Title: The End of Flutter Valley (Parts 1-2)
Summary: The ponies are on their way to Flutter Valley for the Sun Tuesday celebration with the Flutter Ponies. Meanwhile, the Witches from the Volcano of Gloom are busy hatching a plan to destroy Flutter Valley and the ponies, allying with an army of giant bees to get their revenge on the Flutter Ponies. The bees steal the precious Sun Stone, and if the Flutter Ponies can’t get it back, their home will be destroyed.
Grade: This will be given when bat and I finally reach the end of this 10 part epic. *sigh*
Just so you know, instead of running around like headless chickens and trying to recap 2 hours’ worth of episodes between the two of us in a single post, we have decided to do this in two-episode batches, so bat’s recap will cover Parts 3-4.
Oh god. We open with Surprise’s shrill giggles, they’re like nails on a chalk board. She leaps out of a bush and scares Baby Cuddles so hard she rockets off into outer space and hurtles back towards the ground, burning up as she re-enters atmosphere, and all that is left of her are a few wisps of pink nylon hair. Or is it saran? I’m too tired to check what I usually order.
Actually, she lands on Spike. Cuddles baby-talks, “Suwpwise frightened me!” and then Gusty tells Surprise to stop being an asshat and get moving, because Flutter Valley awaits. [bat: Gusty’s angst, sarcasm and pessimistic attitude through out this series is basically me. Bless Nancy Cartwright for voicing so many characters that have shaped my life.]
You know, that bunch of idiots who nearly let them die in a Smooze invasion because it fell under the heading of not the Flutter Ponies’ problem? Yep, well, now they’re all bezzie mates, so it’s all good.
Quick roll call! Those present are: Fizzy, Buttons, Cupcake, Gusty, Surprise, Baby Cuddles and Spike. They are all heading to Flutter Valley, and they tell Baby Cuddles it’s the most beautiful place in all of Ponyland. It must be Fizzy talking, because according to the movie, nobody else has been there before.
[bat: Looking through the casting list, a lot of the talent worked on the staple cartoons of the 1980s and 1990s, which explains why I keep looking at the screen and saying “Martin Prince?” when Cupcake talks. Also, Baby Lickety-Split and Beth Oblong are the same… My brain just broke upon discovering that Kimmy Gibbler’s boyfriend Duane is played by the same dude who voiced freaking Danny, Megan’s dumb little brother!]
Oh, something I noticed on watching these. I don’t think the animators were given an idea of who was talking, because sometimes multiple pony mouths will move as dialogue is spoken, giving the impression that one pony is talking, and several others are mocking her.
The camera pans back and we realise that Hydia, Reeka and Draggle are watching the goings on in the cauldron. The animation is notably worse than the movie and the two previous specials, with only Draggle looking as she should for a lot of frames. Also, Madeline Kahn is not reprising her role.
Continuity points, Hydia wants to ruin the Flutter ponies’ celebration for stopping the Smooze. Reeka says she wants to get even with the Little Ponies too because “they helped.” Clearly by “helped” she means they shilled Hasbro’s merchandise and sat on the roof of Paradise Estate terrified and helpless. [bat: BUY OUR MERCH!]
Hydia sets her daughters the task of preventing the ponies from getting to Flutter Valley, and when they ask how she – again – reminds them they’re witches.
Somehow, Draggle and Reeka manage to get between the ponies and Flutter Valley in zero seconds flat. They hide in a bush right behind Gusty and loudly discuss how to stop the ponies. Gusty doesn’t notice, because the plot has said so.
Oh, and there are a lot of pratfalls in this episode. If the witches are on screen, you can bet at least one of them is tripping over something, falling off a cliff, or walking face-first into a tree branch. And it’s hilarious.
The witches manage to change a daisy into a lasso, and start to lasso the ponies. They get Cupcake, who drops her cake and goes face first into it. Somehow, they manage to capture all the ponies except Fizzy and Spike. Surprise calls to them to get help. Fizzy and Spike get a few feet before being captured themselves.
