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There was a time when My Little Pony was known as mindless
entertainment for toddlers. I don't think that was ever necessarily
true, but Twinkle Wish Adventure does not help my case. While it's not
the most mind-numbing of the franchise, or even the era, there's
nothing here to challenge kids or to better them in the end.
It's the eve of the Winter Wishes Festival and all the ponies are excited to have their wishes granted by Twinkle Wish the wishing star. But in a moment of foolishness, Scootaloo (Tabitha St. Germain) wakes the star too early, and loses it. The rest of the ponies, Pinkie Pie (Janyse Jaud), Rainbow Dash (Anna Cummer), Cheerilee (Kelly Sheridan) and Toola Roola (Erin Mathews) take off in search of their missing star.
If you're excited about how epically that amazing story might unfold, note my sarcasm. At a mere forty-five minutes in length, it crawls along at a very slow pace. Presumably this is to guarantee the young children watching will be able to follow the story, but it's such a simple story to begin with that I can't imagine it was necessary. This problem existed in a lot of children's entertainment at the time and I'm glad the trend is slowly dying out. Luckily the humor and the voice acting are able to keep the dull pace from being strictly dull. There are a few decent gags along the way, though nothing memorable or noteworthy.
This era of My Little Pony gets a lot of flak for its saccharine sentimentality and character design, but I've always felt that wasn't entirely fair to the work. The ponies in what is known as G3.5 have very bizarre proportions, with Popeye Syndrome in their hooves and comedically large heads. However, the animation is decent, especially considering a lot of other straight-to-video animated films, including Disney's. The colors are vibrant and every character is pronounced and unique. You never have to stop and remember which pony was which, a problem of the first generation of My Little Pony. Their movements are fluid and I didn't notice any reused animation, at least from within itself. At any rate, it's many levels above the embarrassing "G3.6" that came about around the same time.
Twinkle Wish Adventure is harmless to a fault. The obstacles are vague and easily conquered. There's a subplot about Cheerilee being seemingly forgotten by her friends, which could have led to a much bigger theme, but instead was resolved within minutes and quickly forgotten. I don't like what this movie represents, but I don't see it as all that harmful either, so I'm not sure I can complain. It's funny to think though that the entire dynamic and history of the My Little Pony franchise would change completely only a year later.
I admit I preferred My Little Pony as a child, but as a young adult re-visiting them as I do with most of my childhood favourites I don't think the franchise is anything to scorn at either. Twinkle Wish Adventure is a nice enough entry of the direct-to-video releases, most of which are corny but also surprisingly good with the best being Princess Promenade and A Very Pony Place. What I didn't like so much here in Twinle Wish Adventure was some embarrassingly corny dialogue, some of the teaching moments are too brief especially with the apology for lying one(I also took notice at how surprisingly un-remorseful the character was) and some of the ponies' personalities, perhaps in an attempt to give some depth but the whole sticking out tongues, sneaking around and lying dimensions were a far cry from the caring and sweet friends in the older episodes. However, the animation is colourful and looks very pretty overall, the music is both catchy and whimsical, the voice acting is solid and the story is sweet and charming with the morals of friendship and honesty valuable and proving good lessons indeed. All in all, nice enough but not one of the best for me. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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