. However, she later crashes the dumbwaiter leading to the pet shop, and it’s after that where she meets the pets.
So that gives us a few possible explanations:
Blythe hit her head and this is all in her head and none of is real, or there’s some magic to either the pet show or the dumb waiter that we don’t know. In one episode, we find out the dumbwaiter was built on top of a tree hideout the pets of LPS’ owners /Ancestor made. And said Ancestor did communicate with the pets. Perhaps there’s a connection?
Besides the talking to pets thing, there’s no mystical elements in the show, so who knows? Well, actually there are a few times magic has clearly happened:
Sunil uses magic to replace him with someone in one episode, and since he was falling of a building and the other guy was miles away, there’s no other explanation. Then in another episode, Russell finds himself in a Groundhog Day loop. It’s not a dream or anything, it’s shown to have happened.
As a side note, the loop mostly happens after he is frustrated with an actual Groundhog. Yes, and his name is Harold. As in, Harold Ramis.
Before we move on, I must cover the obvious MLP connections. It has some of the same voice actors, who I will discuss when I get to the characters. Daniel Ingram makes the songs for this show as well, another subject I’ll get to.
And of course, some MLP writers jumped on board for this show too. 4 MLP writers have been on this show, with 1 of them just doing one episode. That one timer was Cindy Morrow, if you are wondering. The regulars are newcomer Corey Powell, fan favorite MA Larson and not so favorite Merriweather Williams.
Her status isn’t better on this show, sadly.
Most of the similarities are purely production based, as the show is a bit different. It can be similar in that they can tackle similar themes and some of the characters can be a tiny bit similar. However, the show manages to stick out on its own and none of the characters feel like rip offs of the mane 6.
But Zoe totally stole Twilight’s mane cut.
The main difference with this show is that it’s grounded in “reality” with a more urban setting. That means three things:
1. No magical ponies
2. More direct pop culture references and stylized songs
This is a both good and bad thing. Bad because it means more cliché stories and stuff like that, but Good because it means more interesting or relatable stories. It really depends on the episode, really. With the best episodes, they create rather compelling stories with the depth and sweet moments you could get in MLP.
As for the slang, it’s a minor issue, I guess. There is “hip” lingo in the dialogue, mostly with Blythe and her friends. But honestly, it’s only a minor issue. They just put it in sometimes and that’s it. They do mock it sometimes (usually with the adults being confused) and somehow Blythe’s voice actress, who I will get to, makes it work somehow.
There are other Modern References but most of them work and aren’t too intrusive. Hell, even the entire episode dedicate to memes did it pretty well by mocking internet fame and stuff like that. Besides the episode songs being a hilariously bad parody of internet music videos, there’s even a part where the Alpha Bitches’ Butler hears a “popular” song and upon hearing it, immediately smashes the laptop. It’s hilarious, and the song totally doesn’t reference Friday. Nope, not all.
However, the other difference is with the writing itself. It’s not quite…let’s say careful as MLP can be, or at least was by the time this show came along. That means it’s easier for certain people to nitpick moral type problems that aren’t really there.
The show, even to this day isn’t quite as even with its stories and that can hold it back sometimes. That’s not exactly the shows’ fault though, since it is going for something a bit different. Usually when it attempts any type of story, the correct moral comes through and stuff like that.
But more so than MLP, it’s more likely to screw up certain things in some people’s eyes. One example is the subplot of the “Penny for Your Laughs” where Blythe protects the local Alpha Btiches from a bigger bully voiced by Trixie. (I got stuff to say about them later, trust me). Said Alpha Bitches than decide to make Blythe their BFF, by giving her fancy stuff.
Her friends aren’t happy with this though, and they are kind of bitch-y about it even before (spoilers) Blythe becomes an Alpha Bitch herself. Yeah, they just offer Blythe a few fancy devices and a fancy lunch and the friends do not approve on the grounds they are the Alpha Bitches. Never mind that Blythe stood up for them and it would be rude to shut down their offer to be nice back.
But they do turn out to be rather bad people in the end as they more or less force Blythe to become like them (Via a song, of course) and Blythe ends up insulting one of the friends before realizing who she insulted. So they did turn out to be kind of right. See what I mean?
That kind of thing doesn’t happen too often (and I love that particular episode) but it is an example of how the writing tends to compare. If you are a bit too picky, this show may not do a lot for you, but if you can look past that stuff and see the good writing that is there, you can get into it.
This leads me to another big difference: This show is more humor based. MLP has plenty of humor in it too but this show seems to aim to entertain more than that one. Every episode has an actual story with a point (most of the time) but even then it’s usually just plain fun. One of the writers even said this isn’t really a “learning” show. There are obvious exceptions, since every show needs a tear jerker episode, of course.
And frankly, this is where the show shines the most. The show can very enjoyable with its humor, as it all the kinds of humor I like. You have slapstick, word play, and of course 4th wall breaks and lampshades.
“I feel a song coming on!”
“What a surprise”
Most of the characters can provide these funny moments, with some that are funnier than others. Then there are the fantasy scenes. In a lot of episodes, the pets have fantasies that are tied to what’s going on. These usual involve parodies or just plain out there stuff. And yes, sometimes it comes with a song.
Some classic examples include the obligatory Star Trek spoof, and the Spy spoof, complete with gun barrel opening. They have a lot of fun with these scenes, and they usually steal the show.
My personal favorite is in the episode Back Window. I won’t spoil it but it ties into the title..
It’s hard to describe but the show has an entertainment value that can make up for some of its faults. I’ll be covering more of that as we go on. I’ll say that the show is usually at its best when it’s different from MLP. My favorite episodes either do something different to get an emotional connection or use its style of humor to create something hilarious.
However, it can actually do well while doing MLP-like things. When it does a specific plot that MLP has done…it usually does it better? Yes, really. Not all the time, but more often than I expected.
The most famous example is Sweet Pepper, which is a lot like Simple Ways. Both have someone falling in love, going crazy over that and learning not to change yourself to impress someone. I like Simple Ways (if only for Rarity being Rarity) but in Sweet Pepper, the character doing this feels more believable, since Pepper is a pretty crazy pet to begin with, and the way this plot plays out feels more natural.
The creepy thing is, both of these characters have the same voice actors…and both these episodes aired on THE EXACT SAME DAY. I’m not kidding! You can look it up!
There was no theme or anything like that, it’s just the world’s creepiest coincidence.
Since we’re talking about Pepper, we have Frenemies which is like Look Before You Sleep, as it has a proper lady clashing with a less clean person. The difference is that it acts more of a clashing of ideologies (look at me, using big words) than them actually hating each other. That worked for LBYS since it was their first bit of extended interaction but it’s more fun to watch here.
Oddly enough, when this show takes a plot we see a lot, they tend to do it better half the time. Their take on The Prince and the Pauper plot, has a twist where the prince is actually an over pampered dick and he actually liked it. He just didn’t’ like the actual work.
And that’s not the biggest example, but you get my points. However, it can also not be as good when it’s doing MLP-ish stuff. I mentioned Penny for Your Laughs earlier, and it was the first big “tear jerker” episode and some people didn’t care for, even the main plot. Though even that one managed to do the insult Comedy plot a tiny better than Spongebob’s Squirrel Jokes.
Yeah, I said it. Want to fight me?
