Merry Christmas, bloggers! Yep, I guess I don't take a holiday on these critiques, but yeah. It's all about family at this time of year and that's the theme of this episode that I'm about to go over. Before I begin, let's point out a couple of things. First of all, how many of you read the synopsis? For those of you who didn't, it's as follows:
"Granny Smith agrees to let Applejack lead the Apple Family reunion but Applejack loses sight of what is truly important."
Now, this sounds insanely familiar to me. In what way, you might ask?
Well, for one, I've seen the 2009 Disney animated film, "The Princess and the Frog" seven times and if you remember back when I first started these critiques, I mentioned exactly what goes on in this film. Tiana loses sight of what's important.
So with Applejack, I expected pretty much the same thing, that while she's gonna go into overdrive putting together this new family reunion, she'll forget that family is most important of all. And that most important thing being that this time, every single member of the Apple family is attending this time around. And I mean everyone!
Apple Family Reunion
Granny Smith: I still can't believe it's been almost one hundred moons since our last family reunion.
Wait, what? It's been that long? Really? Assuming Granny Smith isn't out of continuity or anything, what about the time in the very first episode of the series? In the episode "Applebuck Season", Twilight even mentions all those family members as prospective helpers, to which Applejack responded that they only attended for the family reunion at the time because they all run farms all across Equestria. Now let's do some calculations here.
Now a while back, Cindy Morrow informed some hopeful fans that Babs Seed would definitely return at some point, being officially the fourth Cutie Mark Crusader and all that. Not to mention, Babs became immensely popular by fans after her debut. This episode must be what she meant because she wrote the script for it after all.
Apple Bloom: Babs is comin'! I get to see my favorite cousin!
Well, whaddya know? After all the mayhem Babs caused during her debut, now Apple Bloom is saying she's her favorite cousin. How nice!
Awww, look at that.
But here's the deal. Applejack insists that while Granny Smith has gotten old, she's still got plenty of kicks left, but she takes it the wrong way.
"Ha! You know what makes a good pun here? A bowl of Apple Jacks cereal! Now why did that age-old question as to why it's called Apple Jacks because it doesn't taste like apples ever exist? In case it's not obvious, the 'apple' refers to apple cinnamon! It just took long enough to make those CGI commercials with that dumb apple and stupid stick of cinnamon to represent the flavor."
Now this leads me to stop this critique for a moment because there's something that really perplexes me here. I don't get why fans think that Applejack hasn't had her own episode so far in this series. I mean, for a start, what did they think "Applebuck Season" was? I'd say that counts if you ask me. As for this episode, fans were really hoping that Applejack would be the star of the show and not just some background pony. And that's what I really don't get, why fans think she's being treated as a background character. Clearly, she's one of the main six characters of the show and she represents the Element of Honesty, not to mention she's already had her moments in the spotlight from time to time. Quite frankly, I like to think that fans are probably just overlooking her as a character in general. So if they're upset that they think Applejack didn't have her own episode up till now and is overshadowed as a character by Ditzy Doo or whoever, it should be their problem and not Hasbro's.
Anyways, it doesn't take a fool to realize that Applejack is trying too hard to make the reunion the best it can be. Even the hayride isn't even all that relaxing, seeing as Applejack instructed the stallions pulling the wagon to go too fast.
Uh, I have a question. Why couldn't Applejack just have the entire Apple family sit down for a nice, big Apple family meal? That would have been the perfect opportunity for the family members to catch up on gossip and such while enjoying themselves at the same time. But I guess not, though.
But look at this. Fruit bats in the colors of the rainbow with bodies shaped like fruit and leaves for ears. There's something you don't see every day. Only in Equestria, folks. Only in Equestria. But I can't imagine all the animation that went into this. It's incredible!
"Pfft. Why waste time making any cereal colorful when it's meant to be eaten? That's for little kids. I mean, do they color cereal so kids get to play with it? Or just have fun while eating? There's already fun in eating cause you're eating! Green rings... so redundant. There isn't even any sour apple flavoring. What's the point?"
Speaking of the fruit bats, one of them spies tasty apples on Applesauce's hat and makes a dive for it. Well, they're not called fruit bats for nothing. And with one riled up, the whole group goes as well.
Okay, so Applejack tried a little too hard to make an extravagant reunion, but big deal. Look at her now. She's crying, just like I predicted would happen at some point in the episode. Really gotta feel for her, come on.
But leave it to Granny Smith to get her up off the ground. She reminds Applejack that the day is still young and there's still time to make some happy memories by giving the family a chance to make it happen, so Applejack gets one final idea.
She rallies the entire Apple family to rebuild the barn in song and dance form. By technicality, it's Applejack's first song in the series, but what really digs me about it is that it's like a country song! Hoo-wee! So like I did for the Smile Song from the episode "A Friend in Deed", I'm gonna let this lively folk tune play in its entirety. Here we go!
And there's the family photo with all the Apple family members present.
- Applejack: Dear Princess Celestia, today I learned a great lesson about family, which, if you think about it, is the first group of friends you ever met. Turns out that when you're with folks you care about, you don't have to do much to make that time memorable. Even the simplest of activities can take on a whole lotta meanin'! And you'll find that you'll remember the who long after you've forgotten the what. Your humble subject, Applejack.
So now Applejack has jumped up to third place for most number of letter written to Celestia, tying with Rarity, Spike, and Rainbow Dash. Fluttershy now stands alone in fourth place and Apple Bloom still in fifth. Okay, this episode was pretty good, but it still really doesn't quite measure up to the episodes "Sleepless in Ponyville" and "Applebuck Season", but I have to say it's at least a worthy episode and not just another piece of garbage like that God-awful Season 2 finale. After all, leave it to a little bit of fine country tunes with a jazzy fiddler to give this episode a little pizzazz. The animation is as always outstanding, especially the fiddle-playing during the song. And I really can't kid myself here on this, but I'm glad I have an incentive to keep Applejack as my favorite character in this series simply because she finally got to sing in her most suitable style, country folk. And that's that!
Oh, and one more thing. Remember how Lauren Faust envisioned Applejack's parents as deceased? Apparently, the pair of shooting stars seen twice in this episode are confirmed by none other than storyboard artist Sabrina Alberghetti, known as "Sibsy" to the fans, to symbolize them, meaning that as a tip of the hat to Lauren Faust, the parents of Applejack, Big Macintosh, and Apple Bloom, are now considered officially dead. And it's canon.
So with that, this ye old rumor has finally been laid to rest, and in a way that isn't considered dark to any little kids that might have seen this episode.
Well, I gotta get going cause I've got some family time of my own to attend to. So enjoy opening your stockings, drink plenty of eggnog, be thankful, and more importantly, absorb all that family time you may have. I know I will! Happy Holidays! And raise that barn!
"Apple... Dapples?! Who in the heck makes this stuff anyway?!"