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Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep is episode one hundred four in Friendship is magic. The story was done by the director and supporting director of FIM, Jim Miller and Jayson Thiessen respectively, and it was written for television by Scott Sonneborn, and the storyboard was done by Sabrina Alberghetti and Nicole Wang. The original airdate of this episode is on July 11, 2015. Background information for this is that this episode's plot was originally teased at San Diego Comic Con 2014. M.A Larson's personal website had posted that episode thirteen of Season 5 title would be 'From Seapony to Shining Seapony'. On June 27th, 2015, M.A Larson tweeted the question 'who do you trust more: me or zap2it?' He later tweeted the correct answer is Zap2it. Princess Luna's bedroom was designed by Phil Caesar. The summary of the story is that because Tantabus had grown powerful enough that if allowed to escape into the real world of FIM it can cause untold horrific nightmares to happen, Princess Luna, feeling guilty about letting it happen, decides to enlist the mane 6 and Spike by requesting that they sleep in their dreams so that she can find and locate Tantabus and stop him. Positives: 1. I liked Spike's characterization in the episode. Spike's portrayal in the episode was notable to me in a good way. Not only was he the helpful little dragon we know and love, but here had a couple of things I liked such as him lamenting how Luna didn't considered him important enough for her dreams and when he returned to his Buff Spike form from Season 1 to help the mane 6 and Luna battle against Tantabus in their dream. It was a small but noteworthy role he had in the episode. 2. The many returns of past character incarnations and fandom memes came through in this episode and most can be found in the best scene in the whole episode in the battle against Tantabus. If you thought the episode Slice of Life was the last time we see fandom references in the show, think again. This episode had plenty of different character egos in the episode in the form of: Nightmare Moon Rainbow Powered Mane 6. Winged muffins Flutterbat! Lyrabon! He even came with his own Sailor Moon esque transformation sequence. Princess Big Mac! Buff Knight Spike returns! Power Ponies return as well! This was a rather bittersweet scene for me. And many more that are not listed. Please feel free to add more in the comments section below. Most of these can be found at the battle against Tantabus at the climax where the whole of Ponyville and Luna fight to ensure Tantabus does not escape into the real world. That scene was in my opinion the best moment in the episode as it was creative, fun, and filled with energy as it was clear this was the scene the animators and the writers had the most fun writing this episode. 3. Luna receives some character development. While I'm not a big on Luna, I do recognize that she had received character development in the episode. She developed Tantabus as a sort of 'Pain Glove' as a measure to inflict herself with horrific nightmares so that way she'll remind herself of the terrible evil she had committed so that she'll never do it again. This shows a direct way of Luna's painfully regretting the crimes she had committed as Nightmare Moon and chooses to punish herself every night in her dream, bearing her guilt all the way. As Second Opinion in his vid had shown, this is actually a rather serious issue of self loathing being discussed on the show with Luna as it's tool to talk about. While I'm not going to say this portrayal was perfect or even good I'll explain below, the episode's intentions for Luna were good. What's especially fulfilling was seeing the mane 6 convincing Luna that she is not Nightmare Moon as she would've allowed Tantabus to escape while Luna is doing everything she can to stop it, showing that she isn't her. Most importantly, they tell her that they all trust her now, so how about she learned to trust them believing that she has changed. This is a nice reflection of a person needing to learn to not only learn to forgive their past actions but to also not punish themselves so severely just to ensure their past actions never come again and instead see how the people around them interact and if they've gone to accept them, perhaps they should learn to accept that they've changed for the better and learn to love themselves more. 4. I really loved this beautiful scene in the episode. 5. This dream sequence of Rd's nightmare was hilarious for me. 6. Feats for Luna's dream abilities are visibly shown in this episode. This episode is a good trove of information for what Luna can do with her dream abilities in interfacing with a person's dream and yes she can attack you in your sleep so she can mind attack you, can integrate multiple people into one dream, and her dream powers are unique to her as she confirms that only she can do them and Celestia has no powers in the dream realm. Those who wanted more feats for Luna's dream ability are going to be thrilled for this episode. Negatives: 1. Not too bad, but did you guys felt the mane 6's dreams were a bit...safe? Despite this being a dream episode where it's where the animators typically go all out in creativity with their rigs and such, I was disappointed at how stereotypical the Mane 6's dreams were. The dreams the mane 6 were dreaming of are: Rarity: Dreams of dresses that turn on her and attempt to eat her. Pinkie Pie: Thinks of random things and it happens to her. Fluttershy: Loves being groomed by her pet Angel till Angel turns into a pony eating monster. Applejack: Dreams of growing the largest apple in existence and her nightmare of seeing her apple orchard rotting away. Rainbow Dash: Beating the crap out of the Changelings and is terrified of cute things happening. While I had strong Buttercup from the PowerPuff Girls vibes in this characterization of Rainbow Dash's dream, this one was the best only because of how creepy those flowers and song were. Twilight Sparkle: Loves to read books in a library where the books turn on her and attack her. Again it's not to say these were bad by any means, and you can probably counter that they probably dream of something simple for the sake of making things easy for Luna to find Tantabus as they were informed, but I felt that the animators could've done more for the mane 6 in this dream sequence. Personally, the comic NMR arc did this aspect better as it showed an interesting take on the mane 6 by showing them their worst fears that were elaborate and held some damning consequences for them in life like RD being unable to join the Wonderbolts due to being unable to fly. 2. For a princess of the night and guardian of dreams, how did Luna not know RD loves punching things in her dreams? It's a minor thing really, but I felt it was kind of incredulous that she would assume that Rainbow Dash attacking changelings is a nightmare of hers. Rainbow Dash had to go and remind her that that it was a dream come true. But I digress on another matter. 3. Tantabus's concept was sloppy and heavily flawed. While the idea of Luna punishing herself for the wrongs she had committed is an interesting turn to her character, it wasn't executed particularly well for several reasons. A. She is deliberately making Tantabus stronger by letting it feed off of her negative emotions. Now I just can't imagine how Luna could ever think letting a sentient creature get stronger just for the sake of letting it become a pain glove. B. According to Luna, if that thing gets into the real world, it would cause untold amount of nightmares to happen. Now all I can wonder is how could Luna even think creating such a creature was a good idea, letting alone letting it get stronger? This is the equivalent of a person feeling guilty of creating Nukes and decides to create a bio bomb to remind himself to never create such a devastating weapon ever again only for said bio bomb is getting approval for use due to the potential devastation it caused. Really, how could anyone think creating that Tantabus can be anything but a disaster waiting to happen? C. Wasn't a big fan on the 'smoke' appearance Tantabus had. Though I do say I did liked its giant pony appearance it appeared to be at the end. 4. The resolution to Luna's conflict occurred too fast. One noted problem I've had with the episode's pacing is how quick Luna's resolution to her conflict was that after she learned to forgive herself, not only does Tantabus suddenly decide to stop doing whatever it was doing but it returned to Luna amicably. It was like a switch suddenly flipped for that thing to return to Luna all because she learned not to hate herself so much. This just appeared awkward, forced, and rather confusing that Tantabus would decide to stop it was doing and returns to Luna no problem. Hypnosparkle on MLP forums made an excellent point for how rather insulting it was for Luna's conflict to have been resolved so quickly as a person with noted issues of self love issues in Luna is able to quickly resolve and never have to worry about those issues again simply because she agreed with what Twilight had said. Cleverclover on mlp forums made a good point in the comment section that the scene probably would've been stronger had Celestia been the one to reach and comfort Luna there. Conclusion: It may have a good idea and vision for what it wanted to do to Luna in the episode, but thanks to its heavily flawed writing and a rather poor execution for Tantabus and his concept, it mitigated alot of the effects that could've been great for Luna. Instead this was probably one of Luna's weakest appearances in the series, which is notably strong mind you. Do Ponies Dream of Magic Sheep I felt could've been more, especially in the first half where I felt the episode played it a bit too safe with the mane 6's dreams and characterizations. However, it did what it wanted to for Luna reasonably decent enough and even touching for Luna's sake so the effort wasn't a failure and with many fandom references and past character incarnations in the show return in this episode at least ensure the battle in the Dream of Ponyville was entertaining, even with a rushed resolution hurting the story's impact. Score: 6.5/10 Grade: D
