Friendship is… Unnerving? A My Little Pony: Rainbow Rocks Review

The holidays this year have been hectic, but I got to spend some quality time with my family. To my delight, my little sister’s favorite way of passing the time was to watch My Little Pony: Rainbow Rocks. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy MLP:FiM as much as the next Pegasister, but the films are known to be disastrous for a reason. Regardless, I had hope for the movie already knowing the prequel shorts Hasbro released on YouTube were pretty good.

For better or worse, this movie does try to have more of a plot than the first film. There aren’t as many tropes, but the overall story is a hot mess. They poke fun at the hokey magic during the first movie, while ignoring the message that friendship is important in this film. There was essentially nothing added to this universe outside of the small scene that happens during the end credits.

Spoilers ahead!

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Oh, My Pop Culture Pinkie Sense: Science versus Faith in My Little Pony

s1_e15_008-700x393My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’s Season 1 episode, “Feeling Pinkie Keen”, introduces an interesting conflict into the world of Ponyville. Twilight Sparkle, a scientist and evidence-driven thinker, is thrown into a world of confusion when confronted with Pinkie Pie’s Pinkie Sense, a precognitive Spidey-sense-like ability to sense danger before it happens. Pinkie doesn’t know why she sees these things; she just does, and Applejack and Fluttershy (and, I assume, the rest of the Mane Six, who aren’t in this episode) have seen her twitchy premonitions come true without fail so many times that they consider a Pinkie Sense warning as good as a promise.

Throughout the episode, Twilight becomes more and more frustrated with Pinkie. She refuses to accept that there’s not a logical explanation for Pinkie’s precognition, going so far as to hook her up to a machine to test her, and to stalk her for the day, hoping to learn something or to catch the Pinkie Sense failing. At one point she gets up on an actual soapbox to explain to Pinkie how something that’s unexplainable in that way can’t possibly exist.

A box. With soap. This episode is excruciatingly literal.

A box. With soap. This episode is excruciatingly literal.

Eventually, the evidence that the Pinkie Sense exists and is right 100% of the time becomes so obvious that Twilight can’t ignore it. She has to put aside the scientific method and accept it on faith, even if she can’t quantify it. As the episode wraps up, she sends off this Friendship Letter to Princess Celestia with the lesson she’s learned:

I am happy to report that I now realize there are wonderful things in this world you just can’t explain, but that doesn’t necessarily make them any less true. It just means you have to choose to believe in them. And sometimes it takes a friend to show you the way.

The message of this episode is a little ham-fisted and confused, and what the casual viewer comes away with is the story of, essentially, a non-religious person coming to believe in a religion because they’ve witnessed a miracle. Continue reading

In Defense of the Alicorn

There’s a storm on the horizon. In fact, many would argue that it’s already here and it as such, has already been given a name: Hurricane Alicorn, starring one Twilight Sparkle.

Yes, apparently there’s a big fuss in the more vocal part of the fandom over the purple pony reaching the mythical level of the Alicorn—some sort of pegasus/unicorn hybrid. And as you can probably tell from that last statement, I’m not in this fandom. I have seen a grand total of three My Little Pony episodes, counting this finale, but I think that even as an outsider I can talk about some of the trends happening in terms of the sociology of the program (perhaps even especially as an outsider). Specifically in terms of this season finale, it’s clear that there’s an interesting disparity happening between the two very distinct parts of the fandom. Interesting in some respects, rather disgusting in others.

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Rejoice, my bronies and pegasisters: MLP has returned!

I intended to write this review last week after the premiere, but you know, school and stuff. Anyway, let’s talk about the premiere two-parter, “The Crystal Empire”, and last Saturday’s “Two Many Pinkie Pies”! In the former, the Mane Six have to help Shining Armor and Cadence save a city from an ancient curse, and Twilight faces an important test. In the latter, Pinkie Pie clones herself because she wants to be able to spend more time with her friends, but hijinks quite obviously ensue.

“The Crystal Empire” had big shoes to fill. Although the first season’s premiere episodes are denigrated as the worst of the series, Season Two had both the premiere with Discord and the finale with Queen Chrysalis and the Changelings, and I think this one suffered living up to it. For a series that has given us a lot of interesting and complex villains throughout the show, I found King Sombra frankly boring.

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