At first this looked to me like just another "be yourself" episode, but I think it is more interesting to look at how it was the environment that determined whether Discord was present or fading. He tried to adapt and fit into something not him and started fading. Someone else, a friend, Fluttershy, brought the environment back to nourishing him where he couldn't do it by himself anymore.
I.e. sometimes we need others to lovingly do for us what we cannot do ourselves, to add a perception of us that we may have lost, and that might require tangible means, as shown in the episode when Fluttershy's words didn't make a difference. Words are about minds arguing, and in that game, if the problem is in the mind, the problem will always win. As was shown by Discord just countering any of her suggestions with words.
Generally, the episode couldn't possibly have been a downer for me because, as I like to say, "There is no such thing as a bad Fluttershy episode." <3 <3
P.S.: I was a bit disappointed to not see the words "Judgy Clerk Pony" in the credits.
Oh well, TO ACTION! ^^
I thought the black spots weren't part of Luna's cutie mark. Last time, when it was taken away, only the moon vanished. I assumed it's just her natural coat (and that it's naturally symmetrical). Hm, maybe that was just draining the power from the cutie mark.
Interesting dreams ponies have. Pinkie surfing on the gummyboard, wearing shades, I like that a lot, heh. And Derpy as queen, on her side another ... background character. ;-)
Starlight's dragon toothbrush was funny.
Twilight her frequent freakout self, but totally understandable why she couldn't calm herself. Still so much admiration for the regal sisters and projection of crucial importance to Equestria. (She underestimates the importance of everypony else's contribution.)
The episode was full with playfulness, action and lovely little details and a new insight into ponies' daily life.
I will close with one of my favorite pictures from olden times that immediately came to mind when realizing the theme of this episode. I call it "Maneheart"...
Twilight was giving a history lesson about some king and an "Idle of Boring Us". Pinkie lectured about the Ba-King instead. I rewatched the episode the very next day because Pinkie.
Conclusion: My Little Pony - Baking Powder Is Magic
Hm, now that was odd. A Halloween episode was perfect timing, but a Christmas episode right before that, that's kinda odd.
What Fluttershy said in the end is roughly how I feel, too. I don't like to play any kind of prank on people that causes bad feelings and discomfort, unless it's to a trivial degree. Just like Fluttershy said: Seeing others in such a state, caused by me, that would make me feel very bad, regardless of prank or not. The feelings are the same. A certain sensitivity combined with empathy prevents enjoyment of that. Of course they could have told her to just be afraid, to accept the experience; that it's just one night and the whole point, but why should Fluttershy condition herself like that? It would change who she is, and with good, accepting friends, she is in the lovely position of not needing to. She can overcome her fears when it is really required, when it's serious. That's good enough. They also could have told her that her many worries of being attacked are unfounded and that there's nothing to really be scared of, but that would have defeated the whole purpose of Nightmare Night. ( No, I don't mean candy. )
Speaking of which... Pinkie's candy bag art made me laugh so hard! Like soul images. The episode generally had a lot of fun little details. As mentioned in my tweet https://twitter.com/Dowlphin/status/660491881525153796 I must say though, they should really cut back on the ... Wilhelm squeaks ^^, haha. Gets as annoying as the screams can become. Funnily, this was a Halloween episode and as far as I can tell there was actually no Wilhelm SCREAM in it. (Not saying there should have been.)
Apparently they know how to make colored contact lenses in Equestria. Or what other means could Fluttershy have used to change her eye color?
Here are two more spontaneous thoughts I had while watching:
I have been writing a lot about the pain of abundant spoilers. :okiedokielokie:
Can you see where this is going?
No, not gonna say it. You say it!
Let the star of the episode be your hero and do your best to become a hero, too.
Just the usual lesson, actually. But damn, this one is dear to me.
Side note: When you are really making a sincere effort and your intention is pure, but you eventually still falter, life might have your back. The universe appreciates sincerity, action from the heart, and doesn't punish without purpose. Punishment always takes two.
