Apple Bloom, Being Big is All It Takes, Biscuit, Bloofie, CMCs, Cutie Mark Crusaders, Fluttershy, Growing Up is Hard to Do, My Little Pony, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, opinion, review, Scootaloo, Spur, Sweetie Belle, Twilight Sparkle
After weeks of planning, the Cutie Mark Crusaders are excited to finally be heading to the Appleloosa County Fair. Unfortunately, the one item that all of them forgot was to find a chaperone. After making the rounds through their friends and family, they find them all preoccupied with adult responsibilities–especially Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy, who are researching a mysterious flower for Starswirl the Bearded that has only two petals left on it. While they’re out, the sulking CMCs make an off-handed wish that they were adults right now and could do whatever they wanted. The flower, at the expense of one of its petals, ends up granting their wish and turning them into adult mares. At first, the three are thrilled and think being adults automatically entitles them to adult-level experience and knowledge. They get a rude awakening in what follows, however. First they get on the wrong train to Appleloosa and wind up in Hayseed Swamp. Next they fail to follow the directions the platform conductor gives them to walk to Appleloosa. Afterward they run into a pair of arguing foals, Spur and Biscuit, who are en route to the fair and bickering about whether or not to bring their pet named “Bloofie”. In spite of Spur having more experience and the closer relationship with Bloofie, the girls, eager to follow them to the fair, side with Biscuit and use their presumed age and experience to not only allow Bloofie to be brought to the fair with them but tell Biscuit to enter her in the pet show. Unfortunately, Bloofie turns out to be a “Whirling Mungtooth”: a creature that turns into a tornado when it gets agitated and anxious. Bloofie ends up destroying the pet show and threatening the entire fair. Fortunately, Twilight and Fluttershy (having deduced that the CMCs used the flower to make a wish and went to the fair) arrive and, with Spur’s help, Bloofie is calmed down and returned to her original state (even winning a prize for most interesting creature). The CMCs apologize to Spur and Biscuit as well as to Twilight and Fluttershy, having learned that simply being older isn’t enough–some things come with experience of growing up. Using the remaining petal, they wish to be foals again, and after doing so ask if they can visit Spur and Biscuit sometime. Spur agrees…on the condition they be brought with a real adult.
Supposedly, the plot for this episode had been kicked around for several seasons before it finally debuted. Man, does it show.
Over the seasons, the characters who have debatably shown the most character growth and progression have been the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Look all the way back to “Call of the Cutie”, when Apple Bloom was pretty much just a whining kid wanting to be “big now”. In many of the early episodes, especially ones prior to “Crusaders of the Lost Mark”, they had to go through trials and learning experiences which gave good lessons about growing up and being more mature, and especially in learning more empathy even for their tormentors. Since that episode, the CMCs have continued to grow by reaching the point where they can mentor and assist younger ponies who went through the same problems they went through. They’ve even become mature enough to run their own day camp and to become the first tutors of the School of Friendship.
So reducing them to the point where they naively think that simply being older is a substitute for experience and knowledge with age is out of character childish at best and ridiculous at worst. Especially since they’ve proven competent enough to do several of the activities they do in this episode in a mature fashion in earlier episodes. That’s the biggest blow to this episode.
Aside from that, the only thing that really stands out is the CMCs in their adult forms. If this was the only we would ever see of it, I think that would have been enough of a nice bonus for this episode. I think their adult forms have nice little changes to them rather than simply making them bigger proportioned (Sweetie Belle is going to steal a lot of Rarity’s looks when she gets older…). However, since they’d show up again in the finale, it wasn’t really that necessary. This episode does have a few more interesting scenes, action, and magic then your standard CMC episode, so it has that going for it as well.
Nevertheless, after sticking with this show for so long and seeing how much the CMCs have come, it makes it a bit harder to see them take a few steps backward with this. It’s even worse that this is the “note” the Cutie Mark Crusaders will go out of the series with, as this is the last episode they highlight. I may have not cared for “The Last Crusade” too terribly much, but I still wish it would have flipped positions with this one.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders already went on the train by themselves in “The Last Crusade”, this very same season. Furthermore, both Applejack (as a child) and Babs Seed traveled by themselves across Equestria in earlier episodes.
As a slight bit of continuity, Fluttershy helps Twilight Sparkle out with her plant research–a nod back to “A Health of Information”.
There’s a creaking sound when the adult CMCs stand up.
The Bufogren cameos.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders made maps for their own use in “The Show Stoppers” and “The Fault in Our Cutie Marks”, but maybe they just couldn’t read the old guy’s directions.
Troubleshoes Clyde cameos. Still making that bad luck work for him too. 😛 Also, Lebowski pony is working as a food vendor.
Bloofie sucks up the pony version of Dorothy Gale and Toto from “The Wizard of Oz” when it turns into a tornado.
Sweetie Belle manages a teleport, something even Twilight Sparkle had trouble with the first episode. Impressive. 🙂
As far as I know, a Whirling Mungtooth isn’t based off of any mythological creature.
2 Stars out of 5