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My Little Bronies

My Little Bronies

“As a person with Asperger syndrome, I learned more about theory of mind, friendships and social interactions from this season [of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic] than I had in the previous 31 years of life.”

That’s a quote from this article about the popularity of the Hub’s My Little Pony series with adult men, who call themselves “Bronies.” And no, it’s not an article from The Onion.

UPDATE: My comments were interpreted by some readers as making fun of people with Asperger’s. That was never my intention. I wanted to point out that adult men were interested in the series, which is what I wrote, but my careless use of that quote caused confusion. I apologize to readers for the misunderstanding.

  • Gobo

    Is it somehow hard to believe that adults would appreciate a well-designed, well-writted creator-driven show? Isn’t that the goal of all animation: to be accepted beyond the narrow target market defined by a network? Seems like a win-win success to me.

    • Rickerd

      If we were actually talking about one, then sure.

  • EHH

    I have supported this show ever since you claimed that Lauren Faust sold herself out by making this.

    • Scarabim

      Same here. I defended her when she was being attacked for “slumming”. The show she created is a visual treat, at the very least. With so many toons taking the ugly route when it comes to character design, MLP is quite the spring tonic.

      I’m not a “brony” myself – wouldn’t have a plastic pony anywhere in my vicinity – but I appreciate what Lauren tried to do with a show that is based on toys. Bravo to her on its success.

    • Aimee

      Actually, I complained about you being paranoid and, if you excuse the pun, “neigh sayer” when you posted your last article about My Little Pony too. Your “if it’s mainstream, it’s automatically crap” hipster mentality is fairly ridiculous.

      It is a very good show. As far as shows specifically aimed at little girls, it is perhaps one of the most stellar examples of characterizing specifically for young female children without falling to the crutches of the stereotypical female gender roles of being a mom, a shopper, a fashion plate, or being obsessed with boys that has ever been created for a mainstream audience in the past 20 years.

  • The article isn’t perfect. I wish they picked something else for the picture on top, and the line about nostalgia is a head-scratcher since most bronies actually don’t like the earlier series based on the toyline.

    Still, it’s probably the best article on the show’s phenomenon so far. I wish it had more input from Faust and Thiesson, though.

    Personally, I would’ve put this quote from Lauren Faust instead (from the article):

    “The fact that they did and that they were open-minded and cool enough and secure in their masculinity enough to embrace it and love it and go online and talk about how much they love it — I’m kind of proud.”

  • Beau M.

    Wow, you’re an insensitive a** Amid.

    As a 24-year-old male, I am a proud brony and have no shame at all, whatsoever. I have A.S. too, but that’s irrelevant.

    HOW DARE YOU make single out that quote of what was a well-written article? Oh wait, I know. You’re an attention-seeker. You thrive on it.

    I have always respected Jerry Beck’s articles on here, even when I’ve disagreed. But you, on the other hand… nada.

    I’ve stood by this show and Lauren Faust since October, and was angered, rightfully, when you claim she “sold out” by making this. You go on living in your own little world Amid, and I’ll continue watching great cartoons created by people I respect.

    • Tony C

      Um… I thought the intent behind that excerpt was to cast the show in a really good light actually.

      • Beau M.

        If it was, I don’t see it.

  • I KNOW THAT GUY. Oh man.

    This article is… completely unsurprising.

  • A.C. the actor

    Amid, what’s your point that a man with Asperger’s could, truthfully, find a well written “girl’s” show to be beneficial to him (as your reference that the quote did not come from an Onion article suggests a level of “oh this is unbelievable” and “this is funny lol”)? Got a problem with that?

    I come to this site for animation news, Amid, not casual ableism. I thought you were classier than this.

  • Oliver

    I’ve been informed it’s now considered “hip” to watch My Little Pony.

    All I can say is, if that’s the degraded standard to which “hipness” has fallen — then give me a tweed jacket, carpet slippers and copy of ‘The Reactionary Conservative Review’ any day.

    • hb

      Sounds so ironic, only a hipster would do it.

    • Hal

      You could replace “reading RCReview” with “watching Doctor Who” and be hip to be square. Just add a bowtie – bowties are cool.

  • As far as these things go, the new “My Little Pony” is pretty cute, but boy do I not get the obsession with it online.

    I mean, it’s a nice, charming show for 5 year olds, but there’s nothing in it for anybody older than that.

    • Andrew Callista

      Just saying, I’m not sure how many 5-year olds need to learn that sometimes everything goes to pieces and you just can’t let it get to you. That’s a lesson more adults need to learn.

    • Beau M.

      I disagree entirely.

  • Matt Sullivan

    You do realize YOU GUYS are a big reason this show is so popular right? If it weren’t for your hysterical anti-pony article a lot of people wouldn’t have flocked to it.

    • Saturnome

      That’s right, I think the article about the phenomenon on KnowYourMeme start with Cartoon Brew. Grats, CB contributed to the world of internet memes.

      I watched some episodes on YouTube a few months ago. It’s not bad at all. Which is quite an achievement for a new kid cartoon. Of course it’s not my personal ideal of what cartoons should be, but cartoons can be many things, and the new Little Pony is one I’m okay with.

  • Matt Sullivan

    I’m gonna call Cartoon Brew readers “Brew-nies” from now on.

