Friday, 8 March 2013

Lost in the Music: My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Season 1

I am not afraid to admit that I enjoy the current iteration of my little pony. The writing is solid, with fluid animation and the voice work on the show is great. What genuinely surprised me about the show however is the music. When I first began watching the show, I was aware that there was music in the show, but I wasn't aware of how catchy the songs could be. When doing work around the house or walking around town, I find myself humming some of the songs, most notably Winter Wrap Up. Daniel Ingram and his team did a fantastic job with the music for the show.

The songs in the show are not long, coming in at around two minutes with At the Gala being the longest song at 3:12. In 65 episodes, there have been 45 songs made for the show and today on Lost in the Music I will be tackling each song in Season 1 and giving my opinion on it.


Friendship is Magic – Part 2 (Episode 2): Giggle At the Ghosties

I am not a big fan of Pinkie Pie but this song gives me a good chuckle, if only at the start where Twilight Sparkle asks aloud if Pinkie Pie is really going to start singing. This song is not bad and gives a good introduction to what sort of message the show is bringing to the audience. Giggle at the Ghosties teaches young children to not be afraid of the dark and to laugh at your fear. Laughter is the key element in defeating the closet boogeymen and other things that go bump in the night.

Ticket Master (Episode 3): Pinkie Pie at the Gala

Pinkie Pie at the Gala is about one thing. What she plans on doing at the Grand Galloping Gala. It's not one of Pinkie's better song's, but the episode would be amiss without it.

Ticket Master (Episode 3): The Ticket Song

This is the follow up to Pinkie Pie at the Gala is another song sung by Pinkie Pie, this time trying to convince Twilight to give her the second ticket so she could go to the gala. Again, like the previous song it's not good, but there would be something missing from the episode if it was absent.

Dragonshy (Episode 7): Hop Skip and Jump

Another Pinkie short song, this one trying to encourage the meek Fluttershy to jump over a very small cliff in her usual manner. I want to say that this song could be missed from the episode, but given it is Pinkie and she was the one encouraging her friend to jump over, the episode wouldn't be complete without the 20 seconds of her singing this tune to encourage her shy friend.

Bridle Gossip (Episode 9): Evil Enchantress.

Now this song could have been removed from the episode and I don't think anyone would miss it. Unlike Pinkie's other songs, this one seems to lack the energy the other songs had. I know it was trying to showcase how creepy the zebra Zecora is, but it comes off as boring and bland. The only redeeming quality this song has is that later in the episode, Fluttershy songs it, using a deep baritone. It is incredibly funny to hear the meek pegasus using such a deep voice to sing a song like this.

Winter Wrap Up (Episode 11): Winter Wrap Up

Now we have come to my favourite song of Season 1. This is the first time the entire cast sang a song, and not just a singular character, and getting Ashleigh Ball to do the singing for Rainbow Dash and Applejack is a nice touch.

I absolutely love this song and when I think of My Little Pony music, it is this song I usually think of. Not the main theme, which in itself is a great tune, but this simple tune always gets me smiling. Hell on the first day of Spring when I am cleaning up from the winter I will be singing this song.

Call of the Cutie (Episode 12): Cupcake Song

Another Pinkie Pie song, but this time it's an actual song, unlike the other songs. While not as catchy as any of the other songs, this is by far a better Pinkie Pie song. There is an actual instrumental accompaniment and it sounds far better then Evil Enchantress, Hop Skip and Jump, and the two Ticket Master Songs.

Suited For Success (Episode 14): Art of the Dress

I think this is my second favourite song of the season. According to my research, the song pays homage to Stephen Sondheim's song Putting it Together from the music Sunday In the Park With George. I like it when a show does a shout out to other pieces of work and it only gets aggravating when a show is not subtle about it.

While the song is catchy enough on it's own, what sells it is the visuals. Going along with the song you see Rarity perform her duties as a dress maker, going into the minute details of what she has to do. There is an impressive amount of detail in the making of the dresses that it is obvious that the team did their research on the making of extravagant gowns.

Stare Master (Episode 17): Fluttershy's Lullaby

Normally it is Pinkie Pie who gets the random one off song, but this time it's Fluttershy (also voiced by Andrea Libman) doing the singing. It's a nice peaceful lullaby in hopes of lulling the Cutie Mark Crusaders to sleep, only to be interrupted by Sweetie Belle who breaks into a raucous version of the song drowning out Fluttershy. There is not too much to say about this song seeing as it is under a minute, but it is still enjoyable.

Show Stoppers (Episode 18): Cute Mark Theme Song

I am aware I have said this countless times, but I love 80's hair metal. The songs aren't bad, but the pure cheesiness and this song, this one song takes the cake. I have often wondered if this song, or atleast the visual design of it was a jab at the 80's themselves. We've seen before that Studio B enjoys to poke fun at the decade.

