Pan down to the bottom for things you'll actually give a shit about.
It was... interesting?
I watched the whole thing, and right from the beginning I knew it wasn't going to be as bad as so many feared, but I couldn't help but feel like most of the dialogue and interaction in the first few minutes was a bit more of a reassurance for the watchers than for the characters in the show, with all the talk of Twilight remaining modest and wanting her friends to not address her as "Princess."
I liked the idea of kind of throwing back to the show's original premier with the Summer Sun Celebration and how it all left a bad taste in Twilight's mouth not to be with her friends during this time, and after her friends leave for Ponyville, they're quick to give us good ole OCD Twilight for some reason I didn't understand other than another quick reminder that her underlying character traits haven't changed. (Nice? Maybe?)
And then, the problem presents itself. Celestia and Luna are missing, and apparently some sort of thorny dark weeds start showing up because the Everfree Forest is invading, and we end up watching some wacky stuff for a few minutes involving all of the main six, including Twilight failing at flying, which was more amusing than I thought it would be.
By the time they all meet up, Discord and Zecora enter the fray whether by being summoned or forced out by the overgrowth of dark weeds.
Oh, and then the flashbacks. The first one was action packed, while the second had a deeper underlying purpose. (Apparently Discord fell for the same thing twice? Or maybe he let that happen? Dun dun dun.)
And that Tree of Harmony thing, I liked the design on it. Reminded me of the Nexus in World of Warcraft (kind of.)
Does anybody else think the old school elements look like Rupees as well? Maybe it's just me... bleh.
We then proceed after all the flashbacks to go into the Everfree Forest, where we get an encounter that's another kind of throwback to the series' opening episodes. After that, the rest of them think that it would be best if Twilight stayed behind since she was the last princess they got that can lead these ponies (which is a perfectly reasonable suggestion, I mean, if you've got a ruler, why have them in harm's way?)
And then Twilight goes back to Ponyville, but immediately heads back in after a quick little misleading pep talk from the embodiment of Chaos. She proceeds to get lost.
The others come across a strange cave where all these roots (weeds? thorns and whatever else) and head towards it after a small slapstick gag from the pink party pone involving stairs. They come across the Tree of Harmony while Twilight is attacked by the thorny weeds and Spike chills out in a tree.
After not be able to do anything regarding the Tree of Harmony, the group opt to go after Twilight and conveniently save her just in time in an action packed sequence that ends with a small bit of confetti and a spell blast to the face.
They then return to the tree and Twilight figures that returning the Elements of Harmony to the tree will save the day (and it will.) Her friends are reluctant to give up the Elements but do so after a nice little speech from Twilight. She then begins to do some fancy magic junk when the weeds take one last stand, tying her up, but forget to get her horn, and she sneaks the Elements into their places on the tree and BAM! Pretty visuals and the day is saved.
Then it turns out Celestia and Luna were there and we get a nice little happy ending with a flower blooming containing some sort of chest with the promise for more story to proceed in this arc (which is awesome.)
And then we find out Discord did this back ages ago, the dog.
Summer Sun Celebration proceeds on and we get the credits.
I thought it was pretty decent, and we have to remind ourselves that in about 42 minutes, we can only get so much plot and story development out of the way. Of course I would have loved to have this stretch out much longer, where we could explore a bit more into the characters as they are now, and how they differently handle these situations, but that just isn't possible.
That being said, they handled it well, and I doubt this will ruffle as many feathers as was expected. Of course, we'll nitpick something, but for now let's just enjoy that the show is still going.
tl;dr 7/10, bretty solid.
Oh yeah, I'll be updating Smoke tomorrow if you can look down here under these mountains of text.
(Also, my bad if there's a ridiculous amount of typos in here, I wrote it up pretty quick and my fingers are freezing.)