Thursday, October 13, 2016

My Little Pony (1984)

What's this, am I doing a very odd retrospective in the middle of Horrorfest? Nope. This is a straight up review. Because guess what? Before the several different cartoon series and numerous rebooted toylines, we got a solo television movie to kick it all off. And oh boy, what way it was to kick it all off because...well, let's just say there's some very clear reasons it applies to the standards of Horrorfest.

I'm still shocked these two idiots didn't talk about it in between their hating on Hinduism and She-Ra.

Now, for a bit of history on this, let's take you back to my childhood. I was what some boys would call rather odd, at least back then. I watched both "boys" and "girls" cartoons because I didn't really give a shit about gender marketing. I liked G.I. Joe, Rainbow Brite, He-Man, Lady Lovelocks, C.O.P.S., Rose Petal Place, and Challenge of the GoBots. What? GoBots crosses gender barriers, dammit!


Subsequently, Crasher here was my favourite bad girl and still is to this day.
This is why it shouldn't surprise you at all to find out that I actually grew up on My Little Pony while eating bowls of delicious G.I. Joe Action Stars cereal. A big part of why I got into it too is due to this initial special that I watched many times on a grainy VHS, because my mother recorded off television when it originally aired. That's what life was like back then, you recorded things on plastic bricks so you could watch them later, slowly degrading the quality with each repeated viewing. The film I'm about to run you all through will probably not scar you or anything, but if you don't know anything about it, it's probably going to surprise you a bit. Without further ado, let's saddle up and go hang out with some cute little ponies.

I don't have any ponies, so have Skeletor on a majestic wolf steed instead. It's totes cute.
The movie opens about how you'd expect. The music starts up, soft and soothing, as we see the various different ponies playing and doing their thing in Ponyland. There's ponies sliding down a rainbow, a bit of skating, some napping, some prancing happily through the meadow, and even some apple picking. Because of course there's some apple picking, ponies fucking love apples. But it's not all naps and apples because nothing ends a happy nap by the pond quicker than a storm suddenly appearing out of nowhere. Dark clouds roll in and out of those clouds comes...

MOTHER FUCKING DRAGONS!!!
Yes, a horde of dragons comes swooping down on the hapless and terrified ponies, lead by a hairy demon named Scorpan. This is really happening. This whole thing starts before we're even three whole minutes into this. A demon and his dragon army came to Ponyland to kidnap ponies. Welcome to Horrorfest, where shit like this is normal and Michael Myers isn't the voice of Shrek but can apparently talk when Rob Zombie decides he can. Have I been drinking? Am I drunk? Do I need to get drunk right now?

I think someone laced my water with something. Probably window cleaner.
But no, it's not just some vivid hallucination, as my clear memory of my youth reminds me that this is actually a real thing that is happening in this movie about cute colourful little magical ponies. Why doesn't anyone ever talk about this? Within the first five minutes of the very first animated anything of what is one of the single most enduring franchises marketed towards little girl they threw a demon and his dragon army at us. Where are those toys? I want a fucking Scorpan right now, dammit! I want to make him and Devilman face off for the souls of my niece's ponies!

"FRIENDSHIP ISN'T MAGIC ANYMORE, BITCHES!"

But whatever, this is where we are, this is what led us to the point to where My Little Pony can pop up during a horror themed celebration. He orders his dragons to grab ponies, they do, and shit just got so real in Ponyland that I'm fairly certain one of them will probably turn out to be a serial killer later on.

It's only a joke until it actually happens.
 So, Scorpan has taken the ponies to Midnight Castle and his lord, Tirrac. But you know? Forget that name. He's the devil. No, really, this guy literally looks like the devil. He's red, he's got horns, cloven hooves, and he has demons under his thrall. He's the devil, so we're going to call him Satan, because I am not gonna pretend here. Also, remember the cute little pink dragon, Spike, who is just in Ponyland for some reason? Well, he's one of the demonic horde here, so there you go. Spike is from Hell.

