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"Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

~Ephesians 5:16

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Why My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the Greatest Cartoon of the 21st Century


My Little Pony is a franchise title that associates itself with the likes of Barbie and Polly Pocket. Then Friendship is Magic came along and changed that. Let's head back two months ago. Now I as many others have always known about the franchise, you know, those little pink pony dolls you see in Toys R Us. It wasn't for people my age really. Friendship is Magic I didn't think was any different. To be honest, I didn't even know much about it, I just made an assumption because of the My Little Pony insignia. I would sometimes see the ponies in ads while watching Transformers: Prime on the Hub. Outside of that, I never really saw them. On the internet I began to realize just how popular the show was, spawning hundreds and hundreds of memes. I found out that there are legion of fans who are guys, and that they're labeled 'bronies.' (Bro-pony.) I thought that was...interesting. Sometimes on TOHO Kingdom I would take a peak at the Friendship is Magic sub-forum, these guys were really into it. Throughout the internet I kept hearing about how amazing the toon is. Great animation and stories I would hear. One day I was having breakfast and looking for something to watch on demand. I went into the Hub section and ran into a couple of Friendship episodes. I was there, doing nothing other than having a meal, so why not? That way I could see what all the hype was about. I ended up watching The Show Stoppers. I was a little taken off-guard, it was pretty nice and cute. Okay, so the following day I saw another one on demand, Fall Weather Friends, which featured more of the main cast. Now that was good I thought, it was entertaining, funny, and even gave you a warm feeling inside. So after that I typed the show into Netflix and to my amazement it was streaming the entire show. I started to watch episodes out of order, ones that sounded good. Eventually, I decided to start from square one and work my way through. About a month later, I am finished with Season 2. Wow. Even after finishing Season 1 I knew it...this show was a true gem. Yes, I'm a fan, big fan even. I haven't seen a cartoon like this in a long time. No, I'm not overrating it, it really is a fantastic show.

First off, there is literally nothing wrong with this show. I'm using wrong with both definitions. There is nothing wrong in terms of negatives. As a reviewer, I cannot find any faults with the show. There is literally nothing negative I can say about it. If you read my On the State of the Cartoon post, you would know that I'm not fond of today's cartoons in general. Obnoxious, poor story telling, and is completely moral free with main characters going against their parents almost every episode. (The Amazing World of Gumball....stay away from that show.) There is nothing bad about this series. There's no crude humor that parents would find off-putting, no questionable main characters, and just remains a really innocent show. Most importantly, there are plenty of great morals found. Let me give you a quote from Twilight Sparkle herself:

"It's great to be really good at something, but it is important to act with grace and humility." ~Twilight Sparkle

Grace and humility? Do you hear that ever in any cartoon today? I'd like to think there are two types of cartoons, ones for entertainment and ones moral based. (Cartoon Network vs. PBS Kids.) Friendship is Magic combines them both. I've seen enough things such as anime where they have the cheesy friendship speech where the main character gets hidden power and all that nice stuff. Thankfully, this show is anything but cheesy. The morals come natural as the characters learn them. And don't think these are things only little kids can take out of, people my age could also take them to heart, they're that good. In today's violent world, we could use a show like this. One that's free of today's culture and makes you smile. (I hope I'm not sounding cheesy now.)



Twilight Sparkle is the show's front runner, but the rest of the characters also get plenty of episodes centering around them. We have Fluttershy, (as you guessed, the shy, low-voiced one) Rarity, (the one who is into fashion and looking good) Applejack, (a swift contrast to Rarity, works at an apple farm and doesn't care all that much for fashion) Pinkie Pie, (the hyper one who loves parties and making friends) and finally Rainbow Dash, the tomboy of the group. This is probably the most well-written cast of characters I have ever seen. Their personalities are all extremely well defined, which makes interaction all the more entertaining. You will most definitely have a favorite. They're all awesome however, you can't really dislike any of them. This is of course thanks to the smart writing. In today's toon world, I'm going to admit I have zero expectations for any new TV-Y show, I expect the writing to be juvenile and cringe-worthy. Not here. Another thing I like is how new viewer accessible it is. The Show Stoppers was an episode in the middle of the first season, yet I had absolutely no trouble following along. It takes really good writing and story telling to be able to make practically every episode one which a new viewer can jump in.

I hate sing-a-longs, I really do. I almost died from watching High School Musical 2. I really cannot stand them. Tangled, a very good movie, had them which felt kinda forced in my opinion. Once I heard the first song in an episode here, I started to shout the Darth Vader "Nooooo!" from Revenge of the Sith, but then stopped, cause the song was actually pretty good. This may sound shocking, but the songs in the show are really good, even a little emotional sometimes, it gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling, they're really well done. (Highlights include Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash's pet song duo and At the Gala.) I think I'm going to have to put some of these on my iPod now.

The thing about this show is that you actually care about the main characters. Such as when Fluttershy is sent away in tears from being pushed around by a griffon called Gilda in Griffon the Brush-off or when Rarity is kidnapped in A Dog and Pony Show. Then there's the emotion-filled final two parter of Season 2. I am amazed at the amount of emotion these episodes pack. I gotta say that I don't find too many things in media funny these days. You will be astonished at what passes for 'humor' in cartoons and sitcoms alike. Here the humor is genuinely funny. There's the classic Fluttershy going kinda crazy in the finale of Season 1, almost any scene with Pinkie Pie, among many, many other things. The voice acting is phenomenal. I don't think I've seen a show with better voice work. Each of the ponies' voices compliments their personalities 100%. There are three major villains, Nightmare Moon, Discord, and Queen Chrysalis. All written surprisingly pretty menacingly, especially Discord. While this isn't an action show, don't think it holds out on letting the ponies let loose. Especially in the final episode, where they battle an army of demonic servant things working for Queen Chrysalis.



