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  • This animated feature is a beautiful telling of a Russian fairytale. Ivan aquires a magic pony, and the story progresses in a similar manner to "Puss in Boots". Beautiful artwork, fantastic style, from an era where kids films weren't as ugly as they are now. Still entertaining at any age.
  • Knowing that this is a remake or extended version of the wonderful 1947 classic is reason enough to check this out. It is definitely worth checking out and is not bad at all, just not as good as the 1947 version. The pacing was the biggest issue. The story follows the 1947 version's story closely but extends some scenes, I did feel in places it did seem too drawn out and like padding(maybe to make up for that the story originally is enough for 50 minutes really) and consequently the unique rhyming and rhythm was sapped of its wit and sharpness, there is clear evidence of it but not enough and needed a stronger pace for it to work a little more. There are a few additional scenes also that seemed rather pointless, especially the one with the fish. And the voices don't fit as well as they did in the 1947 version, I liked the nobility and charm of some but others jarred. The animation however is beautiful and just as detailed and charmingly coloured, while the music has a beautiful whimsy and melancholy to it. The characters engage and serve a point to the story, the story for its pacing issues and unneeded moments does have an appealing strangeness and charm to it and the dialogue does make an effort to maintain wit and sharpness- not always successful because of the pacing mind- and it keeps within the tone of the story. To conclude, a little lacking especially when the earlier version is as good as it is but still good. 7/10 Bethany Cox
  • I first saw this movie as a young child when TV was fairly new. The movie was in black and white and the voice track and music were completely different. I am going back at least 50 years so I know this is not the original since Erin Moran, one of the voices was not even born at the time.

    I have always found this movie enchanting in spite of the new voices but it is not quite as good as the original. I have searched for an original copy but apparently it is no longer available. If you have young children, this is a must for your library of tapes. The animation is exceptional, the story line is a classic and children still seem to enjoy it very much as do adults.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    For the first time in a long while,I am actually excited about a review! I originally saw "The Magic Pony" on Saturday morning Aug. 23rd,1980 (age 12).

    I know this because the previous night I had spent in the hospital (nothing serious). I came home,rested and this was on TV. I also recalled it due to the incredibly catchy song sung by "The Sea Princess" in the second half called "(I Am) A Lonely Child". Mainly the lyric line,"in the dark of the night" is what never left me. It's the best song in the feature.

    Yesterday,7/21/07,I entered the library and noticed on it's "for sale" shelf a VHS copy of this film. I wasn't 100% sure it was the actual film but I bought it anyway (for less than $1!) I took it home,viewed it and wasn't positive until I heard that song. It's absolutely amazing to find it 1 month and 2 days shy of 27 years later.

    Anyhow,the actual film we see here was made in 1947 (happy 60th). Different sources say it was re-dubbed in 1975 or 1976 but a more accurate source says it was released in America Jan. 1977 (happy 30th).

    Anyhow,the story is about a young Russian man named Ivan(voiced by Family Affair's Johnny Whittaker) who goes out with his brothers on night to guard the family's wheat field. He's thought to be a "dumb-bell" by everyone. Actually he's just inexperienced in life but given how long ago this was made,political incorrectness abounds here. ...but don't let it stop you from enjoying it.

    His brothers get drunk and fall asleep while he has the dazzling experience of seeing the spirit of a grand white mare who's been trampling through their wheat. He catches hold of her and because he doesn't fall off while she's flying, she declares that he is her master and she bestowes to him two grand black horses and The Magic Pony named Zip (Erin Moran of Happy Days,my favorite show back then).

    Ivan,due to some help from Zip in outwitting his two brothers,who try to sell his horses, ends up working for the king (Jim Backus). The king a childish,mean,first class jerk. Even worse is the kings evil assistant (voiced by comic actor (Hans Conried) who wants the boy out of the way. He makes up lies about the boy to the king,which sends Ivan out on many an errand to re-win the kings favor. Which the king really doesn't deserve in the first place.

    Backus and Conreid are given lines like,"I'll see your body lying in a ditch!"/ "You shall be hung" / "We'll tear you up into little pieces". Again,the lines for today's tastes are P.I. but then again the times portrayed here weren't exactly a sea of tranquility...so again,just disregard the comments.

    Ivan and Zip the Magic Pony have adventures like capturing the mythical "Fire-Bird",bringing the Princess of the Sea to the king and getting her golden rings back,from the ocean bottom. The last one accomplished by setting a whale free from his cursed captivity,when the whale finally relinquishes 30 boats (and all the crew of)that he swallowed whole. The poor whale has villagers living on his back!

    Meanwhile,every plot by the king's assistant to discredit the boy (and get him killed by the way)are foiled by the help of Zip. The final task is brought about because the king wants to marry the Princess. She's (18?) and he's a geezer and she claims the only way she'd marry him is if he becomes young again.

    The outcome of the final task is what leads too the "happily ever after" part,so I wont spoil it. In all,this is an almost dream like movie. It's simplicity is it's charm and the story is a timeless one. The only thing that would make this movie even better is if it was put into restoration & recolorization and put out on a decent DVD package. Not a $1 DVD!

    10 stars,for re-discovering a piece of my childhood and the whole magical story itself. (END)
  • This movie has a good story and stylish animation. However it is a clear downgrade compared to same director's original1947 movie. Especially in artistically stylish animation department. Since it is a direct remake I can't find a meaning to new iteration being clearly inferior.

    Storywise, the single scene that doesn't exist in the original doesn't add anything to the new flick. English dubbing is serviceable but falters during songs. Also doesn't fit to characters very well but that's nitpicky for general audience. Original had better dubbing also.

    My enjoyment of this movie was decimated by having seen the clearly superior original two days ago. Since two movies have almost identical stories watching one diminishes the other. So watch the original instead. Otherwise this one is a nice movie also.