Title: The Glass Princess (Parts 1-2)
Summary: Pony Olympics! Yes, it’s the Pony Olympics! With no explanation about why! Can’t make it up. (Although, I guess the writers did.) More ‘villain of the week’ crap; this time it’s Porcina and the Raptorians, who are after magic to use in order to repair Porcina’s magic cape. Dove’s favorite, the Sasswoolies, return for more madcap adventures with the Ponies.
Hello and welcome, again, to this continued semi-nightmare road trip of childhood nostalgia that is the first season of My Little Pony ‘n Friends. I’m sad that I can’t say this is the halfway point through season 1, since that won’t be until episode #25, and we’re quite a ways off from that, still.
Anyway, Dove and I are doing our best to get through these poorly crafted/written episodes involving Ponies and their, um, friends. On deck today is the first half of “The Glass Princess”, which I honestly do not remember. I keep confusing it for the episode when the Princess Ponies show up, but that’s not for a while. The fact I remember nothing — and probably won’t even when I’m watching it or will suddenly something will trigger my memory? — should be interesting.
[Dove: I also thought this was about the Princess Ponies. Clearly we’re so frazzled that we can only react to a single word in the title. This is further evidenced by my confusion over The Ghost of Paradise Estate being the episode where furniture comes to life.]
Let’s just get this over with.
Megan is back in Ponyland, riding Surprise in the air, so she can raise a banner that reads “PONY’ OLYMPICS” and tie it between two convenient trees. First off, the use of the possessive is just weird. That just bodes well for the rest of the episode. Can I quit and save myself?
NO. No. Must forge on.
Surprise is like, whoa, LAY OFF THE AMPHETAMINES. Holy cow, she’s like psycho laughter and yelling her inner monologue. Scary. Megan finishes tying the knot on the rope before she and Surprise land. Surprise is SUPER STOKED, YO, ABOUT THE PONY OLYMPICS.
That’s it. This version of Surprise will forever be written in CAPSLOCK.
Meanwhile, several other Ponies, wearing cropped sweaters and leg warmers on their front legs (but not the back legs?) are jumping hurdles while Magic Star is dressed in a sweatshirt and baseball cap, acting as coach for the Ponies. She yells orders and encouragement from the sidelines.
We see Cherries Jubilee jump a hurdle but smash her nose right into the ground before switching to Gusty, eyes closed in concentration, using magic to raise a bunch of balloons into the air. (I have questions. I guess that falls under her magical limits, since it’s air-related?) When the balloons are in the air, several Pegasi ponies fly between them like skiers skiing through gates on a slalom. Apparently the Pony’ Olympics are a bunch of contests that cover the basic three forms of Ponies = Earth, Unicorn, and Pegasi. Didn’t MLP:FiM redo this or improve upon it greatly?
Magic Star orders the Earth Ponies to run the hurdles again. Shady goes first and knocks the hurdle over, forcing Magic Star to lift it up and put it back into place, before telling Shady to try again. The rest are supposed to follow Shady. Yeah, this will go poorly. [Dove: When I watched Shady’s first attempt, I couldn’t tell whether she was supposed to jump over it or through it. The size gave no indication, it looked impossible either way.]
Shady clears the first hurdle but smashes directly into the second, screaming. The rest of the Ponies dog pile her. Oops.
A weird SMASH CUT later and we see bird-type creatures flying above a laundry line, featuring a lot of clothing that looks like it’s for humans and not Ponies. WTF? Does Megan own that much clothing? The bird-like creatures are, of course, called Raptorians. The twist is they’re a cross between dogs and birds. (??) One takes notice of all the hideously ugly clothing on the line, another announces it’s “pretty” (no) and the apparent leader tells them to check it out. Clothing goes flying into the air before all three become entangled in and/or wearing it.
One of the Raptorians suddenly has a crystal ball in its paw/wing, starts yelling “Calling Porcina! Calling Porcina!” and basically phones in to the villain of the week. The setting moves to some really sketchy looking rock towers, where we find, as her name implies, a giant anthropomorphic pig.
Really, writers? C’mon.
Porcina sits on a golden chair, surrounded by mirrors. She’s even holding a hand mirror, gazing at herself in it. She’s naked except for a golden crown and a blue cap around her neck. [Dove: And with her being the same colour as Megan, it feels creepy looking at her. It’s kind of like a naked human on screen.] Clearly, obviously, she is self-absorbed and loves only herself. She tells herself she’s so gorgeous and kisses the mirror. To her side, on a cushion, sits a pink furred creature. The Raptorians come into view in the hand mirror, explaining they found “material” for her. Porcina is none too pleased to be interrupted and screams about how the clothing is ordinary. What she needs is magic material to repair her beloved cloak, which is sporting a hole and is quite raggedy.
