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18 March 2012

My Little Dragon: Friendship Is Lava. "Dragon Quest" REVIEW

I think I had about two hundred five thousand seventy one different ways to start this review, but I think I will go with this one. So there I was at the start of Season 2, writing my review of episode 3  half way through the week, before Seth decided to make episode follow-ups, when all of a sudden I go: "Huh, I know what I will do! I will make weekly episode reviews that I will then post them in the comments! This will not make me regret my decision at all!". Six months later, AKA, right now, I need a break from so much pony. I know some of you just gasped. The one-week-without-episode break wasn't enough. I need a whole summer without me looking at the weekend and going "Oh dear God, what am I going to write about now?" It's funny because I get no revenue from this and nobody forces me to do it (if we don't count that murderous-looking six feet tall rabbit in the corner of my ceiling). I do it because I want to. I like sharing my opinion without hammering it into people's minds like other Internet critics. It's fun, just like this show. Even if this week it was rather different. Let's see why.

You find yourself in a darkly lit room. There is no sound but the beating of your heart. You are likely going to be approached by a TL; DR. In fact, a TL; DR comes at you. If you decide to read it, you might as well skip to the bottom of the page. This TL; DR tells you that, even though this episode is really good in Friendship is Magic standards, it's not the best of the season. However, this TL; DR offers you to keep reading the review to find out why.

So this episode about dragons, with the word "dragon" in the title and focused around the most popular dragon character in the show starts with Applejack and Pinkie Pie digging a trench, and Rainbow Dash and Twilight trying to pull Fluttershy out of her house. Yeah, I too was thinking where are the damn dragons. Kind of a weird start up since Spike is nowhere to be seen until minute five, but it does set up the whole event. Apparently there is something called "The Big Dragon Migration" going on and thousands of dragons traverse through Equestria to somewhere else that is never explained or described. The Mane Six dig up a trench to observe this migration from a safe position, but fail to convince Fluttershy into coming along with them. We see that she is still terrified of dragons (she didn't really dealt with that phobia as we saw in "Secret of my Excess"), and we also see that some of that assertive Fluttershy is left in her. I was happy to see she was still able to put her hoof down. After trampling over Rainbow Dash like a bulldozer she jumps out of the back window and runs away. Some complain about why doesn't she fly away instead of running. First, there is a swarm of dragons incoming so flying might not be the most intelligent choice; and second, this is Fluttershy we are talking about.

After the commercial break we see that the Mane Six minus Fluttershy are witnessing the migration and I have to admit there are some really cool designs on those dragons just by the shades alone. The reactions of the characters remain fairly okay. Rainbow Dash complains that they are not badass enough only to get a flamethrower to the face, followed by a snarky remark by Applejack. Rarity acts like the diva she is. Twilight observes them in silence. And Pinkie Pie seems genuinely terrified by them. It's then that Spike shows up wearing a pink apron and offering cupcakes as he boasts about how fierce dragons are. This of course causes the Mane six to kind of poke fun at him, something he doesn't take too well as it makes him question many things. Who is he? Where does he come from? What is he going to be? These are questions that are bigger than his tiny dragon baby form. I had no idea pink aprons could provoke so many deep enquiries. They keep Spike awake at night and, by default, they also keep Twilight awake. Spike gets out of bed moping about how every time he looks into the mirror he feels like looking at a complete stranger, followed by the most clever use of symbolism I've seen in a while.

When you see it...
So Twilight and Spike decide to search for information about dragons in the library, and if you remember the events on "Secret of my Excess" you will be familiar with ponies' unfamiliarity with dragons. In fact, they know nothing at all! Not a single book in Twilight's library speaks about dragons or gives any insight about them, and you know how big her library is! To have such a level of misinformation about one of the most dangerous species in the World seems quite careless. I mean come on, I'm pretty sure Celestia had to send teams of researchers to find clues and reasons behind why dragons act like they act. It's impossible there is nothing about them. But then again Spike's questions will not be answered with the help of a book. This is something, like I said, bigger than himself. So he decides to leave Ponyville and join the migration, to find his origins. While both Rainbow Dash and Rarity try to stop him Twilight allows him to go on his endeavour. At this point I don't know if Twilight is being tolerant with Spike's decisions or downright irresponsible. It feels like the Pokémon universe, doesn't it? You are ten years old now, go ahead and risk your life battling giant monsters. However they don't actually let him go alone as Rarity, Rainbow Dash and Twilight dress up in a dragon costume to follow him on his quest. It feels rather cute to have him call it a quest, but it really is a quest! It's a quest for identity, adventure, answers, and many other words that start with vocals. We are then treated with a wonderful montage of Spike following the migration put to some pretty epic music. You will believe this show can make drinking tea from a china pot look badass if you put some kickass Skyrim-esche tunes in the background. After roughly one week of travel (which in show standards is like one minute) Spike arrives to where the dragons are nesting which I'm pretty sure is the part of the show that fans of Metalocalypse will find interesting.

