Monday, June 1, 2020

MLEEP Reviews: Dinosaurs | #NationalDinosaurDay

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DINOSAURS
Created By Michael Jacobs and Paul Young
Composed By Bruce Broughton and Ray Colcord
Produced By Michael Jacobs

Not the mama, not the mama...yeeeah if you were around in the early 90's, then you know this phrase and it probably drove you insane. This was the catchphrase of the little baby dinosaur from the Disney and ABC show "Dinosaurs". Despite this catchphrase of the time being shoved down everybody's throat with the advertising and merchandising and so forth, revisiting this show I actually found it was much better than I remember it: oh don't get me wrong, there's still plenty in it that's gimmicky and childish and obviously meant for little ones...but as the show progressed, it got a very solid cynical edge to it using Jim Henson Studios' family-friendly designs to disguise what at times was actually pretty clever commentary. I know how crazy that sounds, but hear me out when I say that there actually is more to this show than I think people give credit...let's find out, this is 'Dinosaurs'!

DINOSAURS: Blue-collar dinosaur Earl Sinclair tries to cope with short-tempered boss Bradley P. Richfield of the Wesayso Corporation so he can put food on the table for his large family: sweet-natured and long-suffering wife Fran, rebellious teenage son Robbie, shop-til-she-drops daughter Charlene and precocious Baby and not to mention his crusty mother-in-law Ethyl...but on his rare night out, Earl pals around with his buddy Roy Hess.


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Like I said, sounds very run of the mill and at first it kind of is since a lot of the early episodes are just setting up the very basic characters and in a way kind of the very basic world-I mean like I said, it's kind of like a reversal of 'The Flintstones' and you've seen this before. It's cool seeing it in live-action with the great animatronics and puppets and honestly I'd argue it looks better than the actual Flintstones movie...but early on, the characters and situations are a little cookie-cutter and you can even see where they cut corners-just count how many times you see a lot of these dinosaur suits pop up again as different characters. But after the show began to grow an audience, the writers took a lot more risks in what they can get away with...or maybe not risks, because they never flat-out said what they were doing.

For example in the episode 'Baby Talk', there's this great episode based around television censorship: Baby Sinclair sees a bad word on television and it's repeated over and over and over so he starts saying it. Everybody is horrified and so they decide that the television stations have to change the way television is done thus that word is officially outlawed...but why stop at that word, why not all bad words? Okay well, all bad words are outlawed...but why stop there, how about scanty clothing? They don't like certain types of clothing, so they get rid of that...but why stop there, they just keep going and going and going until the law of the entire world is changed but what makes this brilliant is the swear word the baby says. You know what it is, smoo...what's a smoo, nobody knows. They never explain it, they never even give any context to what it might be, they just say it's really really insulting and everybody is horrified whenever it's said: now a kid can watch that and really have fun while trying to imagine what it is and it kind of sparks the imagination and creativity, but an adult can watch it and totally get what they're doing. This was during what at the time was considered PC culture...you know, before things got better but who's gonna look to 'Dinosaurs' to see them disrupting everything especially when they're saying bad words that don't even exist?

There's one by the title of 'And The Winner Is...' that practically predicts the future: Earl's boss is running for President and chooses Earl as the only person to go against him knowing he's a patsy. When Earl's conscience gets the best of him and he admits that he's a patsy and that nobody should vote for the boss but they shouldn't really vote for him either 'cause he doesn't know what he's doing, they eventually vote for a newscaster...yeah, a reality show host! There's another great one called 'Nuts To War' that satirizes war: in this world, they literally go to war over nuts...yeah, over something as silly as jars of nuts-war is literally nuts in this world! But to them, war is just throwing stones: yeah it's like nothing, but then there's this big advancement when they move on to sticks...literally throwing sticks and stones and they're like "oh my God, somebody could lose an eye!" like that's a big big deal. All I could think about as a kid is "man, imagine if they saw wars that humans would make and how terrible that would be and they're so shocked by this." It's silly, but you can actually pull some significance out of it.

