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by Garon Cockrell
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: “Princess Twilight Sparkle” DVD Review
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By Garon Cockrell
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April 9, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Good news for children
and Bronies alike: At the end of the month Shout! Factory is releasing a new My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic DVD.
Titled Princess Twilight Sparkle, this
DVD contains five episodes of the program, each episode focusing on the
character Twilight Sparkle. Join her, Rainbow Dash, Rarity and the rest of the
ponies as they learn what it means to be friends.
Here is a brief rundown
of the episodes (and yes, there might be a few spoilers):
“Games Ponies Play” – Princess Cadence has chosen the ponies to be
the welcoming committee for the games inspector, hoping they’ll convince her to
choose Crystal Empire to host the Equestria Games, the biggest sporting event
in the land. But the gang mistakes another pony for the games inspector.
Meanwhile Rarity is having great troubles helping with Cadence’s preparations.
Rainbow Dash says, in a slight twist on the traditional lesson learned at the
end of the episode, “You know, it feels
good to help others get something you always wanted but never had. Almost as
good as getting it yourself. Almost.”
“Magical Mystery Cure” – The title is obviously a play on The
Beatles album and film, and like that film this episode has plenty of music.
This episode opens with a musical number about morning in Ponyville, and about how
everything is great. But the song is interrupted by rain falling on Twilight.
Now she’s not sure if everything is great after all. Celestia had sent Twilight
a spell to work on, and somehow the spell changed the ponies’ marks. Each has
the mark of another, and is struggling with the new identity. And we get a second song, about the ponies
having trouble doing what their new marks indicate they should do. Twilight
laments, “They’re not who they’re meant
to be anymore. Their destinies are now changed. And it’s all my fault.” So
she sings a song about having to fix things. Yes, that’s the third song. In the
montage, we see that the ponies are all unhappy. The episode has a strong message
about friends doing whatever they can to help each other, and they all sing
about it in the episode’s fourth musical number. So then Twilight figures out
how to finish the spell, and she’s transported to some other realm where the
Princess sings a song to her (the fifth song). When Twilight returns, she has
wings and is now a princess. And that leads to the sixth song. And to the
seventh. Yes, seven musical numbers, which is a lot for a twenty-two-minute
(By the way, Twilight
doesn’t have the wings in any of the other episodes on this disc.)
“Mmmystery On The Friendship Express” – This is my favorite episode
of the collection. A special cake is made, and Pinkie is in charge of getting
it to the National Dessert Competition. She of course needs help from her
friends. They get the cake onto the train, where other bakers are on board with
their creations. There’s some animosity among the contestants. Pinkie,
expecting foul play, stands guard at night. When the shades go down over the
windows, she says, “Who turned out the
moon?” A noise in the dark leads her to call out, “Stop, thief!” Another noise causes her to ask, “Oh, are you okay, thief?” In the morning
she sees that someone has eaten part of the cake. And the ponies investigate
the crime. Obviously the episode’s title is a play on Murder On The Orient Express, but there are other nice film
references in this episode. When Pinkie accuses each baker in turn, the episode
plays on various film genres, such as those early silent serials like The Perils Of Pauline and spy films, particularly the famous James Bond intro.
“Magic Duel” –Twilight’s magic has improved, but it will be tested
when Trixie shows up, now in possession of a powerful magical amulet. Trixie challenges
Twilight to a duel, saying the loser will have to leave Ponyville forever. Twilight
refuses to enter into such a contest, but Trixie forces her by casting mean
spells on her friends. Trixie wins the duel, and then takes over Ponyville.
Twilight trains elsewhere from someone who says, “Unlearn what you have learned.” Yes, like Yoda. It’s totally a
scene out of The Empire Strikes Back.
And it leads to another duel.
“Lesson Zero” – Is the title of this episode a reference to the
Bret Easton Ellis novel? It seems like it if you say it out loud,
but of course this show is for children (mainly) so the similarities end there.
Anyway, I love lists. I tend to make lots of them. And this episode begins with
Twilight checking things off of her list of things she needs to make another
list. Twilight is more than a bit anal – freaking out because she hasn’t
written a letter to Princess Celestia this week. So she needs to find a friend
who has a problem she can solve so she can learn a lesson and write a letter
saying what lesson she’s learned. Makes sense to me. And the line, “Very efficient, and a little bit gross
made me laugh.
Bonus Features
This DVD has a couple of
bonus features. The first, “Sing-Along,” is one of the songs about friendship
from “Magical Mystery Cure,” with the lyrics on screen so you can all sing
along. The second is a coloring sheet
than can be accessed on a computer.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Princess Twilight Sparkle is
scheduled to be released on April 30, 2013 through Shout! Factory. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Pinkie Pie Party was released in January, and Royal Pony Wedding was released in August last year.

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