Friday, August 31, 2012

Upcoming SSC DVD coming on September 11th

So the SSCBBA DVDs skip ahead to season two, and I can't say I blame them.  Not only is there a severe lack of HQ Cherry Jam, season two is tailor-made for DVDs.  It wasn't until the season was actually over that I realized it was almost perfectly split into three episode story arcs, which is the exact number of episodes each DVD has had so far.  Which means, though, that this upcoming DVD will probably not have Cherry Jam's debut episode, since that's part of the first story arc, and the episodes described all come from the second.
To clarify, here are the arcs of season two as I see them:
1. Berry Bitty Market
2. Cherry Jam in BBC
3. Sunshine Girls or The Island Vacation
4. The Long Winter

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Welcome to Care-a-Lot - Episode 5

When AGP took down the Welcome to Care-a-Lot preview episode from their website, I promised someone I'd do a write up with screenshots, but in the time it took for me to do so, AGP put the episode back up.  However, they didn't simply put the episode back up, but instead put up a premix cut.  The only difference I can tell is lower quality, plus a timeclock and title stamp on the video.  So I figure I might as well continue to post this, since at the very least I'll have better screenshots.

Compassion Not
So, Funshine has all manner of fun stuff planned, but none of the other Care Bears are able to join him: Cheer has to weed her garden, Share has to clean her house before teatime, Harmony has to soundproof the birdhouses in the forest, and Grumpy is too hungry to care (plus he has errands).  Bummed out, Funshine just flops out where he is, which is where Tenderheart finds him.  He admits to the older bear that he can still have fun on his own, but it would be so much better with someone else.  And so Tenderheart summons a girl named Penny to Care-a-Lot, explicitly to hang out with Funshine, but also to learn a lesson.  Penny, it seems, is more than just a little self-centered, as her first act is to crow about how so many kids want to visit Care-a-Lot, but too bad for them 'cause they're not her.
Funshine is immediately taken with this girl, as he and Penny bond over their shared love of roller blading and extreme sports.  Though Penny continually jumps into things without listening and makes sure she gets to do everything first, Funshine just brushes this off, so glad is he to finally have met his perfect match.
Meanwhile, Grumpy traverses Care-a-Lot in his camper van, and comes across a shortcut that is, unfortunately, forbidden.  But this matters not to Grumpy, and he just continues on his way.  His disobedience seems to be rewarded when he comes across a dragonbeehive that's devoid of dragonbees.  As he rides his cherrypicker attachment up to the hive, he muses:
It's moments like these I think "what would Tenderheart say?"
*imitating Tenderheart* "Grumpy, I have a feeling that dragonbees wouldn't like that."
To which I think back, "I have a feeling that I don't care."  'Cause when I get home, I'm gonna have the feeling of sweet, sweet honey in my belly.
(No matter the version, Grumpy is the best.)  He plucks the hive from its perch and tries to continue on his way, only to find his van is stuck in the mud.  And not just any mud, but stick-til-you're-stuck-sand.  With a bit of effort, he manages to push his van back onto dry ground, but at the cost of sinking into the sand himself.  In this vulnerable state, he's approached by Beastly, though not the one from the 80's series.  I'm not sure what this guy's deal is, but no doubt that'll be explained in the first episode.  From this episode alone, he appears to be the king of some kind of creatures, as he has both a crown and two minions who lack proper speech.  Hearing that Grumpy got stuck while getting honey, Beastly makes off with the hive, leaving Grumpy stuck.
Left alone, Grumpy attempts to use his belly badge to call for help, but he's sunk too low into the sand for that. Fortunately, his cries for help are loud enough to be heard by Harmony in the forest, and she wastes no time in gathering everyone together.  Everyone except Funshine, that is.  Cheer heads off to find Funshine while the others go to find and help Grumpy.  But as Funshine and Penny are still hanging out at Adventure Beach, it doesn't take Cheer too long to find them, though it does take some doing to get them both to come and help.  Funshine has already begun to succumb to Penny's bad influence, you see, but not entirely, and so the three of them set off, though Penny happens to notice a certain vehicle floating in the water as they go.
Meanwhile, the others (including Wonderheart) search for Grumpy, finding his van before finding him.  Share spins the many possible things that could have happened to him, ending with "...maybe he's wandering the earth as a lost vagabond, seeking redemption for all the horrible things he- oh, wait, there he is." (I just love that line.  Especially the fact that she includes "horrible."  Grumpy, what kind of things are you up to in this series?)  Sure enough, Grumpy's still stuck in the sand, and not too pleased with the slowness of the other bears to help him get out.  So Tenderheart starts to reach out for Grumpy, but realizes that Grumpy is far enough in that they can't get him out without getting themselves stuck, too.  But there's rope in Grumpy's van, and soon the bears have a jerry-rigged pulley to get him out.
As the others pull, Cheer, Funshine, and Penny arrive.  Cheer immediately joins in the pulling, but Penny pulls Funshine back, pointing out that the power of five bears is bound to be enough to get Grumpy out, and since they're not needed, it's time to get back to the fun!  Funshine hesitates, but all-too-soon agrees with her, and the two split.  As they arrive back at Adventure Beach, Funshine starts to have second thoughts about leaving his friends, but Penny assures him that Grumpy will be fine.  Plus, she has an awesome idea....
However, power of five bears was, in fact, not enough to get Grumpy out of the mud, and Funshine and Penny's absence is quickly noticed.  While thinking about what else to try, Share passes out some tea and shares some gossip with Harmony (apparently Tenderheart was in a band back in his younger days).  Cheer proposes that they build a house around Grumpy, and Harmony latches onto that idea, as she has numerous housing designs she'd love to try.  Grumpy objects to this train of thought, and to the tea, but takes the crumpet Share offers.  Tenderheart asks the million dollar question (that is, what was Grumpy doing in a forbidden area anyway), and Grumpy is forced to admit that he stole the dragonbee's honey.  And there just happen to be a couple of dragonbees above them to hear that confession and take it straight to the queen.
The need to get Grumpy out of the sand gets a lot more urgent once Harmony hears the dragonbees approaching, so Wonderheart suggests using the van to pull the rope.  Unfortunately, the van is a stick shift, and only Grumpy knows how to drive it.  Still, Share volunteers to try, but even instruction from Grumpy can't help her.  Harmony remembers that Funshine has an ATV, but when they go to retrieve it, they are shocked to find it missing.
Not for long, though, as it's obvious who took it.  Tenderheart and Wonderheart head one way, and Harmony and Share head the other, hoping that between the two groups, they'll find Funshine and Penny before the dragonbees arrive.  Cheer, meanwhile, is keeping Grumpy company, though he'd rather she didn't.  Funshine and Penny, on the other hand, are oblivious to the danger, just having a good time in the ATV.  Funshine proposes he jump the ATV over the hill, so Penny climbs out to watch.  She uses a rope ladder to get a better view on the branch of a tree, but when she reaches the top, she almost loses her footing, accidentally knocking over the ladder in the process.  She calls for Funshine to help her, but the ATV is too loud for him to hear her.  Assuming Funshine forgot her in all the fun, Penny resigns herself to life in a tree, until she's spotted by Harmony and Share.  Harmony, to Share's surprise, suggests leaving the girl in the larch, and the irony of this is not lost on Penny.  She agrees that she deserves to be left there, but begs forgiveness, which Harmony gives.  With a little help from the birds, the ladder is soon back in place.  Penny climbs back down and thanks her saviors, now ready to help Grumpy.
But first they need the ATV, which Funshine is just then jumping over the hill.  His landing leaves something to be desired, but he himself is okay, and so is the ATV.  Funshine revs up to try again, but Penny stops him, telling him they need to help Grumpy now.  Funshine is confused by her sudden turnaround in ideals, but Penny explains the lesson she learned (it's selfish not to help your friends), and Funshine also begins to feel remorse for his behavior.  But there's no time for that, Harmony points out, as she quickly explains the situation.  And so the four drive in the ATV to where Grumpy is stuck.
Unfortunately, the dragonbees arrive before the rope has been tied to the ATV.  To buy a little time, Harmony uses her badge to create a flower illusion that distracts the bees.  With the rope attached at last, Funshine drives the ATV, pulling Grumpy out, then goes to apologize for not helping sooner, as does Penny.  Grumpy's just glad to be out of the mud, with everything all wrapped up.  Except the dragonbees are still there, and Harmony's illusion fades.  The bees, however, do not immediately attack, but instead ask what's up with stealing the honey?  (with Share translating, as she's the only one who understands dragonbee, I guess.)  Grumpy boldly sets the record straight that only he was involved in the honeystealing, and the queen demands the hive back.  The other bears are all, "Yeah, just give it to them already," unaware that Grumpy is no longer in possession of it.  And when Grumpy admits that Beastly stole it from him, the dragonbees immediately vacate the premises to go chase after him.  They even chase him after he returns the hive, presumably because he'd already eaten all the honey by then.  Happy ending!