Then we have something like the Season finales, which does emotion a lot better. When it’s actually doing stuff like it, it can be good, but it’s not as good when it’s doing something “similar”. Like I said, it works better when it is its own thing and it as went on, it managed to do that,
Oh, and if you are wondering, they have made explicit references to MLP. Aside from clever actor allusions (A guy voiced by Peter New is told he’s not much of a talker), the biggest example comes in the episode Blythe’s Pet Project.
Blythe brings a stray Squirrel to the park and tells him it’s going to be great,
Yeah. It’s freaking hilarious to say the least.
Now, you may wondering how the songs are. Well, I’ll say this: If there is one element in this show that’s just as a good as MLP, it’s the soundtrack. Yes, really. Right from the start, they put just as much effort into the songs as its older sister. Daniel Ingram and his team clearly have even more fun on this show, since the setting allows them to do more varied styles.
You can have a Bollywood style song, an 80’s pop song, and then a Tim Burton-y villain song, all in the same show. MLP can do this as well but this one does it even more masterfully, perfectly paying homage to tons of different styles. Needless to say, they are also very catchy.
Now, I can’t really say they are better though. Mostly because they don’t quite have the “Artistic merit” some of the MLP songs have. Every once in a while you’ll have a sad song but that stuff tends to only happen in the Season finales and episodes like that.
Some songs can be comparable to This Day Aria and Bats, but not many are like The Smile Song or Find a Way. I’m okay with that, but it doesn’t push the boundaries of kids show songs like MLP.
So keep that in mind. Now, you may wondering what my favorite songs are. Well, I was actually going to a full blown blog list that would go up along with this post…but I got lazy and didn’t want to go to the trouble of doing full explanations.
And because I don’t like doing Short lists as full posts anymore, here’s a special short list with brief explanations! Free of charge.
11. The Sweet Shop [Topped with Buttercream]
Much like Bad Seed, this one is just insanely catchy with its sort of 50’s Do Wop style and it’s about as addicting as its subject matter.
10. We’re the Littlest Pet Shop Pets [Blythe’s Big Adventure]
This way a very good way to introduce our pets, and it’s a solid start for the shows songs, as it’s very enjoyable with good introductions to each pet.
9. Superstar Life [Lights, Camera, Mongooses]
Gotta love a good Bollywood Homage and this one does it perfectly, and it’s fun to see this guy being such a spoiled jerk while bitching about being spoiled.
8. Fashion University North [Missing Blythe]
Much like MLP, this show doesn’t give Ashleigh Ball nearly enough songs but when they do, they end up being excellent. This song greatly shows Blythe’s excitement as it turns into tired-ness as she gets sick of all the fashion obsessed people. It even gets a creepy reprise with her being attacked by Coraline rejects!
7. The Lost and Found Box [Blythe’s Pet Project]
Funniest song in the whole show. This one feels like a Phineas and Ferb song, as Youngmee and her Aunt give Blythe a musical tour of their lost and found box, and it’s full of tons of weird and fun gags. It’s a ton of fun.
6. Cyril McFlip [Sunil’s Sick Day]
This is another one gets a style down perfectly, as a Detective Russell tries to figure out the mystery of why Sunil and Vinnie are mad at each other. The animation is pretty cool here with the shadows and fog and the tune is nice, dramatic, and mysterious. It’s one of the most popular songs for a reason.
And to think, the tune started life as something Daniel Ingram pitched for the Gravity Falls theme.
5. Humanarian [What did you Say?]
Here’s an awesome 80’s pop tribute that’s incredibly catchy with cool visuals. Not a whole lot more to say…except the song actually comes out of nowhere, has very little to do with the plot, and after it happens…well you get the rest.
4. Hangin’ by a Thread [Sleeper]
I take it back, THIS is a Phineas and Ferb song. I mean, the show often has epic beats for silly situations. And this is a big rock song about…a Weekend at Bernie’s plot. And it is incredibly amazing. This is really something P&F would come up with…wait…who wrote this episode?
3. Wolf-I-Fied [Door Jammed]
Before this song starts, we hear Blythe’s Dad making a Hammertime reference as the howl he makes after hitting himself launches Sunil and Vinnie into this fantasy/song that is a homage to Thriller.
This show is weird.
Jokes aside, this one gets the style perfectly, being very catchy and stylish, and has some very nice animation. I dig this one.
2. Biskit Family Business [A Night at the Pawza]
I love a good villain song, and while this isn’t quite as good as This Day Aria, it’s close. The Alpha Bitches’ Dad launches this awesome tune that is Tim Burton/Bats eqisuqe with its music and it’s very awesome. The music alone gives it a ton of weight, like that MLP song and the lyrics are even very good, with words no kid has ever used, ever.
“We make choices for expedience, forget if it’s exorbitant…”
And to top it off, Sam Vincent is a pretty excellent singer here. This song is so good, I can ignore the mess it causes with Fisher’s personality, but man, I’ll get to that in a bit. It’s got all the things that made This Day Aria great, so you can see why my top 3 changed places a lot.
And my personal favorite LPS song is…
1. Biskit Twins Rhapsody [Grounded]
I had a hard time picking a favorite out of my top 3, and while I typically listen to the previous 2 more, I picked this as my favorite for honestly having the most critical value to me.
You’ll notice that the more emotional songs, such as the big ones in the finales, are missing from this list. I like them (especially Stay Here Forever) but somehow I got into this one more…since it has the awesome-ness of the songs I tend to like more.
It’s another homage, this time to Queen and it has Blythe’s Dad trying to get the Alpha Bitches’ to be a bit nicer, through his usual ways. You’d think his efforts would be futile but in the half of the song, he tries way harder then he needs to, and eventually…his attitude rubs off on them.
Through the span of only a few minutes, they really think about what he’s “saying” and consider his point of view on life. And so they change their mind and get into his stuff. With how the song goes, it doesn’t feel too rush and we get introspective moments with the twins during the song. This song does what a song should: Pack something that normally takes a while into about a few minutes without feeling rushed.
Hell, this song is a bit inspiring with how Roger talks about how it’s best to be nice and yada yada. It’s not even preachy since he’s so awesome that you just like seeing this happen. It also has my favorite lyric in any LPS song, from Roger:
‘I would like to see the day where nobody has to hate. We see each other’s point of view, and always tolerate”
I think can all agree with him there.
So yeah, this song is pretty awesome with its progression, lyrics and rocking tune. I may have more fun with some others, but this has the most critical merit if you ask me.
Also, you notice something about this top 3? Two are sung by the Biskits, and one is from an episode focusing on them in the A plot. ..I guess villains truly inspire the best songs. Also, two of the episodes were written by Corey Powell, and they were both the major Biskit development ones…Hmmm…
Honorable mention goes to Dance Fu Fighting, which is pretty much a rap battle. …Yeah. Still has nothing on Bubbles Vs Seagulls.
With all that out of the way…let’s move on. Let’s go over the animation real quick. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s …simple, I suppose. I know some people were turned off by the art style and I can kind of see why but I think it works for what the show is trying to do.
Seeing as it doesn’t get too crazy, it doesn’t need anything huge with the animation. The character designs on the humans are rather simplistic and “cute”, even on the adults, albeit less-so. It seems odd at first, but you get used to it and I grew to like it.
It was a tiny bit stiff early on, but that’s just gonna happen and it gets better. My only complaint is, oddly enough, that it isn’t all that flashy. While you can’t really do the crazy stuff MLP can do, there aren’t as many amazing tiny moments with shading like in MLP or other shows.
