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4 March 2014

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic "It Ain't Easy Being Breezies"

You people must all be Breezies. No, really, follow me on this. A few weeks ago I post an entry and I say I 
am going to be taking a break since I just can’t keep up doing these reviews and finishing my commissions. That one post gets flooded with people begging me to go back, for some reason or something. So I do, and I write another episode review the next week, though I end up noticing that the summaries take too much time to write. Some of you mention I could skip the summaries as they aren't really necessary to get to the review part. So for the next one I decide to skip the summary and go straight to what I liked and disliked of the episode. And what do I find? People complaining that they miss the summaries! I seriously can’t understand how SEGA has managed to put up with a similar behavior for over two decades, but the thing is that I don’t know how SeaBreeze has managed to put up with his squad of Breezies for so long either. For spoilers sake I am not going to say what happens in this episode right in the intro, but I have to mention how fickle and weak is the will of these Breezies and how more than once they made me want to smack their adorable, tiny faces. But this is not a place for opinions, it’s a place for intros. I am also skipping the summary for this week’s episode, and for the following ones. I am sticking to this shorter, more manageable style of reviews for the sake of my productivity and your time.

Don’t take this as me being mean; I appreciate you guys for supporting me with your comments, but I just need to get snappy with you. If I don’t tell you what I am doing in a concise and direct way then I am being patronizing and I will be insulting you in the most passive-aggressive way possible. I hate passive-aggressive types because I've always seen them as angry enough to shout but cowardly enough to not even know how to do it. Sometimes you need to be blunt when saying things or else you are making every waste their times, which is why I wonder I've written all this right from the get go instead of going to the episode review. Let’s get to the episode review.

I have to say that "It Ain't Easy Being Breezies" is the most surprising episode of the entire season so far. It’s one of those that really caught me off guard and destroyed my preconceived ideas before these could harm my opinion of it any longer. I wouldn't consider it one of the best episodes of the whole season, but it definitely isn't bad. It’s another great episode with great new characters, a fantastic moral, a gorgeous visual style, and very interesting set ups, and if you want to know why I say this then you better keep reading.

I can't read Internet, care to translate?
I won’t lie when I say that my opinions about this one were quite mixed. On one side I was kind of looking forward to it. This team of animators, writers and voice actors has proved once and again that they can literally make stories and great characters out of nothing, and of all the things they would have to bring from Generation 3 and 3.5 I think the Breezies is the absolute best they could have brought. But on the other side, I was also kind of weary of it. I was wondering if this episode was going to be another transparent toy-ploy like Equestria Girls, and if it was going to become my new guilty pleasure in the show. So I was keeping myself hopeful about it, but I was also prepared to witness and absolute disaster. I wasn’t getting sold on the premise until I saw a photo of the Breezies, and then a couple of clips, and that only made my enthusiasm grow bigger. By the time I watched the episode I had all my previous fears disappear completely as I sat back and enjoyed it.

Sit tight, you're about to see some shit!
I think there isn't really a point to delay any longer so I should talk about the really tiny elephant in the room and talk for a paragraph about The Breezies. Like I mentioned before The Breezies originally come from Generation 3 and 3.5, and they were based on a type of pony toy that first appeared during Generation 1 called Flutter-Ponies, which were just mere ponies with butterfly wings on them. I say they were the best thing to come out of Generation 3 because they were kind of enjoyable to watch; though they were as enjoyable as every single offensive character ever put in a Michael Bay film. You end laughing with them because of how numb you've become to them. How were the guys at DHX and the writers under Meghan McCarthy’s leadership going turn that into something everybody could enjoy?

