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YMMV: My Little Pony TV Specials
  • Angst? What Angst?: The ponies that were transformed into baleful ponymorphs and were made to assist Tirek bring in The Night That Never Ends sure don't seem too broken up about it at the end of Rescue from Midnight Castle.
    • Fridge Horror comes into place. Considering the later incarnations, maybe they've just become used to horrible things happening to them. (Or they just don't remember any of it).
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Thanks to this, people are still surprised at how dark the first special was almost thirty years after it was made.
  • Anvilicious: The anti-drug message of Escape from Catrina is... unsubtle.
  • Cliché Storm: As good as the original special was, it is also this. An Evil Overlord is trying to Take Over the World and only a Plucky Girl Kid Hero and her Ragtag Bunch of Misfits friends can stop him using a powerful Macguffin given to them by a absent-minded wizard.
    • The same goes for the follow-up.
  • Complete Monster: Tirek is a surprisingly vile creature from a show that's supposed to be a little girl's show. A demon of a centaur, Tirek was the ruler of the Midnight Castle, and planned to send Dream Valley into a state of eternal chaos. To do so, he used a sack containing magical spells in it to essentially torture and transform young ponies into his hideous, winged dragons which he could then use to pull his Chariot of Darkness. He's also amazingly violent. This is shown whenever his henchman Scorpan failed him. He would threaten to have Spike's head cut off if he ever screwed up again, which makes it even more disturbing in that Spike was a child, and therefore it meant that he had no limits to who he had to hurt in order to get his way.
  • Contested Sequel: To a lot of fans either everything that came after these two specials, or just anything after Rescue at Midnight Castle, period.
  • Ear Worm: a good chunk of the songs are very catching and will stay with you long, long after you've watched these. In particular the opening themes.
    • Shoo be doo shoo shoo be doo!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Firefly. Spunky tomboy with guts and attitude? Check. Being voiced by Sandy Duncan also doesn't hurt.
    • Mr Moochick: this character is fondly remembered by many fans of the series as one of its finer points. Being voiced by Tony Randall probably helped.
    • Applejack, too, considering she was only in "Midnight Castle" but later got a song and a few generations later became one of the main characters of Friendship is Magic.note 
    • Tirek is also surprisingly popular with the Friendship Is Magic fans. The creators eventually brought him back in said series.
    • Medley, Bow-Tie, Glory, Twilight, Moondancer, and Ember all have garnered their place amongst fandom.
    • And of course Habbit, the Moochick's long-suffering rabbit assistant.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Firefly and Medley have been gaining a bit of support in more recent times.
  • First Installment Wins: Most of G1 fans consider Midnight Castle (and sometimes Catrina) to be high point of the cartoons that were made at the time. With its slick animation, menacing and competent villain Tirek, Anti-Villain Scorpan, and awesome's not difficult to see why.
  • Gannon-Banned: It's Rescue at Midnight Castle not Rescue from Midnight Castle.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: Uh-huh.
  • Girls Need Role Models: The likely reason for Megan's existence. She's quick, spirited, and despite her own fears happens to be The Chosen One who saves the day from Evil Overlord Tirek.
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks: Expect anyone who dislikes Midnight Castle to get this treatment, even if they did have a well thought-out reason why.
  • Hype Backlash: A lot of fans hype these two specials up a lot as proof that not all of the G1 cartoons were terrible. Expect this to happen from time to time.
  • Memetic Mutation: The Seaponies and their "Shoo-be-doo, Shoo-Shoo-be-do!"
  • Moral Event Horizon: Tirek crosses it in his whole pans. He even coined the trope The Night That Never Ends.
    • Catrina almost crosses this when she attempts to kill a Bushwoolie and Baby Moondancer. Rep saves the former, and regarding the latter, he stops her and makes her change her ways just in time.
  • Sacred Cow: Midnight Castle is this to G1 fans without doubt. Catrina to a lesser extent.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: To a lot of FiM fans. Though these specials were pretty edgy for My Little Pony at the time, the current incarnation has taken everything these specials were and made them the standard for the franchise.
  • Shipping: With the advent of Friendship is Magic, shipping and Ho Yay has become a popular phenomenon in the pony fandom. So pairings like Firefly and Medley, Bowtie and Applejack, Megan and Scorpan, Twilight and Moondancer, and of course Catrina and Rep have begun popping up.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Though the delivery of the Anti-Drug aesop of Catrina was heavy-handed and fantastic, one can still appreciate it, since drugs really are bad for both the mind and body.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Tends to be the lowest opinion of these specials.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Well duh.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: In Midnight Castle, both Tirek and Scorpan.
    • The former was a very Evil Overlord with intentions of ushering an age of eternal darkness and thus rule Ponyland and possibly Earth for eternity. To do it, he put the local enchanted creatures through painful transformations and constantly kicks his right hand goat-man, Scorpan around without relent and with threats of decapitating his only friend Spike. Scorpan himself was formerly a prince who had previously been enslaved by a previous conquest by this guy. He only got one half-hour to show his stuff, and he spent most of that time sitting on a throne.
    • As for Scorpan, while the special itself did make great use of him as a rare My Little Pony Anti-Villain / Anti-Hero (Type II) who unwillingly serves his evil master inspite of his own good nature. He ultimately undergoes a Heel-Face Turn once Tirek has kicked him a few too many times. After this, he is never seen again and he never undergoes anymore Character Development.
      • Once he actually undergoes the Heel-Face Turn, he accomplishes precisely bugger-all.
    • Most of the ponies, too. Firefly, despite all her Wolverine Publicity during G1, never appeared again in the cartoons. She would have made a perfectly fine protagonist for the movie and series, however Hasbro wanted to promote the newer toys.
  • Tough Act to Follow: If you start watching the G1 cartoons starting with these, you may be less than impressed with anything that followed after.
    • Perhaps a bit unfair. Though it would take until G3 for the animation to get back to the original's quality, many of the series villains are quite menacing and the likes of Grogar and Lavan could give Tirek a run for his money.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Tends to be considered among the best things put out by the My Little Pony franchise because of its darkness.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Applejack is still a girl in Midnight Castle, but the gravelly voice can make it hard to tell.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: A mild example, but no one who flipped onto the station to watch this could've have expected to BEHOLD THE POWER OF DARKNESS.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: To some viewers, the Sea Pony dance number exemplifies this.
  • Win the Crowd: Pretty much why these were created.
  • The Woobie: Scorpan, Spike, and Ember is the first special.
    • Rep, Sundance, and Baby Moondancer in the second.
  • What The Hell Casting Agency: Paul Williams as Catrina's henchman.

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