If it's crap ... We'll tell you
With the majority of our young generation being supposedly brought up on the likes of the iPad2 and the Kindle, it seems like the right time to make a MLP episode around the forgotten wonder that is... reading a book. And a proper book too, pages and all. Being someone who also has not entered the digital age of literature, I was very interested to see where this would go, and it seems, it went way past my expectations. Which I must say, is the recurring vibe of the current series so far.
We open the episode seeing Rainbow Dash crash into the ground during an aerial performance, and injure her wing. She's not pleased one bit with the idea of sitting around in a hospital bed for several days for it to repair, and when Twilight tries to show her a book she could read to pass the time, Dash passes it off, saying books are for eggheads and not for athletic ponies. Of course, the rest of the Mane Six laugh and try to persuade her into it, but to no avail.
However, life in the hospital turns out to be far more boring than even she expected (and most of us know all too well), so reluctantly, she picks up the book, "Daring-Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Stone" and starts reading. You can see where this goes, Rainbow Dash is smitten with how great the story is, and relates to her as well. So much so, she spends almost all her waking hours within the story. But, now there is a problem. She realises that now she must be an egghead too, and admitting that to Twilight is too much to bear, so she attempts to hide the truth from the rest when they visit.
That's really all there is to the story's plot, not because it's short, but the episode also enters into the book to tell the tale of Daring-Do as Rainbow Dash reads it. The book is essentially based upon Indiana Jones, with all the trademark moments you've seen before. However, the team didn't simply copy the scenes frame-by-frame as we're so often forced into sitting down to see. Rather, it blends the tale in to its own style, to the point where it's instantly recognisable, but not a rip-off. It’s very impressive how these scenes do genuinely build some atmosphere, sure in a rather straightforward manner, but very fun all the same. It's imaginative, and entertaining at the same time.
It is also a very interesting take on Rainbow Dash's personality, and something we can all most certainly relate to - discovering a new interest that before we would have cast aside without a second glance. She feels that she needs to uphold her status as the athletic pony, and does everything to hide the book from all else. It leads to a good chase scene near the end that takes hints from the story within the book itself, a good mix between the two aspects of the episode. Her realisation at the end that reading books isn't purely for eggheads, is a worthy lesson for the kids watching the show, and for quite a few older people watching it as well I'd bet.
The combination of this, along with the very action-orientated story within the book, makes for a great episode. It's fun, exciting in parts, and reminds you of just how awesome a good book is when you read it the first time. The feeling of being totally immersed to the point where you are the hero is a memory from childhood I look back upon with a smile. It's a strong episode that you couldn't knock down for being cliché or "done before" because it applies the show's style so accurately. So to all eggheads out there, be proud of your bookshelves! Even if there is just a Kindle sitting there. ;)
Thanks for reading! ^__^