Remember, it comes from this.
Well, for starters, they changed the design of the Breezies. They don’t look like miniaturized ponies with butterfly wings anymore. Now they have spindly legs, big heads, tiny bodies, and large wings that resemble more those of a dragonfly than those of a butterfly. Their manes are bushy and big, and they are small enough that even a tiny acorn becomes a meteorite for them. They look like something Guillermo del Toro would've designed if he had eaten too many boxes of Willy Wonka Candy. They have even improved the way the sound. Now they don’t speak like normal ponies, they speak a gibberish language that sounds like that one the Sims speak, if they were all Scottish and Swedish. Even their bodies make different sounds too. They have the glittering buzzing sound they did in previous generations, but when they are still they also sound like dry leaves crunching, and small twigs snapping. It’s very insect-like, and very clever. It gets across the fact that these creatures are in touch with nature in a completely different way that only belongs to Equestria.

You don't belong in Equestria, you don't belong anywhere! Get the fuck out!
So I did like the Breezies, quite a lot if I’m honest with you. I am giving them their own separate paragraph away from what I liked and disliked of the episode, because a big part of this episode’s success relies on the Breezies working as a character within this universe. Had they not worked this episode would have collapsed and it would've become unwatchable. As it is right now, I think the team of writers, voice actors and animators has succeeded with flying colors.

Quite literally.
So now that I have tackled the one big thing this episode brought to the universe let’s talk about the things that I liked and the things that I disliked about this episode.

Let's talk about this guy. Guy is gender neutral, right? He's a male.
Let me just say right away that SeaBreeze is an absolute fucking boss. He is voiced by Brian Drummond, the same guy who voiced Vegeta in DragonBall Z, and (albeit with some voice editing) he delivers a performance that’s both outrageously funny and painfully relatable. It is true that he does sound weird, but the way his voice is intonated reminds me more of a mumble bee being trapped in a window than a Scotsman trying to talk through a spinning fan. At first I really didn’t like him, as all he was doing was complaining and bitching and moaning. He is one of those characters that will surprise you right at the end, and with one single moment they get a lot more character development than many other characters in many other works of fiction. He spends the entire episode complaining and shouting at his squad of Breezies because they don’t want to leave, and he gets so fed up he even risks getting killed by any of the other dangers that loom out there. Why was he so anxious to go back? Why was he so angry at the other Breezies? Right when they arrive at the Breezy Kingdom I got the answer to my question.

In the loudest heartbreak in the World.
He just wanted to go back to his newborn child and his wife. That little moment is a stroke of genius. The episode is fantastic overall, I won’t deny that, but this moment is so good, so well done, so great, that the episode could have sucked and still I would’ve given it a glowing review. In just mere seconds they justify his attitude, they reveal his motivations, they close his character arc, and all of this is done without uttering a single word. It’s all gestures, actions, it shows us instead of telling us, and it’s just so wonderful and so heartwarming! It’s difficult not to get teary when talking about that scene, and it lasted like five seconds.

*sigh* If only I could have had a bit more of the spotlight.
Fluttershy was also great too, though that’s starting to be unsurprising. She was kind and passionate, and careful, and motherly, but she also had to stand her ground in the kindest way possible and take matters into her hooves. I really liked how quickly she jumped into action to gather up the stranded Breezies, and her banters with SeaBreeze were a lot of fun to watch. When SeaBreeze is about to be attacked by the bees and Fluttershy goes through the three states of negotiation was downright hysterical. First trying negotiation, then dialogue via Pony-sized Bee Butt (why would she have one of those!?) and finally switches to offensive mode as she practically yells the bees back into their hive. The scene where she is forced to break her element is quite heart-wrenching. She hates to refuse to her kindness, but she quickly learns that sometimes the kind thing to do is to shove a boot up someone’s ass to get them moving (put in a very crude way). She’s not used to release animals! If she could she’d keep that bear living inside her house with her, so you can only imagine in how many pieces her heart shattered when she had to kick the Breezies out of her house.

