The Cutie Mark Crusaders set out on saving a rodeo in Appleloosa from the infamous outlaw, Troubleshoes Clyde.The Cutie Mark Crusaders set out on saving a rodeo in Appleloosa from the infamous outlaw, Troubleshoes Clyde.The Cutie Mark Crusaders set out on saving a rodeo in Appleloosa from the infamous outlaw, Troubleshoes Clyde.
"Appleoosa's Most Wanted" was Season 5's first disappointment and one of its misfires. The premise was good but the execution on the most part wasn't. It's not a complete waste of time (few episodes of 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' are), but it should have been much better and much more interesting than it was and as far as Cutie Mark Crusader-centric episodes go "Appleoosa's Most Wanted" to me is definitely down there with the worst and towards the bottom when ranking the show's episodes overall.
Does "Appleoosa's Most Wanted" have good things? Absolutely. The animation has vibrancy and atmosphere with the attention to detail in the backgrounds and expressions being quite rich and never cluttered or static. The music fits beautifully with the setting and the tone and has character and nice use of instruments as usual. The voice acting on the whole is fine.
Some of the comedy was mildly amusing, especially the harmonica gag early on. The moral is well intended, relatable and handled with sincerity.
For all those good things, "Appleoosa's Most Wanted" has a number of bad things. The worst thing about it is the story, which on top of having very little original about it struck me as rather silly and forced. As well as bland, the conflict is next to none (or at least it feels like there is hardly any) and any signs of it has no tension whatsoever. Namely because of the source of the conflict Troubleshoes having potential on paper but being practically wasted in the episode itself due to the lack of distinct personality (too derivative of Eeyore and his development felt on the rushed side), and the predictability. Once again, the Cutie Mark Crusaders' treatment here is far too cruel, and because the conflict is so bland it felt like here it was for no reason.
Have seen the Cutie Mark Crusaders a good deal more likeable and competent in other episodes before and since, their actions showed good intentions but came over as too rash and too random and they should have stuck up for Troubleshoes much earlier. The whole cutie mark thing could have been elaborated upon more as that didn't make enough sense. Found myself frustrated by Applejack here, her and Applebloom's sister relationship has often been done with a lot of heart and relatability, but here it was quite disheartening seeing Applejack being unsympathetic and not a good listener. Worse are the adult characters, not only are none of them interesting they are also very obnoxious and stupid (especially the truly inept sherriff). You know you're in trouble when Troubleshoes is the least bad of the lot and still managed to be a missed opportunity.
Generally the episode didn't have enough laughs and it was difficult to connect with it emotionally. The writing was forced (that's including the Troubleshoes slapstick), dull and lacking in wit and intelligence, with too many conveniences, and much of the pace is pedestrian from the story feeling too thin and sometimes even padded on top of its other problems.
Summing, not awful but a misfire. 4/10
- Dec 3, 2020