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2019 mid-season special - Rainbow Roadtrip

Discussion in 'Episode Discussion' started by Loganberry, 27 June 2019.

  1. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

    16 May 2012
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    Air Date: 29th June 2019

    Written by: Kim Beyer-Johnson

    Synopsis: "When Twilight Sparkle and her friends arrive in Hope Hollow, they find the town and all its residents completely devoid of colour – their dream vacation is starting to feel more like a nightmare!"

    The official synopses I could find for this special give away a little bit too much, partly because a book based on the special has already been published, so I've deliberately edited them down to what you see above. Anyway, this is something brand new for the show: it's being made by Boulder Media, not DHX -- and it's also being animated in Toon Boom Harmony as the movie was, not Flash as the show is.

    There are suggestions, though I don't think they've been fully confirmed, that this will effectively be a cut-down version of what the movie sequel would have been if we'd got one. Obviously this won't have a movie budget, so don't expect animation quite on the level we saw on the big screen in 2017. From what I understand, this special will run for 60 minutes not including commercial breaks, and so will be significantly longer than "Best Gift Ever".

    Anyway, discussion is now open!

    Please remember to use spoiler tags as appropriate until 24 hours after this special has aired on Discovery Family. Thanks! :)
    DerpyWhooves, Robshi and Blissful690 like this.
  2. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

    16 May 2012
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    Interesting that nobody has commented on Kim Beyer-Johnson being the writer for this one. I suspect "Sweet and Smoky" has helped there -- if all we had to go on for K B-J's Pony career was "Non-Compete Clause" there might well be a lot more concern being expressed. I don't have massive expectations for "Rainbow Roadtrip", but if we get an hour of reasonable entertainment then I'll be happy, I think. :)
  3. moody magpie

    moody magpie One shall stand, one shall fall.

    8 October 2013
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    Well I was thinking today oh goodie more pony fun before the mid season break, unfortunately episode 14 got aired early in China (deep joy!)
  4. Bridle Timeout

    Bridle Timeout I Love Twilight Sparkle

    3 March 2013
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    I liked it. :)

    I'll admit, I didn't have too many expectations going into it, but I thought this was a nice special. There wasn't a massive amount of action, but the mane 6 were just being themselves, and in the process, helping and inspiring others. :)

    The show, and indeed the franchise in general, has always made use of bright colours, but in its own way, I think the fact that it was animated in the movie style kind of helped drive home just how grey Hope Hollow was.

    The songs were okay, not amazing, though.

    I did like the new characters, though, particularly the two little pegasi that Rainbow helped, and Torque. :)

    It had its "toyetic" moment when Twi showed off her "wing bling" :p

    I'm not sure this needed to be an hour, but it was still a nice hour. :)
    Blissful690 likes this.
  5. Zero Motion

    11 June 2018
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    Just watched the special, got to it a bit late due to work.
    This special was something different, Rainbow is my least fave mane six yet a special that seemed dedicated to her didn't exactly revolve around her as I expected it to.
    I went into this, especially after the start where they crash land and no one greets them thinking it was gonna be like the season 5 premiere with Starlights equality village.

    Instead what we got was a villain-less special, something I can't recall us having for a long time, usually, there's an artifact or supernatural being or evil ponies at the foot, kinda nice and refreshing to not blame 1 singular entity for the mistakes.
    I'll admit, I did not catch the twist with the photos when we saw them, I thought the pony in question in the photos was gonna be the villain, oh well, I'm very happy with what we got.

    A couple of things that bugged me, the light blue Big Mac we saw in the background, now I'm sure there were a lot of recoloured ponies in the background but none stood out more than light blue Big Mac.
    At least change his hairstyle or take away the freckles or something!
    The red leggings for Fluttershy, now I can kinda get behind Flutterbutter looking good in leggings, she does.
    But the red colour just contrasted way too much, why not make them a darker/lighter yellow or gold even?
    The rainbow wings cover for Twilight, now I know there was a toy figure that showed it off but still, I wish they gave Twilight an actual reason to wear those covers.
    Otherwise, it just looks like forced in placement for Hasbro, and I know they usually do this, think all of the castles but those are more "natural" in a sense, this did not feel "natural" it felt forced.

    Otherwise, I'm very happy with this special, I was expecting more to come out of the twins that admired Dashie.
    Granted yes they flew with her, it doesn't do much since we know those characters won't come back in the back half of season 9.
    So unless that's foreshadowing for Gen 5, I'm just thinking "so what was the actual point of this whole thing?", also why the heck didn't Scootaloo join Dashie and co?
    If Scoots was there she could have shown those twins who the real number 1 fan was and had more bonding time with Dashie.
    Maybe now that Scoots parents are canon, the show has decided to drop the whole "Dashie and Scoots, sister-like bond", oh well.

    So damn happy for Sunny Skies and Petunia Petals, really wished they showcased that they were going out since it seemed like they were both into each other but Sunny hadn't asked her out yet and then he just asks her to marry him, seemed a bit out of nowhere.
    I do wonder where they got the name "Sunny Skies" from in particular since I recently finished reading a fanfic called "Sunny Skies All Day Long" by PhantomFox, interesting that a pony in power is also called Sunny Skies.