While in execution a lot bothered me about this episode, the overall picture is quite fitting to show some differences of Equestria. I found it weird that toupets don't seem to be a thing there. It was a bit funny how they treat a mane like a very special and magical thing, but Pinkie Pie has shown long ago that there's something to it. Rarity just utilizes its magic in a somewhat different way, heh.
The bottle confusion was just one of those lazy things. At first I didn't even realize they had gotten two different liquids, because I assumed they'd at least get a label or such. The way it was set up one would assume Zecora did it intentionally.
And with all the different tries of toupets improvised out of anything but hair that gave a totally different look, it was odd that nopony suggested to her to use what's left of her mane for such.
P.S.: Role switch would have resulted in Punkie Pie. I'd have loved that just for the ... pun!
Remember Dashie's fear of failure and sometimes overbearing self-glorification? I think the real meat of this episode was written between the lines.
I'd say timing is important and that managing to get along better with her parents could only happen right now, in this episode, not sooner.
I think this only makes sense if we assume that indeed Dashie enjoyed her parents' praise, despite the embarassment. That would make her an odd personality though, because I haven't heard something like this happening. Could be almost schizophrenic. Again - Would explain some of the other troubles she had to deal with and her current personality.
I would say the overall lesson of the episode was that if your parents are like that... be cool.
(Dashie tends to pretend to be cool, but underneath it might look different, which underlines this.)
Remember that this is not primarily a show to teach parents (although it hopefully does teach anybody), but to teach kids, so it doesn't matter whether her parents were a bad example or not. This was about how to deal with it.
As for the details: The door was a hilarious idea. (Subverting viewer's expectations is always fun.) Scootaloo's reaction to Dashie's outburst seemed overly dramatically extreme. The nap joke was the lowest point of the episode; horribly forced.
An excellent episode. I like it so much!
Discord being in his own unique way the teacher more than ever, taking care of the last remnants of problematic ideas from the past that unsurprisingly Twilight would cling to the most, since she is very intellect-focused, and the mind is the origin of all suffering.
It also showed how easily one can fall into self-delusion by making up a self-image designed to avoid being honest to oneself. That kind of honesty being the crucial first step in having a positive impact on the world by having a positive impact on yourself. Thus also hinted at how when we THINK we got stuff figured out, safe and secure, that might be the most dangerous time.
And I especially liked the somewhat unspoken message in the lesson: That true friendship comes from the heart, not the mind. The mind on its own would attempt to create a fake of the real thing, an imitation. Something you can observe every day; best example corporate marketing, but also in individuals.
I also grinned knowingly at one point and was wondering whether the writers intended the hint at the irony: When Twilight was at Zecora's place and insisted that there must be some kind of magic involved in her friends' behavior, I thought: Well, DUH! There's indeed that one special kind of magic that causes people to have a great time together. You claim to be the Princess of Friendship, educated and skilled in various forms of magic. I'm quite sure you've heard of it.
By the way, Zecora's potion bottle was definitely magical, too. I mean, did you see how much liquid came out of the thing?!
You know, with stories like this, I'm not worried that they might run out of ideas and the show takes a nosedive. As long as they keep having fun like this and don't change the formula, it gives me a warm feeling when thinking about the future. With so many things in our world eventually becoming corrupted, there needs to be at least one exemplary defiant champion in our life. As long as the makers of the show heed their own lessons, we're all safe.
I often look at deep themes that connect MLP episodes to my life experience, and I will do that here, too:
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
This is one of those episodes that trigger my cynical side due to related experiences. In the end they say they got inspired by the play, but really? Charity Kindheart did a big thing before and people were willing to help there, too, despite it being so big. She left and all spirit vanished. I.e. people love bullshit. The obvious point is that inspiration is exactly what did not happen. Inspiration doesn't mean to follow a strong leader when prompted to. It means becoming one yourself. Living what you witness. They proved that they weren't inspired through their inaction after Charity left. But of course people are always eager to state their bogus beliefs about themselves. And in the case of the moustached pony it's not even a surprise: He had shown how full of shit he is before when he mentioned how 'busy' he allegedly is, with not a moment to spare, while lazily enjoying the sun on a float. (Hm, where have I heard stuff like that before? ... Oh right! Galacon 2014 charity song collab project, from The Living Tombstone.)
