Tag Archives: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic

TV Thursday – Letter M

Merlin (2008-2012)

The adventures of the legendary sorcerer as a young man. – IMDb

Source: Merlin Wiki.

Source: Merlin Wiki.

Moonlight (2007-2008)

A vampire lands work as a private investigator and falls for a mortal woman. – IMDb

Source: IMDb.

Source: IMDb.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (2010-Present)

After learning that her friends, as well as herself, are the magical Elements of Harmony, studious unicorn Twilight Sparkle is sent by her mentor, Princess Celestia, to Ponyville to study the magic of friendship with help from her friends. – IMDb

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

Movie Review: My Little Pony: Equestria Girls

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

I was happy to get to watch My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, as I watched all the seasons. I was curious about it, but I didn’t expect much, no matter how I like the TV series. The idea of seeing the characters in a human form and setting was puzzling to me. Yet, I wanted to see what it brought to Twilight as a character when she just becomes a princess.

I won’t lie. What I liked best was the opening and ending taking place in Equestria and not in the human and high school world. I don’t watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for human characters and setting, and I missed seeing everyone as the ponies (and dragon for Spike) that they normally are. I didn’t really care for the high school story line either.

I think that the human versions and seeing them reunite and work together just like they do in Equestria was well done. Seeing Twilight have no idea of what to make of her human body or how things work, including computers, was also accomplished in a solid fashion. Spike turned into a dog was priceless and kind of cute.

Overall, I am glad I watched it for Twilight’s story, but I am not really interested in seeing anything else in the human world. I like the pony and magical world way more.

Movie Review: Pocahontas

PocahontasposterThanks to my friend Rose’s Disney related posts, I have decided to catch up with a few productions I didn’t get to see until now. The latest to the list is Pocahontas, and you can expect further Disney movie reviews this week! Rose stated a lot of interesting points in her post The Princess, The Fat Lady, and the Followup Post #2: Pocohontas, so I will try to focus on other aspects, especially as I agree with her opinion.

I overall liked the movie, though I admit that if Pocahontas wasn’t in the scene, I couldn’t get myself to care. I don’t have previous knowledge of the legend it was based on, save for bits and pieces I read in some of the movie analysis. Pocahontas is a great character and thinking that the movie is almost twenty year old, I definitely think that she participated to the evolution of the princesses. I liked that she didn’t go with John Smith to England, despite their respective feelings, because she is needed by her people. The same way I liked that she went to rescue him at the end, when he was sentenced to death, ready to be killed by her own father. Speaking of her father, I liked their bond and how he respects her, despite her own ways. It could have been easy that he pushed her much harder to marry her suitor, and I liked that it wasn’t the case.

The way she rushes to the cliff to watch the ship leave at the end, reminding of a very early scene when her friend, Nakoma, comes to find her. Pocahontas on the cliff makes me think of a later movie: Brave, when we see the protagonist, Merida, a very much independent female character, in a similar location (despite the stories taking place in different countries).

A further note on Nakoma: I found it very engaging that beyond Pocahontas’s animal friends, we saw her friendship with Nakoma. Seeing a female friendship as such was very interesting as we don’t see these that often in the Disney movies. There are lots of friendship but “chosen sisterhood” as such, isn’t that common. I found it a great touch.

I also had a soft spot for Grandmother Willow. There are many great elderly ladies in the Disney movies and this one was one of the best for me. I like how caring and witty she was. I enjoyed seeing her interact with not only Pocahontas but also John Smith and the animals. Having been watching My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic lately, I couldn’t help but think that Granny Smith and Grandmother Willow would be great (and mischievous) friends.

I really liked Meeko and Flit! They reminded of Sebastian and Flounder in The Little Mermaid. They were great additions and their presence along with some of the scenes in the forest (including the kiss between Pocahontas and John Smith) reminded me of this other Disney movie too, as well as Sleeping Beauty.

TV Reviews: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Season 4

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

I am so happy that My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic was renewed for a fifth season! I finally caught up with the most recent one and enjoyed it a lot. I didn’t get to see Equestria Girls yet, but hope to get to this in the upcoming weeks! I still love this show to pieces and think that they’re doing a really good job at developing the characters.

