Photo Credit: Courtesy Hasbro
Remember seeing Toy Story for the first time and enjoying how it brought so many of your favorite toys and games to life? It seemed like a clever gag at the time, but resurrecting toy brands in TV and film has since become big business -- or a sad indication of the dearth of good ideas in kids media these days.
The latest straight-from-the-toybox characters to get a 21st century makeover are a certain breed of candy-colored diminutive horses with Farrah Fawcett-inspired manes. Thanks to the success of last month's one-hour Disney Channel special My Little Pony: Twinkle Wish Adventures, Discovery/Hasbro has fast-tracked a MLP TV series for their new joint network. Twinkle Wish Adventures is also playing in select movie theaters this month.
(I somehow failed to catch My Little Pony: Twinkle Wish Adventures, but the title alone tells me that, to adult eyes, these may have been the longest 60 minutes in television history.)
The last time these ponies galloped on the big screen was over 20 years ago in My Little Pony, The Movie. That "flicka" barely got out of the gate in 1986 before failing at the box office. But it inspired two different television shows -- the fantasy-world set My Little Pony in 1986 and the more real-world set My Little Pony Tales in 1992.
According to Wikipedia, these latter ponies "lived in a human-like town where they went to school, ran businesses, went on vacation and exchanged currency for goods." It was only a matter of time before they started hanging out in bars, giving rides at bat-mitzvahs, knocking over liquor stores, and starring in their own E! True Hollywood Story. But now, like Willie Aames, they're getting a Hollywood-style reprieve.
I personally know the MLP franchise best as toys. At one time, the economy-sized ponies made perfect "Hanukkah Night Four" presents for my girls. But kids can't lovingly brush the silky mane of a character on a TV screen -- not without getting a major static shock anyway.
As long as the Ponies are getting their Hollywood moment, I suggest they hook up with Barbie, the reigning queen of toy-to-multimedia star crossover. She could show them the ropes, teach them a few makeover tricks, and best of all, they can share hair care tips and products. Can't you just picture them together on QVC?