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My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

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posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 01:25 PM
WARNING! This post is extremely long, as in so freakin' long you'll be saying "No way! It just goes on forever!" And indeed it does. I update it now and then, and may even be adding more to it while you're reading this, so you might never reach the end and literally be trapped within this pink and purple polysyllabic labyrinth for a thousand years. It contains numerous elaborate, overwrought expositions on magical talking ponies, their growing legions of enthusiastic fans and a mind-numbing plethora of pony-related subjects. Reader discretion advised. You have been warned. Bridge out. Turn back now. Watch your step. Seek emergency exit. There's snakes on this plane. This has been a public service announcement. You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming or pursue a path of irrevocable madness by reading this post. Please be advised that this disclaimer may, in fact, not be sufficient enough a disclaimer; may, in fact, be way too long itself, to the point that it needs its own disclaimer; and that the author waives and disclaims any and all responsibility for any and all damages readers may, and are quite likely to, sustain to any and all sensibilities, self-image or sanity, where originally present, while reading. Void where prohibited by law. Void where not prohibited by law. Abandon all hope ye who enter here. May God have mercy on your soul. What? Still here? Then there's nothing more I can do to stop you, so set aside a few idle hours, grab a refreshing beverage, read on and enjoy! If you dare.

Or just skip all the verbiage and watch teh poniez on YouTube...

NOTE: Most full episodes of Friendship is Magic are no longer available on YouTube. More info at the end of this post.

A Cute Little Show For Girls, But...

Fig. 1: Your little ponies.

Hi. My name is Majic and I'm a fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Stop looking at me like that!

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the latest in a series of animated television shows commissioned by Hasbro to market toys for girls in the general age range of 3 to 8 years old. As such it is the flagship promotional vehicle for the latest generation of My Little Pony dolls that have been a popular and lucrative mainstay of the girls' toy business for decades.

No surprises there.

What is surprising is how the new show, brought to life through the efforts of creative steward and executive producer Lauren Faust, has found widespread popularity outside its presumed target demographic.

From Ms. Magazine:

"I never expected to work on a show based on a toy line, but I accepted the project based on my sincere childhood love of the toy and Hasbro's desire to create an entertaining show that is not just a long toy commercial. When I took the job, I braced myself for criticism, expecting many people -- without even watching the show -- to instantly label it girly, stupid, cheap, for babies or an evil corporate commercial. I encourage skeptics like this to watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with an open mind. If I'm doing my job right, I think you'll be surprised."

-- Lauren Faust

Lauren Faust's vision for girls' entertainment eschews the traditional vapid concoction of treacle, tea parties and tepid tales in favor of stories that have depth, flaws, genuine adventure and qualities that can educate as well as amuse. She offers girls a broader view of what it means to be a girl and challenges the societal conventions both subtle and overt that would confine them to an oppressive prison of forced conformity.

While this isn't necessarily a revolutionary sentiment -- feminists have been fighting this fight for years -- what is revolutionary is that this philosophy has found its way into a line of toys that is one of the most iconic, popular and influential worldwide.

A creative change in a girls' toy line might not seem like a big deal, but make no mistake: this is a veritable cultural bombshell whose effects will ripple through societies around the globe for years to come.

Fueled by season one's unprecedented success, season two of Friendship is Magic has already finished production and will be airing this fall (September 17, 2011, to be precise), with a third season highly likely. As My Little Pony toys and the show made to market them grow in popularity, the underlying messages that come with them will filter into the collective consciousness in ways that cannot be predicted.

Indeed, who could have predicted that a show for girls age 3-8 would find a growing, enthusiastic worldwide fan base of males age 8-34 (and beyond).

Say WHAT?!?

My Little Brony

Fig. 2: Twilight Sparkle. Our little protagonist. Magical unicorn, faithful
student of Princess Celestia and bookworm who needs to learn more
about friendship. Has a dragon for a sidekick, can levitate giant bears
and can turn you into a frog with her scary powers, so be nice and
make with the love and tolerance.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is unabashedly feminine and rife with pink and purple and many of the qualities associated with a "girly" aesthetic. The show is quite suitable for its intended audience and is accessible to even very young girls who might not understand the dialog, but can still enjoy watching colorful ponies prance around the screen. It is, first and foremost, a show designed for, and dedicated to, girls.

Traditionally, such shows have only garnered interest among members of their target audience. Older girls will have typically grown out of them by the time they leave elementary school and move on to other interests. Boys will, of course, not even give them a first glance and keep the TV faithfully tuned to shows crafted to sell them action figures, transforming robots, toy dinosaurs and other objects of classic boyish fancy.

Fig. 3: Pinkie Pie. Original party animal and comic relief. Psychotically
euphoric until her insecurities are triggered, then becomes psychotically
dysphoric. Signature color is pink, but you probably figured that out
already. Hobbies include throwing parties, breaking the fourth wall,
violating the laws of physics and fashioning complex, slapdash flying
machines from inexplicably-obtained parts.

