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My Little Brony
May 28, 2011 10:18 PM   Subscribe

The best word to describe it is probably “relentless,” in that it’s relentlessly cute, relentlessly happy, and relentlessly entertaining. In its own way, it reminds me of a movie like Singin’ In The Rain, in that both properties aim to overwhelm any cynicism directed at them via sheer and utter joyfulness. It seems like it should be easy to watch either property with an ironic sneer of detachment, but both utterly wear down all defenses. - The A.V. Club. My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic (previously) is the curiously addictive cartoon accompaniment to the famous girl's toy line. It just finished it's first season, and all of the episodes can be seen on YouTube (start here) and this all encompassing torrent. While intended for girls 6 through 8, the show has spawned a surprising additional fan base of young-adult men. Calling themselves bronies, they have created a staggering amount of fan material (check the blog Equestra Daily, chan Ponychan, and image dump Ponibooru) and turned the ponies into a widely pervasive meme, all with the apparent blessing of Hasbro.

Here are some highlights of Bronydom:

An animation error in the pilot episode has lead to the legend of Derpy Hooves. The character has been acknowledged by show runners and she has since gone on to show up in later episodes in increasingly prominent roles. Truly we are dealing with UTTER GENIUSES here. Other background ponies Doctor Whooves and DJ P0N-3 have suffered a similar fate. And that's just the start.

YouTube user RainbowCrash88 has converted the entire first season's soundtrack into Gameboy chiptunes. The source material: Winter Wrap Up, Art of the Dress, Giggle at the Ghostly, Evil Entrantress.

Just about every trailer and music video of the past five years has been given a pony version. Here's a quick rundown by The A.V. Club.

PONIES The Anthology is a half hour compilation of AMV style fan clips. It starts off with a bitchin cover Kanye West's Power. Space core shows up at 16:50 and 18:50.

The disturbing fan fiction Cupcakes (think Sweeney Todd) has gone on to become somewhat legendary.

(previously on metafilter) Witness the deterioration of the American educational system in Physical imposibilties in My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. I'm also partial to this blow-by-blow of Pokemon vs. Ponies wrestling match, also featured previously.
posted by The Devil Tesla (131 comments total) 78 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fucking internet, man.
posted by danb at 10:22 PM on May 28, 2011


(Sorry, that wasn't meant to be snarky -- this post is great! I just mean that the young-adult fanbase is equal parts hilarious and fascinating and I can't help but shake my head at it.)
posted by danb at 10:29 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


And for those who play the Pathfinder RPG, there is also the compatible "Ponyfinder" races (also compatible with D&D 3.x ed).
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 10:33 PM on May 28, 2011


Well hey there /co.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:33 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am strangely fucking fascinated. I foresee some ponies in my future.

Of course, MLP were, like, my favorite toys when I was little. I still have the original MLP movie on a videocasette. The same tape has some episodes of Winnie the Pooh, and also, A Clockwork Orange.)
posted by threeturtles at 10:44 PM on May 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Going to go and turtle down by the Skull Throne for a little while. Surely The Betrayer will help me overcome this... this... thing.
posted by Slackermagee at 10:47 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why is My Little Pony getting that many FPP's? I hate to be the one that asks that, especially since I still haven't gotten through all of the MLP links I last saw on Thursday night (and now it's Saturday), but....

DAMN, Y'ALL. Are ponies that good of crack now?
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:53 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:54 PM on May 28, 2011


There are also places you can design your own MLPs, at DerpyHooves.com, DollDevine (warning: muzak) and at good ol' Deviant Art, where galadriel made some MetaPonies based on her own horses and I designed the MEFI LITTLE PONY, aka F. P. Blue.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:56 PM on May 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


Challenge accepted, internet. You will never make me like My Little Pony.



Wait. Gameboy chiptunes? ... that's just not fair.
posted by MrFTBN at 11:01 PM on May 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


You can also turn yourself into a customizable Pony avatar in Second Life....
posted by Quiplash at 11:04 PM on May 28, 2011


MLP was actually the culprit* for a surprisingly bitter fight between my partner and I, when he read the AV Club review and suggested it might've been something that might be interesting to watch together, and I reacted with such disdain and snark that he got really defensive, which sent me into an oddly vehement rant about how the vapidity of the MLP line of toys represented everything that was terrible about gendered toys for girls and how I hated everything pink and pony and magical and friendly anyway. I actually steadfastly refused to watch the YouTube clip he sent me.

We retreated to nurse our wounds, I soon felt bad for having acted like such a bitch, apologized, and began to read up a bit more about it (the aforementioned AV Club review and the previous Metafilter thread). I was slowly reconciled to the idea of maybe watching it with him as a peace gesture or an appreciation of a cultural phenomenon, and said so, but we never discussed it again.

