Do You Remember The Proposed 1984 “My Little Pony” Pilot?

I remember a whole other time in the world of My Little Pony.  It was pre-brony, but just as colorful and cheesy.

Didn’t They Make This My Little Pony Movie Already?

So there’s this movie out this weekend, you’ve probably seen at least one movie poster for it on your way to the bathroom in your local movie theater…

*Snort* I wish.

It’s more like this…

If you type in the exact title My Little Pony: The Movie, you’re going to see two very different posters.  And depending what era MLP you like, you’ll likely react with nostalgic awe toward one, and revulsion toward the other.

Can you imagine that dividing line, moms versus their daughters?

Just Like Her Aunt…

I have a 2 1/2 year old niece.  Right now, she’s not watching My Little Pony in any way, shape, or form, but she has a sippy cup (courtesy of my mom), a MLP figure (also courtesy of my mom), a Ty Beanie Plushie (courtesy of me), and a t-shirt (again, courtesy of me).  The sippy cup was kept at my parents’ house, and my niece loved it so much, she took it home.  My sister-in-law told my mom on the phone a week later that all my niece wanted to drink from was her “pony cup” and she would yell “PONY CUP!  PONY CUP!” constantly.  Kid loves that cup.

Of course, I loved my cup when I was three years old, but mine had a spinning pony attached to the straw! I’ve tried to find pictures of that cup, to no avail.

Me with my brother (my niece’s daddy) at four years old (1986). That’s also the same year I started watching and collecting My Little Pony stuff.

I have my doubts that my niece will see the current (and same titled) My Little Pony: The Movie right now, but when I was slightly older than her, I saw the original 1986 movie, albeit not in the movie theater.  I know I liked it at the time, but time has made it look kinda cheesy, and well, the Cinema Snob made it look downright terrible.  I’m sure in 30 years, this new release will look just as bad.  And of course, the 1986 version will flat out look ancient.

In the Beginning…There Were Ponies!

35 years ago, My Little Pony took the toy world by storm, and it was only a matter of time before the toys became primetime specials, a movie, and then two TV series during Generation 1 (I should note that the original TV series actually came after the movie).  The toy series has gone through several generations’ worth of changes from that point to now, and my mom decided to tell me in a store that the newer generation (G4) is much cuter than the ones I played with 30 years ago (G1). I always knew that she believed they were ugly, but to say these new ones are cute…um, no.

Over on You Tube, I was looking (like my search for the cup, completely to no avail) for the 1984 special which was pre-movie and pre-orginal series, and I came across a promo for it (which was the proposed pilot)..including the special.  And as you know with anything nostalgia, I’m in my glory.

My Little Pony: Rescue at Midnight Castle Promo

This obvious end-of-another-video trailer is for the 1984 primetime special known as “Rescue from Midnight Castle,” and omits the scary part where the ponies get turned into dragons.  Good lord, that scared me when I was little!

If you need something to compare it to, I recommend that scene in The Care Bears In the Land Without Feelings where Professor Coldheart turns the little boy, Kevin, into one of his green servants.  That’s just scary now because the animation is terrible, but the dragons in this special are well-animated and terrifying.

This looks like a marketing trailer for retailers, based on the narration.  In fact, on a Vestron/Children’s Video Library video, this trailer and Rainbow Brite: Peril in the Pits (that show’s pilot) come complete with prices should you want to buy it…

Seriously?!  It’s not like Vestron was this amazing film company. People were buying these for their children – do you know how many kids watched videos until the tape eventually broke?  $29.95 USD in 1986 equals…$66.16 today.

WHAT?!

And don’t get me started on the Canadian price!

Now I understand why I didn’t own any videos that weren’t destined to become timeless classics.  Because this price!

Anyway…

My Little Specifics

Marvel (yes, THAT Marvel), Hasbro, Sunbow, and Toei produced the special, with Claster Television distributing it. The pilot originally aired on April 14, 1984, and was followed by “Escape from Catrina.” The feature film opened in theaters in the spring of 1986, was a box office disappointment, and combined with the disappointing box office returns on Transformers: The Movie (why, I have no idea), resulted in a proposed Jem movie’s cancellation, and GI Joe: The Movie releasing direct-to-video in 1987.

But don’t weep for the ponies! They had another chance when they got their own series! My Little Pony ‘n Friends. The “friends” were a B-side cartoon featuring either GloFriends, MoonDreamers, or Mr. Potato Head, his wife, and their children (the cartoon centered around the Potato Head Kids). The series ran in first-run syndication on weekdays from September 15, 1986 until September 23, 1987, spanning two seasons and 65 episodes. The GloFriends had 27 segments, Potato Head Kids 23 segments, and the MoonDreamers had 16 segments.

Fun fact: The first ten episodes of that series, “The End of Flutter Valley,” (airing September 15-26, 1986) served as the sequel of sorts to the feature film.

