…You know what you’re looking at in the picture above. Seven ponies and a little dragon surrounded by a vibrantly colored environment that exudes cuteness. Now, you might be asking yourself why on God’s good earth I would be starting out a blog post with this. To explain myself, we gotta establish some ground here. As a member of Gameinformer, you most likely know of a certain group of guys on here that call themselves “Bronies.” These individuals distinguish themselves by the fact that they enjoy watching a TV show called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It’s an animated series created by Lauren Faust (known for her work on Powerpuff Girls, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, and the Iron Giant) stemming from the My Little Pony franchise by Hasbro. The main focus of the series chronicles Twilight Sparkles’ adventures in Ponyville, where she discovers the joys, difficulties, and lessons learned from friendship with Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity.
…Soooo…what’s the big deal with a show like this? No matter how you dress it up, it’s a girly show about ponies in a magical land ruled by princesses. The demographic was meant for young girls, yet the majority of the fan base is composed of males around the ages of 20. I haven’t understood this for months as I watched the popularity of the show grow. Are Bronies…feminine? Unsocial? Perhaps just plain weird? I never really gave much thought to the fans or the show at all until a month ago. I watch this channel on Youtube by TheFineBros, who post videos of kids and teenagers reacting to all kinds of videos related to pop culture, memes, and so forth. A recent video had teenagers reacting to MLP: FIM. This finally pushed me over the edge; I had to know why this show is so popular. A couple of days after watching the video, I proceeded to watch the first episode in season one. I went in with slightly bad expectations, but I kept an open mind to not judge the show by its title. MLP annoyed me as a kid with the creepy-looking toys, dumb movies, and annoying theme song, but that didn’t stop me from going in. When I did finish the episode, it ended on a cliffhanger. This is exactly what I thought after seeing it.
“…Eh, that wasn’t so bad. However, I have to know what happens next just for the heck of it.”
After this I searched for episode two (which finished the two episode story arc). These were my thoughts.
“Wow. That was actually kind of good. But still, this seems too girly for me. I’ll give the next episodes a shot because they’re supposed to get better from what I’m reading in the comments.”
Around episode 5, this was my final verdict.
“Darn it! This show is awesome! I can’t believe the animation, stories, characters…they’re all great! I don’t know whether to be happy or mad at myself for watching the first episode…”
That was all it took. Five episodes into the show and I was hooked. Why? How can an average guy like myself like so many manly things…and ponies? What is so attractive about this show? Since I’m a fresh, new Brony, I’m here to answer these questions. I want to explain how MLP: FIM has become one of my favorite TV shows in just these few short weeks. To do so, I’m going to tell you the main parts of it that make it awesome. Let’s see…I’ll go into the characters first.
Honesty Kindness Generosity Laughter Magic Loyalty
I love this picture of the “Mane 6” or (figuratively speaking) “The Elements of Harmony.” It’s perfect because all of their facial expressions and poses give an even better idea of what their personalities are like before I even tell you. Let’s go from left to right.
Applejack: A pony of good moral with a reputation for honesty, devotion, and selflessness. Applejack is an Earth Pony (she has no horn or wings like the Unicorns and Pegasi) that specializes with selling apples on the market with her family. However, being an Earth Pony does not make her inferior to her friends. She is an extremely tough girl with reservoirs of energy many would not have the willpower to access. She has a love for “country things,” like farming, participating in rodeos, and getting down-and-dirty to get the job done. Although she is not very well-mannered and can let her pride get the best of her, she is an all-around respectable individual that everypony looks up to.
Fluttershy: She’s definitely a shy one in every sense of the word (hence her name). She is easily scared, somewhat antisocial, and lacks self-confidence at times. These fallings make up for her sweet, loving personality. She is a Pegasus that tolerates every living being, especially the animals she takes care of. These main characteristics overpower her shortcomings when anypony she knows has their life at stake. In fact, she stared down and reprimanded a massive dragon when he almost toasted her friends! If you want an understanding companion that treats you with unending kindness, she’s the pony.
Rarity: She’s fashionable; she’s classy; she’s generous. Rarity is a Unicorn (these ponies possess the power to use magic) that is passionate in what she does. An expert clothing designer, she works day and night to ensure her clients are satisfied to the limit. In a way, this applies to how she is towards her friends. Albeit picky, easily irritated, and known to be a whiner, Rarity shines through by giving her time to her friends in any situation. Her humble attributes make her a success in her profession and her personal life.
There’s no reason to put this picture here. But why ever not? It’s all of your favorite video game characters as ponies. Do you recognize all of them?
Pinkie Pie: There’s no other way to put it: this pony is an absolute party animal. Pinkie Pie is an Earth Pony that possesses the unique ability to create unparalleled parties, events, and songs that could bring any spirit up from the dumps. She is outgoing, fun, creative, and like a wound-up toy that never stops moving around. Even though these aren’t necessarily negative attributes, she’s a bit crazy and air-headed. She can appear out of nowhere and scare you to death or annoy you to insanity. She also has the uncanny ability to predict future events that will bring misfortune or good luck onto an individual by bodily warnings, like twitching or making involuntary sounds. Yeah, she’s got a screw loose, but this pony can get you from depressed to laughing in an instant.
Twilight Sparkle: Before I continue, I know what you’re thinking. Edward Cullen comes to mind with his sparkling vampire skin. But don’t think of that atrocity! Focus on the intelligent and wonderfully gifted Unicorn at hand. It’s funny; she can be summed up with only these two descriptive words. A total bookworm and study addict, Twilight showed the world her gift of intelligence at a young age. What came with this talent was a longing to expand her repertoire of magical skills. This shortly became her profession, when Princess Celestia (ruler of the land) made Twilight her right-hand student. In terms of personality, she is a natural leader when times call for her judgment, strategies, and knowledge. However, her love for learning can carry her away sometimes and her understanding of true friendship is only just developing. Overall, she’s an all-around great pony; Twilight is a good friend that anypony can count on for advice.
Rainbow Dash: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Rainbow Dash! This speedy Pegasus has got a lot of attitude. Her very competitive nature makes her prideful, arrogant, rude, and jealous at times. In summary, she’s a tomboy. All of these aggressive attributes that normally come with this make up for the fact that she’s got major skill. She’s the fastest flyer in all of Equestria (the name of the country she resides in), and has the evidence to prove it. She is one of the only Pegasi in history that has gone faster than the sound barrier, which results in the legendary Sonic Rainboom (a short explosion of sound and colors that makes the initiator emit a rainbow in the sky wherever they travel). She may be a stubborn braggart, but she has an important attribute…loyalty. She’d never leave her friends behind or disappoint them, even if it would mean giving up her life, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, or things of that nature. This mischievous pony will never let you down on anything.
“Come on, there can’t be that much mo-OH MAN.”
These are all six characters. However, I’ve only scratched a bit of the surface! There’s Princess Celestia, Spike, Derpy Hooves, and much more personalities on MLP: FIM. As you can tell, the ones I mentioned are very unique from each other and have extremely deep profiles to dissect. Most kids shows these days have hollow characters with basic personalities that are most likely uninteresting. On the other hand, MLP: FIM has an intriguing set of individuals that we can all relate to in some way that could go as far to inspire us.
As for the animation, there’s not much to say…it’s awesome. It’s fluid in motion, simple with colors and lines, and high-quality. Instead of pontificating on this, it’s better if you see it for yourself. Here’s Fluttershy pulling a Bruce Lee on a huge bear. Enjoy.
The same goes for the voice-acting. All I can tell you is that the people that lend their talents to the show triumph. Never do any of the lines sound monotonous, read-off-of-the-paper sounding, or over exaggerated. The voice actors play a massive role in the personalities of their characters, painting them with richer traits episode after episode. The people truly work hard to bring the ponies to life, making them entertaining to hear as well as watch.
Up next are the plots and stories in the episodes. Almost each one has a unique tale to tell with a moral lesson. This is a type of kids TV show I haven’t seen in a long time because of this century’s lame offerings. MLP: FIM always starts with a situation that will reach a dilemma. This dilemma will be seen through and the individual going into it will try to correct it while understanding what went wrong. At the end, valuable knowledge is learned for the use of the individual and those affected by the events. For example, in one episode, Pinkie Pie was having these weird, involuntary body movements that somehow signified a future event that would cause bad luck to befall on somepony. Twilight Sparkle, being the intellectual she is, would not accept that this was possible; there had to be a logical explanation for these “coincidences.” Throughout the entire episode, she tried her hardest to decipher the connection between these unfortunate future events and Pinkie Pie, but eventually admitted that she could not despite her numerous attempts. She learned that if something doesn’t have all the explanations doesn’t mean it can’t be believed in.
Being a Christian myself, I thought this episode actually applied to me. There are a couple of things in Christianity I follow that are extremely hard to understood or just make no sense to me (like why God would create humans if he knew they would fall to sin in the first place). However, I remember that I am a finite being with intellectual and physical limitations; God is way above me. He said that belief in Him and His ways takes true faith, and these things are a test of it.
Okay, I’m done with the sermon. As for the episode’s lesson, this was NOT what it meant to teach (it was more along the lines that a friend can help you believe in something that takes faith), but I (as well as many other viewers) walked away with similar interpretations like mine from a show about ponies. Even if you downplay the lesson, it is still very important. So imagine now…this was only one episode! There are over 40 well-written, deep, and educational episodes as of now that can speak to kids, parents, and even 17-year-old teenagers like myself.
These are all of the main reasons why MLP: FIM is a fantastic show. Of course, I’m not saying you’ll enjoy it, but certainly give it a try if you’re at least vaguely interested. I would have never thought in a million years I would like it, but now my daily weekend TV show schedule consists of MLP: FIM on Saturday and The Walking Dead on Sunday (what a combo). ALSO, I must say something else that’s very important. While it has nothing to do with the show’s appeal, what makes MLP: FIM so special is the community. Man, the people are unbelievable! They create custom songs, comics, drawings, fan fiction, music videos, and much more. Just take a look at some of the stuff on equestriadaily.com. The stuff on there is unbelievably creative! For example, someone drew what all of the characters would look like if they were in the Vietnam War.
This is Big Macintosh. He looks kind of cool.
Anyway, that’s all, folks. Thanks for checking out my short blog and taking the time to read/skim through it. If you got any questions about the show, definitely make sure to shoot a comment below. I’d be happy to tell you why “everypony” loves it. 😛
This article was originally published as a user blog post on Game Informer.