But by far the episode everyone remembers is the final one 'Changing Nature', probably the most depressing and cryptic finale that's ever been run by ABC: the dinosaurs finally get so comfortable and powerful that they end up destroying the world. Both through fire and winter of their own making, it looks like nobody's gonna make it but Earl still stands by the people in charge know what they're doing and won't let their entire species die away. The final image is just Earl looking out the window with his family and that's it: again nobody would get upset because we don't see them die and they don't say any bad words, but everybody knows what's implied...this is how the dinosaurs have wiped themselves out and it could be how we could wipe ourselves out. There's definitely hints to how humanity could do it, but they never get too specific: it's just a warning that these species were here and used to rule the planet and now they're not while now we're here currently ruling the planet and one day we also may not...would you expect that to be the ending of a show, the series finale that has the catchphrase "Not the mama"?

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Somewhere along the lines, the writers either got this super-cynical edge or they just realized if they disguised it enough nobody would ever question them...but either way, they made a show that surprisingly had some smart satire. Now with that said, is this one of the great shows...not especially-I mean, the characters are still kind of cookie-cutter and the jokes can be hit-or-miss and...yeah sometimes, it does seem weird and silly just to be weird and silly which isn't always bad but it's not always funny either. But nevertheless, I think 'Dinosaurs' was smarter than people thought it was...and when people go back and watch it again...yeah they see all the weird little catchphrases and the funny little family-friendly stuff, but the more they watch it that the more they do see elements of themselves in it too-again more in the stories than the characters, but they still see it. So yeah, I actually think 'Dinosaurs' is a very smart and enjoyable show even if it is very inconsistent. When it doesn't work, it's not godawful or anything but rather it's just a little awkward...but when it does really work, it surprises you and delights you that such a seemingly innocent show can have this surprising edge to it. I'm not guaranteeing you're gonna fall in love with it or anything, but I do think that you might find more than you originally remembered.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

MLEEP Reviews: Penguins Of Madagascar | #Madagascar15

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PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR
Written By Michael Colton, John Aboud and Brandon Sawyer
Composed By Lorne Balfe
Produced By Mark Swift and Lara Breay
Edited By Nick Kenway
Directed By Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith

I will admit that I wouldn't say that I'm a huge fan of the Madgascar franchise, but I do enjoy the films a lot: the first one was great, the second one was pretty good and the third was a nice conclusion to the story...as for the television series, I remember watching quite a few episodes and I will admit that it was surprisingly good.  But now that the Penguins decided to ditch television to have their own movie leaving King Julien with a series all to himself, can they handle this tough operation or was this all a flippin' mistake?  Let's find out, this is 'Penguins Of Madagascar'!

PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR: Plucky penguins Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private-the most elite spies ever hatched-join forces with a chic undercover organization known as the North Wind. Led by highly trained, handsome and arrogant Agent Classified, this special inter-species task force must stop a many-tentacled villain, Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world.

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The story is pretty much what you'd expect when you hear the title of the movie: imagine Madagascar without any of the main characters and without the lemurs leaving the rest to the Penguins, the result is just a series of action scenes and non-stop humor...but here's the thing: that's it. The thing about the story is that this is a film that's anything but serious since all of the scenarios and the missions of the characters are just so silly and ridiculous-in fact, it's so silly to the point that it actually feels more like this was meant for an episode of the television series but somehow decided to turn it into a movie. Now I'm not saying that this is a bad thing per se, but the goofy tone would actually depend on your taste if you love it enough to experience it in theaters...speaking of which since it tries to pull off so many jokes at once, the humor can be a little bit of a mix: there are times when it would make you laugh but they fall pretty flat most of the time and I swear I will slap someone if I hear one more pun that includes a celebrity's name. However, not everything is all action and gags since there are times when it tries to have a heart when Private wanted to be recognized as a valued member of the team yet this does not work: whenever they try to bring it in, it feels forced and gives the plot that sense of predictability-like, you know the chain of events that will come.

