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Rambling Writer


Our job is not to give readers what they want; our job is to show them things they never imagined. --Walt Williams

More Blog Posts150

  • 16 weeks
    Plotbunnies I Can't Get Rid Of

    I've got a lot of ideas bouncing around my head and I feel like I'll go nuts if I can't get them out. But I've got more ambition than I do time, so the odds of getting them out are slim. But I've got some people who think I'm interesting here; might as well tell them what's bouncing around my head. Here's what I've been thinking about:

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    18 comments · 353 views
  • 24 weeks
    Hinterlands Sequel: Bounty Hunters and Necromancers and Serial Killers, Oh My!

    Christmas is approaching! And what other way to celebrate the season than the tale of a necromancer, recently released from jail in a time of political turmoil, struggling to find her place in a world that hates her kind while crashing with the bounty hunter who turned her in?

    TUrban Wilds
    One's an impulsive bounty hunter with a thirst for adrenaline. The other's a reformed necromancer given a second chance at life. Together, they fight the necromancer's self-doubt (and also crime).
    Rambling Writer · 75k words  ·  152  1 · 737 views

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    1 comments · 186 views
  • 28 weeks
    Moondog Fanart

    Moondog got fanart.

    I know! I'm surprised, too! I've never gotten fanart before, but I guess you can share it if you think it's nifty? 'Cause it's nifty. It's of the moment where Moondog first takes up her crown. Art by StainedGlassLightHeart, commissioned by Level Dasher.

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    7 comments · 737 views
  • 34 weeks
    My Little Pony: A New Generation Reaction Blog

    The time has finally arrived. A new My Little Pony movie is here to save us from our sad state of oligomicroalogoria (too-few-little-horsies-ness). I decided to record my reactions to it while watching, because why not? If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I have a brief, spoiler-free review before my reactions.


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    13 comments · 695 views
  • 40 weeks
    The Behind-the-Scenes for the DCEU is All Over the Place

    I saw The Suicide Squad recently. It was pretty good. But it got me thinking: looked at from a film-history perspective, the DCEU is just the weirdest fucking thing. Seriously, look at it:

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    6 comments · 540 views
Sep
26th
2021

My Little Pony: A New Generation Reaction Blog · 12:27am Sep 26th, 2021

The time has finally arrived. A new My Little Pony movie is here to save us from our sad state of oligomicroalogoria (too-few-little-horsies-ness). I decided to record my reactions to it while watching, because why not? If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I have a brief, spoiler-free review before my reactions.


So: I liked it! It was cute, the characters and music were fun, and the animation was good. It also manages to pack a surprising amount of plot into an hour and a half without feeling overstuffed or slow. That plot wasn’t anything super special, but it did what it needed to do and got the characters together, so I’m fine with that. I also liked the way each pony town was distinct from one another and in the vein of each tribe’s style. Most of my complaints stem from it being a continuation of G4, which creates a bunch of niggling little issues that are technically unimportant but keep coming back into my head (What happened to Twilight? Why are the sun and moon still working? What about the weather? And so on and so forth). My headcanon’s probably going to be that Friendship is Magic is fictional in this universe.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen the movie yet: spoilers beyond this point. Terrible, terrible spoilers.

See? I warned you! But seriously, no more terrible spoilers and more pony spoilers.

Separation

Oh, man. Opening with a stylized depiction of G4? You’re breaking my heart already.

Rarity going nuts? Must be Tuesday.

Bet each tribe has their own story of how they totally kicked the other tribes’ tails.

“I leave all the brainwashing in Maretime Bay to you. Unicorn cupcake?” All with a polite voice and a smile. Argyle is low-key savage and I love it.

Love Sprout reaching for a cupcake before Phyllis pulls him away.

I like Argyle. Can we have more Argyle? Argyle is so wholesome without being a pushover.

I like that Argyle’s story of Twilight doesn’t quite match up with reality. You’d expect some textual corruption to happen over however long it is.

A very efficient intro at setting up characters and what the driving conflict will be. I always appreciate it when a story doesn’t dally around.

Welcome to Maretime Bay

Love the chunky snooze button on the alarm clock for non-dexterous hooves.

Never seen pony bedhead quite this bad before. Yay new artstyles!

The implications that Argyle is dead are heartbreaking, but expected.

I like the Cinque Terre aesthetic of Maretime Bay. It’s so pretty and colorful and mellow. I’m actually working on a story that’s basically developing a town with a similar design because the towns of Cinque Terre are so picturesque.

Is CanterLogic the first prominent in-universe pun? I think it might be.

I like the way CanterLogic’s size shows how much influence Phyllis has over the town before it’s clearly shown.

Sunny apparently drawing a heart in the air only to reveal it was on a poster is a slick bit of camerawork.

I know we all sort of buy stuff sticking to hooves, but Sunny somehow grabs onto a trolley with a rollerblade. Does hoof magnetism extend to whatever a pony is wearing? (On another hoof: yay! Trolleys! I’m a sucker for trolleys.)

Interesting that Sunny explicitly has a job delivering smoothies. You’d think they’d just gloss over that.

“What is it with me and critters? I’m like a magnet to them!” I think Hitch is the first non-Fluttershy pony to have a talent (special talent or otherwise) with critters.

