My Little Pony Holiday Special 2017 Review

Posted December 14, 2017 by Cameron McFarland in Comic Books

Written by: James Asmus

Art by: Brenda Hickey

Published by: IDW

The holidays can be a wonderful and stressful time, and there’s something in the air that makes us extra generous and helpful to our fellows while we’re under pressure to make sure this is the best one yet. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, everyone has some manner of tradition as a result of our consumer-driven world and it leaves a noticeable mark on the calendar each year. As someone who personally takes his religion very seriously and can be very curmudgeony at the commercialization of Christmas itself, this turns into a time of year where I am left wondering what the point of any of it is. The “meaning of Christmas” is something that I carry with me year-round, and exploiting Pagan traditions during a time of year that has nothing to actually do with Jesus just rubs me the wrong way.

It is a very embarrassing reality that this comic book helped remind me what’s actually important and literally lifted my spirits enough to get through my seasonal depression.

The book opens with Twilight and Applejack shopping for some supplies, complaining about the way Hearthswarming decorations seem to creep out a little earlier each year. Without skipping a beat, the Flim-Flam Brothers arrive on scene to regale the town with a catchy song about a holiday windigo and begin selling merchandise and decor. Most of the book is Twilight and Applejack getting a little tired of this commercialized version of a holiday they cherish and near the end they find a way to shoo the salesmen out of town. What surprised me was how the story kept going after what I thought was the climax of the book.

Twilight and Applejack didn’t much care for the new songs and fictional character, but they also failed to take note of how much fun everyone else was having. Twilight has a typical speech about the “meaning of Hearthswarming” and how everypony is supposed to come together to care about each other, but as her friends point out, there’s no harm in having fun. And just because they liked the new songs and toy,s it doesn’t mean they forgot about what’s important.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has always handled messaging well. Sometimes with mildly complicated feelings involved. Children’s stories tend to dumb down messaging into simple thoughts, but the reality is sometimes people disagree, sometimes people don’t always want to be your friend, and sometimes people just need a little space once in a while. Twilight and Applejack learn a lesson that just because they weren’t enjoying this new marketing ploy doesn’t mean the world shouldn’t. They are reminded that they can still enjoy the holiday in their own way and the people around them don’t need to conform for that to happen. It’s a message that I found painfully relevant today, even as an adult who reads My Little Pony comic books for some reason.

I’m going to hold onto this book, keep it with my Christmas decorations and probably read through it once every year when I need this reminder to not be a Scrooge just for the sake of my own ego.

About the Author

Cameron McFarland

Cameron loves cartoons and bad movies almost as much as bad cartoon movies. He is also the world's best spaghetti-eater, so don't bring it up around him or he won't shut up about it. Author and Artist for world-reviled World of Warcraft fancomic,