I was extremely looking forward to this episode for two reasons. One, it was a Fluttershy episode. (She’s my favorite pony.) And two, it was being written by Amy Keating Rogers, who I consider to be one of the greatest MLP writers. (She wrote in my opinion perhaps the show’s best episode, ‘The Best Night Ever.’) She actually wrote a recent episode, ‘Pinkie Pride,’ which was really solid. The previous one while not the season’s best was sill pretty fun if only to see Applejack mimicking Rarity. This is the first Fluttershy-starring episode of the season. She’s had some great ones to herself, such as ‘Green isn’t Your Color’ and ‘Dragonshy.’ Does ‘Filli Vanilli’ align itself with some of the Fluttershy greats? Yes.
Here’s the official episode description from The Hub:
When a member of the singing group, the Ponytones, loses their voice, Fluttershy is asked to replace them due to her amazing singing voice. At first, Fluttershy refuses due to a bad case of stage fright, but she soon comes up with a solution where she can sing without being seen.
One of the things I said about the earlier episodes of this season was that there was a lack of songs. But now that there have been songs almost every episode, I gotta take that statement back. This one opens with a very lovely song by our favorite pink-mared pony. While ‘So Many Wonders’ might have been her signature theme, I think ‘Music in the Treetops’ will replace it. I do have to question her being scared by her friends though. She’s sang in the past with them around, most noticeably in ‘May the Best Pet Win.’ Sure, they came unexpectedly, but it was still played like she was shy around them. Anyways, the action begins when Big Mac loses his voice and can’t sing with the Ponytones for the Ponyville Pet Center fundraiser. First, it was pretty cool to hear Big Mac sing since he hasn’t really had much dialogue since way back in the Season 1 episode, ‘Applebuck Season.’ Secondly, I gotta say that besides Fluttershy, Rarity was a highlight. It was funny seeing her get flustered with annoyance at Big Mac.
But the core thing about this episode is Fluttershy. The story’s message is one on stage fright. You shouldn’t let fear stop you from doing something you like or showing the world what you can do. A solid message for sure, and it’s handled very well. One of the funniest things from the entire show is ‘Futterguy’ which was seen in the Season One episode, ‘Bridle Gossip.’ No one thought we would see the return of that voice, so it was very cool to see it utilized here. There aren’t really any major complaints to be said. Pinkie Pie is annoying in this one sadly, but beyond that Miss Rogers writes a very well done episode. The second major song you’ll be hearing a lot is ‘Find the Music in You.’ The final part with Fluttershy’s normal voice was amazingly done, hopefully one day they’ll release a full length version.
Overall, a great episode, one of the season’s best. Fluttershy and Rarity were both amazing. The writing is very good, and the message of stage fright/fear in general was greatly handled. ‘Filli Vanilli’ should and probably will go down as a classic. (And with a title like that, it’s hard not to!)
Daniel is a huge fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. His favorite is Fluttershy and you can follow him on Twitter: @Destroyer_199