At least the one thing to look forward to here is the nice animation delivered by DreamWorks: outside of the silly tone, the action scenes are the highlight of the film and they really are awesome...since they decided to make the film fast-paced with its humor, it translates really well with the action: there are so many things going on, but they all go pretty smoothly and they are creative with the scenarios that the Penguins get themselves into. But it's not just the action scenes that are creative, there's also the technology that the characters use that share a nice design along with plenty of color rather it be from the Headquarters of the North Wind or in Dave's lair-even the character animation is actually well done with some simple cartoony animation that nicely uses the squash and stretch technique for a computer animated feature although it does happen when some like Dave can get too over the top but I'll get to him later. The only setbacks I would have with the visuals is that the backgrounds and the settings feel pretty generic-like, they're always in some kind of city or something like that which is pretty bad since they do go all around the world from New York to Shanghai to Venice and more...I mean, even Cars 2's settings feel more atmospheric than this! Also, the overall design of the Madagascar franchise isn't really the best: I get where they're going with the simple look to complement its Looney Tunes-style cartoony nature, but it could be a little too simplistic for a computer animated feature.

Now before we get into the characters, let me start off with the Penguins to mention what's wrong with the movie: in the original trilogy, they're meant to be the weird comic reliefs to bring some good laughs along with some materials for the characters like the monkeys and King Julien to work with...but when they place them here in their own movie, the people at DreamWorks barely did anything to make them fully fleshed out characters able to carry their own feature with the most they've done is making Private more sentimental about his position in the team but that just makes them predictable again-even with their origin story, they didn't do much other than say that they think differently than all the other penguins and that's what makes them stand out. As for the other new characters, they don't really offer a lot to work with either since the North Wind is just shown as a more professional than the Penguins: Eva's the smart one, Corporal is the dumb one with muscles, Short Fuse is the angry little guy and Classified is the leader of the team to show the Penguins how things should be done...and then there's the villain of the film Dave who honestly could have been a great villain since he has such a great backstory that even ties in a bit with the world of Madagascar, but the problem is that he's executed in a really over the top manner that takes away any threat or seriousness to the guy-then again the movie doesn't want to take itself seriously, so it's not really his fault.

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Overall, I feel like I didn't really see a movie here but more of a dumb silly cartoon: although 'Penguins Of Madagascar' does offer some nice animation and some great action scenes, the writing is pretty questionable by putting this very goofy tone with jokes that sometimes work instead of having fleshed out characters and a developed story. Kids will definitely have a blast with this, but I'd only recommend this to fans of the television series outside of that and the rest can wait until they can rent it since it feels more like something that's meant to be enjoyed at home in a smaller screen than in a theater and that is why 'Penguins Of Madagascar' gets a rating of a 6.5 out of 10.

MLEEP Reviews: Madgascar 3 - Europe's Most Wanted | #Madagascar15

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted | Madagascar Wiki | Fandom
MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE'S MOST WANTED
Written By Eric Darnell and Noan Baumbach
Composed By Hans Zimmer
Produced By Mireille Soria and Mark Swift
Edited By Nick Fletcher
Directed By Eric Darnell, Conrad Vernon and Tom McGrath

'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted'...the third and presumably last in the Madagascar movies and I have to say that this seems like a series of movies that just keeps getting better and better: the first one was funny, the second one was really funny, the third one is just constantly hilarious except when it needs to be heartfelt and sentimental and it does that very very well. It has the same great characters, the same great energy, the same great animation and a whole bunch of visual wonder...but was there enough wonder to help this walk on the wild side go out with a bang? Let's find out this is 'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted'!

MADAGASCAR 3 - EUROPE'S MOST WANTED: Animal pals Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria are still trying to make it back to New York's Central Park Zoo and forced to take a detour to Europe to find the penguins and chimps who broke the bank at a Monte Carlo casino...but when French animal-control officer Captain Chantel DuBois picks up their scent, Alex and company are forced to hide out in a traveling circus.

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Not only did this movie have the most laughs, but I think it also had the most funny characters: that's Frances McDormand as Captain DuBois and honestly you could never tell since she just gets lost in the role and you're too busy laughing at her in order to figure out that it's actually her playing it...that's also Martin Short as an Italian sea lion named Stefano and again you would never know since he just does such a great job that you would never figure it out. The rest of the actors once again just do great in reprising these roles at being incredibly entertaining and giving great deliveries...and once again, they do great in balancing out the heartfelt moments as well including a circus performer named Vitaly that used to be the top of the world but has since then become afraid and even terrified of letting people down with his stunts that he doesn't think can work anymore.

Now I guess it's true the story does work its way into the inevitable "liar revealed" plot which a lot of you know that I really despise...but a) they don't focus on it very long and b) in this story, it sort of works since there's a very surprising yet genuine twist when they get back to their home and taking into account everything they've gone through in the other movies, you'd almost swear this was planned like they knew they were gonna do this from the start. Now the only other element that might be a little distracting is this movie was shot in 3-D and while it's not as bad as other 3-D films that like to show off their technology, this one definitely does get some weird shots at times...not quite to the point where it's distracting, but you can definitely kind of take notice yet you don't mind in other scenes because it's so visually interesting and incredibly colorful with the best example of this being the actual performance of the circus when they get it perfected-it's just wonderful to look at...it's imaginative, it's musical, it's upbeat and it's energetic.

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I didn't quite see anything like that in the other two Madagascar films and that's one of the reasons I think 'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted' is the best...but that's not the only reason: the characters still work great off each other, it has a great villain, it has great side characters, it has good drama, it has good comedy, it has good visuals, it has funny subplots...everything about it just seems to work out perfectly. I really do hope they stop here because I don't think they could top it after this since it seemed like every film was getting closer and closer to that wild yet really imaginative comedy and I think it's perfected here while also having some characters you really do care about and you want to see them get through their predicament which is why I'm giving 'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted' a rating of a 9 out of 10.

MLEEP Reviews: Madagascar - Escape 2 Africa | #Madagascar15

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MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA
Written By Etan Cohen, Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath
Composed By Hans Zimmer and will.i.am
Produced By Mirelle Soria and Mark Swift
Edited By Mark A. Hester
Directed By Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath

Our animal friends return in 'Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa'...I really hate movie titles that have the number in the title, for example: "Escape 2 Africa"...does it really make things any easier? "Madagascar 2", there...that was a lot shorter and a lot simpler, but anyway how does the movie fare out? Well, I thought the first one was funny particularly in the animation department and this one seems to be a little funnier: it knows what to do with its characters, it knows how to keep fresh jokes coming and it knows how to keep it fast-paced but also keep a good heart...but how much heart did get put into this second walk on the wild side? Let's find out, this is 'Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa'!

MADAGASCAR - ESCAPE 2 AFRICA: Alex, Marty and other zoo animals find a way to escape from Madagascar when the penguins reassemble a wrecked airplane but the precariously repaired craft stays airborne just long enough to make it to the African continent where the New Yorkers encounter members of their own species for the first time. Africa proves to be a wild place, but Alex and company wonder if it is better than their Central Park home.

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Seeing how the third film of the series has them in Europe, I think it's kind of a safe bet to assume what's going to happen next...but again, what makes it good is in what comedic ways it happens and once again the movie really shines in the comedy and the animation. However, it's got some low points like I'm finding out more and more that Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer's characters of Gloria and Melman are not especially interesting...at least not in the joke department. I also think the villain Makunga is kind of weak...well maybe not weak but just not funny yet Alec Baldwin does a good job playing a slimy, unlikable and detestable creature and he's also good in the movie too-heh heh, I digress because he actually does do a good job yet it's just that I would've liked a little bit more comedy to come out of him.

That's Bernie Mac playing Alex's father Zuba doing a surprisingly very heartfelt performance...not too many funny lines come out of him, but it still feels very genuine. I'm finding more and more that my favorite character out of these movies is Marty: something about Chris Rock's lines and his delivery and his performance...I don't know, it just cracks me up since he's so likable and energetic and in this one just having a million Chris Rocks talk...I don't know, that just really cracks me up for some reason. Oh, and guess who else is back...that crazy old lady that just had a quick cameo in the first one, but now she's like one of the main characters since she leads an abandoned safari hunt group where a bunch of the tourists almost go 'Lord Of The Flies' and good lord she is just determined to find this lion again-I don't know what her beef is, but she just kills me and that's one of the movie's strong points: it knows when to keep continuing jokes, which characters to hold on to but also knows when to add new material and up the ante...it isn't just a rehash, it gives us exactly what we want while also mixing it with new things.

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The result of 'Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa' is an energy-filled funny comedy and I find myself really enjoying these movies since they just don't seem like other animated flicks out there because they seem to really take advantage of the fact that it's animation, they can do slapstick because it's animation while doing both verbal humor and heart. They can just throw whatever they want without feeling they had to conform to the Disney style or the Pixar style or...heck, even sort of the DreamWorks style and it seems to balance out really really well. If you're not a fan of the first one, I don't think the second one will really sway you at all...but if you do like the first one, the second one is more of the same great comedy while also upping the new stuff-check it out and have some fun, that is why I'm giving 'Madagascar 2' a rating of an 8.5 out of 10

MLEEP Reviews: Madagascar - I Like To Move It, Move It For 15 Years | #Madagascar15

Image result for madagascar 2005
MADAGASCAR
Written By Mark Burton, Billy Frolick, Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath
Composed By Hans Zimmer
Produced By Mireille Soria
Edited By H. Lee Peterson
Directed By Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath

I'll be very honest: one of the reasons I didn't see 'Madagascar' in the theaters is because I thought the characters were lamely designed. Maybe it's because I was just too used to the Disney stuff, but I just thought they looked kind of cheap thus I didn't see it and avoided it for a while until I eventually saw it on DVD. But when the time came around for its fifteenth anniversary review, I naturally had to re-watch it....and you know what, it wasn't that bad even to this day since I think the real strength of it comes from the animation and the humor plus the fact that I legitimately didn't know where it was going and I love movies that can do that especially considering where it started out.  But does this team of animals still have the right moves to make a great film after fifteen years?  Let’s find out, this is ‘Madagascar’!

MADAGASCAR: Alex the lion is the king of the urban jungle, the main attraction at New York's Central Park Zoo. He and his best friends Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo have spent their whole lives in blissful captivity before an admiring public and with regular meals provided for them. Not content to leave well enough alone, Marty lets his curiosity get the better of him and makes his escape with the help of some prodigious penguins to explore the world.

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So, I'm not gonna lie...when I saw the first few minutes of 'Madagascar', I said to myself "okay, I got this figured: this is just gonna be the "fish out of water" story...the friends are gonna be angry at each other, the tribe's gonna think they're one thing, then we're gonna do that stupid "liar revealed" story and it's gonna suck, blah-blah-blah, I hope there's some good jokes." But actually no, there's no "liar revealed" story at all since the focus actually comes down to whether or not Alex will give into his temptation and actually start eating his friends. You know what, I haven't seen that...I think that's much more interesting, much more fun and much more creative and I think it's made even stronger by the fact that the four of them actually do seem to have a legitimate camaraderie to a point where it actually sort of started to remind me of 'The Wild'. Yeah...which one of these came out first, is this another 'A Bug's Life' and 'Antz' thing all over again?

Well anyway, the one thing this has over 'The Wild' is the speed of the animation: I mean, there is just a lot of energy to it and they're trying hard to make the comedy come from just the mere movement of them and it really works a good chunk of the time. The Penguins are also a lot of fun and they pretty much steal the show as expected since everything they do is sort of like ninjas or secret agents, plus I've seen both spin-off shorts and a spin-off series based on these characters and you can definitely see why...they're very enjoyable.

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While I don't think 'Madagascar' is anything fantastic, I will admit that it did have me laughing a lot of the time. The story did sort of have me guessing and it's definitely bright and colorful and has a lot of great stuff for kids. I think it's a pretty decent family flick: it's smart, it's funny, it's entertaining...and while I don't think it's a classic by any means, I think it's a lot of fun. I'd say go see it...but judging by the number of sequels they've already made out of it, you've probably already had to thus you've already drawn your own conclusions. I'm personally glad I saw 'Madagascar' again after so long and I surprisingly even looked forward to seeing the sequels even if there was more Penguins, so I'm gonna give 'Madagascar' a rating of an 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

MLEEP Reviews: Casper - 25 Years Of Friendly Frights | #Casper25

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CASPER
Written By Sherri Stone, Deanna Oliver and J.J. Abrams
Composed By James Horner
Produced By Colin Wilson
Edited By Michael Kahn
Directed By Brad Silberling

With the annual tradition of Halloween being a time for the creepy and the spooky, Casper certainly seems to stand out from the crowd for his friendly and big-eyed personality while never being able to scare anybody yet he sure found a way to truly scare people twenty five years ago with his only cinematic release of the same name but the only reason that it's scary to be fair is because it's so bad: a dozen pointless cameos, a dozen pointless plot lines and a dozen pointless puns.  Is there truth to this movie when they say that things aren't always what they seem, let's find out...this is 'Casper'!