The fact that the word "Bronies" made me roll my eyes so hard I threatened to strain a muscle tells me that I probably will never overcome my prejudices in order to enjoy the show. I fully acknowledge that I'm probably missing out, and I'm actually a little jealous of the MeFites in the previous thread who had seen and liked it for not having the crazy baggage that's preventing me from appreciating something that smart people I respect have declared worthwhile, but....there you go.

*Okay, the culprit wasn't MLP, it was the fact that I'm crazy.
posted by Phire at 11:17 PM on May 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Also, holy run-on sentences, Batman.
posted by Phire at 11:18 PM on May 28, 2011


I was a brony the first time around. I had SO MANY pretty ponies. Fuck yeah.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:22 PM on May 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I would just like to say that since Buffy retired, TV has been sorely lacking in strong female lead ensemble casts. And My Little Ponies seriously do kick ass.

Also I would like to point out I made my MeFi avatar before the new series. I was AHEAD OF THE CURVE for once...
posted by DarlingBri at 11:37 PM on May 28, 2011


Because I can't sleep, I offer you...

MeTaPonyPony

and

AskMyPony
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:37 PM on May 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I strenuously object to the idea that My Little Pony were originally meant for girls, and I am confident that my good friend Blossom (Who engaged in any activity with delightful enthusiasm and good nature, whether it be acting as He-Man's noble steed in a never-ending battle for Eternia or a contemplative afternoon of mane and tail brushing and braiding) would agree.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:44 PM on May 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


MyLittleHowie
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:48 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I prefer the classics.
posted by Winnemac at 12:19 AM on May 29, 2011


I'm glad to see this series gain such popularity among an audience older (and with more Y-chromosomes) than one might initially expect. It's a fine example of how a show with a simple premise can draw the attention of a diverse public if told earnestly and skillfully.

As a fan of anime and cartoons, it's also a great counterpoint to anyone who says Japanese "magical girl" shows are for shut-ins and creeps. The parallels to Sailor Moon, Pretty Cure, and other standards of that genre are quite clear. Unlike those shows, MLP:FIM's intelligent use of Western-style storytelling allows it to enjoy wide success here in the States. You don't have to appreciate baffling manzai comedy routines to enjoy it, and that helps a lot.
posted by Maxson at 1:47 AM on May 29, 2011


Overthinking it discusses MLP:FIM
posted by Acheman at 3:18 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


oneswellfoop: "I designed the MEFI LITTLE PONY, aka F. P. Blue."

Fuckin' right click, save as. Good work.

DarlingBri: "Also I would like to point out I made my MeFi avatar before the new series. I was AHEAD OF THE CURVE for once..."

I distinctly remember going to your user page for some reason, seeing the pony, and thinking, "pfft, retrooooo." Joke's on me, now.

My my little ponies wouldn't fit in my care bears cloud car. I am forever bitter.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:23 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pony's a fantastic show (only a step below Adventure Time and Superjail! on my admittedly incredibly tone-variant loose personal scale of crazy, imaginative, daft, funny TV).

I think the brony following is unequivocally a good thing, too. Check out any pony thread (on the forums whose mods didn't have a reflexive fear-spasm over the notion), and compare it with other threads in the same place on similar topics. It's a fun show in its own right, but by some confluence of time and place it's also acted as a relatively socially-acceptable (in the sense its fans stick together and circle the wagons, at least) outlet for an absolute ton of behaviour disallowed by the masculine norms in these groups.

I think in contrast to the way-too-common assertion that male feminine identities are artificial and invalid, it shows how many typically female-gendered traits and drives are present in guys but kept below the surface by masculine socialising, and maybe how much more fulfilled many feel when they're able to let them out in a setting where they'll be supported. Which isn't bad for a cartoon about magic ponies and their crippling mental problems.

I had one pony as a kid, but she was inducted into the Ghostbusters alongside Egon, Venkman and an out-of-scale mummy from some kind of movie-monsters toy line. I distinctly remember managing to get a proton pack on her somehow. I'm available for consultation on that third movie, Mr Aykroyd .
posted by emmtee at 3:40 AM on May 29, 2011 [12 favorites]


oneswellfoop: I designed the MEFI LITTLE PONY, aka F. P. Blue.

Besides, what would the cutie mark of somepony whose talent is arguing even look like?
posted by emmtee at 3:45 AM on May 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Besides, what would the cutie mark of somepony whose talent is arguing even look like?

Ahem.
posted by JHarris at 4:06 AM on May 29, 2011


I am not going to be able to overcome my prejudice to this.

