Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dead Can Dance

I've been busy working on some concept art for a uni project. Can't share any images at the moment it seems.
Either way, I was drawing a Mayan mummy while listening to Lady Gaga. I couldn't help but imagine that corpse dancing, which was pretty amusing!
And it all made me think of a wallpaper I like. I used to collect those back in the day.
Not fantastic 3D by today's standards, but still fun. Grab the full version here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Possibly the scariest kids' show out there!

Now I'm not usually the one to knock any disturbing and/or terrifying children's shows, providing they are that way for all the right reasons! But man... I think I'll have nightmares after being exposed to this
And the person I have to thank for getting a chance to see this horror is leighanna, who was nice enough to post a journal containing only a link to the video. Thanks. My mind will never be the same...

P.S. I've borrowed the mutated hamster from pinkertonFX

Unfortunately I didn't have the time to draw the psychedelic picture that popped into my mind while watching that video. So I went for the next best thing and found something that's close enough!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Johnny Bravo: a review

I have very mixed feelings about "Johnny Bravo".
You can’t really discuss this series in one go as you’re talking about two shows.

The first season (Van Partible's evil creation)
Originally created by Van Partible, it was the weird cartoon that made the 8-year-old me cringe and change the channel. Yeah yeah. I'm sure there's plenty of people out there who are gonna say "But... That's when it was good! It was an extremely witty show with plenty of pop culture references, guest appearances and all those clever jokes that went straight over the kids' heads!" I'm sorry, but... 

Just no. It wasn't just the jokes, the entire show went over my head. I just don't get why that particular season gets praised for things that would be called a lazy approach in any other series. The jokes were artificial and repetitive. And speaking of repetitive, ever noticed how Johnny would repeat one phrase or a girl's name over and over again? (Farrah Fawcett, anyone?) The pop culture references were very lazily done. "Deus Ex Machina" wasn't just done to death, it was "how the show rolls".  And I'm guessing when a writer didn't know what to do with an episode, they went: "Oh, I know! We'll add talking animals!"

I've seen better writing in "Cow & Chicken". Which is another show that makes no sense, has talking animals in it, but is actually entertaining.

Also, then art style looked kind of muddy and unpolished.

Seasons two and three (Kirk Tingblad takes over)
To the best of my knowledge, it was Kirk who pretty much rebooted the show. (Seriously, that guy's my hero! And his other work is pretty awesome as well)

Not only was the show now much more pleasant to look at (wonderfully arranged vivid colours, crisp and bold lineart. Nicely-stylized characters, whose looks reflected their personalities. What's not to like?), we also started to see signs of effort story-wise. For once the show actually had some decent pre-production done for it. Somebody actually took time to think of the world around Johny instead of just treating it as a background. 

We got some fun background characters, the existing ones got more define personalities.
Now at this point someone might say: "Johnny became stupid, which made the show offensively dumb!" 

Erm... no. Johny was pretty damn stupid before! He was too self-centred and self-assured to let it show as much, that's all. And he was also very sexist. Now he became something like a young version Homer Simpson. Much more likable, if you ask me! In fact, if you watched the show for long enough you'd notice that he's not entirely stupid. He can drive, read road maps, I'm sure he knows plenty about body-building. I thought it was a nice touch that he isn't just more stupid than Carl, for example. They're just good at very different things and each have their own way to handle the other.

I also liked the fact that Johnny's mom became a much more believable woman (with an interesting past, I might add). And little Susie was no longer boring. Gotta love Pops as well and the way he always managed to use Johny without him knowing.

The stories became a lot more fun. I loved the fact that predicting what happens in the next episode became pretty much impossible - gangsters, aliens, monsters. It could all happen. And the locations started to vary drastically, too.

Season four ...and the show is cancelled! (Van Partible returns, escorted by his insidious legion of chimpanzees armed with typewriters) 
No offence to any of the writers, but have you even read your own scripts? I think the inspiration for such masterpieces must either come from insomnia and a bitter underpaid life, or some illegal substance. 
So, the characters were "flattened out" once again, the horrid art style came back... You know the drill. I don't care that Van Partible is the original creator. He's created a terrible show that's blossomed into one of my favourite cartoons of all time in his absence. Then he came back and ruined it. Nothing more needs to be said here.