You have a few moments like that as the series goes on, but it’s nothing too special aside from a few “oh, that looks cool” moments. That’s fine for what the show is going for, but there doesn’t seem to be a sign of the animation getting better aside from smoother movements.
But to be fair, it’s not like they have many chances to be flashy, since most episodes aren’t on a large scale. The rare times they get to play with the animation is when the location changes, such as in the Season 2 Vacation episodes.
The main times we get impressive animation are, of course, during the musical numbers. They do a lot of cool things with shading, and they usually do a great job emulating a certain style. Some highlights include Wolf-ified, Biskit Twins Rahpsosy, and Cyril McFlip. They all look really nice, so if you great animation from this show, look at the music videos.
So overall, the animation is nice, if a bit unremarkable. Now for the real meat of things.
This show actually did a Season long arc at the same time MLP was doing it. Aside from adding a new character 15 episodes in, it was mostly episodic like MLP. And like that, it still is but they have put in a story sometimes.
Besides the usual development with the characters, and minor moments that have consequences, we have our first true arc in in Season 2, as Blythe entered the International Pet Fashion Expo.
And thus, the rest of the Season had her getting ready for it in certain episodes. On top of that, they introduced the Pet Jet, which is basically a plane for pets. They mostly used it to give us vacation episodes that were part of this arc.
It’s not exactly the deepest arc ever, but they did a good job with it. It mostly existed to give further development for Blythe as she moves up in the fashion world and stuff like that. The finale was especially good as it kind of made you a bit proud of her, and they showed how the pets helped her get to that point pretty well.
Hmm…finale that showed the growth of our main character that tries to push how important her friends are despite some saying the main one overshadows the others sometimes?
That finale also uses other episodes, not only in the arc but normal ones as well, to further push the development and overall feeling that our characters have gone far, even in only 2 Seasons.
Then in Season 3, we had another story arc, though this one was a bit more minor. Well actually there was a story arc and a big status qou changing event. Since most people know what happens, even from fan reactions or the official freaking summary (good going TV Guide’s and Netflix), I’ll just spoil it here. It’s something that we all saw coming anyway.
About halfway through the Season, Blythe is forced to tell her friend Youngme that she can understand pets. Yeah. Pretty much every show where our hero has a weird secret has an episode where it is revealed to a friend or something like that. Most of the examples I know are shows like Wizards of Waverly Place, so maybe it’s only common in lesser works of art.
Either way, it happened. Despite me seeing this kind of plot before, it was a pretty awesome change and it changed the dynamic between the friends nicely. It also helped start the main theme of that Season which ties into the story arc. They did it pretty well and of course that episode was one of the emotional ones I mentioned before.
And let’s just say it was almost the Twilight’s Kingdom of the LPS community, as everyone said it was the best episode ever, or at least up to that point. I can’t quite agree, as I think a few others are better written, but it’s still pretty great, of course.
The actual story arc of Season 3 came very late into it. In “Proud as a …Peacock?”, Youngmee and Blythe get the idea to start a Pet Fest, which is a big celebrating centering around the Relationship between pets and humans.
And they didn’t mention it again until the Season finale…which was just a few episodes later. Yeah, not much of an arc it got it finishes only a few episodes after it starts. That aside, the Season did have a theme to make up for it: Pets and Humans. And I’m not just talking about the finale.
A lot of episodes explored this theme either in small ways or big ways, such as The Secret Recipe or Pet Sounds. Heck, the episode “Two Pets for Two Pests” (which managed the task of entertaining me despite the title reminded me of…something) is all about getting the Biskit Twins to appreciate pets, by giving them their own pets. This was very interesting and they pulled it off pretty well, I must say.
The show had always been touching on this subject, but Season 3 really went into and Pet Sounds especially showed these themes. But I’ll get into that a bit later. They didn’t really say a lot in the end but it managed to be very sweet and if you ever owned a pet, (or happen to have 4 cats and a dog.) you’ll really dig what they did here.
By now you know that I feel that MLP got better with each passing Season, and you may wonder if I feel the same about LPS. Well…it’s complicated. If you want to be technically, both Seasons past Season 1 push the boundaries of what I expected and have their fair share of great stories.
However, I can’t really say they are about better than Season 1. I feel that each Season is about equal, each with their strengths and weaknesses. Some people (such as some of the more die hard fans) feel it has gotten better, while some …do not share those thoughts. To be fair, only one or two real fans feel that way.
Yeah, most of the stuff MLP had carries over into this and that includes Season 1 Elitists. We also have a few reviewers (most notably the League of Petshoppers, which I personally recommend), song remixes, Youtube videos of 5 second clips, and of course fan art.
…And maybe porn, I don’t know. I don’t want to know.
Season 1 was…well Season 1, so all the usual problems are here such as Characters acting differently and a few weak episodes. As you would expect it had its share of forgettable episodes and stuff like that. However, it’s one of the more even Seasons, as we had episodes all about wacky hilarious comedy, multiple episodes focused on each pet, and more dramatic and writing driven episodes. So it still ended up being a pretty good starter season.
Season 2 was a bit different. There were a lot smaller stories which isn’t bad at all, and plenty of them worked. However, there were less wacky episodes than before, and so the simple episodes didn’t quite hit as hard. Some examples include Plane it on Rio and Day at the Museum. Both good and simple episodes but they don’t quite have the oomph factor something like Topped with Buttercream may have.
That’s not to say there weren’t any big fun episodes, as we have “What, Meme Worry?” and “So Interesting”. Both of which have the same writers, and those were the only episodes they wrote in that Season .Hmmm..
The other issue is The Biskits. They appeared a bit too much and while I do enjoy them, in this Season they were often shown as one dimensional antagonists. Of course they were used well in a couple episodes such as the aforementioned What Meme Worry, and the finale, but then you had something like Littlest Bigfoot, where you could have written them out and lost nothing.
Thankfully, the Season is still very good thanks to the Expo story arc and a number of very interesting stories, including some of the most well written episodes in the whole show.
Season 3 was an improvement as the simple stories had a lot harder such as Snow Stormin’ and Room Enough. Interesting is the word to describe the Season as most of the stories were just interesting to see unfold, bit or small. Even the weakest episodes were at least interesting.
Even the Biskits improved as while they did have many appearances they were spaced out more, and they were a lot funnier.
It still had its fair share of problem episodes but it was still a good Season. Again, I say each Season is about on par but I will say I like Season 3 better than Season 2…which almost makes 2 weakest by default. Huh.
Since we’re kind of on the subject, you might be wondering what my least favorite episodes are. None of them are bad enough to be on a certain list I’m doing, so we’re discussing them here. There are a couple episodes I have some issues with, but they are mostly okay.
There is one episode I just don’t like, so let’s talk about it. It’s called “What’s in the batter?” It’s from Season 1, and honestly, it’s more meh than bad. Of all the dud episodes out there, it’s one of the tamest since my issues are rather minor when you think about it. Hence why it wasn’t on that list.
Basically, Blythe is helping make Cupcakes for The Biskits when she accidentally drops an important necklace that was a gift from her Dad, in the batter. So of course, she has to get it back.
Now I like the concept here, and I certainly see what they are trying to do here. The episode should work since it has a fair amount of decent jokes and energy, which is all a good episode needs. So what’s the problem?
