Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Little Pony G1 Cartoons All-Encompassing Review:

Hello, ladies and gentlecolts, WeirdRaptor here. This is my new text review series for the My Little Pony G1 Cartoons. Al inspired me with his reviews, so I am. Now, this is not going to be a rip-off of his work. It will be my own. So let’s get started. This first review is going to critique what I thought of the entire 80s G1 continuity (such as the continuity was) as a whole, and then I’m going to dive into reviewing individual episodes.

This is the very first animated incarnation of My Little Pony. It was set in a fantasy world called, Ponyland, or Dream Valley (no two writers could decide whether the former was a part of the latter, or if the latter was a part of the former). Anyway, wherever the heck it is, all the stories are placed within it…somewhere. The basic framing composition of the series was always the same, but it worked.

It went something like this: Magical sapient ponies live idyllic lives in their home, first Dream Castle and later Paradise Estate, and frequently go on adventures to save the latest victimized one shot character from the latest villain. The nature of these adventures (oddly) usually involved the villain having ambitions to either destroy Ponyland/Dream Valley, or change it so fundamentally as to render it desolate for everyone else. They were often helped by a mushroom-themed gnome named the Moochic and his beleaguered assistant, Habit. A handful of episodes focus not on averting the latest Apocalypse, but on more mundane matters, such as using your imagination for fun, scavenger hunts, taking care of stray animals in need, dealing with bullies, and mending political ties following the catastrophic Ice Cream War II (Hey, don’t look at me that way! A friend of mine lost both his legs in that war!).

There were 65 episodes in all. 16 were multipart serials, most of which were either 2-4 parts long with one Ten Episode Pilot. There were only 9 standalone episodes.

Some technical aspects of the series: its continuity tended to be “less than strict”-to-non-existent. Also, the animation was cheap, animation errors were in abundance, the characters’ faces would sometimes just look weird because of this, but it was good enough to get its job done. There were some inspired moments in design that led to creative settings, backgrounds, and character designs.

The writing was as uneven as hell, ranging from decent to serviceable to “Oh my God, somebody actually wrote that and they actually got an actor to say it”.

The voice acting was on par with the rest of the show. Some of the voice actors really knew what to do with their characters, while others just sounded awful. The Baby Ponies in particular were a big offender on having annoying voices, what with adult actresses trying way to hard to sound cutesy and young. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic does young pony voices right, by casting actual kids. Oddly, the human children featured in the series were voiced by actual kids, but the Baby Ponies weren’t. Figure out that logic behind that one.

In all, when the show was at its best, it was a solid, fun watch. And when it was bad, you had Miss Piggy wannabes and their Dog-Bird…things from Jersey, attempting villainy, by GASP! cutting ponies’ hair! Yeah…this show could get out there sometimes. Did I mention Miss Piggy Wannabe’s powers were to turn things to glass, and her Achilles Heel was the destruction of her cape?
In all, it was a decent show and a fun one. If you like My Little Pony and you’re not too turned off by the overly sugary look of the show, I’d recommend it.

Parental Warning: The overt strangeness and sometimes, frightening, nature of the villains and the effect they have on the ponies and their environment has been known to be a rife source of nightmare fuel for some of the wee ones. If you’re hoping for something along the lines of G3, this is not for you.

Objective Vote: 6/10. Subjective Vote: 7.5/10.

Next Episode: WeirdRaptor Reviews My Little Pony: Rescue from Midnight Castle

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