Your book fortress is brütal.
I remember the broadcaster of the stream I was on saying at one point "This episode is so metal!". And it is! Well, it's as metal as having Metallica play a pre-school song with toy instruments, but I'm taking it! Here we can clearly see the production team having fun with what they are given, as the show makes you forget for fifteen minutes what's a pony. There are mountains of fire that are red and black with flames. The sky is vermilion and orange with fumes. There are dragons on the cliffs and landing on the distance getting inside other mountains and craters. It's like an album cover coming to life if it fell into that magic paint stuff from "The Pagemaster", it is really cool. Spike sees there are many adult dragons but then notices a group of teenagers and so he decides to join them (mostly because they are closer to his age). He doesn't notice that he's been followed by the most obvious dragon costume in the world, as Twilight and co. are monitoring him. Spike doesn't star too well with the group of teen dragons as they mock him and poke fun at him, setting him up for some tests to make him prove that he is not a pony but a real dragon. The belching competition goes as well as it can go for a dragon that burps letters from a Princess Pony (in a moment that shows that dragons don't care for what Princess Celestia has to say). The tail wrestling ends up with results that make me think of "Kung-Fu Hustle". The King of the Hoard competition (which to me sounds like a multiplayer mode in Halo for some reason) doesn't go well either. But then comes Jumping into a Lava Pool, which Spike proceeds to belly flop and so gains the respect from the other dragons, who gleefully call him a tough guy and accept him. Yeah, because that will always get you accepted with teenagers (especially if they had been jerks at you for the past five minutes). Spike, happy to see that he fits in with the group, decides to stay with them forever, which terrifies the three ponies in the dragon costume.

That and the fact that they also forgot the coffee thermos.
However this does lead to Spike realising the mistake he has made. The next task that him and his group of new friends get into consists in going to a Phoenix nest and smash it. While he does have reservations on the matter, he ends up catering in and so lures the parents out of the nest with a well placed rock to the head. To the disappointment of the dragons the Phoenix eggs have already hatched, so they take the most logical step: try and catch the chicks (these guys are lacking a brain or two, right?). But again they get foiled as the chicks start chirping for their parents which come to the rescue and blind the dragons temporarily with a blast of light, making them crash into a tree that then collapses. Spike returns to the destroyed nest to find an egg that has been left behind. The dragons catch up to him and tell him to smash it. He tearfully refuses, saying that he was once a defenceless egg and he won't let them hurt it. The dragons, angry, try to attack Spike, but then Twilight and Co show up to bravely and courageously run away in terror. Yes, seriously, they show up, adopt a fighting stance, shout and growl at the dragons, and then they turn around and run away. What an anti-climax! I really don't know what I was expecting. Maybe I was expecting the whole thing to turn into an RPG screen and having Twilight summon Celestia with a scroll. However, I do appreciate that they portray this kind of behaviour in the show. Anyone anywhere will always tell you that the best way to act in a fight is to turn around and run away. When you know you are going to lose or get badly hurt (and let's be honest, dragons have teeth, claws, and breath fire while ponies are made out of marshmallows) the last thing you want to do is try and one-up it. So if anything this is teaching little kids that if someone tries to lure you into a fight the best thing to do is run away. It really is! There is no shame in doing it if you can end up unscathed. But again, I wasn't really focusing on that, I was actually getting really worried for Twilight! Some people brought up why her teleportation spell failed at first, and I have an explanation for it. She spent the entire episode using it. I think this is one of the episodes I've seen her use it the most, no wonder it failed at first. She was running on her last drops of magic energy. That's why she was crawling, shaking and having problems to stand up after her last teleporting, she was exhausted! For a moment I forgot about Spike, his quest and the phoenix egg! You could throw that out the window, all I wanted to know was if Twilight was okay!