What I'm saying is that Friendship is Magic is the perfect cartoon. There are literally no faults to be found. These last couple of paragraphs I would never have thought I'd write if this was two months ago. I've spoken to a quite a few people who are hesitant on checking it out just cause of the My Little Pony insignia. If you think it's just a little girls show to help sell the toys, *newsflash* it's not. You're talking to a 16 year old guy who enjoys movies like The Matrix and Aliens. This show is not the stereotype you're thinking it is. It's a series full of heart. With Season 3 starting next month and a comic series coming in November, it's not going away anytime soon. Every thing stated above is why I think Friendship is Magic is the greatest show of the 21st Century, and maybe ever. And with that said, I will close with another quote from Twilight:
"Friendship is a wondrous and powerful thing. Even the worst of enemies can become friends. You need understanding and compromise. You've got to share, you've got care." ~Twilight Sparkle

12 comments:

  1. ... Is that so? MLP: FILM, the perfect cartoon of the 21st Century? While the points you bring up are good, there are a handful of cartoons that also fulfill those criteria, or outdo MLP as a whole. Avatar: The Last Airbender and Teen Titans. Both shows are also easy to follow, few if any sing-alongs, and amazing action and wonderful plots... plus, neither suffer major plot holes, have good voice acting, and also have characters you like and care for...

    ~Flygon King of Toho Kingdom.

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    1. Calling it the greatest cartoon of the 21st century is ambitious on my part, since there are quite a few that meet the standard. Both those shows are action/story based while Friendship is more for its characters and friendship-related morals. In that sense all these shows are different, so picking a best one is hard. I do find this show to be the definition of the 'perfect' cartoon for the reasons stated.

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  2. "I've seen enough things such as anime where they have the cheesy friendship speech where the main character gets hidden power and all that nice stuff."

    As a big anime fan that's the line that spoke to me. There's always a reason for the hidden power. Take DBZ, Goku got Super Saiyan when Krillin died. Was that cheesy? No, because to unlock Super Saiyan you need strong emotions. If he had just saved the day without it that would have been cheesy.

    Bleach, Ichigo has latent talent within him and plot twists that would make your head spin. Bleach isn't cheesy.

    Anime in general really isn't cheesy. They overcome their problems with character development and pure power. It's why Anime is the best thing since they invented Mac N Cheese. You're gonna need to see some more anime in the future :)

    The best part of Friendship is Magic is definitely the fight scenes for me. I mean, that's why they even made that Deathbattle where Rainbow Dash beat Starscream :o

    Best show of the 21st century? I guess I'd have to give that to Yugioh GX. Now that show had Awesome Animation, Extremely Emotional Settings, (climax of Part 1 Arc 3 anyone?) There was nothing cheesy about it, NO sing alongs, Detailed Plots, and you guessed it! Great fight scenes. Surprisingly there was one other awesome thing about it. Great music. Personally Yugioh GX had the best Soundtrack of any show ever! Nearly every track was filled with incredible depth and heart. Not too mention that it made the fight scenes really flow.

    Well, glad to see a "State of the Cartoon" sequel (kind of)

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    1. I like anime myself, but some of the friendship speeches could really be cheesy.

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    2. Like which ones? I've always found that anime has the best friendship speeches and I don't find them cheesy.

      "Friendship is a wondrous and powerful thing. Even the worst of enemies can become friends. You need understanding and compromise. You've got to share, you've got care." ~Twilight Sparkle

      Okay...that sounds a bit cheesy. Does she reaklly believe that the worst of enemies can become friends through those 2 things? If so, I'm afraid that she's gravely mistaken. An anime speech? Those are usually hardcore!

      "Don't die Kurosaki kun. I don't care whether you win or not. You don't have to keep going. just please don't hurt yourself any more than this" Orihime

      "Sorry Grimmjow, looks like I'm not allowed to take any more damage than this" Ichigo *then he slashes the living daylights out of Grimmjow*

      Okay, now That has heart! That's a true speech and a truly emotional scene! You just can't compare any scene in the whole Friendship is Magic series to that! The sheer depth in that scene is amazing! The voice acting is superb and the animation's cutting edge. You can feel the atmosphere change with that scene and it just makes you feel happy inside.

      Friendship is Magic is much cheesier than anime

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    3. How can you say that's cheesy? That's a great quote.

      Anything MegaMan and if I remember correctly the earlier Yu-Gi-Oh volumes had some cheesy stuff going on.

      Anime is a broad subject, Friendship is just one cartoon. It's not a fair comparison to say that 'Friendship is Magic is much cheesier than anime.'

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  3. How's it not cheesy? Think about it. The worst of enemies can't be friends and that was a pretty big friendship speech that lacked subtlety.


    Megaman speeches were where it was at! Megaman and Lan are great friends so of course they show that when things get real. It's never done in a cheesy fashion. Yugioh speeches are also great.

    But I can't think of a single anime that's more cheesy than Friendship is Magic. You just can't compare the two. Anime pwns 4 life!

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    1. The point of the quote is to say that even if they're the worst of enemies, they can still become friends. They can become allies, even if they're worst enemies. That happens everywhere, from comics to anime.

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    2. But not worst enemies. Take Ganondorf and Link. Could they be friends? In anime there's always a reason. Take Lazerman from the Megaman anime. He'd never make friends...

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    1. Heh heh, two years later and three seasons later here I am today watching it on a weekly basis. And I owe a good majority of that to you. I'll never forget the day you sent me the video with Fluttershy getting the bear back into shape.

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  5. During these last 3 years, I have finally realized the epicness of My Little Pony. It is truly a superb franchise Destroyer. I consider myself to be...a Brony now!!!

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