Well, first, the pets are pretty much shoe horned in. See, Blythe has to go the Biskit’s party to get the Necklace from the Cupcake, and the pets sneak in with her because…um…reasons?
There’s no good reason that they should even be here. I mean, I get that they want to help but they don’t ALL have to be here and I wouldn’t mind this too much if they didn’t make the episode worse.
Well okay, Minka did want “the shiny” this whole time so maybe it’s because of her…but Minka is pretty much doing this for selfish reasons, so that isn’t any better.
They pretty much end up trashing the place and do they (or Blythe for that matter) receive any comeuppance? Nope. I don’t care if it’s the Biskits, party crashing is still wrong, especially in this context. This is certainly the Pets worst appearance, to be honest.
Now for the ending. Of course, the Biskits end up with the Cupcake that has the Necklace in it and long story short, Blythe wants it back. The Biskits don’t like the Necklace and pretty much insult…but they are willingly to give it back for that very reason …And yet Minka still feels the need to jack it and annoy the two.
“You didn’t have to sic your crazy monkey on me, Blythe!”
“Yeah, Brit was happy to give you back that that piece of junk!”
But then the incredibly horrible act of insulting Jewelry sets Blythe and the pets off. Blythe pretty much explodes and tells the Biskits that the pets and the Necklace mean more to her than The Biskits will ever know and blah blah.
“That is so weird”
I agree. Now, I will give them some level of credit here as I do see what they were trying to do here, and normally this would be an awesome moment…but they kind of messed up. It all comes down to something called “Disproportionate Retribution”. This is when the Punishment exceeds the offense.
While I can’t say the Biskits are totally innocent, what they get is far worse than they actually deserve. All they do is hold a big party for selfish reasons, un-invite
Blythe (who didn’t even care in the first place) and insult pets and Jewelry. That’s not nearly bad anything to justify what happens.
I get that for Blythe it’s the principle and to be fair, she had been up all night so she’s a bit cranky. But come on. Also, where’s the pet’s excuse? So yeah, the problems are minor and I give them credit for trying, but with its flaws, it is my least favorite episode.
But you know what many weak episodes can be done right by other shows later down the line? Well, it happened…on this show. Yes, two episodes later on basically did this episode correctly. Two episodes later there was Bakers and Fakes, where The Biskits actually do something bad enough to deserve punishment and the pets have a good reason to be there.
And that one gets more hate than WITB. Go figure. In Season 3 we had “If The Shoe Fits” where Blythe and her friends are accidentally invited to the Biskits party. Blythe actually tells the Pets not to show up…after what happened last time. And they play a clip from the episode to drive home the point.
Thankfully, they use this to fix the problem by having the Pets basically get in there for more amusing means, via a man in a trench coat act. They somehow fit in the plot more and they don’t screw anything up, at least not as much as last time.
So good on them for fixing their problems. Hmm…wait a second…they were clearly trying something mature, with giving Blythe a breaking point…but they didn’t realize the full implications of what they had written.
…Who wrote this?
…Let’s move on.
Let’s briefly go over something I touched on earlier: The Balance of Blythe and the pets. You know how a lot of people claim that the rest of the mane 6 have been phase out in favor of Twilight? You know how I feel about that claim and it has been lodged at this show sometimes.
And…well in a way they have a point but in a way it’s justified. Season 1 did a fair job of balancing them out, usually with a Blythe centered plot, and a pet centered. Sometimes it will be all the pets or a specific pet. But sometime around Season 2, things got a bit murky. The big story arc mostly had the pets helping Blythe and it was mostly about her. Plus, there were less pet specific episodes. They still existed but not every pet had one, and some were just in subplots.
The latter was more of an issue in Season 3. …However, I don’t think this is that big of a problem. The pets are…well pets and Blythe is a human that can kind of communicate with humans. She kind of has to be the focus as she’s the easiest relate to and all that. It’s at least justified.
Plus, the pets still have a good amount of focus. They had their fair share of development in Season 2 and while they were all about helping Blythe, it was a natural direction to take the series. It is kind of important to show how much they appreciate Blythe, after all.
And if that isn’t good enough, then Season 3 is all about pet/human connection and how much the pets mean to Blythe. And even without a lot of Pet Specific episodes, they still managed to stick out and how some decent stuff going on.
While a better balance would be nice, it still works out pretty well as I never felt that the pets were totally phased out. Plus, you still had good stories no matter what is happening, and I feel that Blythe is likable enough to hold up the show.
So we’ve covered MLP, the shows pros and cons, the animation, the songs, the humor, the story arcs, and my least favorite episode. I guess there’s only one more thing to do before we get the characters…my FAVORITE episodes!
Yeah, why not. I was going to just go through random episodes I like, but like with the songs, I decided to go with a Top 11 list.
Now, this list isn’t concrete like most of my lists. It’s just to show the episodes I tend to enjoy the most, and this is to show a variety of episodes. My number one is my number one. So here we go!
11. Terriers and Tiaras/So You Skink you Can Dance
Writer: M.A. Larson
I put these together because they do have similar themes…and the same writer. Let’s go over the latter first. Vinnie and Blythe visit the set of his favorite dance show, and when he attempts to audition he is shot down by the judges. The fact that he’s a gecko is only part of the reason.
This episode combines a lot of the shows qualities. It has a good story but it’s also really funny. Besides gags like all the dancers having the same names, there’s a funny subplot where the pets try to put the remote in a place Vinnie can get to so there won’t be a big rage when he can’t find it. It’s silly but funny.
On top of that, they do that whole “ignore critics” thing correctly, by just saying you shouldn’t let harsh criticism get to you. It works since these guys, while they have their reasons for saying what they did, had no right to judge him in this case. It also doesn’t feel insulting.
The moral actually has its intended effect, and it leads to good development with Vinnie, as well as a good song. This is only one of his only big episodes. As for Terriers as Tiaras…it’s interesting.
I’ve seen a lot of shows do pageant episodes that basically say the concept is stupid, yet a lot of them don’t quite get to the nitty gritty of why they can suck so much. This one does. Man, are they harsh in this one, in a good way. Blythe enters Zoe in a dog show and she gets swep upt into the competition and becomes a huge bitch.
This has been done before, but this one really bashes these kind of things and what it does people. As the title implies, it’s mostly targeting Toddlers and Tiaras, which is amazing. I respect this episode a bit more than I like it. It’s good, but not the funniest and other episode have better stories.
But because of the reality show satire, it earns its place here. Notice how both episodes feature commentary on reality TV? Yeah, MA Larson must have a real bone to pick.
10. Sunil’s Sick Day
Writer: Merriweather Williams
Oh hey, look who it is.
This episode focuses on the Vinnie and Sunil friendship, as Sunil fakes sick to avoid him, because they had a huge fight. Most of the episode has them trying to figure out why they are mad at each other, as we explore their relationship.
It’s done very well and it’s just really interesting to see this play out. I also like the Rashmon nature of the plot, with them having conflict reports on what happened. And of course, Cyril McFlip is amazing.
It’s safe to say this is the Wonderbolts Academy of LPS.
9. So Interesting
Writers: Evan Gore & Heather Lombard
This episode is just fun. Everyone has to tell an interesting story that happened to them, but Penny Ling is stumped so she just tells a fantasy story. It plays out like Excliferb or Bloo Superdude from Fotgher’s home, which is good cuz those eps are great too. It’s some creative jokes with a fun story, and a nice ending. Very enjoyable.