Of course she is.
The episode ends with Spike delivering what is probably one of the best lessons in the entire run of the show, and without a doubt the best lesson given by Merriwether Williams. What you are doesn't make who you are. Really simple, really deep. It's for things like this that this show is above other shows when they can deliver such a good moral and have no problems saying it directly to the audience. Spike sends the letter to Celestia, the Phoenix egg cracks to reveal that Woodstock from Snoopy was inside the whole time, and the episode ends with a happy dragon.

So that was "Dragon Quest". What do I think of it? Well, I have mixed feelings towards it.

I will start with the things I didn't like first so you guys get your sticks and stones ready. The first thing I didn't like was the group of teenage dragons. I have to admit, the dragons in this group look pretty cool. Their attitudes and personalities though not so much. It kind of ruins it because I really loved how much work was put into making each dragon look distinct and unique, with different shapes, sizes, colours, animation, flames, and even expressions. But when they talk, I have to be honest, they all sounded exactly the same to me. They were all rude, obnoxious, angry, jerky and overall insufferable, to the point that I wanted to mute the episode and just watch them go. They have so little personality they don't even have names! How bad is that!? There is a moment where one of the dragons seems to warm up to Spike and I was like "Oh hey, he actually has depth, he doesn't have the charisma of a piece of paper" but then he returns to be a jerk and all I wanted to do was to call Matthew McConaughey to shove an explosive arrow down his throat. I wouldn't call this missed opportunity, because the designs are still pretty cool, but I will call it misleading. This shouldn't be a problem for the writer. I know she can write awesome characters (look at Iron Will, look at Commander Hurricane or Chancellor Pudding Head). So I really don't know what went wrong in that process. Another thing I didn't like was how little we are told of the dragons. Yeah, kind of ironic when you think about it but this episode only tells us what we already know about dragons. They hoard gems to eat them, they are rude, they are posessive, and they don't like ponies. I guess they also like to stomp Phoenix's nests, but I won't take it as only imbecile teenagers seem to do it. There was a lot of potential to know about dragon society, but I guess we will have to allow the fanon to cover the blank spaces, and that kind of sucks if you ask me.

I really don't know what will be worse. The fanon of these three, or the Rule 34.
It may sound like I'm being grumpy but that's the stuff I didn't like.

On the other hand, there are many things that I did like. Okay I will start with the first thing I liked of this episode, just so I can shut the doubts of the people who follows my reviews. Spike. I'm not a fan, but I did like Spike in this episode, and the more I think about it the more I realise I really liked him here. Spike has always walked the fine line between jerk and nice (he is a jerk to Twilight but nice to Rarity) but this is the first time I see him being humble and taking a stance for himself. I really liked to see him groan for his unintentional girliness with the pink apron, or when he stops to drink tea during his quest. It was enjoyable to see him climb the pile of gems only to get knocked down from it seconds later, and if that wasn't director Jayson Thiessen taking a metaphor too literally then I don't know what could it be. I felt really happy for him when he finally got accepted and I connected with him when he decided to keep the egg and protect it. Some people wondered why they didn't return the egg to the parents. It happens in nature that eggs and offspring often get lost and the parents don't care for them. Who knows, maybe that's what happened to Spike. So trust me, Woodstock Phoenix is safe with him. Speaking of Woodstock, the music for this episode was amazing. I don't usually notice it, but you can perfectly make an album out of all the background music this episode has and I promise people will set up raves just so we can rock at it. It was really good. It was great to see Rainbow Dash getting called out early on: "I've done many nutty things." - "We know." I really liked Rarity's random outbursts of "Bear Mom" with Spike, how she launches to defend him or how she worries when he leaves. That poor deformed dragon, Crackle I think is the name of it, was okay yet I can't fathom the fascination people have with it. It was a very funny joke that kind of got ruined because they put it in the preview clip. It would've been funnier if they had saved it for the audience to see with the complete episode. But then again, what other part to show?