It's only a happy end in the sense that they found a replacement leader figure and gave her an initial boost. Give it a couple more events like that and then imagine what happens if Coco Pommel leaves. She'd better find a successor in time. ... But what's the point of doing all that if it doesn't really inspire people anyway? How should it be uplifting for the ones making the effort? That gives this episode an unspoken grim afterthought, a sister-message that is overlooked in the limelight of the star.
I would tag-line the episode: "Doing free energy giveaways in vampire town".
All talk, no walk. The usual. It's everywhere. Deviations from it are a rarity.
Why didn't Fluttershy try to help Discord get a ticket? She just ignored the matter. Nobody knew the mail had delay. This is like Ticket Master again.
Also, I was surprised at first that he supposedly hadn't been invited, since we know Celestia's attitude towards giving the Grand Galloping Gala an interesting touch. I simply couldn't believe she would not invite Discord. (Twilight should know better by now, too. But that's an ongoing issue in general. So hard to get rid of old habits and ways of thinking.)
It generally lowers my enjoyment a bit when problems build up solely due to miscommunication. I know that it is one of the great challenges in the world, but still, it's a lazy technique and effectively made Fluttershy be uncaring. ... Couldn't keep the episode from being quite the enjoyable one though.
Anybody who thinks about shipping now needs to be put down.
At least she's not biting it anymore.
Elegantly implemented Metal Gear reference. (Although the perspective seems a bit off.)
Pinkie knowing it's Discord. Shaking the camera. OMG, so much highlevel pinkieness in one scene!
Shame is all about norms and contrast, isn't it?
And this closet is the jewelry wardrobe. Unguarded of course. Who needs guards in a royal castle? ... Oh wait.
Dear Discord... when the critics say that Maud Pie is funnier than you, then you really need to... ah, forget it, there's nothing you can do.
Pinkie's dress is lovely.
Dimensional portal: Now this is a somewhat more appropriate, not-so-much-immersion-breaking use of that technique. Apparently it's intended to be clashing. I'm just surprised it didn't cause lovecraftian mental distress. I guess they simply cannot fully perceive the otherness of that dimension.
P.S.: Tree Hugger has attained mastery in clichée. ^^
Just some thoughts I had about the episode.
When Rarity and AJ were at the peak of their heated competition, I was delighted: It's the old Rarity+Applejack polarity tension again! I remember it fondly from "Look Before You Sleep". Very entertaining. (And not the only other case of that clean-vs-dirty issue ... remember Sisterhooves Social?)
There are so many polar pairings just among the mane 6. Smart of Lauren Faust. Makes for a huge amount of character-driven story telling.
Too bad Spike's crush on Rarity made him unable to stand up to her, otherwise he would have been the perfect role model to show Rarity how to deal with it, how to get over the fact that the crush isn't mutual.
Their whole interaction is probably a mix of Rarity exploiting his crush and allowing him the pleasure, to keep it on a low flame, by helping her out and being around her.
Really impressive and playful approach in this episode: A voice actor with no 'Southern' accent emulating someone with a Southern accent who's trying to sound like someone without that accent.
When I first heard Trenderhoof, the voice reminded me a lot of Will Smith's German voice actor. Now you know how Will Smith sounds in German movies.
Alright, enough military talk. ^^
Some brief thoughts on various scenes from episode 11. I'd love to make these things into full Youtube commentary videos, but that's not really feasible at the moment. :-/
So let's get right to it...
When Twiley talked about the Starswirl exhibition and Dashie expressed how lame she thought that is, I found that a bit rude. After all, nopony asked her to attend, so why the complaining?
When Cadance left the train and was teasing Twiley with being overly formal and then said it's not necessary, I was almost expecting Twiley to start the "sunshine sunshine" dance. Maybe Cadance then would probably have told her it's not formal enough, haha. Especially as long as the guards were still standing there.
