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Saturday, July 12, 2014

DVD Review: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: “Keys Of Friendship”

Keys Of Friendship, the new My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic DVD is a collection of five episodes from the fourth season of the show. It features what for me is one of the best episodes of the entire series, “Pinkie Apple Pie.”

“Rarity Takes Manehattan”

In the first episode, “Rarity Takes Manehattan,” Rarity goes to Manehattan for fashion week, and all the ponies are excited to join her, especially as she bought them tickets to a big musical. Pinkie Pie, of course, is especially excited. “I love jumping up and down,” she exclaims. And there’s a nice moment when Rainbow Dash pokes fun at the idea of musicals, leading of course directly into a song about generosity sung by Rarity. But when she helps out an old acquaintance, that pony rips off her designs, and the city’s harsh side affects Rarity. Rarity sings a second song later. This episode features some sweet messages, including being able to see your friends at their worst without letting that affect your friendship. There is also a funny play on the title of the series.

“Pinkie Apple Pie”

Pinkie Pie is my favorite character. She is the best, no matter what my eight-year-old niece says. The opening moment of “Pinkie Apple Pie” is so funny with Pinkie Pie imitating Twilight Sparkle’s startled scream. And then her delighted and excited reaction to learning about genealogy is absolutely wonderful. She reads she’s related to Applejack. To find out if it’s true, Applejack and her family visit a distant relative. Pinkie Pie joins them on their road trip, leading to a musical number about family. This episode is a total joy, with lots of funny moments, especially related to Pinkie Pie’s scrapbook. The cave scene is particularly hilarious (“Best scary unidentifiable creature ever!”). This is one of my personal favorite episodes of the entire series.

“It Ain’t Easy Being Breezies”

Fluttershy is making things perfect for the Breezies’ journey through town. And when things go wrong, due to a minor problem caused by Spike, Fluttershy leaps to the rescue. But then it’s difficult to let the Breezies go. Some of them are reluctant to leave Fluttershy’s side. Pinkie Pie still has the episode’s best moment. Twilight Sparkle says she’s going to try a spell that might feel funny at first, but the others will just have to trust her. Pinkie Pie shouts out gleefully, “I love new ideas that make me feel funny at first!” And at one point a pony goes by wearing an old pair of 3D glasses – an odd little detail.

“Twilight’s Kingdom, Part 1”

Twilight Sparkle is unsure what her new role as a princess really means. She was hoping for more responsibilities, and sings a song about it. A dark figure, Lord Tirek, enters the kingdom to steal magic, and Discord (voiced by John de Lancie, who is wonderful as always) is brought in to help combat him. But Lord Tirek appeals to Discord’s earlier evil nature and gets him to join him. Objects from earlier episodes play an important part here.

“Twilight’s Kingdom, Part 2”

Princess Celestia’s solution is to remove their magic before Tirek can steal it. They transfer it to Twilight to keep it safe, since Tirek probably is unaware that Twilight is now a princess. Meanwhile Tirek is growing with power, even turning on Discord. Twilight eventually learns her role as a princess, and sings a song at the end.

Bonus Feature

The DVD includes one bonus feature – a sing-along of the song “Generosity,” from the episode “Rarity Takes Manehattan.”

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: “Keys Of Friendship” is scheduled to be released on DVD on July 29, 2014 through Shout! Factory.

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