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Lesson Zero 

Clip
2:01 | Clip
Twilight panics when she can't find a lesson about friendship for her weekly letter to the princess.

Directors:

James Wootton (as James 'Wootie' Wootton), Jayson Thiessen

Writers:

Lauren Faust (developed for television by), Meghan McCarthy
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Tara Strong ... Twilight Sparkle (voice)
Ashleigh Ball ... Applejack / Rainbow Dash (voice)
Andrea Libman ... Pinkie Pie / Fluttershy (voice)
Tabitha St. Germain ... Rarity / Mrs. Cake / Bon Bon (voice)
Cathy Weseluck ... Spike / Mayor Mare / Dizzy Twister (voice)
Nicole Oliver ... Princess Celestia (voice)
Michelle Creber ... Apple Bloom (voice)
Madeleine Peters Madeleine Peters ... Scootaloo (voice)
Claire Margaret Corlett ... Sweetie Belle (voice) (as Claire Corlett)
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Storyline

Twilight panics when she can't find a lesson about friendship for her weekly letter to the princess.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Certificate:

TV-Y | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Release Date:

15 October 2011 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Derpy Hooves, the fan-favorite pegasus with crazy eyes, can be seen briefly in the train at 00:44 during the intro, flying above the crowd at 17:05 and 17:55 and finally fighting with the Mayor over the plush at 17:55. See more »

Goofs

Twilight Sparkle's hair is neat in the wide shot of her and Celestia in the library with Spike looking on. In the tight shot, her hair is unkempt. See more »

Quotes

Twilight Sparkle: I can't believe I wasted all that time. I should have just come here first. Fluttershy always has some fear she's trying to get over.
[Twilight arrives at Fluttershy's home to find her apparently wrestling a bear]
Twilight Sparkle: Fluttershy?
[Fluttershy continues to beat up the bear, and snap his neck]
Twilight Sparkle: How could this be happening? Of all the days she had to stop being such a scaredy-pony, she had to pick today! What am I going to do?
[she leaves]
Fluttershy: [...]
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Connections

Spoofs The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

My Little Pony Theme Song
(uncredited)
Written by Daniel Ingram
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User Reviews

 
Lesson brilliance and far from zero
18 November 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

It must not have been easy being the first episode after the two parter, "The Return of Harmony", that began Season 2 and be equal to it. Because that two parter delivered so much on very high expectations and both parts were equally great, let down solely by the rushed and anti-climactic ending of the second part. Hoped that "Lesson Zero" would be at least equal to it and perhaps even better it, while hoping that it would not be a step down.

"Lesson Zero" is a long way from a step down. The complete opposite in fact and actually thought it was even better than "The Return of Harmony", having all of that two parter's strengths and improving in quality while not having an ending that disappointed. "Lesson Zero" also stood out as being the best episode in a long time for two of the show's characters, Twilight Sparkle (essential considering that it is a generally Twilight-centric episode) and Spike.

For one thing, "Lesson Zero" is a great looking episode, always have really liked the animation for 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' but one could see in "The Return of Harmony" and here that the quality had advanced by quite a bit. While the colours positively pop out at you, the drawing expressive and the backgrounds are rich in detail and nuance, it's the facial expressions that really steal the show here in "Lesson Zero". Being a great mix of funny and disturbing, which actually turned out to be a great mix and never came over as too goofy or too scary. The music is a mix of lush, lively, haunting and funky, while the theme song has yet to grate on me.

Also found "Lesson Zero" to be a masterpiece when it comes to the writing and the characterisations, and there are some very memorable parts that showcase all of the Mane-6 better than quite a number of episodes from the still solid in general (though not without its missteps) Season 1. The mix of humour, tension and pathos are brilliantly done, a mix that has not been this seamlessly executed, not saying that some of the best of Season 1 and "The Return of Harmony" didn't have that (they did) but in this case it was quite special, in a while. The dialogue is hilarious, tense and touching, balanced beautifully together and executed just as beautifully individually. The story is always compelling and filled to the brim with energy, didn't find the ending contrived at all.

The characterisation here is spot on, where nobody is out of character or annoying and everybody has time to shine with full impact. One does feel for Twilight, who is brilliantly showcased here and never is there a bland or annoying moment, anything mean-spirited or anything out of character. And it was so great to have more of Spike and for him to be somewhat of the voice of reason in one particular bit instead of the jerk that he was in the disappointing "Owl's Well that Ends Well" (one of the two worst episodes of Season 1 along with "Over a Barrel"). The other characters also shine, with one of the highlights being Fluttershy's fight scene, exciting and disturbing in a way not seen to this extent in previous episodes. Pinkie Pie and Twilight seeming to compete for who can act craziest the most, which was entertaining, while Applejack and Rarity are very funny. Big Mac has a pretty hilarious moment as well. The voice acting is terrific, top honours going to Tara Strong in her best voice work of the show up to this point.

Overall, brilliant. 10/10


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