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Q sings The Brony Song
January 21, 2013 3:06 PM   Subscribe

If you are confused by the unexpected popularity of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic cartoon among adults, or the more culturally baffling "Brony" phenomenon, help is at hand! Beloved genre star John DeLance, the voice of Discord, explains this modern pop culture phenomenon in song for a new documentary. (Via)
posted by Mezentian (160 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is anyone else impressed that fan- animation has now reached the level where they're completely indistinguishable from actual episodes?
posted by percor at 3:13 PM on January 21, 2013 [9 favorites]


Slashfic is magic.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:15 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've never seen an episode, but I couldn't tell the difference.
I thought it was just me.
posted by Mezentian at 3:17 PM on January 21, 2013


Is anyone else impressed that fan- animation has now reached the level where they're completely indistinguishable from actual episodes?

That can be a double-edged sword.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:17 PM on January 21, 2013


The most exciting piece of news in the Via article: Dexter's Rude Removal will be released online tomorrow!
This episode was only shown during select animation conventions and was never aired on Cartoon Network due to excessive profane content and language. It has been searched for by fans for years.
posted by persona at 3:17 PM on January 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Man, I was just informed that someone I know created the Fetlock Holmes series and is a serious brony. It is not on par with being informed that a family friend killed a man in Phoenix just to watch 'em die, but it is something.
posted by jadepearl at 3:18 PM on January 21, 2013


Man, I was just informed that someone I know created the Fetlock Holmes series and is a serious brony. It is not on par with being informed that a family friend killed a man in Phoenix just to watch 'em die, but it is something.

My brother has Brony friends. I'm a bit scared for him. And my sister is friends with Supernatural fans. I'm sure most of them are nice people (I watch Supernatural) but having seen the worst of bronies I'm a bit disturbed. I suppose it provides a nice safe show for people to watch, like Adventure Time!

Of course, you could say that bronies are coopting the one thing that isn't about young white males and making it about them.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:20 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Wikipedia page for the film Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony makes for interesting reading.

IANAB.
posted by Wordshore at 3:28 PM on January 21, 2013


His name is John DeLancie. (Most people just call him Q.)
posted by Sys Rq at 3:33 PM on January 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Gandalf has deducted 10 points from Gryffindor for not linking to the Memory Alpha page.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:35 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


His name is John DeLancie.

Goshdarnedit.
posted by Mezentian at 3:36 PM on January 21, 2013


Goshdarnedit.

No worries. Pretty sure I f'd up the spacing and capitalization anyhow.

posted by Sys Rq at 3:39 PM on January 21, 2013


I am a fan of the new My Little Pony show. I find it entertaining and often well-written. I would not deny this.

I would never call myself a brony. Fandom is going being the mere enjoying of a thing, it's turning your enjoyment of that thing into a part of your identity. Those people are fucked up.
posted by kafziel at 3:41 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh boy, lets play Which Fandom Is Worse! That always goes so well
posted by The Whelk at 3:45 PM on January 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Oh boy, lets play Which Fandom Is Worse! That always goes so well.

Gor fans are the worst.
Moving on...
posted by Mezentian at 3:48 PM on January 21, 2013 [21 favorites]


Is anyone else impressed that fan- animation has now reached the level where they're completely indistinguishable from actual episodes?

I'm not so sure that's because fan animation has gotten that much better...
posted by Thorzdad at 3:48 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


So within the Brony subculture are three types of sub-subcultures: Creative, Moderate, and Hipster. And educating people on these classifications warrants this level of effort.

It's like being back in the 80's and trying to keep track of all the Skinhead subtribes by identifying them with bootlace color.
posted by sourwookie at 3:51 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Weird. John DeLancie kind of sounds like Vincent Price. Or is that just projection because his pony character has a grey goatee?
posted by wabbittwax at 3:56 PM on January 21, 2013


So within the Brony subculture are three types of sub-subcultures: Creative, Moderate, and Hipster. And educating people on these classifications warrants this level of effort.

True hipsters watch Adventure Time!
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:57 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Those people are fucked up.
posted by xedrik at 3:58 PM on January 21, 2013


Metafilter: three types of sub-subcultures: Creative, Moderate, and Hipster.
posted by Mezentian at 4:00 PM on January 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Bronies Sociological Analysis Chart
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:05 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


So within the Brony subculture are three types of sub-subcultures: Creative, Moderate, and Hipster. And educating people on these classifications warrants this level of effort.

I'm curious where those designations came from. The only actual study I'm aware of came up with Social, Secret, Independent, Hidden and Mixed.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:09 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bronies are pretty much the only self labelling group that confuses me, though I stress not in a "LOL WEIRDOS" way, just in a lack of information way. I can either identify with or at least understand pretty much every other shared leaning, but as far as I can tell, bronies just really like the show.

I get that of course, but if that's all the result seems disproportionate, and I can't tell if that's because something's gone over my head. It feels more intense than, say, Browncoats or Trekkies. Am I overestimating the fandom because of the internet attention, or is there some additional aspect that I'm blind to?
posted by lucidium at 4:13 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


If it seems more intense than Browncoats or Trekkies, it's because ponies are about.... 20% cooler. ;)
posted by xedrik at 4:18 PM on January 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


I've never watched MLP, but I find it endlessly funny that this is a fandom so virulent that they are actually a chronic problem for 4chan. To where moot has written about his frustration with trying to IP block bronies who spam /b/ with ponies. I mean that boggles my mind. Have you seen what's posted on /b/ in an average day? Among the gore, raid threads, misogyny, racism and life-ruining "let's out this girl who posted nudes somewhere" threads, it's the bronies that make the guy who owns the site say, "OK, this is going too far". So much so, in moot's estimation, that he eventually gave them their own board on which to pony it up. For that much, I have to say, kudos, MLP fandom.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:38 PM on January 21, 2013 [26 favorites]


I've never watched MLP, but I find it endlessly funny that this is a fandom so virulent that they are actually a chronic problem for 4chan. To where moot has written about his frustration with trying to IP block bronies who spam /b/ with ponies. I mean that boggles my mind. Have you seen what's posted on /b/ in an average day? Among the gore, raid threads, misogyny, racism and life-ruining "let's out this girl who posted nudes somewhere" threads, it's the bronies that make the guy who owns the site say, "OK, this is going too far". So much so, in moot's estimation, that he eventually gave them their own board on which to pony it up. For that much, I have to say, kudos, MLP fandom.

They've been kicked out of Something Awful, but there's a guy who brought pony avatars for gun thread posters, a guy who spams Australian politics threads with MLP porn (its not me), and a few threads about hating bronies that turned into fanfic ABOUT bronies.

There's so much that's creepy about the fans (I haven't seen the show) from the porn to the multiple novel length Fallout/MLP crossover to the guy who reads racist messages into MLP. But on the whole it seems to be a safe space for awkward, overly earnest social outcasts, and I can get behind that. It's probably a good thing.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:45 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


First they came for the bronies,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a brony.

Then they came for the steampunks,
and I didn't speak out because, seriously... steampunk?

Then they came for the Trekkies,
and I didn't speak out because I only watched a little TNG.

Then they came for the Whovians,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:47 PM on January 21, 2013 [14 favorites]


The Supernatural fans will come to your rescue just dont get into conversations about ....family....bonds....
posted by The Whelk at 4:48 PM on January 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


But on the whole it seems to be a safe space for awkward, overly earnest social outcasts, and I can get behind that. It's probably a good thing.

Yeah, it's one of those fandoms where I really can't see any significant net negatives, apart from the spamminess (and really, we have no way of knowing if these are actual bronies spamming MLP stuff or just spammers using ponies to spam). And the jorts.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:51 PM on January 21, 2013


Ah, another PONY thread. Let's dive in:

Fandom is going being the mere enjoying of a thing, it's turning your enjoyment of that thing into a part of your identity. Those people are fucked up.

You can be a brony without being all about pony. I am a brony, because I am a fan. The word means nothing else. You can use brony descriptively, not proscriptively. It's not a secret club. I'm also a fan of Adventure Time, does that make me an, um, a "timey?"

I'm not so sure that's because fan animation has gotten that much better...

It is true the show is done in Flash. But it's possibly the best Flash-animated show on TV, especially starting with the second season. They've done some really nice things with it. Watch any episode where Dash shows off her flying skills, those are awesome.

So within the Brony subculture are three types of sub-subcultures: Creative, Moderate, and Hipster.

I find it's more difficult to classify bronies than this. It's almost as if, when you look closely at them, they're not a faceless mass of stereotypes.

It feels more intense than, say, Browncoats or Trekkies.

In some circles PONY is a tad inescapable. I think it's because several factors contributed to it: it's good, there was some star power involved with its creation (Lauren Faust is a respected name in television cartoons), there is a dose of irony and WTFness, and -- remember this got started on 4chan -- some bronies (A FEW) are even outright trolls.

So much so, in moot's estimation, that he eventually gave them their own board on which to pony it up. For that much, I have to say, kudos, MLP fandom.

You're not telling the whole story. He wasn't bullied into it; at least from what he's said, moot admits he was wrong about bronies. Even the FBI has difficulty bullying moot into doing things.

And pardon my proactive measure here, but to forestall everyone who's going to claim it is: PONY is not about porn. All fandoms have those elements, but there's less of it in Bronydom than other places. Tosh.0 and Howard Stern have lied to you. But don't take my word for it: Bronyville 82 [MP3 podcast link]. Covered in detail. I've been saving that link for weeks just for this occasion.

Now:
OMG SQUEE DID ANYONE SEE SATURDAY'S EPISODE I'M TOTES GONNA WRITE FANFIC CALLED "MY DINNER WITH DISCORD" NOW.
posted by JHarris at 4:52 PM on January 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


i bet if i lived in a world where mercenary companies could kill you with a drone from a hundred miles away for shit you said on the internet, i would retreat from reality too
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:53 PM on January 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm thinking to myself, "I need to tell my Brony son about this when I get home." Then I realized that he's probably seen it. And no, he is not fucked up. He wears his passions on his sleeve like he was The Maestro, and he should be encouraged.

I've never really watched an episode, but it's playing in the background a lot. I did notice a half second reference to The Big Lebowski the other day, which I thought was pretty damn cool.
posted by Brocktoon at 4:55 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


overestimating the fandom because of the internet attention

Bronies are the new Ron Paul.
posted by Avelwood at 4:55 PM on January 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


I just had the following exchange with the kids I babysit today:

Arrive at house to find 9 year-old boy H and his 5 year-old sister watching TV. They generally get along, but he is definitely going through a phase where anything his sister likes is childish and girly and AWFUL.

Me: What are you watching there?
H: (disgustedly) My Little Pony.
Me: That doesn't sound so bad. I know a bunch of guys--guys my age--who like My Little Pony.
H: THAT'S TERRIBLE!
Me: No. It just means they've decided they like whatever shows they like and they don't care who makes fun of them. Sometimes they call themselves Bronies.
H: (Quizzical expression, kind of comprehends)

So um, thanks Brony Fandom for the opportunity to show a kid that it's totally okay for grown dudes to like things that aren't conventionally masculine.
posted by ActionPopulated at 4:56 PM on January 21, 2013 [24 favorites]


It feels more intense than, say, Browncoats or Trekkies.

I think a big part of that is that the response to the fandom is more intense. Men liking 'girly' things really unnerves some people (you can find examples above.) So, bronies are prone to either keep it under wraps altogether or write it large.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:58 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I will say this, if you're even a little concerned with how stuff like gender roles are presented in cartoons then MLP is basically a checklist of things you want to see.
posted by The Whelk at 4:58 PM on January 21, 2013 [17 favorites]



Yeah, it's one of those fandoms where I really can't see any significant net negatives, apart from the spamminess (and really, we have no way of knowing if these are actual bronies spamming MLP stuff or just spammers using ponies to spam). And the jorts.


There are threads - long threads, terrible threads - filled with horrible pony porn. And fanfic. And 'modified' stuffed animals. And costumes made from nightmares. We have such sights to show you....
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:58 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


You're not telling the whole story. He wasn't bullied into it; at least from what he's said, moot admits he was wrong about bronies. Even the FBI has difficulty bullying moot into doing things.

Hey, all I know is, people - bronies or no - were spamming /b/ with ponies to such an extent that moot publicly complained about the difficulty of IP-banning them all. Shortly thereafter, /mlp/ was born. I know; correlation, causation, etc. I do not mean to cast any aspersions on the MLP community as a whole; trust me, as an anime fan, I know all too well what it's like to have your entire fanbase slandered because a few bad apples decide to take their dakimakuras onto the subway.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:59 PM on January 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also:
There's so much that's creepy about the fans [...] to the multiple novel length Fallout/MLP crossover

That's not creepy, that's kind of fucking awesome, it's one of the longest fan works in any fandom! The damn thing's longer than War and Peace! I've considered doing a Fallout: Equestria post here, but really it'd just be for the WTF factor (I've not even read it myself).
posted by JHarris at 5:00 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are threads - long threads, terrible threads - filled with horrible pony porn. And fanfic. And 'modified' stuffed animals.

Again: BRONYVILLE 82. I linked it above. Says it better than I ever could. When your fandom is huge, there will be a huge Rule 34 contigent, but that doesn't mean it's disproportionately large. Just, in this case, easier to point and chuckle at and write off the whole community over.
posted by JHarris at 5:03 PM on January 21, 2013


Oats ...

Oats never changes.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:04 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


My Little Pony fanfiction has given us at least one hard-SF novel that's genuinely worth reading: Friendship is Optimal.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:07 PM on January 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


A lot of the pony haters drag the Rule 34 stuff out to justify their irrational dislike, which really comes down it being perceived as weird for men to like something aimed at girls. The Something Awful reaction is and was particularly juvenile.

SA is big on ironic hatred, but at a certain point the obsessive hatred that requires you to immerse yourself in what you dislike is just another kind of fandom, not "irony".
posted by Drinky Die at 5:09 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Am I overestimating the fandom because of the internet attention, or is there some additional aspect that I'm blind to?

A lot of the pony haters drag the Rule 34 stuff out to justify their irrational dislike, which really comes down it being perceived as weird for men to like something aimed at girls. The Something Awful reaction is and was particularly juvenile.

Nothing of the sort. The internet at large tolerates furries, yaoi and other stuff that's outside the mainstream.

The problem is that bronies in particular have this bad habit of infesting themselves in every corner of the Internet they can. Even if they're not wanted. Go to a medium sized message board. Check the off-topic section for "MLP:FIM Thread #X". I'd wager that you'd find one. Double that wager if it's anything to do with computer games. Every fucking place on the Internet apparently needs a ghetto for their brony sub-community.
posted by Talez at 5:13 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm talking about a specific kind of hater there, not everybody who isn't a fan.

That said, those message boards should stop forcing people to read threads they don't care about.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:16 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


One more thing....

It is worth noting that Hasbro themselves are, regardless of what they've said in public, kind of standoffish about the fanbase, from the rapidity with which they had Derpy's voice redubbed and name changed after that particular Season 2 episode (and there's only been a couple of Derpy sightings in all of season three to date), to their continual YouTube takedowns of episodes, to their outright stamping on particular fanworks like MeFi's own XQUZYPHYR's awesome, extensive Magic the Gathering set to popular fanshow Friendship Is Witchcraft recently getting blocked from YouTube in the US region. They've said how much they appreciate the fanbase, but I remain unconvinced that they yet see how they could easily crush the whole thing.

I have this deep, dark suspicion that in a couple of years the show will be remembered as an object lesson of how copyright laws have gone way out of control in this country.
posted by JHarris at 5:16 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, we need to get ourselves to MeTa and request a pony?

pony.metafilter.com?

I don't think that's going to fly.
(Pegasus.metafilter.com might, but I'd just fill it with Lloyd Bridges fanfic.)
posted by Mezentian at 5:18 PM on January 21, 2013


Wow, JHarris, I didn't know that was going on. They seemed to be pretty cool with all the fan projects back in the day.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:19 PM on January 21, 2013


Rule 34 is, by definition, a given. Especially when it comes to fictional characters. I honestly haven't noticed a hugely disproportionate use of it among bronies.

The costumes, though, are pretty intriguing. Because it seems a lot of bronies avoid getting a straight-up MLP fursuit, and few are willing to buy one of those vaudeville two-person horse suits. So you have to really use your imagination to clearly convey that you are, in fact, one of the ponies. Some people pull it off better than others.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:23 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aaah okay I've watched it now, that makes sense of the talk of "creatives, hipsters and moderates" mentioned above, my apple-ogies.

Note: Not only did John DeLancie sing the song, but Twilight voice actress Tara Strong joins in, and two of the writers were show writers Amy Keating Rogers and creator Lauren Faust.
posted by JHarris at 5:25 PM on January 21, 2013



That's not creepy, that's kind of fucking awesome, it's one of the longest fan works in any fandom! The damn thing's longer than War and Peace!


And that doesn't strike you as a bit disturbing?

A lot of the pony haters drag the Rule 34 stuff out to justify their irrational dislike, which really comes down it being perceived as weird for men to like something aimed at girls. The Something Awful reaction is and was particularly juvenile.

SA, the site that now has a large transgender and feminist community, wasn't hating on Bronies because they were 'boys who liked a thing for girls'. Its not about liking MLP, its about the depths of obsession and how they spread that obsession. There were people saying that they scared off the intended audience - that geeks couldn't like young girls have ONE THING that's for them.

I owned Lisa Frank binders as a kid. I'm not the gender police.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:26 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have yet to see a Brony takeover of the World of Warcraft message boards. A game with 11 million subscribers. So I think you might be a little hysterical.
posted by Brocktoon at 5:27 PM on January 21, 2013


I've seen a lot more humanization reimagination dressups (like at DragonCon last year) than attempts to actually look like the show's characters.

And that doesn't strike you as a bit disturbing?

No. Even if it was all one person, no, and it's not; most of it is side stories now, written by a variety of people. Are we supposed to find Henry Darger disturbing? People do all kinds of awesome things when left to themselves and given the mysterious urge to make something. All creation is sacred, to some degree, regardless if whether you or I like it or not. Never forget that.

My only queasyness about it is that, for all the love the show has inspired, it's still ultimately in celebration of an owned property, and this the works based on it can't ever really be free until the copyright expires, which won't be in most of our lifetimes. I'd rather all these people focus on creating their own stuff, but far be it from me to direct to them the form their inspiration should take.
posted by JHarris at 5:33 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


SA, the site that now has a large transgender and feminist community, wasn't hating on Bronies because they were 'boys who liked a thing for girls'.

Yes, they were and are. I was there from page one of the first pony thread there. There was no "depth of spread of obsession" or whatever. It was one thread for a TV show in a TV forum. The only creepy stuff posted there was spammed in by FYAD. I guarantee you no young girls were scared away from My Little Pony by friggin TVIV.

SA has an extremely large amount of misogynistic asshole posters, they aren't as evident anymore because of the stringent moderation.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:33 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


It is worth noting that Hasbro themselves are, regardless of what they've said in public, kind of standoffish about the fanbase, from the rapidity with which they had Derpy's voice redubbed and name changed after that particular Season 2 episode (and there's only been a couple of Derpy sightings in all of season three to date), to their continual YouTube takedowns of episodes, to their outright stamping on particular fanworks like MeFi's own XQUZYPHYR's awesome, extensive Magic the Gathering set to popular fanshow Friendship Is Witchcraft recently getting blocked from YouTube in the US region. They've said how much they appreciate the fanbase, but I remain unconvinced that they yet see how they could easily crush the whole thing.

I thought the the backlash against Derpy Hooves was because it stereotyped children with developmental disabilities.

I think bronies are a PR problem. I was curious about the show until the fandom got scary.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:33 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


And Jesus, feminism and transgender threads there can be disaster areas even with the moderation.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:36 PM on January 21, 2013


Avelwood: "Bronies are the new Ron Paul."

It's time we returned to the Glitter Standard!
posted by brundlefly at 5:36 PM on January 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


that geeks couldn't like young girls have ONE THING that's for them.

NOTHING is "for" ANYONE. Especially when Lauren Faust explicitly said she didn't just make it for kids! Extra-especially when the show makes Big Lebowski and Star Wars references! It's not a secret club! People shouldn't play gatekeeper! That way lies all kinds of shaming, and ultimately the very kinds of gender bias we have now! It's not like these things aren't obvious.
posted by JHarris at 5:36 PM on January 21, 2013 [22 favorites]


My only queasyness about it is that, for all the love the show has inspired, it's still ultimately in celebration of an owned property, and this the works based on it can't ever really be free until the copyright expires, which won't be in most of our lifetimes. I'd rather all these people focus on creating their own stuff, but far be it from me to direct to them the form their inspiration should take.

Celestia's solar-flaring orgasms!
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:37 PM on January 21, 2013


NOTHING is "for" ANYONE. Especially when Lauren Faust explicitly said she didn't just make it for kids! Extra-especially when the show makes Big Lebowski and Star Wars references! It's not a secret club! People shouldn't play gatekeeper! That way lies all kinds of shaming, and ultimately the very kinds of gender bias we have now! It's not like these things aren't obvious.

I saw a Big Lebowski reference on some Disney channel tween show once. Does that mean that the main fans of that show should be twentysomething nerds writing detailed lust fiction about Miley Cyrus?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:38 PM on January 21, 2013


The main fans should be anyone who likes the show.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:38 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think bronies are a PR problem. I was curious about the show until the fandom got scary.

Then you are letting yourself get chased off for no reason. Who cares if anyone else likes the show! If you like it fine, you don't have to tell a soul.
posted by JHarris at 5:39 PM on January 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I saw a Big Lebowski reference on some Disney channel tween show once. Does that mean that the main fans of that show should be twentysomething nerds writing detailed lust fiction about Miley Cyrus?

You are TROLLING.
posted by JHarris at 5:40 PM on January 21, 2013


You are TROLLING.

That's not love and tolerance.
posted by Talez at 5:42 PM on January 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


I saw a Big Lebowski reference on some Disney channel tween show once. Does that mean that the main fans of that show should be twentysomething nerds writing detailed lust fiction about Miley Cyrus?

You are TROLLING.


Calm down. I'm not trolling. I'm not insulting MLP fans, fans of kids shows, or you personally. I GET all of that. I wake up early on Saturday morning to watch Adventure Time. I'll probably do the same for MLP if it airs here. But that doesn't mean I need to be okay with people posting vast amounts of creepy pornfic everywhere and getting into thousand of page arguments about what is, after all, a kids show about ponies. Its about perspective.

I'm a Supernatural fan. I watch the show regularly. I have opinions about it. But I would never disagree with the statement 'Supernatural has a large, creepy fandom'. Its that line from being a fan to having a fandom that leads to so much of this.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:43 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


It is insulting and incorrect to imply the fanbase can be characterized as mainly made up of "nerds writing lust fiction".
posted by Drinky Die at 5:45 PM on January 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


[Quit with the troll accusations, starting now.]
posted by jessamyn at 5:50 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is a man not entitled to the glitter of his mane?
NO, says the man in Hollywood, it belongs to the children.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:51 PM on January 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


I don't know whether I've said this before here, but I'm thrilled that My Little Pony has become this massive phenomenon. I loved ponies (both the figures and the show) as a kid, and when Hasbro started making G3 ponies, I began to spend what little extra cash I had on collecting them for a couple of years. It was definitely a childhood wish-fulfillment thing (after they stopped making the G1 ponies when I was a kid, I kept having I-found-a-pony or house-full-of-new-ponies dreams for years), but it was also horizon-broadening; I traded ponies with people in Britain and Australia (though sadly, one pony I sent Down Under never arrived) and frequented the My Little Pony Trading Post.

But as pony fandom tends to be even now, the collection was...extremely polarizing. Luckily, my boyfriends ranged from amused to outright indulgent of my habit. My roommates thought it was silly but harmless, and soon, at least one roommate was buying her own ponies. We "played ponies" (having the ponies talk to each other in silly voices) and had "pony bowling" sessions in the hall (basically chucking one pony at a bunch of other ponies). We replaced our suite's original sign with a version depicting each of us as a pony. I never tried to hide that I was into ponies, but just the fact that I was a twentysomething young woman who collected these toys was suspect to a lot of people. I even learned years later that a poisonous former coworker interning with my current employer at the time suggested that the company not hire me because of my pony collection. My first day of work, in fact, I arrived to find this press photo for My Little Pony Live taped up in my cubicle.

I ultimately stopped collecting after a few years and boxed up all of my ponies; I'd gotten too busy, and the ponies were starting to get a little gimmicky (every new one had designs extending far beyond the traditional "cutie mark" and/or had a lot of molded-plastic junk added to its body).

