For two years now, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has become one of the most popular animated series in recent memory. Courtesy of Lauren Faust and an excellent creative staff of writers, artists, voice actors, and more, MLP has garnered love from viewers of all ages, from bronies to pegasistas! November marks the debut of the third season for the third season, as well as an all new ongoing comic book from IDW. In commemoration, I’d like to give you my top favorite episode from this beloved series.
5. Feeling Pinkie Keen
One of the funniest episodes of the series, Twilight tries to find out if there is any rhyme of reason to Pinkie’s psychic abilities. The Looney Tunes esque physical comedy is surprising and hilarious, with a scene featuring a falling piano and Derpy Pony taking the cake. This is also one of the first what I like to call “Obsessive Twilight” episodes, a concept that would be well utilized in the second season. A well rounded, fun episode.
4. The Best Night Ever
Early in the first season, “The Ticket Master” involved Twilight and Friends receive invitations to the “Grand Galloping Gala,” an upper-pony party to be held in Canterlot; the Gala is brought up again when Rarity makes dresses for all her pony friends. Those threads are both paid off in the season closer, where the ponies finally visit the event. All the ponies have a goal for the party, (all of which were brought up in “Ticket Master”) and the ponies soon realize that the Gala is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Aside from showcasing a nice sense of continuity for this series, “Best Night Ever” had many stand out moments. The scene where Spike attempts to hang out with his friends with Rarity declaring they were in a state of undress, only to have Applejack state “We don’t normally wear clothes,” was priceless. The “At the Gala” song was my personal favorite of the entire season, with each of the six main ponies getting their own verse, with the style of the song changing accordingly, (Raindow Dash’s transition was my favorite). This episode could have been so cliche’ and bland, but decide to go against the grain, to fantastic results.
3. Bridle Gossip
As I’ve already stated in a previous review of this episode, this is one of my favorite episodes. Twilight and friends, with Applejack’s sister Applebloom, are confronted by the Zebra Zecora, and believe Applebloom is in danger after they believe they’ve been cursed by the Ever Free Forest resident. While Applebloom has plenty of screen time courtesy of the Cutie Mark Crusades, this is her standout episode, in my opinion. Seeing her butt heads with her older sister and try to get behind the truth of Zecora is enduring; she is the heart of this episode.
What is really driven home in this episode is the fact that Zecora is so mysterious to the ponies, and that leads them to fear and not trust her. The audience is kept in the dark as well, so the element of mystery is persisent to the end. It humanizes (for lack of a better word) the cast, and puts a real world element (prejudice) in a fantastical setting. Very few shows would have done this well of a job in putting so many elements in a single episode, making “Bridle Gossip” my number three favorite episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
3. A Canterlot Wedding Part 1 and 2
As the highest rated episode of the Hubs short history, this epic two-part episode sees the introduction of several new characters, returning favorites, and an adventure to rival that of the previous season openers. Twilight is one of the last to know that her brother, Shining Armor, is getting married to her old babysitter, Princess Cadence. With all her friends and the rest of Canterlot wrapped in wedding fever, Twilight notices Princess Cadence’s strange behavior, and the truth revealed is more horrifying than she ever imagined.
Similar to “Best Night Ever,” what could have been a familiar wedding episode turns into an emotional rollercoater. Twilight is left nearly friendless after her behavior toward Candance, the reveal of Cadence’s real motives turns the entire episode on it’s head, and the battle for Canterlot gets epic, with some truly hilarious moments in between. Not only that, but the animation is top notch. The emotion and expressions on the several ponies, from Twilight’s sadness, to Princess Candence’s fear, to Shining Armor’s exhaustion are so of the best I’ve seen in any cartoon with human characters.
“A Canterlot Wedding” from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
This episode had so many twists and turns, not to mention memorable moments. Princess Celestia lying on the ground, defeated and Twilight reuniting with the real Princess Candence were only a couple highlights. It also feature a spectacular duet between the real and evil Princess Candence. My one complaint is that the story may have wrapped up a little too nicely. With such a major twist from one episode to the other, I felt an extra episode would have helped make the conclusion more seamless. Regardless, “A Canterlot Wedding” is by far the best animated wedding I’ve ever seen. There is only one episode that could beat this two-part juggernaut.
1. Friendship is Magic Part 1 and 2
I first discovered My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic while channel surfing (something I rarely do). I had not heard of the series and know nothing about its creative team or fanfare. I caught the end of Part 1 of “Friendship is Magic” and after seeing the cliffhanger (in a My Little Pony cartoon?) I decided to see the next part. While I missed the original introductions to these characters, their personalities were evidence after watching them interact. Seeing Twilight tuck Spike into bed, Rainbow accusing Twilight of being a spy, Applejack holding her friend back so her new friend could explain, and Pinkie being able to find book for Twilight in seconds thinking nothing of it, it all felt natural.
These weren’t character archetypes, these were fully realized characters. The ensuing adventure of finding the Elements of Harmony, stopping Night Mare Moon, and freeing Princess Celestia drew me in and blew me away. This wasn’t like any animated series I had seen in while. It certainly didn’t feel like a show for the Strawberry Shortcake crowd. As I continued to watch the series, I learned more about it, and found out I wasn’t the only twenty-something male viewer, not by a long shot. I still find it hard to believe how many people are able to look past the franchise, the demographic, the art style and see My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for what it is a great animated series. A show that was truly an all ages, not just a kids show.
I can still enjoy this series premiere, and even have it on DVD despite having Part 2 on my DVR for over two years, it’s just that special. Few series have made me appreciate the greatness of animation like Friendship is Magic. With season three comes all new adventures, and probably all new favorite episodes. Until, these five hold a special place is my heart. Thank you reading, and I hope you’ve enjoy my top five favorite episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.