|The Cutie Map - Part 1|
|Season episode №:||1|
|Overall episode №:||92|
|Original airdate:||April 4, 2015|
|Story by:||Meghan McCarthy|
|Written by:||Scott Sonneborn and M. A. Larson|
|Storyboard:||Cory Toomey and Katrina Hadley|
|Featured characters:||Starlight Glimmer|
|Song:||In Our Town|
|credits • transcript • gallery • allusions|
animation errors • statistics • speculation
Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2
The Cutie Map - Part 2
The Cutie Map - Part 1, also formatted The Cutie Map, Part 1 and also called Cutie Markless Pt 1, is the first episode of the fifth season of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic and the ninety-second episode overall, being the first episode to take place after the film My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks. It is the first part of a two-part season premiere. Along with Part 2 of the premiere, these two are the first episodes to premiere on the Discovery Family Channel.
In this episode, Princess Twilight Sparkle and her friends unlock a magical map in her new castle, which leads them to a rather mysterious village where the inhabitants have given up their cutie marks.
Production and development
The animatic for this episode was first shown at San Diego Comic-Con International on July 25, 2014 and was later released as part of the "2014 San Diego Comic-Con My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Panel" bonus feature on the Season Four Disc 4 DVD. Some scenes from this episode were teased in Rainbow Dash's and Rarity's recap videos for the season 5 teaser trailers.
In early February 2015, Jim Miller guessed in a Twitter reply that whether Cutie Mark Magic is supposed to be season five's theme will become apparent when the season starts. A trailer for the season premiere, with the still vague premiere date of "Spring 2015", was released online by Yahoo TV Videos on February 11, 2015 and by Hasbro on February 12, 2015. A teaser trailer for the season premiere was released online by Hasbro on February 14, 2015.
The title "Cutie Markless, Part 1" was formerly listed in a pre-order listing for Shout! Factory's Cutie Mark Quests DVD including this episode. Said listing and March 3–5, 2015 Twitter replies by Jim Miller have together indicated "Cutie Markless: Part 1" and "Cutie Markless (1)" as wrong. "Cutie Markless Pt. 1" is listed on the disc art of a Discovery Family press promo DVD for season premiere screening.
The map itself was designed by Rebecca Dart. Directors Jayson Thiessen and Jim Miller along with art director Rebecca Dart and prop designer Charmaine Verhagen came up with the design for the "Staff of Sameness".
Both this episode and its second part were nominated for a 2016 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form).
Revealing the map
At the Castle of Friendship in Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle wonders about the castle's appearance following the defeat of Lord Tirek. As she and her friends sit in their thrones, their cutie marks begin to glow, causing lights from their thrones to shine upon the star-shaped platform in the center of the room. The castle suddenly comes alive to construct an elaborate holographic map of Equestria.
Floating images of the Mane Six's cutie marks point toward a location far off from Ponyville, and the six friends believe that the map is beckoning them in that direction. As Spike stays behind to plan a hoofball weekend with Big McIntosh, Twilight and her friends set out on a road trip.
Village of odd smiles
After riding the Friendship Express to the end of the line, the Mane Six find a village in the middle of nowhere, where all of the houses—with the exception of one—are arranged in two parallel rows. The ponies cautiously approach the village and discover that all of the ponies living in it bear strangely perpetual smiles (which raises Pinkie Pie's immediate suspicion) and have exactly the same cutie mark: a black equal sign.
As they enter the village, the Mane Six are warmly greeted by the villagers, much to Fluttershy's delight. Two stallions named Party Favor and Double Diamond meet them personally, noticing that Twilight is an Alicorn princess and that they all have unique cutie marks.
Twilight asks if there has been any trouble in town lately, of which Double Diamond states there hasn't ever been any. The two stallions decide to take the ponies to meet the village's founder Starlight Glimmer.
