Friday Flicks: ‘Horseland’

Not unlike Horse Nation, Horseland is a magical place inhabited by horsecrazy girls and boys and their equine counterparts. Horse Nation movie critic delves into the “Horseland” phenomenon.

From Amanda:

Two things happen when you have a sick toddler.  One, you don’t get to do anything or go anywhere.  Toddlers are raw emotion and when they are sick and tired… they are SICK and TIRED.  Two, you watch a lot of cartoons and eat a lot of jell-o.  Which brings me to Horseland, a cartoon that ran on CBS Saturday mornings from 2006 to 2008.  Season 1 of the series can be found on Netflix.

There are seven main human characters on the cartoon, all with horse counterparts.

From left to right the horse/handler pairs are: Will and Jimber, Zoey and Pepper, Chloe and Chili, Bailey and Aztec, Alma and Button, Molly and Calypso, and last but not least Sarah and Scarlet.

The characters face a myriad of trials and tribulations.  The series premiere, “You Can’t Judge a Girl By Her Limo,” details the arrival of a rich girl, Sarah, and her purebred Arabian, Scarlet.  The rest of the gang predetermines Sarah as a snob.

Will Sarah leave Horseland?  Or will the barn brats get to know her and accept her for who she really is?  You’ll just have to watch and see.

There are life lessons here, folks.  Like what about in Season 1, Episode 3 when Will says, “There’s no day off when you’re caring for a horse.”  True that.

The most interesting thing about this cartoon is that it actually started as a web-based SIM game in 1994.  Horseland and Horseland Jr. boast over 7 million active players from around the world.  Users can own, breed, train, and compete their very own customizable horses.  My avatar, HNMOVIE, is shown here frolicking at the park.  To be honest, I had no idea what to do from this point in the game.  I tried to go to a jumping competition but I guess I missed the closing date?  Who knows.

Just in case you don’t jive with the interweb, different versions of the game are also available for your Nintendo DS.

Or perhaps you want to do live role-play with your Horseland action figures…

There are also board games, and a book series…

Needless to say, this can get really ridiculous really quick.  What starts out as a Saturday morning cartoon quickly explodes into a full blown media franchise.  But at the end of the day I have to ask myself, would I rather be totally immersed in Horseland or Dora the Explorer with my 4 year old daughter?  I’ll go with Horseland every time.  I give the cartoon 2 1/2 Golden Horseshoes.

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