So yeah, that was actually better than I was expecting.  There were some parts that made me laugh, and a number of good lines.  And this is probably just me, but Penny's obnoxiousness made her a pretty entertaining character.  That, and her corrupting of Funshine.  Animation-wise, it's not the greatest, but I like the textures, especially how fuzzy the bears are.  Obviously I'm going to need to see more episodes before I can make a real verdict on this show, but at least I'm not feeling as much trepidation as I was before.

Misc. Screenshots
Harmony's stylin'
Jumping on a bridge
Grumpy's victory pose
Harmony balks
Who knows how to drive a stick?
The dragonbees are coming!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot is coming soon

So the latest Care Bears series finally has a release date.  Though previously said to be coming Fall 2012, it's actually debuting in one month exactly.  There's a short promo already:

The website has also been updated, with character profiles and color pages, with videos coming next week.  However, AGP's official site has a full episode up, if you're curious.
Edit: Scratch that, they took it down.  Was it put up too early, or was it because I linked to it? (That's happened before.)  Stop doing that, AGP!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lorax Storyboards

Didier Ah-Koon has a few storyboard sequences from The Lorax on his site, and while most of them are just extended versions of what ended up in the movie, Sequence 2102 is a sequence that was completely cut.  It is also required reading for any Once-ler fan.  Go to it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Evening Video: J. Tiara Jameson

Yeah, we were all thinking it.  I love this anyway.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lyrics Meme answers

1. That's Not Everything - VeggieTales
2. Sister Act- Sister Act
3. Ah, Men - Alix Korey
4. Me and My Town - Anyone Can Whistle
5. How Lucky You Are - Seussical
6. Ready to Take a Chance Again - Barry Manilow
7. I Know Your Heart - High Spirits
8. Heroes - Wonderland
9. Amazing Gertrude - Seussical
10. Together - Wonderland
11. Where is the Man I Married? - High Spirits
12. Merry Berry Fairy - Strawberry Shortcake (2003)
13. Magical DoReMi theme
14. More Than I Am - Little Women
15. Take a Chance on Me - Little Women
16. First Day of Your Life - The First Class
17. The Cookie Chase - Anyone Can Whistle
18. Next Time You Fall in Love - Starlight Express
19. Pumping Iron - Starlight Express
20. Right Where I Belong - VeggieTales

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lite Sprites again

Dork that I am, I can't help feeling a little excited knowing that there are going to be more Lite Sprites toys, and possibly new characters.  I bought the friggin' Prisma set, Wowwee, now greenlight more episodes of the cartoon!

A Cool Article You Should Read

I found this blog post comparing The Lorax movie with the classic silent film Metropolis, and I thought it was pretty good.  Definitely check it out.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This Is The Place fanvid

Someone actually made this.  And it is awesome:

Friday, March 23, 2012

I do this more often than I admit

I was relistening to the OCR of The Secret Garden, which is one of my favorite musicals, despite only ever having listened to it, and it should come as no surprise by now that some of the songs made me think of The Lorax movie.  What did surprise me was the sheer number.  Seriously, I did not think I was going to get so much out of it.  And true, very few whole songs worked, but here's what struck me the most, with the occasional tweaks to make it fit better.

High on a hill sits a big old house lerkim
With something wrong inside it
Someone died was lifted and someone's left
Alone and can't abide it
There in the house lerkim is a lonely man
Still haunted by her it's beauty (the land, that is)
Asking what a life can be
Where naught remains but duty
Ted: Is it always so ugly here?
Grammy Norma: It's the moor.  Miles and miles of wild land where nothing grows on but heather and gorse and broom grickle grass.

A bit of earth
She wants a little bit of earth
She'll plant some seeds
The seeds will grow
The flowers bloom
But is their bounty
What she needs?
How can she chance
To love a little bit of earth
Does she not know
The earth is old
And doesn't care if
One small girl wants things to grow

There's a Man - Transition
There's a man whom no one sees
There's a man who lives alone
There's a heart that beats in silence for
The life he's never known.

The whole friggin' thing!  But here's a few lyrics to give you an idea:
When a thing is wick
And someone cares about it
And comes to work each day
Like you and me
Will it grow?
It will
Then have no doubt about it
We'll have the grandest garden truffula tree ever seen.

