After days of anticpation, weeks of hype and months of highs and lows, the second season Finale of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is upon us. Join The Outhouse as SilverPhoenix takes an in depth look into what's being called an instant Animated Television Classic.
Credits & Solicit Info:
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - S2E25 and S2E26: A Canterlot Wedding
Directors: James Wootton, Jayson Thiessen Writer: Meghan McCarthy Producer: Sarah Wall Music: Daniel Ingram
Feautred Voice Talent:
Twilight Sparkle: Tara Strong Rarity: Tabitha St. Germain Applejack and Rainbow Dash: Ashleigh Ball Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy: Andrea Libman Spike: Cathy Wesluck Princess Celestia: Nicole Oliver Apple Bloom: Michelle Creber Scootaloo: Madeleine Peters Sweetie Belle: Claire Corlett
Shining Armor: Andrew Francis Princess Cadance: Tori Spelling Queen Chrysalis: Kathleen Barr
Executive Producers: Chris Bartleman Stephen Davis Kirsten Newlands Blair Peters
Even though the year is barely 4 months old, I can safely say that 2012 has been a turbulent year for the Brony/Pegisister community. Besides the natural growing pains of an expanding fandom, the controversy known as "Derpygate" bought out heated reactions that served to divide people among many different angles. Beyond the initial reaction, the biggest concern that many members of the fandom had was the possibility of the show moving away from the aspects that made it such a cross demographical hit in the first place. It is due to those concerns that the first leaks of the material connected to this event (which were toy reveals) created a sense of apprehension that the quality of the season finale would bring that worst case scenario to light. Could Studio B possibly deliver a 2-Part saga that would prove the skeptics wrong? Personally, I think the episodes delivered on levels that I didn't think were possible.
What worked in this Episode?
For the readers that are curious about why this show has become such a phenomenon, the foundation of this rests greatly on the shoulders of the well-structured plotting that not only allows for engaging stories, but for obvious toy advertisement episodes to become some of the best stuff on the show, something that these two episodes displayed in grand fashion. What could've been little more than a 60 minute toy advertisement became one of the best things on Television in a very long timme, as the wedding itself was a staging ground for an adventure that is a White Knuckle, edge on your seat thrill ride with the substance that would make the Pixar Studio hand out props for the entire package.
Speaking of substance, another one of the biggest draws of "Friendship is Magic" is the strong 3-dimensional characterization that the Mane 6 (Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie) has been blessed with since the beginning of the show, and this season finale was no exception in the slightest. As the story is being told through Twilight Sparkle's eyes, we get a very multi-faceted portrayal that highlights every virtue and flaw (which inadvertently helps to make things worse) that has made the character so great. By centering the story around her, the superb writing gives the audience the capacity to care about the character's getting married (despite the continuity questions that come into play by introducing them), while showing us how important Twilight Sparkle is to the story at large. Of course, any praise for the characterization of Twilight Sparkle must rest on the feet of her voice actress, Tara Strong who raises her already incredible game to a new level. Having played a huge factor in increasing the depth of Twilight's character, Strong ties it all together with an emotional gravitas that'll be talked about for years to come.
Along with the plot and characterization, there we're many other elements that helped to make the Royal Wedding an amazing spectacle and the first of these was the musical score. Despite this season lacking the amount of amazing songs that helped to define the previous season, these two episodes went to town in this aspect, introducing 3 new songs that range from good (Big Brother Best Friend Forever has such an addictive charm) to godlike (This Day Aria which pits Cadance and Chrysalis (the Chameleon Queen who impersonated Cadance) in a song duel for the ages). Each of these songs is a worthy addition to the ever growing soundtrack of this show, and will provide many worthy hours of listening for fans. Daniel Ingram, Rebecca Shoichet and the rest of the singers have a lot of be proud of with this performance.
