Friday, 7 March 2014

DVD review: A Pony Party

A Pony Party DVD cover
Yes, I'm reusing the same photo. Go me
After going through quite a palaver to get hold of it, I can finally bring you a review of the third in Clear Vision's series of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic DVD collections. I bought mine through Amazon, where it's currently on sale for £8.78 – though remember that you no longer get free p&p on sub-£10 orders. I've been moderately pleased with the first two discs in the series, but neither has really set the world on fire. Will this one? There's only one way to find out: come on past the break!

Cover design is not really Clear Vision's strong point: it's okay, but nothing amazing. We get Pinkie (of course) with a cake and party hat, Rarity looking cheerful and a flying Rainbow grinning, all in front of Sugarcube Corner. On the back, we see the Mane Six inside Sugarcube Corner, and there's a vague but reasonable short blurb. The front cover strapline promises us "5 irresistibly fun episodes" – on which note, this time round we get the following five eps:
  • The Ticket Master
  • Winter Wrap Up
  • Suited for Success
  • Party of One
  • The Best Night Ever
Screenshot from "Winter Wrap Up"
Picture quality does seem much better this time round
I'm not all that enamoured of "The Ticket Master", but the other four episodes are all excellent choices. In fact, this is probably the strongest line-up of all the three Clear Vision DVDs we've seen so far. The party theme makes the disc's title quite reasonable: three episodes deal with the light Grand Galloping Gala season arc, while "Party of One" will need no introduction to any brony! The odd one out is "Winter Wrap Up", but I doubt many people will object to that one. And thank Celestia, the awful video quality of Call of the Cutie has been consigned to history.

We do really well on the extras front this time, as we get no fewer than three commentary tracks: these are all enjoyable, and are to "Winter Wrap Up", "Suited for Success" and "The Best Night Ever". If you don't own the Region 1 S1 box set DVD, then the commentaries alone make A Pony Party worth shelling out for. We don't get a lot else: a Pinkie Pie profile (including some stuff from S2), a very basic PDF colouring page and a couple of adverts, for the Gameloft game and the Equestria Girls film.

The audio setup is identical to that on the previous two DVDs in the series: those listening to the English, French and Italian soundtracks can revel in 5.1 luxury, while Spanish and Arabic speakers have to make do with plain old 2.0 audio. And yes, English with French subtitles is on offer, too. As happened last time round, the adverts can be accessed in various languages, but really you're going to have to be awfully bored to find that terribly interesting!

A Pony Party extras menu
The commentaries are by far the DVD's best features
A Pony Party is probably the best of the three Clear Vision releases so far. Four of the five episodes are excellent, the extra, er, extras are genuinely worth having and the video quality seems to be better this time round. It's a real shame, though, that the disc seems so hard to find in actual shops. As it's a significant chunk of change more expensive on Amazon, I've taken off half a mark from where it would otherwise have been. Even so, it's good to see this and I hope Clear Vision do go ahead and complete the set.

  • Generally great selection of episodes
  • Three episode commentaries!
  • Picture quality has improved since last time
  • It's likely to set you back more
  • Non-commentary extras are very basic
  • Menus take forever to get through

No comments:

Post a Comment