Rescue at Midnight Castle, also known as the My Little Pony Special, Firefly's Adventure, or My Little Pony in Dreamland, was an animated special and precursor to My Little Pony 'n Friends. It served as a pilot for the franchise, introducing numerous characters who would appear in the later series and subsequent media.
In Ponyland, the ponies of Dream Castle are enjoying a sunny day when the sky darkens above them. A monstrous flock of creatures known as Stratadons appears, with one of them being ridden by Scorpan. The beasts swoop down and carry off two of the ponies, prompting Firefly to take off in search of help for the ponies. Scorpan soon returns to Midnight Castle with his prisoners, depositing them in a cell before being greeted by a small dragon named Spike. He then goes before his master Tirek, only to be reprimanded for only capturing two of the ponies when Tirek needs four to pull his Chariot of Midnight. Spike speaks up in Tirek's defense, angering the shadowy creature and prompting Scorpan to embrace the young dragon protectively.
Elsewhere, a girl named Megan is tending to her ordinary horse T.J. when Firefly appears and asks her for help. She is eventually persuaded to climb on the Pegasus' back, and flown to Ponyland despite her own objections that she is not a hero. Shortly after the two arrive at Dream Castle, the Stratadons return, carrying off two more ponies. Megan attempts to intervene and ends up falling towards the ground, only to be unexpectedly saved by Scorpan and warned not to interfere. Moved by anger at the monstrous attack, Megan chooses instead to help the ponies rescue their friends.
Scorpan returns to Midnight Castle, and the four captive ponies are brought before Tirek, who is revealed as a wicked centaur. He has the young pony Ember removed from the group, as she is too small for his purposes, before transforming the other three into hideous dragons using his Rainbow of Darkness. Tirek then warns Scorpan to capture a fourth pony or he will have Spike killed. Meanwhile, Megan and the others head towards Midnight Castle, only for the rope bridge they are traveling across to collapse, dropping Megan and Applejack into the water.
Fortunately, the two are saved by the Sea ponies, who give them a shell so that they can call upon them for help at any time. Megan's party then goes to visit the Moochick, a diminutive wizard who gives them the magical Rainbow of Light to help them counter Tirek. The group then reaches Midnight Castle, and with the Sea ponies' help are able to cross the river surrounding it to get inside. They then end up joining forces with Scorpan, who has freed Ember and is attempting to escape with her and Spike, only to be ambushed by Tirek and his gaurds when they attempt to steal the Rainbow of Darkness.
Applejack is captured and turned into the final dragon needed to pull Tirek's chariot, and he sets out to bring eternal night upon Ponyland. Scorpan and the ponies try to stop him by taking the Rainbow of Darkness, but prove to be no match for the villain. Megan then opens the locket containing the Rainbow of Light, a small bit of magic that is seemingly consumed by the Rainbow of Darkness. However, the Rainbow of Light overpowers its evil counterpart, destroying Tirek and undoing his evil work. His various minions are returned to their normal forms, with Scorpan turning out to be a prince while Spike is revealed to be a naturally born dragon.
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