Everything makes sense now.
It seems Spike is Scorpan's little buddy, leaping around the beleaguered demon as he marches to Satan's inner sanctum. What's the dark lord doing in there? Petting a bag that is beating like a heart. I watched this when I was like three years old. Satan petting a bag that beats like a heart is something I saw in a show meant for kids, but people get shocked about me growing up on the works of Lloyd Kaufman. The world is a strange place, my friends. Anyway, we learn that Satan here needs four ponies to pull his chariot and the two the were taken just aren't enough. Spike stands up for Scorpan but this just makes the devil angry as he yells for silence, then orders Scorpan to prepare another raid.

Then he fondles his sack some more.
Meanwhile, in our world we see a girl named Megan sitting in a barn with her non-magic pony, T.J., as the two observe a shooting star. Eh, it's probably just Ventus falling through the sky as he loses corporeal form...Kingdom Hearts gets weird, alright? It turns out it was actually Firefly crashing into her well and, after fishing her out of it, she immediately recruits the scared confused girl who I am assuming can't possibly be older than fourteen years old to go flying off with her back to Ponyland to help fight off demons and dragons. Firefly is not a good decision maker.

Also, this is the face of a young lady who probably just shat her pants because a flying talking pony is abducting her.
After a song about child endangerment and abduction, they fly off to Ponyland where Firefly foists Megan upon the many magically powered ponies as their saviour. Because yeah, who needs magical powers when you've got a tow-haired girl with blue eyes that wasn't really into the idea of flying off to anywhere with the pony she barely knew. And, of course, here comes the horde once more just in time to remind us that a young girl is not going to be able to fend off an attack from FUCKING DRAGONS. But hey, maybe I'm wrong and Megan will be able to...

...cringe helplessly and get kidnapped while Firefly fights dragons.
Wow, Firefly, great idea to bring her along. I'm not hating on Megan either, because of course she was scared. She wasn't even aware that suddenly a horde of dragons would get tossed at her. Firefly does try to save her though, which basically only results in her getting dropped by the dragon, falling towards her imminent demise, then getting saved by...Scorpan. That's right, the hairy demon who is best friends with a pink hell dragon saves the girl that the flying talking pony endangered.

"You really shouldn't fly off with talking ponies. It's kind of dangerous."
I'm not really kidding there either, he essentially does tell her to leave and that this is no place for her to be after saving her. She repays his kindness by yelling at him and calling hi ma monster. Ah, now I remember why I don't want kids. They tend to be ingrates. So, let's just pretend that we don't expect  Scorpan to end up helping them in the end, because that's not obvious at all, and continue forward. Back at Satan's castle, Scorpan brings the two kidnapped ponies to his master but one is apparently too tiny for his juju to work on, so he takes her out of the way. Then we get to be reminded once again why I am doing this for Horrorfest as he opens his heartbeat bag he likes petting so much and all the mystical power in it envelops the three other ponies, turning them into...well, whatever the fuck those are.

Personally, they remind me of the Kardashians.
Satan lays down the law, declaring that if he doesn't have a fourth pony by midnight, he's having Spike's head lopped off. You just have to love how violent cartoons were back then. Back with the group of ponies and the human girl who really shouldn't be in the middle of all of this, they're heading to the Moochick. He's like Gandalf and Tom Bombadil had a lovechild...then dumped said child in Ponyland, because no one should ever know that they've done. While walking across a rickety bridge, Applejack falls in and so Megan dives in to save her. Not any of the magically powered ponies, no. The human girl who is basically begging to die at this point. Luckily, deus ex doo-wop shows up to save them when the sea ponies...yes...arrive and get them out of the giant clam that ate them.

