Thursdays are going to be me watching the episodes of MLP one by one and just rambling about them. Mostly because I’ve been wanting to watch the whole series again and I do better at that sort of thing when I have some kind of goal. Hence, making it a weekly feature on the blog. Maybe do more than one episode a week if the whim takes me. No real plan for outline or whatever. Rambling about things is what I do here, so rambling about things is how I shall continue.
I don’t even remember when I first watched MLP:FiM. Was a while ago at this point. Two or three years? Wasn’t there from the beginning, but I do vaguely remember that I had started to watch them by the wedding episodes. So who knows. I do remember that I watched the first episode with my mom. I was a little self-conscious about watching cartoon ponies, but I had heard about how good the show was from various sources on the internet. So had my mom, actually. So my excuse was the two of us sitting down together to see what all the fuss is about. I watch anime with my mom on a regular basis, so wasn’t really anything new about cartoons. After the first episode (maybe we watched the whole two-part beginning?) I pretty much got hooked and went ahead watching the rest of season one pretty much in the next week or two. Or at least as many episodes of it that had been released. Torrents make grabbing tv shows so easy.
It just had that nice mix of good animation, interesting characters, and a nice dash of mythological elements that I enjoy so much. The ruler controlling the cycle of day and night, conflict between sister divinities, loyal acolyte finding a ancient magic artifact, the trip through the dangerous of the evil woods and the trials therein. All good stuff. Plus the introductions of the mane six were all done so beautifully. By the end of the first episode I knew all of their personalities. A wonderful example of show don’t tell in show format.
Anyway, down under the break is what I typed up while watching the episode. Well. Mostly. I did expand on some of them afterward. Indented stuff is my thoughts, normal stuff is actual canon stuff from the show, or direct opinions thereof. Nothing too amazing jumped out at me. Just a few little ‘huh’ moments and being reminded of the bits I enjoyed. Plus at least one bit that confirms my own headcanon, which is always nice. Counterbalanced by at least two bits that contradict my headcanon. I ignore those parts.
The storybook opening is still a nice easy to begin. Sets just the right tone.
Cloudsdale is shown alongside Canterlot in the opening storybook shot.
Because it’s just as important? Could be a fun story there, that back before Nightmare Moon the floating city of Cloudsdale was actually still semi-independent. Or maybe that’s where Luna ruled from? Two seats of government for the two rulers.
Still annoys me that the sisters are described as using their unicorn powers to change day and night. I want it to be special alicorn magic, dangit.
The night scene has some of the ponies sleeping in a fenced off space, like horses would.
I don’t know why, but the line ‘a wicked mare of darkness!’ Cracks me up every time.
Opening has two brown/grey unicorn guards at the throne. So they aren’t all white like some fanfictions have it.
Lyra in Canterlot. Lyre cutie mark and everything. Waves at Twilight and looks shocked when Twilight ignores her.
Friends? It is really obvious Lyra and she’s acting like she knows Twilight personally.
Twilight has no idea where anything in her personal library is. Actually, there isn’t a while evidence that its her library or even her home. Could just be a library she rushed to. Her residence could be somewhere else entirely. There is a bed barely in sight in one shot, but it could easily be as pony lounging couch.
Romance, or at least Spike’s attempts at it. Twilight says they don’t have time for that sort of thing. Which both acknowledges that she’s at least comfortable talking about it.
Her interactions with Spike in this first bit are not her finest moment.
Actually, her interactions with Spike during the whole first episode are hardly nice. She treats him like a underhoof servant pretty much all the time. So glad that gets better later in the series.
I didn’t notice the horse head turning into Nightmare Moon the first time or two I saw this episode, but I think its one of the great subtle bits.
1000th year of the summer sun Celebration.
Started as victory party? In my head canon I had it as a holiday that existed before the exile of Nightmare Moon, but this makes it pretty clear that it started pretty much right then.
Twilight has been Celestia’s student for years.
White pegasus guards pulling the chariot. They are galloping with their legs.
First shot of Ponyville is neat. I don’t think we ever see the tower, and I want to know what the houses on the hills left and right of the town are.
The pegasus guards aren’t hooked to the chariot.
Chariot pulled by royal guards gets a few casual looks.
More proof living in Ponyville makes you jaded?
Bonbon and Carrot Top standing together.
Big Mac has sparkles around his cutie mark.
Carrot farm seen fairly close to Apple barn. Corn seen in foreground. Other unidentified plants in rows seen as well. Carrot barn/house looks really interesting.
Big Mac is framed by excited mares looking up at him when he gets introduced by his sister. He is also the only stallion in the entire group shot.
Rainbow Dash, when she crashes, had this great ‘huh’ expression. Just sort of a neutral, huh, crashed again look. At least until she notices she ran into somepony.
The jumping on cloud sound effect I’d hilarious.
Wonderbolt poster on some random wall outside.
I don’t remember all those balconies in town hall (or wherever) in the later scenes. Or all the blue cloth hanging between them.
Rarity, the mare who forces strangers back to her shop and straps them in jeweled corsets.
Only thing Fluttershy says directly to Twilight is her name here. Maybe a squeaked thank you. Some of the stuff about Spike might have been aimed at Twilight.
How did Pinkie Pie know where Twilight was staying?
I like how Fluttershy didn’t trigger the surprise party. Pinkie Pie knows you can’t misfire a party. Or they were all waiting for the most comedic timing.
Lyra in the crowd, color but no visible cutie mark. Ditzy with normal eyes. Wait, there’s her cutie mark.
Is she Twilight’s stalker?
Two Ditzy’s right next to each other.
Twilight fire mane.
Pinkie Pie and the other elements at least know each other, as when she talks about inviting every pony they all zip together right behind her.
Given they all have at least semi-important positions in town, it makes sense they would interact on a fairly regular basis.
Summer Sun Celebration is the longest day. Ponies stay up all night starting the evening before to see the princess raise the sun.
Huh, so I was partially wrong. Lots of balconies and blue bunting (I think that’s what it is called?), but in a different arrangement than the first scene with Rarity. I think?
First shot of Bon Bon and Lyra right next to each other.
Then Lyra bouncing in the background with manic glee. It’s pretty silly.
Huh, Rarity was going to be standing right next to the princess.
Wonder if she angled for the position of opening the curtains for that very reason?
Second shot of Bon Bon and Lyra.
Huh. Berry Punch and Carrot Top right next to each other and Carrot Top seems bigger.
Probably just Berry Punch crouching or something, since the ponies are otherwise pretty much identical sizes. Just jumped out at me.
Huh. Babs Seed as adult is in the crowd when Nightmare Moon addresses them.
Wonder if grabbing that pony design for Babs Seed later was intentional.
All ponies will bow to the Bon Bon collective! 8 of them in the crowd.
For some reason I always spot the clones of her in all the crowd scenes. So they turn out to be a whole mass of different ponies, plus several identical Bon Bons.
CMC cowering together.
Applejack knows Rainbow Dash well enough, or has good enough reflexes to stop her from kicking a evil alicorn in the face.
Action assumption based on encounter with dragon later in season, of course.
Black snooty. Hee. Always a great line.
End episode on cliffhanger with evil cackling. Good choice.