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Sunday in the Park with Ponies
July 15, 2011 4:07 PM   Subscribe

Apparently there is a Sondheim fan on the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic staff. The Art of the Dress versus Putting it Together (starts at 4:55) from Sunday in the Park with George (or Barbra Streisand's arrangement). At the Gala versus Ever After from Into the Woods. Ponies previously: 1 2 3
posted by Gordafarin (37 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ever After is one of my favorite songs from a broadway score ever so I'm just going to approve of this whole thing.
posted by The Whelk at 4:24 PM on July 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I suppose it isn't such a shock. There are generations of kids out there whose first and primary exposure to classical music was through Looney Tunes cartoons.

seriously this is so awesome
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 4:26 PM on July 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I might have been neutral on the cartoon, but the love and craft that go into the music got me for sure. Winter Wrap-up is just the best song.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:31 PM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Winter Wrap-up.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:32 PM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know if Sondheim getting credit for these? Or are these versions different enough that MLP doesn't actually have to pay licensing fees?
posted by roger ackroyd at 4:37 PM on July 15, 2011


are these versions different enough that MLP doesn't actually have to pay licensing fees?

These probably qualify as pastiches, where the source material is easily recognizable for those who know it but there is no part of the actual song which is enough of a quote under copyright law to require licensing. It's done quite a bit in all kinds of settings, and when well done I believe should be encouraged.

Animaniacs used to do pastiches of songs quite a bit, too.
posted by hippybear at 4:48 PM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Art Of The Dress gets stuck in my head with amazing frequency. Far better than a kids' cartoon deserves.
posted by JHarris at 5:13 PM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


(Wow, I sound snooty. Heh.)
posted by JHarris at 5:18 PM on July 15, 2011


Art of the Dress is now known amongst my group of freelancer friends as "The Freelancer's Song" and "that just needs to be...20% cooler" is a common refrain.
posted by sawdustbear at 5:20 PM on July 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


Barely-related anecdote: a few years back I was lucky enough to see Sunday in the Park with George along with Richard Pilbrow. For those who haven't seen it, it is a wildly uneven show, with the second act a highly unnecessary hour of masturbatory nonsense, but the first act is extremely affecting, and had me crying at the intermission like no other show has.

The thing was, though, that this was in 2007, and Pilbrow, who basically invented modern stage lighting, couldn't figure out how they were doing the effects. (The show revolves around the lighting, which has the painting coming to life and being painted in real time across the backdrop due to the motions of the actors.) We spent all day discussing it and couldn't think of how it could be done based on what we saw. It was like seeing a master magician totally stumped by an act.

The point is, I'm very, very curious as to how they pulled it off in 1984, when it was first staged and they didn't have nearly the same level of rear-projection technology that they had for the revival.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:00 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: All we ever want is indecision, all we really like is what we know.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:06 PM on July 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


Another (nominal) kid's show with some really great music is Phineas and Ferb. I fully expect Season 3 to suck now that the show has caught on (and it's from Disney) but I highly recommend the first two seasons.
posted by DU at 6:06 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The thing was, though, that this was in 2007, and Pilbrow, who basically invented modern stage lighting, couldn't figure out how they were doing the effects. (The show revolves around the lighting, which has the painting coming to life and being painted in real time across the backdrop due to the motions of the actors.)

That would be NOT the original staging, which didn't have any of this kind of trickery in it.

Still, sounds like a fascinating production.

Also... the second act is NOT masturbatory nonsense. It's got the hilarious "It's Hot Up Here", the wonderful "Putting It Together" (without which this FPP could not happen), and the (to me) overwhelming "Move On". And like a lot of Sondheim shows, the second act is a bit of a demolition of the characters and situations of the first act.

The same thing happens with Into The Woods. A lot of theater companies will only do the first act and all it a children's play. But it's in the second act where the real depth happens.
posted by hippybear at 6:25 PM on July 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


The point is, I'm very, very curious as to how they pulled it off in 1984

Um... they pulled it off with really good costumes, well-painted set pieces, and a cut-out standup of the dog and the monkey. It's real theater magic, and incredibly fantastic. I recorded it off PBS and watched it about a zillion times when I was in high school. (I was a strange kid.)

Here's a Great Performances filming of the song Sunday, and here's a trailer of that same filming which shows a bit more of bits and pieces of the show.
posted by hippybear at 6:34 PM on July 15, 2011


I made the chiptune version of "Winter Wrap-up" my ringtone for about three days, until I realized that the time between receiving phone calls is less than the time it takes for me to get "Winter Wrap-up" out of my head after every time I hear it.

♪ ...'cause tomorrow spring is here! ♫
posted by Zozo at 6:42 PM on July 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Winter Wrap-Up" is one of my favorites, though I think "Art of the Dress" has pulled ahead.

Now I'm wondering if "WWU" is Sondheim-in-Disguise[1] too...



[1] More than meets the eye.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 6:44 PM on July 15, 2011


Can I just take an off-topic moment to express how freaked out I am about nature in the pony world? The discussion of Winter Wrap-Up brought this back to mind.

The ponies are shown in that episode "cleaning up" winter. That is, brushing away the snow and seeing that the animals get fed, etc., because their own food stocks are running low. This seems to imply that winter is a mostly artificial thing for them, that is brought on and ends due to pony effort. And the seeds of this are there in the very first episode, where clearing away clouds is Rainbow Dash's job, and other episodes have shown us the pegasus ponies scheduling the weather, and we even visit a weather factory in Cloudsdale. In the autumn episode they have a run to get the leaves to fall from the trees, without questioning why it has to be done.

And after all, the first episode establishes that Celestia raises the sun, and her sister used to raise the moon and presumably does again now. Natural cycles seem to be the result of pony effort there, which is strange but I guess not out of line with a storybook world. Except....

The Everfree Forest. Animals take care of themselves there. The plants grow on their own. Even the weather is beyond pony attention or control. They're creeped out by this.

I can't help but speculate that their world is either the end result of hyperadvanced technology that has beaten natural processes into submission so thoroughly, except in the forest, that they have to move the gears along themselves; or, that they actually live on an artificial satellite and must make natural processes progress with their own effort. The Everfree Forest might then be the result of malfunctioning technology that was intended to work over the whole satellite, but ended up focusing just on one region. (Lending credence to this is the fact that the old palace, seen in the second episode, is in the forest.)

In summary, PONYBEANS.
posted by JHarris at 8:18 PM on July 15, 2011 [17 favorites]


I'm still trying to figure out where Pinkie Pie got the giant "#1" foam finger in Sonic Rainboom.
posted by SPrintF at 8:22 PM on July 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


That's Pinkie. She exists outside of causation.
posted by JHarris at 8:26 PM on July 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Pinkie would make a pretty good Red Riding Hood, actually. Voice is kind of perfect.
posted by maryr at 8:28 PM on July 15, 2011


JHarris, are trying to tell me it was Earth all along?
posted by maryr at 8:29 PM on July 15, 2011


I'm still trying to figure out where Pinkie Pie got the giant "#1" foam finger in Sonic Rainboom.

Are you implying that she shouldn't have a foam finger? A foam hoof would be kind of hard to distinguish from a blob. Besides, dragons (Spike) have fingers and opposeable thumbs, so the notion of a foam finger isn't completely out there.
posted by explosion at 8:57 PM on July 15, 2011


How does Fluttershy know so much about French couture? Is there a France in Equestria?
posted by Gordafarin at 11:26 PM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


JHarris: "or, that they actually live on an artificial satellite and must make natural processes progress with their own effort. The Everfree Forest might then be the result of malfunctioning technology that was intended to work over the whole satellite, but ended up focusing just on one region."

I decided a while ago that they do indeed live on an artificial world, one of many designed for the population of Earth to evacuate to while the Earth itself rode out some terrible catastrophe. Humans lived on the planetoid for a few generations, constructing all the human-suitable buildings, roads and park benches seen on the show, and then returned to Earth once it was safe. No-one stayed on Earth Quest R1-A afterwards because the low gravity was causing health problems.

Many years later, a dying star pony, of the sort of birth constellations, found it an agreeable place to rest. Their species prefer to live out their last days on a planet with a breathable atmosphere, so that when they die the colonies of plumage-tenders, formed in their image and developing quite a complex society over the aeons of the star pony's life, can live on. Despite its artificial origin, the planetoid proved a perfect habitat as it allowed the tenders to control their environment and even allowed the head tenders to control the rising of the sun and the moon.

Over the centuries that followed, word spread among the star ponies, and many more laid down their colonies of tenders on different parts of the world when they died. Star buffalo and dragon creatures followed, and within a thousand years E-Quest R1-A was a thriving world of magical creatures.

When the humans return for their inspection next week they're going to be quite surprised.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:18 AM on July 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Zozo: "I made the chiptune version of "Winter Wrap-up" my ringtone for about three days, until I realized that the time between receiving phone calls is less than the time it takes for me to get "Winter Wrap-up" out of my head after every time I hear it."

This is why I don't have Nyan as my ringtone any more.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:19 AM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and (final serial comment, I promise) the Sondheim fan is probably Daniel Ingram.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:31 AM on July 16, 2011


ArmyOfKittens beat me to it while I was ranting, but I'll say this anyway:

The Sondheim fan in question is indeed Daniel Ingram (who was clearly working from the arrangement Sondheim wrote for Streisand, based on the "All we ever want" line). Here's an interview he did for Equestria Daily a while ago, before the season finale featuring "At the Gala" was aired.

Mr. Ingram does seem to like giving away secrets--he got into a little bit of trouble at one point for leaking Winter Wrap-Up to YouTube several weeks before the episode aired. Hasbro couldn't have planned better viral marketing.

(Seriously--all of the people working on the show have been fantastic, and The Hub is playing to the unexpected fan demographic brilliantly, while Hasbro...doesn't get it. Warning: long dull video of Hasbro representatives announcing backhandedly that there will be little in the way of cool stuff for fans of the show this year.)
posted by darksasami at 1:40 AM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


darksasami: "Hasbro...doesn't get it"

Aye, they made Celestia pink! Everyone knows the pink one is a different princess.

this is all making me look like a pony obsessive. I'm not! but I do follow the pony thread on neogaf because it's a constant fanart and link dump and I love seeing how iterative fans get when their show is on hiatus and I'm a pony obsessive
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:51 AM on July 16, 2011


other episodes have shown us the pegasus ponies scheduling the weather

Why does anyone need drugs ever?
posted by mykescipark at 2:03 AM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


while Hasbro...doesn't get it

I am absolutely not surprised at all. In gaming threads I'm a frequent railer against Hasbro for: their clueless destruction of Dungeons & Dragons (yeah, I won't let it die), their flogging of their primary cultural game properties to a degree that they have become laughing stocks (Pokemon Monopoly? Seriously, Hasbro?), their sitting on the massive legacy of Avalon Hill, for buying up all the cultural game makers like Parker Bros. bringing in a huge swath of American gaming heritage under the sway and business planning of a single organization, and because there is a whole world of wonderful board and card games opening up and beginning to become popular which Hasbro (Hasbro management at least) seems to be ignorant of. Oh, and they're ruthless exploiters of Chinese labor.

I don't doubt that there are some people working for Hasbro who care about what they're doing. Few huge conglomerates lack for them. But it's like a trap, lure in the great talent then tell them to waste their energies making Lord Of The Rings Risk.

Yes, it makes me sound like I've got an axe to grind. It's possible they're not quite as bad as I perceive them to be, but I think I'd have heard of more positive things from them if they were much better. There's just so much potential for good there, wasted, which is really he story of corporatism isn't it.
posted by JHarris at 3:37 AM on July 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


1. Pinkie Pie *is* a Looney Tune.
2. My gf says that the Pinkie Pie "laugh at fear" song sounds like something from Into the Woods. (I didn't get to go into detail because when she overheard it I couldn't decide whether or not to come out to her as a brony.)
posted by whuppy at 9:18 AM on July 16, 2011


whuppy: "2. My gf says that the Pinkie Pie "laugh at fear" song sounds like something from Into the Woods."

All I know is this remix plays particularly well in Audiosurf.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:27 AM on July 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eh, I listened to Into The Woods yesterday and nothing particularly strikes me as similar. Except for Pinkie's voice being perfect for Red, as noted above.
posted by maryr at 11:54 AM on July 16, 2011


Pony Swag (feat. Maros)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:56 PM on July 17, 2011


I don't hear Into the Woods in Giggle at the Ghostly either. If it sounds like anything, it sounds like The Cyrkle.

But oh god now I'm imagining Rainbow Dash singing "There Are Giants In the Sky" and it is so awesome.
posted by darksasami at 1:18 PM on July 18, 2011


MLP has a lot of musical references in it that I wasn't expecting.

I didn't think that they'd have an episode where the villains were named after a Bowie song, for example.
posted by EspanolBot at 2:17 PM on July 18, 2011


Oh god, now I'm mentally casting Into The Woods with an entirely pony cast. I did not need that.
posted by maryr at 3:06 PM on July 18, 2011


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