Nothing but the dead and dying

About three years ago, I turned out a little one-shot story called Dead Pony Flying, hoping to see if it was possible to do a story about death in the MLP:FiM universe that wasn’t actually sad.

Now the mothership in Vancouver has shoved this premise several degrees out of phase. Tanks for the Memories almost certainly is intended as a treatise on death: Rainbow Dash, confronted with Tank the tortoise’s need to hibernate, goes through, in order, anger, denial, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. It couldn’t have been more obvious if they’d made a background pony that looked like Elizabeth Kübler-Ross herself. (Bonus points if you can imagine a cutie mark for said pony.) And sure enough, it’s not actually sad, though enough tears are shed by five of the Mane Six — Applejack cries on the inside, doncha know — to fill a small pond.

I’m guessing the target audience won’t get this, at least not right away; maybe when they’re older they’ll remember this episode, and it will help them. I’m pretty sure it’s going to help me, and I’m already old.

4 Responses to Nothing but the dead and dying

  1. fillyjonk says:

    I think the episode was pretty brilliantly done – how do you deal with death without actually killing a character. (And I suspect for most kids, pet-death is the first kind they’ll have to deal with).

    In addition to AJ “crying on the inside” (wish I could learn that trick), I liked the little “who’s on first” bit with the Pegasi.

    (And: “Stopping winter is gonna be a breeze!” yeah, because apparently Weather Ponies are not the sharpest equines in the herd)

    Also, Fluttershy delivering the tough-love news was both touching and appropriate to her character.

  2. DS says:

    I admit I wasn’t prepared for Twilight Sparkle as Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell. “Winter is coming!”

    But this has been the rule almost since Episode 1: there’s always more going on than there seems to be.

  3. fillyjonk says:

    I was expecting it. I admit my response was more along the lines of a sarcastic “har de har har.” I did like the Who’s On First bit, did not expect that.

  4. DS says:

    It was about three or four lines into that bit before I realized it was Abbott and Costello revisited. They did finish it off with a flourish.

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