[Video] Analyzing “Too Many Pinkie Pies,” Video Version (Channel Launch!)

I decided it would be a great idea to convert my episodic analysis of My Little Pony into video form. This is partly because the show’s visual element is so important to what makes it great, and partly because the MLP fandom is generally more receptive to videos than they are to text. To start with, I’ve converted my analysis of Too Many Pinkie Pies.

I hope you enjoy this video, and by all means, TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT IT! I launched this as its own channel with the hope that it may take off and be popular!

Analyzing “Dragonshy” and “Dragone Baby Gone”

Dragonshy is an excellent episode, and the turning point wherein the series hits a stride that would bring it the renown it now knows. It prominently features all of the mane six ponies and almost no one else, gives them a lot of fun dialog and animation moments, and has an adventurous feel with a big payoff. The pacing is air-tight, there’s a tiny musical number, and it expands on the lore in what were big ways at the time.

In terms of analysis, there’s not much to say. It’s a super-straightforward episode, and most of the dialog is more humorous or expositional than character-building. What I can analyze, though, is why I would say this when the episode is actually the first of only a few big Fluttershy episodes, and the most important for establishing her character.

I’ve always felt that Fluttershy is the least interesting of the mane six ponies. It’s not that I don’t like her, but there’s not much to her character, and what’s there doesn’t catch my attention. It’s not that she isn’t deep or doesn’t develop—those aren’t the kind of things that I look for in characters. I think that Fluttershy and Applejack are the two ponies who are the easiest to understand without any kind of analysis—but Applejack is a ton of fun to me, whereas Fluttershy isn’t.

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Analyzing “Boast Busters”

Let’s be honest. This episode is fucking terrible. It is one of the worst episodes of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. It was written by Chris Savino, who’s only other episode was Stare Master (decent), and I think it’s pretty clear why. But this is still the Trixie episode, so I cracked open a bottle of hard cider, watched the piece of crap, and here’s some words about it.

I. LOVE. TRIXIE. Don’t get me wrong. Trixie is a horrible one-off character whose sole memorable traits are her amazing facial expressions and her obnoxious voice and dialog. Of the characters with speaking roles in this show that the fandom has taken off and run with, Trixie is the one who most bafflingly was transformed from this ridiculous character in this terrible episode into one of the most hilarious and lovable portraits of failure that I’ve ever seen.

Even though I watched this episode twice very early into my fandom and found it horrible both times, Trixie is as fresh in my mind as ever. I’ve seen all of her facial expressions in countless videos and images, and heard all of her dialog sampled in countless songs and quoted in a hundred memes.

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Analyzing “Griffon the Brush Off”

Griffon the Brush Off is a fairly unpopular episode. Out of all the non-pony and one-off characters in the show, I’ve probably seen less fanart and love for Gilda than any other character, which is understandable because Gilda’s a total bitch. Griffons as a general race are more popular as an idea than Gilda, but even then, not so much that they feel like a big part of the pony world.

Besides the fact that Gilda’s a bitch, it’s also an early episode, meaning it comes with the usual problems of early episodes (characters not fully realized, show not at the peak of quality, etc.). That said, I’d only seen this episode once before today, and upon rewatching it I thought it was solid. I see the episode accused of being weak on a thematic level, since the lesson is basically, “don’t be a bitch or let people be a bitch to your friends,” but of course I think there’s more to it than that, and I found the statements that the episode makes about the characters interesting enough.

First, let’s ask ourselves: why is Gilda such a bitch? Obviously because she’s a mean-spirited bully—but why does she act that way? It’s because she’s horribly inauthentic. That’s why Pinkie Pie is her perfect enemy—Pinkie is completely authentic to the core. To pull a page out of my own life, I would say Gilda is to Colony Drop as Pinkie Pie is to myself (lolololol).

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Analyzing “Applebuck Season”

Dear Princess Celestia, where do I begin? Applebuck Season remains one of my favorite episodes of My Little Pony. As a person who really appreciates this show for the high density of things it has to offer, it would be correct to assume that the more I like an episode, the more things there are to say about it.

However, what makes this episode amazing is very straightforward. Whereas my enjoyment of Pinkie Pie episodes comes from analyzing her down to the core and finding the deeper meanings that the show can’t reach, my enjoyment of Applejack is as straightforward as her character. Applejack is my second-favorite pony after Twilight Sparkle, and both of them are the most straightforward, easily-understood characters in the show. The reason I love them is that their personalities are so enjoyable on a basic level. Probably because they both fail in such intense ways while being smart enough to realize it themselves.

All of the ponies fail in big ways: Pinkie Pie doesn’t understand other ponies’ way of thinking very well and has trouble empathizing with them (i.e. she can be a pest); also she’s probably got some kind of depression or anxiety disorder. Rarity and Fluttershy are both paranoid—Fluttershy reclusive and shy, Rarity bombastic and dramatic—and both of them tend to get pretty lost in their own heads. Rainbow Dash is full of herself and doesn’t think things through at all.

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Analyzing “The Ticket Master”

Before I start with this post, another shout-out to the excellent analysis of The Ticket Master by Misfortune-Dogged over on his own blog. In it, he compares the episode against a similar episode of My Little Pony Tales, and uses it to dissect what’s so interesting about the presentation of themes in Friendship is Magic. I won’t be restating much of what he said, so I recommend you read that post as well.

The Ticket Master begins innocuously with a conversation between Twilight and Applejack. Notice that when Spike reads the letter they get from Princess Celestia, he says that the Grand Galloping Gala takes place, “on the 21st of, yada yada yada.” A sneaky way of not making Equestria have the same months as the real world, as well as keeping the show from having a definitive timeline.

The presentation of the conflict between Applejack’s and Rainbow Dash’s reasons for going to the Gala is quite interesting. When I watched it the first time, I thought that the show was making Applejack out to have the better reasons, but in reality, the show doesn’t suggest anything like that. It presents both of their arguments on equal grounds—I was the one making the value judgement at the time, based on what little knowledge I had of the ponies and what they were suggesting about their ambitions.

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