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Sprocket Doggingsworth

I write horse words.

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Help! My Heart is Full of Pony! - Crusaders of the Lost Mark · 1:46am July 29th

Having re-watched Crusaders of the Lost Mark, what strikes me now (with the benefit of hindsight) isn't what grabbed me the first time. It's not the music, or the symmetry in the storytelling (where the CMC's earn their marks by extending kindness to the very pony whose anti-blank-flank cruelty had brought them together in the first place).


It's the startling realization that some of the CMC's best development and character growth actually happened after they got their cutie marks.

At the end of Crusaders of the Lost Mark is a beautiful musical number, and a glorious montage highlighting all the struggles that the CMC's had endured to get to that point. It's a beautiful moment - one that inspires nostalgia and pride - happiness on behalf of the crusaders. But looking at it now, I am struck by how much of that early development was foibles. 

After the CMC's got their marks, they had far more complex crises. At first, Apple Bloom didn't know what to do with her life, or how to redefine her identity without the quest for a cutie mark to validate it. Later, all three of the CMC's had to come to terms with failure as they couldn't get Gabby the griffon a cutie mark, no matter what they did. They also held a summer camp where the younger children staged a revolt against the very idea of ever achieving their cutie marks - a concept that insulted the CMC's to their very cores.

They grew into upstanding pillars of their community, (as was celebrated in Forever Filly, and later in that beautiful scene in The Last Crusade, when the entire town came together to convince Scootaloo's biological parents not to whisk her away).

In hindsight, Crusaders of the Lost Mark stands out not because it was the end of their journey to earn their marks, but because it was the beginning of their far more noble journey of altruism and social responsibility.

Finding themselves through service to others.

That's really the core message of the show. To some extent, all of the mane characters evolved in some way along these lines.  But the pivot is most plainly seen right here with the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

It makes a simple yet profound statement.  Our culture's idea of "finding yourself" is a fundamentally self-centered one, as is reflected in the CMC's early foibles.  But when people look for "meaning," they never find it in a bubble.  They never find it chasing trends, or fads, or running away on glorified vacations of so-called self-discovery.

We find it in each other. 


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Comments ( 2 )
Reese #1 · July 29th · · ·

Thank you, as usual, for sharing your thoughts. :)

Not much to say about this one. Perfectly profound bit of insight. Thank you for it.

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