Pinkie Pie is admittedly not my favourite of the Mane 6, though on the most part she is an enjoyable character and there are some great episodes centered around her. There are episodes where she is a lot of fun and cute, there are also episodes where she is rather annoying. There are a lot of examples of both of those extremes. The Apple clan have also been variably portrayed, they can be a lot of fun and at other points unlikeable. Did like the premise to "Pinkie Apple Pie".
And on the most part, "Pinkie Apple Pie" handles its premise very well. It is not quite among the best Pinkie Pie centric episodes ("Pinkie Pride" for instance), but it is a great representation of what is good about her and has some nice development to her. It is too one of the better depictions of the Apple clan. It was a very well done episode on the whole, though not one of Season 4's best and a let down after the brilliant "Rarity Takes Manehattan".
Not all the animation is great here. On the most part it's fine, with one of the better scenes in this regard being in the "Apples to the Core" sequence and how well synchronised the dancing is. Occasionally the character animation is on the stiff side, the Apple clan have looked better in other episodes.
Other episodes are better paced too. It's a pretty thin story that at times is a little too stretched out and doesn't really progress very far at the end of the day, not much being accomplished, while the final quarter felt on the rushed side. After such a great run of episodes where there was a lot of humour and it all working, not all the humour completely lands here. The "eyeup" running gag suffered from what running gags have the danger of doing, getting repetitive and tired fast.
However, much of the animation is colourful and beautifully detailed. Absolutely loved the character animation in the "Apples to the Core" musical number. Which is equally great as a song, very catchy and sticks in the head for a while and not irritatingly so. Showing how loving and loyal to each other the Apple family are. The music in general is as dynamic as ever. There are jokes and lines that did make me laugh out loud, that eagle is a riot. Not all the comedy works but the material that does is funny, just wish it was more consistent like the previous few episodes. The moral can be appreciated for its maturity, as far as morals of Season 4 go this is one of the most mature, and how it hits home for anyone close to their families.
Even if the story didn't bowl me over, the moral is great and much of the episode is fun and charming. Some fans had issues with the inconclusiveness of the ending, which was an issue for me on first viewing, but actually it doesn't bother me now. Actually liked that it was open ended and allowed fans to have their own opinions on what they want to happen, which is implied quite heavily but not explicitly said out loud. "Pinkie Apple Pie" is carried by its characters and the character interactions, in this regard the episode is masterful. Pinkie Pie was amusing and adorable and also felt for her in a relatable situation, didn't mind whatsoever about her hyperactivity being toned down. The Apple family make one of their best and most interesting appearances here where their personalities are clearly defined and distinct and their bond entertaining to watch, also liked how the characters learn from their mistakes so while the story progression may not be there the character progression is. The voice acting from particularly Andrea Libman is pitched perfectly all round.
Concluding, good solid episode if not one of my favourites of Season 4 or 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic'. 7/10
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