Of course, something had to come first, and after quite the search, I found the original special in its entirety!

I also made this. Because I can. :-)

Reaction

Um…

That’s just as freaky as I remember. And the songs are terrible! I remember this plot like I just saw it (especially that Sea Ponies song, which sounds like a commercial jingle), and it has been at least 9-10 years since I’ve seen it on You Tube. Like everything else we loved growing up, this hasn’t aged well in terms of the actual dialogue, but the animation is pretty.

I remember in the original cut, an overly excited voiceover informs us that Sandy Duncan and Tony Randall are the stars of this show! And no, they didn’t make it to the actual TV series, though Randall did play the Moochick in the feature film. As an adult, this feels dark.

And Tirek the Centaur…*shudder*. As for Scorpan, you could feel his humanity trying to surface when he helps Megan and the ponies escape Tirek’s Rainbow of Darkness. And if you can last until the end, you’ll understand why.

As a plot, it works, but the uncut version is the better version. For some reason, the cut version that aired within the TV series feels disjointed when split up. Plus, one of those terrible songs was part of that cut. I hate to say it, but if that was the reason it felt disjointed, then maybe it was worth it?

And of course, there’s a happy ending. Because why not? Tirek is destroyed, his dragons are once again the innocent creatures they originally were…and Ember is allergic to butterflies. And giggling…lots of giggling to go around.

Oh, and bonus points if you remember which of the ponies you had.

Ten extra bonus points if you had the Megan and Baby Spike dolls (I did!).

Of course, if you’d like to see the special, you can! Just click play below!

My Little Pony: Rescue At Midnight Castle

From Daily Motion, Upload via Ponyrokkusu Pony

 

My Little Pony, My Little Pony…Now It’s Time To Say Goodbye

I have no doubt in my mind that today’s kids will have no clue there was originally a My Little Pony movie some ancient time 31 years ago, or how the whole animated world began with a pilot episode involving turning ponies into dragons. They were dark times indeed.

Do me a favor. If a little MLP-loving kid really needs to be shown the dark side of the Ponies, show them this special. If they question it, tell them this is all we had in the Dark Ages.

Get it? Dark cartoons, dark ages?

It sounded funnier in my head.

Yogis Space Race

Do you remember Yogis Space Race?

Yogis Space Race was a short-lived 90-minute Saturday morning cartoon. It ran on NBC from September 9, 1978 to March 3, 1979. That short run resulted in just 13 episodes.

While it might have been epic to have a 90-minute cartoon, the show was divided into segments to make it easier to hold young kid’s attention. Eventually these segments would get divided up into shorter shows and any of you might have seen them on the USA Cartoon Express.

The 4 segments from the show were:

  • Yogis Space Race – A outer space remake of Wacky Races. This segment had old and new characters participating in intergalactic racing competitions.
  • Galaxy Goof-Ups – Yogi and his gang are intergalactic police officers.
  • The Buford Files – A sleepy bloodhound solves mysteries with the help of two kids.
  • The Galloping Ghost – The oddest of the lot. Galloping Ghost features the ghost of an old west prospector.

Almost immediately the show was broken up into segments that received their own branding. Yogis Space Race would get its own show, as would Galaxy Goof-Ups. The Buford Files and The Galloping Ghost would get combined into the aptly named Buford and the Galloping Ghost.

I have fond memories of watching Yogis Space Race on the Cartoon Express. Reading about the show, I was surprised that only 13 episodes were made. I am probably mixing the show up with Wacky Races. If you have not seen an episode, you might need to look around. While these shows used to be on YouTube often, recent reports have made them dry up quickly. Although if you want to get a taste of the show, people do seem to be allowed to post opening and closing credits.

Yogis Space Race Opening Credits

Over the intervening years, I have also come to enjoy Galaxy Goof-Ups. While not as an easy to find as Space Race and not as star-studded, it is worth tracking down for its originality.

Galaxy Goof-Ups Opening Credits

Tweet Zoo - Tweety Bird

Toon In: Merrie Melodies’ Tweet Zoo (1957)

Welcome back to a new installment of Toon In, friends. Our offering this week entitled Tweet Zoo was released in theaters back in 1957. A Merrie Melodies animated short that was directed by Friz Freleng. Who as a matter of fact created the likes of Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam, and the stars of Tweet Zoo Sylvester and Tweety.
Tweet Zoo - Sylvester And Tweety

In addition it has also been noted that the Tweet Zoo title is a play on the 1928 hit song Sweet Sue, Just You. Which was composed by Victor Young and featured lyrics by Will J. Harris. It was covered by many bands and singers from Benny Goodman to Miles Davis. Furthermore it was sung by the cast of I Love Lucy in 1952 as well as 1954 and once again in 1957.

[Via] Michael Johnson

You get all types of knowledge here at The Retroist, right?