    Pinkie was utterly fantastic as always, still my fave pony of the mane six but still she was just the right level of comic relief to be funny and not annoying.
    Fluttershy was really good too, I adored that moment where they tried to settle on the apricots.
    The visuals were great, the music was ok but could have been better, I did enjoy the colour song as the end but I didn't fall in love with it on the first listen.
    I'm so glad they went all out for this special, I hope they either make this the art style for G5 or they continue to make specials with the G4 cast in this style, it looks so damn satisfying, it's HD ponies, I see absolutely nothing wrong about it.
    Blissful690 likes this.
  6. Eunos the Fool

    Eunos the Fool Proud Hater of Sparity

    24 January 2013
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    One thing I found Interesting

    I couldn't help but notice the had Irish accents.

    Being Half Irish myself should I take offence to this? :p

    Doesn't bother me btw.

    All in all it was cute.. I am a fan of the Movie style and wouldn't be to upset if this were G5's animation.
  7. Candy Yunagi

    Candy Yunagi Wishes she could be a cat

    6 January 2017
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    I actually loved it

    If this actually was the rumoured second movie concept, I'm actually quite glad it became a special. It literally shares nothing with the 2017 movie, other than its animation style. It's nice to see that the time honoured MLP tradition of using a hot air balloon for long distance transport continues, as well. The synopsis did make it sound like The Cutie Map, so I'm very glad we got something different. I find it interesting how most of the ponies' colours were still visible, though faded, while most of the town itself was literally greyscale. Some pretty good new characters were introduced, and it's kind of a shame that we'll probably never see them again. I think Kerfuffle was my favourite of them, being another in the list of relentlessly bubbly characters, even with no colour. I also couldn't help noticing that she seems to have a prosthetic leg, which is a nice touch, and I like that they didn't dwell on it, it just is.

    I can see a couple of metaphors in there. The obvious one is the comparison to our modern world, and how antisocial everyone is. Even those of us who aren't really just don't want to be annoying or anything, I think. I really like how Hope Hollow is basically another Ponyville, just one that lost its way for a while. It's nice to see that Ponyville isn't the only community like that in Equestria. The other thing I had to notice was that the whole thing could be interpreted as a metaphor for depression. I liked that there was no villain this time, and that the rainbow generator was a placebo for their community spirit keeping their colours alive. It was a really nice touch that colour started returning very slowly and gradually. If anyone's played Sonic Generations, I was reminded of that :p.

    Each of the mane six had their time to shine, as they should. I couldn't help feeling like Fluttershy was especially in her element, though. Sometimes we all just need to be shown a little kindness, and she still clearly lives by that. It actually never occurred to me that Twilight with her wing bling will probably be the next toy, but that sounds about right. I find it interesting that Rarity never thought of that. My first thought was that it didn't occur to her, being a unicorn, but there are implied to be a number of pegasus fashionistas around. I'm thinking it's either because most fashion designers are in with the Canterlot crowd, or Kerfuffle just has that much of a different way of seeing things that she came up with something like that. I did make me uncomfortable that Sunny Skies just proposed to Petunia Petals out of nowhere. I was really expecting "be my special somepony?". The first two songs were okay, pretty standard fare, but the third one really stood out to me, for some reason. That's one of the things MLP is about at its core. The whole thing actually gave me a bit of a G3 vibe, and I liked that.

    I'm not really sure how this compares to Best Gift Ever. They're both opposites in so many ways, and I actually kinda feel like they contrast each other beautifully. Best Gift Ever felt like a celebration of earlier Pony, while this felt very current, like what they've been doing for the past couple of years.
    #7 Candy Yunagi, 30 June 2019
    Last edited: 30 June 2019
  8. Blissful690

    6 August 2018
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    Is it just me or...
    ...does the logo for Rainbow Roadtrip look very 90s? I think that's cool, since I lived throughout the whole decade.
  9. CuldeeFell

    CuldeeFell Ponies Rock

    9 February 2014
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    Don't think I need spoiler tags as it's been more than 24 hours.

    My heart sank when I saw the name Kim Beyer-Johnson on the screen, but maybe the lowered expectations that gave helped me to enjoy this more. This really wasn't as good as its most obvious point of comparison, "The Cutie Map", but it wasn't horrendous. For the most part this just passed by without leaving much of an impression.

    I did like the animation in Toon Boom from Boulder Media. If this is the style for MLP in the future then I'd be perfectly happy with that. It as more depth and feels a lot less flat than the standard Flash animation they use. I couldn't tell if they were re-using assets from the Movie or if everything was created new here, but either way it looked good.

    Given how good it looked it was a shame the plot involved almost everything being grey for most of the runtime. I got very weary of looking at scenes that looked like this:

    Or like this:

    This was more of a writing fault than an animation or direction fault to be honest. Someone really should have thought about what having a plot in which everything and everyone was grey would do to the feel of a normally brightly coloured cartoon, but it meant it made it a bit more weary to watch than usual.