I wasn’t sure how they would treat things now that Twilight was a princess but I love the evolution. It was brilliantly done and was a good way to show how despite continuing on their respective path (as not just Twilight see changes in her life as we continue to follow Rarity’s work in fashion or Rainbow Dash’s ventures in elite flying for example). The three younger ones have been growing on me a lot since they were first introduced as well! I like that just like Granny Smith, they make for a fuller picture with multiple generations included!

One of the strengths of this season was how even episodes that started in a way making me think that I was going to be bored, turned out to bring something to the story and be enjoyable! I even learned to find interest in the character of Discord, against all odds! I’m shocked that he became such a solid character!

I also really like all the princesses in the show. I am always glad to see scenes between Twilight with Celestia or Cadence. My favorite princess (besides Twilight who is now one) still is Luna though! It was lovely seeing her in a handful of season four episodes, though I always hope to see her more! I loved the scenes with the four of them at the end of the season! Some of my favorite moments!

I didn’t see the connection between all the given elements to the different ponies over the season. That was great storytelling! I enjoy surprises like these! The same way I liked that Twilight needs the whole season to start getting a grasp on her new Alicorn magic. I like how all of this character development is show as a real work in progress.

Seeing Twilight’s house destroyed made me sad, and so many books lost! The showdown between Twilight and Tirek was epic. When she accepted to give her magic for her friends, including Discord, was a very emotional moment. And It is great that the final needed key is what Discord  gave Twilight! I liked how Twilight gets a lovely castle at the end and especially understands what she is meant to do. The Friendship council room was a great touch! I think it is very important to show that Twilight is where she is because of her friends!

TV Reviews: Game of Thrones, My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic

Game of Thrones 4.06 – The Laws of Gods and Men: The opening with Stannis made sense in the story, but it isn’t part of what keeps my interest in the show. While I find Yara the only interesting character in the Grejoy family, I still can’t bring myself to really care for this story line either. Both Theon and his captors annoy me, so the whole first section of the episode was extremely long to me. The Daenerys scene was quite engaging, one of the most in the recent episodes, so it was a solid moment. I felt like rolling my eyes at Cersei during the Council meeting, and was glad to see that her father could understand that Daenerys might cause them problems given the extent and growth of her power and influence are. I was happy to see Tyrion again. It was good that they reached the trial in this episode. Tyrion was outstanding as always, and his witty responses had been missed. I also very much like that Tyrion still defends Sansa and her honor. Seeing Jamie standing up for his brother to their father made me think again how much I wish they hadn’t done the Jamie and Cersei rape scene earlier this season for so many reasons, from how it supported disgusting rape culture and how it damaged the great character development Jamie had gone through since the third season. The confrontation between Lannister father and son was one of the best in the episode. Great moment as well between Jamie and Tyrion right before the trial resumed. I didn’t expect Shae to testify at the trial. My shock in seeing her again was as great as Tyrion’s I think. Seeing her feed lies to the judges made me sick and sad. That was a painful scene. Tyrion’s speech afterwards was absolutely amazing and such a strong scene. I cried in front of it, and him demanding a trial by combat also gave me goosebumps. The whole trial segment of the episode was the show at its best and it was worth waiting for it.

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

Source: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Wiki.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Season 3: I watched it in the last couple of days. Before tackling some currently airing shows, including some season finales, I wanted a bit of a break, so I picked up this show again. I continue to like the show a lot and see the characters evolve, not just the main six, but also Princesses Celestia and Luna, and also the three little sisters. I find it interesting how they have different ages and development arcs, thanks to this and also their personalities.

I’ll admit that Pinky Pie is still the one I like least, as I find that she hasn’t grown as much. I feel the same lack of evolution for Fluttershy, Rarity and Spike. I think that Apple Jack, Twilight Sparkle and even Rainbow Dash have more consistent character development. I also like to see Princess Luna on a few occasions, including when she helps one of the little ones. I wish we saw more of her, as she is a very interesting character. I found it great that it kept capitalizing on previous events, such as when they brought Discord back. It was an interesting episode about redemption and understanding friendship too. At first, I wasn’t sold out on this, but liked how it was done.