I wonder how irritating it is to have a friend constantly using their influence with you to flaunt the law when you’re supposed to be enforcing the law.

The CanterLogic Presentation

Big factory. Wonder how it stays in business when unicorns and pegasi aren’t around much.

Another reference to “moons” that isn’t clear whether it’s months, years, or something else. Good to know some things never change. In this context, years would probably make the most sense, though.

“To be scared is to be prepared!” What is it with this franchise and cheery-faced, propagandistic villains?

You don’t need a special hat to block mind reading, just one made out of metal foil, preferably tin. See, the hat acts like a partial Maraday cage, blocking incoming magic to your head. You want tin rather than aluminum because tin has a higher resistivity, so as it absorbs magic, it’ll heat up faster than aluminum would, letting you know when a unicorn’s starting to read your mind.

Also, a personal-protection fashion show based on tribalism? Rarity’s spinning in her grave so much you should hook her up to a dynamo and get free energy forever.

“Yikes. That’s gonna be a lot of paperwork.” The line itself is amusing, but Hitch still rocking to the beat is what pushes it to hilarious for me.

I like the way each item backfiring in obvious ways shows how stupid tribalism is.

So how did Sunny get in? You’d think Phyllis would start hiring guards specifically for Sunny on presentation days, not just the sheriff.

“Fully-automated means it has to go through the whole cycle!” Killswitches are your friend. Even if you think you don’t need them? Especially if you think you don’t need them. I know from experience.

“How do you suggest that we defend ourselves? With hugs and cupcakes?” I half-expected Sunny to say something like, “Yes! Because if they’re our friends, we won’t need to defend ourselves from them!”

The spotlight’s still on Sunny. I wonder if somepony behind the scenes is invested in what she has to say.

Enter Izzy

“All that pony unity stuff was just a foal’s bedtime story made up by your dad.” Okay, seriously, just how long ago was G4?

“I wish you were here, Dad.” Just… whoof.

I know comparing new characters to old is only going to end in disappointment, but “Hi, new friend!” is the Pinkie Piest line that hasn’t come from Pinkie Pie. Also, nice to know fleeing in terror from minor things is still a pony tradition.

The zoom-in on Izzy’s horn shows some patterns beyond a simple spiral. Neat.

Man, the splatterpults are so incompetent they even hit the camera.

Why is the unicorn capture device undone by a single button press, with no authorization? Because everypony at CanterLogic assumed nopony would be stupid enough to want to release a unicorn, obviously.

One of the background movie posters is for Horns. Fitting.

“Deputy, to the lighthouse!” “Oh, no! I appear to be trapped!” Sprout is this weird combination of petty jerk and lazy bum and I love it.

After Sunny and Izzy enter the lighthouse, Sunny slows down by balancing on her front hooves, then slams the door with her rear ones. Yay taking advantage of nonhuman physiology!

Speaking of which, the ear animation in this movie is great. I always like it when nonhuman characters use nonhuman traits to express emotion, and ear wiggles and tail flicks are easy ways to do that in ponies.

“We look exactly the same!” Nice to see the theme expressed in other ways beyond, “We could be friends with the other tribes!”

At first, I thought Izzy looked a bit like a kid, thanks to the friendship bracelet on her fetlock, but I just noticed she’s also wearing a crystal headband. That makes her look more like a New Age hippie, which definitely fits with her long, wavy mane and tail.

Animation cheat time! Sunny goes to take her notebook out from her saddlebags. When she takes it out, there just happens to be a can of beans blocking our view of her reaching into her bags so she can do it quickly and still look natural.

The questions are a good way to establish unicorn stereotypes without any “as you know”ing.

“You don’t have any magic?” Sunny, you just saw Izzy bounce a can on her head, where she can’t see it, precisely enough to open the top without putting holes anywhere else. If that’s not magical, I don’t know what is.

“Come out with your hooves up!” “Not sure how I’m supposed to walk like that!” “Awkwardly! That’s the point!”

“We have reinforcements?” Funnily enough, I can relate. Sometimes at work, I get assigned this or that task and I get so wrapped up in it that I forget I can ask for help.

“I was told all you earth ponies smell like rotten sardines…” Which makes sense, since Maretime Bay is a seaside village. If it were more inland, it’d probably be rotten fruit.

I wonder if Izzy’s map of new Equestria came from her father; he had a big map of OG Equestria behind him in the intro.

“But the pegasi are bad news!” Why is Izzy so ambivalent about pegasi when she’s a-okay with earth ponies, even before learning they don’t smell? Because, without unicorn magic, the only thing separating unicorns from earth ponies is the horn. Pegasi still have wings and (as far as Izzy knows) can fly, which gives them an edge unicorns don’t have.

Match cuts! I’m a sucker for match cuts. (Also, the balloonnapped pony is still floating in the background. Poor guy.)

Hitch Sets Out

Snrk. “Depooty” on the desk. Also, 2x2x2 Rubuck’s cube? Interesting.

When Sprout “polishes” his desk with the pizza, you can actually see the grease it leaves behind. The movie might not have the absurd level of detail of, say, a Pixar movie, but it’s still got plenty of small touches like that.

