Mean Girls In Wildbrain Shows: MLP & LPS Vs Polly Pocket & Strawberry Shortcake

SweetShop209

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Messages
13,693
The title seems a bit odd, so let me explain. There's something I noticed with 2 Wildbrain shows (the company was formerly known as DHX Media) from the early 2010s compared to the later 2010s and early 2020s with 2 other Wildbrain shows. I'm talking about My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic and Littlest Pet Shop (2012) for the former and Polly Pocket (2018) and Strawberry Shortcake: Berry In The Big City for the latter. While all four obviously have their differences (like how MLP and Polly have more fantastical elements while LPS and Strawberry are generally more down to earth), they can all be described as girl centric, slice of life shows meant to teach good values.

Another common element is with how each of these shows has a mean girl character for at least one of the main characters. The Cutie Mark Crusaders in My Little Pony have Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. Blythe from Littlest Pet Shop has Whitney and Brittney Biskit. Polly technically has Gwen Grande and Bella Bigowski (though I'll talk more about them). Strawberry has Raspberry Tart. The way each show writes them is reflected of when they came out. With MLP and LPS, the shows came out in the early 2010s, where long term development for antagonists in girl centric slice of life shows either took a long time to show redeeming qualities, or didn't redeem them. For example, while there were some hints of Diamond Tiara not being too mean in the first four seasons, she still mainly stuck to being an antagonist. "Crusaders Of The Lost Mark" did show hidden depths to her, and she became a friend to the CMC, but she was never seen again. Higher ups at Hasbro thought her story was done, so the plans the showrunners had to humanize her further didn't go through. LPS was in a bit of a similar boat, where the Biskit twins did have some humanizing moments, but mainly stuck to being antagonists. Season 4 was more consistent in portraying them in a neutral light, even (albeit reluctantly) coming to Blythe for help sometimes. However, the show was cancelled because of merchandise sales, and it wasn't expanded on further. While Polly Pocket and Strawberry Shortcake are still largely episodic, they're also more willing to throw in some continuity and develop things a bit due to coming out later.

Gwen Grade from Polly Pocket probably could've been this if the Grandes appeared after season 1, but that's not the case. (Whether it's because of the showrunners or someone at Mattel is unclear). Regardless, season 1 did show that she's not always agreeable with her grandmother Griselle Grande, such as how she may want to do fun things that don't involve stealing Polly's locket, and the episode "Gwen The Great" shows that she can be quite manipulative when left to her own devices. However, season 2 did introduce Bella Bigowski, who was Lila's rival in kerpow (which is basically karate), and fills the mold better. She would belittle her with the nickname Fashion Pants and boast about her own strength. She's only an antagonist for like 3-4 episodes. In "Halloween Queen" (the second segment of season 2, episode 11), we get more development for her and see that she was jealous of Lila showing her up. They make up and she's officially part of Polly's friend group starting in the season 2 finale. She's spent more time as a friend to Polly and company than an antagonist. We would initially see her overcompensate and try too hard to help out, but after the events of "The Big Ball" (where she comes to terms with being a duchess while still being herself), she's become more balanced with her emotions. The light teasing she gives to Nicholas in "Grandma's Big Day" is clearly just playful and not mean like what she used to do with Lila. When she tells Polly to not be too positive in "Hamster Hijinks", she sits her down and gently but firmly says why it's a good idea for Hazel to be open with her emotions. It's a good way of showing her negative traits in a positive light, where she can blunt with how she feels, but also honest in wanting to help out.

Now as for Raspberry from Strawberry Shortcake, we just finished season 1, and yet she's very well developed. Her appearances in the first half of the season show her as a typical mean girl who wants to show up Strawberry. However, episodes like "Berry Merry Melody" and "New Year's Wish" show that she had potential to be a decent person, mainly in how she sings along with everyone in the former about the joys of the holiday, and in the latter, she sings a song about wishes her grandma taught her, and it's very uplifting. She would be largely absent afterwards, but when she returned for a bigger role in "JohnnyCake Cobbler's Sensational Sweetening Spritz", it would be the beginning of her becoming a genuine friend to Strawberry. They team up to take down a con artist and have an interest in Kiki Keylime, and the ending shows that she wants to befriend her, but can't really say it. In the next episode (Strawberry's Surprise), the worst she does is get a bit ego centric with her birthday demands, but that's it. We don't see her parents, but they don't seem to care for her when she has to tell them her name. Strawberry does what she can do throw her a birthday, and when Raspberry finds out (without Strawberry knowing), she's genuinely touched and lets out a small smile. The crowing jewel would have to be the season finale "Bake Off", where they compete against each other on Kiki Keylime's show. It's another rivalry story, but unlike earlier in the season, there's no attempt at sabotage. It's just a heated, but fair competition between two bakers who want to show off their skills. We get a bit of a misunderstanding that results in a food fight that they eventually enjoy. They then see that there's no reason to fight and decide to become friends. Raspberry may still cause problems sometimes in season 2, but I don't think to the extent of season 1.

It's worth noting that the Polly Pocket series developed by Shea Fontana, who did a mostly similar thing with the 2015 DC Superhero Girls (where Cheetah, outside of an appearance in season 4, was largely downplayed after season 1). The Strawberry Shortcake series was developed by Michael Vogel, who started writing for MLP in season 6, though he was involved earlier due to being part of the Hasbro Studios development team.

And that's all I have. What do you think?
 

Spotlight

Staff online

Who's on Discord?

Latest profile posts

gotta catch em all cause he’s greeny phatom

gotta catch em all cause he’s greeny phatom

gotta catch em all cause he’s
greeny phatom
Who else here is enjoying CN's 30th-anniversary live stream? I can say I'm glad they're showing a balanced mix of classic and newer favorites along with some of the old promos.

Wonder why Courage is a part of Scoobtober even though it's not a part of Scooby's franchise at all. Weird.
Happy birthday Grandma Tucker.

That Girl Lay Lay - Dylan's and Rebecca's Cleve-Land-Land Adventure full episode already on youtube nickelodeon

Featured Posts

Top