Besides the glaring continuity error?
And finally the question quite many have asked themselves. A question that I asked myself after the episode ended. Is this a good Spike episode? Well, you guys who have been following me for a while know I am not the biggest fan of Spike (I don't hate him, but I don't love him either, he's just there), so take my opinion as an objective opinion. As an episode about Spike this is clearly the best the series has had. "Owl's well that ends well" portrayed Spike as an antagonist that runs away from home and is saved only because he gets Twilight sick with worry. "Secret of my Excess" is a great episode, but I like it because it revolves around Spike and Rarity, and the pearly white unicorn takes all the spotlight of my attention. This episode focuses entirely on Spike and I can feel the effort in the writing department to emphasise this. So, I think this should be the best episode for those who are fans of Twilight's Number 1 Assistant. However, and this is a big however, this might not be the best episode to start liking Spike entirely. I know I said he's given a lesson in humility and that this is his best episode yet, but we are not given much input on his personality. His atittude through the majority of the episode feels like a pose to get into a place he doesn't belong to. It's not until the last five minutes when he starts acting like how he acts. So, even though fans of Spike will love this episode, non fans of Spike will feel left out, and that's exactly how I feel. By the time the episode ended I was like: "Did something happened? What did I miss?". If you allow me to repeat myself, that doesn't make the episode bad, far from it, but it makes it misleading. I was focusing more on Twilight, Rarity and Rainbow Dash, but that's because they are my favourites and I can't help it. But in the end, it's a cartoon for little kids and this episode delivered in every level for them. It was entertaining, it could have been funnier, and it had some pretty cool looking dragons. I have this dreadful feeling though that Spike episodes are not going to get better than this. Unless the next season reveals who his parents are, and Twilight and him share a very emotional scene with more crying than the ending of Toy Story 3. But that's not likely either.

Besides, this cartoon has already surpased Pixar and 50% of the world's soap operas in crying scenes, Jesus...
- Defining Moment: Spike's quest and his arrival to the dragon grounds, right until he meets with the teenage dragons. From then in it kind of goes downhill.

- Moral: Is not what you are what defines who you are. There should be posters and PSA's with this message in every TV Channel and in every Bus stop in the World. There's not enough of it.


  1. Despite the fact I've been following your reviews since The Best Night Ever and every Sunday I patiently wait for your review to pop up here (Yes, stalkerish, isn't it? Lol) this will be the first time I commented on one. I love reading your reviews; they are insightful and well thought out. Oftentimes you even make me appreciate or like an episode more than I had previously because of the depth your reviews have. I even re-watch an episode after reading your reviews just to catch references or re-watch scenes you pointed out. Your sense of humor also amuses me often XD
    The smile song of Pinkie's, for example, didn't impress me the first time I watched that episode, but when you mentioned how fabulous it was I had to pull back up the song to listen to it again - now I think it is probably my very favorite song of the entire two seasons.
    I'm probably going to end up rewatching this one to hear the music again too. Not that I mind rewatching episodes XD

    Anyways, I digress, I'm actually posting to ask you a question! I wanted to know what you believed the symbolism was for that scene with Spike curled up in the moonlight. What I gathered from it was that due to the shadows cast from the window design, it made a full circle and within that circle is a crescent moon. That crescent moon is meant to symbolize Spike and how he doesn't feel like a 'full' err... person/pony/dragon etc which is why he's curled up in the rest of the circle, because being a 'full moon' is what he strives for. Or it could be seen as opposite to that, where the crescent moon symbolizes something missing instead.

    Symbolism can oftentimes be relevant to those who see it, but I'd love to here your input on it.

    I am personally also excited for little 'woodstock' too - it means Spike now owns a pet as well. Being a semi-pet himself this was like Neopets to me lol were neopets can own pet-pets. I'm gonna love to see more of him/her though and the interaction Spike has with it, especially since this episode kind of gives off a rivalry feeling between Pheonixes and dragons so Spike and Pee Wee now have this cute little forbidden friendship type thing xD Cue how to train your dragon music.... now!

    Yes, I do tend to talk to much. Lol Aren't you glad I never shared an opinion thus far? Haha!

