Every year around this time here on Trotting Through Life, I like to dedicate a series to one of the MLP villains and I may return to this idea in the future but I am doing something a bit different partly because I wanted to and partly because now that G4 is done, it’s a bit harder finding expanded material that explores its villains. That’s why this year I’m dedicating this event to MLP movie villains. A couple of stipulations, however, I will be not covering the original G1 movie as my experience with MLP begins at G4. In the future that could change if I ever watch the G1 movie.
There are a few more things to clarify before carrying on with this as you will see, I am starting with the last two Equestria Girls films and that is an important distinction as everything EQG-wise after Legends of Everfree was either a special or a series of shorts. And while G4 is where my fandom began, that is not where this series will end as I will also look at the villain of the movie that kicked off G5.
I mentioned what villains I will and won’t be covering for this series but there is one other that will not get a full blog from this movie.
Midnight Sparkle aka Sci-Twi is an antagonist and what happened with Midnight Sparkle does linger with Sci-Twi in the following movie, Legends of Everfree in the same vein that Sunset did in the first EQG movie lingered over her in Rainbow Rocks but there are a couple of key differences between the two, Sci-Twi was pressured by her school most notably Principal Cinch to use Equestrian magic whereas Sunset became the raging she-demon of her own volition.
I will agree with the MLP forum that Midnight Sparkle does have a better design though. And as I’ll discuss during this series, what happened to Sci-Twi is tragic.
Iris Quinn doesn’t appear to have done any other roles in the MLP franchise which is always fascinating that usually isn’t the case but she does quite the extensive voice acting resume as well as in-person acting. She appears to have a CMC connection as she was a voice-acting coach for Michelle Creber who played Apple Bloom.
What I find interesting going by what Quinn stated bout how he voiced Cinch, is it was a combo of an elementary school teacher she had. I wonder if she liked this teacher. And the most famous and most celebrated television chef that got cooking shows off the ground.
Something about an evil Julia child makes me smile as it’s just so against who people say Child was. She always seemed to have a pleasant demeanor. She wasn’t perfect mind you as you’ll learn that she had some unfortunate views about homosexuals but she did come around during the AIDS crisis. I’m mixed as I love Julia Child or rather the persona she presented and I’m glad she was willing to learn but hate it took something of that magnitude to change her views.
Even still the idea of basing such a heinous character’s voice on someone that was once on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood again just makes me smile.
I know I spent a lot of time on this but it’s just so neat.
Cinch’s first appearance speaks to the type of villain she is. Her office is dimly lit with the only light focusing on her as she wants attention drawn to her at all times and even draws to the lengths she is willing to go to to get what she wants.
She brings in Sci-Twi’s older brother Shining Armor to convince her best student to compete in the Friendship Games as winning is the only thing that matters to her and she even goes as far as holding an application to another school over Sci-Twi’s head.
This speaks to how cold and uncaring she truly is towards her students. This in part contrasted with how Principal Celestia treats the Canterlot High students as she truly cares about her students and also Dean Cadance as we see in her interactions with Sci-Twi.
Oof Cadance’s EQG design is not it. In many ways, Cinch’s relationship with her students is like that of other abusive teachers i.e. Trunchbull.
She isn’t physically abusive towards her students but she is still abusive nonetheless as she plays mind games with her students by holding an application over Sci-Twi and pressuring them to cheat as we will see with her villain song. In many respects, she is responsible for Sci-Twi turning into Midnight Sparkle, and as I mentioned in the introduction that had some rather lasting and damaging effects on her psyche.
This goes back to the trope of evil teacher that has long existed in media such as Mr. Crocker and Ms. Umbridge.
The evil teacher trope is a common piece in children’s media and while characters such as the Trunch and Cinch aren’t teachers, they still fall under this category considering how they abuse the students underneath them.
Cinch is cold and driven, she will do anything to win to keep Crystal Prep’s reputation intact. She is very stand-offish towards the faculty of Canterlot High and even though this event is called the Friendship Games, she could care less about being friendly toward the rivals.
She’s not a larger-than-life character like Chrsylasis or as intimidating as Tempest Shadow yet she still works in her understated way.
She instead works behind the scenes pulling the strings on her students without directly getting her hands dirty. It’s rather impressive how she attempts to pull this off.
She spells this out at the beginning of the film.
Twilight, I’ll be honest. It doesn’t matter whether or not Crystal Prep wins or loses. [monkeyshine squeaks] The important thing is we are expected to win because Crystal Prep has a reputation. And it is that reputation… my reputation that is responsible for everything we have here. For everything you’ve done here. And you’ve done quite a lot, haven’t you?
She doesn’t so much care about winning as she does more so care about winning to keep Crystal Prep’s reputation intact. She believes she is nothing without a reputation and this is taken even further in her opening game speech at the Friendship Games.
I’d like to thank Principal Celestia for her unconventional welcome. It’s been four years since the last Friendship Games, but it feels as though nothing has changed. Canterlot High continues to pick its competitors in a popularity contest and Crystal Prep continues to field its top twelve students. It is a comfort to know that even after so many years of losses, your school remains committed to its ideals, however misguided they may be. I wish you all the best of luck, regardless of the inevitable outcome.
In many regards, she feels like a blueprint for when the show would introduce Chancellor Neigheisay
He was another abusive person in a position of power over students and whereas Cinch was abusive, Neighsay was prejudiced against non-pony kind.
Villain Song/Most Evil Deed
Unleash The Magic
I’m combining these two as they go hand-in-hand. This song speaks back to how she plays mind games with her students and how willing she is to hurt to them to gain what she wants.
And does she stick around when Midnight Sparkle takes over? Nope, she runs off knowing full well that she is responsible for these actions. This speaks to through the facade she puts on that she doesn’t care about her students.
Not much happened to her in Friendship Games except having her reputation ruined and while that matters to her, we find out in a later special, Dance Magic, that she’s no longer the head of Crystal Prep.
Oh, things at CPA have never been better since Principal Cadance took over
It’s not revealed what happened to let Cadance take over as Friendship Games is the only time we see Cinch, so she could have been fired and I would hope that was the case.
Is Principal Cinch A Good Villian?
She’s not one of my favorite MLP villains but she is an interesting villain to look at in terms of how abusive she is towards her students and how she manipulates them. Also interesting to note, she’s one of the few EQG villains that doesn’t get a redemption.
Join me next time as we close out our look at the EQG movie villains with