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I'm a brony and a Pinkie Pie fan but I like all of the mane six, as well as Spike. I hope to provide some entertaining and interesting fanfics for the Brony community.

More Blog Posts1096

  • Monday
    IDW Micro Series #10 (Princess Luna) Review

    As the G4 comics appear to be more or less wrapping up for good with the end of Generations, it really is sad to see what was once a source of creativity that arguably eclipsed the show's end on such a disappointing no, resorting to a ratings trap for comics to try to lure in readers. So I think it's all the more imperative to look back on when the comics were actually good, particularly in the

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    0 comments · 48 views
  • Friday
    Ranking the Villain Songs (From Worst to Best)

    Ah, the villain song. A staple in animation since at least Disney's Pinocchio with "An Actor's Life for Me". It can take on many forms: It can be sung by the villain itself to explain their motivations, it can be sung by the villain itself to have them gloat about their apparent victory, it can be sung by another character to either mock the villain or (more often) to describe how horrible

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    3 comments · 90 views
  • Thursday
    Ranking the Sunset Shimmer Songs (From Worst to Best)

    Sunset Shimmer was probably the one thing that kept Equestria Girls going past "Rainbow Rocks". It's ironic that she could start out as perhaps the weakest villain in all of G4, and yet within the span of a single movie she became not just a great protagonist but perhaps one of the greatest things G4 gave us. She even got a chance to be a very rare thing in G4 and in western media in general: An

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    0 comments · 59 views
  • 6 days
    Ranking the Cutie Mark Crusaders Songs (From Worst to Best)

    I'm only counting the songs that were song by the Cutie Mark Crusaders as a group, any solo songs from just one member don't count. Still, that leaves a grand total of twelve songs to consider, more than any main character except Twilight or Pinkie Pie. However, which ones truly represent the CMC as characters in addition to any qualities they might have on an entertainment level? Well, that's

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    1 comments · 57 views
  • 1 week
    Ranking the Starlight Glimmer Songs (From Worst to Best)

    I would've loved to do a list ranking the songs for Spike, but he only got one (not counting that improv with the Cloudsdale Anthem in "Equestria Games") and it really didn't do anything for him character wise. Starlight Glimmer, at least, did get more than one song even if it's tricky deciding what counts. Ultimately, there are five songs that I think count for her. And now we're gonna rank them

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    1 comments · 79 views

Ranking the Musical Episodes of FiM (From Worst to Best) · 10:59pm Nov 15th, 2021

Yeah, we're going back to G4 content for now. I'm honestly quite surprised I hadn't thought of doing a ranking list like this sooner. If there's one thing to be said about Seasons 7-9 that we can all agree on: It's that we were sorely lacking in the music department when we got only a handful of songs. I think part of that can be attributed to the demands of the 2017 movie still in production during Seasons 7 and 8, as well as burn out from Daniel Ingram. And it's not like we didn't still get really good songs every now and then over the last three seasons. But we were kind of lacking in big musical based episodes, episodes that more or less seemed to follow a musical like structure.

Ranking these episodes is a lot like my other rankings lists for episodes of a specific category: They don't necessarily reflect on where they'd fall as overall episodes, rather they are a reflection of how strong or weak they are as an embodiment of a musical. That in part is going to be based around two things: The placement of the songs throughout the episode and the overall quality of the songs we got. Like all prior ranking blogs, this one is purely the result of my personal opinion so please respect it. As for what episodes could qualify, although we officially didn't get a musical episode until the very end of Season 3 (the original planned end of the show) we did sort of get one each in Seasons 1 and 2 (more on them later). So that leave us with a total of six different musical episodes to consider.

