My top ten My Little Pony songs

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Alongside anime I’ve always been a huge fan of Western animation, including My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. There are so many things I love about this show but for this post I thought I’d focus on one thing – music. I’m always impressed with the variety of music MLP offers, from soulful ballads, to upbeat numbers, to dramatic duets. Read on to find out my top ten favourites and why I think they’re some of the best…and a great reason to watch this fantastic show.

10. At the Gala

This was the offering for the finale of the first season of My Little Pony. It was the first time we saw MLP doing some really fun things with each pony’s personality in relation to music, and I love the way the mane six’s themes join at the end.

9. Hearts Strong as Horses

“We’re kinda short, but so what? We don’t get defeated/We could take a little break but, we don’t need it”. This song really sums up the Cutie Mark Crusaders perfectly and it’s my favourite of their songs with so much boundless optimism!

8. B.B.B.F.F.

This is a short but sweet introduction to Twilight’s older brother, Shining Armour, with a really nice emotional key change.

7. Battle – Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks

Kazumi Evans adds a feisty edge to Rarity’s vocal style to transform into the captivating villain Adagio Dazzle in this rocky number. It’s a really fun song designed to seduce us into embracing our darker, more selfish side with a strong hook.

6. This Day Aria

Not only is this song a magnificent duet of good versus evil, it makes a meta joke, as it musically uses a “deceptive cadence”, which is a clever reference to the evil Princess Cadence. The theme of a female villain and a wedding feels similar to Disney’s Little Mermaid, in a good way.

5. The Spectacle

My Little Pony proves they can do techno-pop with an effortless Lady Gaga-esque song that I think could easily been a chart-topper if it were released mainstream.

4. The Magic Inside (I Am Just A Pony)

Another musical turn from Lena Hall who casts off her “razzle dazzle” from my favourite song in fifth place, and offers a raw soulful piano ballad with some moving vocals. Just don’t ask how she’s managing to play piano with hooves…

3. What More is Out There – Equestria Girls: The Friendship Games

The entirety of The Friendship Games is one brilliant song after another in my opinion, so it’s tough to pick a winner, but the song that stood out for me is Twilight’s hopeful ode to a new beginning. It starts humbly and builds into something to rival any Disney number of a heroine eager to start their journey. Unlike some of the cutesier MLP numbers it asks bigger questions that anyone could relate to – “Will I find what I’m looking for if I just do it on my own?”

2. The Midnight in Me – Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree

I could sing this ballad all day. It’s a shame that Daniel Ingram’s full length version didn’t make it to the film, but this one minute and thirty seconds packs a punch, and is a pretty powerful metaphor for depression at that…

1. Pinkie Pie’s Smile Song (Come on Everypony Smile, Smile, Smile)

My number one has to be Pinkie Pie’s Smile Song! This is the first song I heard that I felt sounded like it could be a full song in its own right outside the context of the show, and it really cemented Pinkie Pie as my favourite character by so brilliantly encapsulating what a huge heart she has. I challenge you to watch it and not, well, smile!

There are so many other My Little Pony songs I love that I couldn’t fit on here. Which ones do you love? Leave a comment below and let me know!

 

Miraculous Ladybug

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Miraculous Ladybug is a Korean-French animation, the brainchild of Thomas Astruc and produced by multiple animation companies including Japanese company Toei Animation and The Walt Disney company.

The story centres around Marinette, an average, extra dippy Parisian teen with a crush on the handsome blonde Adrienne. When she’s not drooling and squeaking over him, she’s busy protecting her city as “Miraculous Ladybug” in a spotty lyrca costume. What she doesn’t know (of course) is that Adrienne is also protecting the city as “Cat Noir” with his own stretchy outfit. He fancies Miraculous Ladybug, she fancies Adrienne, neither knows who the other is…you get the picture.

Ah, the classic love story of cat boy meets ladybug girl...
Ah, the classic love story of cat boy meets ladybug girl…
Marinette specialises in derp faces
Marinette specialises in derp faces like this one

Miraculous Ladybug and Cat Noir must protect the city from “Hawk Moth” who releases magical butterflies to transform Marinette’s peers and provide them with the power to enact revenge on the city for the injustice they have suffered. Although predictable, this formula could have worked if there was something extra to make it interesting. Unfortunately Miraculous Ladybug fails to deliver anything truly fresh, exciting, or original. Marinette is on a whole new level of dippy, often tripping over her words and herself in her general dizziness. In fact, none of the characters seem to have any hint of real personality beyond the barest stereotypes. I was surprised and disappointed that this was the case when so many cultures and big names had been involved in the creation of the show.

If you’re looking for a very light-hearted, very simple superhero cartoon, you might want to give this a try, but there are probably others more worth your time.

Miraculous Ladybug airs on Disney Channel UK in January 2016.

 

Frozen

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Having been a long time fan of Disney’s animated works, and in particular a big fan of Tangled, I was very much looking forward to Frozen, Disney’s latest animated offering from the makers of Tangled.

The premise is fairly simple, centering on two princesses of Arendelle named Anna and Elsa. The two are close as can be as children, their innocent mirth doubled by Elsa’s magical powers that enable her to create ice and snow. However, when Elsa accidentally injures her sister with her powers, it is decided for everyone’s safety the two should be kept apart. When Elsa comes of age to take the throne of the kingdom, her powers have reached dangerous levels, and when she unintentionally renders the whole kingdom an icy wasteland, it’s up to Anna to help save the day.

For most of the film, Disney offers us its fairly traditional and well trusted elements – princesses, a loveable mascot (in this case a snowman), romance and song. With Idina Menzel voicing Elsa, her performance of “Let It Go” is undoubtedly one of the musical high points of the film.

Another stand out feature for animation fans has to be the stunning visuals. The conflicts surrounding Elsa’s powers make up the main crux of the film, so Disney have put their all into reflecting both the danger and the beauty of what she can do, from terrifying shards of ice to beautiful snowflakes and stunning swirls of snow. However, the heart of the film remains the relationships between the characters, with the central relationship being between Elsa and Anna. Strong, positive relationships between two women are rare to find in animated Disney films, so it is a joy to see as we approach 2014 a film that not only creates female characters with motivations that don’t revolve entirely around romance, but also women who can take care of themselves (towards the end of the film we see Anna punch a character who treated her badly).

Funny, stunning, heart warming and with an excellent musical score, Frozen is not a film to miss!