Huh. The lineup wall has silhouettes for unicorns and pegasi and shows them at distinctly different heights.

“Keep everypony calm, maintain the peace, be a pillar of strength- Pfft, who am I kidding?” Even Hitch doesn’t bother to hide how inept Sprout is and I love it.

Hitch had a tattoo while being a lifeguard but doesn’t now? Hmm. (My personal interpretation of G4 pony tattoos is enchanted ink that causes the hair to grow a different color. If you want to remove the tattoo, a simple spell is used to disenchant the ink, letting the hair regrow normally. Of course, here, no magic.) He’s also got quite the interesting job history.

“What does Hitch have, anyway? […] a paid-off mortgage…” As an adult, that’s one of the most appealing things out there, right next to zero student loan debt. Also, Sprout, the dude has his own personal calendar. Might be mass-produced. Seriously, you don’t want to mess with somepony who has a dedicated calendar.

Ten to one says Phyllis is encouraging Sprout being the sheriff to manipulate him and expand her own influence.

Just noticed how flat pony feet are on the bottoms. Not really a big deal, but the gap between the hoof and the frog on real horse feet makes for an excellent notch to, say, hook around levers.

Welcome to Zephyr Heights

Sparkle: non-G4 worldbuilding! Sounds like auras, which is more evidence on the “Izzy is a New Ager” pile.

With Sunny grabbing onto Izzy’s horn, I have to wonder just how much feeling unicorns have in them. G4 skeletons show that the horn is bone, but in rhinos, it’s made of keratin (like human nails) and is technically dead, but elephant tusks are technically teeth and have nerves in them, and… I dunno.

Zipp’s voice is super husky for her first few sentences. Have I heard of her voice actor? (Googles) Liza Koshy. Nope.

“[Earth ponies] have very tiny brains.” Ear animation. So good. Also interesting that earth ponies as stereotyped by pegasi aren’t the same as earth ponies as stereotyped by unicorns. Probably the same for other tribe combinations.

Things I am a sucker for now includes dopey smiles like Izzy’s.

Not sure if the blue guard’s a mare or a stallion. Leaning towards gravelly mare. Physical differences between the sexes aren’t as clear as in FiM.

“Is your wingspan the same as your height?” Huh. Add “typical proportional pegasus wingspan” to the list of things I’m surprised I never thought about before.

One thing CGI does better than 2D animation: space. The opening shots of Zephyr Heights are spectacular because of the way they give you scale. The white-and-gold aesthetic doesn’t hurt.

Don’t think about the implications of someone so close to the head of state livestreaming. Don’t think about the implications of someone so close to the head of state livestreaming. Don’t think about the implications of someone so close to the head of state livestreaming…

In G4, pre-Equestria pegasi were clearly militarized. These pegasi have a much larger military presence than Maretime Bay. Coincidence? …Probably. But a happy coincidence.

Pipp’s wings are quite a bit fluffier than the other pegasi’s. I wonder if they’re supposed to be downy because she’s younger. …Oh, man, now I’m picturing tiny little pegasus foals with the floofiest, downiest wings and they’re just the cutest sunblasted things.

Holy Celestia, I just said to not think about the implications of someone so close to the head of state livestreaming! (On the other hand, at least the movie and I are on the same wavelength.) 

I wonder if having multicolored wings is a mark among royalty here. Looks nice.

Angry Mob Formation 101

“What else could go wrong today?” Cut to Sprout pasting his photo over Hitch’s. Subtle, they ain’t.

“You are in charge now!” And Sprout’s ear pops up. Seriously, just watch the ears in this movie, and you’ll still be entertained.

Well. Sprout learned to let no crisis go to waste.

Geez. How long did it take that one pony to climb back to Maretime Bay? And he falls right back down again. Poor guy.

Furiously singing “Mob! Mob! Angry! Angry!” to form an angry mob is such a pony thing.

“Look at that guy!” “Hey, my name’s Rob. It’s actually short for Robin Wi-” “Dangit, Rob, the song’s still going!”

“So I just saw a movie about authority figures exploiting the fears of the citizenry to encourage blind obedience and consolidate their power to ever-greater heights.” “Wow. Sounds dark. Which movie?” “The new My Little Pony one.”

G4 had villain songs before, but never really ones quite that bombastic.

The Reality of Magic

“This isn’t dungeon-y at all!” “It is when you’re not sharing!”

Like the medium-sneaky callback.

I wonder if the guards use trumpet apps on their smartphones by order of Pipp.

So does Zipp, as royalty, have override rights to prison security by default?

Now I’m wondering if working with critters is Hitch’s special talent and he just doesn’t know it because knowledge of talents has been lost.

“I will not eat! I will not sleep! Well, maybe a quick nap and a snack if I can’t find you in the next few hours.” Fair enough. You’ve been at this for hours and I don’t see any supplies.

The clouds parting behind Hitch during his speech is some pretty good timing. Love the mugshot expressions.

After Izzy took the orange and put the ball in its place, I expected her to be walking around with an orange on her horn. Oh, well.

The posters make me wonder just how old Maretime Bay is or how long magic has been gone.

Oh, Celestia. Original Wonderbolts poster. More heartbreak.

