My Little Pony: The Movie
|My Little Pony: The Movie|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Joens
Margaret Nichols (director of animation)
|Produced by||Joe Bacal
|Written by||George Arthur Bloom|
|Based on||My Little Pony toyline by Bonnie Zacherle|
|Music by||Rob Walsh
|Edited by||Mike DePatie|
|Distributed by||De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
|Running time||85 minutes|
My Little Pony: The Movie was a 1986 animated feature film based on the Hasbro toy line, My Little Pony. It was released on June 20, 1986 by De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. The film features the voices of Danny DeVito, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Rhea Perlman, and Tony Randall.
Produced by Marvel Productions and Sunbow Productions, with animation production by Japan's Toei Animation and Korea's AKOM, My Little Pony: The Movie was succeeded by a television series which ran in late 1986. A 10-part episode from that series, The End of Flutter Valley, served as a sequel to the film.
At their home, Dream Castle, the ponies are cantering through flowery meadows and grassy green fields with their animal friends. Elsewhere, Baby Lickety-Split is practicing a new dance step, as Spike accompanies her rehearsal on the piano. Meanwhile, at the Volcano of Gloom, a wicked witch named Hydia and her two daughters, Reeka and Draggle, want to spoil the ponies' fun. During the baby ponies' dance performance, Lickety-Split attempts to add her own dance and ruins the whole performance. She is told off by everyone and runs away, followed by Spike, only to end up falling down a waterfall and trapped in a valley. The two witch sisters try to ruin the ponies' festival, but thanks to the Sea Ponies, end up getting washed away in an overflowing waterfall.
The little ponies send out a search party for Lickety-Split and Spike, while Hydia decides to make the Smooze, an unstoppable purple ooze that will bury and destroy everything in its path. It will also make anyone who is splashed by it grumpy and woeful. Her daughters go and collect the ingredients for the Smooze, leaving out the flume, an ingredient that they are afraid of. Hydia releases the Smooze which rages towards the Dream Castle. All the ponies are forced to evacuate as the castle and the surrounding land is submerged by Smooze. The search party continues its attempt to locate Lickety-Split before the Smooze engulfs them. Later, two pegasus ponies, Wind Whistler and North Star, travel to the human world to fetch Megan, the keeper of the Rainbow locket, bringing Megan's younger siblings, Danny and Molly, along as well. Megan releases the Rainbow into the Smooze, but it is swallowed up and lost but this does halt the Smooze. Enraged, Hydia discovers the Smooze was lacking flume and sends her daughters to get the missing ingredient from an octopus-like plant monster that lives on a rocky outcrop near the volcano. The monster punishes the sisters, until Reeka bites a tentacle, thereby injuring the plant, and they escape with some flume. Hydia adds it to the Smooze, which is reactivated.
Megan accompanies two ponies on a visit to the Moochick, who gives the trio a new home (Paradise Estate) and a map to find the Flutter Ponies who might stop the Smooze. A group led by Megan sets out to find Flutter Valley and Megan gets lost in a field of giant sunflowers, almost becoming a victim of the Smooze. They press on, through Shadow Forest. They find that the high narrow final pass into Flutter Valley is blocked by a giant spider and its web, and Megan is once more nearly in danger. When out of the canyon, the group finds Flutter Valley and meet with the queen who refuses to get involved at first, until baby Lickety Split arrives, safe and sound, along with a flutter pony who was rescued from a well. There is much argument about non-involvement in other ponies' problems from the flutter ponies. Even though the Flutter Pony, called Morning Glory, who was rescued from the well pleads with their queen to help their "cousins", Rosedust still hesitates, until after Baby Lickety-Split appears to sway her enough to aid in the defeat of the Smooze.
The other ponies and forest animals are about to be covered by the Smooze as the witches watch from their hot-air balloon. The Flutter Ponies come to the rescue and destroy the Smooze with their magic, uncover the rainbow and drop the witches back into the volcano with the sticky goo. With all problems resolved, the Ponies take Megan and her siblings back home.
