Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Princess Celestia vs. Grunkle Stan - Character Comparisons

Just a small note, I'm going to get into a lot of spoilers for Gravity Falls.  They will all be unmarked after the break, so just in case you don't want to know anything, or you want to watch the show for yourself before reading this, here's your warning.

Hopefully someone out there reads these and finds these interesting, and if they do, they'll be glad to know I'm continuing this series of character comparisons from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Gravity Falls.  As usual, if you're not that familiar with either show, watch some Friendship is Magic here:

...Or from the Gravity Falls topic on this forum:

Now we're going to bring up two characters that you wouldn't expect to be similar at all...  See how after the break!

Here's an overview of the two characters!

Princess Celestia is a major supporting character in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  She is the ruler of Equestria, as well as the teacher and mentor of the main character, Twilight Sparkle.  All the citizens of Equestria, from the simple folk at Ponyville to the upper class of Canterlot, respect her and hold her in high regard, to the point where they almost seem to worship her.  Despite that, she takes extra care to show that she's tolerant and lenient, as well as caring and nurturing towards her people...  er, ponies, while also showing great responsibility towards protecting them and Equestria at large.  She's one of the few alicorns in the series, which is a pony with a horn and wings, and is an incredible powerful magic user to show for that.

Stanford Pines is one of the main characters of Gravity Falls.  He is a great-uncle of Dipper and Mabel, who affectionately refer to him as "Grunkle" Stan.  Stan is a professional con artist, having turned his own home into a tourist trap known as the "Mystery Shack", where he puts up fake displays of phony creatures and the like to people none-the-wiser.  He's not particularly liked by the community of Gravity Falls... at least until the end of the first season, when he outs rival Lil' Gideon for being a fraud and became a local hero.  He's very selfish and greedy, caring little about the opinions and feelings of others.  Despite that, he has a soft spot for his great-niece and great-nephew.  However, much like Gravity Falls itself, he has quite a few secrets he's hiding...

...So, at first glance, you wouldn't think these two characters are similar at all.  In fact, they almost seem like exact opposites.  But they have more in common then you would think!  Let's get to those similarities then, shall we?

-Both of them are on the old side.  While Stan's age hasn't been specified yet, you can tell he's lived quite a long time and seen a lot of things, and Celestia is at least over 1000 years old.
-Both are rather enigmatic figures.  While Celestia is kind and motherly, there's an air of mystic about her.  You never fully understand her true intentions, and she always seems to know more then she lets on.  Stan also has his share of knowing more then everyone things, especially when you consider the fact that he denies that supernatural creatures exist, and yet he owns book #1, which is the first in a series of books that describe the various creatures and supernatural elements in Gravity Falls.
-Both have a rather unique way of mentoring the ones they care about, particularly in the sense of not letting them onto what they're planning or why they're really making them do certain things.  Celestia often tells Twilight to do certain things, but leaves out several details, in the hopes that she'll learn a proper lesson in the end.  For example, in the very first two episodes, Celestia told Twilight to make some friends, though didn't say that they're required to defeat Nightmare Moon should she return.  This is because you can't force friendship (a-HEM!), and Twilight wouldn't be able to unlock the powers of the Elements of Harmony if she didn't truly have a connection to the rest of the mane 6 if she was only just using them to defeat Nightmare Moon.  She also told Twilight, in the season 3 premiere, The Crystal Empire, that only she could save the Crystal Empire, when really, the lesson she had to learn was to put aside what she wanted in favor of what the needs of the many wanted.  In the case of Stan, he's particularly hard on Dipper, making him do all kinds of hard chores and difficult tasks; the harder the task, the more likely he'll make Dipper do it.  While Dipper hates this and thought Stan hated him, he actually was trying to toughen him up, the same way Stan's dad toughened him up when he was a boy.  He was preparing him for the harsh world, and teaching him that when things get tough, he fights back!
-Both of them have, so far, sung one song in their respective series (though in Stan's case, he was forced to sing a song)
-Both of them have had their homes taken from them at one point; Celestia had her kingdom taken over by Queen Chrysalis and the Changelings, and Stan had the Mystery Shack taken away from him by Lil' Gideon.
-Even though they don't fight much in their respective shows, both have been stated to be formidable fighters.  Celestia is one of the most powerful, magical beings in Equestria, and Stan took boxing lessons when he was a boy.
-The both wear headgear of some kind almost constantly; Celestia has her crown while Stan wears a fez.

Well, those are some similarities for you...  Kind of feels pointless to do differences, since they are quite different in many ways...  I'll just go for specific examples.  So excluding that one is a winged-unicorn princess and the other one is a crotchety old man...

-As stated before, Celestia is beloved by her people, while Stan...  well, he's not hated per se, but he definitely isn't liked by much of the people of Gravity Falls...  again, until the season finale
-Flashbacks, exposition, and what happened to her in the past aside, Celestia's only on-screen battle shows her losing, against Queen Chrysalis.  Stan's only on-screen battle (so far) has him winning, specifically by punching a pterodactyl in the face!
-While she enjoys a bit of gentle teasing, Celestia is rarely, if ever, shown in a bad light in Friendship is Magic; in Gravity Falls,almost every time Stan's on-screen, the show goes out of his way to show how much of a greedy jerk he can be.  He does have a nice side to him, thought, particularly when it comes to Mabel and Dipper.
-Despite her age, Celestia is quite a stunning, beautiful creature.  Stan...  well, let's just say that time has not been on his side.

I think that's enough differences before getting into too many nit-picky details...  So here's some extra tidbits for y'all!

-The design on Stan's fez changed mid-way through the first season...  Exactly why that is, though, has yet to be seen or explained...
-Stan is voiced by Gravity Falls series creator, Alex Hirsch.
-Celestia was originally supposed to be queen of Equestria, but Hasbro rejected that because, in their words, "girls like princesses".

I was looking forward to making this one, glad I finally got around to it!  Tell me what you think, and add your own similarities and differences, if you can think of them!  Don't forget to share it, if you don't mind doing so!

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