HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: My Little Ponies: The Complete Original Series
HTS Overall Score:55
Sometimes I feel compelled to watch or read something strictly for nostalgia’s sake, to satisfy some deep need to re-experience what gave me childhood joy, not because the thing itself has so strong a merit. I remember the fascination and envy I felt about a world of talking ponies; I remember the excitement and danger of their stories, rescuing each other from evil clutches; and I remember laughing at the mishaps and clumsy accidents of the villains. The ponies were constantly in danger, and if they somehow managed to get out of it, it would be to only get caught in something else – a constant chain of capture and escape.
Of course, I was seven then. Now, I rather feel my brain hurt with absurd leaps in logic, disconnected episodes, random songs, and abbreviated plots. Any adult would, watching a TV show designed for little kids. Still, the magic remains (so long as it’s in small doses) as I recall my enthusiasm for all the different types of ponies, and how I wished one would come and take me to Ponyland.
My Little Pony hinges on a two main concepts: first, that when the going gets tough, go find a human (namely Megan), and second, that everyone is inherently good and either needs help remembering it, or is too stupid to realize it and so incompetent at their own wickedness that they are doomed to eternal mortification.
Catrina, the cat woman, from “Escape from Catrina: Part 1” and “Escape from Catrina: Part 2” is an example of a villain who got addicted to a substance that made her feel strong and powerful, turning her into a monstrosity. The only one who remembered what she was like before is her faithful shape-shifting lizard, Rep. When the Bushwoolies run away from her cruelty, Catrina sets her sights on the Ponies as her new slaves. She kidnaps the baby ponies, and the adults go rushing after her. During the ensuing fight, she is knocked into a pit and she begs for mercy. The Ponies and Rep only let her up after she promises to never take the potion again. The episodes conclude with a fashion show, during which Catrina with a new dress and hairdo, is featured, now calm, demure, and self-conscious. Moral of the story: Don’t do drugs. They make you cranky and nobody likes you.
Another common theme is normally good characters committing wrongdoing under duress – take “The Ghost of Paradise Estate.” The ghost is a shape-changing fowl of some kind that needs to dig up an amulet half located inconveniently under their house. However, she’s doing it to save her grandfather, taken captive by an evil octopus. Somehow, one wants to explain that just DOING things without explaining is NOT acceptable.
The My Little Pony Complete Series starts after the events of the My Little Pony full-length animated feature. The series first received media adaptation in response to the popularity of the My Little Pony toys. Two 22-minute syndicated specials (as opposed to the normal 11 minute episodes) were released in 1984 and 1985; both of these specials are included in this complete series release as multi-part episodes. In 1986, the first and only theatrical feature film was released – My Little Pony: The Movie. That film is NOT included in this set, unfortunately, which disappointed me. The TV series seems incomplete without it, given that the characters refer back to the events of the movie.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=28721[/img]"My Little Pony: The Complete Series" comes to DVD on 4 separate discs housing all 65 short episodes with rather mixed results. I can't blame Shout Factory for this, as it's well documented that the series was in bad shape and that some very poor masters existed. As a result, there is some VERY nasty haloing on the disc and the show gets plagued by a very low resolution master that shows the bad shape the show's sources were in. Colors are rather washed out and the colors are fairly muted, giving us a rather bland picture, devoid of a lot of "pop" or flair. There's some compression issues, specifically macroblocking and a little bit of interlacing, but nothing TOO bad on the interlacing. While I would have wished for an extra disc or so to give us some better compression, the haloing and washed out colors are something we have to live with in order let our kids actually SEE this show in a modern day.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=28729[/img]the 2.0 Stereo track does the job fairly well, but shows it's age and the limitations of of the old 1980's recordings come in to play. Dialogue is stable and gives a pleasant balance with the limited effects of the show, mainly highlighting the vocals and the singing. There is some hiss and distortion that was common back in the days of shooting children's shows on the cheap, but it still is quite audible and doesn't distract from the experience at all. I doubt the kids will notice the difference though.
I enjoyed this little stroll down memory lane, though I could only take it in small amounts – maybe two or three episodes at a shot. Unless you’re a hard-core fan, I wouldn’t recommend watching the entire thing as quickly as possible; the songs might just drive you mad. However, I think this would be a great collection to acquire if your little ones (or your big ones, whichever) are already MLP fans. Please be aware that this is quite a different sort of My Little Pony than the more recent My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series. Enjoyable, nostalgic, and good for teaching children that no matter how impossible things seem, they aren’t hopeless.
You Might ask yourself. WHY in BLUE BLAZES is Mike reviewing this title? as much as it may not be my cup of tea today, "My Little Pony" was a runaway success story that rivals "Transformers' and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" for impact on children during the 80s as well as having staying power through today. All three shows mentioned have not only become a poster child for growing up in the 80's, but also have created spin off after spin off that continues on to this day. "My Little Pony" is primarily for younger children, but some of the spin offs have attracted male audiences and have even got their own grouping name, the "Bronies". While this show doesn't have the more modern spin on it, little children will still be drawn to it's charm and simplicity, much like how children of the 80's were oooing and awing over the ponies on Saturday morning
Starring: Bettina Bush, Susan Blu, Nancy Cartwright
Created by: Bonnie Zacherle
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 MPEG 2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0
Studio: Shout Factory
Rated: Not Rated
Runtime: 720 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: Sept 30th, 2013
Buy My Little Pony: The Complete Original Series DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: Nostalgic watch/For the kiddies
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