“You’d be surprised what wires and good lighting will do.” Also preconceptions, don’t forget that. I like the way the chalkboard implies that Zipp is trying to figure out how to fly without magic. Speaking of which, why was she jumping around as Sunny and Izzy approached? To get enough speed glide a little and feel the wind beneath her wings.

With the talk of only the unicorn and pegasus crystals, I feel like the film is exploiting the perception that earth ponies don’t have magic here. Magic is obvious in unicorns and pegasi, less so in earth ponies. There are stained-glass windows on the left and right for unicorns and pegasi, but a gap in the middle where there’s nothing. Probably a door with the window for earth ponies. Note the circular gap in the pegasus crystal. They’ll put the two crystals back together, nothing will happen, and somepony will go, “Wait! What about earth ponies?”, and then it’ll turn out that Phyllis has it, so everyone has to head back to Maretime Bay.

Haven’s swim cap over her crown is hysterical, as is, “Keeping the queen clean…”

Sunny’s Three

Okay, that’s actually a good decoy crown while still looking like it’s made of macaroni.

Fake-flying with wings is probably easier than it looks, since the wings can still propel air.

Slick swap. So what’s going to go wrong?

The dog. Interesting.

I think Hitch basically went, “Do I need a mustache to infiltrate Zephyr Heights? No. Do I want one anyway? Abso-friggin-lutely.

I like scenes that pull together multiple plot points simultaneously, and this one does it quite well: stealing the crown, Hitch pursuing Sunny, animals adoring Hitch, pegasi being terrified of Sunny and Izzy, and the royal family faking flying. It all comes together quite well.

Being a “phony pony full of baloney” is very much a pony thing to be arrested for. Even if I’m not sure if ponies would have baloney.

“Pipp! Zipp! Save yourselves!” POSE. Glad to see that Haven genuinely cares for her daughters and can be fabulous at the same time.

Maretime Militarization

I knew there was going to be a twist with Sprout’s “heavy breathing”, but the specifics still made me laugh.

Okay. Guess I misjudged Phyllis’s reasoning for encouraging Sprout to be sheriff. Guess she really does only want what’s best for Maretime Bay, even if her idea of “best” is “keeping unicorns and pegasi out”.

“This defense factory is going on offense! And it’s all thanks to your love and encouragement.” The way Sprout folds his ears back for that last sentence makes me think he’s being genuine rather than sarcastic. And that’s… kinda creepy. Like the best intentions went horribly, horribly wrong.

Ominous silhouettes! I like silhouettes.

La Villa Izzy

“Did I just agree with a pegasus?” And there starts the character development. It feels pretty natural.

A broken bridge, because of course two countries opposed to each other wouldn’t necessarily keep trade routes between them maintained.

“…and you’ll have me in custody!” (Hitch grins.) I don’t know why that made me laugh so hard, but it did.

You can hear Izzy push the tree down in the background as Sunny’s talking with everypony else.

Okay, balloon pony’s going to play some major role in the plot now. Once he gets hydrated again.

“What have we got to lose?” “By giving magic back to our enemies? A lot!” He has a point. I mean, he’s wrong, but he has a point.

Ooo. For some reason, I didn’t think the message in the beginning would come back. I like it when coincidences (like a unicorn just happening to go to Maretime Bay) turn out to not be coincidences.

So who put up all those signs? Unicorns? Non-unicorns? All tribes? I like the idea of a unicorn putting up a “Keep Out” sign at the same time as an earth pony putting up a “Danger” sign to keep other tribes out. “Morning, Sparkle.” “Morning, Loam.” “I never want to go anywhere near you.” “I want you to never come anywhere near me.”

Just realized that magically-talented unicorns living in the forest might be a reference to magically-talented elves living in the forest.

Wow. Izzy’s house looks downright painterly.

Izzy being the creative type was foreshadowed by her fake crown.

So how do pony glasses work without the arms to wrap around the ears?

“I bet you eat your young.” Cannibalism references? In my little kids’ movie? It’s more likely than you think.

“Just because we’re undercover doesn’t mean we’re crooks!” I expected a reaction shot from Hitch here.

Psycho references? In my little kids’ movie? It’s more likely than you think.

There’s a “100% Whole Grain” sign on the Grinded Pony Hooves box. I wonder if someone saw the box but not the sign and blew things out of proportion.

Hitch just can’t get into the groove of dancing to the song and I love it. (Although I shouldn’t. Chronic heartsong amusia is a serious condition among ponykind. What do you do when everyone bursts into song and you can’t keep the beat?)

Welcome to Bridlewood

“Crystals! Crystals! Crystals!” Rather than being the 8039th person to reference Sombra: more New Ager Izzy.

Of course unicorns are superstitious. They were the ones with the biggest knowledge of metaphysics.

Some unicorns have British accents, some don’t. Weird.

Another Rubuck’s cube. Fitting for Alphabittle, but ponies manipulating it looks really unnatural.

Have I mentioned I love the ear animation in this?

“But if he wins, we’ll lose both crystals!” “So we’ll just steal them. Look, we already stole from the Pegasus Queen herself; what’s a bar owner on top of that?” “Well-” “Shut up, Hitch.”

