Shout! Factory // 2005 // 66 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Dawn Hunt // September 28th, 2013
"Nothing says Christmas like a pair of socks."
Among the more popular toys of the early eighties, the My Little Pony collection from Hasbro was the equestrian equivalent of the Care Bears, with the same colorful companions and identifying marks that were indicative of the pony's special gift. And while the toy brand branched out, it declined in popularity during the early nineties, falling by the wayside as many fads did.
But My Little Ponies didn't completely disappear, and in fact there were a few attempts in the early nineties to make the transition to animated media. Back in 2003, Hasbro really began pushing the My Little Pony brand in terms of media adaptation and a string of direct-to-video releases began popping out including this one, 2005's My Little Pony: A Very Minty Christmas.
We take a trip to Ponyville just in time for Christmas. But there's been an accident. Minty (Tabitha St. Germain) has broken the "Here Comes Christmas Candy Cane," which Santa Claus uses to find Ponyville every year. Without the candy cane, will Ponyville be able to celebrate Christmas? Minty tries everything she can to fix her mistake while her friends band together to help her understand they still love her no matter what.
Or at least that's the story as it should be summarized. But the simple fact is there's a logic fallacy even kids will be able to spot a mile away that severely detracts from the story. We learn early on the "Here Comes Christmas Candy Cane" is not in fact a treasured heirloom and thus irreplaceable. Instead there's one made every year, with the color and flavor left up to the discretion of that year's bakers.
So the one thing Minty should have done when the candy cane breaks? Go to the bakers and ask if they can make a new one. Then give us a reason why not. But that step is skipped, and so for the rest of the runtime I ask myself repeatedly: why we can't just make a new one? And I won't be the only one. It leads to a dissatisfying resolution simply because we know inherently the candy cane is easy to make and we don't get a reason why there isn't just a new one.
So an unnecessarily complicated story and a really short runtime of 45 minutes leave me with little choice but to say skip this disc.
The video transfer is clean in terms of being free from technical glitches like artifacting however the look of the movie is distracting and uneven. Characters don't interact with the background elements consistently, with shadows sometimes not appearing at all. The 1.33:1 transfer has a color palette which is a vivid pastel, staying away from blacks as much as possible. The ponies themselves are the most distracting elements, though, as they each have a sharp shadow which fails to have a corresponding light source. Admittedly this is not an issue for the target audience but it distracted me. The audio fares better, surprisingly so. The Dolby 2.0 works well for the musical numbers especially, and I attribute that to the simplistic nature of the songs. In that respect the writers did a good job.
The special features are a pair of sing-a-longs. They're not my thing but if you've got little ones who really go for that special feature keep this in mind.
If you or someone you love are p0wned by ponies, look for a more substantive set.
Review content copyright © 2013 Dawn Hunt; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 66 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site