A dragon had taken up residence in a cave near Ponyville to “take a nap” for the next 100 years, and his snoring threatens to cover the entire region of Equestria in black smoke for that time. The Mane Six are tasked by Princess Celestia to persuade him to leave, but Fluttershy is far more skittish and afraid than normal. Because of her paralyzing fear, the six run into frequent mishaps, set-backs, and even danger going up the mountain. When they finally arrive at the dragon’s cave, Fluttershy confesses that she’s terrified of dragons but was too nervous to say anything earlier, but now is unable to do anything about the dragon in spite of her natural ability to have a power over animals. Twilight Sparkle tries reasoning with the dragon, Rarity tries charming him, and Pinkie Pie tries “making him laugh”…but all meet with no success. Fed up, Rainbow Dash goes in kicks the dragon in the jaw, enraging it and making it attack the girls. On seeing this, Fluttershy’s own fear is overridden by her concern for them, and she ends up cowing and intimidating the dragon into packing up and leaving Equestria in spite of only being a fraction of his size. Twilight writes a letter to Celestia saying to never lose faith in your friends; how they can be a source of strength to get over even your worst fears.
For the most part, I find this episode is good. It genuinely has some moments, such as the six “suiting up” to move out in the style of an old 1970s action TV show. However, it doesn’t resonate as well with me for personal reasons. I never find “jerks” funny…so in episodes where Angel is being especially vicious for no reason, such as this one, I don’t enjoy those scenes so much.
Also, as mentioned earlier, the writers are smart enough to show both the “good and the bad” of some characters and “walk the line” between keeping them appealing and nearly making them repulsive. But in this one…they do it to not one character but two, which in and of itself almost goes over the line. Fluttershy’s cowardice was funny at first…but as the episode wore on and she continued to cause trouble, it began to grow a bit tiresome, especially when, at my age, you know she’s eventually going to snap out of it and come through. Rainbow Dash, on the other hand, was almost “mean” in this episode as she goes out of the way to point out how cowardly Fluttershy is being and how she’s slowing them down at every turn. You kind of wish she’d “lay off” after a time. Plus, how Fluttershy taunts Rainbow Dash at the end now that she fears dragons? It’s rather mean, especially when it was revealed in Season Two’s “Dragon Quest” that Fluttershy is still scared of dragons normally.
I like this episode for generating the official “dragon mythos” for MLP. Remarkably, it’s a lot like classic dragon fantasy. I almost get the impression that the writers for this show keep a D&D book handy for the various mythological monsters. But aside from that…this episode doesn’t really stand out that much. Essentially, it’s a theme that has been reused multiple times in the series: Fluttershy is too nervous about something but then ends up getting the courage to become fierce. And other episodes did it better.
So, basically, another good episode in a string of good episodes, but still not “great”.
Although Fluttershy’s “treehouse” had appeared in the opening before now, this was its first appearance in an episode. Also, the first episode that shows Angel Bunny can be a real jerk.
This is one of the few non-season-openers/closers where Princess Celestia gives the Mane Six a task to complete.
Does anyone else think the dragon’s snores sound like farts?
Dragons in Equestria ended up being a lot like their Tolkien counterparts: selfish, arrogant, obsessed with treasure although they have no use for it, cruel, and tyrannical.
In another “Trollestia” moment, Princess Celestia sends the six girls to deal with the dragon rather than herself.
3 Stars out of 5