So on the surface it seems like I've been updating this blog regularly. A new post comes up every Wednesday as I said it would. Yet as I mentioned in earlier posts I've been writing these in advance, and I churned out a lot of them back in August. However, I've been procrastinating, so my queue of finished reviews is getting shorter every week. And I'm freaking out, possibly justifiably.
So what have I been doing with my time? Well, I've been doing my rotations in the hospital, which I've been doing since I've started my blog so that's not really contributing to my procrastination. I've been working to submit my residency applications, but that was mostly a lot of procrastination as well. I'm also back in the town of my med school, so I've been hanging out with friends, but that's it's not really fair to blame others for my own laziness. My online course on the history of animation that I mentioned in the 1976 review has started, but it doesn't take me THAT long to work on stuff. It's probably just the fact that it takes me forever and a day to write these things, so my motivation isn't exactly very high. So what have I been doing instead? Well, it's mostly just playing The Sims 3 and watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
|My current Facebook cover pic!|
If you're also a My Little Pony fan, then yey! If you're not and aghast that I'd jump on the bandwagon of a fad, well then maybe I'd better use this introduction space to talk about my brony story. The 1973 Oscars had a good film winning Best Picture in The Sting, but otherwise wasn't terribly exciting. Except for maybe Tatum O'Neal becoming the youngest person ever to win an Oscar, doing so for Paper Moon at the age of 10, beating out Linda Blair (1.4x O'Neal's age), Candy Clark (2.6x), Madeline Kahn (3.1x), and Sylvia Sidney (6.3x).
Anyways, I don't think I've even heard about the show until last October when I saw a video of Fluttershy doing OMM on a bear. Somebody must have posted it on Facebook or something. As a student at an osteopathic medical school, seeing a scene with OMM was pretty cool. I was also surprised that there was another My Little Pony show. I only knew about the original one from the 1980s, and that was because one of the tapes that my family had with numerous cartoons contained part 10 of the End of Flutter Valley story arc. Considering the fact that Friendship of Magic was in its second season by the time that Fluttershy OMM clip aired, I was pretty oblivious to popular culture. It didn't take me long to find out more, though, as there were some pretty big My Little Pony fans in the Longview Comic Book Club. I found out that the series was created by Lauren Faust. And there was a character called Pinkie Pie that my friend cosplayed as in A-Kon. It was the former fact that piqued my interest, as not only did Faust work on The Powerpuff Girls, which I really enjoyed, but was also married to Powerpuff Girls creator Craig McCracken.
However, despite my interest I didn't actually get to watching it until one day I was on Netflix for some weird reason and saw that Friendship is Magic was available on instant stream. I was looking for something to watch when I'm playing The Sims 3, and that would be perfect. I didn't have time to watch it in Ohio, as I was spending more time driving long distances to baseball games than relaxing with the ponies and Sims. It wasn't until I came back to Fort Worth that I was able to play The Sims 3 and watch the show. I was instantly hooked. It was mostly a slice of life show (my favorite type...I can do without action packed battles) with interactions between well defined and well rounded characters. The storylines were great, and even if the plots were bland (one was pretty much lifted from a Powerpuff Girls episode), it had enough charm to make it interesting. There really wasn't a bad episode, which is quite impressive for a 52-episode series.
Furthermore, there seemed to be a lot of parallels between Friendship is Magic and another one of my favorite TV show: Azumanga Daioh. It too was a slice of life show with well defined and well rounded characters that has maintained some sort of a cult status. Yet the similarities go beyond that. There are six people...er...ponies in the main cluster of friends in Friendship is Magic, and six main characters in Azumanga Daioh. Friendship is Magic also focused on some secondary characters in the Cutie Mark Crusaders, while Azumanga Daioh had the teachers Yukari and Kurosawa-sensei, as well as Kimura and Kaorin. And both shows have background characters that gained some prominence amidst the fandom: Friendship had the aforementioned Derpy, Lyra, and Bonbon while Azumanga had Ohyama and the girl with the braids. (I know the fandom gave her a name, but I can't remember.) And most importantly, both series deal with a common theme. Yes, they do it in a slightly different way. Friendship deals with a common storyline in each episode that ends with a lesson learned, while Azumanga is more episodic in its presentation. Yet both shows are driven by the importance of friendship.
I wish I could be more profound, but my mind is kind of mush right now, so let's just move on to the review before it disintegrates some more.
Where Can I Watch It?
The Legend of John Henry
Where Can I Watch It?
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the video online five years ago, and I still can't today. Little Golden Books did release the short film along with a short about Paul Bunyan. That was how I saw the film, and if you want to watch it that's probably how you'll have to watch it.
Where Can I Watch It?
Only three nominees this year, which I'm not complaining about. I'm kind of dreading the years in the 1940s with as many as 10 nominees. All three films are good, artistic films, but Frank Film stands out artistically and thematically. Yes, it may have been bold for Mouris to sneak in a reference to the Oscars, but the film was dazzling enough that the Academy gave him that Oscar anyways. The film went on to be one of the few animated shorts selected to the National Film Registry, but then Mouris kind of went on the down low or something. Although I guess if you won an Oscar for a film about your life at 29, you've pretty much hit the top.
My rankings (by quality and preference)
Frank Film > Pulcinella > The Legend of John Henry