A wall of text, but my time for your best interests.
I don't really know you so this might seem harsh, but what has to be said has to be said. The rating I gave you is so low because I expect more from you, and while this may be acceptable it is not your full potential. I am a bit of a story teller, a bit of a voice actor, and a bit of a director. I've had a little bit of experience in every role, and I can see the mistakes on multiple levels that are making this series with great potential, struggle to find coherence. This series has it pros, but I won't go over them. I believe the previous reviews have covered the pros well. However, I have to point out some major issues that should and need to be addressed.
My first and foremost issue with the series is the storyline. There are 43 episodes of this series and it appears to have made it a long way. I have watched the previous episode but for every episode I watch the story becomes more convoluted and unclear. Perhaps I should watch the other 41 episodes I haven't yet? Well the problem I'm picking on isn't the fact I can't tell what's happening in the overall world and series, but I can't tell what's happening within the episode. The story moves quickly from scene to scene and characters are making appearances rapidly on and off the spotlight of attention so fast that it can be rather hard for a person to keep track of who is who, what is what, and who is trying to do what.
Why? Well the story is relying heavily on telling and not showing. It's a rule of the narrative that you, "show don't tell." Your story is so heavy in dialogue and character actions are limited to either gags or the visualization that a character is walking somewhere. You story needs to slow down and show us what is happening. For instance when Rachel arrives at the Colosseum rather than showing the viewer that she arrives, you use the dialogue, "So this is the place, the Colosseum," or something to that effect. Action is worth a thousand words, and it truly shows who your characters are. The scene lacks any action (in the sense of characters reacting to their environment and adapting to continue to achieve their goals with something other than words, and not the Michael Bay stuff) So then we quickly jump to when she finds the person she is looking for in the Colosseum. This brings me to my next point. The story has a major lack of continuity within an episode. The perception of time is lost, and I can't tell if a day has passed if it a whole year has gone by. Usually shots, actions, and things of this nature follow a continuous action and only cut out some minor things like the extra 50 steps to get across the courtyard. However in this animation we follow multiple characters that are striving, or working towards different goals and in this the multiple shots that are used to depict this make me loose my sense of time. Normally a shot that follows another immediately has a "repeating action" and jump cuts usually depict small jumps in time that are cut out because they are extraneous actions, the extra 50 steps in the courtyard I previously mentioned. In the series it appears you have the need to cut out loads in story time to keep the stuff interesting. You should fight your story to fit all of the good content in, a story that is easy to write is usually a story that is worth telling. A good story comes naturally, if a story fights you every step of the way, then you need to stop and evaluate.
My next point in the review is the dialogue itself and the characters you are representing. In your story you rely heavily on your dialogue like I have previously said. A majority of your characters share the same voice actor that, while he may make some minor variations in the voice, sound rather the same. When this is added to the fact that the characters have relatively the same designs, with the exception of shirt designs, that are just about ignored when a character is talking. Their similar faces (the place that I at least tend to look at when a character talks) and similar voices, and similar characteristics make the characters really hard to tell apart. Now lets just add in the continuity issues that cause characters to jump from one part of the screen to another and we got a lot of confusion. Now I did notice you have taken some steps from the previous episode to correct this. I did notice that you added artistunknown's voices to some of the other characters and it made for some better variety and for some different characters. But your majority is still being voiced by one man, and I am not trying to be rude, but your primary voice actor lacks the emotional commitment to his character. So the characters end in a bland feeling when if they had some intonation we could give these similar characters some original defining characteristics.
SO I'll end my rather extended... rage with some proposed solutions. When it comes to writing a story writers have different methods. George R. R. Martin has said there are to two types of writers. The architect, who lays out the every room, every board, and every outlet before he drives a single nail. Then there is the gardener who digs a holes and plants a seed and waters it. He has some shape but a lot depends on the wind and the weather, and how much blood he gives to his plant... No one is purely one or the other, and I myself tend to flow from one side to the other. I tend to lay on the architect side. I plan the whole series before the first episode is done. Sure, I may write the basis of an episode, prior to the plan, but I always stop and figure out where I'm ending and the best way to get there. I like to plan how much time to dedicate to every issue, and this way I don't need to worry about cutting out massive amounts of story time. Ever since that started planning my story, it has made writing SO much easier and the stories SO much better. I am by no means perfect, but by planning out things before you lay your pen to the tablet can mean the difference between good, and gold. Voice actor wise, your current actors need emotion, and you need more variation in the voices. Perhaps try recruiting more voice actors. Why, for the sake of your series I would even voice act for you just to help out a fellow creator. Once your voice actors get a little more emotion, and more variety they can transform the characters. I don't know about you, but when I see a character evolve and live it puts a smile on my face.