Adults of both sexes who have no interest in any sort of children's entertainment will indulgently sit through such programming while babysitting or spending "quality time" with a daughter, niece or younger sister, and most often consider it a form of penance or drudgery that comes with a position of responsibility for a child.

While the exact origin of today's male Pony fandom cannot necessarily be traced with pinpoint accuracy, and the majority of male fans probably first heard about it on the Internet, we can imagine at least one amusing "pathway of infection" easily enough.

Fig. 4: Rarity. Professional dressmaker devoted to fabulosity. Subverts
the spoiled rich girl trope by actually having a job, caring about her
friends and not putting down others. Her cutie mark (don't shoot the
messenger here, that's what they call those symbols on their rumps)
consists of three diamonds, and aptly suits her personality and talents,
one of which is the ability to find truckloads of gems. Although Equestria
seems positively built on a substrate of gems (they are everywhere),
this is held to be a valuable trait. Dreams of moving to the capital
city of Canterlot and marrying into royalty.

Fathers, grandfathers, uncles and older brothers saddled with the often onerous task of having to supervise a young girl while mom was unavailable found themselves faced with sitting through yet another girls' TV show while trying to keep from rolling their eyes and fighting off nausea. And indeed, no doubt expected a My Little Pony show, of all things, to be among the worst of offenders to their masculine sensibilities.

Sure enough, here come the ponies with big-eyed character designs, bright colors, cute little songs and the ever-present purple and pink. Men fight back the impulse to grab a beer at eight o'clock in the morning, anguishing over the importance of being a responsible adult while needing something to take the edge off the horror of having to survive another sickening show for girls.

And then, somewhere along the line, something really horrible happens, and they find themselves confronting an unexpected, terrifying truth:

"Oh my God! I LIKE this show!"

A "brony" is born.

Real Men Watch Ponies™

Fig. 5: Princess Celestia. Occasionally-disputed absolute monarch of
the magical land of Equestria. Fond of pranks and the Socratic method.
Outwardly affable but reputed to rule with an iron hoof. Known to
banish troublemakers to the moon. Her psychedelic pastel rainbow hair
never stops undulating and is somewhat hypnotic.

There are many, many fans of the previous generations of the toys who have been quite happy with them and might look askance at the new models, but for all the controversy a shift in Hasbro's marketing strategy for My Little Pony could have generated, the appeal of Friendship is Magic to males trumps everything else.

Around the world and across the Internet, men and boys of all ages are overcoming shame, coming forward and confessing their fondness for a show for girls. As a cultural phenomenon, it is remarkable and revolutionary in its own right.

Fig. 6: Applejack. Token cowpony and intractable workaholic. Skilled
at "applebucking", the art of kicking trees and making apples fall
neatly into multiple baskets without spilling any. Lives and works
at Sweet Apple Acres with Granny Smith, Big Macintosh and Apple
Bloom. Sells apples and apple accessories. You may be noticing a
pattern here. You are correct. She's a pony.

Otherwise rough, tough "macho" men find themselves facing an identity crisis as they secretly sneak in an episode of Pony on the Hub TV channel or off the Internet, constantly looking over their shoulders to make sure no one else in the family is on to them.

Meanwhile, other men ranging from anime fans to technogeeks to good old boys to jocks, bikers and truckers revel in the sense of freedom that comes from openly expressing their love for the show and challenging all comers to make something of it. Some go so far as to wear Pony tee shirts, buy Pony toys (not even bothering to seek cover by sending their wives or girlfriends out to buy them), get Pony tattoos or even post a glowing thread about it on

Such male fans of the show who "come out of the closet" often adopt the moniker of "brony" (a portmanteau of "bro" or "brother" and "pony") and have formed their own online community which provides mutual support and asserts that it's possible to be a "brony" and still be a "manly man".

Fig. 7: Don't laugh. These guys can kick your ass.

As much as My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic endeavors to help free girls from cultural stereotypes that rigidly define who they should be, it is also liberating a significant number of men and boys from similar stereotypes that rigidly define who they should be. This knock-on effect may well end up being more penetrating in its cultural impact than the changes MLP is bringing to the world of girls.

One of the central tenets of the "brony" community is that fondness for something decidely feminine doesn't require surrendering one's masculinity, but can actually reaffirm it.

In the long history of men's gender roles, this is not unprecedented, but may nonetheless become one of the more significant cultural developments of modern times.

The Grand Design

So why, exactly, has a show for girls attracted so much positive, even fanatical attention from so many male viewers around the world? The answer, as it turns out, is no big mystery.

Lauren Faust has stated in so many words that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic was deliberately created to appeal to more than just girls, as expressed, for example, in a comment on, where she maintains an account under the name of fyre-flye:

I didn't create this show for little girls, I created it for little girls and their parents--including male parents. It only stands to reason that adult animation fans without children may like it, too.

