Nostalgic Bookshelf

Snarky recaps of nostalgic media, including Making Out, Baywatch, Blyton and Baby-Sitter's Club
11
Oct 2018

Image result for happy birthday molly american girl

Title: Happy Birthday, Molly! – A Springtime Story

Author: Valerie Tripp

Illustrator: Nick Backes

Summary: Molly is excited to learn that an English girl is coming to stay at the McIntires’, and just in time for Molly’s birthday! But Emily Bennett turns out to be different from the glamorous girl Molly pictured. Emily is shy, and she seems unfriendly. Then Molly discovers that Emily is worried about her family in war-torn London, just as Molly is worried about her father, and the girls become good friends. They even plan to turn Molly’s tenth birthday celebration into a real English tea party. But they can’t agree about what’s important, and it takes a special birthday surprise to patch up their hurt feelings.

Initial Thoughts

I’m really ashamed of myself because of how late this is. Between work and getting sick and things just being God awful over here, I really slipped up and now I have to scramble before the year ends.

This one was difficult to re-read because a lot of the characters display a nasty side that wasn’t totally present in the last few books. But it also presents a much more sobering look at what life during wartime was like for these girls, in a manner different than Molly’s fears about her father’s life. But mainly, this book introduces Emily Bennett, who becomes a semi-reoccurring character in the “Molly” books. She even received her own spotlight tale, “Brave Emily.”

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25
Sep 2018
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Ghost of Paradise Estate (Parts 1-2)

Summary: The Ponies finally remember that, hey, The Moochick gave us a wonderful play set of condos named Paradise Estate! We better move into them! (Dream Castle who?) But, of course, because this is Ponyland, there’s a ghost haunting Paradise Estate and that ghost wants the Ponies OUT. But when is anything ever as it seems in Ponyland? And what should be a simple fix is never the case! (Magical powers? How don’t those work!)

Grade: D

Initial Thoughts:

Hello and welcome back, that is if you’ve actually decided to return after the nightmare that was The End of Flutter Valley, the never-ending saga that kicked off this series of G1 MLP cartoon recaps by Dove and I. THANKFULLY Flutter Valley has been “saved” (boo, hiss) and we’ve moved on to… well, just as stupid things. This is the My Little Pony cartoon series. Don’t set your bar too high. But no more Flutter Valley. I think?

I just want to point out that, unconsciously, we somehow manged to near-sync this recap with the original air dates! Which were September 29 & 30 and October 1 & 2, 1986. Yeah, it’s super weird and entirely unintentional. Can’t say this will happen for the next batch but hey, celebrate when you can, amirite?

Thus begins the “spooky” 4-parter, The Ghost of Paradise Estate! (BUY OUR MERCH!) Let’s jump right in, shall we?

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11
Sep 2018
The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

Title: The End of Flutter Valley (Parts 9-10)

Summary: The ponies are on their way to Flutter Valley for the Sun Tuesday celebration with the Flutter Ponies. Meanwhile, the Witches from the Volcano of Gloom are busy hatching a plan to destroy Flutter Valley and the ponies, allying with an army of giant bees to get their revenge on the Flutter Ponies. The bees steal the precious Sun Stone, and if the Flutter Ponies can’t get it back, their home will be destroyed.

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover... why?)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover… why?)

Grade:

[Dove: D- (see Final Thoughts for my reasoning)]

[bat: D]

Recap:

Just so you know, instead of running around like headless chickens and trying to recap 2 hours’ worth of episodes between the two of us in a single post, we have decided to do this in two-episode batches. Also, if any one person had to recap this whole thing, I think that person would resign.

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28
Aug 2018
The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover... why?)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover… why?)

Title: The End of Flutter Valley (Parts 7-8)

Summary: 

Grade: This will be given when Dove and I finally reach the end of this 10 part epic.

Recap:

THE RAINBOW OF LIGHT IS AT THE END OF THE DAMN TUNNEL! All the harrowing hours we’ve spent neck deep in this never-ending saga – what was originally just a stupid day trip to freaking Flutter Valley – are finally drawing to a close! Well, okay, these two episodes to go, then Dove has the last two to recap, so we’re not as close as everyone (ie: ME) wishes we were. But we’re getting there! At least the action picks up speed in parts 7 & 8… if you can call it “action”…

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10
Jul 2018
The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover... why?)

The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover… why?)

Title: The End of Flutter Valley (Parts 1-2)

Summary: The ponies are on their way to Flutter Valley for the Sun Tuesday celebration with the Flutter Ponies. Meanwhile, the Witches from the Volcano of Gloom are busy hatching a plan to destroy Flutter Valley and the ponies, allying with an army of giant bees to get their revenge on the Flutter Ponies. The bees steal the precious Sun Stone, and if the Flutter Ponies can’t get it back, their home will be destroyed.

Grade: This will be given when bat and I finally reach the end of this 10 part epic. *sigh*

Recap:

Just so you know, instead of running around like headless chickens and trying to recap 2 hours’ worth of episodes between the two of us in a single post, we have decided to do this in two-episode batches, so bat’s recap will cover Parts 3-4.

