I decided to keep my head down until this whole “ball pit” “4chan rivalry” shite has blown over.
Is it safe to crawl out of my carapace yet?
Does anyone have any requests of movie reviews?
You know what? I love boobs. I love cake. I love reptiles. I love science. And I love the Simpsons. You want to know why I love The Simpsons? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you exactly what made them great in the first place. You ready?
The Simpsons was never really about The Simpsons.
And Friendship is Magic has never really been about the ponies. Fluttershy? She doesn’t matter. Applejack? Not important in the slightest. Twilight? She may as well not even be there. Not one of the girls are the most important element, because not one of them are a single character.
My cosmic powers of deduction tell me you are a little confused at what I’m trying to say. That’s ok…just relax. Let me walk you through what I mean.
Take Moe Sizlack. What could you tell me about him if I said I knew nothing about the kind of man he is? Quite a bit I’m willing to wager. He’s a disgruntled bar owner, who is quick to anger but even quicker to depression due to his crippling pessimism and perceived failure at fulfilling his own potential in life. He’s not an evil man, but he doesn’t mind acting like it. He’s a petty criminal, a scam artist and a charlatan but genuinely values the few friendships he has been lucky enough to form. His personality stretches so far beyond just “kooky bar owner” that he is relatable to quite a wide variety of people. So you see, he’s not just one thing, he’s whatever the writers need him to be within the realistic realms of his general appearance in order to make a joke, or make a point. And the same goes for Chief Wiggum, Seymore Skinner, Bart, Lisa, Marge, Homer, Smithers, and indeed all the characters. All of their personalities cast a much wider net than what is immediately apparent, and before you know it one simple character can come to represent several demographics of people.
Now take a look at Twilight. Who is she?
The leader of the group? No. She is so much more than just that. She represents the outcast intellectual, the insecure overachiever, the snobby pack leader, the stubborn methodist, the micromanaging perfectionist, the cynic, the critic, the realist, the referee, the reuctant hero and the earnest soul who will always try to do right by those she loves. She is all that and more, and we have seen examples of every single one of those things in one episode or another.
Just as someone like Mr. Burns can come to simultaneously represent every single evil, faceless mega corporation on the planet and also the hopelessly out of touch political figure, Twilight can make you sympathize with so much more than just what is currently on the screen at the time, which is what gives her and her friends such a broad appeal. The same principal is true of all MLP’s characters; it’s just used for something other than biting social satire.
That something just so happens to be friendship…and by extension; just being a good person and true to yourself. That’s how this show has reached such a wide demographic. That is how these characters make us fall in love with them, and that is why MLP: FIM is such a success. ‘Twilight’s Kingdom’ rounds out this adventure in spectacular fashion, and sets up our favourite pretty purple pony with the perfect platform to pursue her predisposition for playing with pals.
Let’s talk about this amazing finale in greater depth.
The first thing I noticed was there was a dramatic shift in the usual tone. This is to be expected given it being a season finale, but there’s a little more to it than that. The episode started with Twilight and co arriving in the crystal empire, but it didn’t really BEGIN until the song “You’ll Play Your Part” graced our ears. Asides from being further proof that Daniel Ingrahm deserves a Grammy, its erved to remind us all of what has been Twilights biggest struggle since the beginning of the season; namely, her disenfranchisement and disappointment with her newfound role as a bonafide Alicorn princess.
The tone shift comes in when you realise that Twilights problems actually mirror the real world frustrations and idealism of….not a little girl….but a young adult. Knowing that one simple detail casts the whole episode in a new light from this point on and lends credence to the actions of other characters in the later on in the episode. It also nullifies the criticism I would ordinarily level at the constant rehashing of “Twilights Destiny” as a plot device, due to how long she has been struggling with it now (at least two seasons of internal conflict).
Something else to be noted by Twilights uncertainty at her purpose as a princess is that it totally flies in the face of every generic ‘princess’ storyline typically seen in media aimed at young girls. Think about it, what happens when the ordinary girl becomes a princess? Everything is perfect and the movie ends doesn’t it? One thing I particularly like about Twilights Kingdom is that is takes place well after Twilight herself actually became a princess. Everything WASN’T perfect; she DIDN’T live happily ever after. She still had doubts and fears in her life and it speaks volumes about the creative effort behind the show when you see a positive climax (eg: turning into a magical princess) actually degrade into a bitter disappointment for the hero rather than a silver bullet that fixes every conceivable problem. She wasn’t just handed the solution, she was given the CHOICE to involve herself in the betterment of her world, and the fact that Twilights decisions have always been hers alone (mistakes included) makes her a spectacularly positive role model for all audiences.
You hearing me Stephanie Myer? You getting the message Suzanne Collins? Twilight fucking Sparkle is a better female role model than any of the dreck you’ve puked out. She’s accomplished more impressive feats with more courage and better judgment than some of the most popular characters in modern media, and there’s something delightfully blunt about that.
Let’s talk about the villain.
