My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ‘The Crystal Empire’ Review

Who would have thought a My Little Pony show would be such a humongous hit with pretty much everyone of all ages? Seriously, I’ve never seen something that became a hit as fast as this. The final two-parter of Season 2, A Canterlot Wedding, premiered back in April. It is quite possibly the most popular of the episodes. Seven months later, a new season is upon us. Now you have to wonder just how big this premiere was. To give you an idea, on a YouTube 1080p video, it got 2000 likes and it wasn’t even processed for viewing yet! The show’s online fanbase is pretty astonishing. Now I’m not a longtime fan like pretty much all the viewers, I only jumped on board some months ago. Thanks to Netflix, I’ve been caught up and yes, the show is amazing. So I myself was personally looking forward to the premiere. (It’s also cool how the Hub aired both parts on the same day!) With Friendship is Magic, everyone whom has seen it before expects a certain level of quality. The season 3 premiere delivers pretty much everything Bronies, Pegasisters, and the fans expect. Other than a disappointing villain, it’s pretty much perfect.

Here’s the official description from the Hub:

“The powerful Crystal Empire reappears in northern Equestria after a thousand year curse caused it to vanish and Princess Celestia calls upon Twilight Sparkle to find a way to protect it from falling again.”

It doesn’t take anytime to waste, it starts out in Canterlot with a guard running into Princess Celestia’s throne room saying “It has returned.” The Princess then sends her guards out to find Princess Cadance and Shining Armor then presides to write a letter to Twilight asking her to come to Canterlot right away. Pretty exciting start and gets you ready for a grand adventure. With two-parters, you can always expect a treat. Once Twilight arrives at the castle, the Princess tells her about the Crystal Empire and how King Sombre use to rule before she and Princess Luna stopped him. Prior to that scene, Celestia and Luna had a short chat about the situation. It was nice to see, Luna is one of the more interesting characters, despite only having four appearances in the span of 52 episodes. It’s good to see her as an important character, I look forward to seeing more of her in the future. Once Princess Celestia explains everything, Twilight and her friends head for the Crystal Kingdom so the adventure could begin.

First off, it’s nice to see Shining Armor and Cadance having pretty big roles in this. A part of me thought we would just get cameos of them throughout the season, so it’s good to see them get in on the action. The Crystal Empire is a great new area, fresh for a new season. Seeing Rarity’s reaction to how “gorgeous” it is and Rainbow Dash’s response “just looks like another old castle to me” is priceless. The Ponies get quite a few character moments throughout. It’s great to see how diverse their personalities are when each try to get information from the Crystal Ponies. Such moments include Applejack drawing attention away from the fake Crystal Heart, Twilight going all crazy for the Crystal Library, and my personal favorite, Pinkie Pie briefly using a Fluttershy disguise and the latter’s reaction to it. While there are quite a few other moments, the story is built around Twilight with her friends being more to the side. It makes sense for this premiere, because it also wants to draw new viewers in. That’s probably also why we have such a lackluster villain in the form of King Sombre.

Nightmare Moon was obviously as cheesy as they can get, but she served her purpose and was pretty fun in the show’s original two-parter. In Season 2 Discord came and raised the bar, delivering one of the most entertaining villains I’ve seen in awhile. Queen Chrysalis is a fan favorite, (hence why she’s the first villain in the upcoming comic series) and had personality. I can’t say the same for King Sombre. This guy has virtually no backstory, and is just there. He barely even gets any lines. His design is pretty good, like a demonic unicorn, but that’s pretty much all the positive things I can say about him. He’s just a plot device. There is no final battle with him either, he’s finished off without even having laid a hoof on the Ponies. In fact, he’s just a large cloud for the most part and only becomes his unicorn form at the end, to be destroyed. This guy had such great potential, but ended up being a waste. If it’s someone that needs a comic book appearance, it’s this guy. Anyways, we get three songs in the span of 40 minutes, and of course they’re good stuff. The first has Twilight sing about how she wasn’t prepared for this, the second, (and best) has the Mane 6 sing about the Crystal Fair, and the final one is a nice closure to the episode.

Overall, a truly great premiere to a great show. It’s exciting, has all the main characters, a villain, (even if he was lackluster) and danger throughout. It’s definitely how you start a season. I really love how these episodes succeed in making you feel for the characters, you want them to win. You feel a sense of sadness inside when Twilight gets trapped in dark crystals and realizes she can’t get to the Crystal Heart. It’s perfect also for new viewers wanting to see what all the Pony craze is about. Other than a generic villain, the premiere is pretty much perfect. Plus it has Fluttershy in a knight getup jousting with Rainbow Dash, so there’s always that.