    1. Hello there!

      Wow, I am so happy my words do reach into you sir/ma'am. This is one of the reasons why I allow anonymous comenters to post on my journal, I'm always getting possitive feedback from you! <3 Allow me to give you a brohoof /)*

      As for the symbolism, it's way simpler than that. The moonlight makes the shape of an egg and Spike is inside. He's still inside because he hasn't opened to the outside world yet. I didn't spot it at first, a friend of mine did for me.

      Woodstock also adds some kind of balance to the pet ratio in the show. We know have two birds (Woodstock and Owlowiscious), two reptiles (Gummy and Tank) and three mammals (Winona, Angel and Opalescence). And now that you mention it, it did reminded me of Neo Pets (The little I remember from it at least)!

      I actually hope to see you commenting more often ;D

    2. SO that is what it was.
      I saw a face at first, hehe.
      (window reflection is one eye, the pillow another and the bed the mouth.)

    3. I actually see a face now too O_O

    4. Brohoof is accepted! XD I am a girl just for future reference haha. I would of given you my identity but for some reason my identification won't go through - I'll sign a signature at the end of my posts so you know it's me though how bout that?

      And wow, yeah not that you said that your right. It is an egg! I totally didn't realize that it looks more like a circle to me. It's too bad they didn't make it polka dotted like his original egg; it would of been a little more obvious XD

      Also, I find it ironic both Spike and Twilight, who are best friends, own birds and that they match who they are. Twilight owns an Owl who is often symbolized as smart or wise. Spike owns a mythical beast like he is. Same with the rest of the animals basically.

      I'll do my best to comment more then ;)


    5. Sometimes the ID fails to be recognized, but it's okay, I can recognize your signature anyways.

      I loved how subtle that was, it is something not many people notice.

      I wouldn't call it ironic as much as it is convenient. Now PeeWee and Owlowiscious can be BFF's!

      Hope to see your comments around here :D

  2. on the subject of continuity error, i think it is filly twilight in the picture, as we cant see her eyes, and she didnt look too different back then.

    and what was the symbolism?

    1. Yeaaah, she does look young, but then again the egg didn't open in the library. It's a cartoon, I won't go too far into it.

      The moon light makes the shape of an egg over Spike, and it looks like he's inside it.

  3. An EGG? An EGG?

    ...That is brilliant! XD

    Like the Anonymous above, I've been following your reviews for a while but have never bothered to comment. Unlike the Anonymous above, I don't actually have anything to say. =/

    ...Other than: These reviews are great! I know what you mean about getting tired of doing something like this, but at least keep it up until the end of the season! The pony-part of my weekends aren't complete without these.

    1. It is brilliant. The makers are very savvy when it comes to making these set ups.

      Thanks a bunch for following me so loyaly. All you guys must have a bit of Rainbow Dash in you <3 Thanks a bunch.

  4. I genuinely liked this episode but then I've always had a soft spot for Spike and I'm glad the writers are giving him some depth.

    When you think about his and Twilight's relationship must be fairly unique seeing how dragons and ponies really don't get along.

    I agree about the teenage dragons. And I wish more had been done with the dragon species since we really didn't learn a lot about them.

    A part of me was wishing that Rarity would pull out some ninja tricks, but running away actually is the better lesson.

    So good ep for Spike fans.

    1. It's a great type of relationship, and it reinforces the message that two completely different persons can be friends.

      It was a good episode for his fans indeed.

  5. I'll go ahead and echo the "missed opportunity" comments on this one. What I was hoping for going into the dragons' nest was not what I knew I would get. And it turned out exactly as I imagined it would from the first moment I saw the teenage dragons.

    There was an opportunity to explain not only Spike's background, but all of dragons as a whole. What we got (much like in Hearth's Warming Eve) was not what would satisfy our curiosity. But it was something! We got some good world building in there with the dragon's "raid" of the phoenix nest. It seems dragons may be phoenix's natural predators. After all, there must be some way of keeping the population down since phoenix's don't die AND lay as many as 6 eggs at a time.

    I've noticed two trends in Ms. Williams writing. One: she exaggerates personality features to the point of being downright ridiculous, even rude. And two: She likes to tease backstory and instead give us a slightly shallow version of what we expected. That was true in both Hearth's Warming Eve and Dragon Quest. I won't venture a guess as to why she does this.