CASPER: Casper is a kind young ghost who peacefully haunts a mansion in Maine when specialist James Harvey arrives to communicate with Casper and his fellow spirits bringing along his teenage daughter Kat. Casper quickly falls in love with Kat, but their budding relationship is complicated not only by his transparent state but also by his troublemaking apparition uncles and their mischievous antics.

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I have to admit that for a story about ghosts, 'Casper' seems like a relatively soulless movie...I mean there isn't much to it, but it actually wasn't scary or even on a scale of so bad it's scary: I mean granted it is a bad movie, but it's nowhere near terrible since the sets are kind of creative, the CGI is fun and even though it doesn't really work, you can tell that creators were at least trying to create something good...there was actual effort put onto it. It's kind of like the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' movie: it's not really good but could have been a hell of a lot worse especially considering the subject matter thus I have to give them credit for at least trying and I'm gonna give 'Casper' a rating of a 6.5 out of 10.

Monday, May 25, 2020

MLEEP Reviews: My Little Pony - Memories And More | #FriendshipIsForever


Season 1, Episode 6: Memories And More
Written By Josh Haber


My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic...what started as a small animated series for little girls that sought to challenge the established nature of the toys would go on to become a major universally appealing success among kids and adults starting an entire fandom culture in sharing the magic of friendship.  Over the past years, our magical equines have traveled through time and raised money to save family businesses and experienced the wonder of the movies all while laughing and dancing and being together...but now after ten years of adventures, this chapter is closing but this series itself would've never been anything without the lovable characters that Lauren Faust herself brought to life: they were able to be with us every single time...they've made us smile, been there for us in our time of need and made our friendships always magical.  So without further ado, let's bring both the 'Friendship Is Forever' mini-series and My Little Pony's fourth generation to a close as we look back on some 'Memories And More'!

MEMORIES AND MORE: Starlight Glimmer, Spike and the rest of their friends make last-minute memory additions to Twilight Sparkle's scrapbook present in time for her coronation.

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I do have to admit that watching all six of these clip-show episodes has really awakened a lot of feelings of nostalgia over the years: I first started watching the series back in March of 2013 and began making videos a few months later and it's been continuous ever since...so even though the series has come to an end and these clip-shows were a pleasant surprise, I never would have thought that it would have awaken so many feelings of nostalgia and...yeah I'm sure that's by design since these are meant to be memory episodes, these are all focused on the Mane Six's best moments followed by Starlight Glimmer and Spike and even the Royal Sisters of which I didn't see that coming but I am grateful for their inclusion most of all.  I am so happy with what they did for Spike because Spike has been with Twilight Sparkle more than any other character in the entirety of the series, I've always seen their relationship as sort of a brotherly-sisterly bond but one could make the argument that Twilight Sparkle is the closest thing that Spike has ever had to a mother especially since the very first flashback they show is Spike being hatched from his egg followed by his Spike showing his maturity through his willingness to put himself in danger in order to keep others safe which culminates in the moment where Spike realizes he doesn't have to find his real parents because Twilight Sparkle always has been and will always be the closest family he's ever had given the many scenes that these two characters have shared over the years: 'Owl's Well That Ends Well', 'Dragon Quest' and even a short little moment at the end of 'Lesson Zero' which really emphasizes just how lost Twilight Sparkle would have been without Spike in her life and vice versa.

Then, there are a few scenes that are dedicated to Starlight Glimmer: the Season 5 premiere, the Season 5 finale and even the Season 7 premiere where Twilight Sparkle basically tells Starlight Glimmer that she's taught her all that she can about friendship and that she needs to find her own path in life.  I've heard so many arguments over the years that Starlight Glimmer is in many ways inspired by Sunset Shimmer and there is some truth to that, but I am grateful that these two characters led to very different stories even though it was built on similar starting points...and like I said earlier even though I wasn't expecting to see the Royal Sisters and their own flashbacks, I am grateful that they were included here because of course Princess Celestia has been such a wonderful mentor figure to Twilight Sparkle over the years and I really wish they would have shown that short little scene in the Season 7 premiere where Princess Celestia was going through many of the same beats that Twilight Sparkle was going through in regards to Starlight Glimmer with how she had to let Twilight Sparkle grow on her own and couldn't be there to keep her safe and protected all the time and of course I'm sure there are tons of fans out there who are immensely grateful that they included a few moments of Princess Luna as well: it is a bit weird to hear Princess Luna speaking in the Royal we because 'Luna Eclipsed' is pretty much the only episode where we got to hear her speaking in this manner and I will admit that the short moment from 'Do Princesses Dream Of Magic Sheep' still has left quite the impression on me over the years.

It has been such a treat to see each of these characters again even if it is with very few new clips since a lot of this is flashbacks to the episodes we've seen multiple times over the years, but it certainly had its desired effect.  I really do want to go back through the series all over again although I do think that when Twilight Sparkle was talking about how a book like this can never really end, that might have been a way for the writers and animators and the rest of the My Little Pony staff to talk about how they kind of wish that they could have kept going with the series: I know there's gonna be another My Little Pony movie coming out in 2021 and eventually they're gonna come up with Generation 5 and I was kind of hoping they just gave a tiny hint on what to expect from Generation 5 from these clip-show episodes, but you know that they are continuing this series in the comics of which I know they're being delayed until further notice given the state of the world right now but at least we will get to see further stories from Generation 4 in that fashion.

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Overall, 'Memories And More' and the 'Friendship Is Forever' series in general have been very fun...many hadn't expected these clip-show episodes to come out until the first one that was suddenly dropped on us and we were like 'oh wow, hey this is nice' and now that it's come to an end, I admit that it certainly went a long way in building some nostalgic memories for me.  Much like the characters in these episodes, I really want to look back on how far I've come over the years and all the friends I've made through my YouTube channel that I really didn't think would go anywhere when I first started out: in a way, I suppose these clip-show episodes have more of an impact on me because of how much of a connection it's built up in what I have done over the years and who I met and all the relationships that I've built up over the years.  I'm glad that the final episode not only focused on Spike and Starlight Glimmer, but the Royal Sisters as well...those feelings of nostalgia are nice, but it is a welcome reminder that we can continue to create new memories and forge new paths and overcome new struggles and I honestly hope that such challenges will continue to help me grow as well as many of you out there and that is why I'm giving 'Memories And More' a rating of a 9.5 out of 10 as well as giving the 'Friendship Is Forever' mini-series an overall rating of an 8.58 out of 10.

And thus, the fourth generation of My Little Pony has officially come to an end...while I know that there are people among the fandom who still believe that the end of the series means the end of everything from their friendships to the fandom itself, but it's like Twilight Sparkle and her friends said: just because this chapter of our lives is ending, that doesn't mean that we're never gonna see each other again since the world of My Little Pony is the whole reason that so many people got to meet their best friends ever and you're sadly mistaken if you think that you're not gonna be friends anymore just because your friends are about to go on new adventures with new opportunities.

We've sure had some wild times, haven't we...throughout these past ten years, the music scene inside the fandom keeps getting bigger and better with the musicians really knowing how to blow the roof off whether online or performing at conventions all around the world and not to mention all of the amazing talented people in the community from the cosplayers to the special guests from the series that come to conventions to meet their many fans and we've been able to make such amazing memories together and I am so glad to have gotten to share them with all of you.

From the very beginning, this was all about all of us within the fandom from our very beginning at the start of the decade...this whole franchise would've never reached the scale that it accomplished without all of us-the fans.  From the numerous of created OC's and fan art to video games along with music and cosplays and so much more, all because of the one thing that brought us together...My Little Pony helped so many people discover their inner artist while reigniting the spark of creativity in others and it even helped some find their calling in life all because of this show.

The title says it all, doesn't it...some of you have met your best friends, your significant others, your husbands, your wives, some even have little fillies and colts of their own that they can now share this show with and you've gone on so many amazing experiences and grown together all because friendship is magic.  This isn't goodbye and it doesn't matter if we are miles apart, we're still a part of each other and a part of you.  So...continue to rock out, continue to create and continue to be you.

And now on behalf of everypony in Equestria for one last time, I'm True Blue saying...THANK YOU, MY LITTLE PONY!


Memories And More-9.5/10


'FRIENDSHIP IS FOREVER' OVERALL RATING: 8.58/10