8. Topped with Buttercream
Writer: Roger Esbacher
Another one with great comedy. This episode introduces Sweet Delights, the sweet shop next to LPS. The pets are locked in with tons of sweets and sugar. Hilarity ensues.
This episode just has a ton of energy with great comedy and an awesome song. It also has a nice moral about how sugar is kind of bad sometimes. Which is odd, since this episode is obviously made to sell the whole Sweet Delights line of toys. Yet the episode is all about how sugar is bad…
7. Pet Sounds
Writer: Guy Toubes
This episode is the most…solid. Not the best, but the most solid. Minka’s Cousin visits and her owner has been working on a machine to help pets talk to humans. It doesn’t work as it just spouts gibberish. Through a misunderstanding, Cheep Cheep ends up thinking it finally works and he goes to his owner to tell him about it.
This episode really enforces the big theme of Season 3 as it goes into how Cheep Cheep wants to talk to the humans, and the various forms of pet communication. They have a song about it that was also close ot making that list.
This episode is very even. It has good characters, a solid story, interesting themes, a good song and good humor. It has everything you need for a good LPS episode, and that’s why it’s here.
6. Sue Syndrome
Writer: Tom Minton
This episode defies all expectations in a good way. A new skunk named Mitzi visits LPS who sends out good smells which of course attracts the pets, causing them to ignore Pepper.
I know what you’re thinking. Oh, this is the plot where someone replace one of our characters and they have to learn to not be jelly, even though they really did ignore him/her in favor of the new guy. You know, like Owls Well that ends well.
…But that’s not what happens. It turns out Mitzi views this as a curse because everyone is always asking her to use her good smell powers and doesn’t care about her feelings. The episode becomes about how you should be in touch with your emotions and express how you feel.
…That’s pretty mature for this kind of show. It gets fairly emotional, especially with the song which you can consider my number 13. It’s really interesting and it avoids the bad aspects of this plot. The replacement has to learn the lesson for once. That’s pretty awesome.
And this was actually just the SUBPLOT. The main plot with Sue was good too but the subplot is what makes it great.
Also, I have to give credit to Ashleigh Ball, because she voices Mitzi with a southern accent yet I didn’t think of applejack until the song. Oh, and Tom Minton recently retired from animation, leaving this is as his swan song.
…It was good a note to close out on.
5. The Secret Recipe
Writers: Julie Mcnaly Chail and Tim Cahil
Told you I liked it. There isn’t a whole lot to say that I didn’t already but I’ll get into why she has to reveal the secret. Youngmee made pet treats and wants to show them off on Discount Shark Tank. The pets hate them…but Blythe claims they liked them.
Yeah, it’s that cliché but it works because it’s a solid reason for her to reveal the secret. It works for the story and its very nice. Also, another song that I like which did not make the list.
It was just a cool status qou change. Also, in airdate order, this is episode 65. Episode 65 of MLP is Magical Mystery Curse, which also has a big status qou change. Weird.
4. Summertime Blues
Writer: Roger Escaher
Now for the Season 1 finale! Blythe has to decide whether to leave for the summer to go to Fashion University North or stay. It’s another typical plot but it’s one that works. She decides she wants to go early on, causing an issue for the pets but she still needs to think about it. So there’s still a conflict even though it’s not the most eventful plot.
Of course it has a lot of emotion. It might be the most emotional episode, as it makes you reflect on their adventures, even after only one season. It also has another great song and good comedy.
In the end, she actually does leave, unlike most takes on this plot that aren’t series finales. …Of course she comes back in the Season 2 premiere but ah well. It’s still a great Season finale.
3. Door Jammed
Writer: Corey Powell
Much like So you Skink you can dance, this episode combines the shows two big strengths, but this one is even better. Blythe and one of the Biskits (I can’t ever tell them apart, since their names contradict their hair colors) end up trapped in a room and basically have to deal with each other.
Meanwhile, the pets think there’s a were hog on the loose
NOT THAT ONE!
There have been plenty of plots where the pets think there’s some evil thing going on that isn’t there but this does it the best with plenty of comedy and of course that amazing song. Speaking of Comedy, this happens to be one of the funniest episodes with a ton of great moments, from each plot.
Including a small plot with Twombly going all Gollum over a doorknob. Yeah.
But like others, it also has a good story. Here, we find out that one of the Biskits is actually fine with Blythe while the other is a bitch. It’s really interesting and I dig it. They do go back to the Status Qou, but it’s done fairly well. Even though it kind of ended up being pointless, it’s still great with everything I like about this show in one episode.
2. Expo Factor/It’s The Pet Fest
Writers: Roger Esbacher, Adam Beechen (Expo Factor only), and Guy Toubes (Pet Fest only)
I put these together because they are the Season 2 and 3 finales. They are about equally great because they wrap up their arcs in an awesome fashion. They both make you reflect on the show and have some great moments.
In Expo Factor, Blythe attends the pet fashion expo and has to deal with all that, while in the latter she has to set up the pet fest. The former wraps up it’s arc well and is just an easy one to love. The Biskits serve as villains for the like 1000th time that Season but here I can forgive that because of the ending where their butler quits.
…And then gets hired back in Season 3. Ah well.
I actually like Pet Fest more, because it was more memorable and interesting. Blythe basically has to run around making sure the pet fest goes awhile, even after changing venues. Things keep going wrong which makes her dilemma interesting and helps make her more likable. Of course it all ends in a nice way with a sweet song.
Both episodes have fun guest pets, with the former one poking fun at the imagination scenes, while the latter is voiced by Heidi Klum. The former doesn’t add much the plot which is why I like Heidi more. She helps get the plot started, after all.
Also, there’s a band named Adam and the Spidermonkeys. Subtle, Julie and Tim.
This one also handles the Biskits better, as they are forced to help out. They have to rent out the park but forget to do so, and they actually have to live with the consequences as they finally called out for their actions. It even manages to sink in a bit!
So yeah, both are great finales even if I like the latter more. However, there’s one episode I like more..
1. Alligators and Handbags
Writer: Adam Beechen
This one requires a better explanation. Usually in episodes with two plots, one will be better than the other. Like how in Sue Syndrome, just one plot was amazingly admirable. Here, both are equally admirable in their own way. Let’s go over the B plot first.
Remember how I said this show does certain MLP plots better? Well this one is comparable to One Bad apple. Yeah, we’re going there again. The pets are bullied by a visiting alligator and have to deal with it.
As you might guess, just standing up to him solves the problem. But there’s a bit more to it. They try brute force as well as sneaky tactics. They trying telling an authority figure but they can’t because Twombly doesn’t understand them and Blythe is too busy in her plot to listen.
In the end, Zoe just calls him out and he steps down. Remember, they tried violence but in the end flat out standing up to him personally fixes this. While The Little Witch certainly did the job right, this one covers all of its bases.
It goes out of its way to show that just standing up to the bully will work. It shows that fighting doesn’t work but something more personal does. It also gives him a good motion for being a bully even if Sofia did that aspect slightly better.
So the B plot is very admirable and does a tired plot correctly. But the A plot is even better and does the same thing. Blythe wants to impress fashion designer Mona Autumn but she doesn’t like the designs she shows her. This doesn’t turn out well, and Blythe gets some confidence issues.