6. A Friend in Deed (Season 2, Episode 18)
Why it's on the bottom: Perhaps the biggest problem with this episode being a musical episode is that Pinkie Pie is the only one who gets to sing. And in that regard they commit a really big problem by having "The Smile Song" or "Smile, Smile, Smile" be the first song and only after it's done do we get to the actual story and conflict of the episode. If anything "Smile, Smile, Smile" should've been the climax of the episode when everything is all wrapped up, because its placement earlier in the episode only tells us what we just witnessed immediately prior: Pinkie Pie is friends with everyone. Of the remaining three songs, "The Welcome Song" might be noticeable for being one of the only occasions where Andrea Libman is singing for Pinkie Pie instead of Shanon Chan-Kent (likely to let Shanon rest her vocal chords). It's short, sweet and relatively harmless. "Cranky Doodle Donkey" is just a lazy ponyfication of the musical reference in Cranky's name and nothing more, it could be cut and we would lose nothing of substance. "Cranky Doodle Joy" isn't bad but there's no real provocation in-universe for it and just seems to have been put in because they couldn't think of any other way to wrap up the episode. There's probably a good reason why you don't lead off in a musical or any kind of musical performance with your best work, you want something to hook your audience. But if you give them the best right off the bat then everything else will seem lesser by comparison.

5. The Best Night Ever (Season 1, Episode 26)
Why it's not on the bottom: At least "At The Gala" lets the other mane six members sing. But it kind of runs into the same problem as "Smile, Smile, Smile" in that it ends up being the best song of the bunch and it happens relatively early on into the episode. The other two songs are Pinkie Pie solo songs based around public domain songs, which we'll talk about a little bit later on. "At The Gala" does do a good job with the different genres for the various mane six members (most noticeably the guitar strings for Rainbow Dash's segment), but it highlights a major problem with the episode in that Twilight and Pinkie Pie had never been given established goals prior and so this song has to invent one for them. It also changes Rainbow Dash's goal from wanting to show up The Wonderbolts to wanting to fly with them, which the episode itself would go on to reduce to just hanging out with them. The song also unfortunately is a victim of time constraints, seeing as Pinkie Pie's verse has a shortened version of the hook and Twilight's verse just cuts right to the hook, not to mention cutting to Rainbow Dash after Rarity's response to "Into the gala" while not giving Twilight or Pinkie Pie a chance to chime in. So the song kind of drags on for longer than it really needs to, simply because it's reminding us of what the mane six hope to get out of the gala. As for Pinkie Pie's songs, "I'm At The Grand Galloping Gala" is set to the tune of "For He's/She's A Jolly Good Fellow" and starts and ends abruptly without any real substance. "The Pony Pokey" is, unsurprisingly, set to the tune of "The Hokey Pokey" and is probably more remembered for Pinkie's whispering to the fancy band (in particular Octavia) and what goes on in the background rather than for its lyrics. Both this episode and the one below it are only really musical episodes by virtue of having multiple Pinkie Pie songs in the same episode on top of one big musical number. They are unofficial musical episodes as a result, but not a very good representation of what this genre of episode could do.

4. Crusaders of the Lost Mark (Season 5, Episode 19 in production order/18 in airdate)
Why it's in the bottom half: Of all the proper musical episodes, this one seems to have reinforced the idea that the most important episode of the season would be a musical one (not entirely a wrong point of view) or at least one that be the most significant to the overall season theme. The songs featured here are: "We'll Make Our Mark" (which gets a reprise later on), "The Vote Song", "The Pony I Wanna Be" (which gets a triumphant and upbeat reprise) and "Light of Your Cutie Mark". Interestingly, "We'll Make Our Mark" in the reprise featured a verse from Diamond Tiara congratulating the CMC. No official word exists on why it was cut but if I had to guess I'd say it was time constraints (though I think they could've put a condensed version into the end credits), and I really can't think of anything I would cut or trim in the episode proper to include it within the timeframe of just a single twenty two minute episode. However, "We'll Make Our Mark" is poorly transitioned into at the start of the episode and its reprise gets very repetitive very quickly (especially with its use of filly instead of foal), not to mention the fact that the lyrics and flashback clips exclude Babs Seed even though she was a part of the CMC's story and arc. "The Pony I Wanna Be" is really good, and interestingly there's an alternative piano demo sung by Shanon Chan-Kent that sounds even more depressing. Some might complain it's emotional manipulation and contrivance to make us feel sorry for Diamond Tiara, but the big thing is that there were better ways being shown by other ponies but Diamond was too lost in her own feeling of helplessness to see it. And it's not like after this song she suddenly starts being nice, in fact the whole point "Light of Your Cutie Mark" is the CMC trying to keep Diamond from falling back into her old ways when she finally has a chance to break the cycle. But there is one line that trips it up, the line from the CMC: "We know you're better than this hostility." At this point in time the CMC actually don't know Diamond is better, and in fact given what they've witnessed before there's evidence to suggest that this is very much in line with what she's been willing to do before to get what she wants, even if it'll eventually come back to bite her. Overall, in terms of song quality there's nothing particular bad or offensive, but having only one true stand-out does hold it back.

