Community Post #166 I'm now a big fancypants student. That's the main and reasonable excuse for why I haven't been writing these silly rambles for you lot. That and some amount of burnout. Still, I've discovered two relevant things while I have been studying the art of Games for the Computermabob DeviceboxmachinesTM. Creme de menthe is lovely if you put a shot or two of it in a McDonalds Chocolate Milkshake. One shot for fun times, two if you want your milkshake to smack you in the teeth. I dub it 'The Mintyshake'. It is now my favourite drink next to Spiced Ice Tea. 3rd Generation My Little Pony is really boring. So I like this and whiskey. I really like spirits that try to kick you in the teeth while they go down. If you look hard enough, pony fans are everywhere and I managed to find a few here in Leicester where I've been since September. One of which, has been watching MLP for years and recently decided to show me the utter nonsense that is A Very Minty Christmas. It's a movie that we all had surprising trouble following or paying attention to in the slightest. We all kept talking about everything else other than what we were watching so I apologize if my synopsis seems rushed. Some of you lot know that I do seek out utterly repulsive movies and watch them but they're easy to pay attention to, like how someone using a pair of curtains to blow their nose on is hard not to notice. But this movie is like the half-arsed parodies you get in other TV shows when the kids are watching some nonsense in the background. Every show has a 'Happy Little Elves' somewhere In fact, I saw this thing only an hour or so ago and I'm struggling to remember anything about it. All I keep thinking of is how much I want two shots of Creme de menthe and a Milkshake right now. The difference between me and an alcoholic is the discount and lurking fear that there might be a 9 o'clock lecture tomorrow The story begins in Ponyville, the Earth Pony commune where all the Earth Ponies live. And only Earth Ponies. For some reason, racial segregation has gated all the communities into separate towns. Why? ...Um...It's Gen 3. Seriously, Gen 4 spoils us by attempting to make things make some logical sense or by providing some answers. They haven't bothered with "How does Alicorns happen?", "Daring Doo is a thing but no one knows even though the villains are all perfectly real?!" and "Cadence came from where, again?!" among others. Gen 3 doesn't care. You can tell this by almost every facet of this tawdry little show. So, apart from Unicorns living in Unicornia (which is like calling one of our cities 'Humania'), there's no explanation why any single creature knows, or cares, about Christmas. Which brings a few issues with it as it was thrown quickly together, likely with a bottle of scotch and copious use of a Microsoft Word Writing Wizard. The ponies of Ponyville here celebrate Christmas with a Santa Cause that brings them gifts. They always create a giant, glowing candy cane to put on top of a purple christmas tree (don't ask, it's Gen 3) so that Santa can come find them and give them gifts. Right, so why do they celebrate Christmas? They're in a magical rainbow land, why would they know about Christmas? Was the MLP Baby Jesus born on that day? Or were there pagan celebrations to the almighty Hasbro Marketing Team that were then rolled up into a single celebration when a new, dominant religion took over? Does this also mean that there's a Pony Father Christmas out there?! In universe, as the weird adult that I am, this stinks of pandering. It's that sad realisation that the only reason is because someone thought it would sell better. They gutted the holiday of anything that might be offensive or problematic and propped up whatever was left with fluffy nonsense. Something laughable like Bibleman is more edgy than this show just because they mention this guy occasionally. I could also use that to describe what could be laughingly be called the 'Characters'. I'm sure there's fans of this that don't like me trampling all over Gen 3 but I watched this for the first time today and couldn't tell who anyone was without them speaking. If you thought the lack of body types in Gen 4 was an issue, Gen 3 gives the impression that they just drew the toys rather than try to visually vary them up a bit. The toys all come from the same mould, what's the show's excuse? It's like one pony keeps painting herself different colours, swaps wigs and somehow can move quickly enough to appear to be in twenty different places at once in some devious method of cutting down on Equine Actors like a pony shaped electron. Further concern, there's no male ponies. Other gens had them somewhere but Gen 3 just raises the concerns of propagation when there's no displayed male ponies anywhere. Another episode my Pony Veteran Friend tried to show me of Gen 3 contained a Unicon Princess named 'Rarity' (yes, really). So, ponies do have children but there's no suggestion of how in this entirely female run world? We discussed. I went with the Clownfish method where a pony will become male when it's time to reproduce. But there was also the theories of 'star magic', 'pony mitosis', 'delivery by stalk' and 'magic mirror'. Anyway, our main character is Minty. She's a colossal klutz. The random collection