The second aspect that I couldn't get enough of was the fight scene in the 2nd part of the tale. When Lauren Faust originally pitched the show, there was supposed to be more of an emphasis on the Adventure aspect of the show, that got left on the cutting room floor due to the restraints of an accelerated production schedule and the intended target market. Taking that into consideration, Studio B using such an intensive fight scene as a storytelling tool was an extremely appreciated touch. Beyond that, I was also impressed with the action, psychology and the way it bridged the reveal of Chrysalis' true form to the climax of the story, making it an extremely impressive first effort that Studio B should be extremely proud of.
Last, but not least, I was extremely impressed with the way previous episodes were interlocked into this proceedings of the story being told here. During the part of the story where Twilight tried to warn the rest of the Mane 6 about the Cadance that turned out to be Chameleon Queen (Chrysalis), we saw them actively try to address the concerns that their friend had, which was something that they learned from the "Lesson Zero" episode. Combining that element with the numerous Easter Eggs scattered throughout the saga (which included a Rarity/Fancy Pants Picture and a Derpy Hooves sighting), longtime fans were well rewarded for paying attention to everything that led up to the season finale, which is always a win in my book.
What didn't work as well as what did?
With a season finale as amazing as this one, finding actual fault with the work would understandably seem more like an exercise in nitpicking, instead of proper analysis. That being said, every gripe that I had with "The Royal Wedding" saga is connected to the understandable time restraints that come with every 22 minute per episode long show. With only 44 minutes to tell the story, extra time could've been given to give both the rest of the Mane 6 a bigger role (especially when you consider that the previous season finale ("The Best Night Ever") gave everyone time to shine) in the story and to flesh out the ending itself. That being said, the pacing of what we had still gets high marks making the flaws even more forgivable. Still, there will always be a part of me that'll occasionally lament on how much more awesome it would've been if we had gotten another 5 – 10 minutes to let things play out.
The Final 22 Cents:
As I sit here and finish this review, I can't help but think about the impact this episode not only had on me, but the fandom at large. I can also say that I would be a liar if I didn't admit that both Derpygate and the original material released for this episode made me steel myself for a disaster that could become remembered this generations' "Jump the Shark." Little did I know, I would be treated to such an amazing and fantastic adventure that had me cheering as I was watching the closing credits. It was almost as if everyone involved in the show took the frustration of the older fandom to heart and used it as fuel to create something that reminded us why we all loved the show in the first place, and by doing so it did more to heal the rifts suffered with Derpy's altering than anyone's words could have. Bottom Line, "A Canterlot Wedding" will not only go down as one of the best Season Finales In television history, but as a reminder of what a little love and effort can do for something that shouldn't be as good as it is. Bravo to everyone who had anything to do with this, you deserve to be showered with the rewards of producing such an amazing show.
I'll take happy ponies over people being sexually abused and murdered in "normal" shows, any day. I find the programs about all the worst elements of human society and their fans to be much creepier than anything I've seen in cartoons lately.
To the review: I completely agree about the length issue. This finale felt like a much bigger story than what 44 minutes allowed them. Flesh it out some more, double the length, and bam!, you've got the best animated film of the year! I can't wait for the day that this series finally does hit a theatrical release (or two?). They really stepped it up with everything in these two episodes. The animation/acting/writing/music...everything. I'm very eager to see what season 3 holds, after this. They surely can't keep this further superior quality up all through it, but if this is any indicator about where the show is headed, I think we're in for something very special.
after so many comments by judgmental douches about this show it was nice to read an actual review. 'lilRuRu is not old enough yet to be watching cartoons, but I am growing grateful for those people who review them so I know what to look for.
and, considering how lazy I am, I'm also happy those reviews are making their way here.
this was a well written informative review good job
Holland Oats wrote:DMM's favorite show is Toddlers & Tiaras.
no, that creeps me out.
p.s. do any Bronies like the classic show, or just the new one? I actually tried to watch the new one, and I didn't like it. I loved the classic show when I was a kid, though. I grew up with two sisters, and I am the middle child, and I had my own My Little Ponies just like they did; and we would all play together. When we'd go to KayBee toy stores, I'd ask my sisters to take my pony that I picked out to the register, becuase I was embarrassed to be picking out a pony for my Mom to buy me.