I had a minor memory of this episode bubble up suddenly but it was too brief to trigger full blown thoughts. Hm.
Porcina’s power is using magic to turn things into glass. (Hence THE GLASS PRINCESS.) Which makes zero sense. Everything in the room is MIRRORS, not GLASS, although you use glass and paint it / cover the back to create a mirror. I think calling her the Mirror Princess would have been way confusing, but calling her the Glass Princess is a misnomer. I guess we’re going on the basis of calling a hand mirror a “looking glass”, but what kid knows that, especially these days?
Attempting to use her powers results in nothing, except the little pink creature cowering and Porcina not making any new glass (mirrors?) One of the Raptorians complains about Porcina and her diva ways, but the other reminds him that they’re tolerating this only until she creates a new kingdom for them to live in.
WHAT IS WITH ALL THE VILLAINS AND SUB-VILLAINS WANTING KINGDOMS IN DREAM VALLEY?? [Dove: Well, Paradise Estate was on top of a mythic stone. Who knows what else is buried there?]
Dumping the ordinary clothing, the Raptorians fly away, continually bonking into and crashing against each other. I guess they the magical Three Stooges.
Back over at the Ponies, Molly is sitting under a tree, picking flowers, and chanting, “he loves me, he loves me not”. Shady, downtrodden and exhausted, stumbles by. Molly comes over and cuddles the sobbing Pony, who complains she has no talent or magic powers, and can’t even make it through a simple jumping drill like the rest of the Earth Ponies.
Molly gives her a pep talk and walks her back to the Paradise Estate, to ask the Ponies how they really feel about Shady. (Man, I hate Shady. I think it was the combo of the pink body and ugly green hair, with the voice and the dumb name, that just ruined it.) [Dove: But the toy was gorgeous. It had obnoxiously yellow hair that really popped against the hot pink. I don’t know why they converted luminous yellow to baby-puke green for the cartoons. Morning Glory has a similar issue with her hair.]
The Raptorians make some crash landings and beat on each other before the camera pans to the right to show us Megan brushing Sweet Stuff’s mane, as the other Ponies frolic and bathe in the lake/waterfall. But now it’s Lickety Split? Geez, guys, continuity matters! Also, with all the noise and yelling, once again how did NO ONE NOTICE??
Also, how can Gusty suddenly Blink? She Blinks from being in the water to on a grassy hill. THAT’S NOT WIND POWER. But this is all MAGIC USAGE and boy are the Raptorians impressed! This is what Porcina needs to fix her own magic powers! (??)
Once again, the Raptorians “call” Porcina on her looking glass. Porcina is PISSED at being interrupted but then realizes the Ponies are magical. Okay, the lead Raptorian mentions it. Anyway, it seems the magic is contained in the Ponies’ manes, which explains why it looked like sparkling static electricity was coming off Sweet Stuff’s mane as Megan was brushing it. The Raptorian leader posits the idea that CUTTING OFF THE PONIES’ MANES AND WEAVING THE HAIR INTO FABRIC WILL GIVE PORCINA WHAT SHE NEEDS TO FIX HER MAGICAL CLOAK.
Oh, lord, it’s the tale of Sampson and Delilah. Sort of.
Porcina is ecstatic and orders the Raptorians to return to her lair, so they can form a plan. She’s down in some dungeon basement, digging around for an unknown object, when they arrive. Shortly, she bursts into song:
Oh, boy, that was awful.
Porcina is a shitty Miss Piggy knock-off.
In the song, Porcina just wants to make the world a giant looking glass so everyone can see her. Again, this Glass Princess misnomer really bugs me.
Back again with Shady and Molly, Shady is complaining/envious that Gusty, Galaxy, Lickety Split, and Heartthrob have special talents. SHADY IS USELESS AND HAS NO TALENTS, SHADY BAD. That was literally the summation of Shady’s lines, not me complaining.
Lickety Split attempts to empathize with a story about ice cream (??) while stuffing her face with a human-sized ice cream sundae. What?
Bart Simpson Gusty tells Shady she needs to practice until it’s perfect, demonstrating her abilities to move balloons again. Heartthrob, who’s suddenly dressed in half a 1920s bathing outfit (?? [Dove: BUY OUR MERCH!]) drops in and says maybe Shady is trying too hard and she needs to have fun, like a glamorous costume party.
THAT WHOLE LINE WAS SUPER CONFUSING.
Shady walks away (but no one animated it, they just slid the cel across the static background, that was trippy) complaining she wants to be useful. Molly runs after her as Heartthrob complains Shady is too serious and needs to lighten up. The other Ponies continue to offer bad advice and complaints to Shady, even talking over each other. (??)