Remember that whole criticism plot I spent a whole review talking about? This is the best use of it I’ve seen. See, the problem is that Blythe tried way too hard thinking about what Mona would think of her designs, so she sent in designs she wasn’t’ really proud of. When she decides to stop caring about what others think, she sends in the designs she likes and Mona likes them.
So the problem is fixed by finding out why she was criticized and fixing that issue. Holy crap, it’s a miracle.
So many writers just decide to say “Screw critics” and have our character keep on doing the same things. But here, they say that you should sure what you show to the world is something you’re proud of, and you shouldn’t try hard to impress someone if you are confident enough in yourself.
That’s great. It does everything right, and Roger is especially amazing here as he gives Blythe that advice. More on him later. Overall, this is my favorite episode because it …well, fells like MLP with how it defies convention and gives us great writing with good morals.
No other episode matches MLP’s quality in terms of writing like this one does. Not to discredit the others, but they succeeded on their own terms, while this is equal to some of my favorite MLP episodes. Hell, it’s better than their own take on the critic plot, in that comic AU Me reviewed.
So overall, that’s why this is my favorite. I could end it there but we still need to cover an important element: The characters. Like other shows, the characters are a strong bunch and they are all worth talking about so let’s do that.
But first, I must praise the voice acting in general. Most of them come from MLP, but they might be even better here. They show amazing range and give great performances overall. I’ll go into more detail as we go on.
Of course, we must start with our heroine, Blythe Baxter, voiced by Ashleigh Ball aka Rainbow Dash/Applejack. Since she is the main character of the show, people kind of accuse her of being a boring Sue. And while I can kind of see of that, I have to disagree.
See when it comes to main characters, there’s many ways to make them likable. You can make them deep and complex…or just simply given them likable traits. They don’t need to be complex, they can be likable for other reasons. That’s where Blythe comes in.
First off, Ashleigh Ball alone does a good enough job to make me kind of like her, because she has emotion and likability in her performance. The writing on her is good, but the voice acting is what helps seal the deal.
She does seem fairly typical at first, being a teen into fashion and all. But as the show goes along, we see go through some situations that help her make likable and relatable. You all read my bit on Alligators and Handbags, and stuff like that makes her more interesting.
She does have a few character flaws, such as how she can be changed quite easily, as you saw with Terriers and Tiaras. We also see this in Penny for your Laughs and The Hedgehog in the Plastic Bubble. The latter especially shows her flaws, and it’s pretty interesting.
She also makes a good straight (wo)man to all the craziness going on and as such, she gets some funny moments. You get the point. She may not be the most complex character but she is pretty likable, especially as the series goes on. I think she’s a fine lead character.
Then we have her father, Roger Baxter, voiced by Micheal Kopska aka that villain from Barbie Princess Power. The Idiot Dad Character is pretty common and pretty overdone, but leave it to this show to actually do it right. Mainly because he’s not really an idiot. He is a bit bumbling but only as much needed. For the most part he’s shown as a pretty smart guy who just happens to make mistakes.
He’s a pretty decent father and Blythe is just embarrassed by her because she’s a teenager. And they only really show it in one episode, and it was a pretty good one. As the series goes on, he gets even more awesome, leading up to “Grounded” and “Alligators and Handbags” where he’s a pretty awesome voice of reason.
You heard that song up there, so you know how amazing he is. He makes some good points in those episodes, and he’s the most part a genuinely funny and likable character. Definitely different from what I was expecting, and for that, he’s one of my favorites.
Then we have Mrs. Twombly, voiced by Kathleen Barr aka Trixie. She’s the owner of LPS and she’s rather eccentric. And by that I mean crazy and hilarious. It’s sort of hard to describe, but she’s one of the most popular characters for a reason. It mostly started with “Eve of destruction” where she spends the whole episode trying to clean everything and basically going insane. It’s amazing.
But she can also have a bit of depth as shown in episodes like Commercial Success. She even has a crying scene that really makes you feel sorry for her. But of course people ignore that because oh crap one character is being jerk-y so it sucks even though he learns his lesson.
…Sorry about that, I’m a bit bitter sometimes. But yeah, she’s a very funny and memorable character for how crazy she is. Plus, she can make “old people don’t know modern things” jokes that are actually funny! She is definitely my favorite character.
And then we go from fan favorite to…The Biskit Twins, Britany and Whitney Biskit, voiced by Shanon Chen Kent aka Silver Spoon. Yeah, that’s a fitting casting choice because these two are this shows version of Diamond Tiara and Silver spoon. They are the spoiled daughters of a rich dude and thus are ‘popular” and bitch-y.
There are some differences with them and Diamond Tiara. For one, they like talk like valley girls, like a lot. It’s sort of annoying at first but it can actually be funny when you get used to it.
And unlike those two, they’ve actually shown a bit of depth.
(This was typed before a certain Season 5 Episode Aired)
There have been a few cases where we find out there’s a bit more to them than meets the eye. I already talked about how Door Jammed reveals that one is actually okay with Blythe, and I kind of went into how they were in Grounded.
That implies that they were this way because they lack good guidance in their life, which Roger provides. Heck, in that episode they try to get him away from Blythe mostly because they like being with him.
…And in the end they randomly bash Blythe so Roger can quit working for them because status qou is god. Whatever. Honestly, that episode was so close to being one of my favorite but the ending dropped the ball.
But the development they got still exists. On top of that, they can be quite enjoyable when used correctly. Yes, they can be overused in some episodes but in Season 3 they were used pretty well, and served as decent villains.
My favorite performance of theirs was in Hamster Hoods, were they pretended to be like the leads of their favorite TV Show, Super Cute Investigators, to prove shady suff was going on in LPS.
“Just like confess already so we can roll the end credits!”
So while they can be mixed, I think they are overall enjoyable and would be better than Diamond Tiara if they weren’t used so often.
Which leads us to their father, Fisher Biskit, voiced by Samuel Vincent. He’s…the most complex character on the show. And now exactly in the good way…sort of. See, there’s a thing called “Alternate Character Interpretation’ which a character is wildly different depending on your point of view.
Imagine both sides of the coin actually being right…because that character switches between them regularly. Yeah. Okay, in his first major showing of his personality he was actually rather nice and wanted The Biskits to work for they want.
I thought it was rather refreshing to see an Alpha Bitch’s Dad be kind of nice like this, even if the morals didn’t get through their heads. This kept up in “Nest Hats Craze” and in Heart of Parnkess, he chews them out for letting a cobra loose.
…But he kind of has it illegally and wants to get it before he is caught. That’s…a bit murky, but then comes Grounded to make it mostly consistent again despite the guidance thing….
Then there’s “Littlest bigfoot’ where he’s pretty much the villain of the episode. Yeah, he wants to cut down the forest and stuff like that. There’s no doubt he’s a bad guy here. Then he’s outed as a bad guy in Expo Factor, although he doesn’t actually appear.
This keeps up with Sleeper having him doing stuff to compete with LPS. …Then in “Winter Wonder-Wha..?” he wants the Biskits to learn the spirit of the Season and disguises himself as the butler to make sure they do good stuff.
Okay, so he’s good again right? …Nope, cuz next is A Night at the Pawza where he’s just flat out evil. I mean, he has a villain song where he says “Embrace your inner villain-y!”
So he’s just a bad guy now, right? …..Nope. In “It’s The Pest Fest” he refuses to help the Biskits when they screw up, wanting them to fix their own mistake. To make this even more insane, Blythe remarks that he’s just now deciding to be a good parent
….I don’t get it. Is it on some Jekyll and hyde potion or something?! I’ve seen characters flip but this guy is like two different people! I’ve been trying to crack this code for a while.