The part where Discord sings is amazing! Apart from all the stuff contained in the many brief scenes, the whole musical-thingie with the focus on that tiny glass of water reminded me of something. That whole style. I don't know what, but it feels like this was inspired by a certain piece.
And yeah, the scenes. There was a crystal-clear Harry Potter scene in it, there was the always-fun messing with the pony models (picking Twiley's horn and making a flower bouquet out of it and the totally hilarious mane-swap that just has to earn Discord so much sympathy), there was a reference to Swiss herbal cough drops, there was a possible break with canon by showing an airport security scene (where a pony with a dental brace was hesitant to walk through the metal detector), a skiing goat, a squeaky-squeezy Twilight Sparkle doll, an awesome picture with the princesses and Discord holding the tiny glass that looks like inspired by a Star Wars poster or a heavy metal album cover, AND THEN ... it would really surprise me if that awesome and beautiful golden pony harp didn't become twicane's best friend, haha. We even know her mane ... I mean name, because Discord sang "a singing harp that's named Louise". So we have that twicane-like character, a name and we know she can sing, so she can talk. Yep, this is definitely becoming twicane 2.0. ^^
After that musical number follows something that if you think about it, is a semi-roleplaying adventure. (Discord playing the role and the others having an exciting adventure.)
Near the end, when Discord seems kinda dissatisfied and grumpy... I'm not sure whether this isn't just part of his act. I'm suspecting he, just like Pinkie Pie sometimes, just enjoys playing a role, like life is a theater play.
When he's sick again, it is difficult to tell whether it's real this time, but when he enjoys asking for a glass of water again and is generally using the exact same words he used on Twiley and Cadance, I'm very sure he has no intention to pull the same number again. No, Fluttershy is back and he enjoys making the exact same request again, but this time with Fluttershy showing what a good friend is like, and rubbing that contrast into their faces.
When Twiley concluded that with a good friend, even a day full of chaos can become a pleasant experience, I'm wondering whether she included Discord in that definition, hehe.
Oh and I should roll my eyes, shake my head and sigh at this point, followed with a giggle, because they again snuck a Wilhelm scream into this episode. This time it was somewhat conceiled within a sound, but if you pay attention to the moment where the 'flower snake' retreated into the hole, you can hear it clearly at the end of the sound it made there.
UPDATE 2014-01-29: Did some additions and restructuring.
I like season 4's episode 11 "Three's A Crowd" a lot because of the valuable lessons contained within that are touching on my own life experience ... especially one unlearned (!) lesson that might be too in-your-face (or inconvenient) for people to notice.
To begin with, this episode toys with a common tool in script writing, where subplots are wrapped up and vanish and we never hear of it again. I'm sure many people were wondering: "So now Discord is reformed? Where is he? Doesn't he still need the friendship that caused him to reform?"
And the episode treats this as if it happened exactly like that. The mane cast (excluding Fluttershy) really couldn't care less about what Discord is doing, as long as he leaves them alone.
This is a situation very close to reality and makes this like an episode inside of an episode. It is disappointing, because one would think that Fluttershy's amazing strength and skill in winning Discord as a friend would surely inspire her friends to try that approach, too, among other things to practice forgiveness. But instead, they don't care. Out of sight, out of mind. They still want to cling to the past, despite Discord's actions from back then having been relatively harmless.
Not only is this an unwise and somewhat shameful behavior towards Discord, but it is borderline disrespectful towards Fluttershy. Despite her amazing accomplishment that none of the other ponies would have deemed possible, they still don't give her credit for what she did. She basically singlehoofedly freed Equestria from a villain, and she didn't even get a lousy t-shirt.
And Discord (hopefully, finally) taught them a valuable lesson, making him a real - but sadly unappreciated - friend to the mane 6. The kind of friend that is not just pampering you with rainbows and unicorns, but the kind of friend who's got your back and calls you out on your bullshit and pokes you when you're losing 'the path'.
A while ago Fluttershy taught Discord a lesson about friendship, and he is a good student. He understood the lesson, while Fluttershy's close friends are still struggling. Such a good student in fact that he is now helping the other ponies learn lessons about friendship. This makes those ponies look quite bad, and it should. You gotta handle the cognitive dissonance and see in what way Discord is/was a better person than those ponies. Those who miss(ed) something the most will also have the greatest appreciation for it.