    Also not helping the weariness was the incredibly slow pacing. Slow pacing can be nice sometimes if it lets you spend time enjoying the characters, or if there's a sense of tension being built up. Here the characters had to act a bit thicker than usual not to spoil the plot by noticing things too quickly. Colour starts returning to the town at 30 minutes in and the characters only notice it at 49 minutes in. In that nineteen minute gap you've almost got time to go away, watch a regular episode of FiM, and come back again, and you won't have missed much in the way of plot here.

    On the good side the new characters were well defined and memorable. I liked grumpy Torque, as well as Moody Root, and Petunia Petals was good. Sunny Skies asking her to marry him felt like it came slightly out of no-where given it felt as if the two hadn't admitted their feelings to each other, but I can give that a pass.

    So overall, some nice touches, but a bit lacklustre. Cut out a third of the runtime, brighten up the colours and make the songs a bit more catchy and we might have had something a bit better, but in its current form I found this a bit tedious.
    Recurrent Trotting and Pigasus like this.
  10. Robshi

    Robshi Young Dragon

    24 August 2013
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    I've finally watched this and it didn't make that much of an impression. It felt like filler to be honest. Rather underwhelming for a special, but not terrible.

    The Rainbow Dash fan club was rather adorable to see, and Kerfuffle is a really cute pony name which I feel may have suited Derpy more.

    I find it hard believing this was a planned plotline for a movie sequel. This felt padded enough as it was, just how would they have extended the run time any further?
  11. Violet Rose

    Violet Rose Recognised Pony

    9 November 2013
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    I thought it was cute! Not outstanding, but cute. The new characters were good; I really loved Petunia's design and I also really, really want to make a plushie of it, but I also don't want to lose my sanity trying to make striped curly bun-ponytails???
    Kerfuffle, though... Kerfuffle will be plushed. (I didn't like her as much as Petunia, but she's cute and awkward ^^)
    I agree with everyone who was surprised that Sunny Skies asked Petunia to marry him; at that point, I only assumed that they'd had a lot of interaction in the past (which, to be fair, is backed up by the flashbacks and the way they talk about each other), but it was weird for them to go "barely exchanging two words" to "engaged" like that 0.0
  12. Recurrent Trotting

    30 March 2012
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    one of the best paced eps for a long while. 8/10 pure pony goodness :3

    the good

    every pony had a role which worked for them, and when it came time for the grand finale everypony's story fitted together like a glove. Also the rainbow/colour theme is perfect for MLP, whether a 'brony' or a pony fan :3

    the moral of connecting has been done before on this show (eg Made in Manehatten) but never this well. It is a good lesson :3

    the meh

    the humour was a little underplayed I thought. I'm all for pony warmth, but MLP s4 has been known for its sass and this was a very soft ep. Flutters could have written it

    songs a bit underwhelming I thought.
  13. Robshi

    Robshi Young Dragon

    24 August 2013
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    Something I forgot to mention in my earlier comment: I didn't like how Spike effectively got written out of this. He stays in Ponyville because he wasn't invited? Or to mark papers? The poor guy lost out here.
    Candy Yunagi likes this.
  14. Steamworks

    Steamworks Habitual Pony

    7 March 2017
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    Finally getting to this. Been too hot in the evenings lately to properly enjoy anything. Spoilering just to prevent page stretching.

    The movie art style finally grew on me, but it seems like the lighting is downgraded in this special from the movie.

    All I can think of for this Rainbow Festival is this.

    I'm surprised Spike even tried to catch that sack. I'd have dodged.

    If they were more suspicious, they'd be thinking this whole festival was a set up for a trap.

    Tourist trap rainbow?

    Twi was a little slow on the draw that time, but she did get everyone sooner than back in the movie.

    Shouldn't they be thinking of last time they showed up at a weird town?

    I'm also surprised Twi's not more hype about the library aspect.

    They should be on guard now. Neutralizing colors is almost as bad as neutralizing cutie marks. Starlight 2.0?

    Or is this a Rainbow Factory situation?

    So how much of a sham was the whole festival?

    Total sham.

    Town sounds like it used to be idyllic, but I'm not digging this song all that much.

    Big Mac recolor!

    So what I'm gathering is that you shouldn't mess with rainbow magic.

    There's a pony with a prosthetic limb.

    Rainboom. Rainboom. Rainboom.

    Did they really need to even ask Dashie to show off?

    And that's why Dash is Equestria's #1 motivator.

    Do they just have to take pride in their work to fix the colors?

    I wanna know how Kerfluffle got the leg.

    Is that pie somehow worse than the cupcakes back in Our Town?

    Apricots. Such dreadful things.

    Why isn't Twi inspecting the rainbow device itself?

    So is the entire town depressed? I've heard depression bad enough can alter one's perception so that colors are more faded.

    Torque fixing the device means even earth ponies can work on magitech.

    At least they didn't drain even more color from the town with that failed test.

    Flutterleggings are canon.

    Wing bling?

    Hopeless magic sounds like something Windigo-ish.

    Hopeless magic also sounds kinda like what I mentioned about depression.

    Sudden proposals usually aren't advisable.

    Not digging this closing song, either.

    Still a fun rainbow way to have closed out Pride Month (even if I'm getting to it late).

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