No matter what I say it’s obvious that this is just a huge case of “Depending on the writer’ and each writer doesn’t really care how anyone else sees Fisher.
Yeah, different writers tend to do these episodes. Adam Beechen alone has his first appearance as a nice guy and the Season 3 finale, but also his bad parts in Heart of Parkness and Season 2 finale.
Grounded is Corey Powell, Littlest Bigfoot is Roger Esbacher, Sleeper is Tom Minton, and A Night at the pawza is Evan Gore and Heather Lombard. Some of them have had hand in episodes that hint at him being one way at least. The only writer consistent with him being good is Merriwether Williams. Make that of what you will.
I’ve heard various excuses of why this fits with his character but I’ve gone on long enough. As for me, I actually like him either way. As a good guy, he’s’ refreshing but he is a fun villain. Although sometimes he can be a bit too dumb like in Sleeper where he doesn’t get love.
Then we have Blythe’s friends,Youngmee, Sue, and Jasper. I’m putting them together since I don’t have much to say about either of them. Youngmee is the main friend and she’s mostly the typical female friend character, but she works pretty well.
She serves as a nice friend and has some moments here and there. Their friendship can also be shown well like in The Secret Recipe. Sue is the back up friend and early on was just there when Youngmee wasn’t. Later they used her less and she mostly just appeared with group during those kind of scenes.
She hasn’t really gotten much development, which is kind of sad because the one time we did (Sue Syndrome), it turned out pretty well. She’s had a few fine moments but it mostly feels like she’s underused. They seem to be fixing that, and I hope she does more later.
Jasper is the most defined of the three but is the most hated. He’s….well, not really a jerk but sometimes he says the wrong things and comes off as sort of inconsiderate and a bit dumb. I think he’s funny for that reason but plenty of people don’t like him….for that reason.
Like Sue, he hasn’t much development, but he’s technically had more. At least two episodes gave him more to do, most notably Commercial Success. In that episode, he tries to make a commercial for the pet shop but becomes a jerk about it,and in the end we learn why he was like that, and he clearly learns his lesson.
But he was a jerk, so the episode sucks. …I’m not bitter. While he was a bit off in some places, he did work well there, but I see why they didn’t try much with him afterwards. By the way, he’s voiced by Kathleen Barr. Yeah, she’s got range but this isn’t the first time she’s shown that.
She was also Kevin on Ed, Edd, N Eddy. ….Huh, imagine Trixie in his place almost makes Your Ed Here tolerable. ….Almost.
Anyway, while one clearly gets spotlight over the overs, this is still an okay group of friends. Oh, and Youngmee lives with her Aunt Christie, but the only the personality I get from her is that she’s a busy body who is nice….and likes the lost and found box.
I pointed her out to transition into her pet, a bunny named Buttercream Sunday, voiced by Cathy Weseluck aka Spike. I would have put her with the pets but eh, she fits better her.
She’s the crazy one, and since she lives at a sweet shop, she is ….hyperactive, to say the least. As a result, some can find her annoying. Not to the extent of some other characters, but still. Thankfully, she did improve by appearing less. Yeah, this show has an issue with character focus and explore sometimes.
As for me, she’s enjoyable. Her energy can be enjoyable and often has amusing lines, and she’s used well in episodes she appears in. I also like her …hard to describe running gag where she gets so hyped she forces herself to relax and go “Anyhoo”. In other words she tenses up and relaxes while moaning.
You know what that can be seen as a reference to, don’t act like you don’t.
She hasn’t gotten too much development aside from one subplot, but I accept her as a good character. Speaking of sweet character, we have Sugar Sprinkles, voiced by Kelly Metzger, aka Spitfire.
I can’t remember where she lives or whatever, but she is associate with the sweets truck and was introduced in the same episode as that truck. She’s a nice contrast to Buttercream as she is very chill.
I mean, she invites people to lick her lead….because she has sprinkles on her head. Yeah, she’s weird but in a chill way. I really like her for that very reason. I wish she would appear more often. Although she was tarnished for some fans by her actions in Secret Cupet.
Yeah, she somehow uses this song to make people fall in love with each other. This is the oddest supernatural element to appear it’s totally canon but is never explained. I don’t have time to go into it here, but there are the usual awkward implications when it comes to this kind of plot.
And she doesn’t look so good after that, but I can forgive her. Mainly because she gave us a hilarious in hindsight moment by making a goat fall in love with a pig.
Going back to the humans, there are a few minor characters to go over. There’s the aforementioned Butler who is amazing. There’s Ramon, a villain who has appeared twice. In “The Big Feathred Parade” he steals Blythe’s designs and passes them as his own.
…Just like that one MLP episode…which aired AFTER this one. Anyway, he fails and comes back in “Plane It On Rio” to….do the exactly same thing, really. He’s mixed. He’s pretty crazy and over the top, and some people find it really annoying, and some find it amusing.
I think he’s both. He can funny and annoying at the same time, and usually he’s fine. I didn’t really want him to return though, and he wasn’t exactly the highlight of either episode.
We also have Emma Hart, this one chick who served as Blythe’s tour guide during some of the pet jet episodes in Season 2. She’s quirky and that’s about it. But she was amusing, so she’s cool.
Speaking of amusing, there is Madison, voiced by Shanon Chen Kent. During Blythe’s short time at Fashion Unviersity North, she was her replacent. She is ….hard to describe. She’s….awkward, and rather odd. In the best possible way.
I’m not even sure how to sum her up, but I can she isn’t too bright, although I wouldn’t call her the dumb one. She’s only had a few appearances but she got a slightly bigger role due to working at the Pawza, and thus helping out with the pet fest.
She’s pretty amusing every time she appears, even if she is an odd one.
And to round off our human character, we have Josh Sharp, voiced by Samuel Vincent. He is Blythe’s love interes-
…wait, don’t go! It sounds bad but it’s not….for the most part. Just from how I describe his role, you might be reminded of everyone’s favorite punching gag from Equestria Girls.
It’s worth nothing he did get similar reception….but no one called Josh the worst character ever or anything like that. They just didn’t like him. The end. …Anyone else perfering the LPS fandom right now?
So with that said, how do I myself feel about him? …He’s okay. Yeah, the thing is, he doesn’t appear all that much. He his appeared in “Blythe’s Crush” (Merriweather’s debut episode) and it wasn’t all about him per say, so the episode was still fine. He then had a small appearance in Helicopter Dad, then mostly vanished until Season 3.
So even if he did suck, you won’t be subjected to him much, and the romance stuff is less weird than it was with Flash. And guess what? He actually gets better in Season 3! While he doesn’t because a hugely fleshed out character, they did flesh out his relationship a bit more.
It’s not a lot but it’s a good step in the right direction, especially in “Back Window”. I suppose having him in a Tv show randomly than a film trilogy gives you more room to develop him more. He’s still not the best, but he’s okay.
I think that’s all the important humans, so let’s finally talk about the pets. Now besides the main pets, we get plenty of guest pets, and there is a good variety. Some are just there for the plot, but some stand out like Old Bananas, Shivers, Wiggles, and a few others. I don’t have a lot yo say for all of them, so I just wanted to quickly mention that a few that stand out.