I liked the Crystal Ponies that they introduced in the season and was happy to see Princess Cadance and Shining Armor again. Speaking of princesses, I didn’t see it coming that Twilight would officially become one at the end of the season. It was quite a twist and I liked how it was done and how her friends were happy for her and that due to how benevolent and supportive Celestia (and even Luna and Cadance) have been, it is easy to believe that becoming a princess won’t turn Twilight into someone she isn’t or become estranged from her friends.

Upcoming TV Catch Up and Blog Announcement

ID-100229963 - Tea by zirconicusso

Image courtesy of  zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the past week, I have been doing my best to relax because of my burnout and I hope that by early or mid May, I will be back on track. It is really weird not being able to focus on writing projects, but sometimes you have to listen to your body and brain. Okay, when it comes to the brain, you always have to listen to this pretty and creative devil!

In the upcoming couple of weeks, I hope to post a blog announcement which I hope might spark new collaborations down the road. I already have some points jolted down but I need to sit down more to put it in the right words so it makes most sense.

I have fallen on the way side of TV watching, since I have mostly been playing Torchlight II in the last days. I am watching the currently airing shows:

  • Agents of SHIELD
  • Believe
  • Continuum
  • Crisis
  • Game of Thrones
  • Once Upon A Time
  • Star-Crossed
  • The 100
  • The Tomorrow People

I am planning to continue watching all of them, but it is likely that I wait until Crisis, and maybe The 100 seasons are over to get back into them. I find good things in both shows, but I am not as deep into them as the others, so far. The rest, I will continue watching as it airs, except when I fall a bit behind as it is the case this week. Later this year, I also want to watch Angel‘s final season and continue to catch up with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I am also waiting for Beauty and the Beast to return in June, as well as Defiance and Falling Skies, and I’ll try The Last Ship when it starts.

Feminist Friday Discussion: Children and Youth Media

Even before I discovered the actual term feminism and what it could entails (in good and problematic depending on people’ definition), I was always interested in what it meant to be a girl, what representation of being a girl I saw on television or in books as I grew up. It was always on the back of my mind, even prior to my decision to engage into media studies. I do consider myself a feminist, but in an egalitarian and positive way. I don’t hate men and consider that accepting women as an equal part of the society who deserves same respect is a goal that needs to be attained so we all live in a better world, no matter our gender.

During the past months, I had the chance to read interesting materials that sparked not only my thinking about life in general, but also made me realize of how I have been working more and more on female characters in my research and writing. It had happened on a subconscious level, but it was there. I am grateful for Gene’O Gordon at Sourcerer for having been hosting Feminist Friday Discussions over the past few weeks, and to all the people who contributed. These have been compelling and thought provoking. There is still so much work to do to change mentalities but talking about it is a way not to sweep the issues beneath the carpet.

One topic that has been mentioned a few times in other discussions, such as Rose B. Fischer‘s discussion about Disney Princesses and Diana Gordon’s at Part Time Monster A to Z posts about children and young adult literature, is children and youth oriented media. Exploring girls’ representation in mainstream media, not just from the most recent years but other older creations which remain of significance either from a historical point of view or due to a still existing consumption is important. It gives input in what exists and what needs to be upgraded for a better and more substantial representations from girls.

A few years ago, I discovered that besides her work as an actress, Geena Davis had also created an institute with other professionals from different fields, The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Covering all the work that is happening there would take me more than a post, so I invite you all to check the website to get a better idea. I love how Davis started to form the idea of this project while watching television with her daughter. The motto that is mentioned on a regular basis about how to develop more and well layered female characters in youth media (and in overall media as well, as the Institute is interested in female representation in any age bracket media) is telling, especially for children: “If she can see it, she can be it.” I also found that her guest column about easy improvement of female representation in media narratives, was a clever way to help change happen, should people follow it:

Step 1: Go through the projects you’re already working on and change a bunch of the characters’ first names to women’s names. With one stroke you’ve created some colorful unstereotypical female characters that might turn out to be even more interesting now that they’ve had a gender switch. What if the plumber or pilot or construction foreman is a woman? What if the taxi driver or the scheming politician is a woman? What if both police officers that arrive on the scene are women — and it’s not a big deal?