  • Matt Sullivan

    What I find incredible is that THE REGULAR SHOW and ADVENTURE TIME, two shows you people constantly fawn over, don’t have NEARLY as many fans, fan art, websites, or videos that the pony show has.

    • Anoniguy

      Those shows are still wildly popular. So what?

    • chdr

      …And? Adventure Time and Regular Show don’t need hundreds of meme-spewers to be 200% cooler than MLP.

    • NC

      So something is only good because of its popularity? I like RS AT and MLP I don’t see why you need to rag on RS and AT, did you also consider that those shows are marketed completely differently as well? Have you seen a spew of AT and RS toys at Toys R Us, did you also consider that MLP is a 20 something year old franchise establishment?

      I guess all I’m saying is “Dude, low blow.”

    • Ryoku78

      Poor guy must not get out much, but if watching animated ponies helped him than good for him!

      I myself never have and never will like memes, regardless of their source. They’re just spam that isn’t even advertising anything.

  • AJ Gutierrez

    As a brony with the same disorder, I agree %100.

  • The Onion, through its AV Club spinoff, has already mounted an article on My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. I realize AV Club is the glib, half-serious/half-snarky, non-satirical half of The Onion, but I didn’t expect that site to go brony.

    • Will I be attacked if I say that I agree with the author’s comparison of this show to “Singin’ in the Rain”?

  • chdr

    I am so sick of this show.

    I am so sick of the image macros. I am so sick of people praising an above-average show at best as some transcendental life experience. I am so sick of constantly being barraged with in-jokes that aren’t funny. I am so sick of seeing pretty regular-looking Flash animation passed off as “incredibly fluid Flash that pushes the envelope”. I am so sick of being told that if I don’t like the show, I’m an immature jerk who’s overly defensive about my manliness. I am so sick of always hearing “You didn’t watch the right episode” and being directed to a freaking viewing chart whenever I find an episode or clip disappointing (and I’ve watched several). I am so sick of bronies trying to convert “haters” like it’s some religion or something. I am so sick of 20% cooler. I am so sick of the hype. I am so sick of feeling left out at various places I go to because I don’t like or care about this show. I am so sick of fans acting shocked and offended when companies and mainstream consumers treat a show titled “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” as a show for little girls, which it primarily is. I am so sick of brony communities acting as if they’ve reached a state of happiness outsiders wouldn’t understand and are superior to the “haters”. I am so sick of how this show panders to the internet (lol, a derp face pony!). I am so sick of deep voice Fluttershy. I am so sick of bronies getting so overly defensive about a television show. I am so sick of the fact that the internet has yet again ruined another show for me forever (because I’ll be honest, my hatred for this show didn’t really emerge until the obsessive fanbase did). I just want this show to go away and leave me alone.

    Sorry if the above rant sounds harsh, but I’ve been waiting for nearly half a year to find the right time to post it. It’s not directed at anyone in particular, but I just find all of the hype unavoidable and unwarranted. MLP is just above average at best, and disappointing at worst, and it only looks amazing because it’s been associated with some really horrible stuff that makes it look better by default. That’s it.

    • It’s okay. We’ll still love and tolerate the hell out of you :)

    • Enfilade

      I get that, man. Indifference can turn into hostility pretty easily if something’s foisted on you all the time, especially if accompanied by a lot of over-enthusiastic people.

      And you raise an interesting point, in that I can’t really explain why I like MLP so much. I mean, I really like this show. Sure, I find parts of it a bit eye-rolling, and the first part of the theme tune kicks off this total Proustian recollection of childhood horror from seeing parts of the original show when I was a kid.

      But… I don’t know, it’s just incredibly charming. I only clicked on a random link to it out of curiosity and it totally won me over. It’s just the most endearing show I’ve ever seen. And my tastes in general skew towards ponderous, dialogue-light movies about the plight of Armenian grain farmers or whatever with lots of three minute panning shots of corn fields.

    • Alison

      Nice to see that other people feel that way.

    • ferp

      I like you.

    • Turbo

      Oh boy, somepony needs to charge-up the orbital friendship cannon…

    • Derpy

      This comment needs to be about 20% cooler.

    • MLP:FIM robbed my house and stole my car

    • Chaz

      What are these noises?

      Your whole “I don’t like this. I’m sick of this. I’m tired of this” is self-centered, as though we’re particularly concerned about your well-being.

      All and all, you seem very upset for someone who doesn’t like what other people do like. Relax, no one’s infringing on your right to enjoy the Internet the way you want just because a group of people with a common interest are enjoying the Internet the way they want.

      • chdr

        ^ It’s more of a personal thing with me. That rant was mostly fueled by months of being surrounded by unfunny MLP memes, being frustrated over how overrated the show is compared to more deserving things out there, and lot of bottled-up steam that needed to be vented.

        I don’t really think the bronies can really understand the outsider’s view about this show unless they’ve been there themselves.

      • Beau M.

        “I don’t really think the bronies can really understand the outsider’s view about this show unless they’ve been there themselves.”

        And as I’ve told you on Twitter, that is incorrect.

    • NC

      You just described how I felt about James Cameron’s Avatar.

    • Inkan1969

      You’re right to be sick of any excesses that MLP fans may go about the show. Such excesses happen in every fandom though. And I agree that Derpy type pandering to the fanbase can be risky, as it opens the show to fan interference.