Back in the Volcano of Gloom, Hydia is looking on and actually proud of her kids. She is angry-proud of them. My cat will be having such a nice time being made a fuss of that he will purr really angrily, and eventually bite and claw you. Hydia is having much the same reaction, kicking things around and nearly squeezing the life out of some rats that were lurking around. I feel that this pride will not last long.
And I’m absolutely right, because the Flutter ponies rock up and “SWITCH TO UTTER FLUTTER, BITCHES!” and… well, it looks nothing like it did in the movie, instead this just rains down white orbs which make the witches sneeze. The ponies escape, leaving the witches to worry what Hydia will say when she finds out they failed.
Reeka says they haven’t failed yet, they’ve just got to keep trying. Then they have a hilarious fight that ends up with them rolling off a cliff. We are six minutes in and that’s about the fourth fight and the seventh fall. I wish the fall would kill them, then the hilarity of it would stop.
Then we cut over to the ponies, and Queen Rosedust is giving an impassioned speech about how the sun lights their valley… and the valley looks massively different from the movie. The movie version was flower porn. Everywhere you looked, there were oodles of flowers and trees. This version is kind of a rocky quarry with a grass covering, utterly barren of flora and fauna, with some kind of Aztec/Stonehenge rocky lovechild as the centrepiece with something called the Sun Stone at the top. Also, Blue and Purple Bushwoolies have shown up. [bat: Clearly, Fluttervalley was suffering under drought conditions. It’s probably because it’s obvs located in California.] [Dove: Also, I’ve just noticed that Galaxy, Medley, Ribbon and Lickety-Split are present in the screen cap, but they shouldn’t be there.] [bat: Um, teleportation and/or are holograms?]
Behind a rock, Reeka and Draggle are suitably sickened by the cloying sweetness of Rosedust. And rightly so, because the ponies break into song.
If you didn’t watch it, please know that the song culminates in Spike getting tongued by Baby Cuddles.
The witches decide to cast a spell that will cause a landslide.
The Bushwoolies (now Yellow is here too) are presenting Rosedust with Wooliecakes and Bushmelons and are desperate for her to like them. I initially didn’t like the Bushwoolies, but somehow they’ve worn me down, and as soon as bat described them as having “no filter when it comes to sass”, that was it. I decided I adored them. [bat: WELCOME TO #teamBushwoolies Dove!]
While Rosedust is magnanimously accepting her tithes from the lesser beings, the landslide starts. Actually, it’s less of a landslide, and more that it’s raining rocks (hallelujah!). But I’m staring at this scene and wondering why this can’t be fixed by shifting to UTTER FLUTTER!
“Run, my little ponies! Fly away, my Flutter ponies! Hide, Bushwoolies! Hide!” shrieks Queen Rosedust, sounding like a flustered housewife, aggrieved that her BBQ has been rained out and now everyone will track mud on her freshly-cleaned carpet.
Buttons and Spike notice that the landslide is going to dislodge the Sun Stone. OH NOES!
It opens with a shot of a rock, and some dead rabbits from the Bright Eyes segment of Watership Down in the upper corner of the screen. I hope Joss Ackland will be along soon. He brings gravitas. (Or he did. RIP, Joss.) [Note from my future self: Dude, he’s still alive. His character Hans from Mighty Ducks died. Not the actor. FFS, Dove. You’ve embarassed yourself.]
Just as all looks lost, the falling rocks turn to mud and circle back to hit the witches. It turns out Draggle cast a spell for a “land pie”, not a “land slide”, and hilarity will ensue. Especially because: a) there’s no such thing as a “land pie”; and b) even if there was, there’s no earthly reason it would be a land slide for enough time to cause a mess, then revert to a land pie. But the plot demands. The scene goes on way too long as the witches are pelted with mud, which, naturally, is hysterical.
The ponies celebrate, even though they did nothing except wait for the witches’ own ineptitude to catch up with them. But sure, you do you, ponies.