Step 2: When describing a crowd scene, write in the script, “A crowd gathers, which is half female.” That may seem weird, but I promise you, somehow or other on the set that day the crowd will turn out to be 17 percent female otherwise. Maybe first ADs think women don’t gather, I don’t know.

And there you have it. You have just quickly and easily boosted the female presence in your project without changing a line of dialogue.

Nothing is going to be a magic wand that fixes everything at once, but I believe in how various small things can help. I admit for example that the thought provoking Bechdel Test doesn’t really appeal to me for example. I think that the idea behind it is great, and that it helps us identify the issues of lack of female representation in popular fiction. Yet, it tends to put aside some works that give solid and layered female characters, but that don’t pass the test because there is only one significant female character. In that, I believe that the Bechdel Test reaches its limit, as I personally prefer a single female character that is well executed than two or (let’s be crazy) three that are barely engaging.

Regarding children television, I grew up watching things made in my home country (I am French) as much as French dubbed versions of American programs. Beyond the obvious example of  the Disney princesses (which have been knowing a good evolution but that still had qualities in the titles I watched when a child, and I was also familiar with the Grimm tales and other original versions of the fairy tales used by Disney), I also watched a good many other things.

One Japanese anime based on an English children book that I loved to pieces, was Story of the Alps: My Annette. I admit that I don’t know whether it was ever shown in the US, but I loved the story and the female portrayals. Annette is a young girl who lives in a small Swiss village with her family. Her mother dies upon her young brother’s birth, and they are raised by their father and their great-aunt. I like that Annette has to deal with all the tragedy and later drama the best she can, but she isn’t made a saint or just a miserable being. I rewatched it a few years ago and I liked it as much. The show also gives room to other female characters with her great aunt Claude, her friend Julien’s mother (who raises her own children on her own), his elder sister Marie, and a few female classmates.

I admit that maybe this will come across as weird to Americans or any English native speakers but when I used to watch Tom and Jerry when a child, I always thought that Jerry was a girl. It was only a few years ago that I realized that Jerry Mouse is supposedly male. I still don’t buy it in my personal Tom and Jerry bubble. I still find it quite neat that Jerry is a girl.

Over the past few years, I have seen some children/family oriented movies and television series that I’ve found as good steps towards a better representation and space for female characters and viewers.Beside the ground breaking Frozen movie, another obvious mention is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I honestly didn’t plan on watching this, but after hearing a presentation about it at a conference, and what a few friends of mine were saying, I tried it. I was surprised in a very positive way. The characters are all different and none of them is perfect, making them more credible. The fact that some of them can be outright annoying also adds to the credibility in my view, or maybe this is just my personal perception.

While not all of Star Wars: The Clone Wars series is kid friendly as it tackles some heavy storylines and themes at times, this show has also participated in better female representation in my view. Ahsoka Tano is one of the most compelling female characters I have seen in a long time and to me she is a game changer in how layered she is and all the character development she sustains throughout the show.

I also find it interesting how the voice actress portraying Ahsoka Tano, Ashley Eckstein, decided to embark on her own journey to promote positive female characters and also fangirls of every age, from toddlers to grown up women. In 2013, she launched “Year of the Fangirl” and the blog of her website Her Universe, was more than an online shop featuring female kid and grown up fannish fashion, but also a showcase for fangirls, with a different one featured every day. It was so successful and such a praised idea that it has been carrying on in 2014.

Questions:

  • Which children and youth programs do you believe give a good place to female characters?
  • What do you think could be done to improve the current situation?
  • Which other institutes, organizations, groups, do you know of that work towards promoting better female representation in children and youth media?

Link of Interest: