My Little Pony Special: Escape From Catrina

by bat 12 June 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.

Recap:

Part 1:

Ignoring the fact the opening credits feature ponies that won’t exist until the feature-length film or arrive later via the toy line, and the fact the Bushwoolies are shown predominately even though this special was where they were introduced…

…seriously, Hasbro…

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Would a little continuity kill you, Hasbro?

…we open (properly) flying through matte paintings of clouds. Then the standard rainbow logo with title appears and ‘Escape From Katrina’ gets name-checked in a voice-over. This is why everyone’s bloody confused on how her name is spelled. [Dove: At least there’s only one title, my episode couldn’t work out if it was Escape from or Rescue at, whether the location was Nightmare or Midnight Castle, or if, in fact, it was actually called Firefly’s Adventure.]

Ponyland is sunny and peaceful, with a giant rainbow sprouting from the base of a mountain waterfall to arc over Dream Castle and Lullaby Nursery. Honestly, it’s best not to think about layout or distance or directions when watching these cartoons.

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Ponyland doesn’t believe in zoning laws!

The Ponies and Baby Ponies are playing volleyball with the Sea Ponies, and now there’s Baby Sea Ponies in their animal-shaped floaty rings. Baby Moondancer is being splashed by Backstroke, and I can see Baby Moondancer is wearing one of those chunky alphabet block necklaces that I had a horrible time getting on/off the actual toys.

I’m digressing.

Sparkler and Lickety-Split are painting the WELCOME banner (but… why… Shouldn’t it be WELCOME BACK?) while Powder and Starflower(?) blow up balloons. Did anypony check to make sure Megan doesn’t have a latex allergy?

Sundance runs to hit the ball and ends up crashing into the banner, which apparently grew longer and says BACK now (???), causing it to rip to shreds. Flimsy construction, ponies.

Sparkler comes over and immediately shames Sundance, Lickety-Split also being a Debbie Downer about the whole thing. Sundance apologies and kicks the ball, which rolls down the hill and knocks Baby Moonstone into the water. Look, she was already being stupid and bouncing around, taunting the baby Sea Ponies that they couldn’t splash her. WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE SUPERVISING THE BABIES?

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

It’s a direct hit! You sunk Baby Moondancer!

The adult Sea Ponies rush into action (I guess Baby Moondancer can’t swim?) while everypony stands around on the banks and stares. Eventually Baby Moondancer is raised to the surface on a gigantic clam shell (???) and everypony cheers.

This seems like a constant occurrence in Ponyland so I don’t understand the cheering. [Dove: Oooh, we should add a tag and keep count of the amount of times a pony goes in the water and it’s funny. There. Fixed it. “pony + water = lol”] [bat: Watch, this will turn into a drinking game.]

Sundance apologizes to Baby Moondancer, who shakes off the water and says “that was fun!” to nearly drowning. Everypony ignores this and returns to playing. Sand Dollar serves the ball, thumping Spike in the head, sending Baby Moondancer off to chase it.

Somepony yells for her to come back, but she follows the ball to where it falls into a hole in a rock cave. Baby Moondancer hesitates, telling the arriving Posey the ball is gone. [Dove: I was worried for Baby Moondancer. I’ve seen the new movie. I know what happens when babies go in dark caves.]

Because this is a cartoon, the ball drops down several holes, into several tunnels, until it lands in an elaborate chamber housed deep underground. Furry creatures push carts of green plants towards what can only be described as a primitive juicer; a massive, pointed stone drops down and grinds the plant matter, sending it through a carved-stone machine shaped like a cat that apparently is an oven(??) and wow, who the hell built all this tech underground?

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

This elaborate amount of construction underground triggers so many questions.

Anyway, the ball lands at the foot of a humanoid-looking lizard in a Robin Hood-esque tunic costume, wearing a round cap with a spike on top. He yells at the furry creatures, telling the Bushwoolies it’s not playtime, kicking the ball into a massive well that contains green liquid. [Dove: Health and safety is not a pressing concern in Ponyland. That whirling spike comes down every x seconds, regardless of how many Bushwoolies are in the way.]

