MLP:FIM season 4, episode 16 – “It Ain’t Easy Being Breezies” – thoughts and review

Ah yes, the previously referenced Breezies. I like the little bit of continuity with Fluttershy heading off to see these previously unknown creatures back in “Three’s a Crowd”, and now the results of her interactions with them – an arrangement for Flutters and her Ponyville friends to help the Breezies get home – are occurring. So just what IS a “breezy”, anyway? Basically a fairy, as it turns out. But, since this is Equestria, not Earth, these fairies cleverly don’t look like little people, but like little ponies.

~My Really REALLY Little Pony~

~My Really REALLY Little Pony~

I’m sure there’s some toy potential here, naturally. But I do have to say, these are pretty adorable little critters.

I can’t help but feel like the sequence at the beginning was meant as a sort of inverse callback to the now-famous “Sonic Rainboom”, especially with Flutters approving the final cheer first by forgetting her usual demeanor and leaping up into the air yelling “PERFECT!”, before “correcting” herself to a small “yay.” Still, it takes the rest of the mane 6 several tries to get to that point.

Shrewd AJ brings up a good point. It's not easy to "cheer" quietly.

Shrewd AJ brings up a good point. It’s not easy to “cheer” quietly.

The final, um, “cheer”, which is basically a coordinated whisper from about a foot away, meets with Fluttershy’s approval.

And taken out of context, makes for a hilariously incomprehensible image.

And taken out of context, makes for a hilariously incomprehensible image.

So, as Ponyville gathers to watch the Breezies pass through, Rainbow Dash regulates the breeze itself, along with Thunderlane and Flitter. Yes, a Flitter sighting! Sans Cloudchaser this time, which is a bit unusual.

And in a couple of scenes, Flitter shows up with the wrong cutie mark - specifically, this is one of two cutie marks that alternatively show up on Cloudchaser. Animation errors really are magic!

And in a couple of scenes, Flitter shows up with the wrong cutie mark – specifically, this is one of two cutie marks that alternatively show up on Cloudchaser. Animation errors really are magic!

When the Breezies go through in all their tiny adorableness, everyone is pretty taken with them, including Spike, who jumps up into a tree to watch, and in his excitement, shakes loose a leaf which then gets pulled toward the Breezy line.

It's just a leaf, right? I mean, what could-

It’s just a leaf, right? I mean, what could-

-ohhhh. Right.

-ohhhh. Right.

Now, one group has been separated from the main flock (or, uh… swarm? Gaggle? Whatever). Before they end up all spinning completely out of control, Fluttershy leaps into action, gathering them all up safely around her and coming to rest on the ground. This is always fun to see, and is very in character for Fluttershy, who as we’ve seen before is capable of decisive action when innocent creatures are threatened in any way.

Granted, this was a bit of an extreme case, and only happened in a magic comic book world, but still.

Granted, this was a bit of an extreme case, and only happened in a magic comic book world, but still.

One Breezy in particular, Seabreeze, seems more agitated than the others. As it turns out, he’s the only one of the group that can speak Equestrian, though the others can understand it. Fluttershy mentions that she speaks the language of all kinds of creatures, but Seabreeze isn’t in the best of moods at the moment.

"You must be SO proud."

“You must be SO proud.”

Now, Seabreeze… his accent is quite, well, interesting. It mostly sounds Scandinavian, like the other Breezies when they speak in their language, but every now and then, it almost sounds slightly Scottish, as well. Which certainly makes for a memorable voice! All of his scenes were a lot of fun.

At first, it seems really odd that he is so hard on his fellow Breezies, but from what he says, it seems like “this group” is a particular problem, at least in his eyes. Perhaps they are the weaker or less adept among their kind when it comes to flying and utilizing the magic that they are able to tap into thanks to the breeze. It may be that he was “assigned” to them, that his role, in part at least, was to stick with this less skilled group and make sure they are able to keep up with the other, more skilled and confident Breezies. Of course, that’s all speculation on my part, but it seems like it’d make a certain degree of sense.

Another aspect that’s never explained is this whole “closing portal” thing. We are told that they have only this specific window of time to use the breeze to get home, before the portal to “their world” closes. If they miss it, they are trapped in Equestria, what… forever? Or is this an annual thing and they’d have to wait a year? But we’ve never heard about this whole business before. So it’s hard to say. My money is on something that isn’t annual, but isn’t literally once in a lifetime, either. Gathering pollen seems to be an important thing, so I imagine it’s something they must do, say, once every several years, based on the timing of the portal. So if they missed it, they wouldn’t be stuck forever, but for at least a few years.

Fluttershy takes them back to her cottage to help them rest up and prepare to give the breeze another go. Naturally, this sequence is filled with reminders of how adorably tiny the Breezies are. When AJ and Twilight show up to inquire about how things are going, Flutters is surprised that it’s been an hour already.

"Time flies when you're making sure little creatures don't feel that you're abandoning them to the cruel world." Um, yes, I suppose it... does. Thank you for that incredibly specific observation, Flutters.

“Time flies when you’re making sure little creatures don’t feel that you’re abandoning them to the cruel world.” Um, yes, I suppose it… does. Thank you for that incredibly specific observation, Flutters.

Problem is, they don’t want to leave. Flutters is just making things too comfortable for em here. So they stall and stall, eventually resorting to faking colds so that the pegasus won’t kick them out.

Much to Seabreeze's irritation.

Much to Seabreeze’s irritation.

The little guy finally strikes out on his own, escaping through the peephole in the door. And we see what the reality is for the Breezies on their own here: even a seemingly more skilled (more confident at the very least) Breezy is put in extreme danger from just a short flight on their own, at the mercy of normal wind and things like falling acorns, which to him, may as well be falling refrigerators.

INCOMING

INCOMING

 

After narrowly avoiding getting crushed, he spirals out of control and gets his head stuck in a beehive, royally pissing off the bees that inhabit it who seem intent on paying him back. This is kind of scary scene from a fridge logic point of view when you consider what dozens of bee stings would do to a Breezy! Thankfully, he is saved by the arrival of Fluttershy, who tries to mollify the bees first with words, and then with what I can only describe as the Bender approach.

"Hello, fellow bees. How's the abdomen? Swollen with nectar, I trust?"

“Hello, fellow bees. How’s the abdomen? Swollen with nectar, I trust?”

But when these diplomatic options fail, she more or less initiates The Stare, and tells them to back the buck off. Which they do. Seabreeze, as it turns out, is well aware of the danger, but felt he had no choice – he had to try, because with the others continually postponing making another attempt, he thought he might NEVER get home again short of just leaving. Realizing that by pampering and enabling the Breezies all this time, Fluttershy hasn’t really been helping them, she calls for Seabreeze to hop on and takes off back toward her cottage.

But not before experiencing her RAINBOW MOMENT! That just leaves AJ.

But not before experiencing her RAINBOW MOMENT! That just leaves AJ.

Being able to finally put her hoof down and tell the Breezies that they must go is actually a fairly interesting character development point for Fluttershy. We’ve seen her become more assertive than usual with other ponies in one circumstance or another, and with unruly animals (i.e. the bees from earlier), but this is a bit different. The Breezies are small, intelligent, vulnerable, and adorable. That combination is one that, generally speaking, Flutters is not going to be firm with very easily. So she does learn an important lesson about kindness, and those times when applying it without thought, no matter how much you may want to, may not be the best thing for a situation.

Of course, there’s one last major problem – there are too few Breezies in this group to properly use the breeze, and the pegasi are finding it impossible to create a breeze that is neither too strong for them to handle, nor too weak to work. Twilight calls up a spell she’s learned from studying books unearthed from the Princess’ old castle, and then, this happens:

Yeah, it's totally adorable. Not gonna lie: there was squeeing.

Yeah, it’s totally adorable. Not gonna lie: there was squeeing.

I have to say, they look much better this way than I thought they would. Dashie, in particular, looks pretty awesome – the super long rainbow mane really works with the fairy wings!

So, with the group + the Breezy 6, there are now enough of them to properly use the breeze, and off they go. The brief traveling montage makes it look like they flew for a good long while – they leave Ponyville and pass over both a frozen landscape and a desert area!

Finally, they reach the portal and enter the Breezy world, which – as it turns out – is freakin gorgeous.

No wonder Seabreeze wanted to get back so badly!

No wonder Seabreeze wanted to get back so badly!

Due to how close they cut it, the portal is already beginning to close, so the mane 6 only have time to briefly witness the heartfelt reunions of various Breezies being reunited with friends and loved ones before they have to get back to their own world. But not before Seabreeze gives Fluttershy a gift.

Was wondering when that key would show up, eh?

Was wondering when that key would show up, eh?

Off they go, and once back in Equestria, Twilight reverses the spell, returning them all to normal ponies again. Immediately, Dash – having pondered the implications of the spell – casually drops that she’s always wanted to know what it’d be like to be a Gryphon. “Not a chance”, Twi answers.

Really that last paragraph was an excuse to lead into this wonderful out-of-context screenshot. This image could launch a thousand ships.

Really that last paragraph was an excuse to lead into this wonderful out-of-context screenshot. This image could launch a thousand ships.

Still, Dashie following this up with a request to become a dragon (“It doesn’t have to shoot fire!”) was a good humorous note to end on.

I really like this episode, despite the unanswered questions it leaves us with (mostly relating to the Breezy world and how this whole relationship they have with Equestria works). Still, they only have 22 minutes in an episode, so I can’t be too hard on them for not giving me more exposition. As it was, the Breezies themselves are extraordinarily cute little creatures that are a cool addition to the rosters of FiM’s various fantastical wonders. And while the scenes in the middle were more or less “typical Fluttershy” (i.e. her obsessing over the well-being and comfort of small defenseless creatures is nothing new), the presence of Seabreeze and his hilarious speaking mannerisms, as well as the inherent conflict going on (and the satisfying way it was resolved) made it more interesting.

I give this one a 9.

-Saito S

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