In the end, you are the director. You make the decisions, you're the final say. While you may listen to other peoples opinions, and it is a directors job to take input and make sure that their crew/cast feel like they have their part and stake in the success of the video/animation/movie and are appreciated; YOU MistyEntertainment are the director, and this is your child. The final decision is yours.
I thank you for your time,
Thank you very much for the excellent review, I really appreciate it! I agree with a lot of the points you made, and I will do my best to correct these mistakes in future episodes. During the production of this episode I did have some concerns that some of the writing was in violation of the "show, don't tell" rule and I'll make sure it won't happen in episode 45 (episode 44 is a music video). Thanks again for the great review!
WHAT!? This actually passed submission with a partially decent score!? What has happened to this haven of a community? My community pride has taken a severe blow over the last few weeks, but this is just the manifestation of my worse nightmares.
I respect your opinion however,
When I watched this (as in Episode 13 Season 3, of MLP and not your animation) episode I did so grinding my teeth. I thought that Twilight Sparkle becoming a princess would be the "Jumping the shark" moment for the series. However with time and research I have come to realize that it opened more possibilities from a writing perspective. A major problem non-cannon cartoons can have is a massive lack of satisfaction over time to due to the constant resolution and the lack of character development due to a noncontinuous storyline.
This solves that problem. Due to such a major change in the basis of character a load of new possibilities has been opened up creating opportunity for fresh new storylines. While I am sad to see the old Twilight Sparkle go, I welcome the new possibilities the change brings.
In the event that a fourth season isn't created. I believe that that this episode would have been a somewhat emotionally valid conclusion for the series. However based on the financial records of DHX Media, there is still a gap between episodes paid for and episodes received making the prospect for a new series a little bit more hopeful.
This was far from a good season finale though. In the past DHX always had a 1 hour season premier and finale, so I'm not sure why they would choose to make such a vast change in a very important character's life in a ~22 minute period while also trying to fit 7 musical numbers in it. This episode lacked the story to back up the resolution and as an aspiring writer it saddens me. (Had some decent musical number though). I am a strong believer that an animated series should have a grand start and a grand ending and if they had asked for my input I would have told them that this was unacceptable.
In the end, it's a big change to swallow but at least its major development of the character in an otherwise almost static world. New possibility and a possible refreshment of the series is now possible thanks to such a radical change and makes a bright prospect for a series that was getting repetitive very fast.
I respect your opinion, and I hope you take the time to read mine,
Nailed it. :)
I'm a little surprised you didn't make this earlier when this was fresh in our minds, but it's still valid. The animation was above-average and the jokes could have been a lot funnier with some timing. Things I'm sure you'll aim to fix over time. I like how you had the same opinion that I had about PETA's dealings with the Mario game and you weren't afraid to voice your opinion.
One thing however, the music used was from Kevin MacLeod and while it's free to use it's usually appreciated that you credit him. There's a place for that.
I look forward to your future animations,
Yeah, I worked months on it. It was fresh when I started.
It was a nice collabortation; especially when you take into account the fact that it was made in under 24 hours. I had a little inside info on the workings and I find it funny that the all 3 ended in explosions even when you all worked separately. Would have been nice to see more animations, and for you guys to spend more time on the animations.
The story was good and hate a cute flair to it that I find left a lasting impression. However I did notice that some shots changed and the "repeating action" seemed omitted. This confused me to the flow of the video, so if you didn't want an audience to assume that certain jumps were not gaps in time, make sure to have the action completed in the next camera angle. If it was your intention to have time flow like that in the first place, then disregard my quasi-pedantic lesson.
Overall, enjoyable, with a lasting impression, contained good music choice, good job.
Thank you. You know your stuff. I intended it but im not going to lie i would love to continue to fine tune this piece and render it out using mental ray
I was hoping the goat would kill itself, there was a total lack of story here. It's fun every now and then to make random animations, but that doesn't mean they should be uploaded.
You have talent i wont deny that but your style of animation contradicts with drama. You have a more cartoony style and frankly this takes away from possible suspense. Nice job though real trick ending.
I liked how you referenced Invader Zim. Everything else exceeds my expectations.
There's not a bone to pick about this flash. I wished it would never end.
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