Somehow, the green liquid is funneled back up into a stone barrel with a spigot housed in the massive cat machine thing. Look I will hurt my brain trying to understand how this Rube Goldberg contraption works; the lizard dude puts some drops into a crystal bowl and sends a purple Bushwoolie to take it to Catrina.

Even though we just saw a gigantic well of green liquid, the lizard claims there’s very little left and the Bushwoolie mustn’t drop it. Here’s where we discover the Bushwoolies mutter a lot and grumble and kind of have no off switch when it comes to sass.

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Sasswoolies aren’t buying your excuses, Rep.

Catrina sits upon a cat-faced throne, in a room decorated with cat art. I wonder, perhaps this place was home to a race of cat-people? Anyway, she’s sitting there, filing her claws, as one does.

Purple Bushwoolie brings in the liquid, calling it “witchweed” and describing Catrina as a queen. Sure enough, dude spills it.

Catrina snatches up the bowl, ingests the last drop left, and then yells at the bushwoolie as she grows into the 50ft tall cat-woman who blows the bushwoolie back into the tunnel. So obviously this witchweed is a drug that gives her powers. The dangerous consequences of addiction, kids.

The lizard dude and the rest of the bushwoolies learn that yes, purple bushwoolie spilled the witchweed. Rep, because I’m tired of typing lizard dude and that’s his name (or Rex) worries that Catrina is going to come down on him. Bushwoolies don’t care! They’re tired of being slaves! Down with the man! Down with Catrina! They’re going to escape! Yes, just tell your captors your plans, morons!

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Catrina won’t allow the proletariat uprising. Drown in the witchweed, slave!

Purple Bushwoolie finds himself hanging in mid-air, caught by the scuff of the neck and lifted up by Catrina herself, who’s not happy about talk of insurrection. He begs her to not drop him in the witchweed well. Thinking about it, I’m assuming the witchweed doesn’t work on anyone but Catrina and the Bushwoolie would only drown. Because if that wasn’t the case, he could ingest some and turn the tables. PLOT HOLE! [Dove: Or alternative Smooze origin story? There must be a reason he’s the same colour as the Smooze.]

Rep begs Catrina to be easy on their slaves, asking for loss of a privilege instead of death, to which Catrina reminds everybody that slaves have zero privildges and immediately tosses purple Bushwoolie into the well. Instantly, Rep transforms into a bird creature, diving down to rescue the Bushwoolie. So, basically, Rep is Scorpan; he has a heart and compassion deep down but is made to serve an egomaniac.

Catrina advances on Rep and here’s where we see she’s gigantic and looms over both the lizard guy and the tiny Bushwoolies. She demands more witchweed before storming off. Like any abuse victim, Rep sticks up for Catrina, insisting she’s not so bad once you get to know her. Oh, honey…

Back on the surface, Heartthrob and Surprise fly the new banner up and hang it from the front of Dream Castle while Powder informs everyone to hurry, Megan will be arriving shortly. Posey and Sundance are blowing up balloons, Baby Moondancer wants to help. Sundance tells her to hand her some string.

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Days Without Workplace Incident: 0

Instead, she pulls the tie, releasing all the balloons, still held in their flimsy net. Sundance races to snag the rope but misses, causing an accident that ends with Sparkler covered in paint and a bucket on Spike’s head. Sparkler is apparently a grade-A bitch, complaining about Sundance’s clumsiness and Spike complains he needs a bath to wash off the paint.

Posey notes the arrival of Megan, who’s riding Skydancer. Somehow latex balloons are filling the sky during their landing (my god, the environmental consequences!) and I’m wondering what happened to Firefly.

Megan, in her pink shirt and mauve vest combo, with her hair different then the first special, is welcomed by Powder [Dove: Powder is one of the prettiest toys.]. She is given the heart locket that contains the Rainbow of Light, to wear during her visit. For some reason, Sparkler explains the purpose of the Rainbow of Light, like Megan has ZERO RECOLLECTION of saving the Ponies with it in the previous special. Okay.

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Welcome, human overlord. Here is our only effective weapon of protection!

