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
It isn't working

Saturday, February 18, 2012

News on the Lorax Soundtrack

There's finally news of a soundtrack for the songs of The Lorax movie, though when exactly it's coming out isn't clear.  According to Film Music Reporter, it's coming out on the 28th, but according to Amazon, it isn't coming out until March 13th, a week after the score soundtrack is said to be released.  They do, however, have a digital version of the soundtrack set to come out on the 28th.  I haven't been able to find any other source of information for this soundtrack, so we'll just have to see.
If you follow the FMR link, they have a preview of all the songs on the CD, which I am deliberately not listening to or embedding here.  The one thing I absolutely refuse to spoil myself on are the songs.  In fact, I kind of wish I hadn't learned the names of the songs in the first place, but there's nothing to be done about that now.  All I can do is wait for March 2nd and hope I don't accidentally get spoiled before then.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lorax Movie is a Musical!

The official site for the Lorax movie added the Cast and Crew section, and if you click on the Production Notes tab, you'll get a PDF full of interesting stuff about the making of the movie, though none of it is too spoilery (I mean, as long as you've been following along with the information and video clips that have been trickling out). Except for all the titles of the songs that are in the movie.  Now, it had been hinted at in various interviews that there would be songs in the movie, but according to the notes, there are seven, three of which are sung by Young!Once-ler himself:

The Once-ler happens to play the guitar and has a number of solo songs in which he picks it up and sings.  Singing is very much a part of his character.
I cannot express how happy this makes me.  However, the only info about the movie soundtrack I can find is a score-only CD thatcomes out the Tuesday after the movie does.  I sincerely hope that if nothing else, the songs will be on iTunes.  (Not that the score, by John Powell, won't be awesome.)

In related news, the world premiere screening of the movie is going to be this Sunday, which is my birthday, coincidentally.
Update:  There's a new character-centric featurette, and this time it's the one I was waiting for: Ed Helms talking about the Once-ler:
I wonder how many of these are going to come out?  Will there be one with Rob Riggle/O'Hare or Betty White/Grammy Norma?  Will they even go as far as Jenny Slate/Ted's Mom or the folks voicing the Once-ler's relatives?  Probably not.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Episode 41

Pony economics take the focus in this episode.
The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000
Fluttershy sleeps peacefully, until a knock at the door wakes her up.  As she wonders who could be calling at such an hour, Rainbow Dash bursts in through the window.  Telling her that cider season is starting, she drags her friend out and they race to Sweet Apple Acres.  In the past, Rainbow Dash has always failed to get any cider, which she blames on Pinkie Pie being ahead of her and drinking all the cider.  So this year she plans to get there before sunrise, guaranteeing her a spot in line before Pinkie Pie.  Why she needs Fluttershy for this, I have no clue.  But as the pegasi approach the farm, they suddenly spy a line of tents stretching all the way back to town.  And who's at the front?  Why, Pinkie Pie, of course.  It seems she got so excited about cider season that she just couldn't sleep, so she decided to camp out, and one thing lead to another, much to Rainbow Dash's annoyance.
Once day actually breaks, and cider season officially starts, the line moves quickly.  Barrel after barrel is emptied as thirsty ponies get their fill of cider, and it looks like Rainbow Dash is finally going to get a mug, only for it to fizzle out on the very last barrel.  Applejack declares the stand closed for the day, much to the chagrin of not only Rainbow Dash, but the other ponies who were in line behind her.  They demand to know why the cider always runs out, and Applejack does her best to defuse tension by telling them that they did their best to improve the supply, but since they only use the highest quality apples, it takes longer to make.  She assures them there'll be more tomorrow, and while this doesn't fully appease the crowd, they disperse nonetheless.
Pinkie Pie, unaware that Dash didn't get any, gushes over the cider she drank, fully endorsing the Apple family's methods.  But just as Dash is about to lose it, a very strange vehicle pulls up to the farm, bumping the fence.  From this vehicle emerge two unicorn brothers, Flim and Flam, who regale the gathered ponies with a song very reminiscent of "Ya Got Trouble" from The Music Man.  In song, they reveal their vehicle is a cider-making machine known as the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, capable of making enough cider for all of Ponyville.  After getting permission from Applejack, the Flim Flam Brothers use their magic to power the machine, which sucks apples right off the tree and turns them into cider before your very eyes.
Here Granny Smith objects, pointing out the quality and care they put into their cider can't be replicated so quickly.  But the brothers have found a way, as their machine has a built-in quality checker that keeps any subpar apples from becoming part of their cider.  They offer Granny Smith a cup, and to her surprise, it actually tastes pretty good, though she tries to hide her reaction.  With the SSCS6k's properties fully demonstrated, the brothers call on the crowd to get the Apples to give their machine a try.  Apple Bloom agrees immediately, but Granny Smith objects and calls for an Apple Family huddle.
Despite having tasted their cider, she insists it can't compare to theirs.  Apple Bloom points out it would be great for productivity and keeping angry crowds from storming the farm, and Applejack is undecided.  The Flim Flam brothers join the huddle and offer them a partnership: they provide the machine and the magic to run it while the Apples provide the materials, and they split the profits 75-25 (with the 75 going to them, of course).  But since cider sales are what keeps the farm going through the winter, the Apples refuse.  And so the Flim Flam brothers announce their intention to directly compete with the Apples by selling the cider themselves, certain that they'll be able to drive them out of business.
The next day, cider sales start up again, and the Flim Flam brothers are nowhere to be seen.  Cider runs out even earlier than last time (not Pinkie's fault this time, though), leaving more angry ponies than before (and Rainbow Dash nowhere near the front of the line).  Which is precisely when the SSCS6k pulls in, ruining the fence Granny Smith just fixed.  The jilted ponies flock to the Flim Flam brothers for cider, and Rainbow Dash is even given one on the house.  Before she can taste it, however, Applejack lassos the cider barrel, inadvertently knocking the mug to the ground.  Applejack objects that the brothers can't sell that cider, since it was made with apples from Sweet Apple Acres.  This doesn't deter the brothers, who assure the gathered ponies that they'll simply get apples from somewhere else and make much more than the Apples ever could. Apple Bloom takes this as a challenge, and declares they'll make more than even that.  Big Macintosh picks her up by her tail so Granny Smith can explain that quality is what counts, not quantity.
"Who cares how good the cider is if I never get to drink any?" Rainbow Dash demands, and Flim jumps on this to propose a contest.  Apple Bloom accepts without even hearing the terms, and when Flam declares their machine will make enough cider for all of Ponyville in one hour, she counterdeclares that her family will do the same in 45 minutes.  Granny Smith tries to get the young filly to stand down, until Flim calls her "chicken."  This riles Granny Smith right up, and she immediately challenges the brothers to a cider-making contest the next morning.  She even lets them use the apples from the south field, just to prove her family's cider is the best.  And so Flim finalizes the contest details: whichever team makes the most cider in one hour will win exclusive cider-selling rights for Ponyville.  With that settled, the brothers take their leave.  And the Apples better win, since losing means they might as well give up the farm right then and there.
The next morning, all of Ponyville gathers to watch the competition.  As the Apples warm up, Twilight asks Applejack whether they should go through with it.  Though she was less confident the night before, today Applejack insists she and her family can win, plus, as Apple Bloom points out, nopony calls Granny Smith chicken.  So Twilight wishes them luck, and the mayor announces the beginning of the competition.  With Dr. Hooves as timekeeper, the hourglass is turned and the Apples leap into action.  The Flim Flam brothers also get to work, but as their magic is all they need, they just lounge around while Applejack bucks apples for Apple Bloom to catch, who gives them to Granny Smith to evaluate and then send to Big Macintosh, who does the actual cider-making.  Once one barrel is done, the Apples check out how the competition is doing, and are shocked to see the brothers' machine has already made six barrels.
As the contest goes on, the Apples work hard, but even at top speed, the brothers make three more barrels.  Things are looking grim, until Twilight gets an idea.  She asks the mayor if honorary family members count, and the mayor asks the brothers if they object to this.  Being so far in the lead, the brothers allow it, and Applejack fully accepts their help.  And so the rest of the mane six jump into the fray, with Fluttershyknocking apples from the trees, Pinkie Pie helping with apple catching, Rarity evaluating apples, Rainbow Dash joining Big Macintosh at the cider press, and Twilight getting cider barrels in and out of position.
With the extra help, they manage to take the lead, and the brothers start to actually get worried.  They double the power to the machine, but this causes it to start sucking up whole trees, pushing their production back as the quality control has more bad stuff to reject.  So Flam, remembering that winning the contest is based only on quantity of barrels, simply turns off the quality control, and they're back in business.  Seeing this, Rainbow Dash tries to get Granny Smith to do the same, but the old pony refuses.  Applejack agrees, saying there's no point in winning if you do it by cheating.  Twilight calls for everyone to just work that much harder, and so with time running out, Team Apple picks up the pace.  It's a close race, and once the sand in the hourglass runs out, Team Apple collapses.
While the mayor tallies each sides' barrels, Twilight assures Applejack that their hard work and dedication to integrity will be rewarded.  However, the mayor announces that Flim and Flam are the winners, as their barrels tower over Team Apple's.  With their victory, the Flim Flam brothers consider the farm as good as theirs and begin making plans for it, even rolling out a new banner.  The brothers laugh in the Apple family's faces, who leave to pack up their things.  The gathered ponies watch them go, tears in their eyes, but Applejack tells them to go ahead and have some of the Flim Flam brothers' cider.  The brothers, however, unwisely poured their first mugs from one of the QC-less barrels, and after one taste, the ponies declare they won't pay.  And with the lack of good will they garnered from kicking out the Apple family, Flim and Flam see they won't make any profit and split for the next town.
With the brothers gone, Sweet Apple Acres is safe, plus they finally have enough cider for the whole town, thanks to all the hard work Team Apple put into the contest.  As Ponyville celebrates, Applejack drafts a letter to Princess Celestia, even though she didn't actually learn anything.  The episode's lessons include taking the time to do things the right way, and counting on your friends to help you out, but these are things that Applejack already knew.  But hey, at least Rainbow Dash finally got to drink some cider.
One wonders why Applejack bothered to write to Princess Celestia.  After all, wasn't one of the stipulations from Lesson Zero that they only write when there's something worth writing about?  Maybe she was warning the princess about Flim and Flam.  But still, there have been episodes where the lesson was espoused without writing a letter, so surely that could have been done here.  Or maybe the idea of Applejack stating she didn't learn a darn thing was just too funny (and indeed, it cracked me up the first time I watched it) not to do.
I still don't get why the Flim Flam brothers took control of Sweet Apple Acres, though.  Sure, without cider sales, the Apples would have had to sell the farm, but surely they could have sold it to someone else.  Or at least tried to.  And one last thing; I have no idea why, but I find this face so incredibly cute:
Misc. Screenshots
Fluttershy blushes
Pinkie buys all the cider
Ponies want cider, especially Dash
Smug Flim
Shocked Apples
Worried Applejack
Angry Apples
Smug brothers

Lorax Behind the Scenes and Coloring Pages

Yeah, I know.  Just bear with me for three more weeks.
First up, HP has a page of Lorax-themed printables, which as you may have guessed, I'm only mentioning because one of the coloring sheets includes Young!Once-ler (he has to share a page with Ted and Audrey).  Sadly, he does not get a bookmark, though Grammy Norma does, of all characters.

Second, here are two character-based behind the scenes clips from the upcoming Lorax movie.  First up, Danny DeVito talks about the Lorax himself (with plenty of Young!Once-ler):



And Zach Efron goes through Ted's motivations. Lots of new footage here, and I'll admit, that bit at the end made me laugh:
<a href='http://movies.msn.com/movies/movie-trailers/?videoId=d7eb01f7-7985-47b1-8f8c-a0e92395d00f&=from&from=#/video/d7eb01f7-7985-47b1-8f8c-a0e92395d00f/?icid=MOVIES1&GT1=MOVIES1&src=v5:share:permalink:&src=v5:embed::' target='_new' title='&#39;Dr. Seuss&#39; The Lorax&#39; interview' >Video: &#39;Dr. Seuss&#39; The Lorax&#39; interview</a>

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Episode 40

Applejack gets a long overdue focus episode.  She hasn't had one since episode 4, sheesh.  At least she gets two in a row.
The Last Round Up
While Apple Bloom watches, Applejack works hard, training for the upcoming Equestria Rodeo Competition being held in Canterlot.  Apple Bloom is certain that her sister will wow the crowds, especially considering Applejack is a ten-time champion of the Ponyville Rodeo.
In honor of Applejack competing, the entire town prepares to send her off.  And Applejack better win, considering she already promised the prize money to help fix town hall's roof, which was in poor shape even before Derpy accidentally struck it with lightning.  Rainbow Dash also ends up on the receiving end of Derpy's "help," and exhorting her to just "do nothing" just leads to more destruction.  Much like Oopsy from Adventures in Care-a-Lot, such is Derpy's lot.
Pinkie Pie calls for a speech from Applejack, and so the cowpony promises to make them all proud.  At the train station, her friends and family give her lots of last bits of advice, though the mayor's only there to remind her to bring back the prize money.  The conductor gives the last call, and so Applejack boards the train, promising to be back in a week with all the blue ribbons.
One week later, all of Applejack's friends and family are working on getting a surprise party ready in the barn in time for Applejack's return.  However, the recipient of their "Surprise!" is not Applejack but a rather flattered mail pony (it was his birthday).  Twilight brusquely takes the letter from him, but Pinkie Pie gives him a slice of cake.  The letter is from Applejack, and simply says that she isn't coming back to Ponyville, but will send the money soon.
No one can believe such a thing.  If there are three things Applejack would never abandon, it's Ponyville, her family, and Sweet Apple Acres.  Her friends assume that something terrible must have happened to her, and vow to search high and low until they find her.  Though as they head off, Big Macintosh and Granny Smith aren't quite as optimistic.
And thus the mane six five take the train to Canterlot and head straight for the rodeo arena.  They spend the day asking everyone there, but no one's seen Applejack.  Just when all seems lost, one pony is able to point them in the right direction: West!  And so it's back on the train, hoping they aren't on the wrong track.  Once they arrive at Dodge Junction, Pinkie Pie makes a beeline for the outhouse and nearly misses Applejack coming out of it.  But she makes the connection a second later and grabs the rest of her friends, jubilantly crowing about finding Applejack.  Once the other ponies spot AJ, Pinkie remembers her unfinished business and leaves greeting Applejack to everyone else.
The other ponies ask Applejack what's she's doing there, but before she can answer, they're greeted by Cherry Jubilee, owner of the local cherry orchard and Applejack's current employer.  She speaks highly of Applejack, having been impressed by all the ribbons she won at the rodeo, then heads back to give Applejack some private time with her friends.  Rainbow Dash immediately jumps on Applejack for this apparent treachery to Sweet Apple Acres, but Applejack replies that she just wanted to try something different.  She thanks her friends for coming, and sends them on their way.  Nopony buys this, of course, and Rainbow Dash for one is not about to let all their searching be for naught.  Applejack goes on the defensive, saying she didn't ask them to go searching and repeats her refusal to go home.  She runs off, but the others aren't about to let her off the hook so easily.
Back at the cherry orchard, it's time for Applejack to get to work, turning the wheel that powers the cherry sorting conveyor belt.  Cherry Jubilee introduces her to her new cherry sorters: the rest of the mane six!  They claim that Applejack made working with cherries sound like fun, so they thought they'd give it a try.  Applejack allows this on one condition: no talking about Ponyville.  And they get to work.  After a little while, the mane five put their plan into motion, starting with Twilight asking Applejack about Canterlot, which, not being Ponyville, is perfectly allowable.  She continues on to asking about the rodeo, even though Applejack gives her nothing but taciturn answers.  Rainbow Dash tries getting more out of her by fangirling over famous rodeo ponies, but this doesn't work.  Even Rarity leaves the line to ask how Applejack met Cherry Jubilee, leaving only Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy at the belt.
Applejack tells them that Cherry had a stand at the rodeo, and being in similar lines of business, they got to talking.  The others ask accusing questions, riling Applejack up and causing her to speed up her trotting and consequentially the conveyor belt.  Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Twilight try to find out if it was something they did while Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie try to cope with the never-ending line of cherries, until finally it's too much to handle.  Applejack stops, but the momentum is such that she ends up covered in cherry goop.  As the mane five clean up the cherry mess, Twilight notes that they haven't gotten anywhere, which Rainbow Dash attributes to them playing nice before.  Now it's time to pull out the big guns--Pinkie Pie!
Thus, Pinkie Pie is sent to the orchard, where Applejack is bucking the cherries.  Applejack lets Pinkie Pie help as long as she doesn't ask any questions, which suits Pinkie just fine.  Instead, she starts talking about cherrychangas, a dessert she just invented, before moving on to inherently funny words.  Her incessant chattering becomes too much for Applejack to take, and once she breaks, Rainbow Dash (ears plugged) flies down to tell her they'll only call off Pinkie Pie if Applejack tells them what's really going on.  Applejack refuses, so Rainbow Dash unleashes Pinkie Pie again.  After a few rounds of "words that rhyme with bean" Applejack is ready to give in, but asks if she can wait until the next day.  Pinkie Pie asks her to Pinkie Promise, and so Applejack does, promising to tell them everything the next day at breakfast.
The next morning, the other ponies head to Applejack's room, eager for answers.  Rainbow Dash isn't so sure they'll actually get any, but Pinkie Pie reassures her that since Applejack Pinkie Promised, she'll tell all.  A knock on Applejack's door, however, shows that the cowpony has already left.  And Pinkie Pie goes ballastic.  "Nopony breaks a Pinkie Promise!" she shouts, and races off with the others close behind.  They find Applejack at the train station, waiting impatiently, and when she spots the Pinkie Pie Scorned, she hightails it out of there.  In order to get away from her friends, she hires a stagecoach pulled by four ponies.  Her friends, however, spot an abandoned wagon and with Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy pulling it, they take off after her.  And so begins a high speed chase, pony-style!
The wagon starts to gain on the stagecoach, until a bunny hops into the road and Fluttershy brakes, sending them off course.  Despite this, they manage to catch up again, and start ramming the coach to make it pull over.  So Applejack tells the stagecoach team she'll pay them double if they manage to outrun her friends.  But Twilight counters by saying they'll pay triple if they slow down.  So Applejack ups her offer, and the stagecoach team takes off like the wind.  But Pinkie refuses to let Applejack get away, and so Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy up their game and catch up yet again.
Once they get close enough, Pinkie Pie leaps from the wagon to the stagecoach and confronts Applejack about breaking her promise.  Applejack points out that she didn't break her promise, since she said she'd tell them at breakfast, and she left before breakfast.  She also admits that she just can't tell them what happened.  Though not completely satisfied, Pinkie leaves Applejack be, falling back on the cart while asking Rarity to catch her.  Not expecting this, Rarity is knocked out of the cart with Pinkie Pie.  Twilight calls for them to stop and get their friends, but Rainbow Dash refuses, stating that the two knew what they were getting into.  And so the chase continues.
With the stagecoach in the lead, Applejack decides to cement her lead by ignoring the railroad crossing signal and spurring the team to cross just before the train.  They make it across, but the team abandons her after that little stunt.  Applejack isn't worried, figuring the train will buy her enough time to get away, until she spots the pegasi-pulled wagon soaring over the train.  Even so, Applejack refuses to give up, and starts to run again, but this time she's easily caught by Rainbow Dash.  Their collision reveals the secret Applejack had been trying to hide, though it isn't exactly apparent to her friends.  All they see is a ton of prize ribbons that were in her bag, and they're pretty impressed.  But Applejack points out that not one of them is for first prize, meaning she didn't win any money.  Which is why she was working at Cherry Jubilee's orchard, since she couldn't face Ponyville without any money, not after that sendoff.
But the others assure her that they don't care what place she came in, money or not, she's still their friend.  Applejack points out that she promised the mayor the money to fix town hall's roof, and she doesn't think she'll be as forgiving.  Fluttershy assures her they'll find a way to fix the roof, but without her, "we'd never be able to fix the hole in our hearts," a sentiment that even touches Rainbow Dash.
And so Applejack comes home and writes her letter to Princess Celestia, about how you can't run from your problems.  Meanwhile, Rarity and Pinkie Pie also make their way home, working a handcart.  While Pinkie natters on, Rarity swears that Rainbow Dash will pay.
Was it just me, or was it painfully obvious that Applejack didn't get the money?  I mean, I know this is still a kids show, but it felt a little weird that nobody would think of it, especially with all the emphasis the mayor kept putting on it.  Other than that, I liked this episode, and it had some fun moments  Of particular note, the I Love Lucy reference during the conveyor belt scene, Pinkie Pie being the "big guns," and Pinkie going demonic over the broken promise.
There's been quite a bit of controversy over Derpy becoming an actual voiced and named character.  To be honest, I mostly saw her (as I noted earlier) as channeling Oopsy from Adventures in Care-a-Lot, right down to the voice.  In fact, if the director hadn't revealed that it was actually Tabitha St. Germain doing her voice, I would have bet real money that it was Ashleigh Ball "reprising" her role.

Misc. Screenshots
Applejack blushes
Ponies hiding
The Cherry Orchard Ranch
Apple Family Dog Pile!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Episode 39

When I first heard the description for this episode, I was like "Wait, the Cakes have kids?  Since when?"  Since this very episode, it turns out.
Baby Cakes
The mane six gather at the hospital, eagerly peering at the newborns in the maternity ward, trying to find the Cakes' new foal.  Carrot Cake shows them his new son, Pound Cake, and daughter, Pumpkin Cake.  Pinkie Pie is beside herself, having two new foals to play with when she only expected one, and she leaps into the room, ready for a birthday party.  The nurse on duty, however, shushes her , and kicks her out for singing a birthday song, even a quiet one.  Applejack wonders how one twin can be a pegasus and the other a unicorn when both Cakes are earth ponies, and Carrot explains that there's one of each in their family trees way back.  So Rainbow Dash tells Carrot about all the fun he's in for once Pound starts flying, and Twilight and Rarity warn him about Pumpkin getting random spurts of magic.  Before he can respond, Pinkie sneaks in with a cake, and is given the mother of all shushings by the nurse.
One month later, the twins are old enough to crawl around and blow the noisemakers Pinke Pie gives them for their month-iversary.  She delights in playing their favorite game, "Where's Pinkie Pie," but when it's time for a diaper change, she happily hands them off to Carrot Cake, then waits impatiently as Cup Cake feeds them.  With the babies ready, Pinkie Pie gets back to playtime, leaving it to the parents to keep Pound Cake from, well, pounding things and Pumpkin Cake from putting everything in her mouth.
In the midst of this, the Cakes suddenly remember the incredibly important catering order they have to deliver, and rush out to find a last-minute babysitter, ignoring Pinkie's assertions that she would love to do it.  Unfortunately, Fluttershy already has plans with Angel, and even the Cakes know not to mess with that bunny.  Twilight has more reports to write, Applejack's dealing with a caterpillar infestation, Rainbow Dash has tickets to the Wonderbolts airshow that afternoon, and Rarity, though flattered, flat out refuses.  With their options exhausted, the Cakes finally turn to Pinkie Pie, who plays hard to get, but agrees.
As the Cakes load up their cart for the catering job, Carrot asks Pinkie yet again if she thinks she can handle all the responsibilities of watching two babies.  Pinkie is sure she can do it, even after Cup Cake reminds her that this means taking care of them, not just playing with them.  Still, Pinkie remains firm in her conviction, though she wavers a bit after seeing the long list of things she'll need to do.  But she catches herself and sends the Cakes off with a smile.  But the minute the door closes, Pound and Pumpkin immediately start crying, and Pinkie realizes she may be in for more than she bargained for.
Pinkie tries a round of "Where's Pinkie Pie," but the babies cry on.  When funny faces also have no effect, Pinkie searches her repertoire and pulls out her stand-up act, though the punchlines are lost on the foals and they start crying again.  So Pinkie pulls out her showstopper number, The Piggy Dance.  Which fails miserably. But in the course of her dance, she bumps into a cupboard and knocks a bag of flour on her head.  This, of all things, makes the babies laugh, to Pinkie's relief.
Pinkie consults her list of responsibilities, and sees that snacktime is next on the agenda.  She sets out the prepared food, but rather than eat, Pumpkin knocks her bowl down in grabbing a nearby tablecloth and Pound accidentally flips his bowl onto his head.  End result: both foals start crying again, which Pinkie stops by covering herself in flour again.  Next up, bathtime.  Both foals run around the bathroom and hide before Pinkie manages to get them both in the tub, where they immediately start crying again.  This time Pinkie distracts them with bubbles, which lasts until Pumpkin's horn pops one, of course.  Pinkie turns to bath toys to stem the tears, and when one works, she piles on so many toys that they soon have the opposite effect.  Flailing and crying, Pound manages to break off the faucet, drenching Pinkie.  Seeing no other options, she pulls out a bag of flour, but gives that foals one last chance to stop crying on their own, warning them of what will happen if she has to resort to this.  But they just keep crying, and so Pinkie drops the flour, creating a goopy mess on herself, which fortunately works.
As Pinkie consults her list, the dreaded scent of diaper-changing-time wafts into the room.  With great trepidation, Pinkie sneaks up on the foals, but they see her at the last moment and run off.  Pinkie easily finds them and removes the offending diapers, but has a harder time getting the clean ones on.  As in, she somehow ends up wearing both diapers.  The foals run off again, but before she can chase them, she hears someone at the door, and assumes the Cakes are back early.  But no, it's Twilight Sparkle, done with her work and ready to help out.  Pinkie welcomes her in with open arms at first, but when Twilight tells her she figured Pinkie would need some help, implying that the earth pony can't handle it, Pinkie gets so offended that she kicks Twilight out and slams the door in her face.  As soon as she does, however, Pinkie realizes that there was an element of truth to Twilight's insinuation--she hasn't been handling things very well.  But she vows to turn things around from here on in!
Checking on the babies, she finds them in their bedroom, Pound jumping on the bed and Pumpkin chewing on a rubber chicken.  Pinkie puts on her serious face and puts a stop to the jumping and chewing, puts the foals in the crib, and orders them to take their nap.  To her relief, this works, and so she tucks them in and gives them each a kiss, then puts away the dirty diapers and rubber chicken.  She turns off the lights, and just as she's about the shut the door, notices the crib is devoid of foals.  Pinkie searches the room frantically, until she hears the squeak of the rubber chicken, and finds Pumpkin in the closet where she put it.  With Pound still missing, she doesn't bother to take the chicken from Pumpkin, but simply deposits her back in the crib and asks her to please stay there.
Pinkie continues to search for Pound in the darkened house, but is haunted by the sound of his giggles and his elusive shadow.  Finally, she spots him using his tiny wings to walk on the ceiling.  Though she tries, she can't quite reach him.  But if anyone knows about being in places you shouldn't physically be able to be, it's Pinkie Pie, and she climbs up to him using suction cup shoes.  She manages to get him back down, but loses hold of him when she sees Pumpkin using her magic to grab her toys and put them in her mouth.  Pinkie grabs them all and locks them up in a toybox, then goes after Pound.  She manages to grab him in flight, but to her surprise, he's strong enough to drag her along.  To her credit, Pinkie refuses to let him go, even as he drags her down the stairs, through plates of food, and back up the stairs.  It's only when her tail gets caught in on a doorknob that she loses her grip.
Seeing her brother flying around, Pumpkin longs to join him, and so uses her magic to levitate herself, to Pinkie's great dismay.  The twins fly and float around until Pinkie traps them with a playpen, which she duct-tapes to the ground, claiming this to irrefutably prove her responsibility.  Pumpkin, however, uses her magic to pass through the wall of the playpen and Pound simply flies up until he breaks through the tape.  Seeing all her efforts going up in smoke, the stress of watching the twins becomes too much, and Pinkie Pie bursts into tears.  The twins see this and do the one thing they know will bring a smile: cover themselves with flour.  Pinkie has to admit, it is pretty funny.
Having reached an understanding with Pinkie (and worn themselves out) the twins take a nap for real, and Pinkie Pie drafts a letter to Princess Celestia while she cleans up the messes made by her babysitting attempt.  Her lesson was twofold: babysitting is more than just playing, and wanting responsibility is not the same as being responsible.  Night falls and the Cakes return, bracing themselves for the worst, but find a sparkling clean house and still sleeping twins instead.  Amazed that Pinkie actually managed to be a competent babysitter, they ask her to be their go-to sitter.  Pinkie balks, but relents when she hears the twins say her name.
Now, this episode was all kinds of cute, and it was really nice to see Pinkie Pie acting relatively normal.  And I'm really glad that the writers didn't pull a "oh, the Cake's have had kids this whole time, you just never saw them before," like with Sweetie Belle being Rarity's sister.
One thing I was wondering after this episode, is can all baby pegasi fly like that, or is Pound just special? It might be that baby pegasi can fly as babies but as their bodies grow, they lose the ability until their wings catch up, but until the show answers that, we won't know for sure.  Of course, the most likely answer is that the twins were tapping into Pinkie's "Rule of Funny" powers, inadvertantly turning them against her.

Misc. Screenshots
Pinkie Time
Disappointed Cakes
Badum Ching
Why?