    • Scarabimll

      Although I’m glad for the success of MLP:FIM, I kind of get what chdr is saying. Just try mentioning to certain members of the online community that the Muppets aren’t so great anymore. The rage and froth that result are frightening. I just don’t get that kind of obsession.

    • chdr, I used to respect you. That was before Problem Solverz came around and you started hawking it as an unprecedented achievement in artistic expression when it’s nothing more than the worst thing to have ever aired on Cartoon Network (or any other kids/family network).

      Then this vindictive rant tarring an entire fandom as a bunch of monsters because they’re unapologetically enthusiastic and a few — very few — might’ve crossed the line. I’m truly sorry for whatever negative experiences you might’ve had with them, but your tone suggests that you might’ve brought it upon yourself.

      Also, you’re a hypocrite. You publicly stated that you found schadenfreude delight in the internet hatred for Problem Solverz. Why should we feel sorry about you being trolled and outraged by My Little Pony?

  • Nathan R.

    If you don’t like the show, and believe that Lauren Faust is a sellout, and also believe that every single brony is a 30-something basement dweller with Asperger syndrome, fine. Bronies have a saying to go with that: “haters gonna hate.”

    • The Gluemaker

      No, every jerkoff on the internet has that saying. Bronies aren’t anything special.

    • DNAndy

      I’m getting really tired of that Ad-Hominem being used by people who can’t debate or defend their show to save their lives. And this is coming from a MLP fan.

  • The popularity among a wide audience of MLP:FiM can be traced to a convergence of several factors. At least, these are factors that are often identified with fads or other well selling products from a merchandising psychology perspective. Some of them include the following:

    (1) Product, attributes in the product itself.
    The cartoon contains better than average animation quality, richness of color, transition between scenes, character designs, settings, and other visual appeal.

    The cartoon contains stories that are complex enough to fill 20 minutes, but not overly intricate. The subject matter are such as experienced by everyone, without having to resort to the base body function jokes. That is, the common factor is how people feel and react and interact, not the fact everyone has to visit the porcelain office. Further, the stories are simply “fun”.

    The cartoon characters are distinct in appearance and personality. This allows for people to project themselves into a particular character.

    (2) Presence, ease of obtaining the product
    While the cartoon is shown on a low rated and new network, the network has tolerated the proliferation of the series via other channels. As a result, there are many fans who do not receive The Hub network.

    (3) Promotion, the emotional attachment
    Art is by nature emotional. Art does not provide food, shelter, or other basics. Instead, art appeals to the emotions.

    But, the biggest promotion item is the fellowship that the Internet makes possible. The level of penetration into the populace of Internet connectivity, especially via social networking, has allowed for people to extend the emotion of the show to the greater group “hug” of sharing and interacting with others.

    Anyway, I could go further, but it is the last item, the social network aspect, that I want to explore.

    Back in the early 1990’s, during the birth of the public Internet, there was another show that was this perfect storm of product, presence, and promotion — Tiny Toon Adventures. A fairly large fan base was born and grew thanks to the Internet. There were bulletin board groups (predecessor to blogs) and email subscription groups and public FTP sites (predecessor to galleries like DA) that allowed fans to meet, greet, and share.

    Even today, that nearly 20 year old Tiny Toons fan base is still finding new members thanks to the Internet, even though the show has not appeared on cable TV for almost 10 years.

    It would be interesting to speculate on how Tiny Toons or Animaniacs might have exploded if those cartoons were released in today’s Internet/social network environment.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Your hatred makes me warm :}

  • Portaxx

    “On October 19, 2010, Cartoon Brew wrote an article about the show entitled, The End of the Creator-Driven Era in TV Animation, which had an oddly alarmist tone to it. Threads on 4chan’s comic and cartoon board, /co/, attacked and made fun of the article for this reason. The article and the threads generated /co/’s initial interest in the show, causing several members to go and watch the first episode. After the second episode aired on October 22nd, threads about the Ponies started to boom even more, gaining the show fans outside of its target demographic.”

    So thanks for that, Amid!

  • Lindsay

    Way to pick the worst bits from the article to “summarize” the fandom, Amid. :-/ I’m surprised you didn’t include the unemployed computer programmer line that the article itself starts out with.

    I really don’t see the necessity of projecting your sustained (and in my opinion, unwarranted) hatred of the show every few months. It’s a good show. For something produced “for” a certain demographic, it’s allowed to be intelligent and offbeat. Unfortunately I have a hard time convincing people of its merits because I’m a 20-something woman with a nostalgia for MLP; naturally most think I’m biased. :-p

    And hey, if the original purpose of the series was to sell toys, Hasbro sure is doing a crappy job of it! There is a haphazardly distributed trickle of merchandise for this show at best, and the majority of it is completely unrelated to the characters and sets seen on the series. At least in the ’80s they bothered to synchronize show-accurate stuff with the cartoons.

    Anyway – yeah, MLP:FiM may only be average when compared with, say, BBC television, but the fact that a show of this quality came out of U.S. children’s television is nothing short of a miracle. If anything, it indicates a severe lack of quality entertainment of all kinds in mainstream film and television, so hopefully if the right people in the right places are observing this trend… who knows?

    • Nns

      I don’t see how that was the “worst” part of the article. I thought it was nice and pretty interesting, actually.