A Bit of Earth - Reprise
A bit of earth
A drop of dew, a single stem
Begins to rise
That bit of earth
Is pushed away, the flowers bloom
Before our eyes

When you see a man who's ragin'
And he's jealous and he fears
That you've walked through walls
He's hid behind for years

As a side note, while this doesn't really work with the movie as is, but I envision Quartet being played out with Old!Once-ler as Archibald and Green-Suit!Once-ler, representing his greed, as his brother.  Not sure who the ladies would be, though. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lyrics Meme

Just felt like doing this one.  First lines of the first twenty songs that came up on shuffle (excluding songs whose title was in the first line). Who can guess the most?

1. My dinner's one huge chocolate bar/Diamonds and jet planes, I'm a star!
2. I don't need a spotlight, I don't need a crowd
3. He said, "You've got to be what you want if you want to be with me."
4. Everyone hates me, yes yes, being the mayoress, yes.
5. When the news is all bad/When you're sour and blue/When you start to get mad/You should do what I do
6. You remind me I live in a shell/Safe from the past and doing okay, but not very well
7. I know your eyes by heart/That look of half-surprise/So innocent, so wise
8. Chances, they come and go/But you're afraid and so you run away
9. So she flew to the doctor, the doctor named Dake/Whose office was high in a tree by the lake
10. Every knight who is yearning for a cause that seems lost/Knows a bridge that is burning still can be crossed
11. Who's this wench in my hair?/Who's this lass with the deadly air?
12. Berries take a special kind of caring/Berries need meticulous preparing
13. I got a secret I can't tell/Guess I better cast my spell
14. If you could find it in your heart/If you could love me as I love you
15. I know I have no right, but sometimes late at night/I watch you in the attic
16. You're no one's friend/The world could suddenly end/And you've been spending your time picking daisies and throwing them down
17. Lock 'em up, put 'em away in the jar/Time to start getting the nets out
18. I guess I'm not too good at keeping love alive for long
19. Here comes the diesel train with its steel refrain/Hear me knocking
20. What can I do to get away from my annoying brother?/My own space where I'm not always feeling smushed and smothered?

Some of these are pretty obscure, others you might get if you've been paying attention.  And none from The Lorax!  I almost got one in, but it had the title in the first line, so it was disqualified.  Guess which one that was, if you want.

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Episode 44

It's time for another All Pinkie Pie, All The Time episode, where she faces her greatest challenge yet: someone who won't be her friend, and actually lets her know it.
A Friend in Deed
Pinkie Pie starts her day off with some warm-up exercises, but being Pinkie, these are no mere aerobics, but the basics of being her, with the added bonus of making babies smile.  The Cake twins, however, are not impressed, but as always, a blow to the head brings a smile to their faces.  With that taken care of, Pinkie Pie sets off into town, taking the time to greet everyone, from Daisy Jo the cow to the elderly Mr. Waddles.  She wishes Cheerilee a happy birthday, Zecora a happy day-after-birthday, and an advance happy birthday to Miss Matilda the donkey.  Miss Matilda wonders how Pinkie Pie can remember all that, and Pinkie Pie chalks it up to caring for all her friends.  Which sounds like a song cue to me!
In song, Pinkie explains her philosophy of life: make as many ponies smile as possible, and to demonstrate, she goes about town, cheering up blue ponies everywhere (including herself).

As the song ends, Pinkie Pie finds herself face to face with a dour donkey pulling a cart into town.  Realizing that this is someone she doesn't know, she quickly introduces herself, but when the donkey doesn't reciprocate, she searches his cart for clues.  Finding the initials C.D.D., she surmises his last name is Donkey, and proceeds to try every C name she can think of until she guesses his first name, much to the donkey's annoyance.  Eventually he tells her his name is Cranky, just to shut her up, and even admits his middle name is Doodle.  This, of course, sends Pinkie into a song, set to the tune of Yankee Doodle, about how they're now bestest friends.  She attempts to get him smiling by nicknaming him Doodle, but this has the opposite affect, as he tells her "Nopony calls me Doodle!" and then continues on his way.
Pinkie struggles to comprehend what just went down, and illustrates her thoughts with felt.  Realizing the only way to win Cranky over is to keep trying, Pinkie Pie approaches the donkey again.  The very sound of her voice makes him speed up, but Pinkie is undeterred.  She offers to show him around Ponyville, as a gesture of friendship, but Cranky rebuffs her, telling her that he's made plenty of friends in his travels around Equestria, and he doesn't need any more.  He's come to Ponyville for peace and quiet, which is pretty much the opposite of Pinkie Pie.  Hearing that he just wants to be alone with his memories, Pinkie Pie searches through the things in his cart, much to Cranky's horror.  After she plays with one thing too many, Cranky sends her away, and Pinkie actually goes.
But being Pinkie, she doesn't stay gone for long, appearing with a wagon of her own: a Welcome Wagon, naturally.  She proposes they be Wagon Buddies, which Cranky doesn't even dignify with a response.  She does, however, get him to stop and receive the wagon's welcome with some puppy-dog eyes.
Cranky: Let's get this over with
Pinkie: That's the spirit!
With the touch of a button, the wagon springs to life with music and flags, and Pinkie sings a special Welcome song, which ends with a blast of confetti that knocks off Cranky's toupee.  The wagon then douses them with cake batter, which Pinkie attributes to putting the cake batter in the confetti cannon and the confetti in the oven.  Again.  She takes it in stride, but Cranky just wants to find his toupee.  Which Pinkie mistakes for a hairy spider and pummels.
Trying to quench Cranky's rage, Pinkie Pie calls upon the help of everypony in the square to get Cranky a new toupee, unintentionally calling unwanted attention to his baldness.  In frustration, Cranky just plops a hunk of grassy dirt on his head and takes his leave.  Pinkie begs Cranky to give her one more chance, and drags him to the spa.  While the spa ponies give him the full treatment, Pinkie goes out and gets Cranky a gift, which he is loathe to take, telling her the spa trip was enough.  But take it he does, and it turns out to be a new toupee, hoof-picked by Rarity.  Cranky is pleased, but he still isn't smiling.
Any good will Pinkie may have garnered is put into a precarious position when she shows up at Cranky's new home to help him unpack.  She peppers him with questions about his things, and is intrigued when she hears he lived in Manehatten while trying to find a special friend.  She spots a scrapbook and takes a peek inside, but when she turns to ask Cranky about what she saw, she accidentally causes a lantern to fall, setting the book on fire!  She douses the fire, but the damage is done.  Cranky flips out on her, telling her that he will never ever ever ever ever be her friend.  Which equals forever, for those of you keeping score at home.
At the library, Pinkie Pie laments her inability to make Cranky her friend, and Twilight, though sympathetic, tries to help her understand that Cranky just wants to be left alone, with Rainbow Dash (hanging out reading more Daring Do books) adding that Pinkie's crazy antics probably sealed the deal on his non-friendship.  And Pinkie does understand, but she just can't let Cranky alone without properly apologizing for the scrapbook incident.  Twilight head-desks.
And so the next day Pinkie Pie sets off for Cranky's cottage, where the donkey is still crestfallen over his ruined scrapbook.  The very sight of Pinkie sends Cranky heading for the hills at a breakneck speed, but Pinkie manages to keep up with him, apologizing as they run.  Cranky, however, refuses to accept her apology, no matter how many "reallys" she places in front of it.  But there's no escaping Pinkie Pie, especially when she needs an answer from you, and she manages to pop up wherever he goes.  Finally, he makes it back home and barricades the door.  Pinkie knocks, but then all goes silent.  Cranky dares to think he might be safe, until Pinkie comes down the chimney.  Which has a grate, thankfully, so it's back to the door for her.  The pink pony pleads for Cranky to forgive her, saying she'll do anything to make it up to him.  But with the scrapbook ruined, there's nothing to be done, Cranky tells her, as that was all he had to remember "her" by.  Having said too much, Cranky tells Pinkie to leave, and she turns to go.  But then all the pieces fall together, and she rushes off.
Cranky removes his toupee, ready to wallow in his memories, when there's a knock at the door.  It's Pinkie yet again, ready to leave Cranky be forever if he'll just accept the one thing that might just make up for ruining his scrapbook.  He refuses, until he hears another voice from the other side of the door.  He unbars the door and pushes Pinkie aside to see who else is with her.  It's Miss Matilda from earlier in the episode, and seeing her, he quickly redons his toupee and asks if it's really her.  Matilda replies that, yes, it is, and they have Pinkie Pie to thank for this reunion.  And so Pinkie reveals how she used Cranky's mention of a "special friend" and the things she saw in his scrapbook to realize he was talking about Matilda.  And all because Matilda had a matching scrapbook with the exact same things in it, which she'd shared with Pinkie Pie.
Seeing that scrapbook, Cranky begins to reminisce about the night they met, all those years ago at the Grand Galloping Gala.  He remembers going to her room the next day, only to find her already gone.  Matilda tells him she left a note, but he never saw it.  And he tells her how he spent the rest of his life going from town to town trying to track her down.  He had, in fact, come to Ponyville to give up the search, and it turns out that's where she was all those years.  Matilda then calls him Doodle, which Pinkie tries to warn her about.  But Cranky just says that Matilda is the one exception.  They share a donkey embrace, and Matilda kisses Cranky on the snout.  This, at last, gets Cranky to smile.
With the two donkeys so happy, Pinkie feels the time is right to ask if her apology is accepted.  And Cranky informs her that not only is it accepted, she's earned the right to be his friend.  Which makes Pinkie so happy that she takes to the sky and ignites with fireworks.  She immediately starts planning all the fun activities they can do together, but realizes that she should maybe dial it down a little.  Cranky sends her off gently, so that he and his newly-found lady love can have a little quality time, while affirming that they're still friends.  And so Pinkie Pie writes her letter to the princess, about how she's learned that there are different ways to be a friend.  But she can't resist finishing off the episode with one last song, this time set to Yankee Doodle Boy.  Neither Cranky nor Matilda appreciate this.
So yeah.  If you're not a big fan of Pinkie Pie, you're not really going to like this one, and watching her just trample all over Cranky's personal space and things was a little rough the first time through.  Watching it again, it didn't seem so bad, but maybe that came from knowing it would all work out right in the end.

Misc. Screenshots:
Government ponies
What just happened?
Miss Pie, are you trying to seduce me?
Pinkie as beaver

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Late Night Video - Portuguese Making of The Lorax

Another thing I totally love: foreign versions of songs from animated musicals.  Even if I can't understand them.  Which explains why I'm posting this next video, despite it being in Portuguese.
Granted, only parts of it involve the music, but it was enough to make me happy.  Especially hearing part of "How Bad Can I Be?" (despite it being partially talked over).  Kinda makes me wish I knew Portuguese.
Here's the rundown, in case you just want to skip ahead:
2:49 - The chorus of "Let it Grow"
4:43 - "How Bad Can I Be?"
5:12 - The O'Hare Delivery Guy (Cy)'s part of "Let It Grow"
6:05 - Grammy Norma's Portuguese VA tries her verse of "Let It Grow"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Late Night Video: Well, that was quick

While I love me some Inception trailer mash-ups, I was very surprised to find a Lorax one up already.  Considering the limited clips available, this actually came out pretty well.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


So I caved and got a tumblr.  No clue how often I'll update it, but feel free to check it out.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Even More Lorax Featurettes

Should have held off on my previous post, as today I discovered Xfinity has a bunch of Lorax featurettes and other types of clips.  Most of them have already turned up elsewhere, but there are a few in there that I haven't seen anywhere else.  One in particular fills me with joy, but since there's no embed option, you'll have to check it out at the link: A look at the songs.  It leaves out "These Trees" and "Let it Grow" (instead looking at the credits version), but what makes this a must watch is the footage from "How Bad Can I Be?"

Now maybe the fanartists will remember to add his sunglasses (which really make the whole outfit, don't you think?).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lorax Featurettes

Here's a couple of featurettes on The Lorax movie that I didn't post before, but they're worth watching.  First, a look at adapting the book:

And second, the basic story of the movie as told by the cast:
These are the only sources for images of The Once-ler in his green suit, by the way.  (For the time being, anyway.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lorax Soundtrack Thoughts

Having now seen The Lorax movie, I am exceedingly glad that I didn't give in and listen to the soundtrack ahead of time, because that definitely would have lessened their impact in the movie for me.  Especially since I have been listening to the soundtrack pretty much nonstop since seeing the movie.  Now, while most semi-musical movie soundtracks would mix the songs and score, the score got its own release (as I mentioned before), and so the soundtrack is bolstered, not with songs inspired by the movie, as I thought, but with demos of songs that ultimately weren't used.  Which is pretty cool.  So here are a few of my thoughts on the tracks, which will include some unmarked spoilers.  If you haven't seen the movie yet, you might want to skip this post until you do, though nothing I mention is all that huge.

1. Let It Grow (Celebrate the World)
This is the song that plays over the end credits, and truth be told, I skip it more often than not.  It's not a bad song, but just kind of generic, and it doesn't blend in with the rest of the movie's songs that well.

2. Thneedville
I was not prepared for this song to be as insanely catchy as it was.  When I first saw the track titles, I thought this song would be kind of lame, but it seriously blew me away.  And I freaking love the melismas all over the place.  It does a very good job of setting up the world of Thneedville as a nice place, but not quite right.  As far as I can tell (i.e. remember), there's only one difference between the soundtrack version and the movie version, which is that O'Hare gets a slightly longer part.  I suspect that this was cut not for time, but to alleviate some Fridge Horror, as he sings "Everyone 'round here works for me."  And since he's pretty much put out of business by the end of the movie, that would be a lot of people out of jobs...