On a random note, as a sometime furry, you will probably not be surprised to hear that about half the fandom is now obsessed with this.
posted by solarion at 4:47 AM on May 29, 2011


Technicolor ponyplay; fun for everyone.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:15 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I will only be truly impressed when this level of fandom roars to life around a reboot of The Golden Girls.
posted by Chichibio at 5:28 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this what living in the future is going to be like all the time?

Yeah, I think it is.
posted by kcds at 5:29 AM on May 29, 2011


Cutie marks are the Equestria equivalent of tramp stamps, little symbols that appear on the horse’s hindquarters once it knows what it’s meant to be doing. Hence, the constantly over-the-top Pinkie Pie gets balloons (after she discovers how much she enjoys throwing parties for her family on their ancestral rock farm), while the glamorous Rarity has gems. One of the central threads of the show involves three very young ponies, still hoping to gain their cutie marks, who spend much of their time attempting to grow up faster than they really should and, thus, getting into all sorts of wacky scrapes.
So in Equestria you find your occupation kind of the way you find your sexual orientation IRL, and once you find it some magical force permanently marks you? And this is considered good?

I don't suppose it helps that I'm one of those people who thinks of Malcolm MacDowell before I think of Gene Kelly when I hear the title Singin' in the Rain, but SRSLY. I find the idea of using relentlessly cute imagey to push this idea, or the idea that "friendship" magically overcomes the kind of power and economic imbalances that the overthinkingit article deconstructs, much more disturbing than just pushing poorly made crap at kids because they'll sit still for it.
posted by localroger at 5:46 AM on May 29, 2011


I don't think the message that you should be proud of your talents is so bad. If it's implemented in a way that wouldn't work in real life, that's inelegant, in the same way it's inelegant that the ponies have to waste so much labor manually unguley? changing the seasons, and without magic to boot.

Anyway, the power of "it's magic, I ain't gotta explain shit" says that career changes are also accompanied by a change in Cutie Mark.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:08 AM on May 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


ArmyOfKittens: I distinctly remember going to your user page for some reason, seeing the pony, and thinking, "pfft, retrooooo." Joke's on me, now.

Honey, I am totally retro. Pro tip: everything comes around again. I own awesome vintage clothes that are totally cool again, but only if you ignore the fact that I have been consistently wearing them for the intervening 25 years.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:12 AM on May 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I still don't get it.
posted by jonmc at 6:18 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


On this day the internet officially passed me by.
posted by octothorpe at 7:09 AM on May 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


i'm not one to put down what gives others wholesome or often unwholesome pleasure, but matching adult male with my little pony can't help but say child molester to me. that's not to say that i'm not looking forward to seeing the inevitable fisher-price and playskool memes play out here.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 7:11 AM on May 29, 2011


So after the last My Little Pony thread, I watched the first half of the pilot. And I just don't get it. I wish I got it! Not getting it is a sign that my days of getting things like this are starting to pass. Truly I am one step closer to crone than maiden anymore.

I'm just bemused watching this hubbub. Glad that there's something typically feminine that dudes like, too. Brony. Heh.
posted by sugarfish at 7:23 AM on May 29, 2011


but matching adult male with my little pony can't help but say child molester to me.

or a very odd variant on a furry.
posted by jonmc at 7:24 AM on May 29, 2011


sugarfish: "I wish I got it!"

Threads like this make me miss the image tag so hard.

octothorpe: "On this day the internet officially passed me by."

TV, as well.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:26 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


matching adult male with my little pony can't help but say child molester to me

But presumably the fact there's self-evidently no correlation means you're re-evaluating the way you perceive the world.

Right?

I mean, I know I'd hate to go through life knowing my assumptions were so disconnected from reality I might as well be asleep.
posted by emmtee at 7:26 AM on May 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


and yet you choose to stay awake despite a broken sarcasm filter. i'm like that dude still upset after five years that my husband wouldn't let me buy a pink-plaid hello kitty change purse to keep my bus fare in.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 7:32 AM on May 29, 2011


Shepherd and I have been running episodes in the background all morning as we putter around the house and I've gotta say, groundbreaking it isn't, but cute it sure is.

(Also, he keeps asking me, "How does it feel to have your part of the country represented by a pony in a cowboy hat and a Southern drawl?")
posted by Kitteh at 7:35 AM on May 29, 2011


Like it's made for this place.
posted by idiopath at 7:46 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


1) Yeah, cute, but I think I'll just sit this one out.

2) oneswellfoop: AskMyPony

3) Ahhhh, shit.

4) Succumbs to the cuteness.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:49 AM on May 29, 2011


> Is this what living in the future is going to be like all the time?

Imagine My Little Pony in your face, forever.

Orwell wrong, Huxley right. We will be destroyed by stuff we upvoted.
posted by jfuller at 8:04 AM on May 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


fallacy of the beard: i'm not one to put down what gives others wholesome or often unwholesome pleasure, but matching adult male with my little pony can't help but say child molester to me.

That's OK, fallacy of the beard, there is a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode just for you to help you contextualize and overcome prejudice with no rational basis. Enjoy!
posted by DarlingBri at 8:13 AM on May 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


I will only be truly impressed when this level of fandom roars to life around a reboot of The Golden Girls.

Hire Lauren Faust to head up the project and we'll talk.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:16 AM on May 29, 2011


This is insane. I skimmed the links and got stuck on KnowYourMeme reading up on the phenomenon, and on YouTube watching the Inglourious Basterds and 300 MLP mashups (which were hilarious and clever). To my knowledge, my daughter does not watch this show. That will change.

The Devil Tesla, awesome post.
posted by bayani at 8:37 AM on May 29, 2011


Localroger,

You're not the only one who wondered about the economy and class issues of Equestria.

There's also a hilarious meme picture [ads possibly NSFW] of My Little Ponies referencing the famous "Pyramid of Capitalist Systems" poster.

TL;DR: I think bronies are hilarious. :hoofbump!:
posted by ntartifex at 9:10 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why is My Little Pony getting that many FPP's?

Yea, sorry that the posts are so close. I had wanted to do a season wrap up (season wrap up, season wrap up!) for a while and that other post was a little inconvenient. I waited for it to be pushed off the front page before striking.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 9:17 AM on May 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


PS. My parents gave me My Little Ponies as a kid, but I didn't really care for them since the fake sugary smell they put in the plastic made me nauseous. Also, I had the hugest crush on Egon Spengler and made fantasy scenarios where I'd join the Ghostbusters and totally impress him with my knowledge of paranormal phenomenon and oozeology.
posted by ntartifex at 9:18 AM on May 29, 2011


ntartifex, that's a furry booru with porny links. I like the pic, but maybe you should have a mod mark that NSFW.

Incidentally, for people who like MLP:FIM but not the creepy, sometimes NSFW weirdness of the 'chans, there's Ponygoons, made by Something Awful exile bronies who were no longer able to post ponies in the Something Awful forms (don't recall if there was too much trolling or if they were outright banned), but who didn't care for the creepiness of other brony places. They have a policy against shipping and creepy fanfiction and porn (yes, there is porn), and they even opened up an alternative to Ponibooru (which has low moderation issues), called Bronibooru.

It's a fun place to chat about pony stuff. I go by the name TVarmy there. I tend to nerd out.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:23 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


*porny ads, I mean, so you'll most likely see something seriously NSFW in addition to a perfectly SFW image.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:24 AM on May 29, 2011


Ugh, sorry about that, I did a google search for the capitalist image and hit the first link that matched. Can mods help out?
posted by ntartifex at 9:27 AM on May 29, 2011


(And this is where I forget that running NoScript and AdBlock shows me a very different internet.)
posted by ntartifex at 9:29 AM on May 29, 2011


Wow! This is not my thing, but I think it's awesome that it exists.

Also, as a gay person, let me say I think it is actually a nice wink that the butch is represented by rainbows. The existence of in references does not make something homophobic!
posted by serazin at 9:58 AM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


*shuffles off to Black Sabbath discussion to look for jonmc*
posted by marxchivist at 10:02 AM on May 29, 2011


[added NSFW indicator, carry on]
posted by jessamyn at 10:04 AM on May 29, 2011


I wish this whole thing had been around 20+ years ago, so my MLP-loving little brother could have enjoyed his, uh, ponyplay without getting shamed out of it. Also 'cause the show looks a hell of a lot better than the old one...
posted by jtron at 10:10 AM on May 29, 2011


Also, I watched Singing In The Rain last night for the 55896th time and how the hell is it not cynical?
posted by jtron at 10:12 AM on May 29, 2011


> I will only be truly impressed when this level of fandom roars to life around a reboot of The Golden Girls.

Betty White as the still-breathing somewhat dim Rose who hasn't figured out her three housemates are Walking Dead-style zombies in a FL retirement community? Rose remains uneaten, but everyone else is fair game?... hell yeah, I'd watch it!
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 10:21 AM on May 29, 2011


reboot of The Golden Girls

wait they were androids? i never picked up on that.
posted by neuromodulator at 11:01 AM on May 29, 2011


Also, I watched Singing In The Rain last night for the 55896th time and how the hell is it not cynical?

I think you're mistaking recognition of the audience's pessimistic attitude for actual cynicism, something (if I remember right) the movie plays with the same way Friendship Is Magic does. There are cynical elements to both of them, but happiness always seems to win.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:04 AM on May 29, 2011


Overwhelm any cynicism?

