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...Okay, now all the hate and sarcasm aside:

In my opinion, this episode was bad. Really bad. I don't normally do images that outwardly express my disapproval about something, but this episode was like a freaking kick in the groin.

First of all, we have Spike suddenly throwing away all attempts to use his brain, and instead behaving like a golem or a summoned minion who has no own personality or mind and can only follow the orders of their master, no matter how ridiculous, boring, tiresome, or hard they might be. HE NEVER BEHAVED LIKE THAT. I know him as a good-natured person who considers Twilight as her very close friend, maybe ever sister or mother, can think for himself in times of need, sometimes has to be smarter than ponies surrounding him... shortly saying, all the characterization he had practically EVERYWHERE ELSE, in THIS episode is thrown right through an open window of a building standing on top of an active volcano. (He DOES finally wake up when he discovers that the timberwolf is a fake, but that isn't even remotely close to making up for an entire episode of braindead Spike.) Even the supposed reason for him serving Applejack is ridiculous. Just in case you don't remember, in The Crystal Empire, when Spike is falling off the palace, he is saved by Cadence who catches him before King Sombra can (probably) kill him. WHY DIDN'T HE START BOTHERING HER WITH HIS "CODE"? And as if that wasn't bad enough, he goes all "brb, I'm gonna tell Twilight that I'm leaving" as if it wasn't much of a deal. Excuse me, but did any of the writers watch/read The Crystal Empire before writing this? Particularly the part where SPIKE'S GREATEST FEAR IS BEING SENT AWAY FROM TWILIGHT? Because, well, what he did in THIS episode kinda COMPLETELY CONTRADICTS IT.

And then we have the timberwolves. Okay, fine, I can understand that they are VERY complex. I noticed that myself when I tried to make a vector of one and ultimately decided to include just the head because of how freaking hard it would be to make a full one. However, when I look back at the Family Appreciation Day - the episode where timberwolves debuted - I can't help but notice that the Flash version of timberwolves was already pretty impressive, well animated and seen from a couple of angles. Which raises a question WHY NOT JUST USE IT? Would it be THAT hard to just extend what you already had a little more and just go with it? I certainly could stand a bunch of perfectly fitting 2D timberwolves with, maybe, various animation errors that are only visible if you pay close attention... as opposed to obvious, completely out of place 3D models that just scream "HEEEEY. HEEEEY. WE ARE 3D MODELS IN A 2D SHOW THAT NEVER NEEDED THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. LOOK HOW FREAKING COOL WE ARE." And if you take a close look at them, you'll notice that every single object that creates those timberwolves has black outlines, minus the eyebrows - while nearly everything else in this show has coloured outlines. Were they even freaking TRYING to make them fit? Oh, and here's the best part: the giant timberwolf from the episode's last minutes IS NOT A 3D MODEL. If they actually took the time to make HIM a 2D Flash-animated creature, and regular timberwolves were already 2D in the past... well, you get the idea I think.

Those are the two major problems I had with this episode, but its terribleness seems to not end on just that - it extends also to various small details that I can't quite put my finger on right now, but in the end, they all contribute to the episode's level of badness. One thing I can tell for sure is that practically NONE of the characters performed well in this episode, with an exception of Rarity and Applejack. Everything else seemed forced, unconvincing, and without much idea behind it. Heck, in the Mare Do Well episode the characters were at least TRYING to be interesting (even if in a bad way). Here, they are just bland and weak.

And amongst all of this, we have Applejack. I won't deny, she and RD are my least favourite Main Six members. That doesn't mean that I dislike them however - they can be interesting and entertaining characters too, it's just that they are not my thing. But I can't help but notice that as of late, AJ doesn't do well in her dedicated episodes. Apple Family Reunion turned out rather meh, The Last Roundup got outshined by Derpy, and this episode fell victim to the Merriwether's Curse at full power. It's as if after her performance in Season 1 (particularly the Applebuck Season episode), Applejack decided to stay among background characters, and doesn't know what to do when the spotlight decides to stop on her. Can you blame her, with Overly Loyal Spike and CGI Timberwolves falling right onto her head, out of bucking nowhere?

As I previously mentioned, this episode could have worked A LOT better if they used Rarity instead of Applejack. Not only would we get our Rarity episode of the season (some people are already starting to call her a background pony with the recent lack of episodes dedicated to her), but also, to quote a certain opinion I found:

"The actual episode (with AJ) showed us that Rarity, unlike AJ, would not have been immediately reluctant to Spike's services. Therefore, not only would she learn that Spike can be TOO helpful at times, but that even the element of generosity is capable of taking advantage. The other 5 would distance themselves from Rarity as they realized what she was doing to Spike, and the ending where Spike would save Rarity would not only serve as the episode's lesson, but would further strengthen their relationship."

Wouldn't THAT be better? And make MUCH more sense with Spike's overdedication to his so called "Dragon Code", which could easily be explained with just him trying to mask the fact that he does all of this simply because of his love for Rarity?

I mentioned previously that both this episode and Mare Do Well were written by Merriwether Williams. Now, I'm not saying that she's a completely terrible writer and fails at about everything she does. Putting Your Hoof Down was, in my opinion, great. Heart's Warming Eve was okay. Wonderbolts Academy was okay. And while many say that Dragon Quest was bad, I think it was quite fine; one thing that stands out about it is that at least Spike has a perfectly good characterization from start to finish (maybe except the part with keeping the egg instead of returning it) - a stark contrast to what we got in THIS episode. I'm definitely not saying that Merriwether is doing bad all the time. However, has any other writer committed genuinely bad episodes? No. And she committed TWO.

If you enjoyed the episode as it is, then well, good for you I guess. I, for one, am NOT going to return to it in the future.

Let's just hope that the upcoming episode, which I'm REALLY anticipating, won't be nearly as bad as this one.

.: Read the comments :. Stamp by Beti-Kot


PS: You can get the header image and its SVG here: sta.sh/01dsz59607dm
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:iconcoonfoot:
Coonfoot Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
Merri's just one of those on-again-off-again writers. She either makes a very good episode or a noticeably bad one. When you see her name in the opening credits, you know the end result is going to be a crap shoot. I'm a fan of many a show that have at least one writer like that.
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:iconumiyuri:
Umiyuri Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Student Filmographer
"However, has any other writer committed genuinely bad episodes?"

...Dave Polsky wrote Over a Barrel and Keep Calm and Flutter On (which admittedly wasn't out when this rant was written), and wrote the story part of Spike At Your Service. Any general story issues for the episode go to -him- rather than Williams, who wrote the -script-.