3. A Hearth's Warming Tail (Season 6, Episode 8)
Why it's in the top half: While this is a musical episode that starts and ends on the same song ("Hearth's Warming Eve Is Here Once Again"), it's probably the least consequential of all the episodes to be made a musical. It could be argued that this is intended to tie into Starlight Glimmer's ongoing redemption arc, and maybe it is a little with Starlight's initial desire to skip the celebration (though Twilight and Spike are kind of in the wrong for getting on Starlight's case about it, if someone doesn't want to celebrate the holidays then that's their choice and they shouldn't be judged for it or pressed on it if they don't feel like explaining it). But for the most part this is just "Yet Another Christmas Carol" plot, albeit one that opts to put a unique spin on it by combining it with aspects of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. "Hearth's Warming Eve Is Here Once Again" is undoubtibly the weakest of the songs in the bunch, but it fits the bill for what it's intended as in much the same vein as "One More Day". Meanwhile, for the songs taking place throughout the story we have: "Say Goodbye to the Holiday", "Seeds of the Past" (which is split into two "parts"), "Pinkie's Present" and "Luna's Future". The last of which is significant because it would mark the debut of Aloma Steele as Princess Luna's singing voice (whereas before it had been Kazumi Evans, the same singing double for Rarity and likely chosen since both characters were voiced by Tabitha St. Germain), though while that song is undeniably dark and haunting it kind of feels off-putting because of Aloma's voice. It feels more like it was meant for Zecora or someone else, and I know Aloma Steele improved greatly for "Lotta Little Things to Do" so I don't know if she was a last minute replacement or if she wasn't directed the best here. Maybe she just wasn't familiar with the character yet and needed time to grow into it. "Say Goodbye to the Holiday" is a fantastic villain song that gives off "Poor Unfortunate Souls" vibes, though in terms of visuals there are two questionable things: Snowfall Frost stealing a toy from a child and Snowfall apparently not noticing the windigos coming from her cauldron. "Seeds of the Past" is a nice Applejack song that plays well with her role as The Spirit of Hearth's Warming Past, though it's hindered a little by the fact that we got a very abridged stand in for Scrouge's troubled childhood (likely a result of time constraints and the show wanting to remain kid friendly, but I think they could've added in a few more things). "Pinkie's Present" has nothing to detract from it, and it's surprising that they opted to go with a swingy, jazzy, big band kind of song here but I'm not complaining. I mean hey, if they're sneaking in an instrumental reprise to the end credits then this song must be doing something right. It's kind of a shame that this was the last musical episode we ever got from the show. I wouldn't say they went out with a whimper, but at the same time I can't say they went out with a bang.