At Starlight's cottage, the Mane Six are introduced to Starlight Glimmer, who happily welcomes any pony that wants to experience what she calls "true friendship." She explains that her village is unique in that no one has special talents. Starlight gives the ponies a tour of the village in a big musical number, during which she explains that harmony in the village in predicated on equality—no one is special, no one argues, and everyone is equal.
When the song ends, Starlight and the villagers invite Twilight and her friends to join their society and give up their cutie marks—a sentiment and philosophy that Rainbow Dash openly mocks. The others are equally skeptical, and Starlight leaves their decision to stay or not entirely up to them. As Double Diamond sees to the Mane Six's needs, Starlight walks away, eager to spread her sinister message of equality to the rest of Equestria.
Big Brony is watching you
As the six friends continue to take in what the village has to offer, Twilight finds it inconceivable that a pony's cutie mark can be taken away. Rarity is repulsed by their questionable fashions, and Rainbow Dash is uncomfortable with their constant staring; Fluttershy is the only one keeping an open mind.
The friends sit down for lunch, and a baker named Sugar Belle notices them bickering, asking if their friendship is ending. They explain to Sugar Belle that it's natural for friends to disagree; this, coupled by the Mane Six's unique cutie marks, earns Sugar Belle's interest. She asks them to meet with her in private after they have lunch. Thinking that they're being watched, Twilight and the others have Pinkie Pie eat Sugar Belle's horrible tasting muffins and nonchalantly enter Sugar Belle's house.
In Sugar Belle's basement, the Mane Six meet with Sugar Belle, Party Favor, and Night Glider, who express a great interest in the ponies' cutie marks and yearn for their own. When Twilight asks how a cutie mark is taken away, Night Glider explains that Starlight Glimmer removes them with the "Staff of Sameness" and stores them in a cavern vault.
The cutie mark vault
Starlight Glimmer leads the Mane Six outside the village, pleased by their interest in the cutie mark vault. Twilight believes that the castle map brought them to the village in order to return the villagers' cutie marks. Inside a cave, they discover a large collection of cutie marks stored inside glass casings and a two-pronged staff standing upright.
Starlight asks the ponies how they learned about the vault, and Pinkie Pie inadvertently reveals that a pony in the village told them about it. Realizing that the friends' presence is a threat to her perfect society, Starlight springs a trap on them, and the villagers surround them. Using the Staff of Sameness, Starlight rips the Mane Six's cutie marks from their bodies, replacing them with black equal signs and causing the Mane Six's body colors to fade, and places the cutie marks in the vault.
With the ponies now stripped of their talents, Starlight says they'll learn how much better their lives will be without cutie marks. The episode ends on an overhead shot of the villagers standing around the Mane Six in an equal sign formation.
- For more quotes, see the episode's transcript.
- Twilight Sparkle: Let's go through this one more time.
- Rainbow Dash: [sighs] We've been over it like a million times, Twilight! We found all six keys, defeated Tirek, and got this sweet castle! End of story!
- Fluttershy: I agree with Twilight... And Rarity. And Applejack. And Rainbow Dash. And Pinkie Pie... Oh, and probably Spike.
- Spike: [groans] Is that new? I like it.
- Fluttershy: Um, maybe I'll just stay here with Spike.
- Spike: Awesome! Me and Big Mac have a huge weekend ahead of us talkin' hoofball, and... And trading hoofball cards, and arguing about hoofball stats...
- Fluttershy: O-o-on second thought, m-m-maybe I'd better go with them. In case they need me.
- Twilight Sparkle: Looks like it's time for a road trip.
- Twilight Sparkle: That's it! That's the place on the map!
- Rarity: Right, let's get down there and find the spa.
- Pinkie Pie: I don't like it. I don't like it one bit. I know smiles. And those smiles? They're just not right.
- Twilight Sparkle: Forget the smiles. Look at the cutie marks.
- Rainbow Dash: Okay, that's weird.
- Rainbow Dash: I bet there's some sort of horrific monster behind it.
- Twilight Sparkle: What makes you say that?
- Rainbow Dash: 'Cause fighting a horrific monster would be super-awesome!