OH NO. NOT ANOTHER NET. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? WHAT IS WITH THIS STUPID NET FETISH?? I KNOW NETS ARE THE ONLY THING THAT STOPS THE PONIES AND MEGAN BUT GEEZ, THIS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS. [Dove: Don’t use hyperbole, bat. You know at least 20% of the time it’s a cage that drops from the sky.] [bat: True. Too true.]
Heartthrob suddenly realizes that Shady and Molly have left, while the three were talking/complaining. “Boy, how’s that for gratitude?” Gusty bitches. Holy cow, way to be a stuck-up bitch, Gusty. Sorry, Dove, I won’t stand for the writers ruining the best Pony ever. [Dove: Agreed. Gusty is best pony. (Caveat: Strawberry Fair aka Sugarberry and Chocolate Chip aka Coco Berry aren’t in the show). Wing bought me a copy of her as a surprise, years before I started collecting again.]
As the Raptorians swoop in with YET ANOTHER NET, the Ponies jump up and down and scream, instead of RUNNING AWAY. WTF.
Also, instead of using MAGIC, Gusty attempts to BLOW the net back. Are you kidding me?? And because there’s no guide, the net expands to four times its normal size and suddenly ensnares all three Ponies without trouble. Eventually the Raptorians are able to lif the net and fly away with three full-sized adult Ponies inside it.
I give up. I really do.
FADE TO BLACK, STUPID CLIFFHANGER BLACK.
As the Raptorians fly with a net full of Ponies – 1 Earth, 1 Pegasi, and 1 Unicorn – they cross over the forest. Down below, a batch of Bushwoolies look up and see the problem. “Must tell the Little Ponies!” the light blue one yells, with agreements from the rest. Like, wait, why not chase after the Raptorians? There’s more than enough of you to split into two groups! Ugh.
Also, instead of rolling up into balls and zooming, the Bushwoolies WALK to Paradise Estate. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? [Dove: Maybe the Bushwoolies are kind of pissed off that the Grundles were given Dream Castle, while they still have to live under ground?]
The Raptorians drop Gusty and Lickety Split from the net into Porcina’s rock lair. Gusty pulls off a headband THAT SHE WASN’T EVEN WEARING A MOMENT AGO, dropping it on the ground. One of the Raptorian’s binds Heartthrob’s wings. Well, that’s something. They’re too excited about getting their own territory to notice Gusty attempting to hide the headband in the dirt.
Marching into a tunnel, the entrance is blocked by a pair of large fir trees. Sure. That’ll hide it.
Over at Paradise Estate it’s nap time slash sun bathing hour. Megan and the Ponies are all chilling at the pool side, eyes closed. Danny jumps off the diving board and splashes everypony, who all scream. Ugh.
Megan apologizes on behalf of her crummy little brother, explaining he feels rambunctious today. (Um.) Before she can expound on that, the Bushwoolies rush up and crash into everypony and the human children, landing in the pool. I AM SO CONFUSED. [Dove: I got marginly excited when I thought they might reproduce with water, like mogwai. I was disappointed.]
While the Ponies help fish the soggy Bushwoolies out of the pool, Megan yells, “What’s with you guys?!” Geez, Megan. The Bushwoolies finally manage to tell Megan that they saw some Ponies being kidnapped (which, considering their close proximity to the group when the kidnapping occurred, should not be news, but IT IS because PLOT SAYS SO.)
Everyone is just shocked, SO SHOCKED, especially when the missing three are identified. Like, no one noticed they were gone? Really? Megan immediately puts on her white girl savior hat, organizing a search party to go into the Black Mountains to rescue the three kidnapped Ponies. Magic Star, Paradise, and North Star are to come with Megan and the Bushwoolies. The rest of the Ponies, plus Danny, are to stay at Paradise Estate. No one noticed Molly and Shady aren’t in the group? Ugh. [Dove: This is how kidnaps happen, Megan. Because nobody does a head count.]
Never mind. Shady and Molly come walking in the front gate of Paradise Estate, while everypony else is on the backside, by the pool. Shady is still complaining about being a worthless good-for-nothing. She and Molly stumble into the Ponies discussing the kidnapping.
Shady immediately blames herself, saying she should have stayed to listen to Gusty, Heartthrob, and Lickety Split. Molly nips that in the bud, saying Shady had zero clue they’d be stolen. “Now not only am I useless but a deserter beside!” OH MY GOD, SHUT THE FUCK UP, SHADY.