Over a Barrel was sort of... there's a word which describes it perfectly in all its nuances, messages and motives, but if I mention it, I will be called out as being angry for no reason. It starts with an 'r'.
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:iconibeatganon4fun:
Ibeatganon4fun Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013
I seem to notice a bit of consistency with Merriwether's tendency to break continuity in the characters' personalities.
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:iconletekky:
LeTekky Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
I disagree, I see it as her putting the characters to test, chalanging them, taking them to their limits. A personality is not something as strict and limiting as fans seem to make them out to be.
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:iconibeatganon4fun:
Ibeatganon4fun Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013
There's nothing wrong with stretching a character's personality, as long as it doesn't break continuity or go unexplained when it does.
With Spitfire's personality change, the fact that she and Rainbow already know each other is completely ignored, and no explanation is given as to why her personality changed so drastically. Not okay as far as I'm concerned. Especially when it would've been so easy to rectify by, say, making a different Wonderbolt in charge of the new recruits.
As for Spike acting clumsy and mindless, In Owl's Well That Ends Well we see that he's an awesome assistant; perfectly competent. While he does have a childlike mind, we've seen that it's not nearly as one-track as Merriwether made it in Spike At Your Service.
It doesn't aid a creative endeavor to introduce in a character new traits that contradict those that have already been established. Unless it comes with a reasonable explanation as to why they changed.
Of course a personality should be dynamic, but everything still needs to make sense.
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:iconletekky:
LeTekky Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013
There are established personalities, and then there are fan assumptions.
Spitfire never really had much of a personality to change, just her dealing with citizens and fans, not the same as being a drill sergeant dealing with recruits. It would have been wrong and unfair to treat Rainbow Dash differently.
Spike is competent, and this episode is no exception. He ends up cleaning the pig perfectly (Not his fault that the pig jumped into mud anyway), he still manages to make a pie (Even if a disgusting one), he makes a stone tower just as asked, he brings a light to Twilight at the end so she can study better, and when the situation asked for it he saved Applejack's life by throwing a rock with amazing precision and freeing her hoof using a stick as a lever. Thing is, there are more factors into play. Just because we saw him bringing baked goods to the ponies in "Dragon Quest", that doesn't mean he won't have a problem preparing an specific pie without a recipe, using tools and ingredients he is not familiar with, from a farm. More importantly, he is under pressure; in "Owl's Well That Ends Well" he fears being replaced, so he inadvertently causes a lot of disorder just to find a quill; here, his life had been saved moments ago, he feels he owes Applejack his life, he is nervous and in a hurry to repay her, wich makes him accidentally throw the apples and the cleaning tools, and go right into making a pie without completely knowing how to prepare it in that situation; later he thinks Twilight doesn't care about him, wich adds to his issues. All the other times he didn't feel anything personal was at risk based on how he delivered, but he does in these two episodes, and that is reflected in how he acts. I'm sure fans would have found it odd had Spike kept doing everything perfectly even though he almost died moments ago.
Another example; in "Dragon Quest" at one point Spike rejects Rarity's affections. Naturally, some fan blamed Merriwether Williams for making Spike "act out of character" since he is supposed to be madly in love with Rarity and stuff. Thing is... Spike didn't like Rarity treating him like a little child and trying to stop him from following the other dragons, not taking his words seriously, as he was having issues with his identiy and wanted to find answers. It's like these people want his crush on Rarity to be his only character trait.
I end up feeling that most of the time, fans talk about complex things like personality basing themselves on oversimplifications, and their claims would actually make bland characters. At least with the criticism towards episodes written by Merriwether William, hardly ever acknowledging the good things (Like Applejack, the element of honesty, being a very obviously bad actress), while all the other episodes get a pass.
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:iconibeatganon4fun:
Ibeatganon4fun Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013
:iconlikeasirplz: I was wrong, and concede to you in defeat. Clearly you have bested me in the arena of intellectual combat.

Even so, my emotions continue willing me to maintain certain opinions of certain things. Yet again I am faced with the desire to be Vulcan so that I may understand things only logically without emotional bias. Alas, this will never be the case. So, in my mind it remains unfitting for Spitfire to have behaved the way Merriwether had her, and no amount rational reasoning will be able to change that. It remains unfitting for Spike to have performed the actions Merriwether had him, and again, no amount of rational reasoning will change that. It's too bad; ideally, I would simply enjoy every episode unconditionally, but this is no ideal world we live in, and we as humans are prone to assumption and preconceived notion as you pointed out.

Anyway, I don't really want to argue, friend, or debate. ...Were we arguing? :iconfluttershyisshyplz: I'm sorry if we were...
How about a hug instead? [link]
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:iconletekky:
LeTekky Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013
I envy you for replying like a sir.

I have no say about how you feel, or anything against it either; it's just better to treat it for what it is (That is, how one feels) instead of making it look like something else; we don't know how the production of an episode goes (But I'm willing to bet is complex) and at least I am no professional in script-writting, so I'll rather (try to) look at the possibilities and apreciate as much as I can.

Personally, I always imagined the Timber Wolves as tragic, even heroic creatures who resent the ponies for taking away some of the Zap Apples that (I assumed) they protected, instead of your typical monster of the week. But I can't complain for the show not going by my head-canon, and I was still interested by the things that were added to them (Their re-designs, that they had an unmistakable odor, the big one at the end, and especially that they could rebuild themselves), even if I feel they could have been something more, and even then I have to admit that the comedic bits made them more likable, wich considering the role they had, it was better than nothing. It worked, while I can't say my headcanon would had.

I just hope you weren't worked up about replying to my post; I'm sorry if that was the case, It's not worth it. To be honest, I had some of the fandom in general in mind rather than you when replying.

And 'key, hug [link]
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:iconibeatganon4fun:
Ibeatganon4fun Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013
Cease your envy. Replace it with pride! For yourself, of course. I've won countless debates in the past, and I'd like to think of myself, at the very least, competent at presenting a solid argument. That being said, this was the first time someone has so thoroughly refuted my stance with such an in-depth viewpoint while at the same time earning a degree of my respect high enough that I felt it was finally appropriate to respond in no other manner than I did. I salute you, sir. :iconrainbowdashsaluteplz:

I don't tend to become heated about, well, anything really. Needless to say, it was indeed quite the opposite of heated in this case. By the time I finished reading the admittedly intimidating wall of text that was your response, I was grinning from ear to ear. :icontwilightheeplz:
I understand your stance wasn't personal, friend.

Huh. Which one of us is which in that scenario, then? :iconrarityknowsplz:
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:iconletekky:
LeTekky Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
Really, your attitude is inspiring.


I was thinking about pointing this out here: [link]

While I still think Spike's clumsiness was understandable, it's worth considering that it was originally going to be a Rarity episode, but was changed into an Applejack one to not make Rarity "mean" (Whatever that means). It's easy(er) to imagine Spike wreaking havoc by trying to help Rarity in her boutique.
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:iconbgkyouhen:
BGKyouhen Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
So I was watching Owl's Well the other day and it made me think of this post, mostly your thoughts on Spike's character in Spike At Your Service.