  • tgentry

    I respect the quality of the show and Lauren Faust, but the meme element of is kind of depressing to me, and it has nothing to do with guys liking “girl stuff” but instead the desperate need to be part of an Internet meme as a way to feel connected to something. “Bronies” are the equivalent of people that went to see Charlie Sheen live but probably wouldn’t admit to it now. It’s all just kind of sad to me, but I guess that’s the Internet.

    • Beau M.

      As a proud brony, I for one couldn’t care less about the meme stuff. It’s just a fun afterthought.

  • DonaldC

    …I just think it’s a cute show with a lot of fun character moments. Don’t get where the drama comes from.
    /co/, /b/, Places like Cartoon Brew and Wired?
    Stop taking this show so seriously.

  • Taco Wiz

    Listen, Amid. I’ve been a fan of the show, or “brony”, since episode one. I enjoy Lauren Faust’s work, and I’d appreciate it if you laid off the insults.

    • The Gluemaker

      U Mad, little brony?

      • Beau M.

        U mad, troll?

      • Ryoku78

        Wow, now theres “u mad” comments over here at the brew?

  • Portaxx

    “On October 19, 2010, Cartoon Brew wrote an article about the show entitled, The End of the Creator-Driven Era in TV Animation, which had an oddly alarmist tone to it. Threads on 4chan’s comic and cartoon board, /co/, attacked and made fun of the article for this reason. The article and the threads generated /co/’s initial interest in the show, causing several members to go and watch the first episode. After the second episode aired on October 22nd, threads about the Ponies started to boom even more, gaining the show fans outside of its target demographic.”

    Basically its popularity is like one big in-joke, and guess who’s the star!

  • dragonking

    All I can say is that it’s great Lauren Faust and the rest of the crew of MLP created a cartoon that resonated extremely well with so many people, regardless of their sex. Yup, that’s all I’m going to say.

  • Keegan


  • Bloody Marquis

    A grown man who watches cartoons bitching about grown men watching cartoons. Classy.

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    Since I’ll be hitting the big 6-oh at the end of the year, anything I say about ANY animated series is going to be suspect. So what? For me, this could have been as much of a guilty pleasure as watching the Care Bears was in the 80s. But Faust has put something together that shows she learned something from working on “Powerpuff Girls” (which I’m sure didn’t have the MLP:FiM demographic in mind) and “Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends” (again, not what would be considered a little girl show IMO). The first MLP may have had the girl demographic, but Faust has made something that transcends that, and she should get props for it. And when was the last TV animated show that could be considered FUN? Certaily not “Superjail” and some of the other critics’ darlings.

    • Matt

      You rock, Dan. This show rocks, and you know something? Your books rock, too (your Sonic fan-fiction inspired me to order a copy of Samuel: One Small Light from, and as a fan of Biblical/Jewish history, I’m enjoying the heck out of it).

      • Daniel J. Drazen

        Thank you for the kind words.

    • Ah, a voice of reason. I used to follow your especially thoughtful SatAM work, Mr. Drazen, so your analysis of any animation interests me greatly. :)

      I’m really the last person to speak up about this, since I just started working on the show in season 2.. This is a comment of my own as an artist watching the show rather than me trying to speak for anyone.

      But just let me say that when my friends told me about this property being re-imagined, I was skeptical… How could I not be? The toy line came into the world the same year I did, so as a young girl I’m preeeeetty familiar with the original My Little Pony.

      After watching the first season its become a bit clearer how someone could fall in love with it. There’s a warmth to it–a lack of cynicism. It has those tongue-in-cheek moments of cheesiness that even the characters themselves seem to roll their eyes at. Though more often than not, it comes across as unapologetically genuine. Having grown up with the original series, I can tell you there’s a big difference between this show’s authenticity and the lack-there-of in its predecessor.

      I know I’m probably neglecting the humor, but I don’t even know how to discuss that. It seems to be this whole other entity. All I can say is that when I go to work, there’s a lot of laughter. The mind of it seems to be that if we can amuse ourselves, we might amuse other people in the process.

      That’s muh’ two cents anyway..! Or.. buck fifty at this point. So I will stop writing.

      • That adequately sums it up. The show’s just plain FUN. I’m surprised so many people have trouble with that concept.

        And let me just say that the sketches on your blog is great. I love how you draw Rainbow Dash and Spike.

      • Exactly. :D

        And thanks! I’m trying my best!

  • Jason

    This looks to be a great show. Actually my favorite parts are the parodies online. How can you not laugh at 300 Ponies?

    I work out at Golds Gym and I like this show.

  • Teafly

    The show is put together by extremely talented people who are allowed to push the story in the most non-script driven way as humanly possible. That is a unique thing for any show made in Canada’s beige animation industry & it’s my reason for why the show is so doing so well.

    The eunuchs here can blast the animation & design all they want, because that’s easy to do, but the meat of each episode is all there. The characters & story are all strong.

    It’s also very easy to wear “SELL-OUT” proudly on your sleeve when you don’t have bills & mouths to feed.


  • Jeremy

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Be considerate and respectful of others in the discussion. Defamatory, rude or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted.”]

  • chipper

    Yes, a woman created a popular show with popular female characters (and a little dragon dude) and it’s liked by males. All I can say is

  • So … nobody’s complaining about cartoons still made for girls and made for boys separately, or rise a brow over people who mock cartoon lovers who watch the “wrong” gender cartoon?

