It starts off with the theme song, but with slightly different animation from the version available on Hasbro's website, which I've covered already. However, there's an extended version on the DVD that includes the animation not used, along with even more scenes and an all-new bridge. But anyway, on to the story proper. Being as this is a Christmas special, we open with a scene of snowflakes, although once the camera pan gets to Ponyville, there isn't any snow, and a pony makes a point of saying "I wish it would snow." A random narrator begins to give us the exposition on the Winter Wishes Festival, and the core seven burst in with their favorite "holiday" traditions (parties, outfits, hairstyles, cookies, painting, skating, decorations), but the narrator insists that the best is putting the Twinkle Wish star on top of the
Christmas Ever Forevergreen Tree in the town square. Sweetiebell and Scootaloo, as the youngest, speculate on the tree's name, though Cheerilee sets them straight, while the others just giggle at their ignorance. Cheerilee continues to explain about the ornament making contest, the winner of which gets the honor of placing the star, which grants everyone in town one wish, at the top of the tree. Scootaloo and Sweetiebelle make a big deal of "not being little," which just makes the others laugh, though Scootaloo is placated easily enough by being told she's cute.
With the contest coming up later that day, Toola Roola gets half an idea for an ornament, and Pinkie Pie suggests they team up, since she has too many ideas. Cheerilee suggests they all pair up, conveniently forgetting that there are seven of them, and predictably, she ends up the odd pony out. The narrator handily points out that none of the others left her out on purpose. The others propose to combine their various stuff (pink, colorful, glittery, and stuffy) and meet up at Sweetiebelle's house, while Cheerilee dejectedly goes to her own house to work on her ornament alone. Though Pinkie Pie gets the feeling they're forgetting something, it isn't all their ornaments are made that they realize just what it is. In the meantime, everyone tries to figure out how to beat the designated Artsy pony (Toola Roola), which for the Rainbow/Starsong team is more glitter and feathers, and for Scootaloo/Sweetiebelle, a lucky button. While showing off their ornaments to each other, they finally realize Cheerilee isn't there, and go to find her.
Rushing into Cheerilee's house (seriously, no knocking or anything), they all apologize profusely, and seeing her ornament is just a pinecone with a ribbon, they each offer something from their ornaments, except for Scootaloo, who is loathe to change her ornament. But with the narrator's intonation that "Sometimes doing the hard thing is ever so hard to do," she eventually offers Cheerilee her choice of something, and Cheerilee takes the button, much to Scootaloo's chagrin.
Later that afternoon, the core seven gather in the square again to await the announcement of the winning ornament. Everyone except Scootaloo is certain Cheerilee will win, though a win for her will be like a win for all of them, really. At last Mayor Flitter Flutter arrives (with a teased-up hairdo) to pick the winning ornament. Is it just me, or is she totally Scootaloo's (and by extension, Cheerilee's) mom? Nobody makes mention of this, so I'm guessing not, but come on, she's got the right color scheme and the big hair to match. Anyway, this year's theme is "Ponyville's Spirit of Friendship," so naturally Cheerilee wins, and the mayor even makes a point of singling out the button. After the ceremony, as the ponies walk home, Scootaloo is all pouty, but the others tell her "There's always next year," which she does not appreciate. The mayor rides up to them in her scooter to give Cheerilee the box containing Twinkle Wish, which must absolutely positively not be opened until the next day at sunset, which marks the beginning of the Winter Wishes Festival. The reason the mayor gives is that Twinkle Wish is asleep, and waking her too soon means she won't have enough power to grant everyone's wishes. She officially passes the box to Cheerilee, tells her "The fate of the festival is in your hands," and then rides off again. The older ponies crowd around the box to admire it, leaving Scootaloo and Sweetiebelle out of the loop, so they use a trampoline to sneak a peek while the others talk about how they want to see Twinkle Wish again, but know they have to wait.
But Scootaloo isn't satisfied with a trampoline-eye view, and bounces right on top of the table the mayor set up and snags the box. Rationalizing that "one peek can't hurt," she opens the box just a crack. Cheerilee rushes to stop her and accidentally sends the box flying. It lands unharmed, and they all breathe a sigh of relief, just before the top pops open and Twinkle Wish awakes. And, oh no, she talks with a "cute" lisp -_-. She rises into the air to chant a wishing rhyme, and storm clouds instantly roll in with lightning and thunderclaps. A strong wind starts to blow, and suddenly, a dragon flies by. Seeing Twinkle Wish, the dragon swoops in and grabs the star, then flies off, giggling selfishly. The storm subsides just as quickly as it came up, leaving everyone confused.