That sounds like a challenge.
posted by adipocere at 11:12 AM on May 29, 2011


Again, there will never be a contextual reason for me to post this, but this picture is what solidified my love for the new ponies. I want to know what inspired this 'shop! What was that conversation?
posted by maryr at 11:20 AM on May 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Weird. It's like juxtaposition just forced Lincoln into a modern context and for the first time I'm looking at him and thinking, "You look ridiculous."
posted by neuromodulator at 11:43 AM on May 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Where does anyone ever find the time for this type of nonsense? Are there more hours in a bro-day? Just... what the hell. I don't even manage to watch all the things I'm supposed to. I still haven't gotten to The Wire, or The Godfather, or even the last 16 chapters of Trapped in the Closet. Satan would certainly have my soul if I watched one minute of this first. Plus, I felt like enough of an ass as an actual six-year-old, staying inside on Saturday mornings to lie on the living room floor and watch reruns of the original My Little Ponies, exchanging ever more vicious bites with my little sister and getting a rash from the carpet while our father tried to shoo us away so he could watch the cricket. And so, while I wish you all well, I'm afraid it will not be possible for me to take any part at all in this revival.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 12:09 PM on May 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


Again, there will never be a contextual reason for me to post this, but this picture is what solidified my love for the new ponies. I want to know what inspired this 'shop! What was that conversation?

I've no idea, but it reminds me of the kinds of mashups you get from photoshopping contests. "Cartoon Characters at Historical Events" etc.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:19 PM on May 29, 2011


Re: MeFi Ponies: I had no idea MetaFilter shared colors with Fallout Vault uniforms until I saw these colors in pony form.

Thanks?
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:48 PM on May 29, 2011


matching adult male with my little pony can't help but say child molester to me

nah, you're thinking of Star Trek
posted by p3on at 1:26 PM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do have to say, as creepy as I find the MLP's, Hasbro deserves props for seeing their fanbase as an assent instead of the enemy.
posted by localroger at 2:07 PM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


The thing I like about MLP:FIM is that its creator (Lauren Faust) is an outspoken feminist and proponent of quality entertainment for girls. Witness her Ms. Magazine blog article, "My Little NON-homophobic, NON-racist, NON-Smart Shaming Pony"

The thing I don't like about this post is the torrent link.
posted by ErikaB at 2:15 PM on May 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


I started watching it because (a) I'm always looking for good stuff to show my two little nieces (who love superhero shows, which are great but unfortunately still very boyzone) and (b) because people whose opinions I respect were watching it unironically. Which I didn't understand at all, and I thought there had to be some joke I just wouldn't get till I saw it, only...oh! No, it's just a good, funny show for kids.

W/r/t bronies, I think it's simply explained. My little nieces, like I said, love superheroes -- they love Batman and Spider-Man and Iron Man. They love them, I think, because they're cool and they do cool stuff and they're good guys. As Lauren Faust says in the article ErikaB links, very little of this has ever been true of most cartoon series intended for girls. So if a girl will watch a show intended for boys if it ticks off all those boxes that maybe just kids in general want to see ticked, why wouldn't a boy watch a girls' show that did all that same stuff? Well...he probably wouldn't, because most boys would rather commit seppuku than be caught watching something like this, I promise you, but someone college-age and up who's still watching cartoons? Yeah, no surprises there. And if that nerdy guy can maybe get a nerdy girl to watch this with him? Come on now, this stuff isn't complicated.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:46 PM on May 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


The thing I don't like about this post is the torrent link.

Hasbro sees the show as advertisement, and wisely hasn't gotten nuts about its 'intellectual property.' All the shows are up on youtube, too.

Somewhat related: Project: Merch is a PP style presentation on why/how Hasbro should address the adult fans.

Overall, I'm happier that they don't. The fan-created stuff is very good and fosters a sense of community.

(The same person also created a FiM-inspired font.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:48 PM on May 29, 2011


Uhhhhhhhh...am I to understand from the Project: Merch link that three out of four adults surveyed were dudes? Okay, maybe this isn't so simply explained after all. I get that there are guys watching this, but that's...okay, yeah, that is a surprise.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:06 PM on May 29, 2011


That font linked a couple posts above could use a lot fewer points and better distribution of the ones that are there.
posted by Brainy at 5:10 PM on May 29, 2011


am I to understand from the Project: Merch link that three out of four adults surveyed were dudes?

Probably not as odd as it looks. The first large online groups to notice the cartoon were 4chan's /co/ and /b/, and from there it spread to boards like Something Awful where there's a lot of user overlap with 4chan. So, the early bronies tended to be male. I suspect that as the popularity grows it will (or has) become more balanced.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:31 PM on May 29, 2011


One thing that made me glad to be a brony -- a brony posts about how MLP:FIM helped him in a really tough time, standing up to an abusive stepfather... and Lauren Faust even pops in to say good on him. That's pretty awesome. Not to mention it goes 190 some odd messages before a troll, even!
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 5:44 PM on May 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


I just finished the 2 part pilot. Very fun & charming as can be. Having had a rough weekend at work, I think I've earned a night of getting drunk while watching My Little Pony.
posted by broken wheelchair at 6:38 PM on May 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ohhhhh my god. This is amazing. Bronieeeesssssss. I can't.

I'm going to imagine every lax-playing bro at my school is secretly a brony. Life just got so great.
posted by MadamM at 6:47 PM on May 29, 2011


ChurchHatesTucker: I'd have expected something like except that it was the *only* My Little Blue and Gray Ponies picture on Known Your Meme that I saw. There was no context. There was only Twilight Sparkle and Lincoln.
posted by maryr at 7:02 PM on May 29, 2011


While everyone is trying to bribe Twilight Sparkle for her ticket to the Galloping Gala, I swear I heard one of them say "I'll paint yr car!" Magic ponies have cars?
posted by broken wheelchair at 7:06 PM on May 29, 2011


I'd have expected something like except that it was the *only* My Little Blue and Gray Ponies picture on Known Your Meme that I saw.

Yeah, but unless the (imagined) contest specified MLP, it's likely that was the only relevant entry. There might be others using different cartoons or something.

...a brony posts about how MLP:FIM helped him in a really tough time...

Wow. That's weirdly awesome.

Attention Haters: Katie the Star Wars lunch box girl stood up for a young bronie. Your argument is invalid.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:08 PM on May 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


Oh man, check out this hilarious--wait. This is MeFi, where not everyone is in on the memes, so I probably have to spell this out. Hang on, this may take a bit.

1. Hasbro and Lauren Faust release an animated television program that attracts an unexpectedly large peripheral demographic.

2. Episode 2 features a deliciously campy water serpent lamenting the loss of half of his "fabulous moustache".

3. The peripheral demographic has fun with the erratic automatic closed captioning on YouTube. Fans nickname the serpent after his caption, "Steven Magnet".

4. One young (but not target-demographic young) fan presents a lecture on the physics of the show.

5. HuffPost Education reports: Teen Stephen Magnet Analyzes the Physical Impossibilities in My Little Pony.

...Maybe you had to be there.
posted by darksasami at 9:15 PM on May 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


@darksasami That's surely a factor, but I didn't know any of that. Maybe the show is just a fun show w/ a bunch of the best of animation's 00's best talent on board.
posted by broken wheelchair at 10:24 PM on May 29, 2011


Oh man, check out this hilarious--wait. This is MeFi, where not everyone is in on the memes, so I probably have to spell this out. Hang on, this may take a bit.

TL;DR Area Brony has healthy distrust of True Names.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:08 AM on May 30, 2011


Have we covered the best thing ever to happen to Katy Perry? And the subsequent CNN comment invasion? Ok then.

I love this show. I am bummed Lauren Faust is going; I hope they keep with solid, progressive, strong female story lines. I love that Rarity has a career and really wants to grow her business. I love that Appljack just did what needed to be done on the farm for harvest when her brother was hurt. I love that Apple Jack and Rainbow Dash had an episode long athletic contest. I love that the Apple Bloom Cutie mark episode is totally about getting your period!
posted by DarlingBri at 12:21 AM on May 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


Re: Ponies having cars: That was a route attempted by Hasbro's toy division that the fans hated (I don't think it even made it to market) and I don't think Faust will ever animate.

Canonically, Faust says she wants to avoid technology, electricity in particular, except when it gets in the way of telling the story. So, Pinkie Pie has a modern stove and Twilight has a polygraph, but neither of them have a TV or the internet.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:54 AM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am bummed Lauren Faust is going

She's not leaving the show entirely; she's just stepping down as executive producer. This is what she said in her announcement:
"My involvement in Season 2 ultimately does not reach far beyond story conception and scripts. A little more involved in the beginning, and a little less towards the end.

However, you should be pleased to know that the gaps I have left are being filled by the same amazing artists, writers and directors who brought you Season 1. I’m certain the show will be as entertaining as ever, though perhaps in a slightly different way."
The last sentence worries me a little, but we'll see.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:38 AM on May 30, 2011


This is fantastic!
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 5:24 AM on May 30, 2011


Mr. Bad Example: I am bummed Lauren Faust is goingShe's not leaving the show entirely; she's just stepping down as executive producer. This is what she said in her announcement:

I may be old and jaded but I read that not so much "stepping down" as "pushed" and "perhaps in a slightly different way" as "lost creative control." I will be very happy to be wrong. If I'm right, though, we'll always have Season 1 and the super extended remix!
posted by DarlingBri at 9:23 AM on May 30, 2011


She's not leaving the show entirely; she's just stepping down as executive producer.