First, I think Spike just gets clumsy when he tries too hard. There's several parts in Owl's Well where he manages to mess up trying to outdo Owlowlusious. (I have NO IDEA if I'm spelling that right) Most notably is the quill sequence, where he proceeds to completely destroy the library just to find a quill. They show him tossing random objects everywhere, likely making a horrible mess in the process. He also manages to wreck Fluttershy's chicken coop trying to get a feather from one of the chickens. There were a few other parts where he managed to break/wreck/mess up a few things, but those were the two that immediately come to mind. In the case of Spike At Your Service I think he's just trying too hard to prove himself a noble dragon that he just kind of stops being as useful as we all know he can be. His usual helpfulness is probably just a result of him not feeling pressured when around Twilight, and having spent so much time with her he can easily anticipate her needs.

As for Spike needing to be smarter than the other ponies, I'd like to direct your attention to the mouse. As I said, probably just trying too hard. :P

The thing about him needing to serve Applejack when he's been saved several times before, I think this is just the first time it's been him alone who's needed saving. Every other time he's just been with the group when everything went to hell, so it wasn't as much of a personal rescue thing. Cadence saved his life when she caught him, but she also saved the entire Crystal Empire in the process. Doesn't quite seem like she was looking out for him alone and more that saving him also went with saving everyone.

The last bit was that we have seen Spike leave Twilight before. I think the main thing about Sombra's door is that Spike's fear is of being rejected by Twilight, not of leaving her. He spent a good bit of time in Owl's Well showing us how upset he was when he thought that Twilight didn't love him anymore, though even then she never came right out and said it. If she actually declared that she didn't want him around anymore he'd probably be a lot more broken. Point is in this episode Spike left Twilight to fulfill his code, not because she wanted him gone. Not quite the same as his biggest fear.

So yeah, just thought I'd toss another possible view of Spike's character in this episode compared to previous episodes with him. Entirely possible I'm looking at this wrong, but that's how my mind's rationalized everything. :3
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:iconletekky:
LeTekky Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
Kudos for taking "Owl's Well That Ends Well" into consideration; fans may not like the episode much, but it's still canon.

Also fans seem to conveniently ignore the pressure in wich Spike must have been in this one; in "Secret to my Excess", he becomes a giant, dangerous dragon for receiving birthday gifts, here his life is saved, and I wonder if he feared that not repaying such a "gift" could turn him into a giant dragon again; latter he is obviously hurt by Twilight (albeit unintentionally) letting him go, it's easy to imagine his uselessness reflecting the sadness he is trying to hide from Applejack and the others. Between all this and Spike being already estabilished as incompetent when trying too hard for personal reasons, this episode (Wich is intended to be simple entertainment, filler) doesn't contradict a big deal.

It's like fans have grown too used to call "Bad writting!!!" to anything they don't understand and can't be bothered to give a thought.
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:iconinsanespyro:
InsaneSpyro Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
i did not mind the 3d Timber wolfs to much, it was nice how they showed what each part would look like in 3d and how each part fit togther, so if you where makeing a 3d version for say a game or in garys mod its going to be pretty easy.
as for that i agree it was a bad episode, with (never know much about timber wolves) slightly shocking part been when aj shattered them for the 1st time, i was like 0_o "did she just commit cold blooded murder of 2 wood wovles"
then i saw they had magic that built them back together.

my biggest problem is SPIKE IS A DRAGON
DRAGON = FIRE BREATHING
FIRE = SUPER EFFECTIVE AGAINST GRASS TYPE
so why spike when you are traped by them not just hit them with a fire ball the scare them off.....

as for the next episode, ive seen some of the rummored discord lines and after witch i just dont want it to be discord with fluttershy,as one line is
"You're thinking about this too logically. In order for a spell like this to work you need to bid farewell and adieu to all those pesky little voices in your head that are trying to make sense of everything."

if the so called next level of training is not to reform discord but be trained by him it would make for a intresting episdoe, its clear that this spell will be used on the final boss of season 3, but to learn the spell twi has to let all of her fears and doubt go.
however its discord training, and thus she would have this huge moral conflict in doing the spell she would compleat the next level and make celestia proud, but in order to do that she has to listen to discord witch after what he did to her, she cant bring herself to do and you can watch these to very smart charicters play mind games with each other.

but i know its about fluttershy so its going to be her showing him round ponyvill saying how great it is and him following behind and getting board and causing mischife. witch is a shame as the fluttershy and discord dont have that mixture that will make for a intresting watch the only reason they are doing it is because she was the only one who could not be turned before.
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:icongreatflyingnimbus:
greatflyingnimbus Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
I love the picture here. Props.

I liked Mare Do Well, too, I'm gonna have to watch it again and pay more attention to the way the characters act now. I have a friend who could learn a thing or two from that episode. Too bad he's too cool for ponies.(sigh)

As someone without too much insight on different types of animation, I could definitely tell something was off with the timber-wolves in the beginning of the episode. All in all, I think the way they looked was a little distracting, but I didn't invest much thought in it at the time; I was more focused on what was actually happening to them. Was anyone else surprised at the nonchalance with which the timber-wolves were dismembered? Then, after they ate it, they spontaneously reassembled themselves. What was that about? It would be neat if they were wood-golem-like-things, put there by somepony to guard a macguffin or something, and it turns out that that episode was actually relevant to the plot. It's probably just a plot device to let them get away with a little gratuitous action, but I can dream, can't I?

The boss wolf at the end was a neat concept, but I didn't really see any advantage combining offered the timber-wolves. I get that they probably did that to make it more dramatic, but I didn't really feel an air of suspense around the scene, because all the big guy did was approach slowly with halitosis and then choke on a rock. The characters might as well have casually strolled away as the big bad wolf choked to death. I think it would have been way better if he coughed up the pebble(which still would have bought Spike enough time to free AJ), and then chased them for a bit, until they could get within range of Twilight's teleporting magic, or something. Celestia, anything! I think that's the way I'm going to choose to remember it, at least. XD

I understand that they wanted to have a moment between Spike and AJ to both finish what they started at the beginning, and provide the moral, and that in order to create that scene, they made some of the characters act... well, out of character; however I don't feel like it was necessary to completely write the other characters out of the scene. I mean, if the other characters had stayed around to help keep the timber-wolves at bay, it would have made the boss wolf seem more threatening. AJ took out three wolves alone, and I imagine most of the main six (it's okay Fluttershy, we still love you; just wait in the corner until it's over.) could do the same, but maybe the boss wolf was tougher. Not only would it have been neat to see the main six holding off a tough opponent, but seeing the Boss wolf actually do something would have made me feel like there was more of a point to the wolves combining, rather than the writers just saying "Look at this! Doesn't it look cool? Isn't it dramatic?" It would have also helped emphasize AJ's point that saving each other is just something that friends do for each other. Some friends. Maybe five of the main six just have a horrendous phobia of bundles of twigs?