The belief that boys shouldn't be interested in girl things is the main reason there's hardly anything decent for girls in animation--- or almost any media, for that matter. It's a backwards, sexist, outdated attitude.

The context of this exchange (which I pointedly excluded from this quote) is somewhat controversial and covered in more detail here, but her comments there and in other venues are unambiguous about her intentions for the show.

Ms. Faust could have taken the easy road and cranked out your run-of-the-mill girl's cartoon, cashed a nice, fat paycheck and moved on. But that was clearly not why she took the job.

After a long and successful career in animation, this was an opportunity she couldn't pass up, a chance to apply and promote her strongly held beliefs regarding practical, sensible feminism and potentially influence entire generations of young girls who would grow up to pass on these values to their own children.

Fig. 8: Where ponies come from.

But even that wasn't enough. Lauren Faust wanted the show to have impact outside the realm of girls' entertainment, to reach not only young girls, but their parents as well, and not just female viewers, but male viewers as well.

Moving an iconic girls' toy and media franchise in such a direction is by no means a risk-free endeavor, and done wrong, could have had serious reputational and financial consequences for a major toy manufacturer.

Ms. Faust chose to sail some potentially stormy seas but, with a steady hand on the helm, has managed to rack up some truly remarkable achievements. The risk is paying off in wildly unexpected ways.

Aside from the traditional market sector of young girls, which is doing quite well in correlation with the new television show's significant popularity among girls, Hasbro has been presented with a tremendous opportunity to market a wide range of My Little Pony products to a growing and increasingly loyal male customer base.

Fig. 9: Brony outbreaks. It's like a plague of love and tolerance.

It's a major victory on all fronts, all thanks to the genius and vision of Lauren Faust and the extraordinary talent of her production team.

But getting back to the show itself, in the simplest of terms, the reason it has such broad appeal is because it was intended to.

Thus despite its girlish pedigree, it's not terribly surprising that Friendship is Magic has an audience composition more along the lines of Bugs Bunny, The Simpsons or The Smurfs than a flowery, frilly, intellectually vacant half-hour of butterflies and bon-bons.

Hence "bronies".

When Ponies Ruled The Earth

Fig. 10: Equestria. There be ponies.

But enough about bronies. Let's talk ponies!

The world of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic draws on past efforts and uses some of the same location names, character names and themes found in earlier work. However, many of the traditional elements, including several character names, were unavailable due to complex licensing issues. In response, Lauren Faust created what is effectively a unique new world and populated it with the products of her own imagination.

The result is Equestria, a magical land filled with mythical beasts, enchanted forests and (surprise!) ponies. Lots and lots of ponies.

Fig. 11: Ponyville. You'll never guess who lives here.

The ponies of Equestria come in the form of "earth ponies", "unicorn ponies" and "pegasus ponies", all of which are varieties that have evolved over the course of the toy line's decades-long franchise. The new ponies, however, reflect a more contemporary aesthetic that is heavily influenced by popular modern animation, mostly Western, but also incorporating aspects of Japanese animation ("anime") as well.

The character designs of the new ponies are less "horsey" and more human in nature, and in portrait shots can look more like stylized humans than stylized ponies. This design choice makes the ponies easier for human viewers to identify and sympathize with, and in itself may well explain their broadened appeal.

Fig. 12: Rainbow Dash. Pegasus who is definitely not evil. Much.
Token tompony and adrenaline junkie. Responsible, along with other
pegasi, for weather control and lives in a house built of clouds
and rainbows that makes the Taj Mahal look like a hut. Hobbies
include practicing complex aerobatics, breaking the sound barrier
and leaving rainbow-colored contrails in the sky. Noted for habitually
making her entrance by crashing into things, or other ponies, or both.
Bucks the tomboy stereotype by having absolutely no problem whatsoever
with wearing a dress, as long as it's about twenty percent cooler.

But that's not all that has changed. The ponies have been given new personalities that, while being somewhat archetypal (or stereotypical), have sufficient depth and resemblance to real human personalities to endear them to viewers on those merits alone.

Backing all this up is a production that's "bigger than the screen", has a huge supporting cast, features excellent, fluid animation and music that bolster every scene, is carried by superb voice acting and is directed with a masterful aptitude for presentation and pace that never drags out or belabors a scene. The ponies always move along at a good clip, and in the span of a half-hour episode, cover a lot of ground.

Fig. 13: Fluttershy. Shrinking violet who has the unique ability to
fluently communicate with every species of animal in Equestria
except other ponies. Very timid and demure but freely provides
food, shelter and medical care to any and every animal she
encounters. Has the ability to stare down dragons and other scary
creatures. As a pegasus, she can fly, but is afraid of heights.

That ground often consists of some pretty standard morals and aesops we've all seen before, but the way they unfold can still be fresh and entertaining.

