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“Did... did that tree just blow up?” Rainbow Dash asked, confused.
August 29, 2011 5:05 PM   Subscribe

It was a beautiful day in Ponyville. The sun was shining; the birds were singing. Ponies big and small cantered throughout the town, whickering and neighing merrily as they went about their business.
Suddenly, there was a huge explosion!
“Oh my god, that was a huge explosion!” yelled Twilight Sparkle, staring in shock and horror at the massive fireball rising from the center of town. Hundreds of ponies ran screaming from the burning wreckage of the Town Hall. Some were covered in soot, and limped as they streamed past her, desperate to escape the burning hell behind them.
“Yo Twi’, you see dat shiz?” said Spike, her jive-talking baby dragon sidekick. He stood on her back, one claw wrapped in her mane while the other casually removed a set of shutter-style plastic sunglasses. You know, like the ones Kanye West is always wearing.

Michael Bay presents My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (It's fanfiction, but readable without knowledge of the show or fondness for pastel-colored horses.)

Equestria Daily post on the story, although it's a bit inside baseball.
There is a part 2, which really requires knowledge of the show unfortunately.
BTW, if you read part two and are given to wonder what "shipping" is, well, I think you really don't want to know what shipping is.

Posted because, well, what the hell.
posted by JHarris (38 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Exploding Ponies? Sounds promising.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:07 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Michael Bay needs to do some more research on the source material. Ctrl-F "hand" should never find anything in a pony story, and Celestia would never say "God dammit" as she is herself the living deity of Equestria.
posted by Balna Watya at 5:11 PM on August 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


I am sad that this is not a video.
posted by elizardbits at 5:19 PM on August 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think you really don't want to know what shipping is.

"Shipping" comes from "ship" which is a contraction of "relationship," e.g. romantic relationships between characters in a narrative.

If you "ship" two characters, you want to see them together, and may additionally read or write fanfiction to that end.

Sorry, JHarris. Somebody had to explain it.
posted by pts at 5:20 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will reading this ultimately make me smarter, or dumber?
posted by jabberjaw at 5:28 PM on August 29, 2011


Speaking of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, I caught a repeat of the greatest Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me EVER over the weekend.
posted by naoko at 5:39 PM on August 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


1. The Michael Bay/My Little Pony mashup made my head hurt. It took two horrible things and somehow showed that there was something much, much worse than either. It was the bad thing.

2. Equestria Daily baffled me. I do not grasp their perspective. It is worse than when I was a kid and first saw Zippy the Pinhead. Only that I figured I would get eventually.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 5:39 PM on August 29, 2011


Soundtrack by Flo & Eddie.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:40 PM on August 29, 2011


Celestia would never say "God dammit" as she is herself the living deity of Equestria.

She just says it with a lot more certainty than people who use this phrase.
posted by rainy at 5:41 PM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


It took two horrible things

Spoken like someone who has never really sat down and watched My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. It's a hell of a lot better than you'd think. That may explain your disconnect with Equestria Daily, although sometimes it seems a little too enthusiastic to me.

Oh, and Zippy the Pinhead is awesome too.
posted by JHarris at 5:48 PM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Will reading this ultimately make me smarter, or dumber?

It's a tie. The coolness of MLP:FiM neatly cancels out the stupidity of Michael Bay.

Just so you guys know, I do not post this ironically. It's a good show, and this is actually one of the more restrained fanfics in the fandom.

In fact, while I don't read (much) fanfiction myself, the MLP community I hear hosts some of the more intelligent fanfiction authors out there. Just make sure to stay at least a country mile away from "Cupcakes," at all times, and at all costs.
posted by JHarris at 5:56 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't like entertainment designed for children, so I can do without the Micheal Bay part of this.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:10 PM on August 29, 2011 [14 favorites]


Spoken like someone who has never really sat down and watched My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. It's a hell of a lot better than you'd think.

I guess it depends on what you mean.

It is better than what I thought before I saw any episodes; I figured it would be like Strawberry Shortcake or the like. After I saw a bit of it, I grew to think that it was compulsively, professionally, maniacally mediocre. I was like a cartoon projection of the most vicious criticisms of The Sound of Music, filtered through Hasbro. But it's a matter of taste, I guess. And perhaps I just need to watch a lot more before it clicks, or I succumb, or I can't tell the difference.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 6:22 PM on August 29, 2011


I was like a cartoon projection of the most vicious criticisms of The Sound of Music, filtered through Hasbro.

Wow, that's a brave admission for you to make. Are you telling us that you're recovering from being a Swiss Alps edition of Monopoly?
posted by JHarris at 6:24 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sigh. "It." Touche, he giggled, tossing his mane.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 6:27 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


After I saw a bit of it, I grew to think that it was compulsively, professionally, maniacally mediocre.

To respond less pedantically to this, I compiled a list of good episodes to watch as introductions. There are actually no bad episodes of the show, and most have at least a great moment or two, but some I think are better for new viewers than others:

14. Suited for Success (an excellent characterization episode)
5. Griffon the Brush-Off (extended homage to Pepe Le Pew!)
15. Feeling Pinkie Keen (don't get offended over the moral -- this is just a funny episode)
25. Party of One (proof the show can be a lot darker than it would seem)
7. Dragonshy (the dragon's a full-on Smaug clone, a good "adventure" episode too, and sets up Stare Master)
3. The Ticket Master (good generally, sets up Suited for Success and The Best Night Ever)
9. Bridle Gossip (for Pinkie's song, and Fluttershy's "curse")
10. Swarm of the Century (more Pinkie)
16. Sonic Rainboom (sheer awesome, more pony insanity)
20. Green Isn't Your Color (another great characterization episode, perhaps the best-written episode of the season, and funny too)
23. The Cutie Mark Chronicles (funny generally, provides character backstories)
17. The Stare Master (elaborates on Fluttershy's ability to scold the dragon at the end of Dragonshy)
26. The Best Night Ever (set up throughout the season, very funny, sharply written, two great songs, and well animated and directed, you probably should watch Ticket Master before this)
posted by JHarris at 6:44 PM on August 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's hard to evaluate if people will like a show for kids or not, but question one is: Do you like kid's shows? What shows for kids do you consider exceptional?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:48 PM on August 29, 2011


Man, the future is going to make no sense for me at all, is it? It's like I turned 40 twelve years too early.

Welp, time to buy a compound.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:02 PM on August 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Challenge accepted, brony: Tonight I Shall Be Laughter and The Shadow Over Ponyville.
posted by SPrintF at 7:45 PM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Forget the Michael Bay/My LIttle Pony mashup.

I give you: a mashup of My Little Pony and TOP GEAR.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:47 PM on August 29, 2011


JHarris, thanks for the suggestions. I will try not to talk smack about the show until I has seen more. But I fear my cutie mark has already emerged, and it shows a crude drawing of a pony with those wavy Limburger cheese stink marks coming off of it.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 8:20 PM on August 29, 2011


The Shadow over Ponyville

Oh god. Although actually that was pretty good, not a shortest-distance Lovecraft pastiche at all.
posted by JHarris at 8:43 PM on August 29, 2011


Avatar: Friendship is Magic.

(No, not that Avatar. No, not that non-existent movie adaptation either. The TV show that's actually great.)
posted by kmz at 10:33 PM on August 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Of the recent trend for "Ask X" tumblr blogs, where X is a character from the show and the point of the blog is to provide illustrated in-character answers to questions, my favourite is Pinkie Pie re-imagined as a psychopath: Ask Pinkamina Diane Pie.

Pinkie Pie as a serial killer is kind of an overdone fandom thing, with a lot of grimdark-for-the-sake-of-it stuff out there that's just plain boring. Context for crazy Pinkie is in the episodes The Cutie Mark Chronicles (where the straight-haired look and the name come from) and Party of One (when Pinkie has a psychotic break), and mediocre grimdark fanfic Cupcakes (Pinkie kills other ponies and wears their body parts as trophies).

I like the show and I'm looking forward to the second season, but I don't really follow or interact with the Bronies except to follow the OT on neoGAF, since some of the art that comes out of the fandom is quite fun and it serves to filter the content spam from places like Equestria Daily. The level of memetic mutation in Bronydom seems relatively high for such a young show, and even following the GAF thread I have no idea where stuff like the Luna socks thing came from.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:56 AM on August 30, 2011


I'm actually not fond of the Pinkie-as-serial-killer meme, I didn't like it when a knowledgeable nerd critiqued Star Wars while tending to his basement prisoners, and I don't like it any more when a pink horse does it.

I'm not really one for interacting with the brony community either (although I *am* going to be on the lookout for them at DragonCon this weekend). I've tried reading a few fanfics but usually fail to find then interesting, with occasional exceptions. The subject of this thread was one of them.
posted by JHarris at 1:57 AM on August 30, 2011


Trollestia us pretty much the best meme to come out of MLP.
posted by Peztopiary at 6:14 AM on August 30, 2011


Wait. Adults actually like My Little Pony? Unironically? Why? Is this a new series, made for adults, or is it the one I remember from 25 years ago? I'm just ... I don't understand this at all.
posted by desjardins at 8:20 AM on August 30, 2011


Yes, I like it unironically. It makes me smile and laugh. The show is aimed at children but is clever enough to keep the attention of an adult. The animation is smooth and pretty. The ponies have very expressive and interesting faces and designs.

I only vaguely recall my sister watching MLP stuff back in the day, she likes real ponies better, but I don't get the sense any of the shows were at all close to as good as Friendship is Magic.

Every episode is available online, browse around that list JHarris posted if you are interested.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:14 AM on August 30, 2011


It's a new series (season two in less than three weeks!), and it's fantastic because it produces moments like this.

(Some context: the ponies have been hit with a low-grade curse that produces things like floppy unicorn horn, out-of-control hair, and so on. They're spying on the zebra they think has cursed them.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:16 AM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


So I watched a bit more (though the links via furiousxgeorge don't work for me).

Words from proponents that ring true for me: "fond," "smile," "smooth and pretty," "interesting faces and designs," "cute."

Words that ring less true: "laugh," "very funny," "fantastic," "great."

I just don't find it anywhere near as clever or compelling as other cartoons aimed at kids. And I am honestly unsure about why its fans are so loyal (save for the fact that it's about cute ponies, of course), but maybe I'm the outlier. Keep on rockin' the ponies.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 5:00 PM on August 30, 2011


Out of curiosity, which kid shows are you a fan of?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:42 PM on August 30, 2011


Clyde Mnestra, those episodes are the ones that I use as a test, to see if My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is right for someone. I don't think it's for everyone, but if it could possibly be for you, if you've seen all those episodes entirely, then that should show you. Kind of like a blood test for pony.
posted by JHarris at 9:28 PM on August 30, 2011


JHarris, thanks. That's all any fan can do.

Furiousxgeorge, I loved Rocky & Bullwinkle and Underdog. I kind of liked Phineas, and Fairly OddParents, and Grim and Evil (or something like that).
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 9:38 PM on August 30, 2011


While Rocky & Bullwinkle is excellent, the best thing about Underdog, really, was the theme song. I'm not actually generally fond of this new class of cartoon; I like Dexter's Labratory, Powerpuff Girls, Foster's and Samurai Jack, but not most of the other cartoons. Grim & Evil -- I liked the "Evil" part of it more than the "Grim" part, so of course Evil Con Carne was quickly dropped from the show.

And yet, I like MLP:FiM, possibly because its heritage is closer to the Cartoon Network, Tartakovsky-and-McCracken side of things. Most of my other CN favorites are the also-rans: Whatever Happened to Robot Jones, Mike, Lu and Ogg, Sheep in the Big City, that kind of thing, the things that aired for like half a season then got moved for the rest of their short runs to ultra-late-night/early-morning, post-Adult-Swim time slots. It's because in style they had the drive to be different. I count Courage the Cowardly Dog among these, even though it actually became popular and had a good run -- its sensibility is different. Cow and Chicken was also great, for similar reasons.

I maintain that the MLP is in the T&McC mold, although maybe a little less high concept. (Dexter's Lab had an opera episode, and PPG had a memorable episode that was just a half-hour-long shaggy dog story.) It's cute yes, and it's known to cause allergic reactions in people who can't get over the fact that the symbols on the ponys' flanks are called "cutie marks." (Truthfully, it was hard for me to get over, and it still makes me twitch a little.) But it's good, the characters have actual personalities and aren't just one-note stereotypes (which takes some watching to discover), the writing is often sharp even if you can often figure out the general trajectory of the story within five minutes, and there are great moments that you could only find in a show like this.

That's what I think, based on the fun I have watching it, and that fun is what fuels my appreciation of the show. It is a show that is quite vulnerable to ways to dislike it, but enjoyment of something is never for one reason or another, although those can be contributing factors. You just do. It's an elemental thing, indivisible by logic.
posted by JHarris at 1:03 AM on August 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know how in a lot of comedy flicks, Judd Apatow and the like, the actual jokes are pretty ordinary but they go to great lengths to have them occur in the dumbest possible context, and that makes them funnier if you swing that way? FiM is like that but with pony.
posted by LogicalDash at 4:08 AM on August 31, 2011


I am absurdly proud of this song I wrote this morning, to the tune of "Giggle at the Ghostie".
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:30 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


This belongs here.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:38 AM on September 3, 2011


It's a new series (season two in less than three weeks!), and it's fantastic because it produces moments like this .

The French version, I have discovered, is even better.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:33 PM on September 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


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