Well, it's time to get started with the final hiatus before the series ends! Can't believe the first half of the season has already come and gone, with only 13 episodes left, I gotta- wait, what? There's another special? Oh... alrighty then! Keep the fun going one more day! What's the special called? Rainbow Roadtrip? Interesting title. Alrighty then! Let's do it!
This story is actually similar to the season three premiere because of the depressed ponies and a symbol of their power (the Crystal Heart/Rainbow Generator), and a bit of the season five premiere with a far-off town having a town-wide friendship problem - only difference is no villain. So the story's about Rainbow Dash being a guest of honor in a Rainbow Festival in a place called Hope Hollow, but they find out that the town has gone grey and the Rainbow Festival was basically DashCon, just without the ball pit. So Mayor Sunny Skies actually summoned the Mane Six to help them restore the Rainbow Festival and bring back the color in town, so it's really nice seeing that the Mane Six are being more and more noticed to farther away places who ask for their assistance! I understand that the mayor felt that he had to lie to get the Mane Six to go to his town, but what he didn't realize is that they woulda came anyway if it meant a problem that needed to be fixed, and Twilight would always go to help those in need, right? Since season 9 has been lacking the Cutie Map, maybe that woulda been an alternate source of letting the Mane Six know about the problem the town was having? But then they wouldn've gotten the note that talked about the activities and stuff Hope Hollow has.
I understood why everything was grey, but why was everything falling apart? Is it that gloomy ponies don't bother cleaning or do maintenance? Alota the villagers seemed like copies to their Ponyville counterparts, like Blue Mac, and Moody Root reminded me of some of those grandpa ponies in Ponyville. Still, even though I saw the answer coming, it was still clever! Of course the generator wasn't the reason everypony became grey! It was the fact that nobody said hi to eachother or anything anymore, and that is soooo relatable! Being in this new neighborhood with very few neighbors to interact, it's tough. Nowadays people just wanna stick to themselves and their iPhones or Androids that no one wants to talk anymore or make new friends. That's why it's been difficult for me at UCF - it's hard making new friends in a new area when people tend to stick with people similar to them. I'm always into meeting new people, and this story really showed how color can be brought to people's lives just by saying "hello" or "how ya doin'"! It happened to me quite recently at Lowes! I made an employee's day cause I asked them how they're doing! Employees tend to get taken advantage of, and a simple compliment can go a long way, and that's what this special is all about!
Unfortunately though, this special didn't quite execute it the way it shoulda been, because alota times in here, the pacing was so slow. With each of the Mane Six having their own subplots, the story really dragged on alota times, and nothing interesting was really happening. Yes, there was no villain, and I have no issues with that - but there was too much walking around and talking, and not much humor going about either, which made alota these scenes bland, much like the town. Was it done like that on purpose? As clever as that is, the sense of blandness shouldn't be part of the entertainment, cause that's what made special really boring in alota parts. That's why I gave it a low score. The story's not the problem, the characters aren't the problem - it's the slow-pacing and the blandness of the scenes that made it boring. Feels too long to be 60 minutes, but it also would feel too rushed if it was a regular 22-minute episode, but maybe a 44-minute special woulda done the job perfectly! Despite the negativity, this special wasn't bad cause there's still some parts that interested me!
Applejack herself in here was really on a role, since she's the first to notice the greyness, and the first to notice the color! Rarity herself was too recognized by somepony who admired her - Kerfuffle! She seemed to really take Rarity's dress ideas to heart, in which Rarity herself believes that Kerfuffle can do some more original designs, but hey, one can't be truly 100% original all the time! It's that way with stories alot! Rainbow has her fanclub (Scootaloo has some competition), Barley and Pickle Barrel, twin siblings! Now that there is some fanfic potential! Someone make a fanfic of them being older and joining The Wonderbolts, cause a couple of twins being part of the WBs would be really interesting! I can see Captain Rainbow Dash welcoming them as cadets in the academy! Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy were together for most of the special and were handling the food - so pretty much every Mane Six had something to do in here! Not one of them felt shoehorned in!
Now for the songs! The End of the Rainbow was beautiful, and it was sung by Sunny Skies, and guess who voiced him? The voice of Sunburst, and he sang beautifully! Unfortunately, the other songs in the special felt pretty meh. The Rainbow Roadtrip song was short, and Living in Color wasn't really that interesting to me.
Other than the Mane Six, the only recognizable characters were in the beginning, with cameos of Gummy, Angel, Opal, Starlight, Trixie, the Cakes, and others, and Spike gets left behind again... and not even hanging with Big Mac, he's doing work! I know he's Twilight's assistant and all, but he can never catch a break, can he? Is he part of the Mane 6 (or Mane 7), or not? Is he a main character or not? It's like the devs can't make up their minds. I'm just gonna say that, Cathy Weseluck is busy with Spike's bigger role in season 9, and giving Cathy to voice another whole special would be too much, so I'll just go with that till proven otherwise.
However, they were all animated well! This is basically Boulder Media's test run in the MLP series before they get started on G5! The question is, does it live up to G4 standards? Ehhh, kinda. Yes, all of the Mane Six were in-character. The new characters were quite enjoyable, including Sunny Skies and Petunia Petals - the shipping is strong with this duo! Though it's weird how Sunny asked Pentuina to marry him before she became his special somepony first. So while it felt slow-paced for most of the special, the ending felt a bit rushed. There was a huge pacing problem in here, which is something Boulder Media needs to work on for G5. I'm not really gonna watch G5 so I don't really care, but I hope everyone else enjoys it! ;)
Alright now we can start the final hiatus!
- Youku's On-Demand: "Hold my risecakes!"