And that is the magic of Friendship is Magic (well, actually there's a more literal kind of magic that's spelled out in the first two episodes, but I'm being metaphorical over here). Just as it draws upon past incarnations of the Pony franchise, it also draws upon traditions and values that are familiar to viewers, and drives them home without being too preachy or sappy. It's an impressive balancing act that could easily collapse into a cheesy, mawkish heap, yet never does.

Such is the genius of Lauren Faust and the talented team she has assembled.

Being Roped In

Fig. 14: Peer pressure. Pony style.

If you made it this far through this massive megapost, you've either already seen the show and already have an interest in it, have already seen it and weren't interested but plowed through this literary behemoth anyway for unknown, presumably masochistic reasons, or haven't seen it but are curious enough to have read this much about it.

If you have seen it and like it, I applaud your taste, for you have demonstrated keen insight by recognizing the world-changing potential of Friendship is Magic.

Fig. 15: It's on TV, so it must be true.

Even now, the Great Ponification, as foretold by the sacred stigmata of the legendary Prophetess Pinkius Piecus of Olden Pony Times, is upon us. Together, we shall vanquish the Neighsayers and herald the glorious Thousand Year Reign of Celestia, Queen of All Humanity and Ponydom. Go forth and spread the Good News unto all the Peoples, for verily, verily I say unto thee, the Ponies shall inherit the Earth!

I'm sorry, what was that? Neighsayers can read this too, you say? Oh snap! I forgot! Er, um, I mean... oh! Yes. Ahem. That was just a little ad hoc roleplaying for anyone who was wondering. Yes, that's it. Roleplaying. That's the ticket. No worldwide plot or anything. Not at all. That would be silly. Yes. Silly. Good, good. Moving right along, then...

[size=0][color=#666666]KNEEL Before Celestia!

Fig. 16: Spike. Baby dragon who serves as Twilight Sparkle's assistant.
Able to send and receive messages from Princess Celestia using his
dragon fire as seen here. Has a crush on Rarity, which may or may not
be peripherally related to the fact that she's always swimming in gems
and dragons eat gems. Based on other dragons seen in the series, will
be the size of a jumbo jet when he grows up. Let us hope he remembers
his pony friends fondly and doesn't hold any grudges about his role as
the most junior member of the "mane cast".

If you have seen it and don't like it, you're not alone and there's certainly nothing wrong with that. It's definitely not for everybody.

Finally, if you haven't seen it, please know that I'm really not out to say you absolutely have to watch it. It's a great show, I personally love it and want others to love it too. But it's certainly not everyone's cup of tea, and you could safely ignore it and go through life without feeling like you'd missed this generation's answer to Star Wars.

At least, I think so...

Fig. 17: My Little Jedi.

If the idea of watching a girls' show slathered with pastel colors and talking ponies truly sounds too horrid to bear and you're sure you would never, ever want to behold such a revolting spectacle, then by all means take a pass and rest assured that I totally respect your decision.

But if you think you can overcome lingering doubts and give My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic a look, then by all means, go for it. If you have the Hub channel, you can watch it on TV (TiVo them ponies!) or (to a limited degree) on The Hub's website.

Or, if you prefer, just google it and find it online at various places such as YouTube, where it can be found (along with several metric tons of pony-derived fan videos) on several channels. As you may have noticed, I've included a link to one of the many copies of Episode 1 that can be found on YouTube, so it's not hard to get started (please see note below).

Whatever option you choose, give it a shot. You might be pleasantly surprised.

tl;dr version: Yo. Ponies. Go for it.

Iconic Footnote

Since I change my avatars rather frequently, often use them as a means of background communication and recognize that non-members cannot see our avatars (you need to be logged in as member to see them), I thought it might be fun to include a chopped-down copy of the avatar I was using when I first started this thread.

So here you go, for the "complete effect":

Yes, I actually use avatars like this on a "conspiracy site".

Note On YouTube Videos: After several months of letting things slide, Hasbro (aka "Habsro, Inc." on YouTube) has asserted copyright claims that have resulted in many MLP:FiM episode videos being removed from YouTube. Some still remain, and while they are available I'll try to keep the embed updated. It's not clear if just some videos needed to go or if all are targeted, but Hasbro most certainly has the right to decide and may have compelling legal and/or financial reasons for protecting their exclusive distribution rights. My own personal theory is that they are yanking the videos in advance of the Season Two rollout and a soon hoped-for DVD release of Season One (which you can bet your... pony I'm going to buy). Short version: if YouTube is your medium of choice, then get your ponies while you can.

Images: Screen captures copyright © Hasbro and The Hub. Fan art copyright © its respective artists.

Edits: Subject to updates, corrections and additional ponification.

edit on 8/27/2011 by Majic because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 02:07 PM
What a wall of text and ...I must say that I like the show (watched the pilot now) ...not that I will be a fan or buy the toys but I like the mature aproach of the show (especialy if its made for 3-8 year old girls).