2. Magical Mystery Cure (Season 3, Episode 13)
Why it's not on the top: Probably the most controversial and polarizing of all the musical episodes, the one that still remains contested to this very day. Some say that this episode being a musical hurts the pacing, robbing us of a chance to see things we needed to see. And I will agree that this episode deserved to be a two parter, they could've easily picked a Season 3 episode to scrub (like say "Spike At Your Service") to free up an episode slot. Still, I think they fitted as much as they could into just this one episode even though some of the things M. A. Larson wanted (such as a pandora's box allegory and the invasion of the Everfree Forest) were written out when the script underwent revisions (by whom we do not know. I would assume Meghan McCarthy since she was story editor for Season 3 but if so she hasn't confessed to such involvement). "Morning in Ponyville" does seem to be almost tempting fate with its declaration of how everything is just fine, and it being what the episode opens up on isn't the best first impression (even musicals usually don't open directly on a song, there's always at least some narration to explain what's going on and what the story is going to tell). But it's a good song all the same. "What My Cutie Mark is Telling Me" is what some would say moves the pacing along too fast, but I think this is a good study of what a good song in a musical should do: Tell the audience important details without interrupting the pacing. We linger on each character just long enough to know what's going on and how unhappy they are with their swapped cutie marks (even if they kind of have to cheat to make them fit their new hosts). "I Have to Find a Way" does kind of pause the episode just so Twilight can sulk, but it's accompanied by some pretty strong visuals that show how shadows can be used to convey sorrow and those visuals seem to understand the importance of "Show, don't tell". "A True, True Friend" may be a bit repetitive in spots, but it makes good use of each mane six member and even adjusts the tempo and the overall musical style to fit the characters it's focusing on. "Celestia's Ballad" may be short but it's so beautiful, even if it's used in-universe as an excuse for a sort of clip show, it really plays to Celestia's strengths as a character (particularly the whole Momlestia fancanon). "Behold, Princess Twilight" is really the only dud of the entire bunch even if it kind of gives off religious vibes (it sounds not unlike it'd be sung by a church choir), it could be cut and nothing would be lost since it's so short. "Life in Equestria" is also a kind of unnecessary reprise that again seems to be there just to close out the episode. The last two songs are ultimately what hold this episode back from the top spot, they do drag down the quality just a little. Plus, the remaining episode seems a bit better structured and paced. By process of elimination, you probably know what it is.

1. Pinkie Pride (Season 4, Episode 12)
Why it's on the top: A musical episode with a celebrity guest star was a tall order, but thankfully this episode pulled it off splendidly. It probably helped that Daniel Ingram was apparently a former bandmate of Weird Al, so he was able to incorporate Weird Al's signature musical style into the score quite well. And Weird Al absolutely nailed it in the musical performances he gave, even the more somber "Cheese Confesses" when he gives his backstory. But he's definitely more at home with "The Super Duper Party Pony" and "The Goof Off", the latter especially letting Weird Al bring his high energy performance and even a bit of his polka parody style to the show. That's not to say Pinkie Pie is lesser or weaker by comparison, because she's in top form throughout with: "Pinkie Pie the Party Planner", "Super Duper Party Ponies", "Make a Wish", the previously mentioned "The Goof Off" (which is also a song performed by Andrea Libman and not Shanon Chan-Kent, even the part sung in Spanish) and especially "Pinkie's Lament" which is not only the best song of the whole bunch: But also my all time favorite song of the show. It truly speaks volumes about who Pinkie is as a character, depicting her almost as a tragic character in a sense: Determined to bring happiness to others so that they won't feel lonely like she does, to the point where her own happiness isn't a factor and she'll force herself to keep going even if she wants to stop and cry. But the song ends on a triumphant note when Pinkie Pie remembers her past experiences and why she does what she does, convincing herself to get back out into the world and try again. They make good use of the opening keys of "Pinkie Pie the Party Planner" throughout. And what ultimately elevates this episode over the others in terms of being a musical episode is that it neither starts or ends on a song. There isn't a single song that feels weak or out of place, not a single song that feels like it's just pausing the episode. So ultimately, it takes the top spot and edges past "Magical Mystery Cure" by a nose.

And there you have it.

Comments ( 1 )

For me, it goes:
Crusaders of the Lost Mark (still the outright best episode in the series for me)
Hearth's Warming Tale
Pinkie Pride
Magical Mystery Cure
Best Night Ever
A Friend in Deed

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