At first, Cheerilee is down on herself for letting this happen, but she quickly turns on her little sister, who in turn blames it on everyone not letting her get a good look at the box. Pinkie Pie breaks up their squabble to point out they're going to need to work together to get Twinkle Wish back, a plan which had not occurred to Cheerilee, apparently. Starsong flies after the dragon, but stops short when she sees it go toward Willy Nilly mountain. When she tells the others, Cheerilee takes the time to expound on the mountain, which is a mysterious place no one has ever gone to before, but is named for its weather, known to change at a moment's notice for no apparent reason. Scootaloo just rolls her eyes, used to her sister spouting random exposition. The mayor rides up again to check on the star, and the core seven swear up and down that Twinkle Wish is still in the box. The mayor then gushes about their remarkable dependability and rides off once more. With the mayor gone, the girls feel guilty about lying, but Pinkie tells them they can tell the truth once they have Twinkle Wish back. She rallies the others to go out and get back Twinkle Wish, and while her pep talk works, Toola Roola points out that mountain is pretty far, and they've only got one day. Fortunately, Pinkie just happens to have a hot air balloon they can ride in.
They reconvene at Pinkie's house later that day, dressed in stylish winterwear. Rainbow Dash tries to bring all her luggage, but Pinkie's glare of doom gets her to pare her baggage down to one purse. Unfortunately, there's only room for four of them to go on the trip, with Scootaloo and Sweetiebelle stuck staying in Ponyville (Starsong can fly herself, so she doesn't need to ride. I can't believe I actually had to think about it before I realized that). Scootaloo claims Cheerilee planned that on purpose because she's still mad, and while Pinkie tries to soothe them, the sisters stick out their tongues at each other behind her back. But Pinkie gives the two younger ponies Twinkle Wish's box and tasks them with making sure no one knows Twinkle Wish is missing, which Scootaloo takes to right away. And so the older ponies take off, as they sing a song about traveling.
Back in Ponyville, Sweetiebelle tries to think of something fun to do while they wait, but Scootaloo isn't in the mood, since she knows her sister is still mad at her. Sweetiebelle offers her cookies instead, and while they are obviously chocolate chip, she claims they're "yummy oatmeal raisin apple caramel walnut upside down surprises." Before any cookies can be eaten, the mayor shows up again, wondering where Cheerilee is. The two young ponies try to cover, and manage to convince the mayor that Cheerilee went to get decorations for the festival. Sweetiebelle then offers the mayor a cookie, but she turns it down, claiming to be watching her figure. This prompts Scootaloo to ask in all honesty, "Watching it do what?" The mayor is not amused and drives off.
Back with the balloon, the others float ever closer to Willy Nilly Mountain to the strains of an electric guitar. But as they drift near, the weather changes to a gusty gale too strong to fly in. Pinkie takes the balloon down, but once they reach the ground, they slip out of control on the snow. As they slide, Rainbow Dash suddenly remembers she has a hair ribbon in her purse, and with as much hair as she has, it's plenty long enough to anchor the balloon to a tree. They all disembark and toss their winterwear in the balloon's basket before heading into the nearby forest. But they're barely halfway through before it starts to get dark, and Pinkie suggests they set up camp before it gets too dark to see. Cheerilee, though, is very against stopping, since they've only got one day come sunset to get Twinkle Wish and get back. The narrator shows up again for the first time in a long while to tells us that Toola Roola is afraid of the dark. So, Toola Roola drums up the courage to tell this to her friends, but they don't mind, since Scootaloo is afraid of the dark, too. Why this is supposed to make Toola Roola feel better, I'm not sure. And, as is usually the case, Toola Roola can't sleep without a night light, but she is saved by that old camping standby, fireflies. Pink fireflies, even. Pinkie uses her pink connection to convince the bugs not only to stick around until they fall asleep, but to sing lullabies, too. Despite the droning of the bugs, Cheerilee stays awake to worry about her little sister until she, too, falls asleep.
The next morning, they make their way to the mountain, but the dragon's cave is near the top. So they travel up a mountain path, getting rained on for minutes at a time, before they finally reach the cave. As they approach the mouth of the cave, a voice booms out "Who dares disturb the dragon?" Before they can enter, things shift back to Ponyville, with Scootaloo pacing the floor of Sweetiebelle's kitchen, wondering where the others could be. As she asks "Could things get any worse?" who should show up but the mayor again. Sheesh, if she was going to be this nosy about it, she should have kept the box herself. Scootaloo tells Sweetiebelle to distract the mayor while she thinks of something, but Sweetiebelle just tries to make smalltalk. This does giveScootaloo enough time to wrap herself up in some towels and turn Sweetiebelle's green batter into an impromptu face mask. She passes herself off as Cheerilee-in-the-middle-of-a-beauty-treatment to the mayor, who is upset that Cheerilee isn't ready, since she's supposed to take her to the festival now. But Scootaloo says that "she" has a super special awesome entrance planned and retreats. The mayor is getting suspicious, but not enough to put her finger on what's going on.
