My Little Pony Live! The World's Biggest Tea Party
R1 - America - Paramount Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: James Teitelbaum (2nd November 2008).
The Show

There is nothing more tedious than film reviewers who begin their reviews with personal information about why the movie they are about to review is significant in their lives. I don't need to know how you felt the first time you saw "Star Wars" (1977) in order to understand that "The Phantom Menace" (1999) was disappointing, I don't need to know about how your memories of Burt Ward's green-painted ass made you love "The Dark Knight" (2008) even more, and I don't need to know about how your college degree in mythology makes you uniquely qualified to like "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (2002) more (or less) than the rest of us. I always skim past this crap, scanning for the actual movie review to begin. Every single time.

So please allow me a moment of hypocrisy as I divulge a short piece of biography: I am a single male, nearing forty years of age, who has no interest in breeding. I adore children (other people's, and especially when they are well-behaved), but I am perfectly fine without any of my own. So, it was a little bit surprising when the latest batch of DVD's that I was sent for review contained five (count 'em) kiddie videos. My film tastes lean towards indie (Jarmusch, Hartley, Lynch), foreign (from Truffaut to Kurosawa to Jeunet), and classics (more or less anything pre-1965, especially film noir). What on Earth am I going to make of this stack of juvenilia? How is an adult male without any five year old girls in his immediate daily sphere going to be able to form an appropriate response to something like "My Little Pony Live! The World's Biggest Tea Party?"

With confusion, that's how.

I just don't get it.

Not to sound all old and crusty, but when I was a kid we had material that was entertaining and also educational. I can't deny that I spent a shameful amount of my childhood watching television, but at that time, we had "Schoolhouse Rock" (1973-2000), "The Electric Company" (1971-1977), and "Sesame Street" (1969-Present). These shows were cartoon and puppet shows, but they weren't condescending, and there was a solid educational element. As for less substantial viewing, reruns of old Warner Brothers cartoons and things like "Our Gang" (1922-1938) filed in the gaps, and seemed to have at least some level of craft and care associated with their productions (and let me mention that I am looking forward to the DVD collections of both of these classics coming out this month).

So when I see tripe like "The Legend of the Sasquatch" (2006) (see my review here), and "My Little Pony" landing in my DVD player, I feel nothing but fear and loathing for the future. Even "Caillou" (2000-2006) (see my review here), which was made by child psychologists, is hopelessly banal. The kids watching this stuff today are going to be running things when we are old, and this scares me... a lot.

"My Little Pony Live! The World's Biggest Tea Party" captures a live stage performance featuring people in brightly-colored horse, ladybug, and dinosaur costumes. There is a lot of singing, and as much dancing as the poor saps in those bulky costumes can muster. We are also treated to a lot of reaction shots from little girls in the audience and their mothers (there are very, very few males in attendance), just to make sure we know that we're having a good time. Most of the kids seem to be clutching "My Little Pony" toys, and this brings us to yet another layer of nastiness here: this whole thing - the DVD, the stage show it is based on, and the rest - was produced by Hasbro to sell toys. You know, important toys that will inspire and educate your kids: purple horses who ostensibly like to drink tea. Virtually every kid in attendance was already decked out in "My Little Pony" attire, or was clutching a plastic horse. Crass, vacuous, empty consumerism at its worst.

Now, all of this said: if you have a five year old girl, don't let me stop you. Go for it. But for the sake of all of our futures, can you please balance this out with some "Schoolhouse Rock" or something?


"My Little Pony Live! The World's Biggest Tea Party" is presented in 1.85:1 non-anamorphic, lighting-wise, the whole production seems a bit dim, I think the camera people needed to stop up their apertures a notch or two. Color timing has a bluish cast to it. Edge enhancement and compression artifacts are minimal on this relatively short disc. Is your preschooler going to care? No, there are ponies and ladybugs here. There are no chapter stops. Running time is 1:12:24.


Audio is in English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, with no subtitle options. The voice acting is intelligible, but since it was recorded in a live setting, the voices are occasionally not a clear as they could be. The music comes across well (it was pre-recorded for the show, not preformed live) and consists of syrupy arrangements of piano, strings, and harp performing obnoxious happytime feelgood songs.


Paramount have included five Sing A-Longs (sic) and are the only bonus features, the songs include:

- "Where Do Rainbows Come From?"
- "Make A New Friend Everyday"
- "Positively Pink"
- "Friendship & Flowers"
- "We're The Lady Bugs"


The Show: F Video: D+ Audio: B- Extras: D- Overall: F+


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