3. This Is the Place [Tricky Version]
Now this track right here is a very good reason to be glad I didn't listen to the soundtrack before seeing the movie, since what ended up in the movie is very different (which is probably the credits refer to it as "These Trees").  In the movie, The Once-ler pretty much just la la's, na na's, and doot do's with the animals while he unpacks his cart, pissing off the animals with his haphazard throwing.  This version has the Once-ler recruiting the animals as his back-up singers while he attempts (in song) to find material from their homes (and the animals themselves) for his thneed, before discovering the truffula tufts.  As a song, it's very catchy, but the movie version gets points for being truer to the book (as in, immediately knowing the truffula tufts were what he needed).

4. Everybody Needs a Thneed
I go back and forth on this one.  I mean, as a song it's really just serviceable, but sung by the crowd it's just so full of energy that I can't help but smile when I listen to it.

5. How Bad Can I Be?
Okay, this song is just pure, unadulterated awesome.  While watching it in the movie, I was honest-to-goodness smiling so wide the whole time.  Granted, part of that was because of the visuals (especially the Once-ler in his awesome suit and sunglasses!  Why are there no clips of that online?), but also because the song itself is just so great.  I fervently hope that the official site (or at least the official youtube channel) will put the song up, because I need screenshots!

6. Let It Grow
Again, I was surprised by this song, and how gospel-y it ended up being.  And O'Hare's "Let it die" bit was very funny; I'm glad it made the soundtrack.

7. Let It Grow Gospel Ending
Optional ending for Let It Grow, letting Ted's Mom have a big solo bit.

8. Thneedville 
The original version was a bit harsher and painted the citizens of Thneedville less as content with the status quo and more as mindless consumers, with lyrics like "In Thneedville, you're never alone/'Cause you've always got the stuff that you own" and an interlude of Ted trying to convince his mom to get him a whozit, ending with "All I've ever wanted in my life is the stuff that I don't have."  Musically, though, it's essentially the same as the final version.

9. Once-ler's Traveling Madness
This one is less a song and mostly just Ed Helms ad-libbing.  I assume that this would have been a scene of the Once-ler traveling before he got to Truffula Valley (as the movie dubs it).

10. I Love Nature
An alternate take on The Once-ler's reaction to first seeing the valley.  I like the music parts, but the lyrics are a little too silly, IMO.

11. You Need a Thneed
The full version of The Once-ler's thneed jingle, which in the movie is continually cut off.

12. Nobody Needs a Thneed
The dark reprise of "You Need a Thneed."  In the movie, unlike in the book, The Once-ler doesn't immediately sell his thneed, and is about to throw in the towel, which is probably when this song would have occurred.

13. Biggering
When I first saw the songs in the movie, "How Bad Can I Be?" was the one I wondered the most about.  I figured it would be about the Once-ler justifying himself to the Lorax, but I wasn't sure which direction it would go in.  That is, whether it would be an upbeat number, which it ultimately was, or if it would take a more melancholy route.  If it had, it would have been this track, which shares some elements of the song that ultimately replaced it, but is a little more intimate.  And in the end, a little boring.  Not bad, mind you, but let's just say I'm glad it didn't make the final cut.

It was definitely interesting to hear different takes on the songs in the movie.  Makes me wish more movie soundtracks did that. And no doubt we'll see some of the demos show up as deleted scenes on the DVD/Blu-ray.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rewatching Better Off Dead

I recently picked up an external BD-rom drive (I'm not getting an HD TV until my current set bites the dust, so it's useless to get a regular blu-ray player), which means I can now take advantage of my library's blu-ray collection.  And they just happened to have Better Off Dead, which I watched a few years ago when I was going through a "watching movies with John Cusack in them" phase, and have been meaning to rewatch ever since I learned that Curtis Armstrong, the voice of Dan in Dan Vs., was in it, yet I didn't remember his character at all.  So here are just a few observations I wanted to share.
  • First off, CBS Blu Ray, I am disappoint.  Seriously, the only special feature on this disc is the theatrical trailer, when I distinctly remember the DVD I rented before having at least a director's commentary, if not a featurette or two.  They didn't even hide a commentary track under the audio options.  Would it have been that hard to copy the special features from the earlier DVD release?  I mean, the main reason I got a BD-rom is because all the good special features are on blu-ray nowadays.  Way to drop the ball, guys.
  • Any time Curtis Armstrong's character, Charles, was on screen, I was filled with the desire to make Dan Vs. dubs.  It didn't help that a lot of his lines were things that Dan would say (i.e. "I've been going to this high school for seven and a half years! I'm no dummy!")
  • I wasn't sure whether to save this for another Surprise Crochet post or not, but since I have no idea when I'll be making another of those, and since it isn't exactly flattering, I'll just post about it here.  Lane's neighbor, Ricky Smith, is twice defined as a typical loser nerd type because he crochets (among other things).  And for Christmas, he crochets a picture frame (for a picture of himself) for Monique, the foreign exchange student his mother is trying to hook him up with.
  • I don't remember whether or not I knew the first time I watched this movie that David Ogden Stiers was Lane (John Cusack)'s dad, but it surprised me this time.  Though that's because I mostly know him from his voice acting. He definitely did not look the way I pictured him.  

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Live Action Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

This is just plain awesome.
In related news, the upcoming CWaCoM sequel has a title: Revenge of the Leftovers.  I'm not sure how I feel about this.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Episode 43

Season two sure has been piling on the holiday episodes, hasn't it?  First Pony-Halloween, then Pony-Christmas, and now Pony-Valentine's Day.  What's next, Pony-Arbor Day?
Hearts and Hooves Day
Outside of Ponyville proper, the CMC are hard at work in their clubhouse, putting the finishing touches on a Hearts and Hooves card for Miss Cheerilee.  A card as large as their feelings for her, though without an envelope to match.  Somehow they get it out the door and into the schoolhouse in time for the H&H party, and Miss Cheerilee is suitably impressed with it.  Though the card contains all the love of three fillies, Sweetie Belle is sure it pales in comparison to what Miss Cheerilee's "special somepony" got her.  But their teacher, she must confess, does not have a special somepony as such, to the CMC's utter astonishment.  They question how such a thing could even be, but Miss Cheerilee assures them that she has enough love in her life with just her friends and students.  She heads off to start the H&H-themed games, and Sweetie Belle gets the best idea ever: they, the CMC, will find a special somepony for Miss Cheerilee!  Apple Bloom and Scootaloo agree, and they head into town, on the prowl for the perfect male.
Easier said than done, as the CMC find flaws in every stallion they encounter (in song), and they learn, as countless ladies have before them, that all the good ones are already taken.  But Sweetie Belle soon finds the perfect candidate: Big Macintosh!  Though his good qualities make him a good match for their teacher, Apple Bloom points out that her brother is pretty shy, and would never ask Miss Cheerilee out.  Once again Sweetie Belle has the answer: they'll put the two ponies in a setting so romantic, they'll ask each other out for sure.  And so the CMC put together a picnic under a gazebo and surreptitiously invite both Cheerilee and Big Macintosh.  Cheerilee arrives first, under the impression the girls need help identifying a tree, and is followed by Big Macintosh, who was told the gazebo needed repairs.  The CMC give their victims a bump toward the romantic picnic and skedaddle, but not before turning on the romantic music.   They keep watch from the bushes, but all they get to see is awkward small talk.  But then, Cheerilee leans in close to Big Macintosh...and tells him he has something in his teeth, much to Sweetie Belle's consternation.  The two ponies agree this whole thing has been strange, and go their separate ways.
The CMC wander about town, wondering how their plan failed, and bump into Twilight Sparkle, who was walking and reading again.  It seems she's been reading up on the history of Hearts and Hooves Day, and informs the CMC that it all started because of a love potion.  This gets the CMC's attention, and when Twilight tells them the book has the very recipe used back then, they ask to borrow it.  Twilight obliges, unaware of what shenanigans the CMC are planning to get up to with it.  And so the fillies get down to business, collecting the necessary ingredients: a tuft of cloud, a rainbow's glow, and a pegasus feather for stirring.  With the potion ready to go, they set up another picnic and wait for their guests to show up.  Apple Bloom begins to doubt whether tricking her brother and teacher is the right thing to do, but Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo assure her that the potion is just a nudge in the right direction.
At last, Big Macintosh and Cheerilee arrive, wondering what trick the CMC have up their sleeves this time.  Sweetie Belle swears up and down that they just want the two ponies to taste-test some punch for them, and they once again skedaddle.  Once alone, Cheerilee apologizes to Big Macintosh for her students' behavior, admitting that she started this whole thing by telling them she didn't have a special somepony.  They share a laugh at the thought of the two of them together, but decide to humor the girls and try the punch.  Much to the CMC's delight, the potion does its thing, and Cheerilee asks Big Macintosh to be her special somepony. The girls celebrate, until Cheerilee and Big Macintosh suddenly break out the cutesy-wootsy baby talk.
So the CMC retreat to their clubhouse to figure out what went wrong with their potion.  After all, they just wanted Cheerilee and Big Macintosh to admit their feelings for each other, not go lovey-dovey crazy.  Going over the recipe again, Sweetie Belle reads the rest of the story and discovers that what they thought was a love potion was actually a love poison: it causes the drinkers to focus only on their love, to the exclusion of anything else.  Apple Bloom sees this as a tragedy of epic proportions, as without Big Macintosh's work on the farm and Miss Cheerilee's work at the school, Ponyville will be filled with apple-starved ignoramuses.  Fortunately, Sweetie Belle reads on and finds there's a way to reverse the potion's effects: if they can keep the drinkers from looking in each other's eyes for one hour, the spell will wear off.  And so off they go to put right what they made wrong!
They find Cheerilee and Big Macintosh at Sugar Cube Corners, grossing out Mrs. Cake with their lovebird routine.  She comments that it won't be long before those two get married from the looks of it, which is good for business, but instead gives Sweetie Belle an idea!  And so she approaches the sickeningly sweet couple and proposes they get hitched.  Cheerilee and Big Macintosh are all for it, so Apple Bloom and Scootaloo put their part of the plan in motion: keep Big Macintosh occupied at the jeweler's.  Meanwhile, Sweetie Belle sends Miss Cheerilee off to her sister's to pick out a wedding dress, and barricades her in the dressing room.
Thirty-five minutes pass; so far, so good.  But the moment Apple Bloom turns her back, Big Macintosh purchases a diamond and goes off in search of Cheerilee.  Apple Bloom and Scootaloo split up so that Scootaloo can warn Sweetie Belle while Apple Bloom tries to slow down her brother.  But little can stop Big Macintosh on a normal day, never mind a day when he's full of the vigor of love, and thus all of Apple Bloom's attempts do absolutely nothing.  With just five minutes to go, Scootaloo arrives at the Carousel Boutique and fills Sweetie Belle in on the situation, and they hatch a quick plan.
As Big Macintosh hops ever closer, he falls into a hastily-dug pit, landing safely on a mattress.  It looks like the spell will be broken, as there's only one minute to go.  However, the sound of Big Macintosh's voice from outside the boutique fills Cheerilee with strength!  She smashes through the barricade and breaks down the door.  Big Macintosh, meanwhile, tries using the mattress to bounce out of the pit, and the CMC do their best to keep the two ponies from making eye contact.  As the clock chimes the hour, Cheerilee runs like a pony possessed, crashing through the CMC blockade and launching right into Big Macintosh's face.
The CMC approach the pit and hope against hope that this last bit of eye contact was after the end of the hour.  And it looks like things are back to normal, as Cheerilee tries to figure out just what the two of them are doing there, and turns to the CMC for an explanation.  And so Sweetie Belle spills all, though Apple Bloom is quick to point out they only did it because they wanted the two ponies to be happy.  But through this whole affair, the three of them have learned that meddling in other ponies' relationships just isn't right.  They apologize, but despite this, Cheerilee and Big Macintosh agree that the fillies need a punishment to really drive the lesson home.  And so the CMC spend the next few hours harvesting all the apples Big Macintosh missed thanks to their love potion.  And with the free time, Big Macintosh and Cheerilee decide to have an actual picnic, and to mess with the CMC's heads a little.
One, it was awesome to hear Big Macintosh with actual lines, even if they were said in a lovenut kind of way.  Two, I really liked the little background stuff at the H&H party, like Twist pinning the heart on Miss Cheerilee by accident.  Three, what was up with that jelly pony, anyway?  And four, Cheerilee and Big Mac being all lovey-dovey was actually pretty funny.  So overall I liked this episode, though I think I'm getting a little burnt out on pony holidays.