Meanwhile, back at the cave, Pinkie takes the direct approach with the dragon and introduces them all to the (unseen) dragon. The dragon invites them in, and they enter the cave to find a regular bedroom, with Twinkle Wish in a cage in the middle. The star is pooped, but rather than let her sleep, the dragon asks for fashion advice, bounding out from behind a dressing screen wearing a sunhat. The other ponies worry for Twinkle Wish, and approach the dragon, who talks a mile a minute with a slight Brooklyn accent, but is glad for some company. She introduces herself as Whimsy Weatherby, and offers the ponies a seat, though she has to clear her sofa of clothes first. To make them more comfortable, she heats up the room using her breath, and then makes it colder with another breath. Pinkie easily deduces that the crazy weather around the mountain is thanks to the dragon, which the dragon is quite proud of. But Cheerilee cuts right to the chase: they're there for the star. Whimsy reveals that her stealing the star was all according to plan, and outlines it for the ponies: she's been on the mountain without friends for ages, and she finally figured that it was because she didn't have any cool toys. So she swiped the star, thinking it was a toy (and keeping it awake all this time), and sure enough, five new friends show up.
The ponies are left aghast at this story, but pull themselves together to explain that the star is not a toy, and they're not really friends, they're just acquaintances. So they sing her a song about what makes a friend a friend. But one things friends don't do, says Pinkie, is take each other's stuff, and she urges Whimsy to give the star back to Cheerilee. But Whimsy is not keen on having to part with the star, especially since she thinks that the ponies will never come back once they have what they came for. Rainbow Dash is quick to interject that they will come back, and Pinkie even invites her to come back with them for the festival. But Whimsy is not convinced, stating that if she has to give them the star for them to be her friend, she'd rather have other friends, and kicks them out of her cave. The ponies are all dejected, and wonder what to do now, but Cheerilee knows: she has to tell the truth, like she should have done before.
Everyone is gathered for the start of the Winter Wishes Festival, and asking for Cheerilee. She arrives in the hot air balloon just in time, and comes forward to tell the truth, taking all the blame. Hearing this, the mayor starts to faint, so other ponies bring her a chair and a fan. Cheerilee continues on, telling everyone about the dragon and apologizing to them all. Scootaloo also apologizes for lying to the mayor and adds that it was her fault as well, and the two sisters make up. The mayor commends Cheerilee for fessing up, even though the festival is now ruined. But what's that? A Brooklyn accent? Yes, Whimsy thought it over and brought back Twinkle Wish. The mayor rushes up for a quick inspection, and the situation doesn't look good: they've got to get her on top of the tree immediately! Cheerilee offers the star to Scootaloo, since it was the button that won her the prize. So Whimsy flies Scootaloo to the top of the tree, who places Twinkle Wish on the tree and tells her that it's time. Twinkle Wish starts to chant the wishing rhyme from earlier, but starts falling asleep at the same time. The mayor tells everyone to make a wish ASAP, but it's too late, Twinkle Wish is asnoozin' again. In the silence of no one getting a wish, Pinkie Pie rushes to the podium to tell everyone that they don't need wishes, since their wishes already came true. And sure enough, all the main characters have been saying "I wish this" and "I wish that" throughout this whole thing, even the mayor (she wished she knew what was going on with Cheerilee), and sure enough, everything they wished for came true.
Everyone else, though, wished for snow, and snowing it is not. But hey, Whimsy can make the weather! So she breezes on up and lets loose a snow-breath for the ages. So even Whimsy's wish for friends came true. But it seems that Sweetiebelle's wish didn't come true, since she wished for pink snow, and not even Whimsy can do that. But just then, Twinkle Wish wakes up, saying "Pink snow? Did somebody wish for pink snow?" And so all the snow turns pink, just like that, while the narrator announces that this turned out to be the most wonderful winter wishes festival ever.
Although the story is over, there's still a song, "Dreams Do Come True," which shows the core seven going through the seasons just being friends.
This really turned out to be better than I thought it would be. and a lot less wallbangery than most of the previous G3 DVDs have been. While I wasn't that crazy about the star, I really liked Whimsy and the Mayor. Not quite sure why she had that whole 'reiterate a word three times in one sentence' thing going on, but I loved her hair.
Of course, what made lots of fans happy about this DVD is the appearance of non-core seven ponies in the G3.5 style, and the apparent appearance of boy ponies. And so...
Random Pony Cameos: