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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