Misc. Screenshots
Cheerilee doesn't appreciate this
"Wait, yer talkin' about my brother?"
Rubbing noses
Enough to make you sick

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Surprise Crochet Again

New Girl is a show that I feel like I should like, but the few times I've caught an episode, it just doesn't do it for me.  Granted, this may be because I only tend to watch the episodes that appear to have a particular interest of mine.  Case in point, the very first time I decided to watch it was because the episode featured handbells, and I was in a handbell choir when I was in high school.  And the main reason for this post, an episode from a couple of weeks ago that featured Jess and her friends having crochet time:

I love that it is explicitly called crochet time in the episode, and crochet hooks are definitely being used.  All the stuff they're working on appears to be crocheted, although I'm not entirely sure what any of them are making.  And then Zooey Deschanel has to ruin it by knitting.
Keep crochet time pure, Jess!
While working at the library the other day, I noticed The Borrowers on the return cart, and since I knew the new Studio Ghibli movie, The Secret World of Arietty, was based on the book, and since I had never read the books when I was a child, I decided to give it a look.  Imagine my surprise and delight when crochet was mentioned on the very first page.  The book starts with the framing device of the story of the Borrowers being told to a girl named Kate by her elderly relation, Mrs. May, while they work on crocheting squares for a quilt.  Kate mentions losing her crochet hook, even though she knows exactly where she left it, and this reminds Mrs. May of the little creatures her younger brother told her he saw, back when they were children.  I admit, I only finished reading the book to see if crochet was mentioned again, and while it was never part of the Borrowers' story, it did show up again in the framing device near the end (they finished all the squares).  I also read the second book, partly because I knew that the Ghibli movie involved some of it (or so I guessed from the trailer) and partly to see if crochet came up again.  And it did, but only as part of the recap from the first book.  I don't know if crochet shows up in any of the adaptations (of which there are more than I thought), but as most of them appear to disregard the framing device, I highly doubt it.

And while I'm talking about crochet in unexpected places, I'd like to point out the Handmade Ryan Gosling tumblr, which is part of the Ryan Gosling Hey Girl thing (is it a thing?  I only know of one other tumblr with this format, with a library theme), for crafts of all kinds, including crochet:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Repost: Sweeney Todd and...

I was recently listening to the OBC of Sweeney Todd, and it reminded me of something I put together a few years ago and posted on my livejournal.  I'm not really sure why I didn't post it here, but I probably had my reasons.  Anyway, it still amuses me, so I'm posting it here now:

Out of all the wrong things I have ever come up with, this is probably the most wrong: Sweeney Todd, played by the cast of The Mr. Men Show. I don't remember exactly how I came up with the concept, other than I was watching the movie with my sister the other day. But I was thinking about it today at work, and I couldn't let go of the idea. Here's what I came up with (mild Sweeney Todd spoilers):

Sweeney Todd - Mr. Persnickety
This is probably the least justified of any of my casting ideas. I just like the idea of Mr. Persnickety as Sweeney, although I can't exactly say why. It would certainly give new meaning to the lyric "For neatness he deserves a nod." Of course, after a while I justified it by the fact that he's had a pretty prominent name change, which works with the show. "So it is you, Mr. Fussy." "NO! Not Fussy! Persnickety. Mister Persnickety."

Mrs. Lovett - Miss Naughty
At first I thought of Miss Helpful in this role, because of all the stuff she does to help Sweeney, but I wasn't entirely satisfied. And I just couldn't picture her singing "A Little Priest," so I thought about who could, and the first Little Miss I thought of was Miss Naughty. And once I thought of that, it just clicked. After all, it's been established that she's a terrible cook (then again, Mrs. Lovett's problem was lack of good ingredients, but still), and her hair is kind of like HBC's Lovett. Besides, she and Mr. Persnickety definitely have chemistry ^_~

Johanna - Miss Chatterbox
I based my casting more on the actual musical than the movie, and Miss Chatterbox is definitely the most Johanna-like, since her songs with Anthony are basically her talking over him ("Was that a noise? I think I heard a noise, no, it couldn't be, he's in court. Still, I heard a noise, didn't you hear that?")

Anthony - Mr. Tickle
Basically because I wanted Mr. Tickle to be in there somewhere, plus, he's kind of Anthony-like. The most Anthony-like out of all the other Mr. Men, anyway.

Judge Turpin - Mr. Small
Beadle Bamford - Mr. Nosy
I went back and forth on who should be the Judge and the Beadle for a while. I was actually thinking that I hadn't cast Mr. Small and Mr. Nosy yet, and I wanted them to be included (since they're my favorites), and I suddenly thought of the Judge and Beadle, since they're usually together in the show. I didn't want Mr. Nosy and Mr. Small to be the villians, of course, but it just seemed so right once I thought of it. At first I wasn't sure which should be which, so I thought they could alternate (in general, any time Sweeney's in position to slit Turpin's throat, it would be Mr. Nosy, since, well...). But then I realized that with this course of action, Mr. Nosy would have to sing "Pretty Women," and I didn't want that. So I imagined Mr. Small singing it with Mr. Persnickety instead, and that solidified him as my choice for the Judge. I wish that I could somehow convince the voice actors to make an actual recording of that song. I'm also half-tempted to write a parody of it called "Little Misses."
But Mr. Nosy also makes a better Beadle because, as I recall from the show, there's a scene where he goes to inspect Mrs. Lovett's bakehouse, and finding her not in her shop, simply sits down at the piano in her parlor and starts playing it. Which is very much something Mr. Nosy would do.

Pirelli - Mr. Stubborn
The thought of Mr. Stubborn as Pirelli is what made me seriously think out the rest of the cast. It's hard to describe, but there's just something so perfect about Mr. Stubborn playing Pirelli ("Who has the nerve to say my elixer is piss? Who says this?").

Toby - Mr. Scatterbrain
I'm not really satisfied with this casting, but I can't seem to drop the idea of it. But, being Mr. Scatterbrain, he wouldn't play Toby half the time (if any), and would sing a song from another musical (e.g. "Bushel and a Peck" from Guys and Dolls) instead of "Not While I'm Around." And he'd pull out some other prop instead of a razor at the end.

The Beggar Woman/Lucy - Miss Sunshine
"There was a barber and his wife, and she was beautiful." For some reason, that line speaks Little Miss Sunshine to me. Of course, then you have to imagine her as a half-crazed beggar woman (and another thing which is better left unimagined, so I won't inflict it upon you). But the real reason I thought of Miss Sunshine for this role is the lyric "They figured she had to be daft, y'see."

And everyone else can be the chorus. "And what happened next, well that's the play, and he wouldn't want us to give it away."

