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18 December 2011

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. "Hearth's Warming Eve" REVIEW

Hey, Paisanos! It’s time for another My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic review! Okay, I promise not to start another review like that ever again. In fact I could promise never to start another review ever again because SOPA is soon going to destroy everything this society loves and appreciates, meaning we will only have our movies, videogames, comics, books, studies, works, families, best friends, pets, houses, artistic talent, individualism and creativity left to console for the loss of our blogs and entertainment websites. But now that this blatant PSA Soap Box moment is over, let’s review the last MLP:FiM Episode of the year. There’s always no better way to end the year than with a Christmas Episode.

So, all together now, here you have a TL;DR just in case you want to skip the entire review and, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t? I am thinking about skipping it myself and just write the words “DAMNIT TWO WEEKS WHY?” over and over again. I digress. It’s the episode good? Yes, it’s Friendship is Magic, what do you expect? Is this one of the best episodes of the Season? Uhm…No. This is all my opinion, but I think this didn’t pack the punch that Sweet and Elite or Secret of my Excess had. And if you don’t skip this TL;DR (which is already too long) I will tell you why.

So the episode starts with our Mane Six characters going on a train ride to Canterlot, city they have visited before several times but that always makes them awe in surprise; and let me tell you, I would be amused in surprise if I could take a train ride to go visit this expy version of Minas Tirith, and it looks as awesome and grandeur as the first time. Twilight and her pals are in Canterlot to take part in the “Hearth's Warming Eve” pageant that tells the story of how Equestria was founded by the three tribes of ponies. You see, this is a very interesting idea, to explain how Equestria was really made (and also shut down all those who keep calling Pinkie Pie’s Cutie Mark story as the real origin of Equestria, nuclear rainbow clouds included). Soon enough we see that the preparations for the play are as organized and well planed as those we saw in Noises Off. But thankfully, unlike this movie, the play goes well. So well in fact that I wonder how much of what we see throughout the entire episode is either the imagination of the audience or the play itself. The special effects are making AVATAR look phoned in. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Also Derpy is best Alfred Hitchcock
One thing you’ll notice right away in this episode is how the voice acting raises the bar up several notches. Hard to believe I know, but it does! For the first time during the whole series Rarity’s grandiloquent speech is justified! She is a Shakespearean actress and she hams it up so much I could imagine Tabitha St. Germain doing all those gestures in the recording booth. Rainbow Dash sounds even more brass and arrogant than ever and so her characterization of Commander Hurricane comes across as a complete hothead. That pretty much sums up the mentality of the Pegasus ponies in this show. Besides Fluttershy, they all are hotheads who think are better than the other ponies. And finally Pinkie Pie, who goes the extra mile of randomness portraying a character that must be part of her family tree…I mean, come on, a character named Chancellor Pudding Head? However, this Chancellor has more dignity than Chancellor Palpatine in the Star Wars Prequels. These three characters are the ones to blame when their endless conflict and mutual hatred summons a blizzard that covers their land, forcing them to go find a new one. And where will they find it? Why after a commercial break of course!

To be fair, I really like the fact that they used the three hotheads of the show to portray these characters. Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash and Rarity are three characters that follow their gut feel instead of being reasonable; well, as reasonable as they can be without going to the extreme, am I right Lesson Zero Twilight Sparkle?