Amending Fences, written by M.A. Larson, is the 12th episode of Season 5 of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. This episode originally aired on July 4th, 2015, noted as a holiday in the U.S with the Independence Day. Originally, the airdate was supposed to have been on July 18th, 2015 as what AT&T Uverse had said. Kora Kosicka was the one who designed the character Moon Dancer for this episode. The story of the episode is that due to an off comment from Spike from how much of a lousy friend Twilight originally was before she came to Ponyville, Twilight, now a more sociable and the new Princess of Friendship seeks redemption in the eyes of her old and former friends by trying to reconnect with them and hope they'll forgive her for her past behavior towards them by forging a new and stronger friendship with them. Positives: 1. A simple idea of 'what if Twilight made amends to the group of ponies she blew off at the series pilot' becomes a great and heartfelt story. This episode's story idea may have started out as a simple Twilight wishes to make amends for her past actions towards her old friends at Canterlot, but proving that a person can take the simplest of things and make something great about it. In the episode, not only do we see Twilight not only feeling regretful for her actions by inviting Minuette, Lemon Hearts, and Twinkle Shine over to a get together at Donut Joe's Donut shop to apologize from there. Despite this, these three ponies have shown they have no hard feelings towards her, pointing out that it was something that they were used to from her. Which Twilight could feel how terrible of a friend she must've been back then. However the story takes an interesting turn where after they see their old science lab in Canterlot, Twilight asks where Moon Dancer was to which they replied she was living alone studying. There we see perhaps a 'what if' for Twilight should perhaps she never had any friends to deal with and solely focused on studying. To make the comparison even more apparent, Moon Dancer is a recolored palette of Unicorn Twilight Sparkle with a different mane, though she had a similar one to Twilight when they were fillies likely in respect for her. This came at the cost of retconning what the comics had originally portrayed Moon Dancer to look like and be. Due to Twilight missing out on Moon Dancer's party where she was opening up to other ponies only to have the one pony she valued to miss out on it, Moon Dancer retreated back to her figurative bubble to never have to worry about friendships again. Twilight takes on trying to reach and bond with Moon Dancer as her next challenge to fully amend her past actions through a variety of attempts such as trying to communicate with her at the library: It didn't work well for her there. Note folks, Twilight's bubble shield can block noise. Put that in your notes for Twilights powers. She tried offering the key to her old room and library to Canterlot as caretaker and owner at the price of coming with her to a dinner with their old friends. Moon Dancer only came because Twilight promised to teach her Hayscartes methods of learning by literally emerging herself inside the book, which I'll explain a bit on later. Despite Twilight's earnest attempt to bond at the dinner party, Moon Dancer still brushed it off and even left abruptly from the dinner and refuse to listen to Twilight any longer. Causing poor Twilight to be heartbroken for what she had done. In another showcase of Twilight's power, being able to see into the past of an environment allowed Twilight to see the events of Moon Dancer's party that Twilight left. Seeing how heartbroken Moon Dancer was, Twilight knew she needed the best party planner around to quickly rectify this error Twilight had committed in the past. Twilight also become a stronger flier now that she is able to handle Spike and a full grown pony on her back. There at the 'please forgive me for what I've done to you' as I like to call it party, not only did they managed to woo Moon Dancer to it by leaving a trail of books for her to collect but there, Moon Dancer cracks from what they've done and reveals to Twilight for just how much she had hurt her for not attending the one party that Moon Dancer did so she can open up and bond with ponies better. Moon Dancer: Well, sure, why wouldn't it? That was only the first time I put myself out there, and then you didn't even bother to show up! Then you left town without saying goodbye even though we were supposed to be friends! I was humiliated! I felt like I wasn't important! I never wanted to let myself be hurt like that again! Those three finally convinced me that I had value! That other ponies might like me and want to be my friend! And you! Didn't! Show! Up! Not only was this a heartfelt, sincere, and powerful message from Moon Dancer, but it also makes Twilight's efforts in the episode even more potent. This episode's narrative held nothing back to show the audience that one of the mane 6, Twilight Sparkle, the princess of friendship, screwed up badly by betraying that bond of trust she had taken for granted in her past life in Canterlot. Seeing Moon Dancer cry her heart out to reveal of how traumatic her emotional experience shows of how horrific Twilight's actions were leaving Moon Dancer behind to focus on other stuff instead of her. Twilight's efforts to make amends to them for betraying the trust, especially with Moon Dancer, is made all the stronger because she has genuinely hurt someone