625 & 626 – “To Where and Back Again”

Written by: Josh Haber, Michael Vogel
Without the assistance of Twilight Sparkle and the Mane Six, Starlight Glimmer must work alone to assemble an unlikely team of heroes to defend Equestria from the return of one of its greatest threats.; To rescue her friends and save Equestria, Starlight Glimmer leads an unlikely band of heroes against on of the ponies’ oldest and greatest foes.

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Legacy Records, Sony’s catalog music division, has announced a series of vinyl releases for Black Friday (November 25th) and MLP will be included with a new album entitle, “Expore Equestria Greatest Hits”. Below is a description of the item according to the Legacy press release:

My Little Pony – Explore Equestria Greatest Hits (Hasbro Studios/Legacy Recordings)
Hasbro Studios, the Los Angeles-based entertainment division of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), announced the release of a new My Little Pony album, Explore Equestria Greatest Hits, just in time for the holidays. The new album, which includes a collection of top tracks from seasons 1-5 of Hasbro’s hit animated television series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is now available as a special edition Record Store Day vinyl record pressed with colorful Pony artwork.

Explore Equestria Greatest Hits includes 16 original tracks performed by the cast of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’s ‘Mane 6’ – Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Pinkie Pie – as well as other popular characters from the series. Each of the songs is produced by Emmy Award nominated composer and songwriter Daniel Ingram.

This will be the second vinyl release after “Magical Friendship Tour” was sold exclusively at Hot Topic in 2014 containing songs from Seasons 1-3. The stores sold both a Celestia and a Luna variant–each with a pair of songs exclusive to that variant.

There have been four soundtracks pertaining to the show, four soundtracks for each of the four Equestria Girls films, a re-mix album, and a Christmas album (with an update). Again, “Explore Equestria Greatest Hits” is set to release in vinyl form on Friday, November 25th.


So two unicorns, a draconequus, and a changeling travel to save their friends from an evil queen. Actually, I’m getting ahead of myself like Tiny Pop UK was ahead of everyone. Anyway, Starlight received an invitation to come back to her old village for a sunset celebration. She had a bad dream about it, but Princess Luna enters the dream suggesting that she consult the Mane Six on what to do. They suggest bringing a friend along, so Starlight takes Trixie (much to Twilight’s disappointment).

The get to the village, but when asked to help judged a competition among other things, Starlight panics and leaves in a hurry with Trixie. Starlight tries to talk to the Mane Six and Spike about it, but find they are acting very strange. As it turns out, they aren’t them, they are changelings who have taken their place and have taken the rest of the Royal Family. (They are probably not going to tell us how, so don’t ask.) Thorax tells of the news from the Crystal Empire and they look to Starlight for guidance. Discord appears and joins the party since he wants to rescue Fluttershy.

So MLP’s version of “Suicide Squad” travels to the Changeling Kingdom, but they cannot use their magic as Queen Chrysalis has a magic nullifying-throne. Destroy that, get your magic and your friends back. One plan is to use a password to make sure they are them and not changelings. It’s gets a bit tricky, but one thing to note is that since Thorax made a friend in Spike, he no longer feels hungry for love. Oh, and his wings are a different color than normal.

When initially discovered, they use Trixie’s smoke bombs to get past one stage, then Discord’s “annoying personality” to get past another. But eventually, Discord gets captured as the changelings disguise themselves as Fluttershy. Sensing the Discord they have is an imposter, Trixie then sacrifices herself to allow Starlight and Thorax to escape.

Starlight enters the throne room to discover her friends and the royals trapped in cocoons up top, and Chrysalis waiting for her. Chrysalis pulls a Mane-iac by not thinking much of Starlight to use a drone for her, but Throax had already done that and Chrysalis goes after the real Starlight. The Queen’s plan is to use her drones to harvest all the love in Equestria so they can feed for generations.

However, Starlight tries to convince Chrysalis that she doesn’t need to do that since Throax learned to share love, Chrysalis dismisses that claiming a changeling’s hunger is never satisfied and tries to drain the love from Thorax. Starlight then tells Thorax to let her have all of it, and he does just that turning into something more colorful. The rest of the changelings follow, destroying the throne and freeing the ponies above. Starlight tries to reason with Chrysalis one more time that she doesn’t have to be an oppressive leader (and not just because she is facing the prospect of five princesses, a prince, a draconequus, six more magical ponies, and a baby dragon with daggers in their eyes.), but the latter rejects the offer vowing revenge as she takes her leave.

The rescuers and the rescued apart from Thorax head back to the village to celebrate with Starlight more self-confident and the season ends with Discord and Trixie on flying pigs.

So something different and amazing. We wondered where Season Six would take us in the finale. We knew that Thorax might be playing a part, but no one expected Trixie and Discord to play the same and in the role of rescuers. It’s also about some of the lessons Starlight, Thorax, Discord, and even Trixie have learned over the course of the season. Starlight is Twilight’s pupil and is forced to lead a project without her’s or the Mane Six’s assistance. Thorax, from his friendship with Spike, has learned there is a way to get love without resorting to force and is willing to help. Discord, well to say he’s a bit clingy to Fluttershy is an understatement, but it’s through her that he is on relatively good terms with the Mane Six. Trixie hasn’t gotten along well with the Mane Six in the past on the show—especially Twilight—but is Starlight’s friend and is making an effort to support her in a time of need.

