My Little Pony: Little Piece of Magic (S01E30)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: Little Piece of Magic

Summary: Several Baby Ponies, who are only identified as such by their smaller statures and the fact they cannot speak proper grammatical English, spend the afternoon playing imagination games. Or are they really just some metaphorical acid trip?

Grade: F-

Initial Thoughts:

…wasn’t I just here? Didn’t we just take a vacation to that fabulous liminal space that only appears every 500 years, aka Tambelon? Did I wink out improperly?? WHY AM I BACK IN DREAM VALLEY SO SOON???!

My Little Pony: The Epic Recap SeriesBecause Dove and I fairly divided up the episodes so we would suffer equally through this project, and it’s my turn to do back-to-back recaps, starting with this utter piece of crap filler episode, that’s why. Which, because the recap gods hate me, has stuck me with an episode that is entirely devoted to the goddamn Baby Ponies. Yes, a whole 25 minutes of cutesy baby talk. WHY AM I BEING PUNISHED SO UNJUSTLY? [Dove: I didn’t know this would happen, but I can’t help be relieved I didn’t get this episode. I’m sure the recap gods will hit me with an equally horrible episode at some point.]

Because I want to know who to hold responsible for this bullshit, I looked up Michael Reaves on the ol’ IMDb. Seems he went on to have quite a career, writing for Batman: The Animated Series (which I love, still, to this day, best Batman ever, FIGHT ME) and the original cartoon series for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (again, FIGHT ME, although I really did love that reboot Nickelodeon did a few years ago) and The Smurfs, as well as The Real Ghostbusters, and there was an episode of Jem, as well. Dude, why you gotta hurt me so? I well realize that he wasn’t the only writer responsible for the travesty that is the majority of these episodes but I’ve seen his name get onscreen credit enough that I’m just gonna pin it on him.

Still reading Dune, FWIW.

Let me just put this poison pill between my back molars… ready. Let’s go.


*ignores credits / theme song* As a child, I rewrote the lyrics to this. It went something like “My Little Pony, My Little Pony, MINE MINE MINE MINEY-MINE!” Unfortunately, this did nothing to launch my jingle-writing career. It is somewhere, on a cassette tape, which I will not divulge the location of, but maybe I’ll mention in my will.

Apologies to Michael Reaves. Beth Bornstein is responsible for this stupid filler bullshit episode.

We open in the Lullaby Nursery (BUY OUR MERCH) and off-screen the Baby Ponies are screaming and yelling and for some reason the furniture (which is all background matte paintings) shows beds and then  wooden human crib. A Baby Pony is not going to fit in that, morons. Does Molly sleep there?

Little Piece of Magic
This screenshot literally is a foreshadowing of how I will look after finishing this recap.

The door opens and Babies Tiddly-Winks, Ribbon, Half-Note, and Lofty enter. It appears they had some sort of race to the door and I’m not sure who won (I can’t tell them apart when there’s no visuals, honestly; they all sound the same and talk in ridiculous baby talk) but there’s gloating and complaints. Some want to play but Baby HN wants to practice dance.

You know what, I am not repeating this asinine baby talk shit if I can help it. It is too painful.

Baby HN demonstrates her dancing abilities, twirling until her legs cross and she falls over. Smashing into the wall, she decides playing is a better idea. Instead of helping their friend, Baby TW is all “WHAT GAME??” and immediately sets into deciding what they’ll spend their playtime playing.

Also, Baby TW blends into the goddamn wall paint. Who didn’t do their job and pick better colour shades??

Deciding upon Checkers — how do they play with hooves?? — she realizes that the box with the Checkers board is atop a high shelf. Wah wah. Baby TW tells Baby Lofty to get the box. The joke here is that Baby Lofty sucks at flying. She bonks into the ceiling, which knocks her in a circle, before she smashes face-first into the wall next to the shelf. She lands on something soft, amazingly, and Baby HN says she didn’t want to play Checkers anyway.

Why is there still 10 minutes of this shit left? (Actually, since I’m watching this with the commercials excised, it is much shorter then the 25 minutes I thought it was. STILL, I AM SUFFERING FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT.)

Little Piece of Magic
My Little Pony: Baby Ribbon Suffers Phantom Limb Syndrome

Baby TW demands they play Checkers, ordering Baby Ribbon to wink up to the top of the shelf. REMEMBER HOW POORLY BABY RIBBON IS AT WINKING? GUESS WHERE THIS IS GOING. [Dove: Literally the last story arc should have traumatised all Unicorns to the point where nobody winks ever again and it becomes a lost art.]

Winking out, Baby Ribbon reappears on the top shelf, knocking some other boxes off in the process. Only problem is, she forgot to wink in her fucking legs. Yes, there’s a weird half-formed Baby Pony on screen. How did this not give children nightmares? The other three Baby Ponies at least look utterly horrified as their friend panics. [Dove: Although your cap shows they all have “Bwuh?” face.]

I take that back. Baby TW screams, “GET CHECKERS!”

Ribbon points out she’s “Not all here!”

“Checkers are here!” Baby TW claps back. My god, these Ponies are horrible, selfish creatures. Why did my mother allow me to watch this show?? Between White Girl Savior Megan stealing all the credit and the Ponies being stuck up, nasty, rude, and mean, how did I ever learn anything good??

Little Piece of Magic
Parental Exasperation: a Portrait

The front door opens and Buttons and Ribbon enter, Buttons saying, “We thought we heard a crash!” Are you kidding me? Since when are any of the adult Ponies that aware of shit? How could you hear it from outside, possibly as far away as the interior of Paradise Estate? DO YOU HAVE NANNY CAMS IN THE NURSERY??

“MAMA!” screams Baby Ribbon. Even though it’s blatantly obvious she’s on a high shelf, RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER, Ribbon cannot see her child. “Where are you?” “Some of me up here!” Baby Ribbon cries back. Ugh. [Dove: This is one of the few times the mom/baby ponies actually act like parents and children. Usually there’s a feeling that all the babies belong to all of the adults, and nobody’s particularly attached to any pony. Although the baby-talk makes me want to scream.]

Oh god. Please no. Yet again, the writers take extreme liberties with laws of nature. Ribbon winks up to the shelf, managing to stand on it and not A) tip it over and B) not knock her daughter off it, as well as help her daughter finish winking in the rest of her physical form. “Thanks, Mommy.” Baby Ribbon is practically weeping in relief. I want to punch shit.

Touching their horns together, they wink out simultaneously, before reappearing among the rest of the Ponies. Bleh. The others are almost shocked to see them. Wha? Buttons just laughs and comments that “Some little Ponies look a little bored” to her. Huh? WHO’S WRITING THIS?

Baby TW whines, begging Buttons to play with the Babies. Ribbons answers on Buttons’ behalf: “WHY DON’T YOU PLAY BY YOURSELVES?” which leads to Buttons chiming in that the GAME OF MAKE BELIEVE is a game you don’t need others in which to play. WTF. There’s four Baby Ponies and you’re basically telling them to A) bugger off, and B) play by themselves, even though they can all technically play make believe games together?

I WAS A CHILD OF THE 1980S. ALL WE EVER FUCKING DID WAS PLAY MAKE BELIEVE GAMES DURING RECESS. ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE 1990S, WE USED OUR IMAGINATIONS CONSTANTLY. [Dove: Why is she suggesting they play separately? Games were usually more fun with more people. Unless you ended up with that one kid who had all of the powers and never let anything bad happen to them.]

I assume this fell out of favor somewhere in the mid-early-00s, when helicopter parenting and cellphones ruined everything. This episode would probably be branded seditious now. No child is allowed to use their imagination in 2019!

Because Baby Lofty can barely pronounce the word, let alone the idea that four Baby Ponies would know the definition of “imagination”, Ribbon and Buttons decide to get them started. Oh boy. Then they head outside. Which confuses me. Wouldn’t it be smarter to keep the four of them, I dunno, confined to one space instead of taking them outside? WHERE THEY MIGHT GET KIDNAPPED OR HURT??

I mean, honestly, the Ponies are doing their daughters favors by allowing them outside in spite of the dangers, so points for not being helicopter parents?