She was temporarily upset before she broke the Angry Landlady Routine.
Fluttershy is really starting to grow on me and she’s about to trample over Rainbow Dash as my third favorite pony (only behind Applejack and Rarity) which is something to say because when the series first started Rainbow was my absolute favorite. Now Shy is a lot more developed. She knows when to stand her ground, how to, and we see the consequences of the actions she really doesn’t want to take. I also really like how, every time they introduce a new magical creature, Fluttershy is around to deal with the situation (a Manticore in the series Pilot episodes, a Dragon in “Dragonshy”, a Cockatrice in “The Stare Master”, Iron Will in “Putting your Hoof Down”, Discord in “Keep Calm and Flutter On”, a Phoenix in “A Bird in the Hoof”, The Parasprites in “Swarm of the Century”, The Vampire Bats in “Bats!”). She is the official Beast Master of the group! I swear, In Season 5 Fluttershy is going to lead an army of woodland creatures against the forces of evil and amongst them she will have two ferrets, a black tiger and a hawk.

Bloody hell, even the Collectible Card Game says Beast Master!
As for the other characters they were all pretty good. I really liked how Spike rushed to apologize for making the Breezies get stranded in Ponyville, and how self-conscious he was of his own fuck up. I liked how Twilight finally had a grasp of magic spells and managed to make them work without backfiring with terrible consequences. This was only made better since the spell that turns them all into Breezies came from the Castle of the Two Sisters. Rarity was awesome with her excess of sequence in both her jacket and her dress, and her lamenting for not having her sketchbook was, once more, painfully relatable. Rainbow Dash was surprisingly cute and helpful in this episode. I was gleefully surprised that she always wondered how it would be to be a gryphon. Perhaps the most downplayed characters out of the Mane Six were Applejack and Pinkie Pie, but what little they had to contribute to the episode it was alright, though I can understand why some people might groan at Pinkie Pie’s excess of shouting.

She's been containing her shouting for over a week. She's close to burst.
I really liked how they kept on remembering us how big the entire world feels from the perspective of a Breezy. They would be using thimbles as drinking glasses, and tissue papers as blankets. For them a peephole becomes a window, the fall of some acorns is like an avalanche, the softest breeze is like a tornado, and a beehive suddenly turns into a buzzing cavern from hell (if they aren't already). It was great to see these things from their perspective, which is why I think it’s a bit of a shame that we don’t see more of them. I love that kind of point of view because it reminds me a lot of “Honey, I shrunk the kids” and while this episode gives us just the right amount to satisfy, it also kind of leaves me wanting for more. I guess that’s a good thing because it means they did it right.

That's the face of absolute terror right there. It's like stepping into a YouTube comment section.
The moment when the Mane Six turned themselves into Breezies was, and I won’t lie, kind of weird. It was well justified, and the explanation of the spell and how it works was pretty cool too. Even the transformation was somewhat freaky and kind of scary, kind of like G-Rated body horror. But it’s one of those moments when the TV show is seriously missing the price tag and the booming voice saying “Now available in the Hasbro online Story for 9,99$! Beg your parents for them!”. It’s not like this TV show is a stranger to moments like these, they have been present since Season 1, but it’s scenes like this one that make stop and realize: “Oh yeah, I’m watching a twenty two minutes long toy commercial”.

Batteries not included. You need parent permission to buy one. That applies to Bronies also.
Also, aside from SeaBreeze, none of the other Breezies had any personality. Their gibberish voices were cute, and their designs were very original and distinctive, but their motivations were complete non-sense, and their personalities non-existent. As a group they were great, but they didn’t leave much of an impact individually. I guess they are not supposed to, but I’m just saying they are in the title of the fucking episode. They are not even fully developed as a culture. We don’t know what they do with their pollen, or why do they need the pegasi to create a breeze to activate their magic. Their world looks hauntingly beautiful, kind of like a mix of Rivendell from Lord of the Rings and The Underground World of Pan’s Labyrinth; but this is kind of wasted since we learn nothing of it either. It looks pretty though, very pretty.

I'm pretty sure that the lack of Hugo Weaving makes the Pony version a lot manlier.
Overall, this is another fantastic Season 4 episode. It has great character interaction. It brings something from a previous generation and makes it work beautifully. It introduces a new character in a very heartwarming and touching way. It has its share of funny and sad moments, as well as tense and thrilling ones. It’s a great Fluttershy episode, it’s a great new magical creature episode, it had good rhythm, it has a consistent tone, and it tops it all off with a great moral. Sure, I did have like two things to complain about but they get quickly overrun by the myriad of good this episode is throwing at us.

Like Rainbow Dash with the craziest mane ever.
Now we just have to hope they will bring back the Smooze so they have to defeat it using the rock powers of Jack Black and the expert pirate singing of Guybrush Threepwood (fanfic in process of being written – Not really).

- Defining Moment: The arrival at the Breezy Kingdom, when SeaBreeze rushes to hold his newborn son, and then hug his wife.

- Moral: You can only be too kind until those you care about start taking advantage out of you. Sometimes the kind thing to do is to push your friends away so they can do what they are meant to do by themselves.


  1. -Of all the "rainbow connection" episodes so far, I think this is one that feels, for a lack of a better term, the most intimate. Whereas Coco Pommel taking inititative comes as a final surprise in "Manehattan", Spitfire remaining in her same basic position of unflappable coolness after taking a lesson from RD in "Rainbow Falls", and Cheese Sandwich already being where he needs to be character-wise throught "Pinkie Pride", here we have Seabreeze and Fluttershy bouncing off each other through banter and eventually learning an important lesson from each other in real time. Seabreeze learns how far kindess can go, while Fluttershy learns about knowing when to be firm. We get to see both characters grow together, front and center.
    -Seabreeze was all around very likeable. He has the bravado of a military leader, yet so tiny that he can't even defend himself. This makes for a fun character, but I do appreciatte the episode going the extra mile with the reveal of his family towards the end, which is noteworthy considering that 98% of the population of Equestria is apparently single (Funny how he's not the only dad on the show voice by Brian Drummond).
    -The transformation scene towards the end feels like its mostly there just to give the episode a more exciting ending (not a bad thing in and of itself), but it's put to very good use, mostly just so we can see how gorgeous the home of the Breezies is (I admire how it's barely in the episode, yet someone must've put a lot of craftsmanship into it) and also give Seabreeze a moment to put into practice what he learnt from Fluttershy.
    -Much like the other episode written by Natasha Levinger this season, this is an episode that knows exactly what it needs to do and carries it out with plenty of efficiency. It may not be one of the best episodes, but it is certainly a very charming and very rewatchable episode. I'm excited to see what else the writer can bring to the series.

  2. Another great review, James!

  3. It's not one of my favorite episodes but there are some outstanding animation

  4. "I am also skipping the summary for this week’s episode, and for the following ones. I am sticking to this shorter, more manageable style of reviews for the sake of my productivity and your time."

    Thank you!

    I appreciate your opinion of this episode, and I like seeing a viewpoint completely different from my own, but I really didn't like this episode. I liked Seabreeze, and his presence kept the episode from falling into an abyss for me, but I didn't like anything else. (Fittingly, this episode felt the most out of any episode so far like G3.)

    Tommy Oliver on YouTube pretty much sums up the problems I had with this episode, so I don't feel like I need to repeat it here. Either way, I'm at least glad some people liked it, and it's interesting reading the reasons why they do.

  5. I have a problem with the end of this episode honestly. The fact that Twilight had to come in and solve the issue in Fluttershy's key episode, just for the toy commercial quota, was pretty shitty honestly. I mean, this was Fluttershy's season defining moment and she only half solved it.

    Oh well, other than the awful ending this episode was ok... I dunno that part is just off to me.

    1. You're not the only one to feel this way. Personally, I'm fine with it, as I kind of saw it coming, but it makes you wonder why Fluttershy couldn't just carry them herself to the portal. I guess the breeze is needed to keep the pollen from spoiling(?).

      However, there are a few that saw the ending to this as a blatant toy promotion, ruining everything about the episode including SeaBreeze's reunion. I wouldn't take it that far, but it comes as a stark reminder that this show is around to promote a toy line. A FANTASTIC show to be sure, so I'm willing to let things like this breeze on by.

  6. Yo iba a escribir un comentario bastante largo analizando el episodio pero ando apretado de tiempo así que toca un comentario corto:

    Este episodio fue aburrido para mí. Una de las principales razones por las que me gusta el show es por la interacción entre personajes. INcluso cuando no hay comedia, yo igual podría sentarme a ver a Twilight y Applejack conversando sobre fórmulas sobre manzanas. Ellas son personantes interesantes.