    Aside from the saccharine-saturated colours and its plastic toy origin, the character designs are not only solid but perfect, and they have instant appeal, which is hard to achieve. I’ve found some pencil sketches (looking original) and fan art online which could proudly stand beside Disney’s/Fred Moore’s centaurs in Fantasia.

  • Meg

    What sort of response were you looking for when you posted this Amid? I don’t understand your hatred of this show and your lack of respect for its viewers. Lauren Faust and the rest of the crew have created a brilliant show filled with charm and good designs. It’s a breath of fresh air for “girl” shows and the fact that grown men sit and watch it should testify for its quality, not degrade it.

  • Wheelie

    I just want to say thanks to CB for helping to spread the word about My Little Pony in the beginning. As they say, there’s no such thing as bad press. I haven’t been this taken with an animated show since Animaniacs, and can’t stand the wait for the next season. At least there’s a wonderful, creative and productive online community that I’m proud to be a part of to tide me over the long dry spell. If a show originally targeted at little girls can appeal to a middle-aged mechanic, there’s got to be something more to it than just being a 22 minute toy commercial. And to all the trolls and haters, I’m 45 years old, I got over caring what other people think about what I like a long time ago, so get over yourselves.

  • For a website all about loving animation, you sure do hate certain new animated shows. I think Friendship is Magic is the best animated show on television right now, and I was as surprised as anyone by that. Maybe less so since Lauren Faust was involved. The writing is sharp, the characters are extremely well defined, they’ve had good songs and the humor is actually funny, for any age.

  • Burma Shave

    A phenomenon like this show could go a long way to reverse long-running broadcast and studio resistance to making animated girls shows for US media. When is it a bad thing that ANY animated show garners such a devoted audience? We should be glad that anyone cares and that animation still works to reach them. These continue to be ugly economic times and people want comforting elements in their media. That might take any form but this time it just happens to be a colorful gaggle of little horses. Lauren Faust did not sell out. She had a habit called eating. A lot of folks share it.

  • Some Girl

    Proud to say I love the show, and I have heard of it before I even knew there was a meme.

  • Taco Wiz

    We can’t post rude comments when this blog post Amid made is extremely rude not only to bronies, but people with aspergers syndrome. I’m both.

  • Adam

    I like how the article on the canned Wacky Races remake ( was a perfect example of terrible reactionaries running this site. It (Wacky Races new edition) probably would’ve been slaughtered if it were aired.

  • Hedonis

    Maybe this article is so positive is because My Little Pony is awesome; bronies for life.

  • James

    As someone who was diagnosed with Aspergers (whether or not I actually have it, God knows) I take very minor offense to the insinuation that I should be a fan of this show. It’s only a decent kid’s show with above average art design.

    I certainly can’t say I’ve learned anything about “theory of mind, friendships and social interactions” I didn’t already know. It’s popularity seems to stem more from the 4chan memeisms than much of the actual show’s content, personally.

    • Beau M.

      “It’s popularity seems to stem more from the 4chan memeisms than much of the actual show’s content, personally.”

      Eh… no. It’s popular because it’s freaking excellent.

  • James Fox

    I have Aspergers syndrome and ADHD (since the late 1980s) yet I love this show
    Kind of a pity the toys are not really accurate to the show (e.g. Plastic Twilight Sparkle’s Hair, Princess Celestia’s body color and no hat for Apple Jack)

    I applaud miss Faust for doing this show
    Though a correction is she didn’t leave the show completely, she just demoted herself to Consulting Producer for Season 2

    On a minor unrelated note, While i am awaiting the 2nd season of Friendship is Magic on The Hub.. I am still Irate that Nickelodeon isn’t announcing a clear date for the new episodes of Max & Ruby (The only show i watch nowadays on Nick)

    now back on Topic, The Brony community is a nice bunch
    but It has it’s ups and downs. Take the “Cupcakes” fanfic for example, It’s basically the 2 girls 1 cup for the Brony community in terms of it’s creepiness

  • Tam

    I’m not sure what the show did that warranted such hate from the Brewmasters in this site. I started watching this show around halfway through the season (with no real clue on the impact it had on the internet), and I thought it was very wholesome entertainment, and it made me really happy that there is finally a decent show for the girl demographic. If men enjoy it, then let them enjoy it!

    However, the stabs at people with Asperger’s syndrome is extremely unprofessional. The kind of humor employed here is very much on par with crude Family Guy-type jokes.

    • amid

      My comments were interpreted by some readers as making fun of people with Asperger’s. That was never my intention. I wanted to point out that adult men were interested in the series, which is what I wrote, but my careless use of that quote caused confusion. I apologize to readers for the misunderstanding.

      • A brief glance at the other responses here reveals that Tam is not the only person to lack this sense of humor you feel your comments required to be understood.

      • B. “Oracle” Gordon

        Aspergers is an illness which curbs a person’s social understanding, and often fictional figures help you deal with that, especially with simple symbols. Often those who have trouble relating to the world relate to it through fiction. The idea that someone with aspergers could learn social skills from a show teaching kids social skills isn’t the least bit absurd. And while you claim you’re not making fun of aspergers patients, you are without realizing it.

      • Inkan1969

        Except that the series is not a toddler cartoon, Amid. It’s much more sophisticated and ambitious than the series you might find on Disney Jr. or Nick Jr.

        If I may ask, have you seen several episodes of this series? If you have, Amid, could you please write up some objective comments of the series? I have not really seen you back up you dismissive approach to the series with substantial critiques.