Little Piece of Magic
…and with that, Buttons and Ribbons ran away, abandoning the babies forever…

ANYWAY. Outside, under a giant background tree, Buttons directs the Baby Ponies to look at a hill, over which “something wonderful” will be coming. (“Just grass there,” complains Baby Ribbon.) Buttons continues on that she and Ribbon will send their very favorite old toy over the hill. A red, rubber ball.

BUT IT’S NOT ANY ORDINARY RED RUBBER BALL. NAY. IT IS A MAGICAL RED RUBBER BALL (you were supposed to click that link, it should be playing now, driving you insane, as intended [Dove: I clicked. *sigh*]) THAT CAN BE ANYTHING YOU WANT IT TO BE. (Are we sure they didn’t hire a goddamn Bushwoolie to entertain the Baby Ponies?)

The Babies are shocked, I tell you, just literally shocked by the notion, even after Ribbon and Buttons assure them the ball can be whatever they want. The adult Ponies then gallop away, over the hill, and disappear. Y’know, I would imagine they went to a bar to drink and have a bull session about horrible their clone children are and how awful being responsible for them is.

Little Piece of Magic

Oblivious to their abandonment, Baby TW insists this will be fun. The image then gets that mystical wavy fade that any child of the 1980s recognizes as a flash towards imagination (if you don’t hear Sponge Bob saying that word by now, I don’t know you) and there’s Baby TW, imagining herself watching a small red rubber ball bounce down the hill. It comes to a stop in front of her and OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT NIGHTMARE THING??

Uhhhhh. The ball has become… transformed into, that’s probably more accurate… a…. um… well, let’s sort it by piece. The red ball is the head/body, perched on two baseball bat legs, with croquet mallets for hands, an black Spade ace card for one ear, the 2 of Clubs for the other ear, and Domino for eyes. If I’m counting the spots correctly, that would give it 10 eyeballs? THIS IS UNSETTLING AT BEST. WHAT IS WITH THIS EPISODE?? [Dove: Use your imagination, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. NIGHTMARE FUEL.]

Baby TW inquires as to who this foul creature from the fiery pits of Hades is, and it responds that it’s her very own special playmate! And that it knows someplace with the best toys and games ever! LET YE NOT BE TEMPTED, BABY TW! SOMEONE GET A PRIEST! WE GOTTA EXPEL THIS DEMON!

It literally told Baby TW to close her eyes and they’d be there in a flash. My god, the terrible subtext my brain is taking this to, when I’m sure it was written to be meant as an actual example of good, wholesome entertainment. [Dove: Nope, I’m right there with you. Bright Lights showed the dark underbelly of Ponyland.]

So. Baby TW, in her imagination, has now been magically transported to a giant room full of all kinds of toys imaginable. That has no windows or doors. Um. And there’s “nothing to do but play all day!” says the demonic tempter. I… have no words.

That thing doesn’t even walk! It bounces around like the baseball bats are springs! Ugh. And there’s a ping pong table. HOW THE HELL CAN A BABY PONY PLAY THAT WITH HOOVES?? Oh my god. The thing has a ping pong ball on one of its mallet hands, telling Baby TW it’s a ping pong table made “especially for you!” and the paddle is actually two paddles joined at the handles so she can hold it in her mouth. I should have known.

Serving the ball, the thing has to duck because Baby TW hits the ball back so hard it’s like a gun shot. Um. And that’s the end of ping pong. WHAT THE FUCK.

(I’m just going to note right here that all the above was written while I had a kidney infection brewing and I had already done a prior course of antibiotics for sinus issues. The rest of this is being written towards the end of the second round of antibiotics for the damn kidney infection, which has left me stupid and angry. This may effect my ability to judge this episode properly but so far it’s been a terrifying, poorly-written fucking nightmare, so I’m not going to fault myself for anything I end up saying about it.) [Dove: No illness or drugs at my end. bat is correct in all assertions thus far. This is a stupid episode.]

Little Piece of Magic

Abandoning the ping pong table, the nightmare thing leads Baby TW around the corner and suddenly they’re standing outside a glitzy entrance to a FUNMAZE. I’m pretty sure there’s supposed to be a space between those words but the artist didn’t leave one so I am rolling with this. My inner child is expecting Chucky or Pennywise to appear at any moment. This is because children of the 1980s learned to be ever vigilant about this kind of shit.