    Lamnetablemente, la interacción entre Fluttershy y los breezies es aburrida. Seabreeze era el único entretenido y no tuvo el "screentime" suficiente para salvar el episodio.

    Tal vez si el guión no hubiese gastado tanto tiempo en el chiste de las ropas de Rarity o el gag de Fluttershy y las abejas (lo que pudo hacerse un poco más rápido), habría habido más tiempo para desarrollar a los breezies.

    Y todo el asunto de la transformación de las ponis fue muy WTF. No me molesta tanto el hecho de que se transformaran sino que de inmediato se acostumbraron a tener ese tamaño y alas. Incluso Twilight necesitó tiempo para acostumbrarse al cuerpo humano.

    Es sólo mi opinión, por supuesto.

    Lo que no fue aburrido fue leer tu reseña. Gracias.

  7. ''their motivations were complete non-sense, and their personalities non-existent.''

    So they're pretty much like Bushwoolies from G1: all of them pretty stupi, except for their (supposed) leader :P. Honestly, though, I don't think they're reason was pretty non-sensical: they were afraid of facing the outside world, and with good reasons (I mean, even the bees are dangerous for them!).

    Overall I very much loved the episode: I liked the breezies, I liked Seabreeze, and Fluttershy showed once again how awesome she is :3. My only little complain is that I'd wish that the main six in their "breezie form" would had a little more screen time then what they ended up with: I mean, come on, they were super cute!

  8. He returns! And it is glorious!


    Yeah, I know I should have said as such in the last review, but between a new job and a new home I didn't get round to it. But my reaction to your decision to continue reviewing can be summed up in a quote from Equestria's junior princess...


    "Yes! YesyesyesyesyesYES!"

    And the episodes itself was not half bad at all! In fact, after a weak intro (which almost made me give up on the ep, which has not happened to me since 'The Games Ponies Play') it began soaring on a rising breeze of adorable awesomeness. This is the latest in a streak of excellent episodes that have not let up since 'Rarity in Manehattan', and I am full of hope that this is a trend that will continue. Kudos Hasbro and DHX - now give us more. More ponies for the bronies, more material for James to review!

    So yeah, episode rocked, your reviews rock, you rock!

    And Brian Drummond, seriously? Seabreeze was voiced by Zechs Marquise!?

  9. Good animation, decent moral and all that, but that's all I can say. Most of these episodes were good this season but that's all I can view it as. A casual observer liking what he sees. Though, I did get a kick out of the helium voices. And for the longest time I had no idea the lead breezy was male. It's the eyelashes, I tell you.
    I would have to say that what may be your problem is, among most other viewers of the show, that you look ahead of time to see what it's all about. The most notorious example for me would be the Alicorn Twilight spoilers last season. Ruined the entire thing for me, despite not looking up any information on it. Post a damn picture and boom, the point of the season is ruined. I prefer going into these episodes blind. No need to analyze this show ahead of time, just sit back, think of the previous one and then enjoy the new episode spoiler free. Now if only the chumps at Equestria Daily would learn that. God damn I would have been happy to not know about Weird Al ahead of time. The only one I did not know anything beforehand was "Three's a Crowd". And hell, that was one hell of a pleasant surprise.

  10. But I'd like to be a breezie :(
    Keep up the good work, James! We are all different kinds of people and we have different opinions on the episodes, movies, lifestyle, foods... and -of course- on whether you should include the storyline summary section or not. Imagine, what a disaster would be if all of us would say the same thing. Or worse, there would be six little ponies with the same personality, and Rainbow Dash never would have a chance to become a wonderbolt, Twilight never would become a princess, Fluttershy wouldn't be the only one friend of Discord and Pinkie Pie wouldn't be ... Pinkie Pie.
    To cut it short, just accept it. The greatest fortune is that you write these reviews for us and not vice versa. It's totally your choice what you write and how you write it. We will like it anyway as long as it's true and funny
    ... and that's how Equestria was made. Hence, my rating is 3+/5.