    But this was a good episode. Unlike Mare-Do-Well and Putting Your Hoof Down I actually wholeheartedly LIKED this episode...even if the dragons' hazing contests were a low point. Let nopony say I won't give people a chance to improve, and Merriweather did better this time. And with actual canon characters, unlike Hearth's Warming.

    I *NEVER* watch the preview clips. And I am really glad I didn't this time b/c the Crackle joke was the one I laughed at the absolute hardest. I think the reason you don't get why people are getting hung up on him is because you assume we all knew about him before the episode aired.

    1. Yeah, I didn't realize how prolific Phoenixes are! Six eggs per batch is a lot of eggs, so maybe crushing one egg is not that much of an impact. However, I still back Spike's decision.

      Thanks for pointing out William's writing traits, because I totally forgot to mention them in my review. I completely agree with her exagerating character traits, and how she teases backstory.

      Merriwether Williams is definitely getting better, and it does indeed take a while to get used to this cartoon. Coming to My Little Pony not knowing the new approach can be shocking for many (even for fanfic writers is a problem) so I am willing to give new writers as many chances as they need.

      I guess you're right, and it was unfair of me. However, that's because I am highly curious by nature. I just can't help it.

    2. Well the reason I keep coming back to your reviews is that you usually go into the tropes and normal story progression based on the type of episode it is and the writer. You didn't focus on that so much in the review this time, so I have to coax it out of you in comments ;D

    3. Thank you man <3 Really. Sometimes I do miss a detail here and there, so it's good having people commenting them and reminding them to you ;) Thanks a bunch!

  6. I know you are not fan of Spike and everything, and you think that this episodes will be liked for Spike fans exclusively. Well in my case as a Spike fan, this was the worst episode from Merriwether I have seen and this makes sad because is a Spike's episode. Yes, i know in this episode there were cool stuff, and usually at the beginning of her episodes you can find that cool stuff and from there her episodes go downhill almost vertically. (Please update your graphic, he). That makes me feel cheated. From what i see from your reviews is that you don't care about the continuity and I am beginning to don't care either, but it was a complete and total disappointment that they didn't fight the dragons; I also know is smart to flee from fights you can't win, but remember that Rainbow and Twilight are very powerful and together they could get a shot against the teenage dragons, but Twilight wastes her increasing magic by teleporting everypony and herself to the safe. Now it seems a very long time since they fight valiantly against a full adult dragon in Dragonshy.

    1. I had the feeling I should've drawn the graphic with the line going into negative territory after Spike meets with the teen dragons. I re-watched the episode recently and they annoy the freak out of me >_<

      Yeah, but if they went and fought the dragons, what kind of message would they be sending to the kids? That's the important part of this show, it's a great moral compass to teach the kids how to act in this day and age. If something is going to hurt you and it's not worth it, leave it. That's why I left the furry fandom XD

      Besides, the dragon in "Dragonshy" got talked into, they never fought him and obtained possitive results. Again, when dialogue fails it's a better option to flee.

  7. Another lurker-turned-commenter, just to show my appreciation for the time and effort put into your reviews. Like UL mentioned, it's part of my pony routine now, so I always look forward to seeing your comment on EQD's follow-up articles! No pressure though, haha.

    Hmm, nothing else to say that hasn't already been said. I didn't notice the egg symbolism (that's where you come in :D) though I did catch on that awesome BGM during Spike's montage (but I always pay attention to the music anyway). For your listening pleasure:

    I have this nagging need to know what was in that letter Princess Celestia sent, though! And I would love to see greater development between Spike and Twilight, or just Spike in general. During the pan where they show the photographs, I couldn't help but notice in the last one that Spike, or somepony else, had attached his photo to the group shot ( Kinda makes you wonder about him not being around for most major events. Could it be because Twi feels he's still too young?

    Oh well. Here's to next week's episode!

    1. Thank you! That means a lot <3 It also feels good to have a "first" comment that doesn't say "first" and instead gives you a review of the episode that I hope is fun to read ^_^;

      I didn't catch the egg symbolism either until my best friend pointed it out to me. It left me as dumbfounded as you, trust me. The music in this episode was excelent all round.

      I'm pretty sure that last photo was from Twilight's birthday, because Spike wasn't there XD poor little guy.

  8. Hello again!

    This was a good review as always. I hadn't noticed the moonlight egg at all, I only noticed that Spike magically moved back from the mirror between shots. That's definitely one reason I like reading these. I also didn't consider Twi failing her teleporting spell to mean she was low on magical power, which could explain it. I thought it was mostly because
    a) at least from our perspective it was the first time she teleported so many ponies and b) it was hard to concentrate while running from angry dragons.

    There was one thing I have to disagree with you on your review. You said "Rarity acts like the diva she is." I thought that was a very good example of MWW exaggerating a character making them something they aren't. It made for a good gag but I don't think Rarity would actually be that stupid drawing attention to themselves when dragons are coming by. Also, no word on Rarity's surprising shows of affection towards Spike this episode? Might be that it didn't bother you, but that was the biggest turn-off for me this episode.

    I'll link my ramblings again in case you are interested (and even if you aren't :D), this time as a screencap, the thread is quite big and there was a crapstorm going on. Sorry about the small font, tinypic resized it a bit.

    Till next time!

    1. I literally panicked when she couldn't teleport them at first, and then when she had to teleport all of them at the same time and when she returned, BAM, she was lying on the ground breathless. I hate it when bad things happen to Twilight, she's just...I don't want nothing bad happening to her ;_;

      Yeaaah, Merriwether Williams does accentuate the traits for comedic effect, and she did that with Rarity both here and in Putting your Hoof Down (that nerd pony charming scene is pretty WTF). But in the end, Rarity is a diva, it doesn't matter how much of it she had, she still is. But yes, there are more traits to her than just that. She's a generous good friend, she's a great sister, she is a talented artist, she is polite, and she is kind. It's just that diva is her funniest trait, so I'm pretty sure they emphasized it for rule of funny. But that's just my opinion.

      Sure! I always like checking your ramblings ;D I always do check them, even if I don't like commenting on chan boards.

  9. Hey, sharing my thoughts now. I thought this was an okay episode (by FiM standards); I didn't find it as disappointing as the last two but that's mostly because I was hyped up for those two and this one I didn't even bother watching for a whole day, just because I didn't find the premise that interesting. I guess I'm not a fan of Spike centered episodes.

    That said, this episode did have its moments, which were all pretty much before Spike caught up with the other dragons, when we were able to see the ponies interacting more. I was actually quite surprised this episode was a MWW episode, as I felt that each character was actually written quite well, at least towards the begining. I particularly enjoyed Rainbow Dash this episode, though she is of course in a tie with Fluttershy for my favorite pony. One person mentioned how she may have had problems with Rarity this episode, but other than her constant use of the pet name Spikey-Wikey, Rarity didn't really seem any more obnoxious than she usually is.

    Then it all goes downhill, starting with when the plot takes an abrupt turn from Spike trying to discover who he is and where he's from, to all of the sudden just trying to fit in with these obnoxious dragons, which was disappointing, but not unexpected as I had seen the previews. Before I get to them, I just want to mention how I though Spike was still supposed to be a baby by dragon standards, not an adolescent like the others. That bugged me the entire episode. Now to the other dragons themselves: they were cliche'd plot device characters that I've seen a thousand times before, and there was no twist or anything to make the entire sequence stand out like FiM usually does.

    I also thought the ending was very weak and anti-climatic. We have all this tension built up for Spike to make a stand, and then he just runs, while Twilight, Dash, and Rarity just follow him, we're given the lesson, and then it ends. Yeah, sure, teaching kids to not fight, but there's two reasons why that excuse (that's really all it is) falls flat concerning kids. One: I don't feel like any of the characters stood up for themselves, instead it just feels like they're running away from their problems, which is not something you want to teach kids. Two: They let off the dragons scott free. It comes off as "screw the birds I just want to save my own skin". A scene in which there is a scuffle but it's because the ponies were both standing up for themselves and standing up for others and saying they won't tolerate the dragons' behavior would be more beneficial to kids than what actually happened.