The baby ponies begin to introduce themselves, and this brings up a whole lot of questions about how there’s baby ponies in the first place, being there’s an absence of male ponies (Big Brothers were not introduced until the fifth year of the toy line and I don’t remember them being in the cartoons or the feature film, and anyway, if they’re the “brothers” of the ponies, that triggers a whole bunch of red flags) and start pestering Megan to play with them.

[Dove: Ah, this actually was covered, but I can’t find evidence of where – I think it was a comic – but some ponies found a magic mirror and a baby version of themselves would step out when they looked in it. That’s why the babies are identical to their “parents”, and probably why the “parents” seem so indifferent to them, preferring to just let them live in the nursery, and go to any adult pony for help or advice. Here’s a link that proves that at least one other person has seen evidence of this.]

[bat: ….oh, oh god… who thought that up?! Although I must say it’s on par with other terrifying things that have been put into MLP stuff. Just wait till we get to all the various demons in the cartoon series!]

Posey is all “nap now or no costume ball”, conveniently introducing the Lullaby Nursery playset. The baby ponies complain but do as told, entering the nursery, with Megan telling Posey she’ll hand it it.

OBLIGATORY SONG TIME!

Man, watching this now, I’m remembering all the accessories and that baby buggy that Cuddles came with and those stupid rockers… and Baby Cotton Candy’s blue blanket. Geez. So anyway, Megan’s plan worked, she’s worn the babies out and gotten them into their buggies, though Baby Cotton Candy only rates a playpen for some reason?

[Dove: As I watched this, I texted bat to say that I had seen it at some point, because I remembered the lines “… we’re not ready // Glory wants her bottle // Where’s my teddy?” but I still didn’t remember any of the plot. Which is a bit embarrassing. I remember the baby-talk-third-person line, but not the plot.]

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Nothing like demanding your bottle while talking about yourself in the third-person, Baby Glory!

The image of Baby Glory snoozing fades into the image of Catrina doing the same in her throne room. I guess this fits with the image of a drug-addicted dictator? Above her, peering out over one of the decorative statues, Purple Bushwoolie makes sure Catrina is asleep before jumping down and rolling himself into the processing chamber. I forgot to mention, Bushwoolies are akin to Popples and hedgehogs; they roll into balls and somehow manage to roll around like this as a form of transport.

He quietly informs the other Bushwoolies it’s time to enact their jail break. But yet again, they announce this right in front of Rep, who insists he can talk to Catrina and get them a reduced work schedule.

DUDE. THEY’RE SLAVES. AND YOU SUFFER FROM STOCKHOLM SYNDROME.

The Bushwoolies seem to also have a kind of hive-mind, easily swayed personality. Purple, as I’m just gonna call him from now on, seems to be the only one with independent thought. Arguing leads to Purple instructing the others to shut down the witchweed machine, which they do. Rep pleads and offers more (crappy) incentives for them to stay, but Purple has enough, demanding a union.

Well, okay, no, but basically.

Curling into balls, the Bushwoolies flee the underground cavern in a mass exodus. Catrina, noting the absence of noise, yells for Rep, who appears near-instantaneously at her throne. Rep admits the Bushwoolies have escaped. Somehow, there’s an elevator covered by a bush in the forest, which takes Catrina and Rep to the surface. (My head hurts.) Every attempt to catch a Bushwoolie fails. [Dove: I couldn’t believe they’d been there all that time with the unguarded exit right next to them. Did they come to Catrina pre-Stolkholmed?]

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Lasers were BIG in the 1980s.

Catrina bemoans her situation but suddenly hears laughter. “My new slaves!” she announces, upon seeing the Ponies. Rep complains that Catrina has grown cold, inspiring his master to use the witchweed once again and shoot lasers(??) from her eyes into the sky, summoning grey clouds that block the sun and winds to rise.

(What.)

The Ponies, having completely forgotten about similar weather changes that occurred when Scorpan raided their home for slaves, can’t understand what’s happening and why it’s getting cold. Catrina continues her magical influence over the weather and snow flurries begin. The Ponies are stunned by the freezing weather, so much so that Skydancer begins to drift away mid-air until Powder catches her by the tail.