In any case, I don't think the scenes with the timber-wolves were bad... I just think they could have been done much better. I'd like to see more lore on them in the future. Spike the dragon, being a clumsy, disastrous buffoon is something I never want to see again, however.

It's implied throughout the series Spike cooks and cleans for Twilight on a daily basis; therefore I find it interesting that Miss Williams was involved in Dragon Quest, in which Spike cooks snacks for the group. Dave Polsky wrote Over a Barrel(I'm surprised that title got greenlit, btw), in which spike cooked snacks for the group. Regardless of who wrote this, why the hell can't Spike cook or clean? I know we've covered this, but this is a big issue for me, and I think it should be. I feel like the only reason Spike was so incompetent was that they wanted stuff for him to be bad at, so AJ would want to be rid of him. That idea totally makes sense, but the execution they went with is just lazy writing. Even Spike's lines in this episode felt rigid and contrived!

This lazy writing is hardly reminiscent of the show I adore, and it is so bizarrely discontinuous that it is almost insulting. If anyone remembers Amid Amidi's alarmist article, condemning MLP and the rest of The Hub's lineup for ushering in "the end of the creator-driven era" of entertainment, then this episode should sting. I felt bad for the guy, because despite all the ridicule, I feel he had a valid point regarding most of the rest of the hub's line-up. MLP seemed to be a defiant becon of uncharacteristic quality for what it was, a solitary shining light silhouetted by the murky surroundings we won't talk about. (Not to suggest ponies is the best show ever, but I think most of us can agree it's significantly better than what airs beside it. I kind of like pound puppies though..) What stings more was what I read here about us only getting 13 episode this season because The Hub cut their budget to fund Littlest Pet Shop. That... That's not true, is it? Celestia, someone tell me that's not true. The thought of The Hub subverting money from MLP to pay for Littlest Petshop makes me sick. I tried to give that show a chance, to watch it and enjoy, but... you don't go messing with a man's ponies...

In any case, I want to believe that a good writer can make it on the merit of one's stories and storytelling ability. I don't, which is why I'm studying microbiology(because I like being able to pay for things!), but I would like to! MLP intially helped give me some small sliver of hope and seeing a sub-par episode like this after being dazzled by prior episodes is extinguishing the few sparkling embers of hope I have left to cling to. I'd give my right arm for a chance to write for MLP, and seeing this... sloppy mess pass for an episode... It's hard to take it lying down, to be calmed by those who rationalize it, suggesting they can't all be winners(kid), and we should appreciate the good and forgive the bad. I think we have a right to complain when things get bad. (how else are they gonna fix it?) High expectations aren't a bad thing, I think settling for a sub-par product is much worse.

Not only that, but it's not like I hold MLP to some divine standard. Sometimes the endings feel kind of rushed, like they wanted to do something else, but hat to wrap it up, and there's an awkward or annoying scene here or there. I understand that they only have finite resources and time, and I probably give the series a little more credit than it honestly deserves with this in mind. When they consistently release a product of decent quality, however, that is a standard we should hold them to, and when they release something that is so drastically below and out of line with the norm, we should have an issue. I think it was worse than getting kicked in the groin; it's like watching someone you love get kicked in the groin, knowing it's coming, and not being able to do anything about it.

I'm probably over-analyzing this, and being a bit of a drama queen(hey, it's more fun to exaggerate!) but I do feel strongly about this, and it's somewhat comforting to be able to voice that opinion, especially knowing I'm not alone. I didn't hate this episode, but it just seems to fall so short, and it's failings nag at the back of my mind when I watch it; it drove even a shy brony like me to rant about it online!

I definitely see what you guys are saying, and I only hope that the next one is better. I don't think that'll be too hard, though.
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:iconddhyuugaman:
DDHyuugaman Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
I think the worst part is summed up in a lot less words;

This episode ended with its main character, Spike, receiving a massive amount of negative character development. One baby step forward, two dragon steps backwards.

I feel like Merriwether Williams heard the phrase "baby dragon" and wrote for a baby, rather than Spike the character.
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:iconmagic-swordsmen:
Magic-Swordsmen Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
If anyone recalls Spiked saved Crystal Empire so in turn already paid the debt. In someways it was different from the other episode that did not involved the CGI but all in all it was not that bad. With the code thing ya that was pushing it with spike.. All I can say is give it time to adjust, it might be better or not.
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:iconjimperator:
Jimperator Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
Mostly agreed. I'm not foaming at the mouth of course, but it was a very forgettable episode. Probably as forgettable, if not more-so, than Mare-Do-Well for me.

I think Spike's loyalty is a fine idea to center an episode around, but pulling that "dragon code" thing out of nowhere was absolutely silly. I would like the next challenge to Spike's loyalty to pit his paternal (NOT servile) love for Twilight, with his budding, romantic love for Rarity. That would be infinitely more interesting, entertaining and in-character. He could learn some hard lessons about love, family and life.

Yeah, seriously. Why wasn't that the theme? Ah well, I've been pretty content/ecstatic with most of season 3. Gotta have a stinker once in a while I suppose, as hard as they can be to swallow.
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:iconguilrel:
Guilrel Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
I've learned from another brony that Merri is a better writer when it comes to new characters than she does with established characters.
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:iconboxedsurprise:
BoxedSurprise Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Not writers well, write alike I guess. I never really paid attention to who writes the episodes individually, but I guess now's a time to start. To be honest it did seem more of mere fan service than anything else, and the continuity is definitely lacking. Could be a theory but I'm guessing most if not all of the episodes were written simultaneously due to deadlines, and so there wasn't really any cross-checking. Or maybe there was but overlooked Spike's Code and it's misplacement in the canonization, could be because the original audience doesn't really pay attention to stuff like that (we certainly do though!). Oh well, the Season's not over yet, and I enjoyed the significant air-time Rarity got in spite of her lacking of a dedicato episode.
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:iconsixteen6stars:
sixteen6stars Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Student Filmographer
i was wondering where you got the 3D glasses vector?
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:iconzutheskunk:
ZuTheSkunk Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
I just made it myself. :)
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:iconsixteen6stars:
sixteen6stars Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Student Filmographer
could you make it its own vector in the furture?
it looks awesome
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:icontelaros:
Telaros Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
Ok. blind rage post. got it. I do those a lot. A LOT-A LOT.

BUT.
NO.
JUST.
NO.

As I explained a lot in the past, he could NOT return an egg. The egg fell off the nest. The area was too dangerous for the phoenixes to return to, they had to find a safe place quickly to let their children rest. The egg, the parents would of likely figured it was destroyed by the dragons. It was either take the egg and run for your life, as the phoenixes did, or risk going back to place the egg in the old nest, now a hatched bird that would be left to fend for itself making noise and end up likely being devoured by a predator. Spike did what he thought was right. He decided to take responsibility for his actions before and take care of the hatchling.