    That said, it utterly fails from a plot and character standpoint as well, which are the real reasons I watch this show, not because of any lessons or what benefits it may have for kids (seriously, if they just got rid of the letters at the end for the most part, I would be very happy. They're just not my thing). First, we have the fact that it feels very anti-climatic. After that scene I lost all interest in the rest of the episode. Second, the dragons learned nothing. As far as they are concerned they are completely right about everything, Spike is a wimp, ponies are lame, going on raids is a good thing that only the strong do, etc. And coming from this show, that feels like a glaring plothole. Third, it was completely out of character for them to flee like their lives depended on it. Rainbow Dash especially would punch them out just for calling her namby-pamby, soft, weak, or whatever else they said.

    Also, someone pointed out a problem with a moral, in the way that it's worded it makes it look like all dragons are bad. Ugh.

    ...Yeah the more I think about it the more I'm not so fond of this episode. That said, MWW did finally show that she has potential. And at least it further confirmed that Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are best friends, so that's a plus.

    1. Now that you mention it, yeah those are very good reasons to hate the episode and I completely see your point there. The dragons didn't learn anything and for all we know they did keep going on with their raids on Phoenix Nests, hating on ponies and not accepting baby dragons, especially now that Spike turned back on them. The more I think on them the more I want them to go die in a pile of spike icecles.

      However, those are not complete deal breakers for me. I still enjoy the episode okay as it is pretty entertaining and visually stimulating. Like every short of media it's just opinion, especially when it comes to this cartoon. I really appreciate and admire your analysis of the episode, and the way you outlined the reasons why the moral doesn't work and the characters are not in character. It makes me feel my reviews are motivating other people to write their opinions, and that's awesome :D Thanks a bunch for taking your time on checking this out <3

    2. I definitely don't hate it, and I did find it enjoyable as FiM always is, but after typing all of that I had a headache because that ending is pretty much terrible for me now, lol. I could still go on about it too, like how once Rarity said she would rip them to pieces I thought it was on... and I'll stop now. I loved that line from Rarity though.

      And thank you for your entertaining reviews! I had mentioned that I watched it a day late, however one of my major motivations to watch it at all yesterday instead of playing video games was so that I could read your review when it was posted. Then I just waited until the end of the day to write that wall of text. XD

    3. Don't sweat it man, it's still a cartoon. Rarity was a badass in this episode however.

      Awww man, I am so happy I'm reaching so many people! It really makes me think I'm accomplishing something :D

  10. Hm, i disagree about the explanation for Twi´s teleportion fail.
    I rather like the one where it says that she´s a) not used to teleport over two things at once (here Rarity, Spike, Rainbow Dash and herself) b) was running and under stress (chased by dragons who loves to smash eggs and little baby birds and have no problem hurting ponies) and c) it was over a great distance (the trees looks very differently from where they have run inside the forest, normally she teleports herself in a small radius, this time it was a group over a big distance in a steß situation).
    It´s rather remarkable that she managed to get the spell done in her second try.

    Also didn´t noticed that moonlight egg, great one! :D

    1. Yeah, that explanation is actually better. I won't re-write it though, because re-writing it will invalidate you pointing it out to me in the comments :3 I give you credit on this better explanation.

      I still hate those dragons though. Grrr.

  11. Just read your review. So yeah, I agree with pretty much all the negative aspects this episode had, including:

    1. Spike deviates from his main quest of finding out WHO HE IS and WHERE HE CAME FROM. Instead he just finds a group of jerky, underdeveloped dragons and hangs out with them. There was a lot of potential in this episode to find out more about Spike, and maybe even who his parents were.

    2. Dragons all generalized as brutes- I'm sorry. Isn't this show meant to teach that it's not good to generalize and assume? While many ponies in the series are well-developed with varied characteristics,nearly all of the dragons in the show aside from Spike sport the same predominantly negative personality traits.I personally find this very frustrating that the staff of the show is only able to develop ponies, and lack the ability to do so for hardly any other species in the show.

    3. Spike bases his final judgement of dragons in the time he spent with the obnoxious ones, instead of taking in a wider breadth.

    While the episode had many good parts, I was on the whole very disappointed with it, especially the lessons it preaches to children.

  12. One of my all time favorites from Season 2.