of character traits she's been haphazardly assigned are a strong pro-sock agenda and a compulsion to try to fix things that don't need it but ruins them because of clumsiness. She attempts to fix the large, glowing, Santa-Attracting Candy Cane on top of the purple christmas tree but ends up smashing it. Having believed that she completely ruined Christmas, Minty does the next logical thing: Attempt to replace him by giving everyone else socks. Said no Dad ever Let's briefly talk about what characters I can remember before the madness returns from what I just typed. Now, anyone that's attended a UK of Equestria pub quiz will know that they like to push this idea that we should all check out the older cartoons to see where the show got it's routes, testing this by asking questions on the older generations. I'll agree it's interesting to see just how slapdash Rainbow Dash is in this. I swear, it's not just because this Rainbow Dash is nothing like the Gen 4 one. Her personality isn't reflected at all in her design. To cut to the chase, this is Rainbow Dash with the personality of Gen 4's Rarity. There's theories and ideas about how to build good character design. Unless your making a statement, you tend not to stray from rules such as 'the big tough guy is huge, usually very square and angry looking' or 'the shifty, villainous type has lots of points and triangles in their design because it's good short hand for untrustworthy' and so forth. The look of a character tells a lot about the character. Rarity from Gen 4 looks like a pony that would be interested in being 'girly' and enjoying the finer things in life. Her curled mane and long eyelashes help sell the idea of a fashion-obsessed dressmaker. On top of that, purple with white works to make a clean contrast so she's visually striking without looking gaudy. She's distinctive and simple. You'd even recognise her silhouette thanks to her mane and tail shapes. Even her usual posture screams her character to the viewer. Gen 3 Rainbow Dash fine but doesn't convey anything relevant. The rainbow mane isn't that distinct, especially considering that she's not the only pony in the show to have one. Further more, the only major distinction in her voice and words was to use 'Darling' a lot. As a fellow user of the word 'Darling' as a term of endearment, I only ever get up to the levels of peppering she achieves when I have a couple of double shot Mintyshakes. Rainbow Dash throws it around like it's going out of style. So, without context, what does she do? To me, a multicoloured mane would scream something like 'Constantly Throwing Rave Parties'. Saying 'Darling' a lot is honestly all that stick with me about her. The only other character I remember is Whistle Thistle. Or Thistle Whistle, I can't remember. She has a lisp and whistles most of her dialogue instead of speaking. Why? Because...Pony Mitosis and Friendship. What was the plot again? Right, right! The sock-obsessed klutz decides she wants to go find Santa. So she gets in a hot air balloon and toddles right over there. Seriously. All the way to the...the...Smorth Smole or Narnia or I have no idea. We see .2 of a femtosecond of Santa's workshop before bad wind carries Minty off into the distance, far away from her target. Now, Whistle Thistle Missile has been following her the entire time. She grabs hold of the balloon and attempts to drag it out of the harsh winds but miserably fails. Thistle Whistle Missile Gristle is tangled up in the balloon's dangling ropes, carried away into a convenient gorge so that some not-tention can happen. Part of the reason why I could not focus on this show for however long I watched it was that it just doesn't have anything to really latch on to. Plots are kinda gutless. Most of the run time is made up of songs that don't go anywhere or impart anything other than a vague theme. The 'Isn't Christmas Wonderful' song is trotted out at the beginning and at the end of the movie to tease a little more air time out of it. God-awful? No, but please don't ask me to remember it because I simply can't. Oh! There's another pony that wears shades. That is her soul characteristic. Smurfs are more complex than this. The show also sucks out tension from any scene. A half-decent show should be able to make a hot air balloon caught in a raging wind vaguely interesting. Lots of gushing storms, caught on a branch, dangling over death and crying out for help as the balloon slips ever closer to catastrophe. The movie's idea of a 'storm' was some...'bad clouds'. There didn't seem to be any visible wind to give the impression of a treacherous gust. The balloon just missed it's target and carried on. And dangling over a pit was overshadowed by the plethora of pegasi (who don't seem to have their own segregated community) and ponies flying with hot air balloons of their own into the clouds with no trouble at all. Minty and Thistle Whistle Bristle Gristle and a Doobie Doobie Do were in trouble for about five minutes with no real issue. The balloon fell just as another pony was underneath to catch them. Again, another show might show the depth of the drop or the sensation of vertigo so we feel just as scared. We might see something fall into the pit to show it's not messing around. Maybe even show something hazardous at the