The other Ponies are confused but Shady just throws a tantrum and runs away, forcing Molly to run after her into the forest. And now it’s time for a song:
That was just fucking painful.
I’m not sure why we needed rabbit holes full of cartoon rabbits but they were there.
Once Molly has finally gotten through Shady’s thick skull, the two find a trail of Bushwoolie fur. “It must be their shedding season!” Molly explains. (??) Shady decides they need to follow it, maybe they can help the kidnapped Ponies. Okay.
Over in Porcina’s lair, she arrives to inspect the Ponies. Sure enough, their magical manes are just what she needs to repair her cloak. She orders they be sent through the wash first! (??)
Megan and her search party are traveling the Black Mountain path when North Star sees Gusty’s headband. WHICH IS HIDDEN BEHIND A LARGE ROCK. AND COMPLETELY NOT VIEWABLE FROM WHERE THEY’RE STANDING.
Declaring it their first clue, the group spreads out and looks around the giant open area for the Ponies. The Bushwoolies pick up some pebbles and look under them. Magic Star decides that a giant rock blocking a tunnel must be where they went. WHAT HAPPENED THE TREES??
All the pushing in the world can’t move the massive boulder. Half defeated, Megan and the Ponies take heart when the Bushwoolies announce their grandfather lived in these tunnels so they must know a way in. That’s when the tunnel blocked by the trees SUDDENLY APPEARS even though in the prior shot it wasn’t there. Ugh.
But of course, because that would be too simple, the Bushwoolies fail to find the tunnel behind the trees. They also leave a lot of fur behind. Great.
Inside the lair, the Raptorians are forcing the Ponies into some kind of car wash-like contraption while Porcina oversees. Using her magic, Porcina creates chains around the Ponies front legs, locking them to the conveyor belt. But they’re too fragile, almost like GLASS, and immediately shatter. Her poor cloak is too weak and worn. She must have the Ponies’ magic manes!
The Raptorians end up tying ropes around the Ponies’ legs, to keep them on the conveyor. Sure. Through the brushes, water, and soap they go. When they hit the blow dryer, they come out pretty ultra fuzzy. Yet they still have to be rubbed dry by a pair of mechanical hands holding towels. WHAT IS CONTINUITY?
At the end of the conveyor, in another room, the Raptorians rush in and begin to paint the Ponies’ hooves and faces (??) and inspect their manes. Primped and preened, they look like clowns. Well, at least Gusty does. This is disturbing.
Pleased with their work (??) the lead Raptorian explains that once they get their own land, they won’t have to live in this cramped dump and put up with Porcina anymore. Yeah, well, that part of the show will fall on Dove’s recap. [Dove: And – spoilers – Dove does not understand their logic.]
Back outside, Molly and Shady have followed the trail of Bushwoolie fur deep into the Black Mountains. Shady is still bitching about failing her Pony sisters, but someone decided Molly needed to move her mouth at the same time, so that’s really creepy.
Molly assures her that they’ll figure out something but Shady is all I DON’T WANT HELP I’M DOING IT ALONE. Oh my god, I so hate Shady. Like super hate her. Molly refuses to leave Shady and Shady just agrees. WHAT A FUCKING WISHY-WASHY PONY.
In Porcina’s lair, the Raptorians are dancing around the Ponies with giant pairs of scissors. Uh huh. Heartthrob is afraid they’ll be hurt but Gusty says the Raptorians only want the Ponies’ hair. They’ll surely let them go after that!
Nope. Lead Raptorian is yammering about how that’s just the start and precious Ponyland will never be the same. (??) It’s revealed that once Porcina has the Ponies’ hair, she’s going to turn all of Ponyland into glass! (Mirrors!) The Ponies gasp in shock!
FADE TO BLACK, CLIFFHANGER.
In concept, revealing that Pony magic is in their manes/tails/hair, that’s kind of cool? I guess? But yet again we’re given another “villain of the week” who’s just as interchangeable with the rest of them. And a terrible subplot involving Shady. (HATE.) And I don’t understand the part about the Pony’ Olympics. It wasn’t even given much time, it was just a catalyst to explain why Shady sucks.
I remembered nothing of it. Which is just as well. No childhood memories to crush.
This gets a D-. It’s all Shady’s fault.
Oh well, knowing what’s coming in Dove’s recap, I’ll enjoy that. Until then! Take it away, Dove!
[Dove: … I can’t even. Is this our lives now? Finding new ways to type “someone got kidnapped, but don’t worry, Megan will fix it… after one song per episode, of course”? This just irritated me throughout. I’m going to start being ruthless. I was being kind on the previous episodes. I didn’t think I could keep giving out Ds so I kept going with C-, but bat’s right, this is drek. D-]