Sometime last week (or maybe earlier, but I suspect it wasn't that long ago), Hasbro redid their entire My Little Pony site to match the new style that's currently starting to appear in stores as we speak, dubbed G3.5 by some and G4 by others (the G stands for Generation). Along with new imagery on the website, Hasbro also put up some new bits of animation: the theme song, using the same song that was released with certain pony-and-DVD sets (i.e. Pinkie Pie's/Rainbow Dash's Special Day, Starsong and the Magic Dance Shoes), but reanimated with the new style, often reusing the same shots, if not exactly, then pretty darn close:
Really, it's the second half, when the theme turns into a Theme Tune Roll Call, where most of the similarities arise. The first half is almost all new imagery (including a super-cute Scootaloo pouncing).
The other two videos are short stories (like three minutes long short), and definitely reflect Hasbro aiming for a younger demographic than before. The first one, Waiting for the Winter Wishes Festival, is a prequel to the upcoming direct-to-DVD feature, "Twinkle Wish Adventure." As this is a Christmas story of sorts, Pinkie Pie and the others sing about their favorite holiday activites (dancing, making cards, stories, shopping, parties) while Sweetiebelle bakes cookies and Scootaloo fails at dancing.
Is it just me, or did Pinkie Pie steal Scootaloo's verse of the song? Because she totally did. And the voice Jaynse Jaud uses for PP doesn't quite pull of a touching type verse, hence more proof that Scootaloo was supposed to sing it (Not that Tabitha St. Germain would have done better necessarily, but I'm just saying).
The second, Sweetiebelle's Gumball House Surprise, is a small tour of Sweetiebelle's house set up scavenger-hunt-style, and showcases the ponies getting stumped by clues such as "where you dream" and "at the opposite of front." (That Pinkie Pie is the only one to get the "running = refrigerator" clue makes me think that her parties occasionally feature prank phone calls.) In the end, they are rewarded with what are obviously cupcakes, but the ponies call "muffins."
The new style definitely takes a little getting used to, but it is cute overall. It's a bit jarring to go from the new features on the site with the new style to the older features with the older style, so I wonder how long those will be sticking around. As for the animation, it seems all right to me, but from the wrong angle, the ponies end up looking a little like pigs. And I had to admit, the voice acting is not nearly as high-pitched as the seven minisodes that were put up about a year ago, which is definitely a good thing.