Analyzing Friendship is Magic Part 2 (Elements of Harmony) [With Edits]

This post has been copied from my Digibrony tumblr, since I intend to continue my episodic analysis of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on this blog. I’ve updated the post with some new comments..

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 production, drawing all those backgrounds and effects was enough to eat through the budget and time allotted to an episode.

Episode 2: Friendship is Magic, Part 2 (Elements of Harmony)

Here’s a big question: how long have Twilight’s new friends known each-other? In these episodes, none of them communicate with one-another, so they don’t seem to be close 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 become friends until Griffon the Brush Off (Ep 5), and Applejack and Rarity don’t become friends until Look Before You Sleep (Ep 8). Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie all seem to be friends with Applejack as of Applebuck Season (Ep 4), 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 (Ep 20).

None of this is contradictory, but what I’d really like to see is backstories 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, and only becomes close to Rarity through general osmosis among the group.

-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.

Moving along…

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.0

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.

In the time since originally writing this analysis, an official map of Equestria has been released. Compare it against my notes on this ep.

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 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 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.

These were the only episode analyses that I did on Digibrony. From here on out, my episodic analysis will be brand new!


6 thoughts on “Analyzing Friendship is Magic Part 2 (Elements of Harmony) [With Edits]

  1. I suspect Celestia and Luna have other relatives down the bloodline for the throne, but I think they’re magically-enhanced. 1000 years and all. I don’t think all alicorns age the same. I mean, could you see Cadence being ridiculously old and wanting to hook up with Shining Armor? Yikes. Either the magic potential of that species is off-the-charts (but has to be worked toward), or the others are just not as special as the Royal Two.

    The question is, where did they come from? Either they came from someplace else in the world, are “divine” or “divinely-inspired” (like Pandora or the statue Galatea), or became alicorns.

    I think the strongest evidence is in support of Equestria being a sovereign monarchy, rather than some extended kingdom or empire or whatever. It’s been done many times by different authors, but right now I can only think of a close one: Aslan rules Narnia, which is clearly sort of divinely-guided or whatever; the rest of that world is occasionally magical, but not necessarily so. Archenland to the south is all human: no dryads, talking animals, moving trees, magic shit, none of that. Pretty much like your standard fantasy human kingdom with minimal or nonexistent magical elements. You hit magic stuff in the ocean near the edge of the world, crazy, nonsensical stuff. But Narnia’s the place where it all happens.

    The “all on their own joke” had me rolling, by the way, as did the “foals” one. Forced, true.

    • Isn’t Cadence the princess of the Crystal Kingdom? They explained and explored SO LITTLE of this fact, but we know for sure that Cadence’s cutie mark is THE CRYSTAL HEART (evident clearly in the season 2 finale, which had many fans making the connection months ago), and they say BEHOLD THE CRYSTAL PRINCESS when she comes down from the sky. This isn’t a newly realized destiny. But how couldn’t it be? The crystal empire has been gone for a thousand years, and yet Cadence wasn’t gone. She was out getting married and shit.

      There is so much more to this that isn’t being said!!! HOW OLD IS CADENCE?!

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