Just Prance? Not Prance Prance Revolution? Also, considering we’ve already been shown to have computers in this world, it’s interesting that the foot icons are mechanical. I like the way there’s four of them for four hooves.

Yeah, headbanging’s an easy way to lose a hat, which is unfortunate when that “hat” is a vital part of a disguise. I thought Alphabittle would just refuse to hand the crystal over for some arbitrary, sore-losery reason; this works better.

“Mayonnaise!” Probably an earth pony thing, which is why it’s forbidden.

“Thanks for the tea!” Because exploiting another culture’s superstitions is no reason to not be polite.

“Thank hoofness!” Pony Life memories rising… Must suppress…

Wow, they’re getting more mileage out of “critters love Hitch” than I thought they would.

“Nopony has magic!” “…Bing-bong.” It’d be so easy to forget the jinxes in a situation like this, so I’m glad the writers didn’t.

Reuniting the crystals with twenty minutes to go? Yeah, there’s an earth pony crystal.

In a weird way, I like “we did everything right and it still wasn’t enough” plot points. Sometimes, you just lose. And I knew it was coming, but heart: crushed.

Sprout’s Master Plan

Sunny doesn’t bother correcting the picture’s tilt. Whoof.

…Was that crystal always in the mobile’s top? (checks the first scene) It was. Holy crow.

The way Sunny’s depression and realization plays out without any words, just music and visuals, is really great.

I notice Phyllis isn’t wearing an anti-mind-reading cap. Don’t think she could, not with that hair.

They really went all-out with dictator Sprout’s design. Like… how did they get away with that?

“Step!” Oh, by having him still be laughable. Got it.

“So we don’t have to fight? That’s a relief!” Interesting choice, to have ponies stop buying into the fearmongering the second they hear it’s not necessary. Not sure it totally works, but maybe Hitch speaking up in addition to Sunny persuaded them.

“You’ll all be next if we don’t end this now!” And there they go back again. Changing people’s minds isn’t that easy.

Mecha. Ponies have mecha now. And we had overpowered energy blasts in “Twilight’s Kingdom”, so what’s next on the anime cliche list? I think it’s super-spiky hair. No, that was Punk Rarity. Overblown instances of mundane things like children’s card games and spinning tops? Pony Life had a televised baking competition overseen by royalty. Oh, harems! That’s what’s next. With an overly long title, probably with video game references: Beyond Friendship! I Levelled my All Social Links up to S-Rank and Now Everypony is in Love With Me?!.

Of course the friendship wouldn’t end once the adventure failed.

“You’re gonna get us all jinxed!” Alluding to saying “get us all killed” without actually mentioning death through worldbuilding. Slick.

Nice to see some earth ponies bolt out of pure fear of unicorns and pegasi. They were technically drafted, after all.

Wonder if the splatterpult ammo is based on changeling goo.

Phyllis and Sprout’s back-and-forth being so childish brings to mind a line from The Last King of Scotland, of all things: “You’re a child. That’s what makes you so fucking scary.” He knows what he wants and he’s not going to let anypony stop him because he wants it.

Nothing quite like a climax that depends on ponies holding onto things to remind you of how odd hoof magnetism looks.

For some reason, the destruction of the lighthouse reminds me of The Transporter. This is a bit less violent, though. A bit.

“You know what? We don’t need the crystals!” I was pretty sure it was coming, but I like it. It prevents a psychological problem from being solved by a MacGuffin without rendering the bulk of the movie pointless.

The crystals only “working” in the presence of harmony is nice. After all, what sort of metaphysical keystone like that would work purely on physical contact? Sunny’s earned becoming the new alicorn of friendship, and I like her wings and horn being semi-ethereal.

Between the music and the visuals, the return of magic gave me goosebumps.

In Bridlewood: “So… now we all have m- the m-word, so… do we need to ward off jinxes anymore?” “I think we’re all jinxed already.” “…Being jinxed feels nice.” “Yeah.” “…I’m fine with being jinxed.” “Yeah.”

Reunion

I love the irony of the pony with the upward-looking goggles sharing a cupcake with a pegasus. The ponies accepting the other tribes that quickly is hasty, I’ll admit, but ponies always adjust to new things quickly.

“Hey, guys. What’d I miss? …AAAAAAA-” I’ll take “Perfectly Cut Screams” for 100 bits, Trebuck.

I wonder if Sunny gets to keep the horn and wings or if it was a temporary power boost from reuniting the crystals. Also, where’s she gonna live?

And there was an earth pony window between the unicorn and pegasus ones in the Zephyr Heights station! Kind of surprised earth ponies didn’t get anything shown after magic returned, but I don’t like earth pony magic being flashy, so it’s not like there’d be much that could be shown.

Okay, so the earth foal in the mid-credits scene is the one leaving glowing hoofprints, showing they have at least some magic. I’m fine with that.


