“If it’s good, it has no demographic”
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic General Overview
Coard D. Lowery
Just as the title suggests, I’m here today to talk about My Little Pony, yes, THAT My Little Pony. In recent times, it’s become apparent the show and its fans, called bronies, have become quite popular, being noted, and often insulted, by television networks ranging from CNN to Fox News. Now, being a fan it’ll be hard to be completely unbiased, but I have no problem with being honest in saying these “insults” are mostly unwarranted. What I mean is, like with any fan base, not everyone in it is a basket of sunshine, but some could say the same about CNN or Foxs fan base as well. However, it’s not the fact that some people in the shows fan base are being less than stellar that make people attack it, it’s only because it’s an easy target and, well, if it’s not easy most networks won’t touch it. So, where to begin in our magical journey to Equestria?
Well, in the year 2010 an effort was put forth by the famous toy company Hasbro and the Discovery franchise to create a network to premier shows based on Hasbro’s many IP’s, many of which include G.I. Joe, Transformers, and of course My Little Pony. Now, like with most new channels it was searching for new material, something to set its place in the world of television, and that’s were Lauren Faust comes in. Sometime in the early 2010’s Lauren approached the new company with an idea she’d had been trying to get out there called “Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls” , however despite her not only having huge parts in award winning shows like The Powerpuff Girls and Foster Home for Imaginary friend, but also being a critically acclaimed writer for female character, her idea was shot down in favor of Hasbro expanding one of their own IP’s, that IP being, My Little Pony.
Lauren, being a fan of the older generations of My Little Pony easily agreed, and began working on what would become a phenomenon. Gathering many of the talents from her previous works, some of which include Chris Savino, Amy Keating Rogers, Dave Polsky (among others) she began work on the project after it was green lighted, her ultimate goal, to prove that “cartoons for girls don’t have to be a puddle of smooshy, cutesy-wootsy, goody-two-shoeness.” However a good story is nice, but it took more than that a show needs not only an excellent story but great voice acting and music to push it higher, and with that she recruited some great talents such as Tara Strong, Tabitha St. Germain, Ashleigh Ball, and Andrea Libman as the voices for the shows “Mane Six”, and Daniel Ingram and William Kevin Anderson as composers for the show.
With the writing complete, the voices synced, the music composed it was time for Friendship is Magic to debut with the shows first episode “Friendship is Magic” and, well, to the surprise of many it was met with pretty positive review from the likes of Todd VanDerWerff of the A.V. Club, Emily Ashby of Common Sense Media, Liz Ohanesian, for L.A. Weekly. However, with all things the show met harsh criticism, in the writers opinion one Miss Kathleen Richter was grasping desperately at straws to find something to complain about, considering it “so sexist and racist and heteronormative.” also claiming that the character Rainbow Dash was promoting the stereotype that “all feminists are angry, tomboyish lesbians.” none of which were true or based in any fact or logic. All in all, the show did well critically, but that’s just the beginning, beyond the reviews something was brewing.
Enter bronies, older fans of the, often males, who dub themselves so for their love of the shows many qualities, but where did these bronies come from? Well, believe it or not a very controversial site called 4chan has a lot to do with the shows uprising. Though the show had been discussed on the 4chan forums already, but the fire was actually started by one Amid Amidi, and online reviewer who cited the show as a sign of “the end of the creator-driven era in TV animation” saying things like it was “an admission of defeat for the entire movement, a white flag-waving moment for the TV animation industry.” And due to the skeptical, and some could say alarmist views in the article, it drew attention, a lot of it. Soon people were taking an interest, that interest turned to fandom and from there it spread like wildfire on the 4chan forums, with many pony based memes spreading so rapidly, the moderators eventually had to ban all pony based posts. Not willing to lay down and die the fandom reacted by making their own websites, one of which includes Equestria Daily a (mostly) family friendly forum where all things pony are posted and documented by a crew of pony lovers, and from there the spread went on in full force.
