An Analysis of Snowdrop

Standard

Image

 

Snowdrop” is one of the most popular animations in the fandom. It tells the sad story of a young blind pegasus who, feeling she’s useless, finally proves herself. This animation was released by Silly Filly Studios and written by Meredith Sims, who also voices Snowdrop.

 

Snowdrop is a light blue filly whose pale eyes convey the fact that her vision is impaired. At the beginning of the animation, she is apparently struggling to find a partner for her Spring Sunrise Presentation. It is obvious that, perhaps due to her blindness, she is bullied by a few of her fellow students and possibly disliked or ignored by a great deal of them. In the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode “Flight to the Finish”, Scootaloo is mocked for being crippled and becomes depressed chiefly because she feels that she’s failed as a pegasus for her disability. This suggests that any filly or colt whose flying ability might be impaired is likely to be bullied by their classmates. When Mrs. Windith inquires about Snowdrop’s project, Snowdrop, lying, claims that she is content to work on her own because her venture is meant to be a surprise. It is clear from this moment that the hero of our story is very self-conscious about being blind and doesn’t want to be pitied for it. The way she refuses Mrs. Windith’s offer to place her in a group helps communicate this perfectly. As the school day concludes, Snowdrop is the last to depart the classroom. Her teacher warns her that the last blizzard of the year is always the worst, but she believes that Snowdrop can make it home by herself. Pegasus teachers apparently don’t care as much for their students as they should in dangerous stiuations. A canon example of this is shown in “Hurricane Fluttershy”. A flashback in that episode shows Fluttershy being shoved off the edge of a cloud while she’s learning to fly, even though she’s clearly nervous and not prepared for her first attempt. Cheerliee herself is shown to be a rather incompetent teacher, particularly in episodes such as “The Cutie Pox” and “Family Appreciation Day”. The only difference is that she so far has never pushed the students into something downright dangerous. Nevertheless, this shows that Snowdrop has some level of forced independence, although it is unknown whether or not her mother met her halfway to aid her. Before she descends into the snow, the scene cuts to Snowdrop sitting on a cloud and talking about how worthless she feels. She is so convinced of her own lack of worth that she believes the princesses would laugh at any attempt she could make to impress them. This suggests that she has little faith in the authority figures within her life. If this is correct, it’s another possible motive of why she refused to be pitied by Mrs. Windith and rejected the teacher’s offer. Perhaps Mrs. Windith does try to make unfair allowances for her due to her blindness and Snowdrop secretly resents being singled out in such a way, especially as it is bound to cause more animosity from her classmates. A flashback shows us Snowdrop with her mother, who is revealed to be named “Primrose” in the credits. Primrose seems more aware of Snowdrop’s feelings than any of the other characters. When her mother claims that her daughter “listens better than any pony she knows”, it could indicate that Snowdrop is interested in music. In fact, she might even write her own music. There have been many blind composers throughout history, including Bach. Perhaps Primrose’s line about Snowdrop being a better listener than anyone she knows was deliberately implying that her daughter writes and/or listens to music. Once the flashback ends, Snowdrop looks up into the sky and wishes to prove herself. She mentions that everyone else says she can’t do anything. Either she is exaggerating or that truly is the situation she faces in every day life. The latter would mean that everyone does treat her with either pity or disdain. Regardless of her skills, whatever they may be, she is still bullied, disliked, and pitied by almost everyone around her, Primrose being the only exception. Perhaps her shyness makes her less open with her skills to begin with, therefore no one, not even her teacher, knows how talented she might be and they only focus on the most obvious part of her, which is her blindness. Snowdrop leaps at the chance to prove herself not only in front of her schoolmates and everyone else, but in front of the princesses. Even if she doesn’t trust authority figures, she is willing to take the risk in order to openly display her hidden talents for once and gain the respect of everyone who treats her badly. The moment the frozen teardrop falls on her hoof, Snowdrop immediately identifies it as something other than snow. This suggests that one of her other hidden skills could be painting or some other form of art. Although she’s blind, she could, through practice, develop the ability to feel certain patterns and lines in order to create artwork. Since we don’t actually get to see what Snowdrop does for the rest of her life, she could have made a career based around that developed skill. Having such a massive confidence boost, it’s likely that Snowdrop pursued some sort of career in art or music later in life. In order to carve the frozen tear, Snowdrop rather calmly rips out one of her own feathers and uses the point. However, even though it’s similar to someone ripping out a hair from their own head, she barely flinches. There are several possibilities that could explain her mild reaction. The worst possibilities are that she was physically bullied at some point in her life by having her feathers pulled out and therefore doesn’t notice the pain of it anymore or she previously performed self-harm with the same result. The less grim explanations are that she was either too excited to care about the agony or she just has a very high threshold for it. Snowdrop completes her “star for winter” and, the next day, presents it to the princesses. The princesses are designed differently than they air in the show. Luna is a little smaller, with plainer and shorter hair and Celestia’s mane is a simple pink instead of a rainbow of colors. The latter is referencing the belief that Celestia’s hair was pink in her younger days and the rainbow of colors didn’t develop until much later in life. In a lengthy speech about her project, Snowdrop yet again hints that she might have hidden talents by claiming that winter has been giving them a gift all along, but everypony has been ignoring it. She obviously strikes a cord with Luna when she points out that winter “can’t be all bad” and that “it might be cold and dark” but “that doesn’t mean there isn’t any good to it”. Luna and Snowdrop might very well share comparable personality traits, although the animation isn’t long enough for them to be explored in great detail. It should be noted that Luna is the one who speaks up at the end of Snowdrop’s speech and asks if they could see her “wishing snow”. Snowdrop goes on to suggest that perhaps they need to make wishes on the winter snow, just like they wish on the stars, in the hopes that they can have a happy winter. This is her subtle way of saying that she wants the other ponies to believe in her for once. The princesses end up choosing her project and asking if she could make them some more snowflakes. Finally, we skip forward to the future, after Snowdrop has apparently died and they’ve run out of her “wishing snow”, except for one single fragment. Luna wants them to save it, but Celestia points out that Snowdrop wouldn’t have wanted that. A miserable Luna sadly laments about what she never got to tell Snowdrop and states that she was the only one who truly knew her night. It is less suggested and more outright stated that Luna and Snowdrop had some sort of special connection. The story concludes with the last snowflake, which is the one Snowdrop first made, descending to the ground.

 

Final Thoughts

 

I liked “Snowdrop” and no one can convince me it was terrible. In my opinion, it was the perfect combination of heartwarming, beautiful, and sad. The animation was far from flawless, but certainly decent for a mere fan animation. Snowdrop herself was such an adorable character that I couldn’t help feeling sorry for her. Although the story makes use of many cliches, it’s relatively well-written. The only bad part about it was that the story itself wasn’t fleshed out enough. All of the details about Snowdrop that I mentioned above are mere speculation. Had the animation been show-length, it might have given us a less subtle view of her personality. However, I still enjoyed it immensely during the first viewing and continue to enjoy it every time I watch it again.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s