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My Little Pony

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

New on Video: Magic and Melancholia in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 12:00 PM


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Last October, when I was preparing an article about the feature film My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks for a nerd-culture blog that I don’t contribute to anymore because horribleness of its readership, Variety announced that Hasbro Studios had greenlit a My Little Pony feature film to be released in 2017. The nerd-culture blog editor asked if I thought we should mention that in my Rainbow Rocks piece, and I said that I didn’t consider it relevant. After all, Hasbro already had been releasing My Little Pony feature films, such as the one I was writing about that moment. I mean, a-doy, srsly. And the third film, Ishi Rudell and Jayson Thiessen's My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games, is has been released in a Blu-ray / DVD combo this week by Shout! Factory.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

New on Video: Gold-Medal Gamines in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Games Ponies Play

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 2:00 PM

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The death of physical media keeps getting deathier: this past April, it was announced that after 20 seasons, Fox would no longer be releasing the full-season sets of The Simpsons on DVD. It’s a too-big-not-to-fail kinda thing, as the people who were still buying every set as it came out weren’t enough to make up for the decline in the DVD market, let the base costs for a juggernaut like The Simpsons. But much farther under the radar, Shout! Factory’s My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic DVD sets continue along at their steady pace. Most of their quarterly DVD releases haven’t been full seasons, but compilations – like Games Ponies Play, which Shout! Factory just released on DVD — because there have only been four seasons so far. Besides, these first four seasons of Friendship Is Magic have been better than the last 10 seasons of the Simpsons, so it evens out.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New on Video: Mo' Ponies, Mo' Problems in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Cutie Mark Quests

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 12:05 PM



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Much like their Littlest Pet Shop releases, Shout! Factory is releasing My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic in a series of thrice-a-year compilations, and the tenth disc in the Pony series, Cutie Mark Quests, is being released on DVD on June 30.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New on Video: 1990s Proto-Ponies in My Little Pony Tales: The Complete TV Series

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 11:00 AM

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Though I don't wave the flag of any organized fandom (the pop culture I like doesn't define me as a person), I'm a huge My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan, and have written about it at some length on the Exhibitionist in the past. This is different from being a My Little Pony fan per se; I never watched any of the previous shows even when I was in their core demographic, and I came into Friendship Is Magic fresh. This also raised my expectations for the 1992 series My Little Pony Tales, which Shout! Factory is releasing in its entirety on a two-disc DVD set on April 28, to a level which it not only can't reach, but was never really expected to.




My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a very-well written show that respects the intelligence of its core audience, which is why it has such a demographic-spanning fanbase: just because something is designed to be appropriate for young girls doesn't mean it can't still be good. I may even be currently writing a critical study of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic that's due to be released by a firm that calls itself "the leading publisher of academic & nonfiction books." (I actually totally am.)

If we are indeed in a Golden Age of Television, I believe that we are, it extends to family-friendly animation as well. Most critics would cite the safe examples of Adventure Time or Steven Universe, and those are fine, but I'm going with Friendship Is Magic and Wander Over Yonder, both of which are direct descendants of The Powerpuff Girls. So there. And if you don't watch Wander Over Yonder, you really should.



My Little Pony Tales is from a very different time of children's programming, when the standards were much lower. Part of this is because of the available technology; even the limited and wobbly animation of Tales was much harder to create in the early 1990s than a much better-looking flash animation that anyone can do at home in the mid-2010s.

It also looks especially shoddy now because it was never intended to be watched on DVD on high-definition television or computer screen; it was for standard-definition broadcast on cathode-ray tubes. Also, I'm callin' it: the character designs are just weird. Friendship Is Magic's characters may take Disney Eyes to an extreme, but the smaller and possibly more realistic eyes on Tales are uncanny-in-a-bad-way. Also, they stand up far too often. It's just not right.

My Little Pony Tales is set in an entirely different universe than Friendship Is Magic; rather than Magic's rural and vaguely European town of Ponyville in the nation of Equestria, Tales is set in the generic Ponyland, which is basically suburban America, and has none of the same characters. Indeed, Tales' characters are schoolchildren who live with their parents and are essentially analogs for their school-age audience, as opposed to the main characters of Magic, who are young adults with grown-up responsibilities.

"The Great Lemonade Stand Wars" encapsulates a lot of what's peculiar about the show. When the local girls' lemonade business takes off, the mean local boys decide to beat them at their own game. Compared to Friendship Is Magic's own story of rival businesses in "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000," in which Applejack nearly loses her family farm to unscrupulous competitors (and the episode also pulled off the best Music Man riff since The Simpsons's "Marge vs. the Monorail"), this is a piffle at best. It does, however, demonstrate the lingering impact of the Bush/Reagan years — the episode was originally broadcast a month and half before Clinton won the 1992 election — when one of the boys brushes off any ethical concerns by quoting their teacher, who told them that "Free enterprise and competition make the economy stronger," which, holy cow. It's not a statement that would go unexamined on Friendship Is Magic in quite the way it does here.

As always, the main question is, will today's kids (kids these days!) enjoy the 1992 My Little Pony Tales? They might, especially the very young ones, but they also deserve better.
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Interview: Daniel Ingram, Songwriter for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 11:30 AM

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Season 3 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic begins this Saturday, November 10 at 7 a.m. PT on The Hub, followed by the series premiere of Littlest Pet Shop. Both shows feature songs written by Daniel Ingram, who was kind enough to speak to me on the phone about his process, the differences between writing for differing levels of reality in cartoons, his feelings about the many, many remixes of his work on YouTube, and things to look forward to this season.

See also:

C'mon, Everypony -- Let's Explore My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Together

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Season 1 Finale and Wrap Up

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Season 2, Episodes 7 & 8

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Beyond BronyCon: Inside the My Little Pony Convention, Everfree Northwest

Posted By on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 3:24 PM

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The timing couldn't have been better, really. Three days after my final recap of the second season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic was published on The Exhibitionist on August 15, I'd be in Seattle attending Everfree Northwest, the first annual My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic convention. Specifically, it was the first My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic convention to bear the name Everfree Northwest -- there have been plenty of other fan conventions in the twenty-two months since the show has been on the air, most notably the quarterly BronyCon, but this would be the first one I'd attended, and I was going to be a part of it!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Season 2 Finale and Wrap Up

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 7:30 AM

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The second season ends with multiple bangs.

(Relevant self-pimpage: I'll be doing a panel-presentation-thingy called "Deconstructing Equestria" at Everfree Northwest in Seattle this Friday morning. Come say hi!)

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Season 2, Episodes 24 & 25

Posted By on Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 10:30 AM

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The second season enters the home stretch with two different kinds of mysteries.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Season 2, Episodes 22 & 23

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 7:30 AM

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Fluttershy tries to overcome being yellow-bellied, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders are overcome by yellow journalism.

(Relevant self-pimpage: I'll be doing a panel called "Deconstructing Equestria" at Everfree Northwest in Seattle on Friday, August 17. Come see!)

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Season 2, Episodes 20 & 21

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 9:30 AM

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Twilight Sparkle fights her future, and Spike doesn't like the looks of his own.

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