my little pony

SH S4E08: Top Animated Series

SH S4E08: Top Animated Series
Screen Heroes

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What are your favorite cartoons? That’s the question we answer this week as we rank our top animated series! These include classic 80s animated shows, 90s nostalgia, anime, and modern cartoons. With Derreck on the road, we are joined by Costume Couture co-host, Ian of Haus of Turner cosplay to help us put together our lists of the Top 7 Animated Series. We each provide our own list and talk several honorable mentions.

Did your favorite show make the cut? What did we leave out? Be sure to let us know!

Also, go to right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

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Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guests
Ian Turner

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Derreck Mayer

Flying Killer Robots

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SH S4E08: Top Animated Series

The Best 50: Heroes of Women, #40-31

It’s not everyday that heroes comes along and changes the course of American history.  For the next five weeks, we count down the 50 best women heroes in fiction. Heroes were chosen from every platform of pop culture, including film, tv, literature, and stage.  They were also inspired by you, the fans, on the many polls that the Heroes Podcast Network can offer. Lastly, the women were chosen based on their iconic statuses, fandom following, and the admirable qualities the individual characters possess.

Looking for a bunch of dudes? Aren’t we all? Don’t worry; the 50 best men heroes in fiction is up next! But what about the great baddies of history too? Yep, that list is in the works as well! Now, enjoy the countdown. Here’s #40-31.

If you missed #41-50, you can catch Part 1 of our Heroes of Women countdown here.

40. Elizabeth Bennett


Pride and Prejudice
Elizabeth Bennett means many things to many people. But existing for over 200 years will do that to you (Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813 by Jane Austen).  During that time, she has symbolized the joy that can be found in life. She is a free-spirited, loving woman who refuses to settle in life when it comes to marriage. She demands on marrying for love instead of status, educating herself when the masses look down upon a learned woman, and she prefers the company of her sisters rather than stuffy balls with the elitist upper class. She was a role model before we even began classifying fictional characters as role models.

39. Twilight Sparkle


My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Did you see the old 1980’s renditions of My Little Pony? Do you remember how awful they were? They were about very vain ponies who would spend their time brushing hair and gossiping about one another. Then the wonderful Lauren Faust comes along and revamps everything, giving us more than enough well-rounded characters including the amazing Twilight Sparkle. She’s this relentless book worm who comes to Ponyville friendless (save for Spike) and has blossomed into the Princess of Friendship. Over six seasons, she has grown so much that it’s difficult not to be moved by her journey.

38. Daenerys Targaryan

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Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire
There’s not many events more moving than watching Daenerys grow from actual property to the Mother of Dragons. This woman begins the story as a meek, subservient girl, just wanting to please her disgusting brother, Viserys. Once she sees him for the coward he is and realizes her own strength, Daenerys becomes more than the sum of her parts. She sets herself on fire and walks away unscathed. She rules as the Khaleesi, she sacks cities, she trains dragons, she beguiles and betrays terrible men. She is a force to be reckoned.

37. San


Princess Mononoke
San, the leading lady from Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke, was raised by the wolf goddess, Moro, leaving her appearing savage to the untrained eye.  She is a protector, first and foremost, of her family, of her forest.  Because of this, she is also incredibly stubborn and irritable. As the daughter of Moro, she rejects her all of her humanity until she meets Ashitaka, the Prince of Emishi Village.  The love that the two of them share has her embrace the humanity she had forsaken but maintain the loyalty she feels towards her wolf family and her forest home.

36. Jo March

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Little Women
Oh, Jo. What a marvelous woman.  Another independent, fiercely loyal literary character who has influenced little girls for almost 200 years.  Jo March wanted a career, which wasn’t unheard of at the time, but was rare. Since her sex put her at such a huge disadvantage, Jo keeps in abundance her diligence and optimistic attitude. She never gives up on the goal of being a novelist and never takes no for an answer. Her fortitude only adds to her resilience.

35. Peggy Carter


Agent Carter and Marvel Cinematic Universe
If you can’t be a superhero, be Peggy Carter instead. She is fearless and enduring and fans latched onto her with incredible force. Peggy was the pro at keeping her composure under duress. She was kind and feminine, without being a damsel. When it came down to it, Peggy Carter could handle herself. She dedicated her whole life to a greater cause, working behind the scenes to guarantee the safety of America (and she was British, so that makes sense).  While she was initially intended to just be a some love interest for Chris Evans, Peggy Carter’s true nature showed through and became more than the sum of her parts.

34. Matilda Wormwood


This little girl may be the kindest, gentlest soul ever written about in fiction. She’s also an underrated hero among both literature and film fans alike. Matilda, as kind as she is, embodies the complete opposite of the people surrounding her. Her horrible parents are scam artists and frauds. Her principal is tyrannical and cruel. It is only through her perseverance of kindness does she discover her telekinetic powers, finally enacting one of the most satisfying revenge scenes ever imagined.

33. Captain Kathryn Janeway


Star Trek: Voyager
A lot can be said for Captain Kathryn Janeway (or Vice Admiral, as she comes to be known).  She is the first female Captain in Star Trek history (which is surprising considering how progressive the show has always been).  She is the first Starfleet captain to head into the Delta zone, encountering new planets and civilizations never to be seen. She is a fan favorite, often chosen as the best captain among the entire franchise.  And it’s no mystery why. She is a kind soul, who puts her crew before hers, even merging them with lost members of the Maquis.  She was put multiple times into ethical dilemmas where she comes out a better person.

32. Daria Morgendorfer


Beavis and ButtheadDaria
A show designed to feature just your average apathetic teenager turned out to be one of the most influential characters of the 90’s. She encapsulated everything the 90’s stood for: a rebellious youth feeling lost among the crowd. It was no longer obvious what your purpose in life was and Daria felt the overwhelming crush of societal pressures on a daily basis. Instead of having nervous breakdowns or embracing a path she wasn’t interested in, she did her best of not giving any useless cares about anything she didn’t want. By rejecting the social norm, she was a role model for everyone that didn’t feel like being in a box.

31. Captain Marvel


Carol Danvers was a character Marvel just couldn’t get right for the longest time. It was almost embarrassing having one of the most powerful characters on their Avenging roster with nothing of substance to back her up. But in 2012, they did the absolute best thing possible for her: they renamed her Captain Marvel and everything else just fell into place. They put her in control of S.W.O.R.D., made her a starring member of Guardians of the Galaxy and A*Force.  What had been hiding behind skimpy costumes had been a dynamic woman who kicks some serious ass, is brainy as hell, and the perfect woman to get things done. She was even the central focus of the 2016’s Civil War II story-line, being the first woman to lead a multi-crossover event in many, many years.  Her contribution to the Marvel universe, both comic and cinematic will go down historically in pop culture.

So there you have it, our next 10 women heroes. What do you think of our list so far? Tune in for #21-30 soon!

The Best 50: Heroes of Women, #40-31

Top 10 My Little Pony Episodes

If you don’t know me, I’m an avid My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fan. Like I collect the figures. Of all kinds. Folks, there’s ponies everywhere.

But I digress. The show turned out to be quite amazing. I was skeptical at first, however, once I actually watched it, I realized it was an empowering story featuring a multitude of characters where everyone had some representation. Creator Lauren Faust not only improved upon the preexisting material, but she created something new for everyone.  What may even be the most important part is the show hit both the female and male demographic, proving that a show doesn’t have to be gender specific for a group of people to enjoy it.

If you haven’t seen My Little Pony, these are my favorite episodes and the ones I recommend you start with (the show is mainly episodic, but there is some continuation, so once you start, you may find it necessary to continue on).

Top 10 My Little Pony Episodes

10. The Cutie Mark Chronicles (Season 1, episode 23) *essential Cutie Mark Crusaders episode*

My Little Pony


The Cutie Mark Crusaders embark on a journey throughout Ponyville, determined to learn how their mentors, Fluttershy, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Rarity, all got their cutie marks. The episode is an adorable tribute to fate and whether or not we believe that the friends we have were always supposed to be there. It’s also on of the first episodes to dive into the Mane 6’s past, making it a must-see considering it is continually referenced throughout the rest of My Little Pony.

9. Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 (season 2, episode 15) *essential Applejack episode*

My Little Pony - Applejack

The Flim Flam brothers head to Ponyville with this monstrous cider making machine in order to take all the cider business from the Apple family. These two end up making the whole Apple clan dig in and work together to keep their farm and business. The brothers were so popular that they brought them back for another episode of their wacky scams in season 4.

8. Suited for Success (season 1, episode 14) *essential Rarity episode*

My Little Pony - Rarity

Rarity goes all out for her friends, preparing ball gowns for everyone in honor of the upcoming Grand Galloping Gala. Her friends, however, feel the gowns could be just 20% more awesome. Rarity works herself to the bone making these gowns every bit of what her friends want, sacrificing her originality and some sanity too. This episode shows the end to which Rarity would go to for her friends, making it one of her best episodes.

7. Keep Calm and Flutter On (Season 3, episode 10) *Essential Fluttershy episode*

My Little Pony - Fluttershy and Discord

Fluttershy is a gentle soul which is why Princess Celestia taps her when she wants to reform Discord. When the other ponies want to use the Elements of Harmony against Discord to turn him back into stone, Fluttershy maintains his redemption is possible. She holds her ground against her best friends and convinces Discord he has a friend in her.

6. It’s about Time (Season 2, episode 20) *Essential Twilight Sparkle episode*

My Little Pony - Twilight Sparkle

Twilight Sparkle appears to herself 3 days in the past in a crazed effort to warn her. But she can’t get it out because past Twilight is obsessed with why she’s disheveled, how she can time travel, just what is going on. This episode is classic Twilight; she’s intelligent, but also so headstrong that she creates the inevitable instead of avoiding it. It’s also one of the best examples of time travel I’ve ever seen on screen.

5. May the Best Pet Win (season 2, episode 10) *Essential Rainbow Dash episode*

My Little Pony - Rainbow Dash

Rainbow is feeling just a little left out that she’s the only one without a pet in her group. So what does she do? The only logical Rainbow Dash thing to do! She holds a multi-event competition, testing all possible pets from an eagle to a flamingo. Her hardcore personality won’t accept anything less than the best but she’s caught unaware when the least obvious competitor wins out.

4. Pinkie Pride (Season 4, episode 12) *Essential Pinkie Pie episode*

My Little Pony - Pinkie Pie

While Pinkie has some great episodes throughout the series, this one wins out for being the one where she meets her match: Cheese Sandwich (played by the glorious Weird Al Yankovic). He’s a traveling party pony that can lift pony spirits better than anyone else, much to Pinkie’s chagrine. It takes a lesson in jealousy and acceptance for Pinkie to finally befriend what was at first her adversary.

3. Three’s a Crowd (season 4, episode 11) *Essential Discord episode*

My Little Pony - Discord

This episode makes me laugh so much. Why? Because it’s hilarious watching Twilight get thrown off her game. And Discord lives for that. While Twilight just wants a girls day with her sister in law, Princess Cadence, Discord is busy spreading the exasperation in Ponyville with his “blue flu.” His constant tormenting of the Mane 6 eventually ends up ruining Twilight’s day but she does get the better end of the stick in the end, so it’s not all bad for Twilight.

2. Slice of Life (season 5, episode 9 or episode 100) *Essential Equestria episode*

My Little Pony

One of the most eventful and enjoyable episodes to date, this one focuses on all of Ponyville readying themselves for a wedding, with the Mane 6 off fighting a Bugbear in the background. We see favorite B, C, and D characters get up in front for a change, truly proving that there’s a story for everyone. This is your chance to hear certain ponies speak for the first time (Timeturner or Dr. Hooves), catch returns of characters that have been forgotten (Steven Magnet), and reconnect with the world around the Mane 6.

1. Power Ponies (Season 4, episode 6) *Essential Spike episode*

My Little Pony - Spike

When you think of Spike centric episodes, this one doesn’t usually come to mind, because it really does feature the Mane 6 as well. However, when Spike’s comic book takes the seven of them inside its world, he’s forced to take the position of sidekick (one he previously hated) and realize its just as important as any other hero role. The appeal of this episode out ranks any other for several reasons. The ponies represent some of the best comic book superheroes out there. The Mane-iac is a well developed, creative villain that they should definitely bring back. The story itself is tightly written and one of the most entertaining in the series.

There you have it. The essential My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Go watch these on Netflix now. It’ll take 5ish hours of your time. You won’t be bored. There will be at least a few of these that you like. You won’t regret it.

Have you seen My Little Pony? Comment with the episodes in your Top List!

Top 10 My Little Pony Episodes

DC v. Marvel – Merchandise Wars

With all the superhero movies, television shows, and comic books out there, finding merchandise that is geared to women is still absolutely a struggle in 2015. And it really shouldn’t be. I think it’s fair to say that as a woman and a geek all in one, I should be able to pick up an Avengers shirt with a female on it. Maybe a Guardians of the Galaxy poster featuring Gamora? Or how about a Justice League anything with Wonder Woman? Honestly, it’s a little insulting.
Lack of female-centric comic book merchandise

While Marvel has all but written off their leading ladies, DC is doing whatever they can to rectify that situation. By teaming up with Mattel, DC has rebranded some of their most iconic female characters, both heroes and villains, into accessible characterizations for both young and teenage girls. Beginning in Fall 2015, DC and Mattel will be launching DC Super Hero Girls, a multi-product effort to expand both on the characters themselves and the growing female market.

DC Super Hero Girls merchandise

Following in the footsteps of renowned young girls franchises as Monster High and My Little Pony, popular characters such as Wonder Woman and Batgirl will be featured at an adolescent age, discovering their individual identities and how their super powers grow. Each character will have her own story line, shedding light on both major and minor characters. While 2015 will see the release of a web series, dolls, and the first set of DC female only action figures, 2016 is already planned for the release of TV specials, books, apparel, and other merchandise. LEGO has also been brought in on the deal to create super heroine-centric building sets in order to help its brand also reach out to the widely ignored demographic: girls.

This, however, isn’t the only effort that DC is attempting in the next year to market to women. The new Gal Gadot incarnation of Wonder Woman, scheduled to make her first appearance in March’s Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice has been front and center in the last few weeks. We got to see her in action, finally, in the trailer, she was the focal point of the new Entertainment Weekly issue, and coming Spring 2016 will be her likeness in the form of a classic Barbie doll.

DC Comics Wonder Woman Barbie merchandise

Barbie has been attacked for many years because of her body, her professions, her outfits as being a poor role model for young girls. However, many neglect to remember just how important Barbie dolls have actually been to pop culture and women’s history in total. They were some of the first dolls to feature non-white women, incarnations of athletes, and social crusaders. For the new Wonder Woman to get the Barbie treatment is a huge step for DC, proving that they value the female market and can adapt to products that were already geared to them. I know I’ll be buying at least one.

Even more, DC is rolling out a new companion web series to their CW universe including Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow featuring their first female lead: Vixen. A Justice League favorite among fans but mostly unrecognizable character to the public, Vixen is an African hero in possession of the Tantu totem, giving her the ability to call on various animal traits in battle. Megalyn Echikunwoke will voice the leading character and will be joined by CW favorites Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin. The series has yet to be given a definitive start date, but will most likely debut in the fall on CW Seed. Check out the trailer here.

DC CW Seed Vixen merchandise

They may still be quite behind in film numbers, but DC is dominating Marvel when it comes to marketing and merchandise. You can’t forget an entire half of the population! Where’s the Black Widow Barbie? Where’s the Gamora web series? DC’s efforts may not all be successful, but at least they’re trying. Get it together, Marvel.


DC v. Marvel – Merchandise Wars