So... let's split this thing in two and rate it!

Series name: Johnny Bravo (Van Partible's run)
Foxy's rating: the only rating I can give this thing is: "What have I just watched?"
Expectations: none for the first season, very disappointed by the 4th.
Writing: Weird, very cutesy. It seems every episode contained a valuable lesson, or at least a "d'aww" moment. I never understood why this kind of show should. I also think that the numerous references to the"Twilight Zone" were more of a creative short-cut than an actual reference. 
Animation: Alright. Though the art style's unpolished and dull
Action: Nothing outstanding.
Drama:  Meh. Normally it's something along the lines of Johnny panicking about disappointing his mom and her comforting him afterwards, saying she'll love him no matter what. 
Humour: Weird.... Every now and then an animal in a business suit shows up or something like that.  I'm guessing you're meant to laugh at all the odd bits.
Worth watching: To my mind all its tapes, scripts and other relevant material should be carefully boxed up into a thick titanium crate and sent to the Sun. But... I'm pretty biased, and I exaggerate, so don't let my angry rant stop you from checking it out.

The best episode:
Well... It certainly won't be:
"Wilderness Protection Program—An elk pretends that she and Johnny are married elephants because she's on the run from some people she thinks are a mob out to take over the world." I have seen it. It's as good as it sounds. Okay, okay. Here's my pick for the best episode:
"Bravo Dooby Doo". It's a Scooby Doo crossover, which seems notoriously difficult to mess up. Both are Hanna-Barbera shows. I'll even say I enjoyed it.

(You can find a list of every JB episode with a short synopsis here)

Series name: "Johnny Bravo" (the reboot)
Foxy's rating:
Expectations: Exceeded. Though I expected disappointment at first.
Writing: Unpredictable, great character interaction, much more adventurous.
Animation: Bold, vivid, fun to watch.
Action: There is some. Although it's a show revolving around character interaction, you can expect an odd explosion or two. Either way, it's not all just people sitting around and talking.
Drama: Although some characters get quite dramatic every now and then, it's all for the viewers's amusement and never serious. You aren't forced to feel sorry for the character you've just been laughing at, nobody's trying to shove a supposedly valuable lesson down your throat. And the best part is, as a general rule, if there are any "D'aww" moments, they will have one hell of a twist.
Humour: "Dumb" show written by clever people. The scene in which Carl claims that a walnut and a glass of water that was powering his environmentally-friendly car is "the same energy that powers the Sun" is a good example. They've pretty much said: "nobody cares about technobabble." And there's still plenty of pop culture references floating around. This time they're actually funny.
Worth watching: Yes! In fact, I will take it as a personal insult if you're an animation fan and don't check out "Johnny Bravo" seasons 2 and 3.

The best episode:
Oh wow, now you're asking! Erm... This one!
"I Dream Of Johnny—Johnny goes to an Arab Convention with Carl, and finds a genie, that will grant him 3 wishes."
I would have suggested "Prep School Johnny", but I know it's gonna get an instant hate reaction from anyone British who despises any and all American attempts to re-produce something British, either in film or animation. Then again, "Get Stinky" is quite good as well! And "Full Metal Johnny". Gotta love sergant Trixie. Bah! just go here, pick an episode from seasons 2 or 3 that seems interesting and try to find the video!

Fan Love!
A cute wallpaper. I'm not sure I like the blurry/fuzzy effects effects, but all in all, there's just something nice about this image
A painting. For fans of the "fine art" look.
Shoes! commemorating the Brotherhood of the Gnu
Johnny in 3D! a pretty good model, if you ask me.
Johnny, sneaking. Once again, simply a nice picture of very reasonable quality.
Johnny Wesker Be warned. Apparently, this cannot be unseen.
Waiting in the Darkness For fans of that devious diva Mitzy!

Curious Finds
The origin:
"Johnny Bravo" was one of the shows that started in a pilot episode mash-up series called "What-A-Cartoon" . (Well, of course I find the pilot awful!)

There's a JB game out there
It seems so.

Johnny is an NPC in an online game
It seems Cartoon Network has made a game called Fusion Fall. Johnny is one of the NPCs, as you can see from this screenshot.