But onto our main pets. Instead of the Mane 6, we have the Main 6. As expected, they each stick out pretty well, so let’s go over them.
Let’s start with Zoe Trent, voiced by Nicole Oliver aka Celestia. She’s a bit of diva, which proabably made you think of Rarity. Well, she stands out on her own. Like with Rarity, she’s more likable than you think she could be. Mostly since she’s usually not a bitch about diva-ness and is typical a nice person, she just happens to rather over dramatic.
Of course this leads to some funny moments and decent development. While I couldn’t pick “best pet”, she is up there because she’s likable and very enjoyable. She has an older sister voiced by Tabitha St Germain (ha get it because luna) and had a rivararly with a dog named Madame Pom, although that only lasted one episode.
Oh, and of the pets, she seems to sing the most, although someone else does the singing for her. …To be fair, this show started before Celestia’s Ballad blew everyone’s balls off.
Next, we have Pepper Clark, voiced by Tabitha St Germain aka Rarity/Luna. She’s a comedian skunk, That’s the best combination of career and animal ever. Her personalty so rather simple, but it works. She just likes to make her friends and she loves classic Comedy.
Naturally, this makes her one of the funniest pet. Well, mostly for personality and not her actual routine. While she is simple, she gets some of the best episodes. Guess that Rarity charm carried to this character. Her development ends up meaning the most, as seen in episodes like Lotsa Luck or Penny for Your Laughs. Oh, and she smells bad. They won’t let you forget that.
Then we have Vinnie Terrio, voiced by Kyle Rideout, a gecko who is….um, not so bright. Yeah, he’s the dumb one. And that’s basically. To be honest, he is my least favorite of the pets, but I still like. The problem is that he doesn’t develop much.
Outside of a couple episodes like So You Skink you Can dance, he mostly stays about the same. That’s not too bad in itself….but he may actually be regressing. Don’t worry, I am NOT saying he’s getting worse, or anything like. I may saying what people were saying about Pinkie Pie in Season 4 or whatever.
I’m just saying he got slightly dumber in a few episodes and they didn’t develop him as much. At one point he says “Hey, I’m not the smartest guy……that’s all I had to say”. Yeah. He’s still likable, but I hope they fix this minor problem soon.
Despite that, he’s pretty funny and enjoyable. Oddly, most of the main cast see him as their favorite. ..Usually that means the character will be OVER exposed, not under developed!
But whatever, he’s fine.
Next up we have Minka Mark, voiced by Kira Tozer. She’s a pink monkey who is often random and crazy. Yeah, again, she sounds a bit like Pinkie Pie, and of all the pets, she is most like a MLP character….but she’s still good.
Mostly since she’s not quite as random, she’s just a bit…crazy. Naturally, this makes her pretty funny and yet she doesn’t get too annoying most of the time. She usually means well. Well she’s not the most developed, she has her moments. She’s an artist so that gets spotlight sometimes.
She’s not quite the most complex but she’s still very likable, with her weirder moments. Oh, and she has 4th wall breaking tendencies like Pinkie, although the only example is when she moves the camera to what they are pointing to. Heh
Then we have Sunil Nelva, voiced by Peter New aka Big Mac. He’s an Indian Mongoose, who is a magician. He could have an awkward stereotype, but he works pretty well. For one, Peter does a decent Indian accent, and he’s an actual character.
He’s a bit of a coward and they milk that for a decent Comedy, although there’s more to him than that. Some of his episodes go deeper into his character and give him some rather badass moments. Let’s just say he doesn’t like Cobras.
And of course he has that friendship with Vinnie, which I went into a bit earlier. Sunil may seem a bit off, but he’s a pretty solid addition to this cast
Then we have Russel Ferguson, voiced by Samuel Vincent. …Yeah, he has quite the range. He was Double D on Ed, Edd, Eddy which only makes him more amazing, but shows with this character. He’s more or less the leader of the group, making sure everything is in order. He’s also a Hedgehog, but I already made a Sonic joke. He’s another favorite of mine, because he’s one of the more interesting pets.
His uptight nature leads to some funny moments, and also some great development. Like with Pepper, his development tends to be some of the best. He has other aspects to his character that flesh him out, and that is showcased in those episodes.
He also seems to have the best friendship with Blythe for some reason, which also helps him more interesting. …Yes, there are people who ship hm with her. …I’m not shocked, really. He does share a voice with Josh…which was lampshaded on one occasion.
And last, but not least, there’s Penny Ling, voiced by Jocelyne Loewen. She’s a panda who is shy. …Yeah, you are thinking of Pinkie Pie. But like the others, she stands out on her own. For one, her development has stuck a bit more and not quite shy in the same way Fluttershy is.
While she’s not the most original character with her development, she’s still pretty solid. Her episodes can be a bit deeper than a typical episode, like the aforementioned Penny for your laughs, and “What’s So Scary about the jungle? Everything!”. Despite having the worst title ever, it’s a nice episode that does some slightly deeper stuff fairly well.
….Yeah, it’s another good Merriweather Williams one. Anyway, by focusing on her sensitivity more than her shy-ness, she becomes a more dynamic character. She seems slightly self centered in some bits, but otherwise, she works well as a character.
And those are the main pets. Overall, they are a good group. While they aren’t always perfect, they are diverse and all get good development. Although they should make the focus more even.
In some recent episode, some pets will get less episodes to themselves. I went into the Bythe balance before and this is a product of that. Usually the pets will develop in a subplot or just as a group.
I get that they don’t want to copy MLP but some more episodes about Vinnie would be nice, you know?
And with that, I think I said everything I needed to say. Anything else can be discussed elsewhere, since I plan to at least count down the best episodes of Season 4 once it finishes up.
As a whole, this show manages to step out of the forshadow of it’s older sister and stand on it’s own. Sure, it’s flawed with a few weak episodes, and the writing is not quite as strong.
But at it’s best it can be just as good with clever writing, great voice actor, and some memorable characters and songs. As much as I like MLP, sometimes I can enjoy this one more just for the humor, especially at times when I get sick of the drama going on in the Brony fandom. Although there’s been less of that lately.
Nah, Steven Universe gets horrible drama now.
So what is the future of this show? Well, it will be getting a 4th Season, that premires tomorrow. Yay, my laziness pays off. However…it will be the final season. …Eh, I’m fine with it, since it has a good run.
You know, as long as Season 4 fixes some of my problems and is as good as the previous Seasons. But knowing the excellent crew, I think we’ll be fine.
So yeah, despite all of the flaws, the show has earned it’s place as a staple of The hub/Discover Family’s line up. It has a lot of what makes MLP work while still standing on it’s own decently well.
If you like MLP and haven’t seen this show, give it a chance. If you actually try out fairly, you will probably like it, as long as you take what I say into account. Actually, no matter who you are, as long as you give it a fair chance, you may enjoy it, even if you don’t like MLP.
As a whole, it’s pretty solid. At the moment, they just have random complication DVD’s, but every episode up to this point is on Netflix, so there you go. At worst, you’ll just forget about it.
That’s all I got for this one. I had fun finally going into this show and explaining it’s pros and cons, and hopefully from this you can decide if you may like it or not.
Either way, it’s another modern kid’s show worth checking out, for it’s humor, characters, and even heart. And hey, when MLP Season 5 ends, this shows 4th Season will be getting started, so it’s a good time to get into it!
…I’m not sure how to properly end it so….here’s my weak ending catchphrase.