Sunday, April 6, 2014

March of the Ponies: Fan Episodes (Snowdrop)

[NOTE: Links to other March of the Ponies stories will go here as they are published.Part 1 - Abridged MLP historyPart 2 - Review of Lauren Faust's prior works, Part 3 - MLP Comics (TwilightRainbowDashRarityFluttershyPinkiePieApplejackCMCs/Celestia,Spike/LunaNightmare Rarity arc (main series)), Part 4 - Equestria Girls review, Part 5 - Fan-made episodes (Dusk's Dawn, Double Rainboom), Part 6 - Fan works (Music, Doctor Whooves, Parody/Abridged Series, Fanfictions), Part 7 - Season Reviews: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Magical Mystery Cure, Season 4 (to date)]

Technically, I shouldn't count this as a true fan-made episode because it doesn't reach the 20-minute mark, which even then would make this the shortest MLP episode. But it's close enough that a proper framing device could make it work (heck, Friendship is Witchcraft proved this episode works well when framed around another plot), so I'll talk about it.

Snowdrop is an episode produced by Silly Filly Studios about the blind pegasus who created the first true snowflakes.

To touch on the animation briefly, it's once again surprisingly close to show quality. It's definitely not on Double Rainboom's level, but I'd say it's more than halfway to DR from Dusk's Dawn.

It's clear the animators worked hard to give this world an atmosphere, so I'd say the backgrounds in this are stronger than DR, but the actual pony motions don't flow as smoothly.

Still, given the limited budget constrictions, I will say I'm impressed.

One of the best scenes in the story.
The writing gets really good in the second half of this story. I like that Snowdrop's inspiration for the snowflake comes from childhood love of the sound of stars twinkling, and the theme that being overlooked doesn't make something less valid is a great message to show with this character. The fact that Princess Luna is the one who connects with that message most is also a nice touch.

Where I feel the story wasn't at its best was the beginning where all the ponies, specifically the teacher and mother, are irresponsible with how they take care of this filly. The bullies were also unrealistically cruel.

These traits could have been downplayed a little more and Snowdrop could have shown more optimism in the face of this tough world and the message would have still hit it mark. I feel like Snowdrop's character in the first half had her personality sacrificed to make her a martyr, and that kind of ethos doesn't sit well with a lot of viewers.

That said, I know it works for some people and I'm sure this group is counted in that. It's just that I'd have preferred the character be more like Toph and see what could be a weakness as a strength.

Overall, I'd say this hit the highest notes of any of the fan-made episodes, though it was not as consistent as DR. With a proper framing device, I'd like to see the series try to incorporate this into the mythos. It's a cool look into the winter origins.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment