When Spike and the Mane 6 are literally sucked into a magic superhero comic book, they have to play out its main characters' story to be released.When Spike and the Mane 6 are literally sucked into a magic superhero comic book, they have to play out its main characters' story to be released.When Spike and the Mane 6 are literally sucked into a magic superhero comic book, they have to play out its main characters' story to be released.
For me, "Power Ponies" is towards being one of the better Spike-centric episodes and is one of Season 4's most underrated. Not one of the season's very best and there are definitely far better episodes of 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' in general, but it is to me one of the better ones of the first half of the season and executes a great concept very well on the most part. Didn't think it was pointless at all. "Power Ponies" is almost as good as the "Princess Twilight Sparkle" two parter and "Castle Mane-ia" and much better than the previous two episodes.
Is "Power Ponies" perfect? No it isn't. Twilight is very underwritten here and actually doesn't do very much, her power is also the least inspired of the Mane 6 as well.
Did, like some other fans, find the ending too much of a cop-out and anti-climactic, as well as bewildering. Maybe some of the dialogue early on is a little exposition-heavy.
"Power Ponies" has so much that is great though. The animation continues to be wonderful and it is hard to not admire how much this aspect improved drastically (not that it was bad to begin with, far from it, but it was truly fabulous for almost the whole season) over-time and this season was one of the show's best-looking ones. Loved the vibrant colours and how detailed the backgrounds are, a major standout animation-wise being Fluttershy's transformation. One of my favourite moments of Season 4, of the early seasons and of the show, not just for the visual splendour but also how much it left me in awe and feeling emotional. The music is a long way from phoned in, it's quirky, atmospheric and dynamic, never at odds with the action in placement or tone.
The writing is on the most part very well done, if the exposition was a little less early on it for me would have been blameless. Some people will disagree with this and fair enough. The humour is especially good, there is plenty of it and not only does all of it work and none of it forced or tired but it is at its best hilarious. Absolutely loved Rarity in much of Season 4 and she is funny and cool here, her power one of the most creative. Pinkie Pie's character writing is a lot less forced here too in comparison to the previous episodes. The story is as intriguing and creative as its concept, with some truly inspired powers (especially Rarity's and Fluttershy's) and beautifully animated and thrillingly choreographed action. The episode really does make the absolute most of the comic book setting and one is immediately immersed in the world created and that feeling is never left.
Further nailed, or near nailed (if Twilight was more interesting it would have been perfect) is the characterisation. Rarity was the most fun to watch, but the most interesting and best developed was Fluttershy, quite complex here. The Mane 6 all serve a point in the story and apart from Twilight play major roles. Was very impressed with Spike's writing too, he tends to be a hit and miss character and personally dislike a good deal of his episodes. Here though is an example of an episode with him as the main focus since "Secret of My Excess" (and does it even better here) being a character that has strengths and flaws, rather than useless and annoying. The villain is deliciously insane. The voice acting is great, especially from Andrea Libman, killing it as Fluttershy, and Ellen Kennedy, having a whale of a time as Mane-iac (who certainly lives up to her name).
Overall, very good. 8/10
- Sep 3, 2020