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Global Warming Hits Ponyland Hard

In a blink we go from green fields to massive snowdrifts that have trapped the Ponies. WHAT THE HELL? Powder manages to free herself from the snow (she’s a unicorn? why not teleport??) and goes to find Megan and the Rainbow of Light. Because that’s the answer to everything in G1. These G1 Ponies do not use their brains like the G4 counterparts.

Fade to black and…

Part 2:

Powder successfully reached Megan, who’s running to the rescue with Sundance. She loudly announces she has the Rainbow of Light (loose lips sink ships, Megan) and here’s where, yet again, the animators hurt my brain: The Ponies have now been rolled into a giant snowball, to freeze/suffocate to death, yet where Catrina is the weather is sunny and the trees are as green as  the grass. So, if we suspend disbelief, this magic snowstorm is only destroying a tiny part of the… planet? Area? Ponyland?

Anyway, Catrina starts… wait, she’s sucking in air and the giant snowball is rolling towards her? WHO WROTE THIS??

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Abstract Art or Metaphysical Warfare? It’s a children’s cartoon.

Megan takes this moment to open the locket and release The Rainbow™, which is now lacking the color green, and it slams into Catrina and Rep, knocking them down. Okay. It also sets into melting the snow and physically pushing the clouds away. Okay. Somehow the snowballed Ponies are okay and start to be freed from their slushy prison, while Catrina starts firing off eye lasers at the The Rainbow™. Okay.

It’s a children’s cartoon, it’s a children’s cartoon… nothing has to make actual sense.

So the The Rainbow™ succeeds in…whatever and the Ponies immediately get excited and Megan praises The Rainbow™ for a job well done. So let’s all remember that The Rainbow™ is a sentient being and likes to be praised.

Meanwhile, Catrina shrinks to what I’ll say is her normal stature, while Rep says they’ll have to find other creatures to enslave, since clearly Catrina is no match for The Rainbow™. Catrina is all, fuck that noise, and decides they’ll steal The Rainbow™ then enslave the Ponies. It’s a game plan!

Around this point there’s a terrible blatant edit, and from what I can tell, this is where the song “The Good Old Days” was cut out. Thanks to the magic of YT, let’s watch it!

From what I can tell, Catrina and Rep were an item, back in the “old days”. She also used to wear her hair up and dress like a Victorian/Edwardian woman. And he wore a striped suit jacket and a straw boater hat, and rode around on a bicycle. Rep laments that Catrina was once kind and sweet and meek, but has become a raging temperamental bitch with a drug addiction who enslaves creatures. He wants their relationship to go back to dates where they played badminton; Catrina does not.

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Kermit and Piggy, is that you?

If you grew up in the 1980s, you would immediately draw a parallel to The Great Muppet Caper, where in a frog and a pig date and ride bicycles in a park. I guess the writers of “Escape From Catrina” figured a cat-woman and a lizard-man was just enough different that no one would notice. And they made Catrina a redhead instead of a blonde.

The bottle of witchweed potion that Rep wears around his neck is empty, since Catrina used it all in that failed snowstorm kidnapping attempt. Angry, she yells at Rep, but he just waggles his eye…brows?

Back at Dream Castle, for some reason the Ponies are still decorating. Even though Megan is totally standing there, gushing about how beautiful the castle is. Sundance offers to help put up the last balloons but Sparkler shames her yet again, sending the pink-haired pony off to mope while the others bemoan that she sucks at landing her jumps.

Megan finds Sundance sobbing by the riverside, and tries to comfort her by saying everyone goes through a clumsy stage. [Dove: “Even me!” Megan adds, because even saints like her sometimes aren’t perfect.] She even gets Sundance to jump up and fetch an apple from a conveniently-placed apple tree (wait, where’s Applejack?!) in a bid to boost Sundance’s confidence. It half works.

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Wait, when did we arrive in Care-a-lot? Do the Ponies also live in in the Kingdom of Caring?

Eventually Sundance buys into the “you’re special no matter what the other Ponies say!” bit and offers to let Megan ride her back to the party. This still makes no sense, since it’s obviously Megan’s feet would touch the ground if she didn’t bend her knees while sitting on Sundance’s back, but off they go, back to Dream Castle.