Anyway, yeah! I liked it. Cute, fun characters, neat locations, friendship solving all problems, just what a pony movie needs. I actually didn’t predict Sprout assuming direct control of Maretime Bay, and instead thought he’d remain Phyllis’s lackey. If I could’ve changed something, it’d be more time in Bridlewood and giving Pipp something to do; Bridlewood seems to exist mostly because unicorns need a place to live, while Pipp is just sort of there. Maybe they could be combined; Alphabittle initially refuses to talk to even think about accepting Sunny’s challenge (“You’re new here, little mare. You obviously don’t know what you’re getting into.”), but Pipp, with her experience with an audience, talks up Sunny as a competitor to him, possibly by convincing other ponies around Bridlewood. Hitch could even help, since he knows Sunny. It wouldn’t need to be long, just two or three minutes. But, still, not that big a deal. I’ve already mentioned my issues with it being a G4 continuation, except for: What were these crystals doing in Twilight’s time? Or before the founding of Equestria? If they’re the source of magic and depend on harmony, wouldn’t the division of the tribes cause them to split and remove magic early? It would’ve been so much cleaner to just start from scratch.

I know some people are probably going to be irritated at the tribes getting back together so swiftly, but I don’t care. It is glossed over, but that’s a tradition at this point. Friendship + anything = problem instantly solved. (“Hey, my computer program isn’t running right-” “Friendship!” “Huh. No bugs. How’d you do that? You didn’t even change any code!”) Since the unicorns and pegasi get a moment to reconcile right before the first crystal joining, I wouldn’t have minded a little extra time showing the earth ponies adjust, but what we get is acceptable, especially after they see the Mane Five work together in the climax.

G5 is off to a good start. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Comments ( 13 )

An amusing play-by-play of the film. Reminds me of FoME's reaction style.

Pipp did talk Sunny through the dance competition itself, so that's something at least.

Great summation of the movie! Glad to see so many people who appreciate it.

...the towns of Cinque Terre are so picturesque.

I highly agree. Twilight Sparkle highly agrees!
i.ibb.co/GcmkHxc/u10rt-1.jpg

Not sure if the blue guard’s a mare or a stallion. Leaning towards gravelly mare. Physical differences between the sexes aren’t as clear as in FiM.

Her name is Zoom Zephyrwing, and her VA (Gillian Berrow) confirmed her as female.

https://twitter.com/gmberrow/status/1441469768138067974

5587239
Glad to see the good old MLP tradition of getting writers to scab on actors continuing.

Just realized that magically-talented unicorns living in the forest might be a reference to magically-talented elves living in the forest.

Yeah, one of my favorite worldbuilding bits in the movie was definitely unicorns going back to their roots as mystical forest creatures.

It would’ve been so much cleaner to just start from scratch.

Yeah, definitely. The impression I get, honestly, is that G5 was for the most part indeed developed as a new setting in its own right like the other generations, and that the link to G4 is mostly there to keep the G4 fans more interested -- for the most part, the G4 fandom has been pretty vocal about being fans of G4, not of My Little Pony as a wider franchise. It wouldn't really surprise me if Hasbro felt that they'd risk losing a lot of viewers and consumers if G5 was explicitly branded as something with no ties to G4, so making some token ties to Friendship Is Magic is probably mostly a way to coax people into giving A New Generation a try -- and by the time people cotton on that there really aren't any connections worth the name, it'd hopefully have grown enough on them not to matter.

it's based on mashed peas, her favorite.

I liked it too but I'm not convinced it works as a continuation. There is very little to connect G5 with G4. Personally I felt that Sprout looked like Gadaffi with that dictator outfit and huge sunglasses.

Is that an ironing board???

I think Alphabittle shoulda said "i will let you and one friend take me on, like you could ever win" bam Pipp shows off her love of music and choreography. Small tweak to the story to include her.

I really wish Zipp got a chance to show off her agility for something.

Cute show, but super safe, relying on refs for us rather than kids. A ton of 80s and 90s refs.

Yeah, Sun and moon...how they work with no magic XD hope we get agood explination for that one.

The rainbow at the end reminded me of the crystal empire , hope the empire isn't dead

There are just sooooo many blank question to ask about hwo thigns got so bad and like you said where are hte other nations at.
also, i wonder if the other nations still had there magics like changelings and stuffs.

Most of my complaints stem from it being a continuation of G4, which creates a bunch of niggling little issues that are technically unimportant but keep coming back into my head (What happened to Twilight? Why are the sun and moon still working? What about the weather? And so on and so forth).

Yeah, a very common factor across all reactions I've seen is that Gen4 bronies complain that the movie doesn't explain how Gen4 Equestria turned into Gen5 Equestria, while non-bronies accept the world as it is presented and have more fun.  To them there are no "unanswered mysteries" that the movie fails to address: "Oh, so the characters find out that the world today is different from ancient times?  Well, yeah; that makes sense.  That's how history works.  Time moves ever onwards and things change — sometimes for the worse.  And while you can't turn back the clock, you can move forwards from the here-and-now with lessons learned from the past."
    As for the sun and moon, that easy!  100 years after the end of Gen4, Discord says that Equestria without Fluttershy holds no interest anymore, so he's leaving for a more chaotic dimension.  Twilight says, "All right, I understand. But could you clean up after yourself, before you go?"  So Discord puts the planet, sun, and moon back the way he found it, with the world orbiting the sun and the moon orbiting the planet.  You know, the boring way. "So unoriginal!"
    There, problem solved. :pinkiehappy:

I like Argyle. Can we have more Argyle? Argyle is so wholesome without being a pushover.