- Danny DeVito as Grundle King
- Rhea Perlman as Reeka
- Madeline Kahn as Draggle
- Cloris Leachman as Hydia
- Tony Randall as Moochick
- Charlie Adler as Spike, Bushwoolie #6 and Woodland Creature
- Russi Taylor as Morning Glory, Rosedust, Skunk, Bushwoolie #2 and Buttons
- Tammy Amerson as Megan
- Michael Bell as Grundle
- Sheryl Bernstein as Bird, Woodland Creature and Bushwoolie #1
- Susan Blu as Lofty, Grundle and Bushwoolie
- Nancy Cartwright as Gusty and Bushwoolie #4
- Cathy Cavadini as North Star
- Peter Cullen as Grundle and Ahgg
- Sandy Duncan as Firefly
- Alice Playten as Baby Lickety-Split
- Frank Welker as Bushwoolie #3 and Grundle
- Jon Bauman as The Smooze
- Sherry Lynn as Bushwoolie #5 and Bird
- "My Little Pony Opening Chorus"
- "We're Witches" - Hydia
- "I'll Go It Alone" - Baby Lickety-Split, Spike
- "I'll Do the Dirty Work" - Witch sisters
- "Nothing Can Stop The Smooze" - Witches, Smooze
- "There's Always Another Rainbow" - Megan
- "Home" - The Moochick
- "What Good Could Wishing Do?" - Baby Lickety-Split, Morning Glory
- "My Little Pony Ending Chorus"
My Little Pony: The Movie was one of the first projects for Nelson Shin's AKOM studio. Amid an emergency rush, Shin and his crew spent ten weeks on the film's 300,000 cels. Japan's Toei Animation also worked on the production. AKOM later worked on the production in The Simpsons, while Toei Animation later worked on the production in Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers.
Opening in only 421 venues on June 6, 1986, My Little Pony: The Movie made under US$6 million in ticket sales at the North American box office. With a US$674,724 gross on its wide debut, it remains one of the weakest on record among major features. Hasbro lost US$10 million on the combined poor performance of this, and their next collaboration with De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG), The Transformers: The Movie. It also forced the producers of these films to make G.I. Joe: The Movie a direct-to-video release instead of theatrical, as well as scrap a Jem movie then in development. However, the Transformers movie was later reassessed and has become something of a cult classic.
The film was released on VHS and Beta by Vestron Video in late October 1986. It premiered on DVD in late 2006, thanks to Rhino Entertainment; musical moments from the film were used as its only extras.
As with various other films of the 1980s designed to promote toy lines, My Little Pony: The Movie was not well-received among critics. The New York Times' Nina Darnton, aware of its marketing purposes, added in her review: "Unlike the great Disney classics (including Marvel) [...], there is nothing in this film that will move young audiences, and there are very few bones of wit thrown to the poor parents who will have to sit through the film with children of this age group."  According to the staff of Halliwell's Film Guide, My Little Pony came off as an "immensely distended cartoon meant to plug a fashionable line of children's dolls."
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- "Box office information for My Little Pony: The Movie". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
- Russell, Mark James (2009). Pop Goes Korea: Behind the Revolution in Movies, Music, and Internet Culture. Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 1-93333-068-6.
- "All-Time Worst Openings for 600+ Screens". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- Kline, Stephen (1993). "Building Character". Out of the Garden. Verso (New Left Books). p. 200. ISBN 0-86091-397-X.
- "Home Video". Billboard (VNU/Nielsen Business Media) 98 (43): 42A. 1986-10-25. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
- Darnton, Nina (1986-06-27). "SCREEN: 'MY LITTLE PONY'". New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- Gritten, David, ed. (2007). "My Little Pony". Halliwell's Film Guide 2008. Hammersmith, London: HarperCollins Publishers. p. 822. ISBN 0-00-726080-6.
- My Little Pony: The Movie at the Internet Movie Database
- My Little Pony: The Movie at Box Office Mojo
- My Little Pony: The Movie at Rotten Tomatoes