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26
Jun 2018
My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

Title: My little Pony: The Movie (1986)

Summary: Capture the magic and escape to Dream Valley to join all your favourite Little Ponies! Take a magical journey to Ponyland just as the Little Ponies’ annual Spring Festival is about to begin. While the ponies enjoy their festive spring party, the evil witch Hydia is up in her gloomy home, the Volcano of Gloom, plotting to turn Ponyland into a wasteland. When her first attempt fails, she decides to cutterover Ponyland with a purple ooze called the “Smooze”. It looks like the end of Ponyland, unless all the magical creatures of Dream Valley answer the Ponies’ call for help!

Grade: C (it would be an F, but that Smooze song is sooooo damned catchy.)

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

Notes: You could do a drinking game with this movie. Every time there is merchandise to be bought (aside from the ponies themselves), take a shot. But you’ll die. Like really die. Instead, have a carrot stick. Or something. I don’t know. I’m not good at health and safety warnings.

Second Note: Several times I refer to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. To avoid having to write out this title over and over, I’ve abbreviated to FiM.

Timeline: I never really understood the order of this series, because the first episode of season 1 has everyone meeting the Flutter Ponies, who they didn’t meet until the movie, but the movie references things – without explaining them, ffs – which feels like it should be in the TV show. I’m really hoping bat will help me out on this, because she’s seen the whole show multiple times.

[bat: Basically with My Little Pony the toys came first, which were then shilled in two cartoon television specials: My Little Pony (aka “Rescue/Escape From Midnight Castle” or “My Little Pony in Dreamland” if you were in the UK) and Escape from Catrina (or Katrina, people seem to argue about this) before this feature length film was released in 1986. Subsequently, the G1 cartoon series followed. The television specials were chopped into pieces and added to the cartoon series, at the end of both seasons, respectively.]

Edit: For reference, I recapped this first, and then bat emailed me and said did I want a tag team partner for MLP, and if so, would I consider doing things in the right order? (*grin*) Thankfully, bat knows which order the episodes go in, so I did this recap, then watched Nightmare/Midnight Castle then Catrina/Katrina. But I stand by my questions. This is a stand-alone piece of media, there shouldn’t be so many unanswered questions.

Initial Thoughts

I think my thoughts about this (and, by extension, the Smooze episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) are the very definition of “what could have been” at TV Tropes.

Let’s look at this objectively. A bunch of fundamentally nice characters are having a perfectly nice time when a tsunami of purple ooze crashes over their home, obliterating everything in its path, and hardening to a solid shell when it is finished, forcing the survivors to go on a quest to find a way of de-smoozing their home and friends. When the Smooze hits a living creature, that creature becomes grumpy and disagreeable. If the Smooze has hardened, there is a good chance that when they de-Smooze, they will find the corpses of their suffocated friends.

That, my friends, is horrific.

[bat: But it was the 1980s and all us kids watched Artax drown in the Swamps of Sadness in The Neverending Story yet he was resurrected without a scratch at the end of the film, which was released two years prior to this Smooze-fest… Okay, 1980s “children’s” movies messed up the lot of us.]

Instead, we get this…

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12
Jun 2018
My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Title: Escape From Catrina

Yes, there’s confusion if the villain’s name is spelled with a ‘C’ or a ‘K’, but based on officially released packaging as well as the fact she’s a damn cat-person, we’re sticking with ‘Catrina’.

This television special was released on March, 23rd, 1985. I would have been three years old. Thirty-four years have passed. Ouch.

Also, this is the box art I remember from childhood. It has ZERO to do with the actual events, and shows Danny(?) riding(?!) Spike, who’s much bigger then normal, and the Moochick is there(??) and the only hint of the actual villain was a photo on the back cover. Someone dropped the ball BIG TIME on this.

Summary: The Ponies are planning a ‘Welcome Back’ party for Megan, but things go awry when villainous Catrina and her reptilian henchman, Rep, steal the baby Ponies as well as the Rainbow of Light. A rescue ensues and new allies are discovered in the form of the Bushwoolies.

Grade: A solid B+. Catrina isn’t as scary as Tirek, though yet again the writers came up with a story involving mass enslavement, kidnapping, several near-fatal incidents, stranger danger, and drug addiction. The animation was about on par with the first special. Three original songs in one 30 minute special is also pretty impressive, even if they’re not great.

Initial Thoughts/Intro:

Me, circa 1985, with Glory and Baby Cuddles. Note the sweet MLP threads!

Hi all, it’s bat and I’m a long time MLP fan. No, really, the MLP toys coincided with the beginning of my existence on this planet and they were the one toy I was truly obsessed with. Screw Barbie, give me ALL THE PONIES!

I watched MLP from the very beginning, though time has faded some of my memories of the cartoon episodes. That said, “Escape From Catrina” was my favorite of the two initial specials and I watched it way too many times.

The MLP specials were known for pulling “big” actors and actresses to do voice work. This particular special features the enchanting Tammy Grimes as Catrina (she voiced Molly Grue in The Last Unicorn) and Paul Williams as Rep (he wrote “Rainbow Connection” aka that song made famous by The Muppets).

Catrina’s use of the witchweed potion caused some trouble down the road in later years, because the USA was big into the “War On Drugs” during the 1980s. “The Good Old Days” song was excised when this special was cut down to two parts for the syndicated cartoon series; I’ll get into more detail about that in the recap.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic will be shortened to FiM, because that is a long time title to type out.

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