Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ode to G1: Midnight Castle

When I was a little girl growing up in the late 80's My Little Pony was my obsession. I had the toys, and not just a couple here and there; I had a herd of them. I remember getting my first pony from the store and opening ponies for birthday parties and Christmas presents. I remember watching the VHS episodes my grandma taped for me over and over again. To me the little ponies were more than toys and a tv show, they were a defining part of my childhood.

There are so many things I love about My Little Pony but some of the things that immediately spring to mind are the toys, colors, the magic, the adventure, and the songs. To my child eyes the ponies were everything I wanted to be. They were brave, beautiful, and they way they moved across the screen seemed very graceful.

Firefly (pink), Medley (green), and Ember (purple baby) are some of the most memorable G1 ponies. Firefly, with her sense of adventure may just be the most popular G1 pony. In the pilot Rescue at Midnight Castle the ponies live in a castle and have ribbons but are otherwise very much multicolored ponies without that much human influence. I always liked this aspect and found the introduction of the human characters and excessive musical numbers to be a hindrance to the show. FiM made an exceptionally smart move stay away from mixing humans and ponies. I'm also glad they stepped up the production values of the music. However at its core FiM and Midnight Castle actually have a lot in common. This is especially apparent in the the opening of the first season which draws heavily from Midnight Castle.

Twilight Sparkle's predecessor Twilight had the special ability to teleport.

And applejack is a hard-working pony that surprisingly, works with apples.

But like FiM Midnight Castle comes with real baddies.

Oh hello there stratadons. I'm sorry, I didn't realize the storm brewing was you. I'm sure we can talk something out right?

Oh, I guess not. But come now, is attempted ponynapping really necessary?

This is actually one of two face kicks the baddies get. But they are victorious in kidnapping some of the ponies so Firefly is determined to go and get some help. She meets Megan, a little girl and sings a musical number where Firefly lands on the clouds.

They eventually fall through, but I'm assuming that is due to Megan's added weight. It's interesting how the dynamic of pegasus ponies and clouds comes back in g4 where only pegasus ponies can step on the clouds unassisted. I wonder if this is just a logical "rule" for the species or if Faust was making an unconscious connection to this incident.

Anyway I don't want to just do a summary of Midnight castle. I think it's worth watching, especially if all you know about G1 is that there were seaponies.

Yep lots of seaponies. You may laugh but the Seapony song was one of the most powerful forces when I was a kid. I remember not opening christmas presents for a few minutes one year because the seapony song came on. Basically seaponies trump santa.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that a very clear connection exists between G1 and G4 here, as the big baddy and Nightmare moon both vow to bring in eternal darkness.

In G1 the baddy was a dude named Tirak.

Now Nightmare Moon controls the moon, but Tirak had a Rainbow of Darkness that transformed normal creatures and objects into monsters.

You wouldn't guess here but Midnight Castle was grove of trees.

And the lizard guards were really birds.

Tirak wasn't so pretty looking himself. I think he kind of rocks the Rainbow of Darkness though. Oh and did I mention when he isn't using the rainbow it sits in the bag beating like a heart. Yeah....

Here's some captured ponies before contact with the rainbow...

And here they are after. I'll admit this scene was one of my favorites. I always held my breath through the whole transformation. I'm not sure exactly what I thought that would accomplish, but but I did it anyway.

But the ponies have the rainbow of light, also known as the mother to the elements of harmony. It's just very young and small in this picture.

And then it suddenly isn't small and causes an explosion of color and returns everything back to normal. Oh, and even if you don't like pudgy g1 spike, you have to admit that he's kind of cute when he's scared.

I can honestly say I've meet some awesome bronies who may not understand or like G1 but they respect for the history. Is it such a hard concept to understand that MLP:FiM is only one part of something I have been a fan of for years? My intention is not to convert anyone to loving G1, I just wanted to share with you the reasons why I like it in hopes that we can maybe quell some of the tension between the fans I have seen in increasing amounts lately.

Also who would have thought Twilight would make the silly faces?

And yes this post is supposed to be a little silly and lighthearted. I hope you all enjoyed it!


  1. YEESSSSS I love that movie!!! But my vhs says it's called "Firefly's Adventure"; maybe a different version? The seapony song was my ringtone through most of college.

    1. This particular episode actually has 2 titles.(why I don't know)1."Firefly's Adventure and 2. Escape to Midnight Castle.

  2. This was a great write-up that makes me want to watch it again!