What I hated about Dragon Quest was the racist and demeaning factors that the mane 6 showed, at all but Twilight I think. They called his gender into question, they don't see him as a dragon because he's more like a pony, and you simply do not make fun of someone's feelings of wanting to be more like what he is by dismissing it as being impossible for a girly stay at home Betty Crocker.

Putting Your Hoof Down was awesome. But it really showed what a nasty and greedy filled place Ponyville can be. Merry Weather (pony name lols) just loves defiling this show. Everything has to be a simple teen drama or some shit for her to be happy. I'm perfectly ok with racism and hatred story in Hearth Warming Eve, I thought she did good on that one. Wonderbolt Academy ending and why she did with Lightning Dust's character at the end of being a completely heartless bitch and than stripping her of her dream to ever be a potential Wonderbolt, damning her for her reckless behavior that RD could of stopped a long time ago that was further encouraged by Spitfire to keep being reckless and trying to push limits, stipping Lightning Dust of that dream by those hypocrites and that damn writer. That is what made me rage and ask for her to quit. She is a shit writer that doesn't even adhere to her own established continuities!

Spike going "brb, I'm gonna tell Twilight that I'm leaving" as if it wasn't much of a deal? Sorry, but I guess you missed that look of surprise and shock when AJ mentioned Twilight. And then that look wanting Twilight to speak up and say something more, to not let him go so easily, as he continued to hear her lame yeah, sounds nice and mhmms to Spike's wanting attention. He left crying at how easily she had let him go. I'm not lying, he really did. Of course he'd cover that up and be more cheerful around AJ. He can't let others see him cry.

I was willing to let Spike's over eagerness to please and get things done, and his SHORT size, as to being why he messed up a lot. The whole failing at baking thing though..................... Yeah, rage worthy. It's yet more signs that as long as she can throw in a gag and fight to justify it being there, she'll be more than happy to ignore any and all continuity, especially if it's about a boy that's smart and independent like Spike who cooks and cleans for Twilight on a daily basis. I still loved AJ in this episode, her and Spike really balance each other well. Though, she was playing more the role of Loyalty than Honesty in this one. Does Merry Weather Airhead even know what element she's supposed to represent? GAH


I actually enjoyed the CGI Timberwolves, the models were a lot more intimidating than the scrawnier wolves. I did hate seeing the thick black outlines, but if you take into account the amount of brand new puppers they'd have to make for those guys just to get all the angles and expressions they did in just those 2 minutes of screen time? Well damn... If a certain company had cut my budget to near minimum wage and said I had to make a whole season with just that set amount, am I going to spend nearly $15,000 on those two minutes of animation on something we may never use in those situations again? Or go to CGI and make a faster budget friendly $2,000-$3000 scene? And hey, we could make a new monster at the end with what's left! Kingber Wolf! (cheesy, I know.)

I could spend more hours speaking my mind of what was good and bad about this episode, but for the most part. It was an ok episode. It had moments. But it was shit writing. She copied like 3 fucking established works and people added new characters and lines to try and make it look like she did something!





P.S. WHY THE FLYING FEATHER WOULD EARTH PONIES EVEN PLACE A BOWL OF BUCKING EGGS SO BUCKING HIGH OUT OF REACH OF EVEN BIG MAC THAT HANGS SO PRECARIOUSLY OFF A SMALL DINGY SHELF!? THAT GAG MADE NO SENSE! (Granny, you going senile)
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:iconzutheskunk:
ZuTheSkunk Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
You may be right about the egg. I pretty much mentioned it with a "maybe" due to a lot of people complaining about it, but not being sure myself.

And yes, the moment where ALL ponies were making fun out of Spike was just bad. But nothing else came close to being genuinely bad in this episode, at least as far as I can tell. I may be wrong. But I simply didn't see anything notable to consider bad.

And yes, okay, Spike cried. Yes he did. But I'm sorry, in my opinion the way he was about it when talking to AJ, and the whole scene of him talking to Twilight just didn't give enough emotion to justify him facing his greatest fear in a situation like that. ESPECIALLY when you consider the fact that him whole Dragon Code thing just DOESN'T MAKE SENSE when compared with various OTHER situations where ponies saved his life. Merriwether (or Dave Polsky, depending on who's responsible for the idea) pulled that one out of thin air! And now, knowing how completely stupid this plot device is, we are expected to believe in a situation that should have never occurred in the first place with what was established previously?

You're saying that there might have been budget problems. I can see that. But then again, can you please give me confirmed examples of situations where they actually had to cut down on something because of low budget? I need a comparison, because I just can't believe they couldn't find enough money to do all those shots in 2D. ESPECIALLY considering the 2D timberwolf at the end, which they HAD to make FROM SCRATCH just for that SINGLE SCENE. Oh, and hey, here's an idea: a creature you initially wanted to use is too complex to make in Flash without a lot of money? How about using a different, less detailed one?
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:icontelaros:
Telaros Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
Well, the Spike scene wasn't emotionally gripping like say Crystal Empire moments or Dragon Quest scenes he had, but mostly that they were there. And no man is going to let some girl see him cry. No~ Spike is too grownup for that~ */sarcasm*

I just don't like the way a lot of the things this episode did with the lack of respect for continuity. The tacky jokes only did Spike a disservice, and to be force fed that Dragon's Code by Twilight was a real mood killer, at that point I didn't think things could get any worst. Twilight abandoning Spike to save her own flank as well as RD who could FLY, you know, stay a safe distance above to survey the situation and make sure all her friends get away? Yeah, that's not what we've seen of what Twilight would do... She's gone through hell and high waters to keep Spike safe and has put her life on the line big time like in that Feeling Pinkie Keen episode with the Hydra.

Yeah, lots of the stuff in this episode were terrible portrayals of the mane 6. That's not to say all of it was bad. Dragon's Code could of been something he came up with after Crystal Empire to try and be a better dragon than those he's met, and to prove to ponies that not all dragons are bad. That song Spike sang was in a way deeply depressing, and more so when Fluttershy rubbed it in that AJ would not like such a song. Spike is desperate for acceptance for what he is and wants to be seen as more than a pony. Merry Weather loves abusing poor Spike emotionally =(


The 3D thing isn't the first time they've used it, even I went "That wheel doesn't look right at all" when I saw that Dizzitron and it was confirmed to be CGI'd by a staff member on a forum. Link is in EQD Episode Follow Up. The budget cut is the reason we are getting 13 and not 26 episodes. Hasbro has put that money investment into Littlest Pet Shop this season and spread the writers and story boarders of MLP:FiM that made the show awesome across Care Bears and some other show. You'll have to dig up or ask about timexcost per frame to a animations expert.