“Every room has a different surprise, and you have to find your way through!” the evil Thing tells Baby TW. THIS IS A RIP OFF OF LABYRINTH AND… I dunno, Hellraiser? I mean, I’ve never seen Hellraiser and its many sequels (shut up) but I know there’s that weird cube thing and I guess that hasn’t shown up, so my analogy is lacking but this is… lazy. [Dove: Hellraiser II does have a labyrinth of a sort. Here, watch Decker Shado explain the movies, it’ll save you the bother.]

With that, Baby TW takes off to complete this challenge, while the evil Thing says it’ll see her at the other end. Sure. [Dove: I personally really hoped this would end up with another kidnapping, as the ball was actually evil, and the baby ponies had to fight their way out of a fantasy-turned-nightmare scenario. And then the adult ponies would realise their parenting skills blow. I know a lot of that was unlikely, but I had hope.]

First room Baby TW literally slides into but instead of falling on the floor she starts to float across the space in mid-air. It would make more sense if we knew there was a floor but all we see are blurry background paintings of various sizes and a window. Then Baby TW bounces off the wall. Even though the wall is not rubber. Okay.

Little Piece of Magic

She floats over to a doorway filled with balloons, which she bounces off, before popping the ones in the middle, which grants her access to the next room. This is a weird FUNMAZE. Baby TW floats through the awkwardly and badly painted/designed balloon room, popping balloons until she falls through the wall of balloons into the third room.

This one had two doors, the path made clear by the red carpet rolled out into both doors. Twirling in a circle with her eyes closed, Baby TW chooses the “right” door, which leads to a massive room that’s laid out in a chess board black and white pattern. Squares blink on and off in different colored lights. She steps on one of the lighted squares, then chases the light as it moves around various squares like some kind of demented Simon game. At the other end of the room, the evil Thing awaits her.

Baby TW promptly… nuzzles? the evil Thing, grateful for the experience of this imagination game. The horror… the horror

And with that we return to reality, where Baby TW is laughing aloud and the rest of the Baby Ponies are staring at her, waiting their turn. “Red Ball gonna play with me, too!” Baby Lofty announces, as she closes her eyes and the camera zooms in on her. Ugh. Here we go again.

Little Piece of Magic
I hate this episode. Period.

One fancy wavy fade later, we see the inanimate red rubber ball come bouncing over the hill past Baby Lofty. She stares at it until it falls off screen then pops up, with a pair of blue feathery wings and a tail and a face drawn on it. This is somehow less terrifying then the evil Thing.

Unfortunately I spoke too soon. The evil Thing has retained the same voice actor, and is basically the same character, just “re-imagined” to whatever the particular Baby Pony it is interacting with has imagined it to be. Ugh. This time it’s going to teach Baby Lofty to be the best flier. Great.

Up they both soar, the red evil Thing looking like some sort of Nintendo character rip-off. It leads Baby Lofty in a loop-de-loop, soaring ever higher, telling her to not be afraid as the sky is hers. Uh huh. Baby Lofty promptly does some barrel rolls, turning into a cigar-shaped blur. That’s when the evil Thing tells her they should take a trip.

Is that a metaphor or what?

Over and through massive puffy white clouds they fly, causing Baby Lofty to sneeze. “There’s more! There’s more!” the evil Thing implores her, leading her towards what most definitely is painted to look like a starry sky. [Dove: And the animators take a break as they realise they can loop the same frames over and over for the whole scene.] And suddenly Baby Lofty and the evil Thing are flying through the blackest part of outer space, with stars in the background. I guess Baby Ponies don’t need oxygen.

Little Piece of Magic
All the cheap plastic Fakie Ponies came out to cheer Baby Lofty

A comet shoots by, and there’s a poorly painted planet or four, and then a meteoroid blows past them. Uh huh. “I couldn’t have brought you here if you weren’t such a good flier!” the evil Thing tells Baby Lofty. HOW IS SHE STILL ALIVE? YES I KNOW THIS IS AN IMAGINATION GAME.