Life lessons can come from where you least expect them. But if your whole perception of reality is slanted towards your expectations, you might miss the most valuable ones.
Some moments in the episode that stood out for me:
1) When Discord showed Twiley the letter he got from Fluttershy and stated that he never hears from the other ponies, Twiley responds by saying that she doesn't even know where he lives. He abruptly silences her, and one can see various meaning/intentions in this, or no deep reason at all, but at that moment I was thinking: "Yes, Twiley, what does that tell us about you? Why DON'T you know where he lives? Of course he could have relayed the information to you directly, Princess :-P, but he did to Fluttershy! Did YOU ever bother to inquire about his whereabouts? Ask Fluttershy maybe? No."
Pinkie Pie spelled out what the others thought, too: They were truly surprised that Fluttershy and Discord are pen pals. They still cannot comprehend the level of sincerity in Fluttershy's friendship.
2) When Twiley eventually got angry that Discord was just faking, this is an interesting moment, because he didn't try to conceil it, and his ways are no secret. She really should have known that he is faking, but doing it for a good reason. Of course faking the need for help is not as motivating as a real need, but hey, from a certain standpoint there was a real need. He was merely playing the nemesis. He took a route of action that in a different light could be interpreted as a mildly desperate act.
Also, Discord was toying with her real motivations; those that made her ignore the obvious fact that Discord was faking: Apart from wanting to quickly get back to her relaxing time with Cadance, she wanted to preserve the image she has of herself. We all know how Discord is, so rejecting him shouldn't have been received badly by the other ponies... except Fluttershy! ... at least that's what Twilight thought, because she had a guilty conscience. It is like one of those situations where two people are lying to each other and both know it but don't say anything for mutual face-saving. (Discord's unspoken words here: "You know I'm just faking and I know you just want me gone. But I don't kid myself about my real motivations.") When in the end Discord made her compliments about how she indeed is the true friend he doubted she'd been, that compliment was as fake as Discord's illness. A true friend to him, like Fluttershy, would have had the confidence based on that authenticity to tell him he should stop faking ... but of course, Discord wouldn't have played that game with Fluttershy in the first place, since he knows she is a true friend to him. There is no lesson for reformed Discord to teach. And he also values their true friendship too much to risk ruining it by being dishonorable of what Fluttershy did for him. When Fluttershy caused Discord's reformation, she didn't do it for mere personal gain, but out of real compassion for the pain that made Discord become sorta nasty. He probably only was like that because personal experience made him believe that people like Fluttershy don't exist in the world, or at least that those acts of compassion are not available to him.
3) When Rarity and Applejack stated that Discord got what he deserved, I thought: Indeed, he got at least one true friend (the first he ever had), and while they were referring to his illness that apparently was real this time, he actually got another confirmation of Fluttershy's sincere caring for him. And he used the same wording towards her that he used earlier when he was faking it just to rub it in the other ponies' faces. Or did you really think when he asked for a glass of water again that he had any intention to toy with Fluttershy like he had done with Twilight and Cadance? If so, then think again!
In contrast, the official lesson learned at the end of this episode was pretty much a copy of what had already been conveyed in the season 1 finale "The Best Night Ever" and degraded Discord to a mere catalyst for it.
Now you see how much can be learned from the show if you look closely and accept inconvenient thoughts, too. And it should also make clear why the show means so much to me. Often it's like what I've been thinking/feeling/saying all along, and the show is like a rare incident of hearing a familiar voice - a likeminded entity - all the way to the core. And the contrast between this and what I mostly experience in the real world can be very painful and disheartening.
