Fluttershy loves to sing but dreads the thought of doing it for others, and in spite of the Mane Six’s attempts to encourage her to join the local ensemble group, the Ponytones (of which Rarity and Big Macintosh are members), she refuses. However, when the Ponytones are scheduled to perform for the Pet Center fundraiser, Big Mac loses his voice prior to the event in a turkey calling competition. He’s taken to Zecora, but her treatment won’t cure him by the time of performance. Instead, she suggests Fluttershy expose herself to “Poison Joke” once again to give herself a bass voice so she can stand in for Big Mac. When she still refuses, Rarity suggests she lip sync for him instead. Fluttershy finally consents and the performance is a huge success. Fluttershy discovers she loves singing for others and soon is getting Rarity to schedule the Ponytones to do as many “gigs” as possible so she has the opportunity to sing even more. Finally, before one performance, Big Macintosh’s voice is all better. Rarity and the others allow Fluttershy to lip sync one last time, but she ends up giving such a huge performance to “go out with a bang” that she upsets the curtain behind the stage and reveals she was singing all along. Although she’s met with roaring applause, her shyness causes her to flee in terror and embarrassment. The girls track her down, however, and manage to make her realize that performing is something she loves and what happened when she was exposed really wasn’t that bad. At the end, Fluttershy consents to be an “tentative” member of the Ponytones although she’s only brave enough to perform for friends, and she writes in the diary about not letting fear keep you from being all that you can be.
I actually sort of dislike this episode. Overall it’s not bad. It’s got a lot of good humor, the plot is interesting, it gives a few more-than-subtle nods to Season One, it has a rather big allusion to something the adults would only get in the title…and basically it has a great deal going for it. Enough to make it all around decent. But it has two big things that ruin my enjoyment.
The smaller problem is the moral is rather muddled once again. There are times when it seems the moral should be respecting the decisions of others even if you don’t agree with them, as opposed to not letting your fears keep you down. And really, that would probably be a more “original” moral. We’ve already seen an episode where Fluttershy had to conquer her fears: “Hurricane Fluttershy”. And it did that theme a lot better. This is somewhat different as “Hurricane Fluttershy” was about not letting your fears stop you for helping people you care about, whereas this one is more about not letting them stop you from doing something you love. At the end…it’s really not that clear that Fluttershy even learned her lesson. All she’s really been able to do is get enough confidence to perform for the Mane Six. She already was able to do it for her animals.
The bigger problem is Pinkie Pie. It’s been a while since her wackiness and childishness has come close to crossing the line into just plain being insensitive and mean. In this episode…I think they committed a “show sin” by having her actually go over the line and not having a moment where she “snaps back”.
The first time she made Fluttershy uncomfortable was a bit “forgivable”, but she does it again numerous times later. She may not notice the first time that she’s clearly making Fluttershy uncomfortable, but when she keeps doing it again and again and again… Good gravy, she just doesn’t stop. I felt like yelling: “Lay off already, you twit!” Some people think “Pinkamena” is the most disturbing look at Pinkie Pie in the series…in my opinion it’s this episode.
Yet if that alone wasn’t enough, she almost sounds like she’s mocking Big Macintosh for losing his voice competing against her in the turkey call competition and then rubbing it in his face in this episode too. And she acts rather creepy in more than one point…almost disturbingly so. Basically, almost every attempt in this episode to make Pinkie come off as funny came off as insensitive and thoughtless. It actually makes me “dislike” Pinkie a lot in this episode.
Those two mistakes are actually big enough to cast a “shadow” over the rest of this episode to me, which is otherwise enjoyable. Hence, I’m rating it lower for that.
The episode title is definitely one of those references no kid in the target audience will “get”. It’s a reference to “Milli Vanilli”, a pair of Grammy-winning singers who were later proved to have been lip sync-ers. It was one of the most infamous scandals ever in the music world, and since then “Milli Vanilli” has become a term synonymous with a fraud.
In probably the most unexpected “return appearance” ever, this episode is based off of the humorous gimmick way back in “Bridle Gossip” of Fluttershy getting a deep bass voice AKA “Flutterguy”. They even call her “Flutterguy” in this episode.
Does Fluttershy really have a pet…”jackalope”?
The members of the Ponytones are Rarity, Big Macintosh, Toe-Tapper, and Torch Song.
Zecora makes another appearance in this episode.
When Fluttershy still refuses to sing on stage to replace Big Macintosh, Angel Bunny holds a paw in her face, as if to say: “Don’t talk to me right now.”
I have absolutely no idea what’s up with the big stallion with the glasses and goatee and t-shirt with a Russian accent and his daughter(Zipporwhil) in this episode. Does anyone else? Seems like it would be some sort of reference…
Goldie Delicious cameos in the audience, along with her cats. Gummy is nearby vainly trying to eat a turkey, sort of confirming the idea he would not be a very safe pet to have if he had teeth.
During the first performance of “Find the Music in You”, after Big Macintosh leans forward and “sings”, there’s a shot of Ms. Cheerilee passing out. This got a couple fans thinking, “Hearts and Hooves Day” not withstanding, there might actually be a chance at a pairing between those two after all.
Big Macintosh “explaining himself” is one of those little subtle humor bits that makes me grin.
2.5 Stars out of 5