Even as an adult you don´t have the feeling you are getting tortured on purpose -> at least that is the impression I get from some silly # like Hanna Montana (boyfriend with 13 ...hell yea - no problem lets f***!) or the tele-tubbies (tinky-winky-shrinky-brain) which I hardly can stand to watch more than 1min.

I also like the scenario ...fairy tales, magic, unicorns, etc. should be an aspect of childhood and not "how to get the most famost teenage star" crap fantasies.

Maybe I will even look further into this ...I mean common, 1000 years fullfilling prophecy, dark unicorns, missing princess - what an epic story ! xD

posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 02:22 PM
In this day and age I would have to be suspicious of grown men watching this show. while being a brony fan boy may be an innocent pursuit it could also be intelligence gathering for predators. I wouldn't expect the target audience for My Little Pony to be left alone on the internet or in public but to keep children safe today you have to think the worst. I would be very suspicious of a man shopping in the toy isle even during the holiday season.

I wouldn't recommend any brony fan boy be loud and proud simply to avoid any suspicion they may be potential predators. Gossips travels at the speed of telephone and takes on a life of its own.

Off topic
Barney should die.

posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 03:46 PM
Kids First

reply to post by Bramble Iceshimmer

Wow, that didn't take long. I hadn't even finished editing the captions on the pictures yet.

As uncomfortable as this subject may be, I'm glad you brought it up, because I think it really needs to be addressed head-on.

First off, your concerns are hardly unique. An interest on the part of men in anything cute or related to children, especially girls, has long been considered a warning sign of possible sexual deviancy. Indeed, it is something of a stereotype, and (unfortunately) has firm roots in reality.

Sexual predators are legendary for putting themselves in positions where they have access to children, and typically demonstrate an unusual interest in them and activities that are otherwise considered age-inappropriate for adults. Thus it is only sensible to keep a close eye on adults who exhibit suspicious behavior with regard to children (and even those who don't), and I most certainly can agree that anyone who is in a position of access to or responsibility for children should be subject to scrutiny and oversight.

And notice I said "adults". That isn't just limited to men. There have been many documented cases of sexual abuse of children by women, and though such cases are somewhat less common than cases involving men, they do exist and should not be overlooked or swept under the rug.

Children need to be protected from anyone who would do them harm, and when it comes to that, it's better to be safe than sorry. The consequences of sexual abuse are just too devastating to risk. :shk:

A Social Disease

That said, it is also possible to carry the concept too far, to the point that it becomes a problem in itself.

While it is important to protect children, it is not healthy to constantly associate them with sex, nor to assume everyone who has an interest in children is a sexual predator. All humans, male or female, are imbued with parental instincts, and although maternal instincts tend to take a more direct and obvious form, paternal instincts can also be very strong and just as compelling.

There shouldn't be anything wrong with the idea of men caring about and for children, and in much of human history in most societies, it hasn't been considered a problem. While men often don't express an interest in raising children (to the enduring chagrin of their spouses), excluding them wholesale from the process excludes about half of the world population and isolates children from important developmental influences.

Just look at the statistics regarding fatherless households, for example, and the problem with such thinking becomes tragically obvious.

It is also important to point out that excessive or obsessive concerns about sexual predators may itself be a warning sign. Such thinking may be symptomatic of psychological projection, in which the fixation is driven by one's own impulses.

In such cases, or in any case where someone feels inappropriate impulses regarding children (or anyone else for that matter), I urge in the strongest, most non-pejorative, non-judgmental way I can that they talk in confidence to a mental health professional about it. That is not an easy decision to make, but it is much, much better than letting something like that get out of hand and lead to grief.

Anyway, while I can acknowledge the relevance of such concerns to a topic like this, I really don't want them to be the focus of this thread, because although there are no doubt sexual predators who are interested in My Little Pony, the vast, overwhelming majority of fans aren't sexually motivated, and that's really not what this is about.

The Case For Cuteness

Despite controversy about what are considered age-inappropriate or gender-inappropriate behaviors and the legitimate concerns attached thereto, I contend that trends such as the Pony Phenomenon are actually quite healthy and can lead to positive improvements in society.

Children must be protected, but can be harmed just as badly by isolation. While childhood does have its own concerns and we are all expected to grow out of it eventually, total indifference driven by ill-conceived taboos can affect all members of society adversely.

Likewise, an interest in cute things doesn't necessarily equate to an unhealthy interest in children. Many Pony fans love the ponies but don't feel driven to be around children as a consequence. They just happen to like the cartoon, and that's all there is to it.

So does that mean I think all adults should be playing with toys and hanging out at the local playground? Not at all. Quite the contrary, in fact. I think adults should pursue activities and goals that are suitable to adulthood -- which can admittedly vary widely depending on interpretation and interest, but generally don't involve "perpetual childhood" (although frankly, that's just an opinion and not my decision to make on behalf of anyone else).