P.S.: I wanted to add that Pinkie Pie was the least disrespectful to Discord, so when I'm talking about the ponies, I'm not only fully excluding Fluttershy, but also to some degree Pinkie Pie. ... After all, she shares a certain passion with Discord, hehe. ... And she also left the stage quite early. But while she, too, didn't care what Discord was doing, when he was there, she was trying to make the best of the situation. And he rejected her hospitality because he knew that the other ponies had a much bigger need for working though their issue with him. And Pinkie Pie even objected to not being allowed to help him, haha. In a way, she turned it around and toyed with him in his own unique style. This deserves a "Well played, Pinkie Pie!". But here, too, it is not just a little fun, but a display of the wise approach of solving a problem by focusing on the solution instead of the problem, or to realize the core motivation behind behavior. It's really deep stuff.
Since a Youtube video response to his review...
...is currently not feasible for me and Youtube comments are too limited, I'll respond in written form. I'll directly address Adam here, so don't get confused by the "you"-form.
I will try to condense this into relatively brief paragraphs so it doesn't become too lenghty.
I enjoyed watching your Iron Man review a lot.
As you said, EqG is a different kind of movie, resulting in an accordingly different rewiew. But you still apply the same standards to EqG as you do to other movies.
Have you never interacted with the fandom regarding to EqG? Not seen the trailer or pictures before? Because you say when you first saw the humanized forms, you were kinda shocked.
You also said you really can't understand why Hasbro did this, while the pony show was such a success. Did you never hear of the thought that Hasbro sells toys and spends money for the show and movies in order to sell toys, and that they wanted to sell a new line of dolls? This is almost naturally occuring. Also, never heard about the thesis that Twlight became an alicorn so tha Hasbro can sell more types of toys?
If Hasbro decided to sell toys using conventional marketing, the awesome show MLPFiM wouldn't exist, so in a way, it's a win-win situation.
You said there was only one song that was really defining, captivating, not just background music. Did you forget the party cleanup musical? And the celebratory music near the end? This makes at least three musical numbers.
You said to a non-brony, EqG will look dumb as hell. Well, cou can just make a guess or an estimate, and the same might applies to many non-bronies and the show.
You seem to still be very attached to superficialities if you are bugged by the human form so much. Personally, it was just slightly new to me but didn't bug me at all once I realized it's our beloved ponies under that skin. Also, with all the transformative magic going on in Equestria, I'm very used to seeing shape changes.
You called the students' Opinion change in 36 hours about Twily crap? Well, the effect of slander is fleeting when facing solid positive impulse like their uniting mensa musical. They might not even have taken it serious, but just amusing and based on not really knowing her. This is actually quite realistic. And since you admit that after the musical, you'd probably have voted for them too, why is this still an issue for you? You have an inner contradiction there. Two different parts saying two different things. (I'd metaphorically call it mind vs. heart, and cutting the heart some slack can be a great task, because the mind is about control, and the heart can only flourish when the mind can sacrify a part of itself.)
The speedy re-befriending was probably due to play time constraints. I've seen this in other types of movies without ruining it. And while one might doubt that some simple intrigue and malevolent meddling could drive friends apart for years like that, I'd come to realize that proper communication is one of the biggest problems pretty much everywhere. Sunset Shimmer just knew well how to push their hidden buttons. It's not unrealistic at all, albeit a bit frustrating to watch maybe.
Exactly what about that demon/gargoyle is Disney? They're mythical creatures ... just like manticores. Need I say more?
What else would you have considered 'better' in that scene?
I don't find the movie sillier than the show. Remember (just to name one example) Steven Magnet? The silliness is part of what makes the show so enjoyable and fun.
And then even the magically revealed wings, ears and tails are bothering you? These are attributes of our beloved ponies in their original shape, so I don't see what's the problem here? It's totally awesome!
As a sidenote, you explained everything quite detailed in that part, as if expecting the viewer to not have seen the movie already, but this would mean you are consciously making the review an undeclared spoilerfest.
All the oddness in regards to credulity of the people at the school, how they are relatively quick to accept all the magical stuff going on, as fas as I can say this is almost the norm in the movie world, without characters continuing to freak out about these things at length being the exception (and very enjoyable to watch because it's more realistic). I think this would have ruined he flow of the EqG plot.
Yet, the writers did that event with talking dog Spike to slightly defuse this disbelief, and even in a comical way.
