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Dramamaster829


Critic, Actor, Writer, Motivational Speaker, Occasional Singer

More Blog Posts104

May
27th
2022

My Little Pony: Make Your Mark Special (Spoiler-Free) Review 05/27/2022 · 5:41pm May 27th


Let’s hope whatever ‘marks’ they leave are good ones.

GOOD AFTERNOON, FIMFICTION FANATICS!!! This is the Dramamaster829; Critic, Actor, Writer, Motivational Speaker, and Occasional Singer, keeping you up to date with the latest news for Generation 5 and beyond! Twenty-four hours ago, the premier of one of four specials for the ‘Make Your Mark’ continuation of ‘My Little Pony Generation 5 recently aired over on Netflix. While not exactly a ‘movie’ per say (With a running time of over 44 minutes), in a way this special was mainly set-up as a ‘pilot’ of sorts for what more to expect for G5 moving forward. Course, we faced certain issues leading to this special along the way… like the fact that some insensitive ‘jack’ decided to post the ENTIRE summary of the special wondering if any fans would actually be ‘impatient’ enough to read it in advance.


I WILL HAUNT YOU IN YOUR SLEEP IF THAT’S THE CASE!!!

*Straightens up* Anyways… thanks to the release of this special, fans were treated to the return of the cast that make up G5 as well as expanding on some of the background characters in this series. Ever since the announcement of ‘Make Your Mark’, most fans were excited to hear that the series would follow closely to the original designs from the ‘New Generation’ movie. That being said, some fans made note that the animation was slightly below par due to the budget for the special, the majority of the cast were replaced with the ‘Tell Your Tale’ actors, and the story itself… well, we roughly get an idea. How this special would turn out overall would very well determine if fans will want to see more of what ‘Make Your Mark’ can offer or if everything could crash and burn after nearly an hour’s worth of material. Because if this special is truly setting up for something, hopefully whatever questions we have following this special will eventually be answered.

Released on May 26th, 2022, Generation 5 continues with the special simply titled:

Make Your Mark

Now because this special just released on Netflix, this is going to be my Spoiler-Free review. I won’t be giving too much away just yet (Least not for another two weeks). For now, let’s move on with the review.

The Story

The special itself picks up directly after the events of ‘The New Generation’ movie (And likely 'Tell Your Tale' too), in which Sunny Starscout and her friends successfully reunited the three pony races to pave way to a new era of peace.


Apparently Sunny's a part-time Alicorn now?

But as it turns out, not everything is bright and sunny for the Mane 5. While organizing the annual celebration in Maretime Bay, our heroes find themselves contending with the growing animosity between the three pony races. As if that’s not stressful enough, the newly restored magic in Equestria keeps glitching in and out, as only ‘one’ pony actually notices something is amiss.


Gee… I wonder who that could be?

Because the special takes place after the events of the movie, the special itself aims to address this one question: How would the ponies be able to adjust to having the three races together after generations of being segregated? Not very well… but we’ll get to that part later.

I am willing to appreciate this story’s attempt in addressing the ‘consequences’ of Sunny’s attempt to restore friendship back to the ponies. That in spite of all her good intentions, we’re talking a world in which ponies have spent generation upon generation separated… and ultimately fearing one another. Especially when suddenly unicorns and Pegasi are invited to Maretime Bay’s traditional event where mainly ‘Earth Ponies’ attend. Seeing this scenario reminds me of today’s living arrangements in which suddenly we have on group of humans making their presence felt in the media, and then we have a select group who prefer a time when ‘the message’ wasn’t the big topic. Least that pales in comparison to the assumption of a school teacher eating nails for breakfast…


I mean rats will nearly anything, but… DUDE!!!

In between keeping the peace amongst ponies, we have two significant side plots. On the one hand, we have Zipp Storm noting how the Unity Crystals have been on the fritz as of late. Some assume it’s just every pony still learning how to control the magic, but Zipp is determined to find a logical cause. And not because she’s trying to avoid seeing her mother…


How can you call this an ‘iPhone’ if I can’t see anything?