It looks like Faust has clarified on her DeviantArt page that she is, in fact, leaving:
*clarification: Story concepts and writers' meetings were completed several weeks ago, so my role is complete. I am not working on this show in any capacity at this time. Sorry for the confusion. While I'm at it, folks are asking if I left to work on another show. This is not the case. I had no other projects in the works when I stepped down.
posted by danb at 9:31 AM on May 30, 2011


What? Aw, man....I don't want to think that Hasbro pushed her out because she wasn't making the show enough of a twenty-minute toy commercial, but I'm just cynical enough to believe that's the case.

I'm sort of dreading what the second season is going to look like now. =/
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:58 AM on May 30, 2011


I lub you, internets.
posted by Theta States at 10:21 AM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's sounding bleak for Ms. Faust. I hope some enterprising animation-themed channel becomes aware that an obvious talent is now a free agent, and offers her the chance to develop a new series for them...if only such a network existed!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:27 AM on May 30, 2011


What? Aw, man....I don't want to think that Hasbro pushed her out because she wasn't making the show enough of a twenty-minute toy commercial, but I'm just cynical enough to believe that's the case.

There's a reason, but that ain't it. She doesn't seem to want it mentioned yet, so I'll respect that. Suffice to say I have high hopes for season two.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:30 AM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Have we covered the best thing ever to happen to Katy Perry yet?

Sorry to be a little off-topic, but the best thing to ever happen to Katy Perry is this.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:01 AM on May 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


RE: Lauren Faust quitting: Considering the fact that we're getting a season two less than a year after the first ended, and it appears that the episodes of season one weren't all finished before the first season began (what with the additional Derpies) I'm guessing that Hasbro studios is churning these out extremely fast. My guess is she's quitting because it was too much work for too little pay. Her actual explanation ("Various circumstances with the production made it increasingly impossible for me to keep up the level of personal creative involvement and control that I had at the start of the series.") seems to be a more tactful way of saying "fuckers worked me to the bone for pennies". All I know is that if she was forced out more people would have left the studio than actually did.

Anyway, this isn't exactly an author driven show, and I think the fans are doing Lauren a disservice by trying to turn it into one. I'm 99% sure the pony formula that she helped create will still be awesome next season and I'm looking forward to it.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 2:21 PM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you're really into the show, you may want to watch it with fan commentary tracks. BronyComms and Otaku Ascended are the best known.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:00 PM on May 30, 2011


Argh, a day late for a pony post, damn it. Seriously, check out Ponygoons as mccarty.tim suggested above. It is the best place to really enjoy this show without the overboard 4chan stuff.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:40 PM on May 30, 2011


Oh, and, SONIC BOOM!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:41 PM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, I finally got around to actually watching the first two episodes of this tonight and I actually liked it. Well played, bronies.
posted by danb at 9:29 PM on May 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


actually actually actually
posted by danb at 9:30 PM on May 30, 2011


Neat, now catch up with the rest, cause like with a lot of shows the pilot is just raw potential waiting to grow.

DO IT NOW!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:57 PM on May 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I...:-( I dunno, maybe. I feel like it would be a great thing to watch if, say, I got the flu. But I still gotta catch up on Mad Men, you know?
posted by danb at 10:10 PM on May 30, 2011


There is no daily schedule you could develop that will not have at least one spare 22 minutes for Pinkie Pie.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:21 PM on May 30, 2011 [12 favorites]


I have to wonder if the fandom would have been so fierce without the portmanteau of "brony." Power Puff Girls, for example, had a lot of adult fans, but didn't rise to anything near the level of FiM fandom.

The cognitive dissonance of 'bro' culture and My Little Pony seems key on a few levels. First, it's a sendup of 'bro' culture ("I'm going to Love and Tolerate the Shit out of You.")

Second, and almost conversely, it's a protective blanket. "I love this shit, as any manly man would." See especially the mock surprise at the discovery that little girls watch it as well.

Third, the negative reaction of boards like 4chan and Something Awful made it a sort of a beyond beyond the Pale moment which, given the nature of them, just made it explode in popularity.

OK, enough of my armchair sociology. There's a brony podcast called Bronyville. Which is oddly centered on the blog called BronyShow. And there's a couple others that I can't tease out just now.

Also, if you're a redditor you may want to add r/mylittlepony (ED lite, essentially) and/or the PMV (Pony Music Video) centric r/MLP
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:19 PM on June 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am jealous of this image's success, too.

Also, this is 4chan's /co/ after My Little Pony caught on, according to the non-bronies.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:03 PM on June 2, 2011


The Facebook-like Flankbook is in beta.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:04 PM on June 3, 2011


Needed some mindless fun to keep me company with chores today & I thought of this thread. I really wasn't feeling it and was pretty disappointed because I love all the brony stuff surrounding the show.