Argyle:  Great dad - or greatest dad?

Another reference to “moons” that isn’t clear whether it’s months, years, or something else. Good to know some things never change. In this context, years would probably make the most sense, though.

Agreed.  If it were months, that would be less than two years, so how could Sunny have been trying to disrupt the presentation "every year"?  Clearly Phyllis has been spreading commercially motivated fearmongering since some time before the prologue scene, where sunny was a little foal, judging from Argyle's comments to her.  That means those "20 moons" can't have been much less than Sunny's age, and she appears to be a young adult now — so "a moon" must be something closer to a year.

“Yikes. That’s gonna be a lot of paperwork.” The line itself is amusing, but Hitch still rocking to the beat is what pushes it to hilarious for me.

It gives me the impression that this is a completely usual occurrence for a CanterLogic™ presentation.

I like the way each item backfiring in obvious ways shows how stupid tribalism is.

Well, the helmet didn't "backfire", but its obvious similarity to the famous tinfoil hat is enough to discredit it.

So how did Sunny get in?

When Sunny is upstairs, finishing her placard before she leaves for the presentation, on the board behind her there is a floorplan of the factory pinned up, with an entry route sketched in.

Okay, seriously, just how long ago was G4?

Long ago enough that Argyle refers to it a "Ancient Equestria".

At first, I thought Izzy looked a bit like a kid, thanks to the friendship bracelet on her fetlock, but I just noticed she’s also wearing a crystal headband. That makes her look more like a New Age hippie, which definitely fits with her long, wavy mane and tail.

She sees Auras, lives in a tree, is into up-cycling — sorry, uni-cycling — and crystals…  She is totally a hippie.

The questions are a good way to establish unicorn stereotypes without any “as you know”ing.

One bit of writing that I found extremely impressive is when Sunny says she doesn't want to be hit by a stray laser beam, but that Izzy probably already knows this from reading her mind.  It shows that, despite her upbringing steeped in the values of friendship, the pervasive xenophobia and propaganda has still subtly influenced her.  She has rejected the dogma that unicorns are inherently evil and would want to zap ponies with lasers or would maliciously invade their mind — but she never questioned the underlying assumption that shooting lasers and reading minds is something unicorns do.
    Damn, that's good, subtle writing!

“You don’t have any magic?”

I guess Izzy spilled the beans on that secret… :pinkiehappy:

I wonder if Izzy’s map of new Equestria came from her father; he had a big map of OG Equestria behind him in the intro.

She did get the notebook from him.  Also, there are several maps pinned up in his old workspace upstairs, around the pinboard that Sunny used to plan her intrusion into CanterLogic.

Match cuts! I’m a sucker for match cuts.

Unfortunately, this shot shows that the run-cycle of the 3D ponies is not as good as that of the 2D Flash ponies was.  They should have studied that a little more (or real horses).

Just noticed how flat pony feet are on the bottoms. Not really a big deal, but the gap between the hoof and the frog on real horse feet makes for an excellent notch to, say, hook around levers.

Sure, but the ponies don't need that, because their hooves are selectively sticky to an absurd degree.  They're not even attempting any form of realism with that; they're just blatantly saying, "This is how it works in this world. Roll with it."

Also interesting that earth ponies as stereotyped by pegasi aren’t the same as earth ponies as stereotyped by unicorns.

But according to Izzy, unicorns also believe that earth ponies "aren't the brightest crystals in the forest…" :derpytongue2:

Not sure if the blue guard’s a mare or a stallion. Leaning towards gravelly mare. Physical differences between the sexes aren’t as clear as in FiM.

Not only is she a mare, that's a cameo role by writer Gillian M. Berrow!

I wonder if having multicolored wings is a mark among royalty here. Looks nice.

Heh, more like the the mark of a Foreground Character.

“So I just saw a movie about authority figures exploiting the fears of the citizenry to encourage blind obedience and consolidate their power to ever-greater heights.” “Wow. Sounds dark. Which movie?” “The new My Little Pony one.”

Sprout's Nirvana/grunge rock inspired villain song is the closest MLP has come to contemporary political satire.  I love it!

The clouds parting behind Hitch during his speech is some pretty good timing. Love the mugshot expressions.

"No clue is too small!"  Uh… can a clue be too big?

The posters make me wonder just how old Maretime Bay is or how long magic has been gone.

In this scene there's a quote that might possibly be significant: "It's like everypony just… forgot."  Among Argyle's research materials pinned up in the upstairs beacon room, there is a prominent and clear depiction of the Memory Stone from The Forgotten Friendship, which could be foreshadowing of what happened between generations.  Or it might just be a meaningless nod to Gen4, like all the other images and artefacts there.

Note the circular gap in the pegasus crystal. They’ll put the two crystals back together, nothing will happen, and somepony will go, “Wait! What about earth ponies?”

You figured this out way faster than I did.  I only caught on, shortly before they tried putting them together for the first time: "Wait, this can't possibly work.  There's no earth pony representation in this. … And also there's still over a quarter of the movie left to go."

Okay, that’s actually a good decoy crown while still looking like it’s made of macaroni.

