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Featured TV on DVD Review: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Adventures in the Crystal Empire

December 22nd, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Adventures in the Crystal Empire - Buy from Amazon

This is the third time I've gotten a chance to review a DVD from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which is the fourth generation in the long running franchise. The earlier shows were aimed at young girls and were written in such a way that there was almost no crossover appeal. In this version, there's more complex characters and there's more conflict, which helps it appeal to more people. Not only can young girls watch the show for the several strong female characters, but young boys can watch the show for the cool villains like Discord. The latest DVD, Adventures in the Crystal Empire, begins with the Season Three opener, but includes a few more episodes.

The Show

  1. The Crystal Empire, Part 1 and 2
    Twilight Sparkle is summoned to Canterlot by Princess Celestia. At first she thinks it is a test, and she's excited. However, while it is technically a test, it is not a written test. Twilight Sparkle is told about the Crystal Empire, which used to be a place of beauty, until King Sombra took over and nearly destroyed the place. He was banished to the arctic, as was the Crystal Empire. Now it has returned, but it is unknown if King Sombra has returned with it. If he were to rule again, his evil would spread throughout the land. Twilight Sparkle is to travel to the Crystal Empire, although with her friends, to meet with her brother, Shining Armor, and find a way to protect the Crystal Empire. Princess Cadance is also there and she's been protecting the Empire, but she's growing weak. Their initial research is stymied, because everyone has amnesia, but after going to the library, they learn that is was the spirit of love and unity that protected it from harm, and they used to maintain this by having a Crystal Fair. ... So in order to save the kingdom, they need to throw a party. The party does work a little bit. The ponies start to remember what it was like before the King took over, but that's when the ponies learn something troublesome. The fair wasn't there just to bring love and unity, but to focus that love and unity into the Crystal Heart. Without the Crystal Heart, they won't be able to protect the empire for long.
  2. Sonic Rainboom
    Rainbow Dash is preparing for the Young Flier's Competition and she's more than a little nervous. She wants everyone to be there to cheer her on, but the competition takes place on Cloudsdale, and only Pegusi can walk on the clouds. Fortunately, Twilight Sparkle finds a magic spell to make that happen. Unfortunately, she can't help Rainbow Dash do the Sonic Rainboom.
  3. Luna Eclipsed
    It's Nightmare Night in Ponyville (Halloween to you and me). Rainbow Dash is playing pranks. Applejack is bobbing for apples. Pinkie Pie is trick or treating. Twilight Sparkle is dressed up as an obscure historical figure no one can indentiy. As the festivities continue, Princess Luna decides to visit Ponyville; however, Princess Luna used to be evil and while evil she went by the name Nightmare Moon, and Nightmare Moon is the reason for Nightmare Night. This could be awkward. This could go beyond awkward to rage inducing.
  4. It's About Time
    Twilight Sparkle is busy trying to fix next month's schedule (she forgot to leave time to prepare the schedule for the next month) when she is visited by an injured Twilight Sparkle from the distant future. ... Actually, she's from next Tuesday. Present Twilight is so excited about the concept of time travel, that she interrupts Future Twilight Sparkle so much the future that all she can say is, "Whatever you do, don't--" Now she has to figure what is going to happen and how to stop it.

The Extras

There are sing-along versions of "The Ballad of the Crystal Ponies", plus some printable color pages.

The Verdict

Adventures in the Crystal Empire is a standard My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic in terms of episodes. There's one two-part episode and three mixed episodes. All four episodes are worth watching more than once and the price-per-minute is very good compared to most single-disc TV on DVD releases. Also, getting episodes from season three so quickly is a bonus. On the other hand, the complete Season One is available on DVD as well, and that's a better deal. If you don't want to wait, then this is still a good deal.

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Filed under: Video Review, John de Lancie