However, that doesn't mean adults can't also appreciate cuteness and enjoy things that might otherwise be considered "childish". It's okay to have fun, and okay to indulge your inner child when you want to.

Anyone who sees that as abnormal or problematic may want to take a good, long look in the mirror and ask themselves honestly why that is so.

Sometimes innocent fun is just innocent fun.

Let's celebrate that fact.

P.S. I'm with you on Barney.

edit on 7/7/2011 by Majic because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 04:06 PM

I'm sure they make wonderful glue...

posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 04:14 PM
My sister had those growing up.

I think I melted most of them.

ps: she also had those New Kids on The Block dolls.... lets just say they didn't hold up too well grinding their rubber faces into a bike tire, and before you pass judgement, it was my sister's idea to erase their heads.
edit on 7-7-2011 by Lysergic because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 04:19 PM
Glued To The Screen

Originally posted by Mirthful Me
I'm sure they make wonderful glue...

I'm sure Elmer’s Products, Inc. would be happy to market an MLP-labeled line of glue for children.

For the irony, if nothing else.

edit on 7/7/2011 by Majic because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 06:29 PM
I did go back and look at your pictures. I also read your post before I commented. I don't really have a problem with someone enjoying cartoons or collecting memorabilia but they just need to be careful that others don't misinterpret their interest.

We don't watch much TV and ashamedly keep it as a grand children baby sitter. We mostly listen to the radio or read.

When I grew up we had The Micky Mouse Club and Captain Kangaroo. A smattering of Bugs Bunny and Popeye. Mustn't forget Walt Disney and all their stuff.

The world has changed. My mother talked about being able to go to the Prison with my grandfather, who was a guard captain, and get hand made toys from the prisoners when she was little. It would be unthinkable now.

I used to work in IT and I like some anime, especially those with a strong female protagonist. Some of the military/mecha is interesting/though provoking and the harem is silly. I've watched some of the new cartoons in passing just so I would know what my children and grand children were talking about.

I know my mother was mortified one time when she took her grand children to the store and they were screaming for Fiddle Faddle. She had no idea what it was they wanted. I'm sure she didn't watch what we or her grand children watched on TV.

I'd watch TV if it could be set to pick up the 50's and early 60's programming even if it was black and white. I know cable and satellite have one or two channels with some of this programming but they are not worth the cost.

We have a library of VHS westerns and old shows. Yes, I have some DVDs also, but mostly watch them on the laptop.

Overall, I think it comes down to a generational perception. The pendulum has been swinging pretty far right and conservative toward over protection of children and swinging pretty far left where decisions are made by the state. It may take a generation or two before people can just be themselves but I can see it getting there. Sadly, until then there may be perception problems for those adults into children's cartoons.

posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 06:42 PM

The day I see a MLP version of SkepticOverlord is the day the world will probably end.

reply to post by Bramble Iceshimmer

The problem I have with the general MLP fanbase is not that they like the show. It's when I see them role-playing as the ponies themselves for countless hours on end that I start to worry. Combining cute little animals with rainbow colors almost always becomes a hit (take nyan cat, for instance), so I'm not surprised that it has become so popular and is spammed to death where viable.

posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 11:29 AM
Swinging Both Ways

Originally posted by Bramble Iceshimmer
Overall, I think it comes down to a generational perception. The pendulum has been swinging pretty far right and conservative toward over protection of children and swinging pretty far left where decisions are made by the state. It may take a generation or two before people can just be themselves but I can see it getting there. Sadly, until then there may be perception problems for those adults into children's cartoons.

Oh, I think we can consider that a given.

But shows like this one do contribute to movement in the right direction (at least, I think so) and may well help speed up the process. Along the way, you can definitely expect all sorts of hell to break loose and a lot of collective angst and soul-searching to result. But that's actually a good thing.

In any case, I think your observations are quite apt, illustrate the issue well and I am very grateful for your willingness to share them.

On A Role

Originally posted by SonicInfinity
The problem I have with the general MLP fanbase is not that they like the show. It's when I see them role-playing as the ponies themselves for countless hours on end that I start to worry.

You and me both, friend.

I'm not knocking anyone. I'm obviously a big fan myself and generally try not to point fingers, but sometimes things can be taken just a bit too far and take on troubling overtones, if you know what I mean.

Still, as long as nobody gets hurt, God knows there are plenty of far more disturbing things to worry about in this world than people pretending to be ponies.

I think...

And on that note, since you last read it, I've actually added even more to the potentially record-breaking-in-length opening post. Notable additions are more pony pictures (yay ponies!) and captions, as well as the "But... WHY?" section that adds a little more background on the acknowledged intent of the show. Not that you may wish to tread that ground again, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

edit on 7/8/2011 by Majic because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 11:37 AM

Originally posted by Mirthful Me
I'm sure they make wonderful glue...