I really love this entire "Heist movie planning/execution montage" It's pitch perfect and even has the correct heist movie score!

Fake-flying with wings is probably easier than it looks, since the wings can still propel air.

Yeah, they can't generate enough lift to carry a pony's weight, but they're still aerodynamic, as Zipp's glide-jumps show.

I think Hitch basically went, “Do I need a mustache to infiltrate Zephyr Heights? No. Do I want one anyway? Abso-friggin-lutely.

:rainbowlaugh:

You can hear Izzy push the tree down in the background as Sunny’s talking with everypony else.

Izzy woodpeckering this entire tree down in less than ten seconds flat, off-screen, is hilarious!  Oh Izzy, stop being Best Pony all the time!

“What have we got to lose?” “By giving magic back to our enemies? A lot!” He has a point. I mean, he’s wrong, but he has a point.

And it's another clue that the existence of earth pony magic has completely gone down the memory hole.

Izzy being the creative type was foreshadowed by her fake crown.

Also her arts&crafts-themed cutie mark.

"Fit Right In" is an absolute banger!  My favourite song of the movie.

Just Prance? Not Prance Prance Revolution? Also, considering we’ve already been shown to have computers in this world, it’s interesting that the foot icons are mechanical. I like the way there’s four of them for four hooves.

You mean eight of them, just like there are four buttons for the two-footed species.

“Mayonnaise!” Probably an earth pony thing, which is why it’s forbidden.

Nah, it's just that spilling it leads to… bad fanart and memes. :scootangel:

I knew it was coming, but heart: crushed.

So frickin' crushed!

Was that crystal always in the mobile’s top? (checks the first scene) It was. Holy crow.

And during his very first appearance on screen, as Argyle paints the mobile, the crystal is in plain sight, lying before him on the table.

Changing people’s minds isn’t that easy.

Herd animals.

Mecha. Ponies have mecha now.

Also note the license plate: apparently Equestria is part of the EU, and it's country code is "PN".  Or it's because it was animated by a European studio.

The crystals only “working” in the presence of harmony is nice. After all, what sort of metaphysical keystone like that would work purely on physical contact? Sunny’s earned becoming the new alicorn of friendship, and I like her wings and horn being semi-ethereal.

I'm amused that Sunny had the causal sequence of the solution exactly backwards. Her plan was:

  1. Activate the crystals
  2. Magic returns
  3. ????
  4. Friendship!!

But the actual solution was:

  1. Rekindle friendship
  2. Friendship Is Magic (duh)
  3. Magic activates the crystals

I wonder if Sunny gets to keep the horn and wings or if it was a temporary power boost from reuniting the crystals.

The character artist just shared stunning concept art of Alicorn Sunny, who is taller and has beautiful, real wings and a horn.  If they passed on that in favour of ethereal, see-through appendages and a rainbow streak in her hair, they must have had a damn good reason, so my money is on a temporary power-up — with a possible full ascension still in the cards for later.

Okay, so the earth foal in the mid-credits scene is the one leaving glowing hoofprints, showing they have at least some magic. I’m fine with that.

Yeah, I took that as a "hint of things to come", as end-credits scenes often are.  The series might delve into the rediscovery of earth pony magic fairly early.

If I could’ve changed something, it’d be more time in Bridlewood and giving Pipp something to do;

I also initially thought that Pipp had faded into the background — but upon re-watching the movie (over and over with commentary by different reactors), I noticed that she's actually fairly involved throughout.  Her most plot-relevant contribution is during the dance battle, when she uses her knack for firing up and inspiring ponies to get Sunny into the right head-space and the groove she needs to win.  But she's also right there, up in the lighthouse with Sunny and Izzy, until she almost plummets down the elevator and joins the conflict outside.

I think I only thought she had faded into the background, because I had subconsciously dismissed her, because of her "social media influencer" role.  In this respect, she occupies a similar position as Rarity did at the beginning of Gen4.
    Several people pointed out back then, that in any other show Rarity would have been cast as a villain, or at least an unsympathetic character.  But Lauren Faust said, "No.  Being into all the traditionally 'girly' things like fashion is not a 'character flaw' to be vilified.  In real life, people like that are just as likely to be strong, warm, capable, and wonderful as people who have the stereotypical 'heroic' (i.e. male-coded) character traits."
    Now Pipp is in a similar position, given the current zeitgeist.  A character like her would commonly be portrayed as shallow, dumb, and useless at best, or an outright villain who "would do anything for the clicks" at worst.  But instead we have a friendly, entirely non-cynical young girl, who is genuinely enthusiastic about entertaining, and has a talent for inspiring people.
    Izzy may be my favourite (original, I know), but Pipp has grown on me more and more with each re-watch, and I'll defend her against those who'd dismiss her out of hand, just because she uses social media.

I know some people are probably going to be irritated at the tribes getting back together so swiftly, but I don’t care.

Well, yeah.  If the three pony kinds hadn't come together here and now, the movie wouldn't have been about this point in time, but instead would have followed the ponies who did succeed in uniting them.

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A character like her would commonly be portrayed as shallow, dumb, and useless at best, or an outright villain who "would do anything for the clicks" at worst.

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