- Pinkie Pie: Something's rotten in... whatever the name of this village is that we're in right now!
- Applejack: Say what?
- Double Diamond: Starlight, we have some new visitors.
- Rainbow Dash: [to Applejack] Be ready to fight. We don't know what's gonna come through that door.
- Starlight Glimmer: Welcome! I'm so pleased to have you here.
- Starlight Glimmer: When the rest of Equestria sees that a princess gave up her cutie mark to join us, they'll finally understand what we're trying to accomplish.
- Pinkie Pie: If we were at the end of Equestria, we'd be at a big "A"!
- Sugar Belle: What can I bring you? We have muffins...
- Twilight Sparkle: It's a trap!
- My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Cutie Mark Quests. Shout! Factory. Retrieved on 2015 April 3.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic : Cutie Markless. Zap2It. Retrieved on 2015 March 13.
- Melissa Wasser (2015-04-03). 2015_DFC_April_Highlights_FINAL.pdf. Retrieved on 2015 April 3.
- Hasbro (2014-12-15). My Little Pony Season 5 Teaser (Spring 2015) - Rainbow Dash Recap. YouTube. Retrieved on 2014 December 15.
- Hasbro (2014-12-22). My Little Pony Season 5 Teaser (Spring 2015) - Rarity Recap. YouTube. Retrieved on 2014 December 22.
- Jim Miller (2015-02-04). Big Jim on Twitter: "@MatthewSephton1 I guess you'll find out when S5 starts!". Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 February 4.
- 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic' Season 5 Trailer. Yahoo TV Videos (2015-02-11). Retrieved on 2015 February 11.
- gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/videos/BPmeRpqUjj8. Retrieved on 2015 February 11.
- MLP: Friendship is Magic - EXCLUSIVE Season 5 Trailer. YouTube (2015-02-12). Retrieved on 2015 February 12.
- gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/videos/BPmeRpqUjj8. Retrieved on 2015 February 14.
- MLP: Friendship is Magic - Season 5 Teaser Trailer. YouTube (2015-02-14). Retrieved on 2015 February 14.
- Jim Miller (2015-03-03). Big Jim on Twitter: "@SilverEaglePVL Sorry. Those are ALL wrong.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 March 4.
- Jim Miller (2015-03-04). Big Jim on Twitter: "@matt1986wilson @MMeghanMcCarthy It's not.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 March 8.
- Jim Miller (2015-03-04). Big Jim on Twitter: "@matt1986wilson Those titles are incorrect.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 March 8.
- Jim Miller (2015-03-05). Big Jim on Twitter: "@matt1986wilson the titles are still wrong.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 March 8.
- $_57.JPG (2015-05-10). Retrieved on 2015 May 12.
- Jim Miller (2015-04-04). Awesome map design.... Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 April 5.
- Jim Miller (2015-04-04). @FJRA_Frist It was a combo. @goldenrusset and.... Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 April 19.
- 2016 Hugo Finalists. MidAmericon II. Retrieved on 2016 April 26.
|Equestria Girls||Rainbow Rocks||Friendship Games||Legend of Everfree|
|My Little Pony The Movie|
|Dance Magic||Movie Magic||Mirror Magic||Forgotten Friendship|
|Rollercoaster of Friendship||Best Gift Ever||Spring Breakdown||Rainbow Roadtrip|
|Sunset's Backstage Pass||Holidays Unwrapped|
|Rainbow Rocks shorts||Friendship Games shorts||Summertime Shorts||Equestria Girls: Better Together (season 1)|
|Equestria Girls: Better Together (season 2)||Equestria Girls: Choose Your Own Ending (season 1)||Equestria Girls: Choose Your Own Ending (season 2)||Equestria Girls Minis|
|Baby Flurry Heart's Heartfelt Scrapbook||Rarity's Peek Behind the Boutique||Fundamentals of Magic||My Little Pony Established 1983|
|Friendship is Magic shorts||Hello Pinkie Pie||Stop Motion Shorts|