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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » My Little Pony: Two Great Pony Tales
My Little Pony: Two Great Pony Tales
Rhino // Unrated // January 24, 2006
List Price: $9.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Mike Long | posted March 2, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie

Most of us probably don't give a lot of thought to the marketing of DVDs, as we hear about interesting titles through websites such as DVDTalk or see the new releases in weekly ads and buy the ones which sound interesting. But, the home video companies clearly put a lot of thought into how their product is presented to the public, especially when it comes to niche products. A good example of this is children's programming. Sure, there are plenty of parents out there (probably for too many) who simply buy whatever their children want, but there are also discriminating consumers. Rhino's approach to the "My Little Pony" license shows how companies can cater to different consumers and the recently released My Little Pony: 2 Great Pony Tales DVD helps to illustrate this point.

As the titles implies, My Little Pony: 2 Great Pony Tales contains two separate "My Little Pony" stories, both taken from the first season of the My Little Pony TV show from 1986. The fist story is entitled "The Glass Princess". Here, we are introduced to the seemingly nefarious Porcina, a vein pig who has the magical ability to turn things into glass. (?!) However, the magical cloak which gives Porcina her powers it tattered and she decides that she must have a new one. Using her magic mirror, she spots the ponies of Ponyland and orders her henchmen, the Raptorians (goofy bird creatures) to capture the ponies. The Raptorians snatch Heath Throb, Gusty, and Lickety-Split and bring them to Porcina's lair. The other ponies realize that their friends are missing and begin to search for them. Meanwhile, Porcina has gotten the hair from the ponies and is in the process of making a new cloak. Can she be stopped before all of Ponyland is turned into glass?

The second story is called "The Magic Coins". While playing in the water one day, the Sea Ponies (disturbing looking fish-pony creatures) find a treasure chest and bring it to the surface for the other ponies to see. The chest is opened and is found to be filled with coins. Unbeknownst to the ponies, the coins are magical and will amplify the powers of anyone who touches them. When playtime is ruined by rain, Baby Lickety-Split wishes that it wouldn't rain anymore, unaware of the fact that one of the magic coins is in close proximity. This wish leads to a drought. The ponies learn that the coins once belonged to a troll named Niblie. They set out to find the troll in hopes that he can help them reverse the wish.

It is a common practice for home video companies to release children's television shows to DVD in single disc versions which contain a few episodes of the show. This makes sense as it would be a quick fix for children and a relatively low-cost solution for parents. Take the popular SpongeBob Squarepants for example. Paramount has released many DVDs which contain a handful of episodes. But, they apparently also recognized the fact that the show has adult fans who are completists and collectors, so they've also released full season boxed sets of SpongeBob. Rhino took a similar approach with My Little Pony, but in a reverse fashion. In November, 2004, Rhino released My Little Pony: The Complete First Season as a four-disc set. Now, some 14 months later, they release My Little Pony: 2 Great Pony Tales which contains two episodes which appeared on the Season 1 set. I can only imagine that Rhino hoped to capture those who were familiar with My Little Pony, but didn't want to spend the money for the boxed set.

If this is truly the case and my hypothesis is correct, then Rhino picked the wrong episodes to serves as samplers to My Little Pony. To me, the name "My Little Pony" brings to mind innocent and light-weight fare, but the two episodes presented on this DVD are simply weird and mildly disturbing. Porcina is a grotesque creature and the Raptorians are cruel and vile. Nearly every moment of this episode is bizarre and some borders on being absurdly incomprehensible. The plight shown by the drought in "The Magic Coins" is depressing and it features some odd characters as well. In both episodes, there is very little of the whimsy one would expect from My Little Pony. The alarming nature of these shows isn't helped by the limited animation, which looks very cheap. The images lack detail and one can plainly see where the animators quickly cut away from character close ups in order to avoid putting in a great amount of detail.

Video

My Little Pony: 2 Great Pony Tales gallops onto DVD courtesy of Rhino Home Video. The episodes featured here are presented in their original full-frame format. The transfer appears to have come from a source which had seen from wear and tear. The image is very grainy at times, and there are constant black specs on the image. I also notice what appeared to be grey hairs in some shots. The colors look fairly good, although they are slightly washed out in some shots. The image shows video noise and obvious haloes at times. Some may find the look here nostalgic, but to me, it only looks slightly better than VHS.

Audio

The DVD features a digital mono audio track. (There's no Dolby logo, so I'm not saying Dolby!) The dialogue is clear and audible, although it sounds incredibly flat. That isn't the case with the opening credits' theme song, which features way too much bass. The audio in the shows displays a very faint amount of hissing, but the sound is well balanced.

Extras

There are no extra features on this DVD.

If the shows included on My Little Pony: 2 Great Pony Tales interest you at all, you're better off investing in the boxed set. Having seen that set, I can say that the shows presented here aren't necessarily a good representation of the overall quality of the set. However, for those looking for more modern, kid-friendly fare, I would recommend Paramount's two "Pony" releases A Very Minty Christmas or The Princess Promenade .
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