Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know by now that there is a huge cultural phenomenon of adults (mainly males) who are giant fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a show that was originally intended to promote a little girl’s toyline.
Oh, but this popular kid’s cartoon promotes more than a 30 year old toyline; it also promotes friendship, virtue, and honesty. There has been other iterations of My Little Pony cartoon series, but this fourth and current generation has had a huge impact in our society, and that is much thanks to the series creator Lauren Faust who has succeeded in setting out to make this series more than just a 20 minute toy commercial.
Aside from the amazing animation, adorable wit, and side busting hilarity, what I love most about this show is the heartfelt and clever writing. The writers have a great grasp on how to make an ensemble cast relate to each other and the world around them, thus ultimately connecting with us the viewers.
One of the biggest factors that draw people in to the show, including myself, is the character development amongst the Mane 6 cast. So this week I will be writing posts specifically about each pony and how I relate to them based on the hardships they’ve faced, along with similar personal insights I’ve had that paralell theirs. But for now, I want to share with you how I first got into the show.
“But isn’t My Little Pony for little girls? What’s WRONG with you?!”
Lots of things! I mean…
One night when I was playing Soul Calibur V online, I was in a player lobby with one of my friends, and he was using custom characters that all had unicorn horns attached to their foreheads. A random person who had joined our lobby asked him over the mic chat if he was a Brony.
I asked, “what the hell is a Brony?”
And he went on to explain that a Brony was an adult male who was into the show My Little Pony. Naturally, I laughed my ass off and thought I was being trolled. But despite of my bafflement and surprise at such a statement, I am still an open minded enough person to have let this friend of mine make the case as to why he was into the show.
He first began commenting on how well animated it was, and how it was all done in Flash. I’ve tried my hand at Flash animation when I was younger, and only to a small degree was I impressed with the idea that an entire show could be animated with, what I perceive as, such a hard program to master.
Then he went on to talk about how funny the show was, and by this point I really thought he was messing with me. How could a little kid’s cartoon possibly be funny?
I even asked if the show was graphically violent despite of its colourful look and that’s why people actually like it–but he assured me that it has minimal violence as the focus is really on peaceful conflict resolution.
What finally got my full attention was when he talked about the character development, and ya’ll know me as a sucker for character development!
I was intrigued by his enthusiasm towards the over arching character development amongst the Mane 6 cast and figured I should go give the show a chance.
At first I started reading articles about MLP, some of them in defense of, and some in offense towards the show. I was bombarded with propaganda to say the least.
A lot of stigmatic shaming loaded the slander articles, and for the sake of the cleanliness streak of this blog, I’ll spare you the details on what kind of nasty assumptions are made of the Brony fandom as a whole.
I then looked for compilation clips of the funniest moments, and even the darkest moments in My Little Pony until eventually I realized that the only way I can form a real opinion on the show is by actually watching an episode.
So I put on a random episode where the athlete of the group, Rainbow Dash, injures her wing, and has to stay in the hospital to recover.
Her nerdy bookworm friend Twilight Sparkle suggests for her to read a book called Daring Do to pass the time, and Rainbow Dash’s pride prevents her from actually cracking the book open at first.
Eventually, she gets bored enough to take a gander at the Indiana Jones inspired story–and her scepticism about reading books began to mirror my scepticism about the show.
Little by little, Rainbow Dash became comfortable with the idea of doing what only “egg heads” do and enjoy reading, meanwhile I was slowly becoming comfortable with the idea that I was beginning to enjoy a show that was originally “made for little girls.”
I was impressed by the action set pieces and how well animated they were, the character arc Rainbow Dash went through in the episode, and just the overall surprising enjoyment I got out if it.
I let it sit for a few days, and then I had the urge to start watching the series from the very beginning of it. Before I knew it, I found myself invested in the ongoing journey of these little ponies.
And the rest, you might say, is history…