So I was surprised when one of my guy friends started telling me all about My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and its related memes one day a few years ago—surprised, and a bit ticked, like, "Where was all of this five years ago?!" That frustration aside, though, I am indeed thrilled that this has become such a movement, and that when I go on, say, Doodle or Die, I see fan-drawn ponies everywhere. Ponies make me happy.
posted by limeonaire at 5:53 PM on January 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


Hmm. Well, I might have been a little harsh. But Drinky Die says it well.
posted by JHarris at 5:55 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


No one else commented about how creepy it is that the video is sung by Donald Margolis? I haz a sad.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:11 PM on January 21, 2013


Halloween Jack: "No one else commented about how creepy it is that the video is sung by Donald Margolis? I haz a sad."

What are you talking about? The singers were John De Lancie and Tara Strong. I didn't fund 0.0093% of this documentary to hear Donald Margolis.
posted by radwolf76 at 6:19 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have yet to see a Brony takeover of the World of Warcraft message boards. A game with 11 million subscribers. So I think you might be a little hysterical.

Did you even look?
posted by ymgve at 6:22 PM on January 21, 2013


SA has an extremely large amount of misogynistic asshole posters, they aren't as evident anymore because of the stringent moderation.

actually it's just that it's safer to troll people by pretending to be progressive than it is to troll them by pretending to be reactionary, and also when you have a rep for being super-progressive and acceptable it helps draw attention away from any unseemliness you or your affiliates might be engaged in
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:26 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Did you even look?

Blame Blizzard for those mandatory threads.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:28 PM on January 21, 2013


What are you talking about? The singers were John De Lancie and Tara Strong. I didn't fund 0.0093% of this documentary to hear Donald Margolis.

Actually, they didn't raise enough, so those are celebrity impersonators: John DeLance and Tara Strang.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
posted by Mezentian at 6:34 PM on January 21, 2013


That thread is three sub-forums deep. So I would really have to look. In fact, I'd have to be specifically looking for it to ever see it. If that qualifies as a take-over, then Glee and Dr Who have also successfully taken over the WoW forums.
posted by Brocktoon at 6:46 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just like the show.
posted by kyrademon at 7:08 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait, what? When did My Little Ponies come back?
posted by BurnChao at 7:30 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've been pleased by the way the show weaves in and out of its young and older fandoms. The Lebowski reference was fun, and I am loving De Lancie's involvement. Then I played the franchise's Farmville-like cow-clicker game (which was a mistake in itself because of the game genre) and found the Lebowski characters one could unlock, one of which was Jesus Pezuña... The Jesus from the bowling alley... who, my boyfriend reminded me, was notorious in the movie for being a pedophile.

At first I was all "LOL the Internet is leaking" about it, but the game is such an abominable soul-suck which doesn't deserve the mantle of the loving, thoughtful, girl-nurturing series that it just felt all the more cynical to have a pedopony in it.
posted by gusandrews at 7:31 PM on January 21, 2013


and it's for boys?
posted by BurnChao at 7:33 PM on January 21, 2013


I really like that the video pointed out that one of the main groups of "Bronies", of both the male and female variety, are the moderates. People who just like the show and that's enough.

That's the group where I stand. I'm a Brony because it's a good show, and it's well made, and it's fun, and it's cheerful. I have opinions. I thought Season One was very strong. Season two considerably less so, as the creative team changed. Season Three is shaping up to be very strong.

So who is it made for? It's made for anyone who likes it. That's what everything is made for.
posted by bswinburn at 7:41 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


My kids watch this show. I honestly can't understand the appeal.

Why is it so popular with adults?
posted by zarq at 7:45 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean, I watched the video. I still don't get it.
posted by zarq at 7:52 PM on January 21, 2013


Why is it so popular with adults?

What tempts me to, maybe, watch?

Lauren Faust and what I have seen with The Powerpuff Girls and especially, Super Best Friends Forever.
posted by Mezentian at 7:53 PM on January 21, 2013


I think a lot of the attraction of the show comes from... background, I guess? The characters have distinct and well-thought-out personalities, with enough positive and negative characteristics to create more depth than you might expect from a children's show. A lot of the episodes use the clash between these personalities to produce realistic conflict that oftentimes can be settled with communication and understanding between parties.

The show is really just a soap opera with a happy and fulfilling ending every week, usually affirming the values of friendship and mutual respect while including a large number of pop-culture references. It also gives me a reason to be Rainbow Dash.
posted by mikurski at 8:06 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


To zarq, depends on the episode. Some are more accessible to newcomer adults than others honestly. The episode I usually use to introduce people is "Feeling Pinkie Keen." Beyond that "Party of One," and the somewhat-more-traditional "Suited for Success" and "Green Isn't Your Color" and "Dragonshy." Those four should give you a good idea if it's possible for you to like it or not. After than: "Best Night Ever," "The Stare Master," "Bridle Gossip," then moving into the second season, "A Friend in Deed," "Mysterious Mare-Do-Well" (contains honest-to-god homages to Batman: The Animated Series), "Sweet and Elite," "Sisterhooves Social," "Ponyville Confidential," and "It's About Time."

The key though is you do have to give it a chance. But that's like everything else -- I've seen people scoff at Citizen Kane. I'm not going to say it's for everyone, but I will definitely tell you there is something there. Whether you're receptive to it or not, well, I don't think it speaks ill of you if you give it an honest try and don't get it.

Note: other than "The Return of Harmony," the two-part episodes are not the best. Particularly, I'd skip the second season ender and third season opener if you're looking for good eps.
posted by JHarris at 8:09 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Although about Feeling Pinkie Keen, some people consider the message to be anti-science. But remember: it's just a show and I should just relax. A show with classic Warner Bros. references, but still.
posted by JHarris at 8:11 PM on January 21, 2013


OK, thanks!

I can watch those episodes with my kids. They don't care what order they see 'em in.
posted by zarq at 8:20 PM on January 21, 2013


It's funny -- I kinda hate Feeling Pinkie Keen; that was the second I watched and I was kinda "hum." The first (Fall Weather Friends was so good I kept up with the other 2 episodes that were on demand, but it was Suited for Success that sold me on the show being awesome.)

Aside from the moral which I thought was botched, I thought Twi was a bit out of character and the stuff with the hydra just seemed boring. AND there's no Rainbow. What the hell!

(The other one to avoid: Over A Barrel -- some really wonderful WB-style gags and bits brought down by a botched story that ends up likening the American Indian Genocide to a pie fight. Ouch. Actually did a more in-depth thing on that ep with some friends here.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 8:26 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


My inner completionist wants to point out that that "Best Night Ever" is actually the end of a story arc that starts with "The Ticket Master" and goes through "Suited for Success". Watching them in that order will probably make things a bit more clear.
posted by mikurski at 8:29 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


JHarris: "Derpy's voice redubbed and name changed after that particular Season 2 episode "

I dunno, I think that a show that has feminist ideals as its underpinning (per the show's founder) is doing a pretty good thing by not using an ableist slur, and when the voice actress said she meant to do the voice differently (she recorded the voice in a boy style when it was a girl pony) and wanted to redo it, I'm not seeing much wrong with that particular decision.
posted by ShawnStruck at 8:34 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, a lot of people rate "Over A Barrel" as the worst of season one. "Feeling Pinkie Keen" I point to because it's more cartoony than most episodes, got some of the best-constructed gags of the whole series, and the timing is impeccable. I care about things like that. But I like the Hydra, one of the heads has slightly more personality than the others. It's my favorite monster in the show and I think needs another appearance.

On the first season arc, yes, but "Best Night Ever" is so good, a better season-ending episode than "A Canterlot Wedding" by far, that one's terribly overrated what with Twilight suddenly turning out to have a brother with little personality, and by the way was baby-sat by an alicorn while growing up, and he's marrying her. Faust has publicly stated that Celestia and Luna were intended to be the only alicorns, and it just strikes me, and others too I'd wager, as Hasbro trying to sell more toys.
posted by JHarris at 8:37 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I dunno, I think that a show that has feminist ideals as its underpinning (per the show's founder) is doing a pretty good thing by not using an ableist slur

Yes, I'm not that torn up about the name ("Derpy" is a fan creation, and we know what they can be like, esp. when the fandom got started on 4chan).

If that had been it then I wouldn't have thought twice of it. But then the almost-once-per-episode Derpy cameos began to slow to a trickle, and there's been barely a sighting in Season 3. And even other fan favorites Lyra and Bon-Bon, and Dr. Whooves, have been showing up less often lately. I can't help but see a causal relationship there.
posted by JHarris at 8:43 PM on January 21, 2013


Yeah -- Shining Armor really rubs me the wrong way. I hate the name "Twily", too... and since "calling Twilight 'Twily'" is about all we got characterization-wize for him.... yeaaah. But it just seems so... weirdly dismissive, which is doubly-weird as Twilight has done nothing but save his pathetic ass.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:44 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I do know of one funny fan comic regarding Shining Armor, which just goes to show that when the show falls flat, the fans can sometimes make up for it.
posted by JHarris at 10:30 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


All I know is that my GI Joes rode their well groomed MLP steeds into battle and it was awesome.
posted by kittensofthenight at 10:41 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's almost as great as He-Man and Stratos driving the Barbie Holiday Camper into battle.
(Eh, they were fighting Mer-Man and TrapJaw. Whatchya gonna do?)
posted by Mezentian at 11:13 PM on January 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile Teen Wolf fandom is just reblogging 2 second shots of wrists endlessly and without shame.
posted by The Whelk at 12:03 AM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I enjoy MLP; anything that can work nods to Sondheim into a kid's show is fine by me. My experience with the fanbase has been both positive and...interesting. I played rock handbells (yes, it's a thing) at my friend's MLP-themed burlesque show last year, dressed as Twilight Sparkle (Pavlov's Dogs is a group of six women, so naturally we Mane Sixed it up, and of course Twilight is the best pony). Most of the crowd was very enthusiastic and respectful about the whole thing (it is a very easy way to sell out a show), but there are definitely strange Bronies out there, particularly encouraged by the burlesque aspect; I was followed around all night by "King Brony," (a truly encyclopaedic font of Pony Knowledge) even when I was sitting on my fiance's lap, and I wasn't even a burlesque performer! For the most part, it was an entertaining experience, and really my biggest regret is that we didn't pull together "Winter Wrap-Up" on bells.
posted by ilana at 12:21 AM on January 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile Teen Wolf fandom is just reblogging 2 second shots of wrists endlessly and without shame.

It's not like Supernatural fans are any better.
As evidence the Tumblr "Porn Actors Who Kinda Sorta Look Like SPN Actors from Various Angles".

Being that most of them are gay sex (I know, shocking from SPN folks), there are lost of odd angles.
posted by Mezentian at 12:25 AM on January 22, 2013


it has been quite the revelation via tumblr that like, 16 year old girls are thinking about gay sex all the time apparently.

I mean, so am I, and I always suspected I was a 16 year old girl.
posted by The Whelk at 12:31 AM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why is it so popular with adults?

The thing about MLP is that of course, like so many other resurrected eighties cartoons, it already had a built-in adult viewership, from the people who used to watch it as children, even apart from those who started watching it with their children. So there was a nucleus of fandom already present for bronydom to grow out of.

What makes the new series so attractive to adults are a couple of things, some of which it has in common with every cartoon series supposedly aimed at kids that gets an adult following: smart writing, clever gags, characterisation that's more than skin deep, an animation style that's aesthetically pleasing.

But there are a couple of things that are unique to it that have made its fandom so huge:

1) It's a series that has six female protagonists, with the most prominent male character, Spike, being cast in the unrequite love role so often reserved for the token female in most other shows.
2) All of which have broadly sketched, but clearly distinctive personalities
3) while the plots are all about stereotypically female problems, all revolving around friendship (what if people stop liking me, how to make new friends, etc)
4) but are not about wearing the right outfits, or going to the right parties, or all that other consumerist fitting in with the right high school cliche sub-Barbie guff
5) Oh, and it's surprisingly free about worrying about boys plotting as well. Each of the ponies has her own interests and none of them revolving around impressing male ponies
6) Also, nobody has to rescue these ponies and they get to have "real" adventures as well as more socially orientated stories
7) No talking down either: it's aimed at an eight year old audience, yes, and the plots are largely predicable, but it respects its audience.
8) the whole style of the cartoon isn't so hideously pinky treacly sweet that it immediately repulses boys and the mane six are universal enough that them being guurls doesn't really matter; you can still identify with at least one of them (Fluttershy is bestest pony).
9) There's also enough background potential for fan fiction, enough hints of a larger world to provide grist for fan speculation, which also helps establish a strong fandom.

Finally, the crack made upthread about hiding from reality is not quite wrong. What MLP:FIM shows is a world where people work together to overcome their problems, where everybody works according to their abilities and gets according to what they need, a world where cynicism is unnecessary and there are no real villains, where people with good will can come together to overcome their differences.

Who wouldn't want to hear about such a place?
posted by MartinWisse at 12:58 AM on January 22, 2013 [18 favorites]


it has been quite the revelation via tumblr that like, 16 year old girls are thinking about gay sex all the time apparently.

Something manga creators knew for decades already, what with all the bishonen stuff.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:00 AM on January 22, 2013


Oh God, he said clopping.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:48 AM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


While blushing, no less.

Really makes me wish I wasn't pulling my 13 hour shifts this week, because my copy of the full documentary is already downloaded and just waiting for me to have the time to watch it.
posted by radwolf76 at 3:52 AM on January 22, 2013


This is part of his punishment by the continuum for fucking round with humans.
posted by not_on_display at 4:22 AM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


What are you talking about?

Um....
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:03 AM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Brony for a couple of years now (introduced to the show by MetaFilter!), backer of the documentary of which the linked animation is but a part, and attendant at two of the cons (Bronycon and BUCK) featured in the movie, and late to this thread. So, yeah... I'm an associate professor in computer science, and I teach my students wearing pony gear, being old enough not to give a hoot what others might think. I do not preach to the unconverted, but I will happily answer questions.

Something that is difficult to appreciate in the documentary is the absolute joy of the cons, especially Bronycon. I have seriously never been together with that many happy, positive, creative people united in one thing we enjoy. I spent something like eight hours queueing at Bronycon (mainly waiting for autograph vouchers), and had an excellent time chatting with a whole bunch of very diverse, but unrelenting pleasant people ranging in age from teenagers to people even older than myself (I'm 41).

What drove me to the show (apart from MetaFilter, that is)? It is very, very good. I watch it mainly for the characters and their interaction, the increasingly stunning animation (I generally prefer Season 2 to Season 1 and 3, but the animators have really hit their stride by now), and the wonderful music. What can I say? They make me happy, which no other TV show has managed hitherto. The best of the fan created artwork is beautiful, and likewise the best of the fan fiction. There are many rooms in the house, Lauren wrought...

As for episodes, Feeling Pinkie Keen is far from a favourite (though it is not as bad as Keep Calm and Flutter On), given the decidedly weak moral of the story, but it has by far the funniest ending of any episode to date. My goto episode would be Sisterhooves Social, as it not only is phenomenal in its own right, but revisits the raison d'être for the entire series: a rift between sisters. I agree that The Best Night Ever is the best season ender to date - especially the way Rarity ends up subverting the Disney narrative.
posted by bouvin at 6:17 AM on January 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


I mean, I watched the video. I still don't get it.
It's ok. Me neither. It's the Participant Ribbon generation, I guess.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:52 AM on January 22, 2013


I haven't seen a frame of the show. But as a first generation brony who requested ponies from all my friends at my 6th birthday party and didn't come out of elementary school entirely unscathed for it, any movement that facilitates the breaking down of stereotypical gender roles at a young age is outstanding.
posted by yellowbinder at 6:58 AM on January 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


So I asked my Brony son last night about the creepy Bronies, and he just rolled his eyes at me. He asked, "do you just run with every stupid thing you read on the Internet?" He doesn't even consider them true Bronies. So subsequently I am rolling my eyes at the people in this thread who instantly associate Bronies with creeps.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:10 AM on January 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


I just finished watching the documentary. It is by turns interesting, insightful, funny and moving. Aside from the segments with Lauren Faust explaining her ideas on the show and what it means for feminism and bridging the gender gap, I was also moved to see a conservative father make a trip to Bronycon with his son to find out more of the show and why he likes it, and another kid from the Appalachians who was agog at the idea that he was at a con 4 times the size of where he lived, all fans of the same thing he was.
posted by ShawnStruck at 7:32 AM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


What MLP:FIM shows is a world where people work together to overcome their problems, where everybody works according to their abilities and gets according to what they need...