Tweet Zoo was written by Warren Foster (Porky in Wackyland ) and finds Sylvester in a tour group at the city zoo. Of course his attention is solely on Tweety Bird who happens to be one of the rare exhibits. Certainly our favorite wise-cracking yellow canary isn’t going to let himself become an easy meal, right?

1957’s Tweet Zoo features the talented Mel Blanc of course. Moreover Freleng injects some of the most laugh out loud animated physical bits of comedy. Case in point when Tweety Bird takes refuge in the the bear den and Sylvester tries to reach him with a net.

I can’t help but bust a gut at the bear’s reaction every single time. However while Tweet Zoo is a fantastic animated short. It was actually another Sylvester and Tweety short that won the 1957 Academy Awards – that honor fell to Birds Anonymous.

So without further ado, join us and Toon In as we enjoy 1957’s Tweet Zoo!

[Via] Classic Cartoon Vault

After watching Tweet Zoo perhaps you feel up to more cartoon fun?

Then why not check out Zim Animation’s 3D animated intros to the likes of He-Man, Ghostbusters, and more?

Scrooge McDuck

Ready To Dive Into Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin?

Finally getting the chance to dive into the famous money bin of Scrooge McDuck isn’t something I thought I would share. Ever. But that is something we fans of Disney’s DuckTales can certainly imitate thanks to the upcoming D23 expo!

Scrooge McDuck - Money Bin

Image courtesy of D23.

I’m being absolutely serious here. Now we can reenact one of the most famous moments from the 1987 – 1990 animated series. Did I mention yet that for all of us wannabe Scrooge McDuck’s, that when you leap in, your photo will be transformed into an 180 degree gif? Life is like a hurricane, indeed!

[Via] PARANOiAX9

Equally important is the reason that D23 is providing this opportunity. Chiefly it is to remind us fans of the classic DuckTales that a new series is on the way. On the positive side I would remind you all that none other than David Tennant is lending his voice as Scrooge McDuck. As a matter of fact I can’t think of a more perfect actor to take over the reins from the late and great Alan Young.

[Via] Disney Television Animation News

Scrooge McDuck - D23
Now if a playful dive into Scrooge McDuck’s money bin sounds like a lot of fun. Here is the info from the D23 site explaining how you can in fact take part in that:
“…the money bin will available for Disney fans when it is displayed on the show floor at D23 Expo 2017! That’s right, Scrooge McDuck is trusting us to display his money bin at D23 Expo, and we’re letting everyone jump in. Yes, that means you! If you want to get this once-in-a-lifetime chance, make sure to get your tickets now. D23 Expo 2017 takes place July 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center. We’ve got everything you need to know about it here.”

On the off chance that you somehow are new to Scrooge McDuck and the world of DuckTales. I humbly suggest you take a moment and listen to Episode 111 of the Retroist Podcast!
Retroist DuckTales Podcast

Southern Nights

Jerry Reed And Glen Campbell Sing Southern Nights (1982)

Southern Nights. A wonderful and joyous song made popular by Glen Campbell back in ’77 from his album of the same name. It is in fact one of the songs that Director James Gunn picked for the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 soundtrack. A film I have yet to see but a soundtrack I have been greatly enjoying.

[Via] Marvel Entertainment

In addition I am doing my very best to avoid the internet spoilers of course. Southern Nights though wasn’t written by Glen Campbell, it actually was written as well as recorded by Allen Toussaint in 1975.

[Via] Fernando Vieira

As a matter of fact it’s been said that Glen Campbell not only heard Toussaint’s version in ’75 but was reminded of his own youth. Campbell grew up on a farm near Pike County, Arkansas. In this case Glen made some minor alterations to the lyrics before recording in 1976. Additionally Campbell added a rather unique guitar lick to Southern Nights. One that just so happened to be taught to him by his friend, Jerry Reed.
Southern Nights - Jerry Reed

I want to pause for just a second. Now as a kid I knew of Jerry Reed chiefly for two things. His role as Cledus “Snowman” Snow from 1977’s Smokey and the Bandit. As well as his appearance in the 1972 episode of the The New Scooby-Doo Movies entitled The Phantom of the Country Music Hall.

[Via] alyagotado

While both my Grandfathers were partial to country music, I hadn’t heard of any of Reed or Campbell’s music. Of course as I’ve stated numerous times throughout the years, my own household was largely devoid of music in general. Although having said that I vaguely recall 1982’s Jerry Reed and Special Friends. Furthermore I want to say it was a syndicated TV series with rotating guests, like Glen Campbell.
Southern Nights - Glen Campbell

Now I hope you’ll take a moment and enjoy these two master performers as they have fun with Southern Nights!

[Via] santickles

Hey! Now that you’ve enjoyed the likes of Southern Nights. Why not check out a moment in time when Elvis Presley and Glen Campbell were hanging out?