In my opinion, these two episodes are one of the most generic ones. Their plots are very straightforward and, I even say, dull: look for the magical items that will defeat the villain and move on. Okay, this is true if you group both episodes together. Part 1 misled me to believe that the search for the Elements of Harmony
to defeat Nightmare Moon was the central
plot of the whole series rather than something that got solved in the next episode which is why, plot-wise, the second part was a letdown.
Their importance lies in the fact that they're the pilots and serve to introduce the main characters and their purpose for the rest of the show.
Even when I saw it the first time I found the characters to be kind off constrained. Off course in hindsight it all makes sense now for a social hermit like Twilight Sparkle to act overly modest meeting new ponies.
That being said there were some elements that allured me to check more of the show.
When I saw Rarity on the first part, I thought of her as another girly-fashionista type character which over-saturates the girl market. But the way she charged at the manticore without hesitation to a close combat and sacrificing her tail without a cinch to Steve Magnet proved that she's a box full of surprises.
Like mentioned before in >>401514
, the way the other ponies reacted to Pinkie's song was one of light humor that only people of older age would get it. Had it been another casual little girl's show, the would have sung and dance straight off the bat instead of being dubious to Pinkie's sudden reaction to laugh and sing.
Over all I give these episodes a 4.5/10. Had it not for the subtle factors mentioned before, I would have drop it from the second part. I don't recommend anyone who wants to see MLP to watch these two episodes first unless they're the type who wants to see stuff from the beginning.