      • Beau M.

        Yeah, dismissing it as a “toddler cartoon” is a slap in the face to those that have worked hard on this show to try to make it appeal to multiple audiences.

      • Lauren Faust

        I am also curious to know if Amid has watched a few episodes of the series. I suspect he would still dislike it, which is fine, but I would just like the assurance that his distaste is based on actual review.

        Officially, this incarnation of MLP’s target demographic is 6-8, not toddlers. I don’t know if that makes any difference for those criticizing adult viewers, but I thought I’d offer the correct information.

      • DJM

        I can see the humor in it, and I have Asperger’s myself. There’s nothing wrong with laughing about surprising outcomes, even if they are positive. He wasn’t jabbing anyone, just noting the absurdities.

        Why can’t people laugh at themselves?

  • So, basically –

    “Grown men? Watching a CARTOON? That’s marketed to CHILDREN?

    Ha ha! This reads like something out of The Onion!”

    I expect this kind of reporting from any other site, but not a site dedicated to animation. Shame on you, Cartoon Brew. The industry doesn’t need this kind of friendly fire.

  • Shame on you, Cartoon Brew, for implying that a cartoon with female leads is only for girls and that it’s so preposterous that males could find such a show enjoyable.

    I’m a 29 year old woman who watches the show (sometimes several episodes a day) with my 36 year old male husband and my 3 year old male son.

    What’s preposterous is that in 2011, the gender roles we are giving to our children are still stuck in some 1950’s “separate-but-equal” nightmare.

    It’s not preposterous that guys are buying toys off of the shelves with the pink peg board behind them. What’s preposterous is that the toy stores still HAVE pink and blue sections. It’s not preposterous that guys are requesting the “girl toys” at fast food chains; it’s preposterous that there ARE “girl toys” and “boy toys” at fast food chains.

    It should not be “news” that full-grown people of either genre are watching cartoons whose presumed target audience (from a corporate stand-point) is 6-12 year olds, on a site that is entirely about cartoons. Thus, it can be inferred that you think it is somehow shocking that males are watching cartoons whose presumed target audience is females.

    You know why my son likes MLP? Because the characters are effin’ BAD-@SS. They fight dragons and manticores and a couple of them can FLY and others have MAGIC POWERS and yeah, there’s frequently a message about friendship or teamwork at the end, but show me any cartoon written for under 12’s that doesn’t have one.

    My son knows that the characters are females, but it’s never even occurred to him that that’s a reason he shouldn’t like it. Apparently we’re doing something right?

  • the obsessive alien

    The North-American male is an interesting creature. Rarely you will find a 30-something years old guy nowadays obsessing over a beautiful woman, keeping her picture at his desk, making arts and crafts for her, writing beautiful things about her or to her, taking adoringly about her with friends, dressing differently for her benefit or spending any significant amount of time or effort or money on her. However, he would often do all that and more when losing head over certain kids entertainment franchise (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or this new Pony thing). These shows/movies have typically something to do with the world of fantasy, magic, and often are attributed some hidden wisdom or “truth” from which one could learn and become a better person (none of which, of course, is possible by interacting with a real human being). If the classics lived now in North America and wanted to create a beautiful story about real passion, sweeping love and dedication it would have to be “Romeo and the teenage wizards”; “Mark Antony and the Hobbits” and “Tristan and his Little Ponies”

    • Anoniguy

      Romeo and the Greenbay Packers. Devoted sports fans are nerds, too – they just obsess over men playing schoolyard games instead of media.

  • Jayson Thiessen

    As Director of the show, I know first hand how many sleepless nights and blood sweat and tears go into making the show for all involved. Yes it has corporate money behind it and yes it’s a mainstream commercial property, but does that mean we shouldn’t try to make it the best show we can? Good entertainment doesn’t have a demographic, anything can be awesome if the people making it simply try. I know it’s not perfect, but we do the best we can with what we have to work with, which is all anybody can do. I for one am proud that there is such a strong fan-base for the show. The worst thing would be if no one noticed it at all. Thank you Bronies! (and I include girls and boys of all ages in that)

    • Steve Gattuso

      Thanks for the effort you and your team have performed in making the series. Try not to let the monkeysuits overwhelm you, or the braying of hipsters annoy you.

    • I think you guys are doing fine. Looking forward to season 2!

    • B. “Oracle” Gordon

      Really, a show that can inspire so much ire from grumpy adults has to be PERFECT for kids, right?

    • Shawn

      I think you and your crew are doing a fantastic job. FiM is really one of the most entertaining cartoons I’ve watched in years, and it’s really heartening as someone who grew up with MLP to still be able to enjoy the franchise as an adult. You can really tell that a lot of love goes into the show.

    • FruiitTaiils

      Hey Jayson, if you want to make it in this industry, you have to have such high principles to turn down work with fun passionate people because a toy company is involved. Sorry about your career.

    • Scarabim

      Thank YOU for creating a magical, wonderful, sweet-natured show for kids that even grownups can enjoy. The show reminds me of the wonder I felt when I first watched “The Wizard of Oz”. I would have gone nuts for your show when I was a kid, my gender notwithstanding. As an adult, I admire the craft and care that went into it. Kudos to your efforts. They certainly seem to have paid off.