Who wouldn't want to hear about such a place?


Capitalists.
posted by snottydick at 7:52 AM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Brocktoon: Your son is wise.

Creepiness is a really a thing in the eye of the beholder—personally, I find sport fans who claim that 'we' won a game both creepy and deluded (unless they were actually down contributing on the field themselves, natch, but my understanding is that most sports are not like that), but that seems well established in the mainstream. Do some bronies take it too far? No doubt. So what?

As for Hasbro, I'm actually more worried about the dread Rule of 65 (tvtropes link) than Hasbro taking down episodes from YouTube. They do not take new episodes down instantly (which they could easily enough—links are posted on the premiere brony site as soon as Xyro finishes encoding), so they are there for a while for people unwilling to buy them (or unable—I have had to get me an USian iTunes account in order to get legal ponies). Copyright is certainly broken, but as it is, I can't be upset that they protect their property. Were it not for the production of plastic toys, there would not be a show. The toy line clearly dictates what happens, e.g., Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, yet the writers have largely made it work (Shining Armor may be a bit of a cipher, but Cadence has grown on me, though she is so very pink. OTOH, Shining has now been saved twice by female characters, which must be some kind of record for a prince, so he has that going for him at least). Another example would be their CEO stating fairly clearly some months back that there was no need for a 26 episodes third season, as the toys were already selling well, so advertisement costs could be cut. Hence, the fear of the Rule of 65.

If memory serves, Hasbro lost the rights to some pony names from earlier generations, because they were not diligent enough in defending them, so they may well be a mite touchy these days. Hasbro has other product lines that has generated a lot of adult interest, especially Transformers, and seems reasonably able to cope with a changing demographics. Or so one would hope, lest there never be another Rarity episode, because that might well be the worst possible thing.
posted by bouvin at 8:21 AM on January 22, 2013


Is this the thread where I mention that my wife put on the first episode of MLP:FIM on Netflix the other day and, after the first six minutes, decided that her curiosity was sated and turned it off? And that I found myself thinking, "Hey, this isn't bad," but am too embarrassed to watch any more for fear that my wife will see it in our Netflix history and think that I'm a weirdo?

Because if this is that thread, I would never admit to such a thing. And if it it isn't, well, just ignore this comment entirely.
posted by asnider at 8:25 AM on January 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


I haven't seen it linked here, so: My Little Republic: Plato is Magic. An analysis of Equestrian society from the viewpoint of Plato's The Republic.
posted by bouvin at 8:25 AM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cadence has grown on me, though she is so very pink.

At least some good has come out of that. Because she's pink, the toys for Princess Celestia don't have to be any more. The toy makers have the option to make her white like she is on the show (kind of a big deal, since her magic brings sunlight), without the marketing execs vetoing the design and going "make her pink, the retailers won't order as many from us if she's not pink."

Originally Toys-R-Us took a gamble on a white Celestia exclusive to their shelves, counting on the fact that if nothing else, they could always sell them to collectors in the periphery demographic. Apparently it sold well enough that Hasbro decided to do another white Celestia that any retailer can sell. (Though they seem to be hedging their bets by putting her in a set with Pinkie Pie).
posted by radwolf76 at 9:01 AM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


(though it is not as bad as Keep Calm and Flutter On)

Oh hush. I loved the episode, because although the ending seems rushed at first, if you watch it again there are subtle clues that Discord is reformable. (The actions of the inanimate objects at the dinner party -- Discord gave them life, but they reacted on their own from there) But also, because even at the end Discord isn't greatly changed or neutered, and it means we're better situated for more episodes with the show's best villain.

Creepiness is a really a thing in the eye of the beholder—personally, I find sport fans who claim that 'we' won a game both creepy and deluded

Speaking as someone with no interest in sports, I find that aspect kind of charming. I might not be as invested in baseball or football as they are, but I am in other things, and it gives me a feeling of shared humanity, which I don't get an awful lot of, to watch them do that. We are all geeks, about different things. If you aren't, then why are you on this planet in the first place?

As for Hasbro, I'm actually more worried about the dread Rule of 65 (tvtropes link) than Hasbro taking down episodes from YouTube.

Production staff have revealed that there will be more seasons after the third. On that front at least, the show's future seems secure.

If memory serves, Hasbro lost the rights to some pony names from earlier generations, because they were not diligent enough in defending them

It's not as simple as that. From my vague understanding it's because MLP was not originally created by a Hasbro employee, and their license to use some original pony concepts expired, meaning Hasbro can only use ponies that were created in-house now. Certainly more could be written here by someone more knowledgeable, I don't have many of the facts.
posted by JHarris at 1:12 PM on January 22, 2013


Meh. It's no Happy Tree Friends.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:35 PM on January 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Meh. It's no Happy Tree Friends.

The official series or even De Lancie's documentary? Of course not. You'll want HotDiggityDemon's pony.mov series of fanvids to get that itch scratched.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:33 PM on January 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, cheeers for this post.

First I got the theme song stuck in my head at work again.

Then I had to watch a couple of episode at home

Finally, the pony.movs and all the weird, underbelly of the youtube pony videos where MLP morphs into Team Fortress and both start to be very rule 34ish.

And of course it all ends with Fluttershy cuteness overload.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:56 PM on January 22, 2013


Meh. It's no Happy Tree Friends.

Which is no Friendship is Witchcraft, although the latter is currently a victim of DMCA-bots.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:11 PM on January 22, 2013


i can't help but wonder, in the context of having just got done reading some old tijuana bibles and also Métal Hurlant, if rule 34 is only a thing in american media because we insist on making our entertainment so pure and chaste that it draws attention through omission, the whole "subconscious knows no negation" deal
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 3:33 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tocaty, possibly. C.f. the "grimdark" fan fictions, like the notorious Cupcakes.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:17 PM on January 22, 2013


Has anyone done a parody of the Buffalo Bill/"Goodbye Horses" scene from Silence of the Lambs, only according to "Cupcakes"? Because all I'm finding is this and this.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:10 PM on January 22, 2013


Oh! Add to my episode list above "Lesson Zero" and "Luna Eclipsed." How could I have forgotten those?
posted by JHarris at 9:55 PM on January 22, 2013


JHarris:
Oh hush. I loved the episode, because although the ending seems rushed at first, if you watch it again there are subtle clues that Discord is reformable. (The actions of the inanimate objects at the dinner party -- Discord gave them life, but they reacted on their own from there) But also, because even at the end Discord isn't greatly changed or neutered, and it means we're better situated for more episodes with the show's best villain.

My main problems are two-fold. Mainly, it is one of canon consistency. Celestia has greatly changed her tune on Discord since The Return of Harmony, where she claimed his rule was "an eternal state of unrest and unhappiness", that she and her sister had hoped to encase forever in stone. Now apparently, he is a prime candidate for an afternoon of resocialization. Her belief in her magic safeguards re the Elements is touching, especially given how well they worked last time. I do not always agree with his assessments of the episodes, but Chris of One Man's Pony Ramblings summed it up pretty nicely. Discord could have continued his career as a conversation piece somewhere in the Canterlot Castle Park.

My other problem is one of personal preference. Sure, Discord is amusing, and John de Lancie is a standup guy, but villain episodes are really not the show's forte. Premiere episodes such as Suited for Success, Party of One, Best Night Ever, Lesson Zero, Luna Eclipsed, Putting your Hoof Down, Sisterhooves Social, or Sleepless in Ponyville do nicely without them. They are at best a distraction, and in this sense the villains that do the least on screen, such are Nightmare Moon and Sombra, are probably actually my preferred ones. I do recognize that this is not the commonly held view among fans ^^;

Keep Calm and Flutter On improved on repeat viewings (the only other episode I have so acutely disliked upon first viewing was MMMystery on the Friendship Express, which has not improved since), but mainly because the cleverness of the visual gags redeems (ha!) the story. I did like the darker aspects of mind control magic apparently strong enough to actually threaten Discord, though. But to think we might have had an episode with the Lady Marshmallow herself instead...