But that is the rough average of what animation costs for those 2 minute scenes. Shortcuts are just needed some times, and if you want to add a lot of detail, in as short amount of time possible, it's easier through cel shading and 3D modeling is a lot cheaper and faster to produce than manipulating hundreds of individual pieces for every single frame of animation, since it's a more high speed scene it won't be in the typical two frame per second shows including MLP runs on. I was rather pleased with the bigger bulkier design of the Timber Wolves, wish they had been able to do something about the outlines, but what can you do? Blame Hasbro for not giving two shits about a now established popular show and going off to try and up their profits with more toy tie-ins for their other existing shows.


In the end, yeah, it was a shit show and Merry Weather probably works for peanuts, god knows you aren't going to send the writers that got the worst critiques to other shows. We're stuck with MW and Polsky for the time being. Slice of Life and continuity and especially character integrity is not their strong points. Racist humor and one liners? Maybe. I tried focusing on the good parts after seeing their names at the start of the episode. I found a good few moments.

But, Spike being a bad cook. Twilight and the gang saving their own hides and forgetting about Spike and AJ for that matter, as well as Twilight being so irresponsible AND heartless to leave her baby brother/practically-her-son behind, when she teleported RIGHT NEXT TO HIM... Well, damn. That was just plain lazy ass story telling when you have to strip the characters down to a being a bunch of cowards and take away a lot of established elements of a character that make them who they are, just to TRY and make a few lame jokes and a lesson that has been run to the ground a thousand times over.

Still, the animation in that episode that provided quite a few good moments is a testament to what an amazing animation staff is to be able to make something out of near nothing, and the VA's were still awesome. And yeah, that Big Mac and Spike interacting having a guy to guy moment would of been something special indeed. I love Rarity a lot, but I still think Spike and AJ work quite well together. I just wish AJ and Spike had gotten a better write for their episode.
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:iconemilyanncoons:
emilyanncoons Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
If I might ask...what's wrong with 3D models in a 2D show? Might I point you to almost every single cartoon currently out nowadays that uses 3D models in some way, shape, or form? A good example is Pokemon. It's been around now for...what...16 seasons or so? That's a LONG time. In one episode in the DP seasons, they had Suicune appear. In previous movies, Suicune was entirely CG, but in the episode, he was not. When I saw the episode, I found Suicune to be very dull because the CG brings out the vibrancy of the Pokemon. However, because they did that in not only that episode, but several others after, I resigned to the idea that they weren't doing CG in the show. When they did the end of the Galactic arc, I was wondering how they would do it without CGing Palkia and Dialga. Guess what? They CGed ALL of Spear Pillar, Uxie, Azelf, Mesprit, Palkia, and Dialga in the episode (and even the red chain I think).

The point of putting CG into a 2D show is to make the creature or object you are CGing more prominent. Yes, they had the Timberwolves in a previous episode in 2D, but in this episode, they needed to be prominent. They needed to literally pop out. The moment the Timberwolves came on screen, my eyes went wide and I was like "OMG! AWESOME!" The reason? The timberwolves popped out of the screen and looked fearsome, threatening, and outright dangerous. If they had been in 2D? They wouldn't have given that feeling, and the episode would have lacked considerably for that exact reason. Also...are you SURE the timberwolf at the end wasn't CG? I could have sworn it was...maybe I should re-watch the episode (or maybe you should too just to be sure).

A second point: You hate the episode, I get it. You despise the episode with the burning passion of a thousand suns. I understand. I've been there before. I've hated things the first time around because it didn't meet my expectation. Guess what? When I watch it the second time, I have low expectations, and I enjoy it. Perhaps the episode itself wasn't bad, perhaps you were expecting too much from the show. I expect MLP to be a good show. I NEVER expect the show to be awesome, amazing, and DEFINITELY never expect it to be "the most awesome show ever". Fact is, the show is NOT the most awesome show ever, and it never will be. Why? Because the moment I think that about any show, I lose what made the show the most awesome show ever. How? Simple. I expect it to deliver more then it ever possibly can deliver, and thus it fails every time.

You made the statement "has any other writer deliver constantly bad episodes?" and you said no. Perhaps not for MLP, but you're also only looking at MLP. I have seen many shows that have "constantly bad episodes" or was it "genuinely bad episodes"? In either case, I've seen many shows deliver good episodes, great episodes, bad episodes, and horrible episodes. Lauren Faust is a great writer, but damn if she wrote a horrible beginning to the series. But here's the thing: Episodes 1 and 2 are still good despite being downright bad. Why? Because they were the start of the series and you had no expectations to fulfill, no hope for the show, and couldn't care one way or another if it was amazing or genuinely bad. An episode is only as bad as your expectations for it are. If you expect perfection? It will be bad. If you don't? It won't. Try expecting the show to be good, instead of expecting the show to be the most awesome thing ever, then go back and rewatch all of the episodes again.
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Evil-Rick Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sorry but the CGI in this episode was terrible, the timberwolves looked plain horrible, the 3d wasn't properly merged with the 2D background and the models looked and moved like some bad N64 graphics. CG needs to be properly merged with the 2D elements so the CGI models don't look flashy compared with the rest of the characters, this wasn't the case, the Timberwolves looked flashy as hell, almost jumping off the rest, overplaced and even almost fan-made.
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:iconemilyanncoons:
emilyanncoons Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
They were flashy...they popped out of the screen...they were very obviously designed to be flashy and pop out. So...if the reason why they were wasn't because they couldn't, but instead they were because they needed to be or were designed to be...what's wrong with that? They wanted them to pop out, so they popped out. Also...I have to really make sure I'm being calm when I say this...why say "like some bad N64 graphics"? The statement to me sounds like you're slamming the N64 for having bad graphics, and then saying these were just as bad as them. The graphics of a video game should NEVER come before anything else, and if the game is good, who cares that the graphics aren't amazing? If the episode was good, and the timberwolves were designed to pop out, then why is that so bad?

Also, I didn't notice them being any lower framerate or anything. Do you perhaps mean the one scene where they seemed to move slowly? I liked that. It's actually a very common technique I've seen in many other shows before. You put something in, and you gave it a sort of "slow motion" feel. It makes the object more prominent, and gives you more of a feeling of inpending doom. Otherwise? I didn't see any difference in their framerate compared to anything else.
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:iconevil-rick:
Evil-Rick Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Designed to pop out? Sorry, as animator in training I can tell you, designing 3d modeling characters to pop out from a 2d enviorement is just doing things wrong, the idea of implementing 3D modeling is to give a better, more natural sensation of movement or surrounding to a sertai element or character, BUT, the idea is to have such element or character to feel implemented in the rest of the animation (background and 2d characters) not to pop out from the rest, if you're trying to add a CGI model to a 2d flash animation with the whole intention of making it pop out from the rest (for what reason? I can't think of one) then you're doing a mediocre product which is what happened here.