About the imporance of high school: That's just a personal priority-applying, because many opportunities to do things right are provided there, and that's what the movie encourages. The view that high school is not that important might be a belief system that works for people who had a very rough time there, but ironically especially those people can benefit greatly from the message of the movie.
Even so, I'd say EqG is about as much about "surviving high school" as Buffy the Vampire Slayer is.
You say people will not like the movie if they haven't seen the show. But you cannot know that, because some people would never have believed they end up loving the show, but did.
EqG has all the important stuff from the show. The other things are mostly just superficialities and technicalities, and when those things are bugging you, it means that MLP has sent you on a spiritual journey and you're driving over the potholes now.
To clarify, I'd say that MLPFiM is very much an antithesis to Star Trek, in the sense that the latter is very much about intellectual virtue, where analyzing every detail with the expectation to come to a realistic explanation is elemental, while the former is very much about putting that in the background and letting the heart rejoice. Sometimes it's almost bordering on mindless pleasure.
An example of a show that pleases both heart and mind quite well: Firefly
An example of a movie that does neither well: Abrams' Star Trek
If you can find something positive and personally helpful in these words, then I'm happy.
If not, I'm still happy, because ponies.
Feel free to leave a comment here (doesn't require registration) or on your video page or in my Youtube mailbox if you like. Or ask Spike to send it directly if he's around.
I wrote a comment on deviantART and realized it's worth blogging here. It is based on a picture I have in my wallpaper slideshow for a long time because it impressed me so much on a deep level:
Twilight shows maybe the clearest example of the power of the controlling mind trying to force its way, fueled by negative emotion. Her energy shoots at Discord, but you see it strike her friends, too, mostly from Discord's head. True friendship empowers love and comes from the heart, while in this picture Discord is like an inner demon of Twilight, and her mental struggle with it gives it power and causes discord in her friendship, turning her friends against her and her against her friends. The solution to this problem was eventually portrayed beautifully in her battle against Tirek when she allowed herself defeat and let her heart lead the way, against all conceptual fears.
Also, Pinkie has a duck in her hair.
UPDATE 2015-12-02: While watching the season 5 finale, my desktop wallpaper switched to this. The finale is another reminder of this recurring message that more or less is in all MLP episodes and I appreciate it greatly. It is something worth moving towards, regardless of how little success we might experience at first. Friendship brings together, because true friendship is fueled by love. And love is magic. Friendship comes from the heart and is empowered by it.
This idea just came to me while rewatching Bridle Gossip:
Maybe Zecora speaks exclusively in rhymes because her first encounter with poison joke caused her to be unable to talk in anything but rhymes, and then she decided:
Joke's on you, my little blue plant!
If you expect me to yearn for a cure, then I shan't.
I realize that now that I mention it, it reduces the chances of it appearing even more, but it would kinda spoil it a bit anyway, and since I'm not a show writer (wink-wink ^^), it very likely wouldn't have occured anyway, sooo...
Pinkie Pie: (knocks on Rarity's door) Rarity: (being busy) "Who is it?" Pinkie Pie: ("I am) the one who knocks." ^^
Also works great as a knock-knock joke.
Would definitely feel less forced-in than that clumsy Game of Thrones reference we saw.
The Mane 6 with Derpy are about to go on a road trip. Stuff is packed, the car is ready.
Twilie: Let's go then!
Derpy: I'm driving!
Derpy: WAAAAH! Okayokay, you drive!
If anypony would like to make a comic out of this, feel free to do so. Just show me the result.
It feels good to finally have made something pony again ( always my wish ), after tons of Terraria videos.
Video description: ------------------------ This is a brony fan lyrics version of Buddy Stewart's "Sun Shine On Me" I had this project on hold for quite a while and now was in the right mood and with decent mic to vocalize it. I wrote "karaoke'd" because I have almost no practice in singing or music production but wanted to give it my best shot and make use of my decent mic and DAW. I recorded this a dozen times or so and improved RELATIVELY much over those tries (as I did temporarily during brony conventions, hehe), but eventually didn't see significant improvement anymore and called it a day for this piece.