I like squishy foal's hind hooves.
So, after a trip through the blizzard that should’ve been animated by Terry Guilliam we come across a new land full of clouds, diamonds and dirt, LOTS OF DIRT! And so this land shall be claimed by the Pegasi and called “Pegasopolis”. Or it should be claimed b the Unicorns and called “Unicornia”. Or maybe by the Earth Ponies and be called “Dirtville”…no, just “Earth” (insert Planet of the Apes/lack of creativity jokes here, huhuhu). The only problem is, they all arrive at the same time and plant their respective flags also at the same time, in what it is probably one of the coolest and smoothest transition scenes I’ve seen in this show. So, what happens after that? They start arguing again, and their fight brings the blizzard to their new discovered land. The three ponies and their assistants take refuge inside a cave, but soon enough they begin to trace frontiers and lines, keeping the argument going and the frost starts creeping inside, freezing the three leaders forever, and leaving only their assistants behind. It’s in  this point of the story where Princess Platinum’s assistant, Clover the Clever (played by Twilight Sparkle), figures that the Blizzard is created by some creatures called Windigoes (not windingos, or wendingos, or wendigos, this is different). These Windigoes are horses made out of air that feed in the hatred from the leaders’ cold hearts. So, in a rather anti-climatic and predictable turn of events, it’s the assistants and not the leaders the ones that defeat this blizzard because, well, they don’t hate each other.

They also count with the help of Mati from "Captain Planet" and Sora, Kairi and Riku.
Yeah, they basically took the moral of this episode and weaponized it, like Cave Johnson wanted to do with the lemons, but this time it works. We are all the same, we are equal, and we shouldn’t fight and just look for an agreement. Take our love and tolerance you windy mane horses and burn! So Clover the Clever channels this new energy powered by friendship (they say it, I didn’t make it up, how could I?) and creates a fire that keeps them safe and warm, as they tell stories and sing carols. Soon enough, this melts the ice prisons of the three leaders who, after al they’ve been through, decide to bury the hatchet and work together for their new land: Equestria. By the end of the episode we have a moment between Twilight and her friends where she says the Princess must have ask them to play the roles in the pageant, because of how good friends they are. Then they start arguing over who closes the window before the entire room freezes.

So that’s “Hearth’s Warming Eve”, the last episode of My Little Pony we will see until 2012. What do I think of it? Well, there are parts that I really like and other parts that just leave me, well, cold (smack). I really like the ending where we see the six friends arguing momentarily, showing that their friendship is really strong but they won’t have to always agree or be okay with each other, like real friends are. I also loved Derpy’s cameo, and quite a few moments between the leaders and their assistants are really good too. As an origin story is also pretty interesting to see these poor ponies surviving before the arrival of the two God Sisters to take care of the Moon and the Sun, and the seasons in general (which I hope happens in a future episode). But besides that, it’s not that much of an episode. It’s not weak, it’s not bad (definitely not bad, that pageant had serious production values!), but it’s not what I would call one of Season’s 2 best. I will put it in the same level of “The Cutie Pox” and “Fall Weather Friends”. Quite a few memorable moments and incredibly easy to watch, but not an episode I will profess passion for. However, it’s very hard to follow a mash-up of “King Kong” and “Godzilla” with Hayao Miyazaki sensibilities, so I still give this episode a lot of credit.

See you guys on the next review in 2012…That is, if SOPA doesn’t pass. Oh now you’ve ruined it!

To the Dungeon with You!!!
- Defining Moment: Spike going overboard with his string of adjectives. “We get it! Move on!” screams one of the ponies in the audience. I have the feeling that’s what many pre-readers in Equestria Daily say when reading a fanfic.

- Moral: Despite the differences we all are ponies…er, people. Anyways, don’t be a racist ass and treat others equally, and don’t let the differences affect your better judgment. 


  1. Well, despite the fact that my (soon to be made) fan-fiction just took an arrow on the knee I liked this episode.

    Unfortunally this episode wasn't so dense as my favorite ones, i wouldn't have minded if this episode was one or two minutes shorter, while in Secrets of my Excess we hadn't a single moment without something worth watching (Man I still can't get over this episode, it was so darn cool!).

    Still, they nailed the characterization again, which was a small issue I had with the second season so far (despite the fact that it has been better than the first one). And maybe I can hope that we won't see Douchebag Pinkie Pie again.

    I also liked that Every Character had equal screen time, I like the episodes that focus on a single character as much as the next pony, but I was afraid that the season two was going to be just about that.

    Well, that's It, hope you don't kill yourself between those tree weeks like I possibly will. But if I do suruvive what about a Fluttershy episode studio B? You guys own us that! We had been good boys so far.