I think I like this song for the sheer irony for it. It's by any means not a good song, but the idea of a group of children trying to emulate the glam rock of the 80's is just too funny for me.

Over a Barrel (Episode 21): You Got to share, You got to Care

Once again we are back in Pinkie Song territory. I can forgive this song because of how it actually causes a fight between the native Buffalo and the settler Ponies. I like this song, not for the singing, but the fact that the rest of the main characters can only look on in horror as their friend sings, trying to quell the tension between the two groups.

The best part is near the climax when the Buffalo chief is having second thoughts on attacking Appleloosa and Pinkie, once again in her western costume, begins singing, only to enrage the elder Buffalo and ordering him to attack the settlement.

I enjoy this song because instead of bringing peace between the two factions, it causes even more friction. Don't get me wrong, the song is great, but the fact that it is the final insult and angers the Buffalo into attacking the ponies just makes me laugh.

Who would have thought it would be music that causes a fight and not end one.

Cutie Mark Chronicles (Episode 23): So Many Wonders.

Fluttershy has often been compared to a classic Disney Princess, being meek and timid, while also being a friend to nature, so during Cutie Mark Chronicles, is it any surprise that her song is more reminiscent of a song from the classic era of Disney movies? I am not a fan of this sort of song but I do know that it suits Fluttershy so well and Andrea Libman does a great job performing it.

Party of One (Episode 25):

This is another Pinkie song, but instead of being random like her first few songs, this one is more tied to the plot of the show, with her being a personal singing telegram to invite her friends to Gummy's (her pet alligator) birthday. As she goes to her friends singing, she starts to get tired and by the time she gets to Applejack, she is exhausted.

I actually like this Pinkie song over her other songs because it is tied into the story, albeit in a minor way. This is Pinkie's way of inviting her friends to a party and instead of sending out invitations, she herself acts as the invite. It's a very Pinkie thing to do. The song itself is okay but nothing too special. I actually prefer it when she is coupled with the rest of the cast because I feel she does better when working off the other singers.

Best Night Ever. (Episode 26): At the Gala

Someone at Studio B has to be a Stephen Sondheim fan as this song is the second one to pay homage to his work.

At the Gala is a song that goes all out. Not only are the mane 6 singing the song, but there is an accompaniment of other ponies as back up singers. This gives the song a bigger, far more grand feeling, well suited for a season finale song.

Each pony has their own segment of the song of what they want to do at the gala. Fluttershy wants to befriend all the little woodland creatures in the gardens, Applejack wants to sell her baked goods to earn enough bits to patch up her home, Rarity wants to meet the Stallion of her dreams, Pinkie Pie wants to party, Rainbow Dash wants to mingle with the Wonderbolts and finally Twilight Sparkle wants to spend the evening with Princess Celestia so they can talk.

The singing here is phenomenal and accompanied by the ponies each taking centre stage at least once with them imagining what the gala would be like is both a audio and visual feast. Each of the singers here nails this song perfectly and this has to be the best song of the season. It is also the longest song coming in at over 3 minutes.

Best Night Ever. (Episode 26): I'm At the Grand Galloping Gala

Pinkie had her moment with the song At the Gala, but here she is still excited to be at the party that she starts singing, much to everyone else annoyance. This is a party, but not a Pinkie Pie Party and Pinkie doesn't realize one does not simply bounce around singing at a formal party.

The song, being a Pinkie Song is not that bad and I actually don't mind it. Everyone has had that moment where they are so excited that they cannot help but bounce around and sing.

Best Night Ever. (Episode 26): The Pony Pokey

During the episode, each of the ponies start freaking out a bit realizing there dreams does not mesh well with reality. Rarity's stallion is not a prince, but a boor, the woodland creatures are fearful of Fluttershy, the Wonderbolts are being pulled away from Rainbow Dash who is trying to warm up to them, Applejack's apple snacks aren't appealing to the Canterlot elite, Twilight Sparkle can't get some one on one time with her mentor and to Pinkie Pie, this is not a party. This is not what they expected it to be.

So each of the ponies devise a way to make their dreams a reality and Pinkie being Pinkie breaks into song. She starts doing the Pony Pokey hoping people will join in, but instead afterwards is greeted with derision which only frustrates the pink party pony.

I don't have too much to say on this song as it's a send up to the Hokey Pokey song that people learn as children.


Season 1 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic had 16 songs in its initial 26 episode season. Many if them short songs sung by Pinkie but some more epic sounding songs. The music is wonderful and I have to give Daniel Ingram and his team a huge amount of credit for making the music appeal not just to the target demographic but to older people. I like these songs and given how many remixes there are out on Youtube, its quite clear other people enjoy these songs as well.

This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

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