Time to shill merchandise! The Baby Ponies appear, wearing outfits! I remember that rain slicker outfit. Megan tells them it’s time for the party, so they run off, leaving Baby Moondancer still naked and sitting alone in a corner. Megan inquires as to the problem; Baby Moondancer has no costume.

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

We’re just as shocked as you are, Rep.

Finding a golden tira crown on a shelf, Megan declares that Baby Moondancer can go as a princess. Baby Moondancer counters she doesn’t have a gown. Geez, demand much? Megan finds a pink cape trimmed with white fur and gold, latching it around Baby Moondancer’s neck. [Dove: I bought this very outfit at PonyCon 2017 – my first step on the accessories stage of collection.] To finish the outfit, Megan hands over the Heart Locket, virtually giving Baby Moonstone the Rainbow of Light. OH THAT’S A BRILLIANT MOVE, MEGAN.

And guess who sees the exchange? Yep, that’s right.

Megan instructs Baby Moondancer to go ahead to the party (ALONE AND UNSUPERVISED, IN THE DARK) because Megan still has to put on her outfit. I guess we can’t expect Megan to be all that responsible, she’s a child herself, right? Rep takes action, transforming into the weirdest looking drag Pony there ever was.

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Witchweed will expand your mind, man!

No, really, he becomes an orange-eyed, olive/khaky-green horse with lime green mane and tail, with a white nurse cap sporting a green cross (maybe witchweed was code for marijuana??) and a dark green bow on his tail. I’m sure by now someone in the customs field has made a figure of this. I don’t see how someone hasn’t.

Baby Moondancer walks across the bridge and immediately a terrible falsetto voice greets the “princess”. Baby Moondancer must know Rep is a faker, since she asks who he is, but Rep only answers that he’s headed to the costume ball, and OH WHAT A PRETTY LOCKET.

I dunno, maybe the Ponies don’t have a “stranger danger!” concept, but considering how few of them appear in these specials, and they all have names, and cutie marks, and this particular pony is an ugly-ass color and sports no rump mark… c’mon Baby Moondancer, scream already!

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Baby Moonstone does a pretty good job of trying to keep the locket out of Rep’s hands, even when he claims he’s a nurse and must examine it. She backs away just as he transforms and tries to snap the cord from her neck, but she doesn’t get far as he grabs onto her cape. Catrina shows up just as Rep fails, demanding the locket.

Oo, violence! Baby Moonstone bites Catrina’s finger as the villain reaches for the locket, causing Catrina to scream in rage and pain. Escape is impeded once more as the cape is a total liability. Captured, Baby Moonstone is carted away in Catina’s arms, while she rides a transformed Rep, who turned into a squat winged dragon. Okay.

Somehow, Megan hears Baby Moondancer’s cries for help. (???) She runs across the bridge but is too late, as Rep finally makes it into the air just high enough that Megan cannot reach them. He also makes a complaint about Catrina’s weight. Nice.

Baby Moondancer continues to call for help as the screen fades to black. (And probably a commercial back in 1985.)

We return to see Megan leading a rescue party out into the woods under a full moon. The Ponies aren’t much help, making worried comments and fearing the worst. Megan is already angry, which proved to be a great weapon against Tirek and Scorpan, her hand balled into a fist as she declares that Baby Moondancer better be unhurt.

Suddenly, the group hears a noise in the distance!

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Illegal Bushwoolie Raves are frequently held in Ponyland Forest

Peering over some bushes and rocks, they see a campfire surrounded by the Bushwoolies. They immediately introduce themselves (as a species, not individuals) and demand to know if Megan and the Ponies like them and how they look. (???) Well, I guess they’ve been starved for outside contact so long, they probably suffer from low self-esteem. [Dove: I was actually hoping that the purple one would say “Are you looking to enslave us?” and the rest would go, “Yes! Yes! Enslave us!” Then purple would yell, “No! No more slaves!” and kill the ponies.]

Sundance announces she thinks they’re cute. (I’m pretty certain Dove disagrees.) The Bushwoolies immeditately break into rounds of thanks, before Purple pipes up and asks if they’re looking for a large cat. Megan confirms and Purple informs them that Catrina and Rep are down a nearby hole. Evidently that whole cavern was once the Bushwoolies’ home, though that doesn’t explain all the cat decor and the machine, but maybe Catrina made them build all that? It seems like the Bushwoolies would be crap at building stuff, given their small hands and short attention spans.