Creepiness is a really a thing in the eye of the beholder—personally, I find sport fans who claim that 'we' won a game both creepy and deluded
Speaking as somepony with no interest in sports, I find that aspect kind of charming. I might not be as invested in baseball or football as they are, but I am in other things, and it gives me a feeling of shared humanity, which I don't get an awful lot of, to watch them do that. We are all geeks, about different things. If you aren't, then why are you on this planet in the first place?


That was, I thought, my point, but upon review the word "creepy" is probably not the right word (if you'll forgive a non-native speaker) though it is certainly thrown around upthread. Baffling is probably better. Certainly, people are welcome to enjoy whatever they want, I would just expect them to extend the same curtesy to others. But actually, the similarities between a fully attired, face-painted sport fan chanting a team song with his mates and a cosplaying pony/anime/SF/whatever fan singing the theme song with other fans are striking, though one seems more socially acceptable than the other.

The pitiable ones are those without any enthusiasms at all.

Production staff have revealed that there will be more seasons after the third. On that front at least, the show's future seems secure.

Good to know. My only semi solid evidence was a line or two from DHX Media's projections for the next year, which could be read as confirmation of a new season.
posted by bouvin at 3:47 AM on January 23, 2013


This, of course, alludes to you:
i can't help but wonder, in the context of having just got done reading some old tijuana bibles and also Métal Hurlant, if rule 34 is only a thing in american media because we insist on making our entertainment so pure and chaste that it draws attention through omission, the whole "subconscious knows no negation" deal

That is entirely possible. As an European comics fan, I have seen a number of parody versions from the official publishers, often drawn by the original artists, where they take the piss on their creations. So, it's there, but it is not a big deal. It's just fun. Of course, much of doujinshi is Rule 34, 63, shipping in general, etc, etc, and is generally tolerated by the publishers.
posted by bouvin at 4:00 AM on January 23, 2013


Celestia has greatly changed her tune on Discord since The Return of Harmony, where she claimed his rule was "an eternal state of unrest and unhappiness", that she and her sister had hoped to encase forever in stone. Now apparently, he is a prime candidate for an afternoon of resocialization.

I think Celestia recognized what an asset she had in Fluttershy. Here's a pony who despite appearing timid has successfully negotiated with dragons, stared down a cockatrice, and gotten Equestria's preeminent assertiveness trainer to issue her a refund. During the maze sequence in The Return of Discord, her agreeable nature actually made her immune to Discord's attempts at deception and manipulation; he basically had to force her into desaturated-mode to turn her into Flutterbitch. In short, Fluttershy represented an opportunity that wasn't previously available to Celestia.

And while she may have been originally content to leave him forever a statue, she had also been originally content to leave her own sister banished on the moon for a thousand years, and look how well that reform turned out.
posted by radwolf76 at 5:02 AM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


radwolf76:
I think Celestia recognized what an asset she had in Fluttershy. Here's a pony who despite appearing timid has successfully negotiated with dragons, stared down a cockatrice, and gotten Equestria's preeminent assertiveness trainer to issue her a refund. During the maze sequence in The Return of Discord, her agreeable nature actually made her immune to Discord's attempts at deception and manipulation; he basically had to force her into desaturated-mode to turn her into Flutterbitch. In short, Fluttershy represented an opportunity that wasn't previously available to Celestia.

Exactly, he could force her. For some reason, he chose not do so here. This Discord is certainly not as ruthless as the one in The Return of Harmony (of course, given the format and target audience, he is not ruthless at all, as the grimdark version could just have killed 1+ of the elements). I enjoy staying within canon, overthinking these things and making them fit together into a coherent whole is one of the enjoyable activities as a fan. It is the basis of fan fiction (that, and shipping), yet here the simpler solution seems to be the writers going "let's retcon this, so we can bring back the zany fan favourite!" I daresay I hope we get a payoff showcasing just what kind of magic Celestia needs Discord for. The best conclusion so far has to my mind been given in Ask Princess Molestia (link SFW, site slightly less so). Hopefully, canon can improve on this.

As for Fluttershy, it has been great to see how she has grown as a character—a doormat no more (even if she would prefer to be brave in her closet)! She didn't get a refund, BTW, she didn't pay in the first place. Miss Dash in contrast seems to revert back to form again and again.

And while she may have been originally content to leave him forever a statue, she had also been originally content to leave her own sister banished on the moon for a thousand years, and look how well that reform turned out.

I'm not suggesting that redemption is not possible in Equestria, but these cases are different. Discord is "the mischievous spirit of disharmony" (my emphasis). Luna and Celestia ruled in harmony, until Luna fell, because she felt under appreciated. There was something (or more, at least) to redeem. Fanon aside, what we do know is that Discord's rule was one of misery for the ponies. Luna refused to lower the Moon—she could have been in transit half an hour later, for all we know. A better candidate (than Discord) for redemption had been Chrysalis—she at least was only trying to serve the interests of her own people. Especially since Discord was safely contained, whereas Queen Cheese and her swarm are out there somewhere. Looking forward to the conclusion of the current story arch of the (excellent, BTW) MLP:FiM series by Cook and Price.

Given Fluttershy's remarkable abilities, her harrowing of Tartarus would be epic. Who or what is down there, anyway?
posted by bouvin at 6:06 AM on January 23, 2013


I daresay I hope we get a payoff showcasing just what kind of magic Celestia needs Discord for.

I'm hoping it ties in to why Luna seemed so abrupt with Twilight during the brief times they shared the screen in the Crystal Empire episode, and her mysterious black book at the end of the same episode. I've heard the rumors about Twilight ascending to alicorn status, and if those are true and if it turns out that the sisters are actually worried enough about what could happen that they felt it'd be best to have discord on their side just in case Twilight goes grimdark with her newfound power, that would go a long way to redeeming Season 3 from some of it's weaker episodes in my eyes.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:17 AM on January 23, 2013


At the very least, we must get a resolve to the heavy foreshadowing. One thing was the Swirly Star book at the end, another was the next level talk, but my favourite was the backgrounding of cutie marks as the princesses sent Twilight off. That was beautiful.

If Discord is needed, one must wonder about Cadence. She seemed young, when she was a foalsitter. Too young to not have originated during the rule of Celestia. Created, or born that way? We have no idea. OTOH, she does not seem like dark side material. Twilight? As a bystander I'd be more worried about unforeseen side effects than actual grim dark. She is neurotic, obsessive, and ruthless from time to time (at least in her treatment of dying phoenixes), but that seems to be about it. In her way, she showed as much fortitude as Fluttershy when facing Discord originally. He didn't even try to subvert her himself: he left that to her friends (a nod to the power of friendship in Equestria). She always has good intentions—even when she seeks to stop time itself. Keeping Discord around to keep her in check seems like an unlikely proposition. He has after all not renounced evil, just most of the time.

Another anti-climatic thing about Keep Calm and Flutter On: Discord title dropping. Urgh. (Dang it, Spike got treated kinder than this in Spike At Your Service).

Ah well, we'll know in three episodes' time.
posted by bouvin at 8:08 AM on January 23, 2013


redeeming Season 3
would require a couple of Rarity episodes.
posted by bouvin at 9:34 AM on January 23, 2013


I kind of hope the series doesn't descend into grimdark really, the lightness and fun of it is a big part of its charm. I agree bouvin that it isn't really a villain show. That's why I think reforming Discord, somewhat, is a good move; he's been bad in the past, but even when he was acting up in Return Of Harmony, I didn't get the sense that he was really evil; he just wanted to have a good time unfettered by rules. This brings a very entertaining and popular character in and makes it possible to do more kinds of stories with him, while not entirely defanging him.
posted by JHarris at 10:42 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Going by merch sightings, Alicorn Twilight seems likely. I think it's interesting that that (along with Cadence) would exactly double the known Alicorn population, suggesting that the younger ones might end up as understudies to the older ones.

At least, that's how I would do it.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:13 PM on January 23, 2013


JHarris, one of the many charms of the show (to me at least) is how they add just a dollop of darkness. It really brings out the sweetness :) Twilight just wouldn't be the same, if she hadn't said "The 'want it, need it' spell. Works every time."

Anyhoo, while I wasn't happy with Discord's return, the writers, animators, and composers continue to bring greatness to the show, and there's always something to enjoy. Sometimes, that is puns on moose, or abusive beavers, but usually it is so much more. Heck, the fact that Rainbow Dash writes self-insert Mary Sue Wonderbolt fan fiction made her rise considerably in my regard, which is no mean feat.