Oh, Johnny. No one knows how to impress women the way you do!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Who the hell are hipsters?
Seriously. Everyone and their dog is mentioning them. If you were to ask me what "hipster" meant just a few months ago I would have told you that it's a type of underwear (quite a nice model as well. Both pretty and practical!). Now all of a sudden everyone seems to be referring to some kind of a modern subculture with that name. Does anyone actually know what they are, including the hipsters themselves?

Well, I've briefly glanced through this wiki article and keeping in mind the images I've seen, "hipsters" are what "emo" was meant to be when it was just starting: before the pink and black clothes, stripy socks, tutus and guyliner. I imagine a hipster as a young person wearing thick-rimmed glasses and an obscure scarf-like object of choice and sporting a "I'm too unique, intelligent and interesting to treat you unworthy creatures as equal" attitude. Also possibly equipped with a fancy overpriced coffee and an even fancier and more overpriced gadget of choice. Basically annoying scum with a high opinion of themselves.

Some finds on the subject:

If hipster fashion inspires you, this doll-maker should make you happy! It's a male one as well.
And we've also got a hipster Santa Christmas card!
The hipster Trixie was taken from PixelKitties (AppleLie is from Felix-KoT 
by the way)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sailor Moon: a review

I think most of us have at least heard of this show and a good number of people watched it.
I had a friend who loved the series and we used to hang out after school. So for me it was a choice of either watching the show with her, or starting my homework early. I was never a fan of homework, so I caught nearly every episode of the show. Here's my take on it:

Series: Sailor Moon (1993)
Foxy's rating:
Expectations: was hoping for less repetition
mostly repetitive and predictable
Animation: plenty of corner cutting. Apart from that, not too bad. Nicely detailed backgrounds.
Action: You've seen one fight - you've seen them all
Drama: More than you'd expect from a "kids' show"
Humour: Hard to describe in one word. Despite the show not being a comedy, the humour is definitely there and it  mostly lies in personality clashes as characters play off one another.
Worth watching: Yes, if you like magical girl anime or want to know what the genre's all about.

The cast:

Like in most shows for girls, we've got a cast of characters, each with a personality of their own (at least that's what most shows for girls are supposed to do). We've got Usagi (Sailor Moon) who doesn't seem very clever, but is funny and nice; Amy (Sailor Mercury) - the shy and geeky girl; Rei (Sailor Mars) - a tough girl, a bit of a diva and quite temperamental; Makoto (Sailor Jupiter) - another tough girl, keeps falling in love with every guy in sight, is good at cooking; Minako (Sailor Venus) - the diva.
It's rare that all of them get along and when something goes wrong, funny things start to happen.  There's quite a lot going on romance-wise in the show and sometimes such stories get surprisingly complicated. I would dare say that this series has considerably more to offer as a soap opera than as a superhero cartoon.

The story:
The overall story line for all seasons is shockingly predictable to a point of "I can't believe someone got paid for writing this!". But considering how fast it was produced due to a high demand, I guess that's understandable.
Basically at the start of each season we have bad guys that are looking for magical artefacts that lie inside humans with a pure heart, normally to harness their energy and use it to awaken the ultimate baddie they pretty much work for. They start to attack humans one by one (or shall I say "one per episode") and are stopped and defeated by the Sailor girls. Normally it's a minor bad guy looking for the artefacts and there is a boss. After a few failures, the boss kills the minor bad guy and we see a few other minions, who do the same: attempt to collect artefacts, fight the Sailors, fail, get killed and replaced after a few failures. Normally the next minion is a bit more powerful than the last, so the Sailor girls get an upgrade of their pretty accessories/weapons. Eventually the boss baddie gets the needed artefacts, awakens the ultimate evil (sometimes gets killed by it) and now the Sailors have to get together for an ultimate battle, during which they sometimes die one by one. But that's all fine - everyone gets brought back to life for next season. In next season... repeat!
The monsters:
Well... if the show lacks imagination in places, I'm guessing the monsters are meant to compensate for it. And boy are they messed up! Normally it's a female "fused together" with a random object, so to say. I'm not sure if they're meant to be funny. Some combinations are rather ridiculous. For example, vacuum girl!
I have to say though that in the first season some of the monsters were actually scary. Just look at Morga or Dream Dolly, for example.