That’s not how it works, mom…

The second side plot of the story also involves Hitch Trailblazer discovering a mysterious egg along the shores of the beach and attempting to care for it until he can return its inhabitant to its rightful owner. It doesn’t play ‘too heavily’ into the overall story of ‘Make Your Mark’ itself, but based on how it ends there’s no question the introduction of a certain character will provide some potential plot lines to follow for the upcoming series…


Though for Faust’s sake, is this the best we can do?

As far as the overall story is concerned, it’s slightly predictable at best. We’ve seen these situations having taken place before, particularly the plot where the protagonist knows something is wrong, but her friends are too caught up in events to notice. That… or they just brush it off like it’s nothing, something G4 has been guilty of too. Like the ‘Canterlot Wedding’ fiasco…


Urgh… does he ‘have’ to bring that up every time?

Though while we’d ‘think’ the background characters would learn about how their antagonistic behavior is stirring more problems, at least when we try to look at the situation from their perspective… we almost get it. While there is some significant room for improvement as far as storytelling is concerned, the message between everything that is going on does hit a few marks. How there’s still so much more to discover and not everyone (Or in this case, every ‘pony’) has it all figured out. That there is still room for growth as ponies are slowly adjusting to an ‘old’ norm that feels new to them. While not a ‘perfect’ special by any means (That it feels like a toned-down two-part opener for ‘G4’), I personally still had fun enjoying the special and still retain an open mind as far as how far ‘Make Your Mark’ can go.

At least they address certain ‘questions’ that we the fans have been bringing up since the release of ‘A New Generation’… but I think I’ll save that for a ‘future’ blog.

The Characters

Each of the Mane Five in this episode get a chance to shine as they contribute to not only putting together the best ‘Maretime Bay’ possible, but also uncovering the mystery as to why the magic is acting up. But of the following Mane Five, we pretty much narrow it down to a select ‘few’ who’s story is essentially the bigger focus.

The Mane Leads


HIGHWAY TO THE DANGER ZONE!!!

From the opening sequence it was pretty obvious that Zipp Storm would be the central focus of the special. As the first pony to notice that something appears to be off, whether it’s the Pegasi having difficulty flying or simple magic spells going haywire, she is the pony to jump into action in terms of investigating the faulty magic. But as we see in the story, she does have a more ‘personal’ motive for her attempt to prove that something is affecting the festival. It’s no secret that despite being one of the two Princesses of Zephyr Heights, yet the one sister destined to one day rule the throne, she’s been avoiding that possible fate as she feels there’s still something missing in her own life. Some could actually relate to Zipp’s predicament.


I’m not just a ‘princess’; that’s only ‘half’ of who I am!

Of course, Sunny Starscout does get a ‘slight’ bit of focus during this special. After all, the whole reasoning for bringing ponies together was her intent on restoring friendship and harmony. Plus, she’s the one who sees that not ‘every’ pony are pleased with this sudden change especially in a town that initially didn’t welcome Unicorns and Pegasi (Much less ‘magic’ in particular). Much like with Zipp, Sunny is still trying to learn more about the magic as much as any pony. Especially the fact that she makes it clear that her new alicorn powers come and go as they please, and it’s not something she can ‘just’ control on her own.


HA! HA! HA! And I thought Twilight had it tough!


Yeah, yeah… yuck it up, Spike.

In a surprising turn of events, a background character ends up becoming part of the ‘mane’ plot of this special. A pony, as a matter of fact, who’s been a very familiar face since her introduction in the ‘Tell Your Tale’ series. And that pony in question happens to be… ‘Posey Bloom’.


Or as some fans call her, the more ‘radical’ version of G1’s Posey…

What’s the best way I could describe Posey? Take everything we’ve known about a pony like Sprout… except make that pony a girl. A pony who ironically shares the same design as not only the previous ‘Posey’ but G4’s Fluttershy. Essentially, she’s used as an ‘antagonist’ in this special, not so much the ‘taking over the world’ or ‘seeking revenge’ type, she’s just been amongst the most vocal in disapproving the return of magic and having to share their home with the ponies capable of using it. The thing with Posey is that she’s often a mixed bag in ‘G5’, some episodes she’s okay but in the case with this special… she’s harsh with her criticism toward Sunny and her friends, but we the audience ‘try’ to understand where she’s coming from. She’s not a character we ‘completely’ agree with in terms of her views, but in a sense she does play a ‘slight’ role with how the story turns up. But so as not to give too much away this week, the most we can say about Posey is… she’s kind of like MLP’s version of ‘Rabbit’ in a sense.