“All of Pony Land is waiting to honor you!” the evil Thing announces to Baby Lofty as they begin to descend back towards… well, this isn’t exactly Earth, is it. Down through the clouds, which are way closer to “outer space” then they should be, back down to the ground. Sure. There’s a giant banner – CONGRATULATIONS BABY LOFTY – with a ton of Ponies around it. Now, I can’t tell if those are adult Ponies or Baby Ponies, but whatever, not remotely going to happen.

Little Piece of Magic
“Just draw! Little kids watching will never look that close!”

HOLY CRAP WHO DREW THIS?? Suddenly there is a plentiful multitude of Ponies standing around a platform, where Buttons is standing waiting to address said crowd as Baby Lofty descends. THERE ARE LITERAL BLOBS OF HAIR, MANES AND TAILS, AND NOT ENOUGH BODIES TO GO AROUND. THIS IS GETTING WORSE. [Dove: That’s what my bait bag looks like. Loads of decapitated heads, hair, and bodies, all not attached to each other.]

On the stage, Buttons throws a gold medal on a blue ribbon round Baby Lofty’s neck, announcing on behalf of ALL the Ponies in Pony Land (sure) they’re all celebrating Baby Lofty as being THE GREATEST FLYING PONY OF ALL TIME.

I’m pretty damn sure FiM Rainbow Dash would argue against this assessment. [Dove: I’m pretty sure Firefly from this generation would object too. Baby Lofty didn’t even do a double-inside-out loop.]

There are cheers from the crowd, none of which has a cutie mark. Again, I tell you, these are all FAKIES.

Baby Lofty fakes humility and insists that the evil Thing helped. Sure. She thanks it, it winks at her, and we return from Baby Lofty’s ridiculous imagination fantasy. I would say this is the worst one but I’m pretty sure we have one more (at least) to go.

Ah. There is is. We launch right into Baby HN’s fantasy game, because time is short. Even the screen fade rushes right through. And we’re now in a concert hall, with an audience full of Ponies. Wow, that one has actual TWINKLE EYES. Kind of disturbing looking, tbh.

Baby HN is on the stage, where a grand piano sits. We move in close to watch her dance, twirling in a tutu around the stage. I’m still trying to figure out where all that applause was coming from. SOMEONE IN THE ART DEPARTMENT FORGOT THE SCENE IS SET IN A CONCERT HALL BECAUSE NOW WE SEE A CROWD SHOT IN THE MIDDLE OF AN OPEN, GREEN FIELD.

And there’s the obligatory Spike shot, with two white rabbits and a yellow bird. Weird.


Baby HF keeps bowing, I’m still waiting for her to actually dance? Flowers are being thrown at the stage. We see a poster that announces the concert and a random adult Pony cover it with a SOLD OUT sign (??) and now Heartthrob is presenting Baby HN with a basket of flowers and that goddamn evil THING is standing on the piano bench and bowing and HOLY HELL THAT WAS THE SHORTEST FANTASY. [Dove: Baby TW got the best fantasy. Before they ran out of time.]

I would feel bad for Baby HN but I don’t.

Shit. But of course, as soon as Baby HN returns to reality she inquires what Baby Ribbon is going to do with the Red Rubber Ball. I CANNOT ESCAPE THIS. TELL MY FAMILY I LOVED THEM.

Little Piece of Magic
“You and Your Period: A My Little Pony Guide to Menstruation”

“Not sure!” Baby Ribbon announces before we get a brief shimmer wipe. She’s standing in the field with the plain red rubber ball sitting in the grass. Wow. Baby Ribbon is not only incapable of winking, she’s incapable of using her imagination.

Poking it with her nose… face?… it grows that stupid face again and shimmers with magic, before disappearing and reappearing as a golden charm on a necklace around Baby Ribbon’s neck. “I’m your good luck charm!” the evil Thing announces. Oh god. “Try winking now!”


I’m not even going to bother to write about this. It’s just Baby Ribbon winking in and out with a fucking sound effect repeatedly playing and the stupid evil Thing telling her she could always wink. THIS IS FUCKING STUPID.

