Ride on, sweet "Bronies" – here’s to the growing community of male "My Little Pony fans"
I’m grinning, reading a new article in Wired - and the backlash in the comment stream below – regarding “Bronies,” young men who enjoy the “reimagined” cartoon show My Little Pony – Friendship is Magic. It’s frankly hilarious to see the upset stirred up in the comments, because it reminds me of the criticism an earlier generation of computer “geeks” and “nerds” got in the 1980s. E.g. it’s the death of American civilization, it’s the death of manhood as we know it, blah blah blah.
There’s also a throwaway reference to girls who got “sideeyed” for watching the Transformers cartoon during the same period (and you just know thousands of girls weren’t just “watching with their brother”, but mesmerized by Peter Cullen and company).
I had a friend who happily collected My Little Pony in her teens – when she wasn’t reading science fiction novels, listening to punk music, or playing computer games. But she wasn’t the target audience – nor did the latest incarnation expect popularity among older men in their late teens, 20s and 30s. But the passion these fans have for the new show is really infectious. Clearly both they and the creators of the show have a healthy sense of humor, judging by the many fan videos springing up online. Come on, who wouldn’t rather watch multicolored ponies stalking Nazis, rather than Brad Pitt?
Apparently, good storytelling and quality animation have everything to do with the show’s popularity – Lauren Faust, an animator, writer and producer is given much of the credit. I’ll be keeping my eye out for her from now on.