    I was remiss again, shame on me! These beautiful things were straight in front of my eyes and I didn't notice. It's like I almost stepped on a breezie.

    When I first watched this episode I thought it is a weak production, some kinds of toy-selling commercial for little girls.
    But then, I watched it the second time, and I literally laughed my ass off. And, I want more of this. Something is wrong with me, help!

    The humor was great, there were some really funny jokes.
    The most epic things: cheering Fluttershy style; Rarity's glittering outfit and that Twilight can't admit too much purple (maybe, she is biased towards her own color :); wingboners of course; Fluttershy and the bees -I especially loved the bee dance part, when she shakes her abdomen invitingly-; Fluttershy's crying, after she kicked out the breezies -oh, the feelings, this scene showed very well how brave she had to be to do it without tears-; Pinkies voice remained unchanged in breezie form -lol, it is high-pitch by default-; Rainbow Dash wants to be a griffon/dragon and any other animal capable of flying.
    I haven't mentioned the most hilarious thing yet: the language of the breezies. I laughed my ass off every time, when they said something in their silly-sounding native language with a whiny tone. To me, it sounded like a mixture of Finnish, Russian (at least the accent) and Spanish (no offense). I don't know why, it was just simply funny.

    Fluttershy has got her portion of rainbow. Again, -as you pointed out- there was a conflict between her true calling (kindness) and what her friends really need. On the other hand, the episode is exceptional in the sense that no close friends involved in this conflict (unlike in "Rarity takes Manehattan", "Rainbow Falls" and "Pinkie Pride"). Maybe, this fact supposed to mean that Fluttershy loves all of the creatures in Equestria almost as much as her pony friends.
    It was also a great character development episode for Fluttershy. She wasn't afraid of flying when the breezies needed her help. After that, she learnt that too much kindness can be as bad as too little.

    Seabreeze was a very good side character, I think. He was bossy, but not for himself.
    Okay, that last moment with Seabreeze and her baby was totally genius. This is what I call a character arc.
    Pinkie, Fluttershy, Rarity and Rainbow Dash were in character too. I loved Pinkie's "may explode" line. It carried the exact amount of randomness.
    Natasha Levinger officially joined to the "good writer for Pinkie" group.

  11. (cont.)
    There were some serious bad points too, and I see here a consensus on this matter.

    One more portal, really? I don't like the whole idea. The next thing will be that everypony have a mangekyou sharingan.

    The fact that Twilight transformed everypony into breezies almost ruined the whole episode. She can turn anypony into anything? Just no!
    And don't say, she had no other solution in mind. Occam's razor would cut her tiny head off in ten seconds flat.
    By the way, shouldn't RD deal with the wind, instead of changing to a breezie? The other two seemed pretty incompetent.
    All in all the entire transformation was totally unnecessary. I hate to think about it, but it's really just for toy-selling.
    Besides that scene, the other parts were all right.

    The whole episode heavily reminded me of "Keep Calm and Flutter on", as it was a similar mental journey for Fluttershy, without an intricate plotline.

  12. I won't be apologetic. This episode was garbage. Hands down the worst one of S4, and it's down there with some of the Spike episodes for worst of the series.

    First off, it was a blatant "new toy" episode. Second, the entire premise was lame. The breeze activates the Breezies' nonexistent magic. Their migration speed is slower than molasses, and they couldn't ask to be transported in a basket or a carriage. They don't want to go back to their homeland for reasons unknown, which is revealed at the end to be some sort of paradise. And of course, the deus ex machina ending. I couldn't have cared less about the fate of the Breezies for the entire episode.

    I also disagree with this being a good character development episode. Putting Your Hoof Down (with Iron Will) was a good character development episode, and it was actually enjoyable. This one wasn't.

    This was an episode that went so horribly wrong that it felt like I was watching an animated version of fan fiction. I don't want to write a wall of text about an episode I absolutely hated, so I'll end it with that.