A returning character from previous generations of MLP, Tirek is given a much less dignified backstory than the grand terror inspired by the impressive repertoire of someone like Discord or Nightmare Moon. He doesn’t really rule anything so far as we know or have any kind of incredible legend surrounding his existence…he’s just this kind of mean spirited, power hungry, magic thieving baboon-centaur-thing. But he’s a BIG threat if he gets snowballing, and in his final form is easily the most powerful villain the show has ever featured.
Beyond that there isn’t really much to him. We learn of a brother he once shared a common goal with, but the important blanks to that story are filled in well enough to accurately guess how the entirety of their interaction played out. What saves him from being as stale as King Sombre is the pairing with Discord. This gives both characters a chance to bounce off someone they normally don’t get to, and paves the way for more interesting character development.
Speaking of Discord, he’s been teetering on the very edge of villain and friend for some time now, and while that has led to some amusing visual gags and situations that keep you guessing which side he’s really on, it’s high time this rising star found a solar system to call his own. Now that he has tasted true guilt and remorse, Discord looks like he’ll settle in as a true seventh member of the group. Hopefully he won’t have such a big question mark hanging over his head from now on, and can instead just be further enjoyed for his awesome nods to more adult movies. I would even go so far as to say he’ll have entire episodes where he alone is the main character.
But the big thing everyone loves about this finale is the showdown between Twilight and Tirek. I gotta say, I never thought in a million years there would be a genuinely cool looking fight scene with high stakes in this show, but knock me down with a sock full of sand if that’s not exactly what it delivered.
Everyone seems to love to make the connection to Dragonball Z, and while I’ll admit there are a couple of similarities, I don’t think that is the important thing to take away from the confrontation.
Ask yourself, as cool as the fight was, what did it actually accomplish for Twilight? Well, nothing really. She and Tirek were evenly matched and both of them soon saw that waging all-out war against each other would be pointless. Progress was only made when Tirek used his leverage against Twilight by dangling her friends in front of her, and resolution was only reached when Twilight played her ultimate trump card of unlocking the trees power.
See, it’s not always the one with the biggest gun who has the most power. The pen is truly mightier than the sword, and this fight is a good example. All it really served to do was vent Twilight years of pent up frustration on a being who could take what she had to dish out. She was quite clearly DONE fuckin’ around with diplomacy for the time being, and even though it goes against her grain, she was more than willing to step up to the plate and open up a great big can ‘o whoopass, which is A LOT more than I can say for every other princess……like….EVER! I mean, what does every single Disney Princess ever do? They egt captured and saved, captured and saved. Same goes for most game princesses to…they are so heavily typecast as the damsels in modern media that it’s easy to forget that Twilight is herself, a princess….and it’s something remarkable rare to watch a princess fight tooth and nail like this in what is essentially a no holds barred brawl.
I guarantee you’ll never see Ariel strap a harpoon gun to her back and go call out her arch rival like Achilles did to Hector. You won’t see Cinderella slip on some crystal kunckledusters and break her evil step-sisters jaw. You can forget about watching Sleeping Beauty pull a grenade pin with her teeth and level an entire field of stone pillars with righteous fury.
Twilight is the most kick-ass princess ever. And not just for having the courage to fight, but for having the courage to stand up for herself, her friends, and her very existence without relying on some blonde knob in a tin suit to come swoop her up and save her.
SHE makes the choices. SHE calls the shots. SHE deals with the consequences.
There’s not another like her.
But…what happens now?
Well, everything’s finished. The long journey is over. Twilight’s long character arc is finally complete, as is that of every single one of her friends, and the series would lose absolutely no grace by ending right here.
And make no mistake, it very well might. All loose ends are tied up, there are no questions left unanswered, Twilight has settled into a new niche she has carved for herself with a red hot razor and there is actually no further obligation to continue on. It’s all done. Everyone’s done. It’s finished. It’s over.
Oh hi there season 5 confirmation, I didn’t see you there!
Welp, this season ended with a perfect setup to get the ponies back to basics. I predict we will be seeing some very low key character focused episodes that deal with the struggles of new responsibility put upon those who may not want it or even be good at it. Being the princess of friendship and spreading its wonders across Equestria means new lands to see, new ponies to meet, old friends to revisit, and a whole new world to get wrapped up in once again.
In a way, this finale acted like a great big reset button. The most serious (known) threats of the pony world have been pretty thoroughly nullified, and all the characters are in the perfect position to act like their goofy selves.
I absolutely adore this show, and I simply cannot wait to see where it goes next.
I honestly dont have the energy to do pony reviews at the moment. I haven’t even watched the last six episodes.
I’ll just do a shitty cop out summary at the end of the season.
Even bother doing pony episode reviews? Bronycomms do the faster and better and nobody reads my shit anyway.
Sorry for lack of pony episode reviews. I’ll do another bundle review soon I swear to Celestia.
Regarding Natalia Poklonskaya:
Internet one minute:
HOW DARE YOU RUSSIA! You get the fuck out of Ukraine right now! You homophobic monsters! You oppressive evil bastards! The world deserves to be free and the swift wrath of Anonymous shall befall your head like the sword of demaclese with all the raging fury of a giant red phoenix!
Internet next minute:
That girl is cute. We forgot what we were angry about.