I had that thought several years ago. How else do you think they make glitter glue?

posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 11:47 AM
All Ponies Go To Heaven

Originally posted by dbates
I had that thought several years ago. How else do you think they make glitter glue?

Absolutely classic.

Where can I get mine?

posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 02:51 PM
Dear Majic,

The letter herein is to serve as official notification that as of this day and time, your Man Card has been officially revoked, including all of the privileges and benefits thereof. This action has been taken in response to a thread you authored on the subject of "My Little Pony", a subject deemed to be in the exclusive territory of the weaker sex.

As per protocol, your manhood can be restored within 30 days after the proper atonement by indulging in either heavy use of alcoholic beverages (sans those with umbrellas), perusal of naked females in any media or live shows, observation of sporting events either in person or on television, working on automobiles, working with power tools, or publicly belching and/or farting. Please submit proof of said activities (receipts, photos, videos, ec.) and the committee will review your petition.

posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 02:55 PM
Here's a flash game for you to try out. This thing plays like an old 8-bit NES game.

My Little Pony. Friendship is Magic: Story of the Blanks

My Little Pony, My Little Pony, what will today's adventure be? Well, in Friendship is Magic: Story of the Blanks, a retro-NES experience by Donitz, Applebloom talks herself into going with Twilight Sparkle to deliver a package to the magician in the forest. But the woods are dark and scary, and you'll never know what you will find... Flowers? Friendship? Magic? Love? Diamonds? Candy? Who knows? You'll need a beautiful heart, faithful and strong, to make it to the end, but a little bit of magic should make it all complete.

edit on 8-7-2011 by dbates because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 02:56 PM
Suddenly I don't feel so sissy anymore.


S&F for building such an impressive thread of...ponies.

edit on 8-7-2011 by Mr Mask because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 03:12 PM
If Ponies Were Outlawed...

Originally posted by Gazrok
As per protocol, your manhood can be restored within 30 days after the proper atonement by indulging in either heavy use of alcoholic beverages (sans those with umbrellas), perusal of naked females in any media or live shows, observation of sporting events either in person or on television, working on automobiles, working with power tools, or publicly belching and/or farting. Please submit proof of said activities (receipts, photos, videos, ec.) and the committee will review your petition.

No problem! I can do all that in ten seconds flat.

But I'll give up my ponies when they pry them from my cold, dead fingers.

posted on Jul, 11 2011 @ 07:53 AM
Moving Pictures

In response to the interests of the legions of readers following this thread... well, several readers... okay, basically you, I have bowed to the relentless pressures of 21st century technology and added a YouTube video embed in the OP.

And, as a special, unlimited-time bonus, I also offer some informative, pony-related videos for convenient, carefree viewing on your electric computing machine.

First up, we have an example of how My Little Pony has begun to not only influence college students, but advance the cause of science ("Science!") as well...

My Little Pony Physics Presentation

As many have already pointed out, and as any self-respecting physics geek can tell you, there are some glaring conceptual errors in some of the analyses. But this is college. You're supposed to learn, not know everything already.

Certainly Hasbro doesn't seem to mind, because they gave the "Physics Brony" a pile of ponies in recognition of his efforts in the field of analytical poniology. I'm sure he plays with them every day.

Next up, in this classic promotional trailer, we see how throughout history, ponies have taken leadership roles. In some cases, their exceptional courage and strength have shaped the very foundations of the Western world...

300 Ponies


Come back with your saddle or on it. Ponies never retreat! Ponies never surrender! Go spread the word.


And finally, as we turn from the documented, factual history of the Ponic Wars to the realms of legend and myth, we find that with the magic of fellowship, the greatest of evils can be defeated by the most unlikely pony imaginable...

Lord of the Ponys (remastered)

Despite a relatively minor role as Gimli the Dwarf, it is widely recognized that Rainbow Dash's masterful performance was a significant factor in her subsequent rise to superstardom. Unfortunately, it is precisely because of Apple Bloom's success as Frodo that she has been struggling with typecasting ever since.

In any case, most viewers can agree that Lord of the Ponies has firmly established itself as a landmark epic in pony cinema, and will continue to hold that title for many years to come.

And there you have it: three examples of how ponies are taking over the world.

I, for one, welcome our new equine overlords.

edit on 8/8/2011 by Majic because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 11 2011 @ 08:07 AM
This was a really interesting thread, thank you for posting that! Easily the most aesthetically pleasing thread on ATS right now!

When I was growing up I was not allowed to watch TV -- zero. So I missed out on a lot of this stuff. I find it very interesting now as an adult but its a guilty pleasure. A few things I noticed: They seem heavily influenced by the Asian animation style with those big sparkly eyes, etc. But they also work in what looks like "classic" US cartoon effects with the backgrounds. Its an eye-catching style. Second thing I thought was, its interesting they focus on "friendship," which strikes me as a very feminine theme for a show, so I was surprised to learn that males are also fans.

Thanks again, you learn something every day!

edit on 11-7-2011 by Partygirl because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 11 2011 @ 09:37 AM
Those Lyin' Eyes

reply to post by Partygirl

Wait... you aren't going to tease me? Whaddo I do? Whaddo I do?


The ginormous eyes are definitely one of the first things most people notice about the new ponies, and they are huge. Many elements of the new pony style are carryovers from The Powerpuff Girls, which itself seems to both embody and parody several recognizable anime elements.

But as you noticed, there are strong Western animation characteristics in the backgrounds, and actually in the character designs and general artistic style as well. The Western influences tend to be easier to spot in the supporting characters than in the "mane cast" (which must be "extra cute"), but they are everywhere.

Keeping Up With The Jones

As an example, this is Octavia. Despite having only a brief, non-speaking part in the season finale, she has actually gained a small following of her own:

Fig. 1: Octavia. She lets the music do the talking.

Fans of the work of Chuck Jones (and I happen to be one of them) will recognize his influences immediately, and in virtually all elements of the character and instrument. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that he has been the strongest influence on Friendship is Magic overall, because in addition to the art style, the show is absolutely rife with scenes, gags and homages made famous in his work.

That's a bold claim, and puts a "pony show" in the company of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Pepe Le Pew, Tom and Jerry, Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner. But all one has to do is watch any of them, then watch any episode of "pony".

The connection just simply cannot be mistaken.

Under Cover

Which leads to something I want to emphasize. All the attention Friendship is Magic gets as being a show for girls distracts from the underlying reason for the show's popularity. The reason it's popular is not because it's a show for girls. That actually works against it.

The reason it's popular is because it's a damn good show.

Once one gets past the cover, the book stands on its own.

edit on 7/11/2011 by Majic because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 02:58 AM
The Eyes Of The Beholder

One of the more intriguing aspects of the Pony Phenomenon is the way the Internet has nurtured it, and the way the creator and staff of Friendship is Magic have nurtured the Internet.

The result has been a kind of mutual, interactive synergy that we could only expect to see in the Information Age, in which a work of art influences its audience, which in turn influences the art.

In the case of My Little Pony, perhaps the best example of this effect is the genesis and surprising popularity of a character that was elevated by fans from the status of a "production error" to the rank of a full-blown supporting cast member who will have a scripted part in Season Two of the show.

It can be persuasively argued that she is a creation of Pony fandom itself, an emergent product of a technological medium that allows ever closer collaboration between artists and their audiences.

Say hello to "Derpy".

Fig. 1: Derpy. Everybody loves her.

The Ballad Of Derpy Hooves

As with many of the pictures in this thread, some of the images here have been shamelessly lifted from the Friendship is Magic Wiki, an excellent resource for casual fans and poniologists alike. Their article on "Derpy" offers a good overview of how this character came to be, and how her popularity grew:

Friendship is Magic Wiki: Derpy Hooves

Without repeating what is said there, the short version is that, as a result of what Lauren Faust has speculated was either a production error or a joke by one of the animators, a pegasus pony shown as part of a crowd in the background of a scene was portrayed as having "derped" (misaligned) eyes.

Fig. 2: The eyes have it.

Fans of the highly popular image board, far and away the most productive meme generator on the planet, took that image and ran with it. As is typically the case in the world of 4chan, one thing led to another, and as fans bounced images back and forth, what started as a "glitch" evolved into a distinct character with her own personality, profession, backstory, family and fandom.

Fig. 3: Her mail delivery career is entirely fan-originated.

Very minor details of her brief appearances, such as saying the word "muffins" in one scene, were extrapolated and built into an ever-growing collection of lore that, ironically, gave her more depth than most of the supporting characters actually written into the show.

And that's where the "magic" happens.

Eye, Robot

The "Derpy Phenomenon" took place while the first season of Friendship is Magic was still in production. The staff, Internet savvy themselves, took note of it and started working "Derpy" into more scenes.

Despite the fact that she was never planned to have "derp eyes", and appears in many scenes without them, in later episodes, the producers catered to fan tastes and began deliberately drawing her with them. Lauren Faust has even drawn a "derped" picture of "Derpy" and, with that, effectively made her a "canon" character.

Fig. 4: Officially "derped."

Thus we have a sterling example of a fictional character who was, in effect, spawned by the group consciousness of the Internet. Well, okay, basically 4chan, but some would argue there is little meaningful difference between the two.

Regardless of the details, "Derpy" is an emergent phenomenon that William Gibson fans and sociologists alike can find meaningful for what her transformation from technical error to virtual being represents. Though this is but one small example, it does illustrate the power of applied collective intelligence.

Whether a cute little pony with crossed eyes or a self-aware AI god, the creative potential is there.

It will be interesting to see how it expresses itself in the future.

edit on 7/13/2011 by Majic because: (no reason given)

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