Purple leads Megan, the Ponies, and the surviving Bushwoolies back into the underground lair. They come upon Catrina holding both Baby Moondancer and the Locket, demanding that the Ponies become her slaves. The refuse. She offers to spare The Rainbow™ if they agree. Again, the Ponies cry “No!” So Catrina moves to throw Baby Moondancer into the witchweed well.

Rep has had enough, grabbing onto Catrina and Baby Moondancer, telling the cat-woman she’s gone too far. Catrina roars and knocks him away, into a pile of… objects. Bursting out from under the clutter, Rep is now a khaki-green bull, snorting and pawing the ground, ready to charge. OH LOOK WE’RE TOTALLY NOT RIPPING OFF THE LAST UNICORN RIGHT NOW! Rep charges Catrina, knocking the Locket and Baby Moondancer out of her grip, as she falls over the edge of the witchweed well.

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

From that point on, Baby Moondancer was a death-defying thrill junkie.

Megan dives for and catches the Locket. Sundance jumps and there is no way to explain the angle, because she impossibly saves Baby Moondancer from falling to her death and drowning in the green liquid. Seriously, that is some shit animation right there. Megan praises Sundance for her “special” jumping ability.

Catrina is screaming, Rep is busy transforming. He finds her clinging to the rock wall of the witchweed well, begging for help. Rep is reluctant, saying he wants her to change and be good again.

Desperate, Catrina insists she’ll change. Megan doesn’t believe her. Rep demands she destroy the witchweed machine. At first Catrina is all “THAT TOOK FOREVER TO BUILD, BITCH!” but as her grip weakens and she begins to slide further down into the well, she agrees, but she needs witchweed potion to do what it takes, because she’s out of power.

WAIT WHY… SHE’S GOING TO END UP IN THE WELL, WHY DOESN’T SHE JUST DRINK IT DOWN AND DESTROY EVERYONE?? THIS IS A MAJOR PLOT HOLE.

[Dove: WHY ON EARTH ARE THE GOOD GUYS STANDING AROUND MAKING DEMANDS WHILE CATRINA NEARLY DIES? Twilight Sparkle wouldn’t pull this shit, she’d do what was right!]

Collecting some witchweed potion in the crystal bowl, Rep allows a single drop to fall into Catrina’s mouth. She’s immediately 75 feet tall and snarling, forcing Rep to remind her of her promise to destroy the machine. She hesitates before the lasers shoot out of her eyes, destroying a small part of the machine. It seems like she only took out part of it. Yet, Megan, the Ponies, and the Bushwoolies all break into cheers while Catrina asks Rep to help her out of the well, even though she shrunk back to normal size and is clinging to the rim of the well. That’s just plain weird.

The scene returns to Dream Castle, where Spike enters, dressed in half a suit of armor. He plays a trumpet, until his helmet snaps closed on his face, causing Megan to silently giggle. Megan, sitting on a throne and wearing a white dress with pink bow, announces the start of the costume parade.

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Sea Ponies are available to sing at weddings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, and funerals. Just supply water!

Somehow Dream Castle is MUCH BIGGER on the inside and sports a massive fountain that I know my playset did not have. And inside that fountain? THE SEA PONIES. Because obviously they aren’t limited to salt water and somehow it’s stupid easy to transport them into a goddamn fountain. How deep is that fountain? THIS MAKES ZERO SENSE.

They also only know one song, because we’re once again subjected to SHOO-BE-DOOO, SHOO-SHOO-BE-DOOO!

Once again, Hasbro uses this moment to shill the costume slash accessories sets (BUY OUR TOYS!) Various Ponies appear in costumes, modeling their wares, and you can hear the echoes of little girls in 1985 screaming “MOMMY I WANT THAT!”

No surprise Sparkler is a cheerleader. How fetch.

Even the Baby Ponies get in on the shilling, prancing about in their baby pony-sized costumes. Megan looks on happily, pleased as punch that alls well that ends well (BUY OUR TOYS.)