They all agree this was a close shave, and Honeysuckle wants to cut a bitch over it. The Bushwoolies, with their hive mind, immediately jump on the bandwagon, calling for death to all witches. [bat: No one suspects the Bushwoolie Inquisition!] Morning Glory argues that they didn’t really mean to harm the ponies (uh, yes the did, they tried to bury you in rocks!) and the Bushwoolies quickly switch sides, because that’s how they roll. Rosedust takes the politician’s option and avoids taking a side and merely emphasises that everyone is safe.
The ponies say they have to get home and the Bushwoolies invite themselves back to Paradise Estate.
IS NOBODY GOING TO MENTION THE SUN STONE THAT WAS THE CLIFFHANGER? DO WE NOT FUCKING CARE? APPARENTLY NOT.
[bat: Only because there’s, what, 9 more episodes in which to address that plot point and small children won’t remember anyway.] [Dove: Which means you get to recap this plot point, bat!]
Back in the Mountain of Gloom, Hydia is punishing her daughters with donuts. And sign me up. Hydia says she’ll get even with the Flutter ponies if it’s the last thing she does. Then she breaks into song with “Oh Family”, begging the portraits of family members for help.
The family suggests that they get Bumble and the Bees [bat: OMG I FORGOT ABOUT THEM.] to steal the Sun Stone and the Flutter ponies will chase the stone, and get captured. Without the stone, Flutter Valley will become “dark, dank and dreary” (nice callback to the movie), and they can move there. But why? The Volcano of Gloom is an awesome bad-guy lair.
Reeka and Draggle set off to see the Bees, saying how cold their part of Ponyland is. They say that must be why they’re so tough, but then Draggle remembers they were mean and tough before they moved here, and it’s why they got kicked out of Flutter Valley. They see some red clover and pick it for Bumble in order to curry favour with her. Since it’s up a tree, there is more hilarious pratfalling to endure.
They are then captured by some Bees, and are taken to meet Bumble the queen and Buzz her henchman. The witches propose their plan, and the Bees are all over that.
Back with the ponies, they’re walking home and Spike is on a “witch watch”. Surprise calls out that there are strange-looking creatures ahead. However, Yellow Bushwoolie cheerfully announces that they are “Furbobs”, which are cousins of the Bushwoolies. They introduce themselves to the Furbobs, and we actually get their names: Blue = Hugster; Yellow = Chumster; Purple = Wishful. I’m still going with colours, because I’m never going to remember those names. Also, I just bought Chumster from eBay. I’m sure he was a touch more expensive than necessary, but I bothered bat until she helped me weigh up the pros and cons of the purchase. [bat: I take my position as an ‘evil enabler’ very seriously. Also, I’d forgotten about the damn Furbobs. They like Fluppy Dogs, only not Disney and on cheap LSD.] [Dove: Chumster arrived this morning. We were right, he’s in very good condition. And I appreciate your enabler role.] [bat: Oh, excellent! What a happy addition to your collection.]
The Furbobs don’t get names and the ponies introduce themselves en masse as “little ponies”. I’m going to do that next time I’m in a social setting. “Hi, so you’re Jenny, and you’re Peter, and you’re Alison? Hi. We’re the humans. Nice to meet you.”
Oh, yeah. The Furbobs do not agree on anything. I guess they’re supposed to be the exact opposite of the very agreeable Bushwoolies, but I just worry that Bushwoolies hanging out with them must be exhausted from swapping sides every time there’s a new speaker.
The ponies ask where the Furbobs live and they quickly disagree. The writers, seeing they’ve written themselves into a corner (Michael Ende did something similar in The NeverEnding Story, but he had talent and love for his story, these writers… do not), have one of the Furbobs say that they’ve moved so many times, it really doesn’t matter. The other Furbob obligingly stays quiet, instead of refuting this statement. When asked why, they both reply, “The Stonebacks!” and the Bushwoolies nearly die of shock that they agreed. The Furbobs say that they chase them out of their home. Gusty asks what they look like and the Furbobs point behind them.
The Stonebacks are chewing on either side of the bridge, and it looks like the bridge is going to collapse.
Last time that happened, those fucking SHOO-BE-DO-SHOO-SHOO-BE-DOOOOOOOO Sea ponies rocked up to save the day.
But if that’s what happens, it’s bat’s problem.
Over to you, batette.