After all that fucking winking, we see a crowd of Ponies gathered around what appears to be a little red school house. Baby Ribbon pulls a pink bow off the door while the evil Thing welcomes everypony to Baby Ribbon’s School of Winking. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

Next Baby Ribbon is walking past a platform where several Adult and Baby Ponies (who are NOT unicorns), several Bushwoolies, and a Grundle are winking in and out in place. Um. AGAIN. HOW THE FUCK DOES MAGIC WORK IN PONY LAND. YOU ARE JUST FUCKING WITH ME NOW AND I DON’T LIKE IT.

Since they all perform flawlessly, they are immediately graduates and “master winkers” (oh my god) and the evil Thing announces that Baby Ribbon is going to wink herself to a “tropical vacation!” THIS IS BULLSHIT.

BACK IN STUPID WORTHLESS REALITY, the Baby Ponies all wonder where the red ball is, since it’s never come over the hill. “Maybe it was all imagination??” Baby TW wonders aloud. And because the shit lesson of this episode is USE YOUR IMAGINATION, MORONS, I am promptly subjected to a goddamn song about IMAGINATION.

*grinds back molars slowly*

[Dove: Can’t work out whether it’s better or worse than this:

Sorry, no copy with actual video.]

And immediately after the song, Buttons and Ribbon return, announcing it is NAP TIME. Wow, one thing in the episode I can totally get behind. The Babies run off to the Lullabye Nursery (BUY OUR MERCH) and Buttons inquires of Ribbon what happened to the red rubber ball. They go searching for it and find it stuck in a bush, meaning it NEVER MADE IT OVER THE HILL AND THE BABY PONIES HAVE REALLY STRONG IMAGINATIONS.



Final Thoughts:

You can always tell when the writers had a “filler episode” – when you have an order of 20 or more episodes a season, there’s always those few that are slotted in between larger story arcs to fill the space – THIS WAS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF THAT. RIDICULOUS CLAP TRAP TO FILL THE TIME.

For once, not a single mention/appearance of Megan or her siblings. Yet, still a total waste of time.

Like, I get it. Growing up as an only child, I relied heavily on imagination games. Fuck, I was constantly playing said games with My Little Pony toys. They were quite a dramatic bunch if I do remember although I had far more elaborate stories involving my Lego sets and the Sylvanian Families (you’d know them now as Calico Critters) but just the same, it was all imagination based.

Using your imagination is an important concept I fear that the most recent generations of children are losing out on, because of fucking iPads and other electronics being shoved into their hands at tender ages. Talk to anyone my age and we had to rely on our minds to get through trips to the grocery store with our mothers to pass the time. Not fucking screens with streaming video that kept us quiet with glassy gazes.

So, the lesson here is important. The execution? TERRIBLE. Hence the F- grade, because the plot basically ended up being consumed by establishing the lesson in a round about way, then wasted all that time on the ridiculous imagination of Baby TW before cramming in the other three Baby Ponies’ “games”, which got shorter and shorter (and more outrageously stupid) by the time we got to Baby Ribbon. AND THEN THAT SONG. THAT STUPID SONG.

Yeah. I hated this episode. And I hated that evil Thing. And I am glad this is over. Because I get to move on with my life and WAIT WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE THE NEXT RECAP COMING UP IN THE SERIES AFTER THIS ONE HOLY CRAP I CANNOT ESCAPE PONY LAND.

I swear to god, I barely remember The Magic Coins but it better be spectacular compared to this.

See you in two weeks.

[Dove: I agree with everything bat said. This was a nonsense episode that didn’t really move anything forward. Imagination is a great tool, but ironically it was not used in the creation of this episode. I’m going to give this an F-, the same as bat. It gets such a low score from me because: it was badly paced (why not give everyone’s imagination slots equal time?); badly written (name one thing that didn’t suck); and we were subjected to baby-talk throughout. I can deal with almost anything in this series except the baby-talk. I find it really frustrating when we started with {Escape from/Rescue at} {Nightmare/Midnight} Castle, which was a really strong jumping-off point, and now we’re dealing with this. Baby-talk, the episode. I wasn’t quite as traumatised by the ball as bat, but it was not cute or lovable, like the ponies made out.]