Gay romance:
Ee-yep! This anime is most certainly gay-friendly! You might know the most famous love birds in the show: Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. But did you know this? In the original anime Zoycite is a gay guy in love with Malachite. It seems the Americans didn't like that and they've decided to change Zoy's gender in the dub.

The best episode:
In my humble opinion, that would be "Kitty Chaos" / "Loved and Chased! Luna's Worst Day Ever"
It's nice to see an episode at least somewhat centred around Luna. And she's had a day to remember! First she's chased by alley cats, then a morbidly obese derpy cat has a crush on her... At a point a demon glamour boy ends up in a sewer full of rats, which was rather hilarious, if you ask me.
 Afterwards the fat cat gets turned into a rather awesome monster. I found it seriously refreshing to see a demon that wasn't a half-naked psychedelic pin-up inspired by some kind of an everyday object.

Fan Love
The show still gets plenty of fanart on a regular basis! There's loads out there. I'm just gonna briefly point out some personal picks:
A Cute Plushie
 A Neat Prop
The neat little comic I've used was done by this girl.

Make your own Sailor Scout!
Check out this extremely well-made doll maker

Friday, January 20, 2012

The little things that make a big difference

Have you ever noticed how sometimes one little detail can totally change the way you look at a person or an object? Take glasses for example. We see someone wearing them and we instantly assume the person knows what they're talking about! Well, ok. Sometimes the illusion only stays there until they open their mouth, but I'm sure you know what I mean!
Very recently I've seen a chav wearing glasses and I was very surprised at the fact that I've found it difficult to instantly class him as scum. The two stereotypes clashed and the "educated folks wear glasses" one was winning for a second.
Either way, check out this fun little picture I've found on vk.com. It demonstrates the effect quite nicely.

From left to right:  truck driver - professor, slut - "hip chick", skinhead - stylist, slob  - artist.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Pony Sunday

Pony time!

This Week's Episode: Baby Cakes
I have to confess, seeing that the episode began in a maternity hospital and knowing it must be the one where Pinkie babysits... well.. that made me groan. I'm one of those awful people who think that babies are scary drooling little monsters whose high-pitched squeals bring plenty of pain to the ears. 
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. I actually liked the fact that nobody was trying to show babies in a flattering light. The Cake twins were the drooling, screeching, clumsy monstrosities they would have been in real life. And I could totally sympathise with Pinkie when she shoved Twilight out the door for the "Some ponies aren't that responsible" line.
I liked the very distinct Tom & Jerry vibe going through the episode. And I also liked the small horror scene. It kept me on the edge of my seat as I expected poor Pinkie to go into Pinkamena  mode driven insane by the children.
So to wrap this up, even if you don't like babies, it's a good episode! Go watch it if you still haven't!

Community Highlights
I'm not gonna give a full list as it hasn't really been a week since my last pony post. So here's a "light" version for you.

Art of the week
Clydell Elmerson Pie A very unique style indeed! Go check out this rather psychedelic rendition of Pinkie's father.
Cant read my derpy face And something a bit more light and humorous to balance things out! Derpy's gone Gaga and is bluffing with her muffin. 

Music of the week
The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well I should stop shamelessly taking the weekly music suggestions from Bronyville. But this one is just so good that I couldn't resist! Makes me think of some soundtracks to "The Matrix".

Video of the week
Derpy Loves her Lava Lamp Okay, this is just adorable! I hear it's available as a screensaver somewhere, too. I don't have the link though.
Gundam Stop Motion : Love & Tolerate... I love how well this video has been put together. I'm quite a big fan of stop-motion animation anyway, especially videos where toys "come to life". This one is great for how seamlessly the pose transitions happen and the special effects blend in. And the 2D Fluttershy really looks like she belongs in the scenes. I dare say that even if you don't like ponies that much, you should see it!
I'm not sure how much I liked the character saying he's gonna love and tolerate the crap out of his opponent before starting a fight.. I'm sorry, but a fight is a fight. Yes, you should fight back. No question about it. But you love and tolerate later, when the guy you've beaten to a pulp is in a body cast and willing to listen to reason. ..Okay, I'm not saying go overkill if you've started fighting... but hey. It takes as much violence as it takes. I suppose the brony thing to do is to know exactly when to stop. 