My Top 10 Favorite CGI Animation Movie Scenes Ever
#1 —- ParaNorman —- A story for Agatha
So did everyone just….forget…about ParaNorman? With all the recent hype surrounding the Frozen songs it’s a wonder anyone is even aware this movie was released at all. Truly one of the more underrated movies of 2012, ParaNorman was a sharp little creation done entirely in 3d stop motion animation. Forgoing many of the clichés of traditional kid’s movies, ParaNorman had its sights set squarely on the hypocrisy of the modern adult and the barbaric similarities many of us still share with the backwards, uneducated, god-fearing hicks of the Salem witch hunting era.
Centred on a young boy (Norman Babcock) with the unique gift of being able to communicate with the dead, the plot involves Norman being told by a distant relative that he is the only one who can stop a witches curse that was laid on the town hundreds of years ago and thus prevent the dead from rising from their graves to devour the living. The movie favors old fashioned suspense and genuine creepiness in its tone that gives it an edge rarely seen in most adult horror movies let alone kids films. There’s a definite feeling of dread and uncomfortable sickness that permeates the entire run time and it really gives the movie a great atmosphere. The mystery of Norman’s town and its evil past are both genuinely intriguing, and the characters are all earnest and believable.
The great twist of the movie is that the zombies apparently out to eat everyone’s brains are really more afraid of us than we are of them. They stumble into our modern world and are utterly horrified at how violent and lazy we are, even running in fear from the townspeople as they chase them in an angry mob with pitchforks and shotguns.
But the zombies are not as innocent as they seem. They were once people. Farmers, maids, husbands, wives and judges. People who, in their fear and stupidity, took an innocent young girl with powers like Normans away from her mother and killed her for witchcraft. The spirit of this girl would linger on, and manifest itself in the form of the witches curse. ‘Angry Aggie’ had taken over, and only those with the ability to talk to the dead can read her the bedtime story that keeps her sleeping for another year.
But Norman realises that the story is not enough, and does something that none before him have dared…he tries to talk to the spirit of Agatha directly and release her from her torment. This is where one of the most powerful scenes in animated history takes place.
Agatha terrifies Norman, hurts him, throws him, tries to kill him, makes him hallucinate and rejects all the good sense he tries to make to her. Her desire to make her killers suffer is so great that it has corrupted her being, and turned her into just as much of an evil creature as they were to her. The only thing that makes Agatha come to her senses…is being told that she is not alone. That there is always someone who cares for you. Always someone to sympathize. And that all the revenge in the world can never undo what has been done.
Make no mistake…this is an INTENSE scene. The music is ghostly and suspenseful and the imagery is genuinely frightening. Made all the more so by the fact that you can sympathize with how Agatha feels. We have all had people hurt us badly at some point in our lives, and we all feel the need for swift and brutal revenge, so in a way you almost find yourself rooting for her. But in the end, the strongest person, the best person, the smartest person is the one who is influenced by the good in their lives…not the bad.
By the movies end, you see that Norman and Agatha are two sides of the same coin. One passive and accepting, one bitter and vengeful. Each one knows how the other feels, each one can sympathize, and each one can teach something valuable, and both of them will forever know what it’s like to feel alone in a crowd.
But now, thanks to Norman, they both know what it’s like to find a hand to hold onto so you don’t get lost.
My Top 10 Favourite CGI Movie Animation Scenes Ever
#2 —- Wall-E —- Space Dancing
“Computer, define ‘dancing’.”
With humanity finally trapped in the slump of laziness and empty-headedness we seem to be madly rushing towards today, two little robots unknowingly demonstrate the spark of life and creativity with a simple frolic amongst the jet propulsions of a spaceship engine and the infinite stars of the universe.
It’s a sad irony when it is two essentially lifeless automatons that have to remind us that there is more to life than having our heads buried in IPhones and our mouths crammed full of McDonalds.
What will you do today? Paint a self-portrait? Build a house? Write a movie script and become the next Scorsese? You will only find out if you get up and put in the effort.
My Top 10 Favourite CGI Movie Animation Scenes Ever
#3 —- Toy Story —- You are just a toy
Toy Story. The first movie ever made using entirely CG environments and characters is still as relevant today as it was when it was released. The simple story of a boys favourite wooden cowboy feeling inadequate and threatened by the flashy new spaceman in town permeates every layer of what it means to be not a toy, but human and comfortable in your own skin.
Seeing Buzz wake up to the realisation of what he is was one of the most heartbreaking scenes in animation history. But the real cherry on top was his stalwart denial and true belief in his fantasy that was of course, destined to fail when he tried to fly out the window. Alone on the floor of a strangers house, broken on the outside and inside, lying motionless in the realisation that he was not who he thought he was, Buzz finally sees his own delusion.
In any other movie, Buzz’s heroic denial of his apparent disability would be the thing that carries him to a happy ending…but what made Toy Story so great was that the characters accepted themselves and their own limitations and used what seemed like a disadvantage as a tool to succeed.
Sometimes it’s good to re-learn as an adult what you were taught as a kid, and Toy Story (and both its sequels) is full of lessons for life.