Then I saw the Katy Perry cover and cried laughing. Thanks, everypony - I needed this!
posted by Space Kitty at 5:33 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


TL;DR Area Brony has healthy distrust of True Names.

OMG, I cannot wait until the show introduces a Teal Dear to exposition the hell out of something.
posted by maryr at 8:50 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


(Errr, Deer, of course...)
posted by maryr at 6:31 PM on June 11, 2011


Continuing the unfortunate pattern, bronies banned from Facepunch have set up Pony Central.

Also, I just realized nobody mentioned the Twitteresque Rainbow Dash Network.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:04 PM on June 12, 2011


Wiredmag picks up the ... er, story.
posted by jabberjaw at 2:22 PM on June 13, 2011


Oops. I have the wrong link up there for Pony Central.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:02 PM on June 13, 2011


Real life bronies.
posted by jabberjaw at 6:14 PM on June 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


MLP:FiM Soundboard.

Call your friends.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:41 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just wanted you guys to know that you are solely responsible for my sudden MLP:FIM obsession - so much so that when I went to a conference a few days after this post, I replaced my planned presentation with one called "Friendship is Magic: The Evolving Relationship Between Brands and Consumers" thus bringing pony love to an audience of 300 people who had not yet seen the new show (it isn't broadcast here yet.)

Thanks loads - I had a lot of fun giving this talk, and even more preparing for it! By watching all 26 episodes in between researching content...
posted by DarlingBri at 1:35 AM on June 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Loved the talk, just want to nitpick, Faust has in fact clarified that sometimes a rainbow is just a rainbow.

Rainbow Dash has rainbow-striped hair because of her name and because she is very interested in sports, specifically flying. She is a tomboy, but nowhere in the show is her sexual orientation ever referenced. As we all know, there are plenty of straight tomboys in the world, and assuming they are lesbians is extremely unfair to both straight and lesbian tomboys.

Though you are correct that this leads room for your own interpretation.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:31 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


So... gotta be Rarity that's gay then, right?
posted by maryr at 2:40 PM on June 27, 2011


Also, her name is pronounced DJ Pone-Three, I believe.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:44 PM on June 27, 2011


So... gotta be Rarity that's gay then, right?

Umm, there doesn't have to be a gay one. It's a show for little girls and romance isn't a major theme.

But if there is a gay one it could just as well be Dash, the point Faust was making is that you should resist the temptation to assume it based on the fact that she is a tomboy.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:01 PM on June 27, 2011


So Rainbow Dash is gay then? I'm having trouble keeping all this straight.
posted by maryr at 3:30 PM on June 27, 2011


Well, really, my feeling is that none of them are anything, particularly, except for the rarity/Prince storyline. Someone in my comments pointed out that Lauren Faust has actually clarified her orientation. However, I LOVE the Rainbow Dash character and like to imagine she'll grow up to fly her awesome rainbow flag for Team Girl.

But but but but you guys... EQUESTRIA DAILY LINKED TO ME! *squee*
posted by DarlingBri at 3:42 PM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


furiousxgeorge: "But if there is a gay one it could just as well be Dash"

Dash x Applejack. All that rivalry and aggression isn't coming from nowhere. In a couple of years, it'll be late, their other friends will have gone home but they'll still be poundin' the, well, applejack, each refusing to admit the other can take more licker, and then there will be a revelation. Equestria will move.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:07 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


See, I think what Faust is trying to say is that wanting to be athletic and competitive is not what you should be basing that kind of judgement on.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:17 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's a rather academic look at MLP:FiM.

Also, her name is pronounced DJ Pone-Three, I believe.

I thought it was just a 1337 spelling of 'pony' so, no. But since the Hub has now canonized "Pone-Three," it's moot.

And it's totally Flutter/Dash, guys.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:15 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Flutter/Dash? So why is she so much happier to see Pinkie?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:05 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Flutter/Dash? So why is she so much happier to see Pinkie?

She likes Pinkie. She (spoiler) cheers for Dash.

Damn you, fandom. I managed to get through Trek, Star Wars, and Harry Potter with my dignity intact, but now I'm slash/shipping ponies? Really?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:03 PM on June 28, 2011


I cheer for Micheal Vick, but if I pursue a romance it will be with someone else.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:13 PM on June 28, 2011


I try not to cheer for the guy jailed for dog fights.
posted by maryr at 1:39 PM on June 28, 2011


Heh, I balanced out the personal karma there by becoming a vegetarian in his honor. Another thing I appreciate about MLP is there are very few shows where all the main characters are vegetarian. Even the show about the sea sponge involves burger making.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:48 PM on June 28, 2011


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