and only seeks for that person to forgive wholeheartedly for what she had done by showing to her old friends of how much she regrets what she had done and wishes to form a new bond of friendship as a way to show she has changed as a person and wishes to be a better friend to them than what she once was. Twilight Sparkle: I'm sorry, Moon Dancer. I've faced magical creatures, the end of Equestria, all sorts of things. But seeing how my actions affected you, that was one of the worst feelings I've ever had. Once they've made up and become better people from it, there Moon Dancer and Twilight Sparkle emerged better characters as Twilight rights a past wrong she had committed and formed a better bond between herself and her old friends, and Moon Dancer learns to hang out with her friends more and not bottle herself up to waste away and instead join and have fun with friends instead. Thanks to one of the most emotional and best moments in the show, this not only cements Twilight's status for best pony in my personal s5 rankings even higher, perhaps even topping it, but it's also likely Moon Dancer will be the best new pony introduced this season and possibly one of the most secondary ponies in the fandom soon if not already. 2. The Hayscartes method may actually be a reference to the famed French Philosopher Rene Descartes. Thanks to Sunset Master in his own personal review for finding that reference, here's a quote from Descartes himself: Cogito ergo sum. This is often translated as: 'I think, therefore, I am.' Seeing how this spell allowed Twilight to literally become one with the book to help her better study, there is validity to that fact. To make the connection to that reference even greater, Twilight did pointed out that she had a copy of his 'Treatise on Ponies', a reference to Rene Descartes's Treatise of Man. Here's a link to SunsetMaster's personal review on Amending Fences, including the point I'm using in my own review as I loved it too much. https://mlpforums.co.../#comment_49925 3. That's not a beaker, Lemon Hearts, that's a flask. One humor I particularly liked seeing in the episode. 4. The rest of the Twilight's old friends also received some character development as well. While their developments weren't as great as Twilight or Moon Dancer, I did like some signs of it from them. Minuette: She's a pony who not only seems to be fond of hourglasses, but she's also noted friends with Pinkie Pie. Perhaps because both are cheer happy ponies. Wore braces as a filly. Twinkle Shine: Not much on her other than what the other ponies are doing or know. Lemon Hearts: Had her head stuck on a flask once. Has a career where she arranges state dinners and other formal events at Canterlot. Also, the fact they've been given speaking roles in an episode will allow them to have a niche in the fandom's art community. 5. Notice how eerily similar that middle bookseller pony does to a certain someone from Disney's Big Hero 6? Negatives: 1. Who was taking care of Twilight's library in Canterlot while she was gone? While the state of the library held little impact to the episode, it's one that annoyed me simply for how did the library ended up in such a state. Being with many pieces and other aged items on the floor after Twilight left it when she was transferred over to Ponyville by Celestia; it begs the question why and how would anyone just leave it there. I want to make here If Twilight still owns it as possession of her key implied, how could Twilight not have paid any attention to a library filled with books that she personally own for over a year? Still, it may have served as a metaphor to Twilight's attitude to Canterlot previously, uncaring for it but the pieces remain for her to return when she realizes of how much of an ass she had been in her past. 2. The ending felt a bit rushed. While not especially damaging as there was little to be further invested in the episode after Twilight and Moon Dancer made up, still I felt the rushed party was caused in part to make for the time it needed to make for Twilight and Moon Dancer to further cement their friendship as friends to visit every now and then on Twilight's part and to see that epilogue of Moon Dancer joining with her old friends to play a game of sport. 3. The start felt contrived. While not an especially big deal in hindsight, the fact Twilight's conflict in the episode was only caused by an off comment from Spike instead of her own action felt like it was forced to get the conflict of the episode going. Overall it's not too especially harmful in the end after reviewing it. Conclusion: This episode is quite possibly the season's second best episode in my opinion, exceeded only by the season pilot. Giving a great spot of character development to Twilight and to Moon Dancer to where they emerge better friends after Twilight sought Moon Dancer's forgiveness for her past misdeed. Showing one of the most human portrayals of Twilight since Winter Wrap Up and possibly even exceeds that, this episode is among the best Twilight episodes in the series for what it had shown. Finally, with a great spotlight on Moon Dancer and her portrayal in the episode, she'll quickly become a favorite in the fandom like many other secondary pony characters. Score: 9.5/10 Grade: A