And , lol, don't go over your head, bad N64 graphics is a a manner of speach for poorly designed polygon models with textures. I'm not bashing over N64 because, in its time, N64 was the top at graphics, at ITS TIME which is like 12 years ago, and if you haven't noticed, this is almost 2013, not 1998, I expected better for a 3d modeling in a cartoon, not a modeling that's not better from a 1998 videogame console. And I'm not talking about videogames so don't come all "The graphics of a video game should NEVER come before anything else, and if the game is good" because you're getting out of the topic and acting like an angry gamer fanboy.
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:iconemilyanncoons:
emilyanncoons Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
so...the point of using CG isn't to make a certain object seem more realistic/3D, or to make it seem like it pops out from everything else? Cause that's what almost every cartoon I've ever seen uses the CGI for. I can't really think of a single cartoon that I've watched where the CGI didn't seem to pop out. When I saw the timberwolves, they popped out, like everything else -shrugs- I dunno
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:iconevil-rick:
Evil-Rick Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Pretty much all of Disney movies use CGI at certain scenes, Phinieas & Pherb, Avengers Erat Mightiest heroes, Batman, The Legend of Korra, Ultimate Spider-man all had used CGI well blended and merged at some point, it looks really good yet it doesn't look as a 3d model and so, it doesn't pop-out. Here they tried poorly to blend the timberwolves with the BG and the rest of the 2d characters, yet it looked just as a polygonal model with poor cartoonish patters covering it.

The CGI implemented here was just awfull and poorly worked.
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:iconguidovegeta:
guidoVegeta Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
That's because they're not supposed to pop out, they're supposed to blend in. And that's the thing I hate most about the animation industry nowadays. They try to make everything look all 3D and realistic for the sake of looking flashy, edgy and impressive to the audience. It's very rare that there will be a situation in cartoons where it actually warrants the use of CGI. This case with Timberwolves is definitely not one of them. The main problem is that there was no reason to use it at all. It was sudden, unexpected, uncalled for, out of style, appeared out of nowhere, looked extremely out of place, unfitting and all the scenes with them just scream "Why?" They looked horribly gimmicky, lame and overall unimpressive. MLP is not Transformers. There was a stark, noticeable contrast between the 2D and the 3D for absolutely no reason I can think of except maybe budget cuts. If animating the Timberwolves in Flash was too expensive and/or time consuming that they had to resort to CGI, they could have just made shorter, messier scenes with them done in Flash that wouldn't look out of place and that would be a thousand times better than what we got.

CGI is only done right when it blends in with the style of the show and it's not distracting. In this case, it just stuck out inappropriately like a sore thumb for no reason. It's a great example of "If it's not broken, don't fix it."
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:iconzutheskunk:
ZuTheSkunk Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
The thing is, I had no expectations at all for the episode (aside of "well, I'm curious how this AJ x Spike thing will go"). And then I see a teaser for it, see those CGI Timberwolves, and from that moment forward I had this terrible feeling that it will suck HARD. And as it turns out, I wasn't wrong. At least in my opinion.

Yes, I won't deny: there's good CGI, and bad CGI. Courage the Cowardly Dog had a perfectly fitting, good CGI. Those timberwolves were a bad CGI. They looked out of place, they didn't fit the show's style, and worst of all, THEY HAD LOWER FRAMERATE THAN THE SHOW ITSELF. What's up with that? Did they WANT us to be completely aware that they are CGI? And yes, the end timberwolf is 2D. I was actually surprised at first, but nope, it's just your good old Flash.

"You made the statement "has any other writer deliver constantly bad episodes?" and you said no. Perhaps not for MLP, but you're also only looking at MLP."

Yes, I was referring to MLP alone. There are various other shows that may suffer from bad writing, but I don't think it would be very relevant to mention any, at least with what I was going there.

What are you saying about the pilot episodes being bad? They are good to me. Granted, they are unbelievably cliched, and that cheesy scene where Twilight confesses her friendship to the rest of the Main Six did make me go "UUUUGHHHHHHH" at first, and it still does. But there's nothing this bad about them that would be even remotely close to consider them as just plain bad episodes. Unoriginal and cliched maybe, but not bad. I mean, it was THE thing that made me check out the rest of the show, wasn't it?

Usually, I have no expectations for the new episodes, aside of the hope that the characters will be, well, in character, the animation will be as good as always, and the story will be entertaining. And this episode didn't fulfill even this minimum.
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:iconemilyanncoons:
emilyanncoons Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Things that make you groan, and bug you...doesn't make them bad? I...don't get that. You kinda contradicted yourself there when you said the episode wasn't bad, but the whole scene there was bad... Yeah, I suppose you could say "one scene didn't ruin the episode" but honestly? That WAS the episode. The entire thing built up and built up and at the climax you were expecting something great and then you got...that... It's like the Wonderbolt Academy where the episode didn't even have an ending... What was up with that, anyway?

In either case, I guess I don't get what you're saying about how one writer on MLP delivering a couple bad episodes isn't the same as every other show out there doing the same. My point was: You talked about how that was bad, but ignored the fact that every single show out there has those moments. You basically said "These episodes were written by 'so and so' and she makes bad episodes, and no one else has." Yes, no one else has delivered bad episodes in MLP, but I don't like the thought of saying "This one writer is terrible, but she's the only failure." I dunno...I think I'm contradicting myself as well.

On the point of the CG, it's true, the Timberwolves popped out of the background. They were very obviously designed to stick out... So...they were very obviously designed to stick out... Because the point was for them to stick out, that was bad? In Pokemon Movie 1, there are several moments where the CG obviously sticks out, almost "painfully" if you will. The CG is VERY obvious, and it's just as obvious at the Timberwolves. Yet the TW CG was bad, but that wasn't. That doesn't make sense. If they were designed to stick out, then that means they were...well...designed to stick out. They accomplished the purpose they were supposed to do.

Also on the aspect of framerate...the developers of the show use Flash (as I'm sure you're aware) to design the show. Many, many times have the developers stated that they had to do things that they didn't want to do in order to actually make the episode in flash (use the same pony 20 times, but have it be the same pony, give something a lower framerate, etc.) So what if the problem wasn't the CG but the limitations of Flash? Are you going to slam them for the limitations of a program that they can't fix?
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:iconzutheskunk:
ZuTheSkunk Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
The scene I mentioned was just the "sheesh" kind of purely subjective bad, not the "NO, JUST NO" kind of bad that's hard to deny. The pilot episode itself entertains, the characters do very well, and there's nothing that would strike me as being so bad that it makes me unwilling to return to the episode.

In the majority of your response, I think you're not noticing that I'm speaking about the MLP show alone. I'm not talking or referring to other shows right now, I'm speaking only about MLP:FiM as it is. And well, if other MLP writers can write episodes that still manage to entertain and keep characters in character, while this single one already committed two episodes that don't live up to this at all, then well, it does give us a reason to consider her as the black sheep of the family, even if she's not ALWAYS doing bad.

