04 June 2011

OMG Ponies!!!

Recently, I've started loving "My Little Pony :Frienship is Magic" (Hereafter referred to as "MLP:FIM" because that's a damn long title) developed by Lauren Faust.

A lot of people have praised the show, and drawn some terribly, terribly disturbing fan art but MLP:FIM's real strength isn't so much the witty exchanges, the slapstick humor , better than average flash animation or even the phenomenon of male adult viewers shucking their masculinity to watch a horsie show

Not that I'm insecure, of course

...But it's the same thing that animation gurus Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston claimed made (their) Disney feature cartoons so wonderful...

and honestly, how can you not trust these guys?

Which is a focus on Character Personalities, first off, that they have different personalities.
Compared with earlier pony shows, certainly

...and those personalities motivated the plot, like in Die Hard!

not like I'm compensating or anything...

In movies like North By Northwest and Raiders of the Lost Arc, stuff just kinda happens to the hero for no real reason; cropdusters from nowhere, posion darts from the wall. The absurdity of it all is part of the entertainment value of those films. But Die Hard's slightly different.

What would otherwise be walking plot devices: antagonism, exposition, a plot twist , are made interesting and believable through characters with compelling personalities and clearly distinguished motives. The villain, exposition guy and the second-act end plot twist become Hans Gruber, Officer Powell and Dick Thornburg, the effect is the scenarios on the screen are not arbitrary, but created by the actions of the characters.

MLP:FIS's best episodes focus on the naturally occurring friction between the members of the "mane" cast.

In "Sonic Rainboom", Rarity's massive vanity both heightens the conflict and provides a catalyst for the resolution. Kinda like Shakespeare, actually.

...Specifically A Midsummer Night's Dream. Absent of bewitching prophesies, vengeful ghosts or other external means to kick-start the plot, stuff happens because a group of people happen to be in the same place at the same time. From serious crush issues to a really bitter marriage between supernatural monarchs and Puck's love for trolling, it's like what did you expect when these guys are all thrown into the mix?

Here's a link to Hasbro's official site: a clip from the MLP:FIS episode Applebuck Season. Note that in a show where time and budget demands a lot of work done from templates...

and sometimes it shows

...That every character is unmistakably distinct. Not only do the leads has a different speaking voice and attitude, but different ways of approaching the podium. Twilight shuffles index cards, Rainbow Dash simply barges in, Fluttershy slouches and Pinkie Pie jumps up from nowhere.

The reason why the entire internet (or maybe just 4Chan) has gone ballistic for this show over the past few months is because, like good fiction and great drama, from the Looney Tunes to Moby Dick, everything in it is grounded in and motivated by the characters' personalities. Which I think is worth getting excited over.

.... BTW my favoritest pony ever is Fluttershy

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