At the time, I thought about writing up a fanfic of the Dillydale Players rehearsing for this production, with Mr. Happy as the director (who of course didn't get that it was supposed to be all dark), but really the only scene I came up with was Mr. Tickle using his extendable arms to make the line "Until then I'm with you there" from "Johanna" literal.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Episode 42

Read it and Weep
Twilight Sparkle joins Rarity and Pinkie Pie in watching Rainbow Dash pull off an assortment of aerial tricks.  An impressive sight, to be sure, but as this is Rainbow Dash we're talking about it, it all ends with an equally impressive crash.  A bad enough crash, in fact, that it lands her in the hospital with a broken wing for a few days.  Dash does not look forward to just sitting around and refuses to listen to her friends try and put a positive spin on hospital life.  So Twilight tries to rouse her spirits with, naturally, a book: Daring Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Stone, the first in the series.  But Dash is having none of that, explaining that she's not the reading type, calling it a pursuit only for eggheads. She's surprised when this just draws laughter from her friends, who tell her reading is for everypony.  They're shooed out by the nurse so Dash can rest, but before leaving, Twilight has to give the book one more plug.  She points out that the protagonist is a lot like Dash, but the pegasus just brushes her off.  However, after exhausting all her available entertainment options in less than a minute, she tries and fails to resist reading the book.
From page one she finds that she has much in common with Ms. Do, as the story opens with Daring Do having crashed in the jungle, grounding her for a few days.  As Dash reads, the scene shifts to her imagination, playing out the scenes as she reads.  Daring Do finds herself surrounded by all manner of jungle cats (and one kitty), but she manages to outrun them, until she reaches a deep canyon.  Unable to fly across, she swings on a vine, and finds herself at the very temple she was seeking!  It's at this point in the story that Dash comes to the realization that not only is she hooked on this book, but reading in general.  No one must ever know....
Back in the book, Daring Do enters the temple and narrowly avoids trap after trap.  At last she sees the eponymous sapphire stone sitting on a pedestal, which is when there's a knock at the door.  Back in the real world, Dash stows her book just before Twilight and Fluttershy enter, ready to pay her a visit and play her favorite board game, the pony version of Battleship.  Wanting to get back to her book, Rainbow Dash hastily loses without even taking a turn.  Which is suspicious behavior right there, since she never loses at that game.  Before her friends can question it too much, she feigns sleep until they leave, then goes right back to her book.
Daring Do, remembering all the traps in the other rooms, kicks a rock into the chamber, and sure enough, it sets off a trap.  Knowing there must be a way through (otherwise, how did anyone get the stone in there), she studies the floor tiles and discovers the secret: the tiles without a predator design are safe.  She carefully leaps across the floor, and reaches the pedestal in one piece.  After examining the pedestal for more traps, she grabs the sapphire stone and stows it in her hat.  She prepares to leave, unaware that there was in fact a trap, triggered by moving the stone.  She soon becomes aware of it when the temple begins crumbling around her.  The floor tiles fall away, revealing hot lava underneath.  With her path destroyed and the lava beginning to rise, Daring Do's only option is a hole in the roof of the chamber.  Climbing the debris, the hole still isn't within reach, so with no other choice, she makes a leap for it.  She manages to just catch the hole, and as she pulls herself out, the blast of heat from the lava blows her into the air.  Her landing knocks the stone from her hat, as before her stands a strange-looking creature that speaks in Pinkie Pie's voice.
No, wait, it's actually Pinkie Pie, heralding a visit from herself, Rarity, and Applejack.  Fortunately, Pinkie broadcast herself early enough that Dash was able to tuck away the book.  They happen to come at food time, but this does not deter them from visiting.  Rainbow Dash's horrible eating technique does, however, and soon Dash is alone with her book once again.  She reads with wonder as the strange-looking creature, Ahuizotl, takes the stone and summons all the jungle cats (and one kitty) to capture Daring Do.  With the pegasus in his clutches, he ties her to a slab in another temple, then triggers the trap before making his escape.  Helpless, Daring Do watches as spiked walls close in, spiders and cobras swarm in, and the entire room fills with quicksand.
It's at this point that Rainbow Dash's reading is interrupted by the doctor, revealing that she read all through the night.  But the doctor has good news for her: her stay is over and she's free to go, though she still has to stay off her wing for a week.  Despite her objections, the nurses discharge her and wheel her out of the building, away from her precious book.  Now how will she find out what happens next?  Pacing outside the hospital, Dash remembers that Twilight mentioned having all the books in the series.  But having dissed reading, she can't bring herself to ask.
The whole situation is enough to make you sick, which gives Dash an idea.  She stumbles back into the hospital, moaning and groaning about the pain in her wing, and shivers in agony when the doctor touches her wing.  Unfortunately, he touched her good wing, and sees through her ruse.  Thinking she's just being lazy, he kicks her out and bids her good evening.  With the fate of Daring Do on her mind, Dash knows she won't be able to get to sleep, which gives her another idea...
Under cover of darkness and clad in black, Rainbow Dash sneaks into the hospital, hiding from security guards and doctors alike.  She makes it into her old room, but her bed already has a new occupant.  Luckily, the book is still there, knocked to the floor.  She slips under the bed and picks up where she left off.  But she barely has time to read two lines before she's interrupted by the new sick pony, who accuses her of trying to steal his slippers.  She corrects him that she's only trying to steal the book, which doesn't get her off the hook.  Dash finds herself surrounded by all manner of hospital staff (and one intern).  She attempts to get past them by flying, but her bad wing still needs to heal, and she crashes into the bookcart, dropping her book in the process.  She doesn't have time to find it, though, and runs off with the hospital staff close behind.  She comes to a river, and inspired by Daring Do, she swings across on a vine, despite there being a perfectly good bridge.
The chase takes Dash and her pursuers all through Ponyville, waking everyone up in the process.  Finally, the hospital staff corners her at the library, and both the staff and her friends demand to know what's going on.  With no other option, Dash admits she's become an egghead and just what she was doing at the hospital.  Twilight is impressed that Dash liked the book enough to stoop to petty theft, and Applejack points out that enjoying reading isn't an excuse for waking up the whole town.  With that settled, Twilight offers to let Rainbow Dash borrow any of the Daring Do books.  Dash apologizes for thinking reading was only for smart ponies, but Twilight points out that just because Dash is athletic doesn't mean she isn't smart, and that reading isn't exclusive to any particular type of pony.  Dash adds that she shouldn't knock something until she's tried it, which Twilight sees as a good lesson to write up for the princess.  Dash, however, is too impatient to finish the book and tells Spike to just summarize their conversation.
And so Dash finally gets to read the end of Daring Do and the Sapphire Stone.  When we last left our heroine, she was trapped in many ways.  With the quicksand rising, Daring Do looks around and is able to deduce a way out.  She slingshots her hat across the room and hits the switch that triggered the trap, reversing the effects.  She breaks free of her bonds and makes for the exit.  Ahuizotl, meanwhile, strokes his one kitty and gloats about his victory over Daring Do, only for the pegasus herself to swoop in and steal the stone right out of his hands.  Once again, the day is saved, thanks to Daring Do!  With that one finished, Dash immediately picks up the next book in the series, Daring Do and the Griffin's Goblet.
I don't really have too much to say about this one, even though it was fun to watch.  The action scenes at the end were unexpected, and I liked the little nods to the earlier book scenes during the chase.

Misc. Screenshots
Twilight has the entire series
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