Analyzing “Winter Wrap Up”

Text version:

Winter Wrap Up is a great and popular episode, with the show’s first really big, catchy musical number in it. The concept of the episode is creative and totally awesome. Ponies have to physically clean up winter in order to change the seasons? Amazing!

When you think about it, this totally throws into question the relationship between Equestria and our world. I mean, if ponies control the seasons, does that mean seasons don’t occur in nature? How would the world operate without their weather maintenance  How can their world not have its own weather?! Do the seasons occur in the same conventional order as they do in our world, and if so, then how did the ponies come up with the idea of managing the weather this way? Was there a time before weather? Is it possible that season one really IS in chronological order, and the only reason Fall Weather Friends comes right after Winter Wrap Up is that the seasons operate in a way beyond our comprehension?
I could go on like this all day, but for the sake of my sanity, let’s carry on.

Spike is kind of a jerk in this episode, mostly out of being really tired. It got me wondering if Spike should actually be hibernating through the Winter. After all, neither Spike nor Twilight seems to know much about dragon physiology. The dragon from Dragonshy seemed intent on sleeping all god damned day. Maybe dragons hibernate, and Spike is accidentally living an unhealthy lifestyle.

Here’s a fun little aside: did you notice that Fluttershy isn’t the captain of the animals team? Later in the episode, she seems to be the outspoken member of the group, but she probably didn’t want to be captain because she was too timid for command.

Another aside: I just noticed that Pinkie Pie claims to have been performing the ice skating job since she was a very small filly. In my pony ages video, I wondered about how long Pinkie Pie has lived in Ponyville, and whether or not her rock farm is a part of Ponyville. Assuming that her farm isn’t a part of Ponyville, she must have moved there a long time ago, likely immediately after the Sonic Rainboom event.

Getting more into the technical side of this episode, I get the feeling that Winter Wrap Up may have been an early episode in the MLP production cycle. While the animation is more ambitious than the likes of The Ticket Master, there are a lot of awkward or wonky facial expressions which would never be seen again in later episodes. It definitely doesn’t feel like it was made some time after Applebuck Season, which was the earliest episode to have really sure-handed animation.

The lesson of this episode was unexpected. It’s interesting that the town’s stubborn tradition is represented as more important than Twilight’s magic. In fact, it’s strange that this supposedly Earth Pony founded town has a tradition in which Pegasi do most of the work. Surely it was Pegasus AND earth pony founded, right? You know… since they would’ve had a town with no weather otherwise? No ability to CREATE winter.

It’s nice that Twilight found her place in all this, but I don’t know how I feel about promoting counter-intuitive tradition. We do see that when Twilight tries to use magic, she fails at it, which makes it seem like magic is legitimately ill-advised in wrapping up winter, but you’d think they’d try and find some way to make it work.

On another more tangential note, if you’ve been watching my videos, you know that I consider the main pony design to be a catch-all for ponies ages fifteen to thirty. Well, now I’m going to add that the design is also representitive of multiple body types. My basis being the line in which Applejack says Twilight is moving “awful fast for such a little pony.” We, of course, do not see any difference between the size of Twilight and any other mare, but maybe in-universe, they’re meant to be different sizes. Or, it could just be that AJ was comparing her to the other ponies pushing plows, since the rest all appeared to be male.
And lastly, does the part wherein the Pegasus ponies strip all the snow away remind anyone else of Daicon IV?

So yeah, this is a solid episode, though it’s one that doesn’t really stand out except for having a bangin song in the middle. It also makes me think I should probably go ahead and wrap up winter myself.

[Parody clip]

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