Littlest Pet Shop, the next My Little Pony or just another sub par cartoon?
The series premiered with a two part story, Blythe's Big Adventure. Blythe is a young human girl (around 13 or so) who with her father, moves to a new city. There new apartment is right above, you guessed it, Littlest Pet Shop. Blythe in the most intellectual of moves, immediately jumps into an old dusty dumbwaiter. The dumbwaiter falls and she hits her head on the ground. Instead of her brains redecorating the walls she gains the ability to talk to animals....... so that's the way you're going to play it........ way to really impress us out of the gate LPS. Turns out Littlest Pet Shop is about to go out of business because Largest Ever Pet Store is stealing all there business. Yes, we're one episode in and we're already talking about how big business is evil and ruining everyone’s lives, this coming from Hasbro, which is a big business.... umm okay. Seeing as how Blythe can understand the animals, they convince her to help them save LPS. Then they fail and all the pets are put down..... okay of course they succeed, was there ever any doubt? The owner of LPS then hires Blythe as a full time employee to help out around the pet shop.
There are a slew of characters. There's Sonic the Hedgehog, Kung Fu Panda, Dixie Kong, Pepe le puw, Gex the Gecko, Twilight Barkle, and a mongoose. Every character also follows the MLP way of having a special talent and many of the pets have very similar characteristics to our beloved ponies.
Blythe Baxter – (Ashleigh Ball ) Human girl who is really into designing clothes. Her voice actress is Ashleigh Ball, who plays Rainbow Dash and Applejack over on MLP, and you can really, really tell. It's not all the time, but you can definitely hear the Rainbow Dash in Blythe's voice.
Russell Ferguson – Not a porcupine, a hedgehog. He's the “Alright guys we need to be careful. This is illogical. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” type character. His talent seems to be organization so he's sort of the Twilight Sparkle of the group.
Minka Mark – A pink monkey that is very spastic and hyperactive. A very obvious Pinkie Pie fill in. She likes to paint.
Vinnie Terrio – Either a chameleon of an iguana. His thing is dancing. He also serves as comedic relief, always being clumsy and on the slow side.
Pepper Clark - (Tabitha St. Germain) A skunk that's “kind of a comedian”. Unfortunately I didn't find her particularly funny. She has a “stinking” problem where she occasionally will start doing what skunks are known for, I can already see that this will be a joke that will be used way more than it needs to be, but it'll most likely be a common joke throughout the series. Combine Vinne, Minka, and Pepper, and you have one Pinkie Pie.
Zoe Trent – (Nicole Oliver) A dog that has the exact same color scheme as Twilight. Shes sings and likes to be in the limelight. She likes fashion and looking good so she's more like Rarity than anypony else.
Penny Ling – A panda... wait, how does a small American pet shop have a panda in stock? I think the government of China might want to have a word with the proprietor. Her thing is those twirly ribbons and being ignored.
Sunil Neva – (Peter New) A mongoose who wants to be a magician but is about as magical as an empty box of cereal. He's also gloom and doom and on the depressive side. Is very scared of everything and shy.... just like our favorite yellow pegasus Fluttershy.
What show would be complete without some villians. The Biscuit twins (it not spelled that way but fuck if I'm not going to spell it this way.) I don't know what the guys at Hasbro were thinking, but two mean girls name Biscuit doesn't really strike fear into my heart.
The second Blythe gets to school she immediately makes a racial rainbow of friends. A white girl, an Asian girl, and a boy who's either Black of Mexican...... I'm not 100% sure since he didn't really have an accent and he was just that shade of brown that could go either way, plus his name is Jasper so it's not obvious like Pedro or something like that........ I'M NOT BEING RACIST! I groaned when our rainbow showed up because it's such a cliché, all they are missing is a kid in a wheelchair and they'll have a complete set of politically correct friends.
And then there's Blythe's Dad and the old woman who owns the LPS but there's not much to say other than her dad should have his license permanently revoked.
The animation is fine but it takes a little getting used to, something about it just seems off but you get adjusted fairly quickly. I had a problem with some of the backgrounds because they are in this really bad, almost paper cut out looking style. All the character designs are decent, but none really stands out other than Zoe and that's solely because she looks just like Twilight.
None of the characters really endeared themselves to me either. So far they all seem extremely one dimensional. Three times within the storyline they were given the chance to do something and every time they did the same thing. Vinnie danced, Pepper tried to be funny, Russell sat in the corner and worried, etc. I'd say my favorite out of the bunch would either be Zoe (just because she reminds me of Twilight and I like dogs) or Sunil the Mongoose, I just like his sort of snarky, cup half empty personality.
The music is good, and we have Daniel Ingram to thank for that, I especially dig the opening theme song. I've never liked the opening song to MLP, I wish they'd completely redo it and debut a new one in season 4, but I'm getting of topic here.
I am a bit confused at to what the pets actually are doing there. They're described as “the day camp pets”, which I believe means they have owners and they are just sort of babysat during the day, but that kind of defeats the purpose of it being a pet shop (it's more of a kennel) and it doesn't make any sense with the story because they do things at night so if their owners don't have them during the day or at night, when are these pets actually at home?
I also have a problem with the pets themselves. They have no self control, they make messes wherever they go. The are sentient and carry on intelligent conversations, but when they go up to Blythe's room to ask for her help they dig into her clothes and personal belongings, trashing the room. Excuse me, but you just ruined my room and all my personal affects, you can go fuck yourselves!
Overall I didn't particularly like this premier. It wasn't very funny, well written, or bringing anything new to the table. But while it wasn't all that good, it wasn't all the bad either. This is one of those resounding “Eh... it's alright.” type shows, but I'm going to stick with it for the next few episodes because I believe that it will get better. These first two episode had to introduce us to the characters, settings, and overall plot of the show, when My Little Pony had to do that it also failed (the first two episodes of MLP being some of the worst in the entire series) But once you actually get to the meat of the show, and see how episodes will be one there past the starting gate, then we'll know whether or not Littlest Pet Shop will be worth our time. If you haven't watch it yet I'd wait a few weeks and then power through the first 4 or 5 episodes at once, that way you'll be able to accurately measure it's appeal. Either way, I don't see this showing gathering as massive an audience, or as rabid an audience as MLP, I'm sure it'll have plenty of fans, but it just doesn't have that spark which separates the good from the legendary.
Bonus points for cat girls!