Princess Twilight? Eh, I can go with that. The Sparkle family is remarkably well connected. I wonder who attended the royal summit?

Edit: Checks fimfiction.net. Oh, ffs, Discord/Fluttershy shipping?
posted by bouvin at 2:09 PM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Celestia has greatly changed her tune on Discord since The Return of Harmony, where she claimed his rule was "an eternal state of unrest and unhappiness", that she and her sister had hoped to encase forever in stone. Now apparently, he is a prime candidate for an afternoon of resocialization.

Here's the thing. Celestia made the point that since she and Luna were no longer in control of the Elements of Harmony, the spell sealing Discord in stone weakened and collapsed. Now the Elements are in the hooves of mortals. So what does putting him back in stone buy you? A century, maybe, if they're lucky. She had no choice but to find another way to neutralize him. Brute force is useless. Friendship is the only magic she had left.
posted by darksasami at 2:30 PM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


darksasami:
Here's the thing. Celestia made the point that since she and Luna were no longer in control of the Elements of Harmony, the spell sealing Discord in stone weakened and collapsed. Now the Elements are in the hooves of mortals. So what does putting him back in stone buy you? A century, maybe, if they're lucky. She had no choice but to find another way to neutralize him. Brute force is useless. Friendship is the only magic she had left.

It's a fair point. However, if we are to speculate on the future, I would strongly expect the elements to return to the princesses upon their mortal wielder's eventual demise. With Luna restored (and of course including other princesses, though we only know that Luna and Celestia are seemingly immortal—Cadence may be, but we don't know), having royal control over central strategic assets such as the elements would be the only prudent course. As long as Discord's containment holds till then, they can hold him at their leisure. Last time he was locked in stone, he was held for at least a thousand years (he must have been defeated prior to Nightmare Moon), so he need not be a high priority risk.

Stick him in the royal archives, far away from excitable school fillies on tour, and he'll be fine. ^^
posted by bouvin at 1:45 AM on January 24, 2013


Stick him in the royal archives, far away from excitable school fillies on tour, and he'll be fine.

About that, it's probably best to keep the CMCs away from mysterious statues.
posted by JHarris at 2:01 AM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


About that, it's probably best to keep the CMCs away from mysterious statues.

Ha! Those fillies ask too many questions.
Equestrians do unfortunately not have a good track record of controlling their artefacts of mass disruption, wiz. the Alicorn Amulet, or Mirror Pool.
posted by bouvin at 3:44 AM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


or Pinkie Pie, come to think about it.
posted by bouvin at 7:04 AM on January 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Cyberman My Little Pony? This is like the nerdiest thing ever

Death comes to Ponytown!
posted by Mezentian at 6:28 PM on January 24, 2013


Random link: fan-made anime-style closing credits sequence. Almost believable!
posted by JHarris at 2:50 AM on January 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Japan's My Little Pony Premier Expo (In Japanese)
posted by ob1quixote at 2:52 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Friendship is Witchcraft is back in the US with its own site now.
posted by JHarris at 2:17 AM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hasbro Lawyers Stable My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic Fan Project
posted by Drinky Die at 7:44 PM on February 9, 2013


I debated making a MeFi post about this, but decided against making it myself, although I'd sure as hell participate in such a thread of someone else made it. It marks a major shift in my opinion of the series -- a lot of what I like about PONY is the community, and their works, that surround it, and this is a direct blow against the most promising of those works. The Equestria Daily thread has rocketed up to nearly 2,000 comments. Half of them condemning, the other hald showing a woeful lack of understanding of the nature of copyright and trademark law (something I've noticed of bronies in general).

I had thought something like this might happen, but had my fingers crossed that better minds at Hasbro would prevail. Apparently not. PONY was literally the only positive thing I had to say about the company, that they were so accepting of the tremendous outporing of fan effort. I've certainly ranted in the past about their attitudes towards both Dungeons & Dragons and their board game properties. Well, here's another thing to toss onto the heap.
posted by JHarris at 8:09 PM on February 9, 2013


I'm honestly surprised they haven't taken a stronger stance against the fans. I can't be the only person who was curious about MLP:FIM before the whole Brony phenomenon got out of hand. What happens when kids looking for info on their favorite pony run into thousands of words of creepy fanfic or creepy guys in the toy section of stories? I know fans like this exist for every property, but I don't think they've been as public for a long time. I do know that early furries killed Tiny Toon Adventures by creeping out the voice artists.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:03 AM on February 10, 2013


I can't be the only person who was curious about MLP:FIM before the whole Brony phenomenon got out of hand.

If you let furries put you off of classic cartoons you'll be denying yourself the classic Warner and Disney shorts, the best cartoons ever made. I said it before, I seem not to have been heard so I'll say it once more: do yourself a favor and don't let others influence your tastes. Rule 34 is called a rule of the internet for a reason. Regardless of whether that stuff exists, and whether Tosh and Stern put glaring spotlights on it, the great majority of pony fans care nothing for it. Speaking as someone who makes it his business to keep up with these matters. Whether you choose to see that, well, is up to you.

This is a return to form for Hasbro. I'm hopeful someone there shows some sense. These fandoms are actually quite fragile; there was no better way they could have hung a giant question mark over most types of fan endevor.
posted by JHarris at 2:54 AM on February 10, 2013


The other thing about Rule 34, of course, is that it applies to everything. The only way to avoid rule 34 is to suspend all creative enterprise.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:34 AM on February 10, 2013


Creepy Star Wars fans and Star Trek fans and Harry Potter fans are just as prevalent and public. I eagerly await the Something Awful panic brigade shutting down their threads over there.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:27 PM on February 10, 2013


If Charlemagne In Sweatpants himself doesn't want to give the show a chance, that's completely fine.

If he wants to echo a stereotype he's received without examination and thus perpetuate it, that's a bit less fine, but MST3K Mantra (TVTropes link) and all that.

The thing that bugs me is a perception of a creeping sexualization that largely doesn't exist except in a few sad people but all-too-visible people, and affects other things than Pony. Like the classic Warner cartoons mentioned above, which are the funniest things going. I know where this road is leading, and I don't like it. Maybe I'm being a bit preëmptive* in my concerns, who knows, the whole thing just makes me sick.

Here, have a New Yorker e, that one's free.
posted by JHarris at 12:54 PM on February 10, 2013


From any rational standpoint, Hasbro's actions are bizarre. From a modern corporate standpoint, I'm wondering what took them so long.

They got a fandom handed to them on a silver platter (aka YouTube,) with more money than even an army of little girls can wheedle out of their parents. That bought up the show-kinda-accurate figures they eventually produced so fast they couldn't keep up.

But apparently legal got wind of it at last, and this is why we can't have nice things. They started taking down the YouTube vids, because they weren't getting paid, then moved on to the fan films, and the professional level video games. Which were offered for free. At the same time that their licensed mobile game was under attack for being rapacious (probably to recoup costs for the license.)

At some point Hasbro forgot that they're in the toy business. All the rest is advertising.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:16 PM on February 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


At some point Hasbro forgot that they're in the toy business. All the rest is advertising.

Hasbro's not really a toy company, so much as it's an eater of toy companies. You are what you eat, though, so I guess they are one after all. And, hey, they gobbled up Monopoly in 1991, so they've got that going too. (Think of any toy or game company you remember from your childhood; if it's not Mattel, Hasbro owns it now.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:41 PM on February 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


MLP is bucking the decline in the toy industry.

Think of any toy or game company you remember from your childhood; if it's not Mattel, Hasbro owns it now.

Mego. :P
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:31 PM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, the old self-destruct-before-the-Borg-can-assimilate-you trick. Touché, Mego. Touché.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:02 PM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Spinoff called Equestria Girls, about humanized MLP characters.
posted by kafziel at 11:57 AM on February 13, 2013


From any rational standpoint, Hasbro's actions are bizarre. From a modern corporate standpoint, I'm wondering what took them so long.

Going after the fan films and video games is bizarre from a corporate standpoint as well. Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, DCs and Marvels characters, all of their corporate masters allow (or don't go after) all kinds of crazy fan stuff. Hasbro is really the outlier here.
posted by nooneyouknow at 12:26 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


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