I am not amused with that statement!

The Side Characters

While initially it seems unfair to put either Pipp Petals or Izzy Moonbow as ‘side characters’, given how they’ve grown on the fans, they don’t really contribute ‘too’ much to the progression of the story. The most Pipp has to offer is helping Izzy preparing a ‘surprise’ of sorts for Sunny during the special and foreshadowing a song that she has planned for the festival (And no, it’s not that ‘short’ song in her salon). Granted, she does get a funny moment when Zipp goes to prove something is wrong with the crystals but she’s mostly just in the special to offer support. And Izzy, aside from the lamp deal, is pretty much just being… well, ‘Izzy’.


Lunchables was right! You don’t need to heat it no matter how you eat it!

At least one other character makes an appearance in this special, that being the Queen of Zephyr Heights herself, Queen Haven.


Our public adores us, don’t they my little Cloudpuff?

*Pause* Anyways… she appears several times during the events of this special, mainly to call up on Zipp (Who is either ducking her mother… or just refuses to answer her call). It’s how Haven actually serves the plot, or in some case an ‘obstacle’, specifically towards Zipp which places her in a slight predicament. Now granted, Haven does have her likeable moments and she means well overall… least more so than the first feature. In a sense, she’s like the one parent who loves her daughters and wants to be part of their lives though they chose to leave their home to stay in Maretime Bay (Zipp more so than Pipp).

Of course, we absolutely can’t ignore Hitch Trailblazer. As mentioned before, he does have ‘a’ role in this special and like Zipp does attempt to investigate the matters happening in town. But the most we see of Hitch during the special revolves around him finding an egg and caring for it. As we see where this leads to later on, its no wonder Hitch gathers more attention to himself due to the effect he has on animals…


Total 'critter' magnet...

The Music

Because the overall special itself only has ‘two’ songs, there’s barely anything to talk about other than the fact they were put together by ‘The Wilders Group inc.’. That being said, we can offer a ‘slight’ snippet of some of the songs used specifically for this special alone:

*Quickly recovers* Okay, okay, okay I’ll admit… it’s a ‘very’ upbeat song. If this was meant to be the overall theme song for ‘Make Your Mark’ as a whole, not just limited to this special alone, in a way it does fit the overall theme of ‘G5’ as a whole. It’s no ‘My Little Pony’ song like the way ‘G4’ does but it is a very harmless tune, and it does feel like a song you can jam to for a party… if there was an extended version anyway. Speaking of ‘short’ songs…

Okay… this was the ‘extended’ fan-made version… but better than the 48 second version. That being said, if there’s one thing to like about Pipp Petals (Regardless of who voices her) you can never go wrong with a Pipp number. It’s upbeat, it’s a way of saying that life in Maretime Bay is going to work out despite the fact a certain sister of hers is being ‘paranoid’ with sensing something is amiss in Maretime Bay. At the very least, she’s not doing this song along, as she has her Mane Melody friends ‘Jazz’ and ‘Rocky’ for additional vocals and they do pretty well on their part. The songs are simplistic yet fun at best… it doesn't say 'much' but it's how it is. Hopefully, we'll get some 'animation' for the 'series' intro with that first song when the full run of 'Make Your Mark' comes out (Even if we get the option to skip the intro... like with the FIM run).


You actually 'watch' the jingles?

The Animation

As mentioned previously, while the animation remains close to the 3D approach from the first movie, it’s the small details that show that the overall budget for the special has a slight effect. If you were to take a look at this brief clip showing the animation in progress, you can almost see what I’m referring to:

Now I’m not saying that the animation is ‘bad’ by any means… far from it. I will admit it ‘does’ have that style reminiscent to those ‘Barbie’ animated movies in the early 2000s especially given its more bulge look. Still, there is some decent details like the animation with the texture on the ponies (Especially the fur and mane) and there’s plenty of color to go around in this special. Except I do feel the tone of which is ‘slightly’ darker, especially with the shading. With the rest of the movie, as we see before and after the above clip, there are a few moments where the mouth movements do not always ‘match’ with the vocals. I won’t say it’s the ‘best’ animation, but then we must remind ourselves that this is a ‘Netflix’ series and we’re working with another studio here… but otherwise at least they ‘try’ to put in the effort.

