In the video we reviewed, Kurt Vonnegut discusses the common ways that stories are structured. I used his ideas and applied them to an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (don’t laugh! these aren’t your average ponies!) entitled “Sonic Rainboom.”
In this episode, Rainbow Dash, a blue Pegasus, practices for a contest called “The Best Young Flyers Competition.” The winner of this contest gets the chance to spend the day with the Wonderbolts, the greatest team of flyers in all of Equestria (also Rainbow’s idols) The central problem of the episode arises when Dash figures out that she can’t perform the legendary Sonic Rainboom, and she believes that she’s going to blow it at the competition. In the end, after a
major minor inconvenience, she does eventually perform the technique and meet her childhood heroes.
I chose to start off Rainbow Dash’s story arch a little above the “average protagonist line” because Dash is a gifted pegasus who’s speed is nearly incomparably to any other flyer, which gives her character a small advantage. When she discovers that she cant do the Sonic Rainboom her position on the timeline goes down and continues to decrease until her friends arrive to cheer her on, which causes it to go back up slightly. Now here’s where the 2nd conflict arises; Rainbow’s friend, Rarity (a preppy fashionista,) is so busy admiring her newly acquired wings, that she completely forgets about Rainbow Dash’s nervousness. This new conflict reduces Rainbow Dash’s confidence once again, and even more as the episode progresses and Rarity gains more of the other ponies’ attention. Finally, Dash hits her lowest point when Rarity decides to enter the competition herself to show off. (Some friend she is!) Miraculously, Rainbow’s luck changes when Rarity’s wings melt in the sunlight and she begins to fall to her doom! How does this boost Rainbow up on the timeline? Well this is the exact catastrophic incident that Dash needed to give her the wing-power to perform the Sonic Rainboom. After this incident, she wins the competition AND gets to meet the Wonderbolts, which propels her story to OFF SCALE HAPPINESS!
This episode is one of my favorites of the series and I encourage others to watch it! Sure, in most of the episodes there’s usually a happy ending for the
mane main cast, but it’s not about the ending. It’s about the journey traveled to get there!
Side Note: This series is not just for girls anymore. There is a huge group consisting of millions of fans called Bronies, men ages 15-30 who enjoy the series. Not kidding! There’s even a Brony Club at UMW!