    • Given the constraints of a corporate property like My Little Pony, I’d say your team has done an admirable job in making this show entertaining and engaging. And, as others have stated, the fact that Lauren Faust was able to breathe new life into one of the lamest, toy-based animated series of the 1980s is nothing short of miraculous. Hats off to you all.

    • Inkan1969

      Congratulations on a successful first season, Jason. Judging from what made it to the screen, your team has been exceptionally fortunate. It really looks like the suits kept their noses out of your business, toy franchise or not, and let you guys make a cartoon that cartoon fans could enjoy.

  • The most upsetting thing about this article is that I now know what a Bronie is…

    Also, is it weird that I keep laughing in my head because I keep picturing a father walking into a Little Pony convention somewhere with his 5 year old daughter after she’s nagged him for weeks to take her, then walking in and just standing there, petrified and wide-eyed. Then slowly clutching his little girl tight as he rushes out and gets on the phone to SVU.

    Sorry, I watch a lot of SVU so I try to reference it in a conversation at least once a day.

    Seriously, this is strange but whatever, I’m really into a good omelet (DON’T JUDGE ME!), so I guess to each their own sometimes right?

    Also, for all the negative angry reactions, come on guys, what would the ponies think?

  • tamera

    i watched a couple of episodes of MLP:FIP and I ended up liking it. i really didn’t think I would get into the show, but the show has solid writing, and its very interesting. im not going to hail it like its the most amazing show on tv right now, but itss damn good. and i respect lauren faust for making an old, toy show from the 80s more interesting and fun than the old version ever could be.

  • Mike Toole

    I have many, many friends who like this show. I think it’s adorable (seen 2 episodes), but it just doesn’t grab me. The constant evangelism from its ardent fans gets a little tiresome, but Firefly had the same problem, and I did like Firefly.

    I think my biggest problem is that I can never, ever hear the first few bars of the song without robotically singing along “My little pony / skinny and bony / put her to bed / and chop off her head” Anyone else have this problem?

    • Kirk

      Can’t say I do. You could try skipping the theme song. I usually do when I watch it.

  • Until I read this post, I thought the current MY LITTLE PONY was just reruns of the old show. I’ve seen neither version. This discussion seems very odd.

  • Steve Gattuso

    Amid, you’ve desperately been trying to be the Gary Groth of animation for many years, but when I read the first article you wrote on this series, all I could think of was poor Eddie Selzer from Warner Bros. As Chuck Jones reported about his inspiration for the Oscar-winning short “Bully for Bugs,” it was when Selzer came in yelling that bullfights weren’t funny that they got the idea because “Eddie’s judgement is impeccable. He’s never been right yet.”

    So naturally I decided to give the show a shot. And sink me if it wasn’t the most charming, honest, and clever show being produced for U.S. viewing in the past few years.

    Thanks, Eddie! Er, Amid!

  • Sketch

    Well, this just comes across unbelievably tasteless and disrespectful, doesn’t it?

    “Hey look, in this article, some dude with some mental disability claims a cartoon improved his life! That’s the most important snippet from this article! Isn’t it absurd? It’s like something from The Onion because it’s so absurd and hilarious! Socially challenged, brain damaged people are hilarious!”

    That’s seriously the only tone I can read this in. Even if that wasn’t the intended message, it’s the only way I can see it. Absolutely awful, guys.

  • I haven’t seen much of the show, but it looks pretty good for what it is. I don’t quite understand why it’s so insanely popular online, OR why anybody would be so strongly against it.

  • anonymous

    Ok, haven’t seen the show yet, but may check it out since it’s been getting good feedback from the Brew community, at least.

    I’ve been reading the Brew for just over a year now, and I need to know: are TV animation and feature animation two separate entities in the mind of Brewmaster Amid? I only ask because I’m getting a really strong hate vibe from him in regards to this show, made by a woman and targeted (initially, at least) at girls, but not even two weeks ago he was beside himself because there are no women directors in features creating films for girls. Shouldn’t we be celebrating the success of this show in branching outside of it’s targeted demographic? This should be used to show that “girl’s shows” can be appealing to others and don’t have to beat you over the head with sunshine and rainbows. Take this show’s success and use it as fuel for the women director’s fire.

    Okay, there’s my two cents, and sorry for the mini rant: just found this whole article completely ironic and somewhat insensitive.

    • DJM

      His hates stems from the fact that it’s an old hat being dragged out of the trunk again.

      Like everyone here, he wants new, original content.

      • Jason

        Then he should be extra happy that they managed to make an amazing show out of some corporate dead husk. Maybe if there was more money in the indie stuff things might change but that’s a complete pipe dream in the land of animated television.

  • Y’know, I don’t care if this show has a bizarre fanbase and demographics and I’m barely fazed by what they take from the show’s story however this quote bewildered me;

    ‘So, why the breathless adoration? Some fans say the show’s appeal lies in good illustration, excellent characters or, as Allen put it, a “perfect storm of ’80s nostalgia and cultural irony.”’

    Did I miss something? Really? Good illustration? It’s flat, flash drawn ponies with a handful of expressions reused over and over again. I won’t go into the characters, I don’t watch the show (only saw the first episode when it was poster here). Also the latter statement about “perfect storm of 80’s nostalgia and cultural irony” is stupid. Where is the sincerity anymore? Everything has to be ironic and drawn to crap in order to be cool. Just like 95% of the shows on Adult Swim, which even use Godawful Filmation stock for “irony”. Jesus, I’m livin’ in a nut-house.