Believe me when I say… I’ve seen ‘far’ worse animation with this style…


Why did they have to make another sequel?!

Overall, ‘Make Your Mark’ is a harmless follow-up to ‘A New Generation’ and as a first impression video for the upcoming series… it is a special that does its job. I would honestly say that they toned a few elements down for the special, given its made for a television series with a slight decrease in quality with the animation, a straight-forward story, and short melodies. It’s not a bad thing to have actually, being able to tell a simple story even with a few familiar elements. There were some moments I actually ‘hoped’ to be included or more focus on, but as it is… it’s a passable project. The moral following this special is simple to understand, even though some projects do it better (Even the newly released game uses this ‘same’ plot device). I still found myself enjoying the video overall, each character gets to have their moment, and it opens some doors as far as what we hope to look forward to when the rest of the series airs later this year.

With this in mind, I give this special a ‘passing’ grade of:

7.5 out of 10

But the bigger question remains: What do YOU think? Be sure to leave a comment below at your earliest convenience.

Until then faithful viewers, this is the Dramamaster829… signing off!

Comments ( 10 )

I thought it was good. And hope the next special released is even better

5660340
Just to make sure one thing is perfectly clear:

I don't 'hate' this special... I don't even 'dislike' it. The special is fun upon viewing, and there are decent moments in these scenes. I don't consider it the 'greatest' special they've released right now but I do agree it's 'good'. Definitely below 'great', but I'd still watch it again.

I enjoyed it very much, I gave it a grade of 9 out of 10, not to shabby, I think the mlp crew was trying to address all the issues arising and questions from G4 just from this movie short to get things moving, I'm very interested in this mysterious evil alicorn and her origin, only time will tell what comes, anyway stay cool, stay classy, you're awesome Drama XD

5660371
I can understand where you are coming from. Visual wise... it's a little bit somewhere in between. But I do appreciate the fact that the crew 'tried' to address some issues that 'even' G4 barely touched. For instance: Do Earth ponies have the kind of magic that Unicorn and Pegasi have? The Pegasi part surprised me because I thought their flying thing was natural. With Earth ponies... most of them are pretty strong, some are fast, and they can plant seeds to grow crops... but I didn't think they had 'any' magical abilities. But somehow all this magic introduced for the ponies that gets introduced later on... well it's something.

This mysterious 'Alicorn' figure will be covered 'more' during my 'spoiler' review, but I didn't want to get too deep into it in case that qualifies as a spoiler. Not that it should, we barely know anything about her other than the fact she's been 'waiting' for something to happen. Like I said, more of the 'special' will be covered in a matter of two weeks.

I enjoyed myself. Can't wait to see more.

Glad that they answer some of the question that I had on G5. 7 out 10 for me.

5660387
There's definitely going to be more to come regardless. As a first impressions special, I think it did very well. I do want to see how it can continue to improve. And now with certain elements brought up, maybe they'll be beneficial to turning G5 into what should truly be a welcome addition if everything else hadn't accomplished the task to make it so. Yes, I heard the odd complaint of Hasbro reverting it back to those girl-targeted programs and not the manner of which made FIM stand out. But who knows? Even I am always wrong about these matters and maybe that'll change.

5660424
To have some questions answered are better than none. Even if we've barely scratched the surface, there's always more time so long as G5 is still up and running. Even G4 took some time before we truly started to see the impact it was bound to make.

Yeah the funny thing is that I "kinda" had a similar premise with an Earth Pony upgrade with two OCs I had way ways back, but it was more akin to a special training drawing power from the soil into the hooves. Sort of a martial arts spin on it that enhances running speed and striking power.

5660905
And now Earth ponies have been granted an ability of sorts. You could say that it beats how they used to be able to do things back in 'G4'. Course, they kind of hinted this possibility way back in the movie.

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