22 3 / 2012
I haven’t much to say about this episode; it’s pretty straightforward. Probably the most plot-driven episode of the show, with the least extra stuff going on. I imagine that in this early stage of the show, drawing all those backgrounds and effects was enough to eat through the budget and time allotted to an ep.
Episode 2: Friendship is Magic, Part 2 (Elements of Harmony)
Here’s a big question: how long have Twilight’s new friends all known each-other? In these episodes, none of them communicate with one-another, so they don’t seem to be much of friends. They didn’t know one-another when they got their cutie marks, with the exception of Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie don’t really become friends until Griffon the Brush Off, and Applejack and Rarity don’t really become friends until Look Before You Sleep. Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie all seem to be friends with Applejack as of Applebuck Season, which is reasonable as Applejack appears to be one of the best-known ponies in town. Later, Rarity and Fluttershy appear to have been longtime friends in Green Isn’t Your Color.
None of this is contradictory, but what I’d really like to see is back stories for each of the ponies and how they came to live in Ponyville. Fluttershy probably moved there after the cutie mark incident. Applejack has probably always lived on Sweet Apple Acres, and there’s no reason to think Rarity hasn’t always been a resident of Ponyville. How exactly Pinkie and Rainbow came to live there remains a mystery (unless Rainbow Dash really *did* get kicked out of flight school).
I posit that:
-Fluttershy was friends with all of the other four ponies before the start of the show (including Pinkie Pie because they seem to get along really well from the start)
-Rainbow Dash was friends with Fluttershy and Applejack. I’m still not sure how good friends she is with Rarity.
-Pinkie Pie at least thought that she was friends with everyone, but Rainbow Dash found her annoying. Not sure about Rarity.
-Applejack was friends with Rainbow, Pinkie, and Fluttershy.
-Rarity is the most mysterious, but I think she probably knew Fluttershy at least.
Twilight is great with studies and organization, but is ironically the world’s worst librarian. All throughout the show, whenever she’s trying to find a book, either Spike or Pinkie Pie ends up finding it for her. Pinkie Pie finds Elements of Harmony “under E.” Twilight you aren’t even trying!
I noticed that the Elements of Harmony were contained in the “Royal Sisters castle”. This raises tons of questions. Did Celestia and Luna used to reign in this castle? Did Celestia move to/build Canterlot after sending Luna to the moon, or because of some other circumstance which appeared over those 1000 years? Were/are there more royal sisters? If so, could they have helped Celestia to harvest the power of the elements, or does she just represent them all? This would be an interesting key to understanding whether or not Celestia *needed* Twilight and her friends to harness the elements for her.
When the ponies go into the Everfree Forest, Applejack mentions that it “don’t work like Equestria.” Does this mean that the Everfree Forest is not actually a part of Equestria? If so, that would affirm that Equestria is a country and not an entire continent. Maybe Everfree is an uncharted territory, not considered part of any country.
Also, where exactly is the Everfree Forest? I’ve always felt like it must be right outside of town, and in The Stare Master, it seems to be very close to Fluttershy’s house. I would kill to have a world map of Equestria, or even just a map of Ponyville, just to be able to understand where everything is relative to each-other.
By the way, call it a writing inconsistency, but the danger of the Everfree forest is severely overstated in this episode. RD says that nopony’s ever come out of it alive, but that could also just be her being her. After all, they all went in with little hesitation, and in future episodes would make many return trips. Moreover, in this episode, all of the threats of the forest are actually created by Nightmare Moon. One must wonder how many threats there actually are in that forest.
Like the Fluttershy scene in the first episode, this episode has one scene with noticeably higher-quality animation than the rest. In this case, it’s the whole Giggle at the Ghosty scene, which isn’t surprising, since the songs tend to be the most animated parts of the show. Still, there’s a world of difference between this and Winter Wrap Up, and between Winter Wrap Up and Smile Smile Smile. Never ceases to amaze me how much the animation in this show improves over time.
That’s all I’ve got for this ep. Closing notes:
- “Stand back you foals!” is the most forced horse pun in the show, just sayin’.
- How does Steven Magnet swim in that shallow river?
- “The spark that lives inside us all” definitely sounds like a reference to Transformers.
- After they defeat Nightmare Moon, the girls are all posed in ways that make them look like angels or something. If I was good with symbolism I’d analyze the shit out of that, but I’m not, so I won’t.