Friday, May 31, 2013

Fridays Are Magic: Musical Edition!

"Yes, fine, I suppose I could become a staggeringly
popular character among the brony fanbase
despite never having an actual line."
What? No, I'm not planning on singing. I mean, even if I was, how would you hear it? This is text. I mean, I guess I could write this post in prose, give it a rhyme scheme and a definite meter, but... nah.

No, this post is about another one of the aspects of Friendship is Magic that I dearly love: the musical numbers. Yeah, that's right; if the brightly colored magical ponies weren't threatening enough to one's masculinity, they went and made them sing. And, with a few exceptions, they're pretty great at it.

And so, without further ado, I present to you my ten favorite songs from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. And we're kicking it off with the Cutie Mark Crusaders, so have your insulin and toothpaste on standby.

#10: The CMC's Talent Show Song

The Cutie Mark Crusaders are awesome. Let's be clear on that. A group of three young friends who haven't yet discovered their special talents, their adventures have taken them in all sorts of bizarre directions. They've hunted monsters in the Everfree Forest. They've drugged Cheerilee and Big Macintosh into falling in love. They've written a ruthless gossip column for a smaller, pinker, and more evil version of J. Jonah Jameson. Oh, and once they accidentally unleashed a demonic chaos god from his eternal prison.

This gem is from one of their earliest episodes, in which they decided to enter a talent show and see if they could earn their cutie marks by performing an amazing 80's cheese rock ballad.

They could not.

#9: Giggle at the Ghosties

This is the first song the show ever had (excepting the theme song, I mean), dating way back to the original two-part pilot. It's catchy and fun, and you've got to love Twilight's absolute befuddlement at Pinkie's utter weirdness.

#8: Smile Smile Smile

It's kind of weird that one of the show's best and most popular songs comes from an episode I don't really like. I mean, it's not a bad episode, it's just... Pinkie's kind of a jerk.

The episode revolves around a newcomer, Cranky Doodle Donkey (yeah), arriving in Ponyville. The poor guy has wandered the world for decades, searching for his lost love, and he's finally given up and decided to just settle down and live out the rest of his life in peace. And Pinkie will not leave him the hell alone. She's obnoxious, she's irritating, she destroys his treasured personal possessions, and all because she can't accept the idea that someone might not like her.

Sure, in the end, she reunites Cranky with his lost love and everything ends happily ever after. But still. Gorram, Pinkie.

Nevertheless, this song is great. And if you aren't smiling along by the end of it, you may not have a soul.

#7: Bad Seed

Easily one of the best songs in Season 3, this came about as a result of Apple Bloom's cousin, Babs Seed, visiting from Manehattan. Despite seeming pretty nice to start, once Babs met Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara, she "turned to the Dark Side" (thanks, Scootaloo) and went bully on them.

Of course, it turned out that Babs was getting bullied pretty badly back home, and this was just a way of escaping that and being on the winning side for once. Which they discover after almost killing her.

CMC don't mess around, yo.

#6: Find a Pet

This song was actually up for an Emmy last year, but lost out to some stupid chorus number from The Penguins of Madagascar. Complete robbery, if you ask me.

Anyway, the song pretty much explains itself. Rainbow Dash realizes she's the only member of the Mane Six without a pet, and asks Fluttershy to help her identify a compatible animal and commit it to a life of servitude.

#5: At the Gala

Dude, I love this song. Really, this is the point in the list where things kind of blur together, because I absolutely adore these next five entries. Ranking them was not easy.

Anyway. The first season's arc, if it could be called such, was about the girls preparing to attend the Grand Galloping Gala, which, despite its name, is the premiere annual event among the aristocratic elite in Canterlot. Finally, after months of anticipation and buildup, they've arrived, each one filled to bursting with hope and excitement that, tonight, their dreams will come true.

By the end of the night, most of Canterlot Palace is in ruins. It is fantastic.

#4: Becoming Popular (The Pony Everypony Should Know)

Speaking of the aristocratic elite, this song comes from the season two episode "Sweet and Elite," wherein Rarity goes to Canterlot, has a lucky run-in with an influential nobleman named Fancy Pants (yes), and turns out to pretty much rock at the whole hobnobbing thing.

This is one of those things that makes Rarity such a fascinating character; normally, someone whose driving ambition is to achieve popularity among the upper crust would be an antagonist, or at least shown as misguided. Instead, while she does meet a couple of real pricks, Rarity's ascension through the social strata is portrayed not just sympathetically, but with admiration.

What's that? I already did a long-winded post talking about how great Rarity is just last week? Right, then. Onward.

#3: Winter Wrap-Up

So, in Equestria, natural weather patterns aren't a thing.

Massive, city-wide, choreographed show numbers, however, totally are.

Equestria rocks.

#2: Art of the Dress

Apparently, this song's a pastiche of "Putting it Together" from a musical called Sunday in the Park With George. I dunno, I'd never heard of it before. But regardless, this one comes from the very first Rarity-centric episode, "Suited for Success," and ties in with the previous "At the Gala" song. Early on in preparation for the Gala, Rarity got the idea to design new dresses for each of her friends, since none of them had anything suitably fabulous to wear to the event. Over the course of the episode, she works herself into a nervous breakdown trying to meet their idiotic demands, never complaining or even passive-aggressively suggesting that maybe they ought to consider that the fashion artiste might know what she's doing.

And this song is about that. And I love it to pieces. (It's also the birth of the "20% Cooler" meme. Thanks, Dashie.)

#1: The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000

It's a parody of "Ya Got Trouble" from The Music Man. (With a few shades of "Monorail" from The Simpsons, which was itself a parody of "Ya Got Trouble.") And it. Is. Absolutely. Freaking. Awesome.

What else is there to say? One day, at the beginning of "cider season," when the Apple family provides fresh-made cider for sale to Ponyville's residents, a pair of smooth-talking, early-20th-century sleazy salesmen arrive with a weird machine that can make cider just as well as the Apples'. Flim and Flam are a couple of complete pricks, but they're hilarious at it, and I have a soft spot for villains who take pleasure in their work.

The song's catchy as hell, it's energetic, it's goofy, it introduces a great pair of antagonists, and it's a tribute to a classic musical that my parents starred in once upon a time. I love this song. You should, too.

And that's it! That's my top ten. Remember, this list is completely and utterly subjective. If you prefer "This Day Aria" or "Raise this Barn" to some of my choices (you weirdo), then more power to you.

Before I go, though, I'd like to leave you with one last video. This one's not from the show itself, but one of the two major abridged series of it. Hope you enjoy!

Friendship is Witchcraft, ladies and gents.

No comments:

Post a Comment