“The extra, extra special wishes are the ones made for friends.”
My Little Pony: Classic Movie Collection is, as best as I can tell, a two-disc set designed for the audience of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a series that began in 2010 and currently streams on Netflix as well as being shown on the Hub network. Key members of the “mane gang” of the “Friendship is Magic” crew are the stars of the movies showcased within the Classic Film Collection. There’s Minty, Spike, Rarity, Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash.
Each film is loosely structured around teaching life lessons as opposed to concrete skills such as math or reading. However they are loose enough that the message can get lost, especially during the many musical numbers. The result is fluffy animation without a clear guidance system tying the films together.
Calling these “movies” is a misnomer as they each play for less than an hour, with one coming in at a shockingly short 19 minute runtime. They act as a sort of prequel to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic though the look of the ponies has evolved since these films were released and the animation upgraded. They each premiered in either 2005 or 2006, also putting into question use of the word “classic” to describe them. It also makes me question why these four films are divided over two discs, as there is nowhere near the runtime necessary to justify that choice. Here are the “films” in question:
“The Princess Promenade”
Wysteria (Tabitha St. Germain) is happily planning the annual promenade when she meets Spike the Dragon (Brian Drummond) who tells her she’s just become a princess! But becoming a princess means everyone starts treating her differently and worse, she’s expected to start acting differently too. How will she rectify being a princess with being herself?
“Dancing in the Clouds”
When Twinkle Twirl (Chiara Zanni) wants to create an extra special dance, she asks for help. So Sky Wishes (Saffron Henderson) makes an extra special wish that Twinkle Twirl finds inspiration for her dance. But the wish provides something unexpected, a chance to make a new friend.
“The Runaway Rainbow”
Little Princess Rarity (Cathy Weseluck) must provide the final link in the first rainbow of the season or else there will be no rainbows at all! But she’s a bit scatter-brained and when she plays around with her magic wand, she ends up transporting herself out of Unicornia and while she makes some new friends she also puts the first rainbow of the season in jeopardy.
“Friends Are Never Far Away”
Sky Wishes and Star Catcher (Lenore Zann) are friends but they both want their other friends to meet. So they decide to plan a party. But the Pegasus ponies are notoriously shy and aren’t sure they want to come. Will the party happen as planned or not?
While the ponies as featured in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic seem to have taken the world by storm and have managed to cross age and gender boundaries, I don’t see My Little Pony: Classic Movie Collection doing the same thing. In fact I’m hard-pressed to determine who the audience of today is and have concluded this is intended as a nostalgia piece. I’m not recommending a purchase of it as anything else. There’s simply too little here, both in terms of story and quality animation, to hold attention spans. The littlest kids (no more than six or seven years old) may find themselves enchanted by the pretty colors, but that’s about it. Unless this is a treasured relic of your childhood, skip it.
The video transfer remains a constant 1.33:1 aspect ratio throughout the collection; however, the quality of the animation definitely differs from special to special. “Dancing in the Clouds” is the lone entry boasting hand-drawn animation and it sadly looks rudimentary compared to the slickness of more updated animated offerings. Not to mention the palette is a too-bold combination of pink and purple which makes you blink, to put it kindly. Otherwise the remaining films’ animation is the very infancy of CGI and as such demonstrates a lot of the problems of that era. Notably there is pixilation, discordant character movement, and the occasional loss of sync between a character’s mouth and the audio track. Not the best work ever captured. The surprise here is the audio, which is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Far more than the films need it does not sound as full as you might expect, however on the plus side it sounds as clear as it can.
The lone special feature is a collection of sing-alongs. Not my thing but little ones may appreciate them.
If you’re interested in the My Little Pony clan skip My Little Pony: Classic Movie Collection and instead check out My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.