The lyrics are hinting at how sleep and/or meditative introspection (yin approach) can be a healing influence and are of course inspired by the lovely Princess Luna who visits ponies in their dreams ( a true nightmare ;-D ) to help them with just that.
I am open to collabs. ^^
If you like this, like (duh! ^^), fav, subscribe, comment, share, tell your friends, check out my other web presences, send money. Whichever you feel is appropriate. (My humility demanded I add that.) It all helps a lot.
My lyrics: ___________________ Moon, shine on me tonight. Luna, please make things alright. How I need your cool embrace To shine upon my cryin' face. Oh moon, shine on me tonight.
Luna, give me a little night. Take me outta this burning light. You know what a little night can do. You make the sky go black for you. Oh moon, shine on me tonight.
Moonshine, come on moonshine. Let me have one with no pain. Just one, only one To get me started on my way.
Moon, shine on me tonight. Luna, cleanse me of my fright. You make the trees and flowers sleep And you can solve my troubles deep. Oh moon, shine on me tonight.
Yeah moon, shine on me tonight. Luna, please make things alright. You know what a little night can do. You make the sky go black for you. Oh moon, shine on me tonight. Oh moon, shine on me tonight. Come on moon, shine on me tonight. Oh moon, shine on me tonight.
Original lyrics: ___________________ Sun, shine on me today. Sun, dry my tears away. How I need your warm embrace To shine upon my cryin' face. Oh sun, shine on me today.
Sun, give me a little light. Take me outta this darkened night. You know what a little light can do. You change the sky from black to blue. Oh sun, shine on me today.
Sunshine, come on sunshine. Let me have one with no rain. Just one, only one To get me started on my way.
Sun, shine on me today. Sun, dry my tears away. You make the trees and flowers grow And you can make my troubles go. Oh sun, shine on me today.
Yeah sun, shine on me today. Sun, dry my tears away. You know what a little light can do. You change that sky from black to blue. Oh sun, shine on me today. Oh sun, shine on me today. Come on sun, shine on me today. Oh sun, shine on me today.
UPDATE: This video was targeted by a mobbing campaign by antisocial scum, that's why it received tons of downvotes.
Did you notice how deep the imagery goes? Those ponies are like avatars of their elements.
Pinkie's hair is round and swirly, any deviation from the norm won't even make a difference. Any child could draw those endless bends beautifully. Totally Pinkie.
Rarity's hair is exquisite - a real challenge, and artists can get frustrated trying to draw it properly. Totally a Rarity, requiring high skill.
Rainbow Dash wouldn't be satisfied with just some color. She wants the whole color spectrum in there, to stand out, to make people gaze in awe like watching a rainbow.
Applejack's hair is practical and simple, like a bundle of hay, and even colored in that style. Condensed so that it doesn't get in the way during work, yet allowing people to see its fullness.
Twilight Sparkle's hair signals a special snowflake with those streaks, haha. They're a pony's rallye stripes.
Fluttershy's hair flows like water, not resisting things, finding its way passively, just like her personality. The color is rose, basically pastel pink, and pink is often associated with the heart, which is what she'll melt when she looks at you. Her mane even forms a heart!
This idea suddenly occured to me. Poison joke changes something crucially defining about a person, a strength or something dear, into its opposite. It's a cruel joke and naturally not easy to handle.
But looking at this optimistically, an experience like that could be sought. The result: Learning more about oneself and one's strengths and weaknesses as well as issues and fears and then overcoming them through direct experience and coming to terms with it.
And that is relatively similar to what the jungle brew ayahuasca is used for: to be confronted with one's deep fears and issues and work through them, as well as gaining insight.
Poison joke grows in the wilderness of the Everfree Forest, and Zecora lives there, in the role of a typical African medicine woman (which blends into the role of a shaman).
I've only seen Zecora warn to not ingest that plant, but as a medicine woman, she should see the potential in it.
I'm not saying this necessarily provides enough material for a fanfic (although one never knows), but I found it worth mentioning; in the spirit of seeing the good side in things.