The banter between Discord and Trixie is genius and fans will undoubtedly want more of that in the future. One wonders when the Changelings will return to the fold—likely Season Seven—but it does set up an interesting and potential story line in the future. The Mane Six and Spike play no rea direct role in this one (and this is the third time in six season finales that at least six of them have been captured at some point), but there are indirect roles from Twilight (to Starlight), Spike (to Thorax), to Fluttershy (her friendship with Discord). So another potential plot for next season would be how much the Mane Six and Spike have influenced others, but that’s really going back to Season Four on that one.

The only issue here is that there is a possible plot hole since odds are that the changelings are still in the three castles—Canterlot, Crystal Empire, and in Ponyville—and unless there it’s addressed in Season Seven or a chapter book, it’s a plot hole. There will be some who will take issue with the sudden events towards the end, but I won’t be one of them.

Really, this was a good season. It only really suffers because the top tier episodes from Seasons Four and Five are top tier for the whole series. I’ll elaborate more on that in the season review (read:  respond to this). So that’s MLP Season Six and it was an enjoyable season if not all mindblowing (Season Four) or emotionally absorbing (Season Five). That’s all for now. More later.

Pluses and Minuses:
  • +  Background of the Changeling Kingdom
  • +  Equestria’s Suicide Squad
  • +  Discord and Trixie banter
  • +  Starlight Glimmer and Thorax
  • +  Something different for a season finale
  • –  You’re changelings are still in your castle



Preview for “To Where and Back Again”

A preview for Saturday’s episode and the season 6 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is now available!

IDW Solicitations for January 2017


We have the solicitations for My Little Pony comics coming in January! Find out what’s in the future after the break.

Read more →

On Monday, Hasbro announced their earnings for the third quarter of 2016 and it was the highest revenue and earnings quarter in the history of the companyNet revenues are at $1.68 billion, up 14% from this time last year. Net earnings reached $257.8 million compared to $207.6 million last year.

Like the last pair of quarters, revenues and earnings were buoyed by Star WarsDisney Princess, and Disney’s Frozen toy lines. Expect the former to continue to grow with Star Wars:  Rogue One coming out this December.

Franchise brands grew 2% with gains for Transformers, Magic: the Gathering, Nerf (for the 15th straight quarter), and Play-Doh (which grew for the 20th straight quarter). My Little Pony was not among the gainers, though emphasis continues to be placed towards the 2017 movie in addition to the new mobile app game “My Little Pony:  Puzzle Party” that was released last week.

“The My Little Pony franchise continued to drive brand awareness through the strategic use of entertainment, pop culture events and consumer products expansion,” said Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. “In a very competitive small doll segment, our holiday items and new launches are beginning to drive POS gains in many markets around the world. In 2017, the My Little Pony movie will bring global audiences to all new worlds, with both the core cast of characters, along with all new characters.”

Again, it appears MLP is still in a bit of a transitional period as the movie approaches as well as a seventh season. Puzzle Party promises to be addictive (and costly if you want to get to level 143) while the Gameloft game is still a top 100 adventure game app. If we’re being honest, this has been a bit of a low-key year which was bound to happen. However, things might just pick up again with a 2017 movie and a 7th season.

The press releases are fast and furious this Tuesday. After announcing HASCON for September, Hasbro issued a press release detailing that MLP Season 7 will indeed air on Discovery Family starting next Spring in addition to three Equestria Girl specials (each 22 minutes in length) on the channel that follows the event of “Legend of Everfree”. Also, the full list of guest voices for My Little Pony: The Movie set to come out onOctober 6th, 2017.

Below is the full press release:

Hasbro Announces My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 7 and New My Little Pony: Equestria GirlsSpecials for 2017

PAWTUCKET, R.I., OCT 18, 2016 – Today Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS), a global play and entertainment company, announces the 2017 return of two of the company’s most popular series – My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic andMy Little Pony: Equestria Girls.

The franchise’s iconic ‘Mane 6’ ponies will experience their most exciting adventures yet in Season 7 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The series will return to Discovery Family Channel in Spring 2017.

The spirited teens of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls will also return with three brand new TV specials in 2017. These brand new 22-minute specials will follow this year’s popular “Legends of Everfree” TV movie with more fun, fashion and friendship than ever before.

Both of these renewals will help drive excitement for Hasbro’s previously announced animated feature film My Little Pony: The Movie, which will premiere worldwide on October 6, 2017. The film features the voices of some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including nominated actress Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), winning actress Emily Blunt (Into the Woods, Gnomeo & Juliet), winning actress Kristen Chenoweth (Rio 2, The Peanuts Movie), Taye Diggs (Murder in the First and Best Man Holiday), Michael Pena (Ant-Man, The Martian), nominated actor Liev Schrieber (Ray Donovan and Spotlight) and pop super star Sia.

“2017 will be the biggest year in the history of the My Little Pony franchise, including new and exciting stories that will air across television, various digital platforms and movie screens,” said Stephen Davis, EVP and Chief Content Officer of Hasbro. “The characters and humor of the My Little Pony brand appeals to audiences of all ages and demographics, and we think Pony fans are going love what’s in store in the coming year.”

INSIGHT:  Consistent with the belief that Hasbro is ramping up things in 2017 for MLP, this is proof positive that everything will be building up to the movie. Of course, it is unclear at present whether Season 7 will consist of 26 episodes or not. Regardless, the show is all but certain to reach the 150-episode milestone. It will be interesting how EqG will translate into three TV specials vs. one 66-minute feature and surely some intrigue follows after the adventures at Camp Everfree. The list of celebrity voices for the movie are all that were announced previously. We’ve only received bit and pieces for a couple (Schrieber and Blunt) while we know what kind of pony Sia will play.

It is suffice to say that after a relatively low-key 2016 for MLP, 2017 will be anything but in Equestria.