With the fandom on a rapid rise in growth, the creators of the show began to take notice with the almost mind blowing amount of fan art, music and other mediums filling Youtube, Deviantart, and Reddit to the brim , fan love and attachment to many of the back ground ponies of the show. With all the art and love for character who haven’t even spoke, it was apparent their show was more than just good, it was bigger than any of them could imagine. However, like all good things, there are many negatives of it. With fandom, come elitism, causing much controversy in the community, however unlike most fan bases this controversy is much lower in comparison to the love and kindness displayed, many of which who take part show much compassion towards their fellow fans in too many ways for me to put into one article.
Now I’ve spoken about critical review, its production, and its fan base but now it’s time for the real meat and bones, the part you’ve most likely been waiting for, the show itself. The show is based in the land of Equestria, a land filled with mystical creatures such as Hydras and Dragons. The show, for the most part, is based in Ponyville, an average village in Equestria that resides next to a dangerous forest called The Everfree Forest, the home of many of the aforementioned mystical beasts that inhabit the land. The show follows the adventures of the “mane six”, who include Twilight Sparkle and bookish unicorn pony who studies magic under the tutelage of the Princess of the land called Celestia an Alicorn (An alicorn is a pony with both a horn and wings, they’re quite rare and noted as being quite powerful, with the alicorn in question holding the power to move the sun), Applejack an honest and earnest apple farming earth pony on her family’s farm called Sweet Apple Acres, Rainbow Dash a loyal, if not lazy, Pegasus daredevil of sorts who loves to fly and has dream to fly with a group of stunt flyers called the Wonderbolts, Rarity a fashionista unicorn who wants to be the next big thing in the fashion world, Pinkie Pie an energetic and eccentric party earth pony who’s only goal is to throw parties, make people smile. Lastly Fluttershy, a shy and kind Pegasus pony who loves to take care of animals.
The plot revolves around the main six learning about friendship and reporting their finding to Princess Celestia. Aside from learning about friendship however the ponies also work as sort of a task force for the Princess,dealing with problem both big and small. For example, in the shows debut Twilight read a story that hints at the return of an evil villain named Nightmare Moon who wishes to put the world into eternal night. Nightmare Moons goes as follows, her and her sister once ruled over Equestria, Nightmare Moon would raise and lower the moon, while her sister would raise and lower the sun. However, Nightmare Moon grew angry and jealous as the ponies of the world played and prospered in the day but slept during her beautiful night. Angry Nightmare Moon chose to plunge the world in eternal darkness but her sister, using powerful artifacts called the Elements of Harmony, banished her to the moon for 1000 years. The elements of harmony are six, well, elements that powered the artifacts, the elements are honesty, laughter, loyalty, kindness, and generosity with the last being a mystery. At first the Princess blatantly ignore her students warnings of Nightmare Moon, instead tells her to go make friends, knowing that when she does she’ll be able to defeat Nightmare Moon when she comes. It turns out that the friends Twilight makes embody the elements used once before to cast Nightmare Moon away. Applejack embodied honest, Pinkie Pie laughter, Rarity Generosity, Fluttershy Kindness, Rainbow Dash loyalty, and Twilight Sparkle the mysterious also an elusive hidden element of magic. Using the elements they defeat Nightmare Moon, whose real name is Luna and who is sister of the Princess, and the day is saved. From there the show goes into a series of episodes towards learning about friendship and lessons that follow, like acceptance, or not biting off more than you can chew.
So what now you may wonder, well, this in all honesty was to go over the basics of the show, giving a general over view of the making of, the plot, and the fandom without going into serious detail. In conclusion, the show is a show for kids but one with what is basically an all-star cast as far as kid shows go with a lot of love and support from the fandom, and a lot of hate from people who probably haven’t even looked at it for more than a second before dismissing it. I hope this review at least gave you enough information to at least know about the show before you talk one way or another about, and who knows, maybe you’ll end up looking into the show and enjoying it.
P.S. I am a very Proud Mama of this Writer