I haven't even seen any pokemon movies, so right now, you're suggesting that I think that the CGI from those movies wasn't bad, when I never said or implied anything like that. The only good example I know and can provide is, like I said before, Courage the Cowardly Dog. Pokemon movies are completely unknown to me.

If the limitations of your tools cause something to look unconvincing or just plain bad in comparison to everything else you made, then, well, you just try something else, right? Instead of going with something that just doesn't work?
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:iconemilyanncoons:
emilyanncoons Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I think that's where our ideas are crossing. I can't, in my right mind, convince myself to only look at MLP. Because yes, if I look at MLP on its own, I'm not going to compare it to other shows. However, looking at MLP alone makes you go "Well, this episode did awesome, so why can't ever other episode?" in which case, that expectation will never be met. Looking at multiple shows, I guess, kind of gives you the understanding that people fail...a lot. Because they fail a lot, you expect there to be failure a lot. Because you expect there to be failure a lot, you don't feel so let down when there is failure. That's really been my point. However, yes, I have noticed you are talking about MLP on its own, but really, that just doesn't make any sense to me. If you're going to compare MLP to something, you can't compare it to itself. That doesn't work.
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:iconzutheskunk:
ZuTheSkunk Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
Unfortunately I don't have much choice. I don't watch any other shows nowadays, and as for the ones I watched in the past, it's been too long for me to be able to make a comparison. Perhaps I should return to some of my old childhood cartoons I was watching...
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:iconemilyanncoons:
emilyanncoons Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It might be a good idea ^^
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:iconbonesatellite:
BoneSatellite Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
The source of the problem is that it was written by both writers who like to write Spike in their own way. Dave Polsky has written two episodes that try to work in "messages" like Twilight discovering faith and conflict between colonists and Native Indians. Williams' issue is that she, more than anyone else, thinks Spike is a child, despite several episodes in which he is about as mentally and emotionally mature as the mane six (Winter Wrap Up, Magic Duel).

Mitch Larson and Cindy Morrow need to write the bulk of Spike material from now on.
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travis-zenryo Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
i dont find anything wrong with most of the episodes this one was ok but it want that bad unless you go around nit picking every little detail , i can agree on some points you make sure but after a certain point it seems just a biast opinion of someone who was disappointed the episode was 1 what theyd like it to be of a pony they prefer and 2 disappointment that a relationship between 2 characters wasnt furthered
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:icon14-spades:
14-Spades Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
But... I liked Mare Do Well O_o

I actually didn't mind the CGI. Heck, some shows use CGI and 2D and they work fabulously. Think of Motorcity or Invader Zim. I think the problem with many is the show's art style and the lack of use of CGI before.

What would work very good in the show I think is to purposely use crappy CGI for a character or object that isn't supposed to be natural. Courage the Cowardly dog would often use this technique. Some examples would be 'King Ramses Curse' or 'Perfect'
[link]
It would work well for a nightmare sequence or to embody a change in the scenery that is clearly off.
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:iconzutheskunk:
ZuTheSkunk Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
The problem is, as weird as the CGI used in the Courage cartoon was, it wasn't out of place. The creators of the show managed to fit it and its "otherworldiness" perfectly, without making it seem that it should never be there. Something that the people behind CGI Timberwolves completely failed to accomplish, at least in my opinion.
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:icon14-spades:
14-Spades Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually, that was my point about Courage. I was trying to find an example of how CGI might work really well in My Little Pony. Like I said before, 2D and 3D can work, you just need to use with care.

As for my opinion on the timberwolves, they were alright. I know they were used because of the scenes complexity. It's just that as good as the animation is in MLP, your not going to do something that complex without it looking out of place in the rest of the show. Maybe in a movie where there is more time for higher quality animation in both 2D and 3D it might work.

Now if you don't mind, I am going to ask you a question. I think this whole CGI thing has opened Pandora's box. Do you think with the right amount of talent and care, CGI could be used in a My Little Pony movie and work? I think it would be great for sweeping shots and for special assets. It has to be done with the upmost care, cause if they don't...
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:iconzutheskunk:
ZuTheSkunk Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
If they are able to pull it off in such a way that I won't even notice the CGI at first, then fine. But I don't think it's possible, 3D character models are just way too obviously different to 2D characters in comparison, and I think they should stick to 2D when it comes to characters. However, I learned yesterday that the Dizzitron from the Wonderbolts Academy was actually 3D too - I completely didn't notice until it was pointed out. Which means that they CAN do it right for objects, so I definitely wouldn't mind that.
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:iconraekuul:
raekuul Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
So far, I'm not very impressed with Season 3. While the music is still as strong as it ever was, the writers keep covering their plots with contrivance. Or maybe I've gotten spoiled by all the talent floating around in the fandom at coming up with stories that engage me. I dunno.

Either way, it's episodes like this one that quite painfully remind me that this show is, in fact, aimed for people that are considerably younger than I am, and its the opinions of those people who matter the most in determining how good the episode is.

Still, we had Spike being used like a freaking ZIPPO LIGHTER in just the previous episode, you'd think that he'd remember that he can do that quite safely outside of the Everfree. (In the first encounter it's understandable that he'd avoid using fire because of the fact that they're in the MIDDLE of the forest, but the attack at the end? Just breathe fire on them. Even if they get sent to Princess Celestia, what are they gonna do to her?)
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:iconcirdec:
Cirdec Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
I didn't dislike Mare Do Well. I didn't like it either, but I didn't hate it. It just was, and I moved on and forgot about it and haven't seen it since it's release. But this episode... this is the first episode I genuinely disliked. I think "hate" is a strong word that a lot of people misuse, but I was actually having to pause the episode in order to walk away and fume a bit, maybe rant at a wall about how fucking stupid what I was seeing was. I think I really, actually hated this episode... :(
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:iconmclarenmp4-27:
McLarenMP4-27 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
I don't understand why there's a big stink about the 3D models. Who honestly cares that much? It's a kid's show. Although I completely agree that Spike was not acting like himself the whole episode (besides ogling Rarity eatin lol) and that he would have been that easily swayed to leave Twilgith for Applejack.
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:iconmclarenmp4-27:
McLarenMP4-27 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
*wouldn't
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:iconwillisninety-six:
WillisNinety-Six Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist
It's probably my least favorite episode of the series (although I still kind of like it)

I totally agree that it would've been better if Rarity was used instead of Applejack, because it would've made more sense, as explained in the opinion you've quoted
And it doesn't make sense that Spike would go tell Twilight he's leaving her if his fear was being sent away from Twilight! It's like this episode acts like The Crystal Empire never happened.

The animation on the timberwolves is understandable though, animating all three of them chasing AJ and Spike must be complicated to animate because of their complicated designs. So it's understandable why they would be 3-D. So I honestly don't think that contributed to the episode's flaws.
But other than that, I agree with this journal.
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:iconfacilierfan93:
FacilierFan93 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
Meh, it was better than "Sleepless in Ponyville".
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