Monday, May 21, 2012

Lesson 6: My Little Pony G1.5's Animated Feature: My Little Pony Tales

Previous Lesson: My Little Pony G1 Animated Features, part 3: My Little Pony 'n' Friends.

Released for TV in the early ninties, My Little Pony Tales is the second TV series based on the toyline by Hasbro. Unlike the previous incarnation like My Little Pony 'n' Friends, which was a fantasy/adventure series, this was decided to give the ponies a slice of life angle, and removed most of the fantasy elements. As the result, the only breed of pony in this series are Earth Ponies. You milage will vary on whether this was a good thing or not. The show was set in a town named Ponyville which is somewhere in Ponyland. The name of the town would later be used in G3/G3.5 and Friendship is Magic.

The show centered on seven pony girls named Starlight, Sweetheart, Melody, Brighteyes, Patch, Clover, and Bonbon. However, the show is notable for averted the Lady Land rule that My Little Pony normally prescribes to by introducing three male ponies: Ace, Teddy, and Lancer. The show focused on their daily lives and how they dealt with things like stage fright, dating, personal responsibility, the environment, pets, cultural differences, school, trust, bullies, and other things normal kids deal with. This was the first of three attempts to make a Slice of Life style My Little Pony show. The producers did this to try to reach their core demographic, girls, who watched the original series. They figured their original audience would be old enough by then that these issues the show tackled would be ones they'd worry about. Depending on who you ask, it may or may not have been a good idea.

The series was met with mixed responses from it's viewers and only lasted a single season as the result. Some see that as a good thing. Others think it was Too Good to Last. Your milage WILL vary. Much like it's predecessor, My Little Pony And Friends, the series was comprised of quarter hour shorts, but unlike before, shared it's running time with no other properties. The series ran for twenty-six episodes told over the course of thirteen airings in 1992.

The cast had somewhat more defined personalities than the previous show did, somewhat.
For example, Starlight was the level-headed defacto leader of the group and Teddy was the jerk-with-a-heart-of-gold-misunderstood-loner. Nothing deep, though.

Reoccurring Characters and Themes:

And The Winner Is and The Ticket Master: In the former, Clover from Tales wins a pair of tickets to go to a concert with a friend. The problem is, she has six friends to choose from and she has trouble making up her mind who to take.
Naturally, all of her friends find out and simply must go, so they each try to get the ticket for themselves, resulting in Clover having a meltdown.
In the latter, Twilight Sparkle from FIM is given a pair of tickets by Princess Celestia to go to the Grand Galloping Gala with a friend. The problem is, she has six friends (Spike counts) to choose from and she has trouble making up he rmind who to take.
Naturally, all of her friends find out and simply must go, so they each try to get the ticket for themselves, resulting in Twilight having a meltdown.
Wait a minute... this is the exact same episode! The only thing different is the outcome. In Tales, she does have to make a decision, but then at the last minute, she and Melody scalp the tickets and go hang out with their friends at home, bringing a pizza with them.
In FIM, Twilight decides that if she has to pick between her friends, she'd rather just not go at all, so she sends Celestia letter stating at much, and ends up receiving enough tickets so they can all go!

And the moral of the story kids is... Man, nothing beats having being pals with God!
Seriously, though, and this is not something you will not read often, but I actually think that Tales had the stronger message this time. One: There will come times when not all your friends can be included. Two: if it's just something like a concert, you can just choose not to go if you'd rather hang with pals.

Shop Talk and Ponyville Confidential: This one's a bit more of a stretch, but both episodes features a moral about how gossip is wrong and can be very hurtful to a person and their reputation.

If you notice anything else from both Tales and FIM  that are similar, keep my posted, and I'll add it.

Next Lesson: My Little Pony G2, toy line.

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