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Author Topic: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?  (Read 2487 times)

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Offline kingluke

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How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« on: November 15, 2020, 09:01:55 PM »
Hello everyone,

I listened to baby Ember's dream. The tape that came with the pony baby Ember with her star cutie mark/symbol.

It was a cute story but it didn't explain how Ember got her mark.

Was that never revealed? Did she just get a random star? Was it maybe revealed in a comic or backward story?

Let me know if you know please. Or if you have any fun theories about it.

Cheers,

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Re: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2020, 10:33:25 PM »
I wonder if G1 ponies just chose their symbols. Maybe the baby ones can get new symbols later on, like someone with a rattle just likes their rattle. Ember probably was like "I'm a star, I'm going to be famous".
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Offline MintyMyndi

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Re: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2020, 10:44:14 PM »
Hello everyone,

I listened to baby Ember's dream. The tape that came with the pony baby Ember with her star cutie mark/symbol.

It was a cute story but it didn't explain how Ember got her mark.

Was that never revealed? Did she just get a random star? Was it maybe revealed in a comic or backward story?

Let me know if you know please. Or if you have any fun theories about it.

Cheers,

Luke
In G1, ponies were just sorta born with them.  A lot of G1 babies without matching mothers have baby items as symbols, such as rattles (Cuddles), bibs (Tiddly-Winks), and others. What this implies is unknown, but perhaps they work like Tales.

In Tales, Madame Percheron is shown younger with a different symbol (a sunflower) in a photograph in Shop Talk; in her other appearance(s) in at least Send in the Clown, she is shown with ballet shoes. Perhaps in the Tales universe, their symbols change over time with their interests and roles... But Ember is pre-Tales, so that doesn't mean much.

The first release of Ember had her referred to as "My Beautiful Baby Pony" and had three colors; I don't know if the 1984 special (Midnight Castle) or the "Ember, My Beautiful Baby Pony" order form (which gave you the same three color options) came first, but both came after the original order form. The original idea behind the pony eventually called Ember could have been to name her yourself, perhaps supplying her with her own symbol (similar to the original UK Activity Club baby).

In the aforementioned special, Twilight tells Ember that she'll "grow up to be [her] own special Little Pony," which may imply a FiM-like system for symbols, but no such system was ever explicitly stated in G1 canon. It's no secret that Lauren Faust watched said special a lot as a child, so perhaps this is where her idea originated.

If we are to apply FiM logic to this, and we assume that Ember's star appeared in Ember's Dream, it was probably after the Rainbow Ponies (criminally lacking Skydancer and STARSHINE!) apologize. Prophetic dreams seem like a pretty special talent to me; the entire theme of Ember's Dream is Ember realizing that, despite being "ordinary," she IS special, and that the Rainbow Ponies are only human (equine, whatever) and can make mistakes despite them being older and "special." If there were any time in a young filly's life to receive her unnamed-until-G3 Cutie Mark, I think that would be it.
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Offline Leave a Whisper

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Re: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2020, 11:52:06 PM »
because Hasbro put one there.
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Offline Ponyfan

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Re: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2020, 12:13:12 AM »
Once I found out about Ember’s Dream Ember, I’ve always seen star Ember and MO Ember as different ponies.  Maybe they are cousins? :lol:

I think MO Ember not having a symbol came about when Hasbro was still experimenting with the idea of baby ponies so they created her without one but by the time Ember’s Dream and the Play and Care babies came out Hasbro decided that baby ponies were born with symbols.

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Re: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2020, 12:59:54 AM »
If the TV special came out first, it may have been assumed that she would develop a symbol when she grew up and they therefore didn't give her one. When the Play-n-Care baby pony line was conceptualized, perhaps it was originally assumed that they were just younger versions of the adult ponies, much like in later generations (3.5 maybe?) where they had the newborn Rainbow Dash/Pinkie Pie, etc. that were just baby versions of regular RD and PP. By the time Ember's Dream came out, perhaps it was then established that baby ponies had symbols, and they figured, oh, maybe we should give her one. (I've not listened to Ember's Dream-no tape player- so I'm saying this without knowing if anything in the story gives any clues about any of this!)

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Re: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2020, 01:05:49 AM »
LadyMoondancer has “Ember’s Dream” on her YouTube channel.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gwQUZAifaXw


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Re: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2020, 01:49:39 AM »
because Hasbro put one there.

Exactly what I was going to say. :silly:

Chalk it up to early instalment weirdness.
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2020, 10:14:23 AM »
It's not a cutie mark, it's a symbol, a rump mark, a rump design...but not a cutie mark.

Does that matter? Since 'cutie mark' has a specific acquired meaning since G4, and since it postdates Ember by at least 20 years, I think it does. It's difficult to have an anachronistic conversation based on concepts that didn't exist at the time when Ember was created. Ponies in G1 didn't have some magical epiphany that gave them their symbols. They just had them. And any attempt to skew the discussion into something more G4 related IMO does disservice to older generations for having their own way of doing things.

I also dislike the idea that because in G4 there's this whole stuff about 'cutie marks' that we should then go and revise what we think of pre-G4 ponies and give their symbols special destiny related meanings.

For me Ember's Dream Ember had a symbol because she had a symbol, just as LAW said.

Going onto something more informative, I certainly know the UK leaflet for Ember - at least the ones I have - actually tell the child to give the pony a name themselves. And I remember for the pony club baby, there was a similar kind of idea, that they were blank to give the child the opportunity to name and design for themselves. I don't remember either encouraging a child to draw on a symbol, just that that option was there. Taking care of baby - including naming her, and making stuff for her - was a big theme from that year's club release.

I don't know why there was that shift in the US, but Ember with a star and the MO Embers for me are like Twilight who is a unicorn and Twilight who is a So Soft pony. They're ponies who share a name. There is probably some deep meaningful reason why Ember for all of them early on, and why they added Ember's name to the MO release, but yeah, nothing other than that.

It may well be that Lauren took that comment from RaMC and applied it to her concept - which would in fact be a decent thing for a writer to do, creatively speaking - but it absolutely doesn't mean we should change the whole way G1 works to fit this concept. If anything, Ember's animated confusion inspired Lauren to construct something for G4, not the other way around.

On the comic note - Ember with a star didn't exist in the UK, thus she wasn't in the comic. In fact none of the Embers are, because they also predate the comic by about a year even in their UK release. Another key point here is that the US cassettes and stories that exist paint a very different kind of world than the ones we had over here (where the comic existed). I think Ember's story relates to a guy in New York stealing hair or some such thing, doesn't it? The other one that springs to mind is Glory who is sad that in ponyland there isn't much magic, and she ends up in some other world where a magician steals her horn or...something. The 'other world' that is described in Glory's tape is much more like the world that the comics portray (and also, actually, the animation series, albeit in different ways). So the US cassette stories etc present a less magical world than the one we think of for MLP. Whether they're on the same canon as each other or not I couldn't tell you, but G1 has so many canons going on that I think it's fair to say that Ember with a star has nothing to do with Ember in RaMC and nothing to do with the comic concepts. And none of them deal with her symbol.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2020, 10:18:29 AM by Taffeta »
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Offline Lilja

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Re: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2020, 12:25:07 PM »
Initially ponies weren't even going to have their own unique markings. Giving the original six individual symbols seems to have been a somewhat late change during development, since on some artwork they all have the same appaloosa markings as Cotton Candy.

Ember was the first baby pony, so there was no rule saying baby ponies would have the same markings as the adult ones. Sea ponies didn't have any markings either, colors were enough to distinguish them. Maybe baby ponies would've stayed symbol-less if Hasbro hadn't gotten the idea to make matching mothers & babies.

Ember was also a main-in offer, and the lack of symbol could've been a cost cutting measure. But as others have pointed out, the babies weren't named Ember in the beginning. They were just "My Beautiful Baby Pony" on the offer. They weren't meant to be the same character. The point was that kids would give them a name and personality of their own. That could also be a reason they lacked symbols, to not limit kids' imaginations. (although I think there's some pretty overt gender coding in the colors chosen for the three ponies)

Hasbro really weren't thinking about any storyline or how the ponies' world worked when they were designing the toys back then. It was all about what they thought would sell as toy, nothing else really mattered. (They talk about this in the Toys That Made US documentary)

Offline MJNSEIFER

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Re: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2020, 02:03:47 PM »
I also dislike the idea that because in G4 there's this whole stuff about 'cutie marks' that we should then go and revise what we think of pre-G4 ponies and give their symbols special destiny related meanings.
We don't have to, it's just fun to do so if we choose too.  I respect if if you don't like the idea of this, but I do enjoy imagining what pre-FiM ponies cutie marks* could mean, even if it was never officially talent related until G4 (some pre-G4s are easier for me to imagine it this way than others) mostly because I have a sentimental and nostalgic attachment to the cutie mark storyline of FiM.

I even considered including an (obviously fanon) explanation as to how the pre-FiM ponies got their cutie marks and/or what talents they mean in a fanseries (which takes place in Equestria, and still follows the cutie mark rule), but despite my interest in this, I realise I would be unable to, as it would slow the series down too much to stop and explain every cutie mark.  Obviously this only counts in the fanseries - I am aware that this was not the case for the pre-FiM ponies, or even the actual FiM ponies whose cutie marks were not explained. 

Maybe kingluke simply didn't know that earning cutie marks was a G4 thing (or that the term cutie mark was a G3 onwards thing)?

*And yes, I know that "Symbol" is preferred for pre-G3 ponies, and I do try to use that term when directly talking about those ponies (though I may slip up, due to simply being used to, and liking the term "cutie mark"), but in the context of the project, they are cutie marks even with G1 and G2 ponies (even if they're not in canon.)
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Re: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2020, 04:15:45 PM »
I also dislike the idea that because in G4 there's this whole stuff about 'cutie marks' that we should then go and revise what we think of pre-G4 ponies and give their symbols special destiny related meanings.
We don't have to, it's just fun to do so if we choose too.  I respect if if you don't like the idea of this, but I do enjoy imagining what pre-FiM ponies cutie marks* could mean, even if it was never officially talent related until G4 (some pre-G4s are easier for me to imagine it this way than others) mostly because I have a sentimental and nostalgic attachment to the cutie mark storyline of FiM.

I just don't see the point of it. Aside the fact it reinforces the arrogance that G4 is somehow special, it's just not necessary. There's no realistic reason why a concept which came into being in 2011 should be applied anachronistically to a much older release in an entirely different generation. It's obvious that that concept would have been a bigger part of G1 if it had existed in the 1980s, and it wasn't. So it didn't. End of conversation really.

It's not really 'fun' so much as disrespectful to those earlier generations, because it overrides the concepts and ideas that went into their creation with something much newer. Kind of like Pinkie Pie and RD did when they went to the griffons, destroyed their sacred statue and then acted like it was fine because they had 'friendship instead', it's like we're expected to go, oh, well, older generations were fine but we can MAKE THEM BETTER WITH FIM IDEAS.

No, you can't. It may be strange to you as someone who came in with FIM, but MLP did just fine before the mane 6, and absolutely didn't need a meaning for their symbols (or G3, cutie marks) until Lauren Faust decided to give them one. Not that there's a problem (well, there are problems, but that's another conversation) with introducing that concept. It just doesn't backdate well.

The fact that Lauren was a fan of G1 and based some of her ideas on stuff she remembered from her games as a child is kind of irrelevant. I feel like sometimes people think that emphasises a link between G1 and G4 which validates these kinds of discussions - but if there is one, it's because G1 put ideas into G4, not the other way around. Lauren was also fan who created her own idea of G1, but what she created for G4 is still nothing to do with G1 overall. It's her concept of MLP, which again, is fine, but needs to be firmly put in context. The Toys that Made Us handled that badly, because it gave the impression that her opinions on G1 were somehow important. They're only important in how they influenced her to create FIM - they have no bearing on what G1 was or wasn't. If that makes sense. So a conversation about whether Ember's dialogue influenced the idea of cutie marks in G4, I can understand. But trying to revise ideas backwards is not the same thing. It's like G4 fans looking for some kind of legitimacy that proves their generation is somehow superior...and it isn't. You can talk about My Little Pony without needing to qualify it with what happened in FIM. And of course, that also applies to the terminology being used.

Though I will be honest - this is in context. If there wasn't a universal narrative still stifling the internet about how all the gens evolved into the perfect gen of G4, this would seem like a much more harmless topic of conversation. Unfortunately bronyverse created that context, and so here we are.

Let's not forget that G4 is just another generation. It's no better or worse than its predecessors. The only thing that makes G1 stand out over the others is that it was the beginning, and its concepts help to shape and frame what came after. But no generation is exactly the same and that's a good thing. And being the first does not automatically make G1 the best one. That's subjective. It's just that you can't go back and impose something on the past that didn't exist there. As a historian in real life I am also particularly picky about this.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2020, 04:25:04 PM by Taffeta »
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Offline kingluke

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Re: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2020, 04:34:38 PM »
Thanks for all your interesting points of view. Good read really.
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Re: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2020, 04:42:57 PM »
Unfortunately, earlier gens didn’t have any explanation for cutie marks - ponies just sort of had them. Considering how symbolic cutie marks are to the MLP franchise across all gens, how much the whole “intricate butt tattoo” thing set MLPs apart from other toy animals, I can’t imagine why earlier lore creators didn’t want to throw in their own two cents as to how cutie marks come to be. It’s so fascinating to think about! Cutie marks clearly aren’t natural - are they genetic? Are they manifestations of magic within a pony’s DNA that show up as a picture on a pony’s flank? Are they ever-changing pictures, evidence that ponies are like chameleons and can change their appearance at will? I guess gaps in early gen lore are just opportunities for us to make our own :biggrin:

Since no official explanation for G1 ponies’ cutie marks exists, you’re free to imagine whatever you want. If you want G1 ponies to follow G4’s concept of a talent-based cutie mark, you can. If you want to imagine ponies tattoo their young from an early age, you can. If you want to come up with something else entirely, you can! And they’re all equally valid. When I was a kid, I called my G3 ponies’ cutie marks “tattoos” and assumes they got tattoos at a certain age in some sort of coming-of-age ceremony. I like G4’s explanation better than mine, haha. Like MJNSEIFER said, it’s fun to imagine earlier gen ponies getting talent-based cutie marks, since they weren’t designed with that concept in mind.

Post Merge: November 16, 2020, 04:47:21 PM

because Hasbro put one there.

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I’m kidding, but teen angst Ember is my new headcanon (we’re supposed to give her our own personality, after all!). “What does your cutie mark symbolize?” “It’s a metaphor.”
« Last Edit: November 16, 2020, 04:47:21 PM by otocolobus_manul »
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Offline MJNSEIFER

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Re: How did baby Ember get her cutie mark?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2020, 05:38:36 PM »
To Taffeta: I have a (hopefully) respectful answer to what you're saying, but it would derail the thread, and would fit in to a thread I'm hoping to start one day, so I'll save it for there.  The short version that I can write here though is that it has nothing to do with "using FiM to make the earlier generations better" nor does it have anything to do with retrospectively adding something to the earlier generations, it is simply how I have chosen to write this storyline, and something I enjoy thinking about for sentimental/nostalgic reasons.

All of My Little Pony that I have seen in someway is special to me, the cutie mark storyline is just one of the things that is special to me about G4.
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