Foxy's rant of the week...
Have you seen Epic Cupcake Time? Well, it honestly is epic.
It's a parody of a youtube show called Epic Meal Time where guys cook things with bacon, booze and a great deal of swearing and it's actually pretty funny.
So we've got Dash and Pinkie making cupcakes with a sick amount of sugar. It's very well animated, the voices for Pinkie and Dash are spot on. There's an unmistakeable "home movie" air about the whole thing. Plenty of references to both the show and Epic Meal Time. If it wasn't for some mild swearing (which I didn't even notice during the first view) it might as well have been one of the Hub's parody adverts and some parents might have even shown that to their kids ("See, son! Ponies are awesome! You can stop telling your friends now that you were adopted by a couple of psychotics!") We got proof that Pinkie and Rainbow can make cupcakes without getting gory, Derpy mysteriously appeared out of nowhere in the end. Everyone's happy!
And now there's Epic Pie Time. Well... There's more swearing. And there's booze. I started to cringe as these looked like omens of bad taste. But then Vinyl Scratch made an appearance and it all started to seem worthwhile. But not for long. Pinkie's decided to add more booze to the pie dough and broke a bottle. This followed by a buy-our-stuff advert for a cartoon site. Then more swearing and an inappropriate reference... in the end Rarity of all ponies appears, dives face-down in the pie and starts eating it....
Well... I am a disappoint... Because "mature content", I hear you ask? Nope. I couldn't help but feel slightly shortchanged, if that's the word I'm looking for. The first cartoon had set my expectations quite high. And the latest one... well... it seems both less intellectual, less tasteful and much less entertaining altogether than a "Cow & Chicken" episode and they have a fat red guy with no pants in the show . Basically before we had ponies in-character and the whole thing mimicked the show very well. At the time I assumed it was the author's intention. Now I'm not sure they know where they're going with this. I don't see the motivation behind spending hours animating something that looks like a cheap cry for attention. 
Surely Epic Pie Time would appeal to some teenage fans. Which brings about another point. Think of the drunks! You hear people say "think of the children" all the time, but children are not that dumb. Drunk teens are. It's a bad idea to eat a pie that has broken glass bits in it. You can actually die from having ingested small glass shards.
Do I think that there's no room for toilet humour in the fandom? Well, not really. If it's done well for what it is, and doesn't give you any false hope, why not! I'm sure you've seen these, but they are pretty iconic examples (and yes, the language, obviously, is inappropriate):

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My life through the cartoons I've watched

I must say that I'm an absolute sucker for animation! And in this post I'm going to list every cartoon series I've ever watched, starting from the ones I've seen first.

I'll be reviewing these one by one. Some I love, some I don't mind, some were simply odd. Stay tuned to find out which fall in which category.

The List

Tom & Jerry
Candy Candy
Speed Racer
Astro Boy

Dungeons & Dragons
Looney Tunes
Birdman and the Galaxy Trio
50s Hanna-Barbera cartoons
Maya The Bee

The Smurfs
He-man and the Masters of the Universe
Sky Dancers
Betty Boop
Mickey Mouse (1930s)
Popeye the Sailor

My Little Pony G1
Felix The Cat
Кот Леопольд (Leopold The Cat)
The Moomins
Piff & Hercule
The Flintstones (and various spin-offs)
The Jetsons
Yogi Bear
My Little Pony Tales

Go Bots
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Captain Planet
(a cartoon about dogs playing basketball that I'll look up later)
Biker Mice From Mars
Ну, погоди! (You Just Wait!)
Винни-Пух (The Soviet take on Winnie-the-Pooh)
Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears
Muzzy in Gondoland
The Real Ghost Busters

Goof Troops
Littlest Pet Shop (1995)
Yo, Yogi!
The Mask

Rescue Rangers
Simba the King Lion
Hercules The Series
Aladdin The Series

High Tales (?)
Duck Tales
Disney's Winnie-The-Pooh
The Little Mermaid
Darkwing Duck
Dog City
The Raccoons
The Three Muskahounds
Albert the Fifth Musketeer

Action Man
Jonny Quest
Top Cat
Yogi's Treasure Hunt
The Land Before Time
The Pirates of Dark Water 
Scooby Doo (and various spin-offs)
The Magic Roundabout
Thomas and Friends
Dino Babies

Batman: The Animated Series
Superman: The Animated Series
The New Adventures of Zorro

Tiny Toons
Dexter's Lab
Secret Squirrel
Two Stupid Dogs

Droopy The Master Detective Hound
Fish Police

Johny Bravo
Cow & Chicken
I Am Weasel
Pink Panther

Swat Kats
Wacky Races
Stop the Pigeon

Tom & Jerry Kids
Garfield and Friends
The Why Why Family
Button Nose
(a trippy cartoon about talking pineapples)

(a cartoon about an odd-looking green baby dragon)
Princess Sissi
Spider-Man - 1994 animated series
X-Men: The Animated Series
Sailor Moon (1993)
The Tick
Mike, Lu & Og
Eek! The Cat
The Terrible Thunderlizards
Bobby's World

Life With Louie
Peter Pan: The Animated Series
Saban's Adventures of the Little Mermaid
Mokku of the Oak Tree
Walter Melon
Jin Jin and the Panda Patrol (very odd show)

Inspector Gadget
Monster Farm
The Secret Files of the Spy Dogs
Flint the Time Detective

Kids From Room 402
Mad Jack the Pirate
Bad Dog
Jim Button
Sheep in the Big City
Cramp Twins
Courage The Cowardly Dog
Samurai Jack

Silvester & Tweety Mysteries
The Black Corsair

The Powerpuff Girls
Oggy and the Cockroaches
Ed, Edd n' Eddy
What's with Andy?
Shuriken School
Масяня (Masyanya)
Dragon Ball Z

Time Sqad
The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy
Grim & Evil
Spaced Out
Kids Next Door
Pig City
Tokyo Mew Mew
The Life and Times of Juniper Lee
Sponge Bob
My Little Pony G3
Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends

Megas XLR
Batman Beyond (Batman of the Future)
Happy Tree Friends
Black Lagoon
Beavis  and Butt-head
Power Puff Girls Z
Sabrina: The Animated Series
My Gym Partner's a Monkey
Atomic Betty
Word Girl
Captain Flamingo
Camp Lazlo

Robot Boy
Class of 3000
Squirrel Boy
Fairly Odd Parents
Fantastic Four (2006)
Batman: The Brave and The Bold
Lenore The Cute Little Dead Girl
Eliot Kid

Total Drama Island
Total Drama World Tour

Магазинчик Бо (Bo Shop)
Horrid Henry
Peppa Pig
My Goldfish Is Evil

Gadget Boy
Krypto the Superdog
Invader Zim
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry Shortcake (3D)
Carebears (original)
Carebears (Flash)
Angela Anaconda
Drawn Together
Avatar: The Last Airbender

The Mighty B!
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
Angelo Rules
Home Movies

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Transformers Prime
Adventure Time

Gravity Falls
Madoka Magica
Steven Universe
Regular Show
The Amazing World of Gumball
The Weekenders
Star vs. The Forces of Evil
I'll keep adding titles as I discover new stuff. Feel free to suggest shows for me to watch.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Very Pony Wednesday

I've decided that Sunday is gonna be my day of choice to relax and talk pony. Cause, well... being a brony and all, if I don't talk about the show I'll surely explode! ...due to some technical difficulties encountered earlier I'm posting this now.

This week's episode: Family Appreciation Day
I really enjoyed it! I must say that so far I love season two as a whole. There hasn't been a single episode that disappointed me. And the latest one might just be in my top 5.

Zap apples are awesome! I absolutely adore this show for using mythological creatures the way it does and now it seems to be developing a mythology of its own as well. Studio B are definitely heading in the right creative direction. Or is it just me finding lightning-related things cool? Well, I'm happy either way!

And speaking of mythology, there's also the timber wolves! How cool were they? I actually physically squeed like a little fan girl when I saw those, which hardly ever happens to me. Are they a reference to something or just one of the many clever puns found frequently in the show? Very Grimm Fairy Tales I think. Either way, if this hasn't been done before, it had to be done! A fantastic addition to the FiM's ongoing monster list if you ask me.

It was nice to see an episode centred around Granny Smith, even though the lack of a solid AJ episode in this season is becoming a joke at this point.

I quite like how it started with her being a crazy old lady Applebloom's ashamed of and then we got not only the reasons for all her strange actions, but also an interesting background story. Though it confused me as I assumed that Ponyville, Cloudsdale and Canterlot were founded at the same time, as covered in the previous episode. And I couldn't help but wonder what interest Princess Celestia had in checking out the Apple family's seed collection. Surely a bag full of random seeds is more of an assortment than a collection. And how do ponies starve when surrounded with grass? Am I over-thinking it? Perhaps. But what are bronies for after all.

I also giggled at the fact that Diamond Tiara's dad is actually called Filthy Rich and his "I prefer Rich" response to being addressed as Filthy.

One more thing I liked was a lack of a friendship report at the end of the episode. I thought that was a nice touch since it makes the show less predictable and we don't have to have Spike around each time (don't get me wrong, I like Spike. But I don't think he should appear just because a letter needs sending while there's nothing for him to do in the story). The lack of a report, however, didn't mean that nopony learned anything as Applebloom voices this week's lesson at the end. I like how natural that was.

Community Highlights
The Bronyville Podcast kept me sane while I was forced to spend hours upon hours in 3DS Max (I think I can actually say that I've learned to model though! Yay!). Go check it out. It's great!
I was pleasantly surprised at how professional it is. The two co-hosts are very likeable characters, each with a fantastic sense of humour. And they tend to have awesome guests, too! Now Bronyville is my number one choice for keeping up with the fandom. EQD is great, of course, but I personally don't like the fact that you just end up covered with an avalanche  of news posts and you'd have to spend hours on the site to go through them all and figure out what everypony's been up to.

Art Of The Week:
Since this is my first post, I'll throw a few of my recent faves at you:
The Stars Will Aid In His Escape
No one is safe from Rule 63 it seems. And though normally I don't pay much attention to gender swaps, this one has caught my eye. I'm liking the blocky and pointy armour here. I sense a certain Transformers vibe, which seems to fit pretty well.

Mistress of the Eternal Night
Very beautiful, nicely stylized. I think the artist has done a great job with the palette she's chosen to work with and I absolutely adore Luna's pearly skin as well as the starry mane.

No Title.
Still a great image though. It's a very cute animated picture. It takes me back to the days when we didn't know what Flash was and I was searching the web for pretty gif animations (Yep. Way back when Windows didn't freak out at the sight of those and kindly played them in the Windows Picture and Fax View). But that's enough nostalgia there. Go check it out. Very pretty, quite tasteful, the animation flows seamlessly from what I can tell and it has pretty twinkling stars, too.

MLP - Happy Holidays
Once again, not normally a big fan of humanized ponies. I really like this image though. The artist has actually taken care to preserve the characters' personalities and present the viewer with a likely-to-happen situation. I think the style is lovely as well. Makes me think of some children's books' illustrations.

Party Hard
This was just too funny not to share. Very well-done for what it is I think.

Music Of The Week:
Fluttershy's Lament When I first heard it I thought it was the most awesome fan-made track I've ever heard. I don't know if it was the sleep deprivation, the prolonged exposure to 3Ds Max or the fact that the song sounds different through speakers rather than headphones. I've downloaded it for my mp3 player and I've noticed it sounds a bit too harsh for me. But if you like Fluttershy, do check it out. Her voice is adorable and seems like the perfect choice for mixing. And yes, if you're not aware, the "Fluttershy is a tree" and "Scootaloo is a chicken" are both things in the community. And no, there's nothing more to back those up than Fluttershy saying "I'd like to be a tree" and Applebloom calling Scootaloo a chicken in the show.
Mistress Zecora Moving on to a more sane choice of mine... The lyrics, the melody and the singing are all done reasonably well to say the least. In fact, it's much better than half the crap on the charts these days. Or is that not saying much? Either way, check it out. I have downloaded this song as well and I love it.

Fic Of The Week:
I haven't actually read any fan fiction up to this point. Apart from the infamous fic that shall not be named...
I have however got my eye on one. "Canterlot Follies" by LadyMoondancer looks like great fun to me. It's something I've never expected to see : a MLP and "Jeeves and Wooster" crossover. I haven't started reading it, but I have glanced over it a few times and, to my absolute delight, it looks very well written. Can't wait to start!