bottom like molten lava or...sock eating macaques. This doesn't do anything like this. This peril that's not even remotely related to the plot is resolved in less than it takes to drink a cup of tea. The brief moment where the movie attempts to channel Indiana Jones to wake the audience up a bit So, with Minty and Bristle Whistle Thistle Gristle Ging-gang-goolie-goolie safe and sound, we try to see if Santa is home. He isn't. But it's OK because everypony's safe so big hugs. Then they all glow because something something something friendship and love. The glowy glowy effects all their homes back in Ponyville, to which they return to. They find that the Candy Cane with the power of a thousand candles is fixed and there's a note from Santa, remarking that leaving socks for everyone has given him a good idea. And thus, socks as Christmas Presents became a yearly tradition for all. "Ha ha ha! All shall bow before Famotenp, the Sock God of Old and wear only one sock for it was commanded by him to absolve us of our sinful use of Magic Mirrors!" This Generation of the show is way too easy to mock. It's got no real life to it. It's fluff; through and through. The episodes I saw were just an instruction manual for how to play with your pony toys if you have no imagination. "Can't think of what you pony should act like? How about a sock-obsessed embarrassment to all she knows that can't do anything right? Or whistles instead of speaks? Or just wants to have fun? Or likes baking? Or...I dunno, kid. I can't think with a three-shot Mintyshake in me." I'm I being fair? I dunno but I can only report on my own experiences. Heck, if I was at least closer to the age demographic this thing is aimed at, I'd be shunning it just because it's exactly the kind of 'girly crap' I'd never be seen dead watching. Even now, I couldn't bring myself to keep my attention on it for longer than a second. I've sat through bizarre, and horribly boring movies before but still could tell you all about them but this was like mental teflon. I could not grip onto this so I could not find a use for it other than to make the occasional joke at. It does make me curious what earlier versions of the show are like. Allegedly, they're much better, if a little mad. Remember, 3rd Gen was released between 2003 and roughly 2009, with only a few extra episodes released with toys after that until Hasbro threw the property at Lauren Faust and went 'Go on tuts! We ain't doin' anythin' wid it!' Gen 1 has the benefit of being released in the 80's, which makes it a little weird because they would make anything into a cartoon back then, often with bizarre results. Gen 2 technically only exists as merch, with the only animated appearance being in a computer game (My Little Pony Friendship Gardens). They got no TV show, just repackaged Gen 1 DVDs. I'll think I'll need a fabled 4-shot Mintyshake before I tackle that one. "Do whatcha like, kid! I gots money to swim in!" Yes, this is what I think of Hasbro. It's hard not to considering the other movies and products they push. - Recommended Reading @A Jewel of Rarity has closed down Cloudsdale Gathering Forums. Instead, he's helping us out (by being generally awesome) and turned the old site into a portfolio. Keep an eye on it and you might see some of JoR's work pop up on there. Also, a view counter? Party like it's 1999! Though drawing the line at a guest book is a smart move. A doodler by the name of @Sun Surfer shared a few bits on his blog. Seem neat though, whatcha think? Recolour or redrawn? @MorphinBrony carries on where I have faltered and delivers a review of AKIRA for the Amiga from 1994. So, I well approve! Graphics look appealing enough but movie tie in games have the worst reputations. I have a bad feeling about this. @Poisonous Nightmare continues to keep us abreast of random things that fall into her lap. This time: California plans to leave the U.S.A in what's being called 'Caliexit'. Take it from the Brit, it's not something you can just take lightly! Also, Games and how 'Addictive' they can/can't be? I'm going to be that guy and point out that games don't alter brain chemistry so they're not 'Addictive' but they can be 'Compulsive'. Still, it's an interesting topic to raise so, throw your two cents in and see what you might be able to hash out. @Flippyman built a Tabletop RPG for kids. Interesting idea though I've no plans to play it myself. Anyone else interested? @ndogmario has decided to think like a Hasbro Executive and figure out how the hell you could turn a few simple games into a movie. Do you think he managed something worth while or should just go past go, directly to jail? Bad pun is bad but I'm not taking it back now. Canadian BBZ fans. You might want to look at this. After the Deadlock Episode with 'My Body is Ready' Regie himself, I think a chat about whether the console as we know it is fading away is worth having. You want to say 'good bye' to another DS or Wii? You think it would benefit us all? Or would it just leave a hole that no one else is filling? You decide. There! Hopefully, I won't have quite as much a gap as before. Though, I plan to make a 'Best/Worst of Season 6' video at some point so...might take a while. I'm off for that legendary Four Shot Minty Shake and a Sock Worship Session. See you later!