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

I always had Posey in this outfit, those glasses were the bomb.

[Dove: I think she looks like Dame Edna in that outfit.] [bat: You’re right. And I bet Dame Edna HAS this outfit.]

The Sea Ponies sing about being dressed like a dream, while the Baby Sea Ponies splash Baby Surprise, since she’s wearing rain gear. The rest of the Ponies parade past the fountain towards the massive dais where Megan sits on her throne and one wonders what the hell happened to Majesty? Remember, the Queen of the Ponies?

Instead of answers, we get Rep and Katrina, dressed up in formal outfits, joining the festivities. Boy, those Ponies are a forgiving bunch. Catrina is reluctant about joining, though Rep reassures her that she’s welcome. They join the procession, after Rep removes his foot from Catrina’s dress.

My Little Pony: Escape From Catrina

Lose the Rainbow again, Baby Moonstone, and this time you *will* drown!

Lickety-Split comes out wearing a wedding gown and a giant diamond ring, her train carried by two Bushwoolies. Okay, Ponies are familiar with the concept of marriage, but there’s no males! CONFUSED.

All the Ponies gather in a half circle, displaying the many, many Pony outfit sets parents were soon forced to buy to appease their daughters (BUY OUR TOYS!) Megan approaches just as Baby Moonstone comes forward, wearing her cobbled together princess outfit. Megan kneels and clasps the Heart Locket around the baby pony’s neck once again, before hugging her.

THE END.

Final Thoughts:

Thirty-six year old me is pretty sure four year old me wanted to be Catrina and that’s why I liked this special so much. I don’t know; I can recall the feelings but I don’t know or remember what triggered them. She wasn’t demonic or un-saveable like Tirek. She was just an addict who needed a strong intervention. Plus she had a loyal male partner who loved her in spite of her terribleness. And he could transform. That’s pretty cool.

There was probably the thrill of seeing Ponies I owned the figures for. Conspicuously missing are the Ponies featured in the first special. No Applejack, no Firefly or Medley, no Twilight or Baby Ember, not even Bow Tie. That seems odd. But this was a theme, since the cartoon pushed forward a bunch of other ponies (notably Gusty) and did away with some of the Ponies featured in this special.


Yes, that’s me in December 1985, sitting inside the Lullaby Nursery box, with the Baby Buggy next to it. And subsequently laying inside the box, for some reason, and yes that’s a MLP nightgown featuring Glory and Baby Glory. I would imagine I had a head cold, which I always seem to get around Christmas, and maybe I decided laying inside a dark, cool box was better then whatever else was going on.

So, clearly, the BUY OUR TOYS message of “Escape From Catrina” worked very well on me. I know that I spent hours playing with the Lullaby Nursery. It was very popular among my friends, as well, and I know it was one of the better playsets to store stuff in, since it locked together reasonably well.

[Dove: I had Dream Castle and I loved it. So much. I wanted Lullaby Nursery, but I knew that having one of the “big” playsets (Dream Castle, Lullaby Nursery or the Show Stable) was probably more than my parents could afford. I also had the baby buggy – I think I bought it with my birthday money. The playsets back then were great, really well designed with nice details (but occasionally easy to snap, like the handle on the Baby Bonnet School of Dance). We were lucky kids to grow up with these awesome toys.]

That’s it for the specials. Now we’ll be starting into the G1 cartoon series. I’ve seen the majority of the episodes, some multiple times, but Dove hasn’t. This will be fun, especially since the series came out after the feature film and features GOBS of Flutter Ponies (which Dove hates) right out of the gate.

[Dove: This was better than I thought it would be. I don’t remember it, but Tirek was a strong opener, so I thought the following episodes would be dramatically worse, but I actually really enjoyed it. The Bushwoolies are cute now I know their sad beginnings, and it was nice to see more ponies. All round, considering that it was basically a 20 minute commerical, it was a very good effort. I also like what bat said about Catrina not being truly evil, just someone with an addiction and a loyal partner. Adorable.]

Next up: the 10 part series, “The End of Flutter Valley”!

[Dove: Urgh. Flutter ponies. *sigh*]

Ponies. Vampires. Weird little films no one remembers. Much snark.

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