I know this is real yet I still feel like I'm on something.
The sea ponies sing a song about how they will save you if you're drowning if you call for them. And by call for them, I mean use the special seashell they give Megan afterward. So, in other words, no one else can call them for help. Only her. Got it. Next they make it to the Moochick who I must remind you is weird and all, he speaks cryptically about how Satan is going to bring eternal night, and that SOMEBODY has to steal his rainbow of darkness. Because the Moochick? Yeah, he's ain't doing it. Fuck all ya'll, he's out. You're just gonna have to save your own asses. But he does have a tiny piece of a rainbow, which is their only hope of stopping the rainbow of darkness, but he can't find the damn thing. Cue the song about how he can't find it while he constantly ignores his assistant who clearly knows exactly where it is.

I hate you, Mr. Moochick.
He gives it to Megan and then sends them off to fight Satan, because he sure ain't helping. That's a job for children and ponies. They get to the castle, ask the sea ponies to help them across the moat, then proceed into the secret passage. But a guard sees them and then informs the boss while he's yelling at Scorpan. Scorpan then decides it's past time to flip sides, proceeding to go rescue Spike and the little pony, Ember, from the dungeon. Back with Megan and the ponies, they find their way to the throne room but, of course, Applejack gets captured and now he's got four giant pony monster things to pull his chariot.

This is why you don't bring the apple expert to fight the devil.
Scorpan bursts in, fighting of the guards and telling the ponies to run, before grabbing Megan and saving her once more from death. Running outside they realize too late that shit has officially hit the fan as the castle wall erupts and out come Satan on his chariot pulled by demonically mutated ponies. It looks like evil is going to win and we're all basically fucked. If only Firefly had went and recruited Cynthia Rothrock instead.

She would've had this shit handled by now.
But we do at least have Scorpan, who flies up to Satan and starts fighting him all by himself while everyone gawks. Sadly, he's not too successful and falls to the ground in a broken heap, meaning everyone has to depend on our one and only hope: a scared little blond-haired girl who likes ponies. She and Firefly fly up there, knock the bag out of Satan's hand, and the magically powered ponies actually start using their magical powers. Man, imagine if they'd done that earlier when the dragons first attacked. They play keep away with it but, as Firefly attempts to escape with it to Dream Castle, she runs into a dragon and Satan gets it back, declaring "THE POWER IS MIIIIIINE!" as he flies triumphantly overhead.

We all know where that kind of talk leads.
Megan releases their piece of rainbow and Satan tosses his giant rainbow of darkness at it, but the small piece of rainbow begins overtaking the darkness, revealing a rainbow of light. The rainbow then turns on its former master, flying up at Satan to envelop him in its light.

Thus, gay marriage was legalized and all was right in the land.
With Satan dead via rainbow, the ponies transformed back to normal, the dragons became butterflies, the guards turned into bluebirds, and Scorpan turned into a handsome prince who still better stay away from Megan, because I've had enough rape this week. Spike is revealed to not be cursed, actually just being a baby dragon and not some enchanted hell-beast...or so they claim...and then Ember adorably sneezes herself in the water as they all laugh. The end!

"We almost all died horribly! Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!"
The truth is, despite my many jokes to the contrary and despite the dark tones, this is actually a fairly innocent little introduction to the world of My Little Pony. Sure, it is very odd that they decided to toss a thinly veiled Satan at the ponies right out of the gate, but it never really feels like it's gonna scar kids or traumatize them. It's a fun little fantasy about good overcoming evil. It's fun to look back on it too, because people rarely ever seem to talk about this original special and the first generation of My Little Pony doesn't get much attention nowadays. It's also worth noting that Megan looks a lot more dignified her than she does later on.

Eeeeehhhhhhhhh, no. Just no, Megan.
The most notable thing I can say is that this special actually did get censored a bit, if you can believe it, and it has never really gotten a remaster or proper release that I know of. We can have over a hundred different films dedicated to mutated sharks, but the very first My Little Pony special that kicked off the whole thing gets shoved to the side mostly. That's a real shame. Speaking of mutated shark things...yeah, I think I have something along those lines I'm supposed to take a look at. But that's a review for another day. Later days, bleeders. Play me out, girls!

"We feed on the corpses of sailors."

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