My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is one of my favourite shows because it has everything that I love; Beautiful animation, loveable and memorable characters, entertaining adventures, timeless morals and a fantastic soundtrack.The ambitious fourth season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic finally wraps itself up this weekend with the two-parter season finale, “Twilight’s Kingdom.” There was alot of hype for the season finale, yet I knew very little about the story itself. For the first time, I avoided many of the clips and early reviews, and finally watched the episode for myself. Did it live up to the hype? let’s see.
One of the most endearing things about this show is the characters. Here, they expectedly stay true to who they have always been, while also facing some unique challenges of their own. There was a lot of controversy in the Brony community in February 2013 when Twilight officially became an alicorn Princess, but if this episode is any indication, it opens the door for so much character development. Twilight’s main struggle this time around is when and how she will play her part along side the already established rulers of Equestria, and it’s executed very well. The rest of the main cast remain loveable and distinct, and while they don’t have as much screen time as the previous two-parters, their roles still leave a heavy impact on the story itself. The only one who gets the short end of the stick is twilight’s assistant Spike, which is a little disappointing, since he is my personal favourite character. The three established princesses (Celestia, Luna and Cadance) are also given a lot more to do then usual, and their presence here is a welcome addition.
The two most interesting characters however, are the villains. The main antagonist Tirek is one of the best villains the show has ever had. aside from his frightening design, he’s intelligent, threatening, and even humorous at times. (many scenes between him and Discord are quite funny) He is not without his flaws however. His plan isn’t made very clear (for example, If you want to rule Equestria, why are you destroying it?) and his character isn’t given as much development as the others, but his presence, personality and intriguing backstory make up for it, and he stands as one of the episodes most memorable characters. The Best character of the entire episode is Discord, the spirit of Chaos. He is given a role that if very similar to Loki from the Marvel films, as he plays the not always reliable ally that ultimately teams up with Tirek to destroy Equestria. His character gets the most development, and every time he’s on screen it’s impossible to look away. he’s just so irresistibly entertaining, and it’s clear that John de lance is having a blast with this role. Discord provides much of the story’s humour, as well as the heart. One scene towards the end between him and his pony friend Fluttershy is particularly heartbreaking.
As expected, the animation is terrific. The folks at DHX have truly outdone themselves when it comes to this two parter, as all of the characters move smoothly and are full of personality. The songs are also well done. The opening song, “You’ll play your part” in particular is a real showstopper, providing us with a very Lion King-Esc number coupled with some of the most beautiful animation the show has to offer. Everything from the shading, to the character animation, to even the environments is highly impressive, and shows just what a long way the show itself has come. The episode’s final battle between Tirek and Twilight is the most effective action sequence the series has ever produced. It’s fast, relentless and, for lack of a better word, epic. I really don’t have any complaints when it comes to the animation, and upon more viewings, It only gets more impressive. One thing that I noticed had been greatly improved is the pacing, as nothing about it feels rushed, despite the disappointingly short running time, clocking in at just under 45 minutes
Twilight’s Kingdom is one of the strongest episodes this franchise has to offer. It’s emotional, exciting, and hilarious all at once. The animation has never been better, the characters are all loveable and there are too many memorable moments to count. much like the recent Marvel film “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” The story told is a big game-changer, and without giving away spoilers, the show’s status quo has definitely been shaken up. The episode gets released on DVD sometime in July, and if you are a fan of the show, you owe it to yourself to see it at least once (Although if you are a fan, I’m sure you’ve seen it already.) And if your not a fan, I still say give it a watch. You’ll find yourself an enjoyable piece of animation that’s just twenty minutes short of being a great feature film. Season 4 has ended on the highest note it possibly can, and it looks like the show has a very bright future.