    • NotActuallyABrony

      The things you missed can be found in subsequent episodes. Personally, the episode that turned me from “this is kinda cute, but hardly worth obsessing over” to burning through the entire season within days, once my time allowed it, was #4 (I only got that far because of my bewilderment at the apparently unironic love for this show, and because previous epusides hadn’t yielded a conclusive answer).

      Specifically, while it *is* clearly Flash animation and they do re-use character models and poses, the one thing that should find praise are the expressions. They’re one of the reasons ponies have exploded on image boards; the ponies’ cartoonish, expressive, and widely varied facial expressions are well-suited to creating image macros. The character design, too, can hardly be called ugly or crap (*especially* compared to previous iterations of this franchise). There are certainly far lazier ways they *could* have animated the ponies, but they chose to go the more elaborate (and presumably more expensive) route.

      As to your second point, I actually find the show to be quite sincere, and don’t think “ironic” is an appropriate descriptor at all. There’s very little in the way of pop-cultural references, bodily-function jokes, 4th wall-breaking, or genre awareness on the part of the characters. The show’s humour instead relies on puns, slapstick, visual gags, mercifully brief bursts of randomness, and the world’s refusal to play by the characters’ rules (i.e. character-based humour). Some of those, I suppose, you could confuse for irony.

      In fact, one of the reasons I think this show has proven to be quite appealing to people of my generation (20-30 year olds), is because some of the main stays of our media consumption (stuff like the Adult Swim shows, ‘South Park’, or, on the live-action side, ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’, or even ‘The Colbert Report’), are very reliant on topical, pop-cultural or boundary-crossing humour, and are very, very cynical in their outlook. ‘My Little Pony Friendship is Magic’ is on the opposite side of the spectrum, without having been completely desensitised or “blandened up” by committee, like so many kids’ shows. That’s pretty unusual.

      In summary, is the show the greatest show ever? Of course not. There are compromises that had to be made in the production of the show, and there are elements of the show which adults are unlikely to find endearing (I know people who’ve been driven mad by the groan-worthy puns, and the unsubtle “moral at the end” of most episodes is annoying, even if it does only take 10 seconds to get through).
      Is it worthy of all the internet hype? Well, probably not, in the grand scheme of things, but neither were Firefly or Lost.
      But I do think the show is above-kids’-TV-average both in the looks and in the character-department, and worth a look from animation fans, maybe especially if one is skeptical. Don’t go in expecting the second coming of the Looney Tunes, and you may be pleasantly surprised. Think Disney Afternoon, like The Gummi Bears or Ducktales (though honestly, I haven’t seen any of those since my childhood, so I don’t know if they hold up).

    • Meg

      I know this probably won’t change your mind but I just felt like saying something to keep this show from falling into the same category as Family Guy for you.

      Yes, it is Flash animation and yes, some expressions are reused and yes all of the ponies look the same except for their manes and tails. But a lot of the time the expressions are not reused and I’ve found so many great drawings of pony faces in the show. I think there are some great artists working on it that do their best to keep it from looking like typical Flash.

      Also, most of the show isn’t “ironic”. I’m not sure where that quote came from but it doesn’t seem to accurately depict the show.

  • Mister Twister

    *Yawn* Tell me something the Internet does not yet know.

  • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

    Screw all-a y’all. Bring me new episodes of Transformers Prime.

  • Bryant

    Wow. Get over this show already dude and intentional or not how the hell do you find an Autistic person who has learned better social skills, albeit from a children’s show, funny at all? Congratulations to him on finally finding something that helps him be a little bit more sociable, god knows it must be difficult not knowing what’s acceptable to do or for that matter being able to gauge reactions or know what emotions others are feeling. Completely and utterly tasteless, grow up.

  • 4Tens

    The main reason I like MLP:FIM is the character design. I love all the characters, I love their personalities and voices. And I will agree that the drawing and animation style isn’t the best thing ever, but it is pleasing and the expressions are grand. The expressions always seem really well done, you usually don’t get a blank sad face or something, all the expressions usually happen in stages and sometimes contain micro-expressions, it is all stitched together fluidly as well. The show also appeals to me because it makes me feel warm and fuzzy, this show isn’t mean and doesn’t mock, it is embracing and happy. And while the plots are very basic (this is a show targeted towards 7-8 year olds so that is kind of expected), they always revolve around character conflict and psychological boogiemans rather than “We must stop evil guy from doing evil things.” (excluding the first two episodes), I find this plot direction incredibly enjoyable. Oh, and the music!

    I can say this is a great show without feeling apologetic at all, it genuinely is a great show in my opinion. Also a fanbase is no reason to hate a show. I do not try to religiously convert people to bronyism and I feel like a sensible person on the other side of the fence (dislikes or is indifferent to the show) should not try to rally against the show or get people to hate it. Everyone should just respect each other, everyone has different tastes.

  • Inkan1969

    I would strongly recommend people search for the episode “Suited for Success” on You Tube.

    That episode features the most insightful satire of how the work of creatives can get messed up by suits and clueless clients I’ve seen in a cartoon. Suit interference in cartoon making is a constant theme of this blog: I thought this episode made a brilliant overview of that theme.

    • While it’s not my favorite episode per se, I agree that it was a pretty effective satire on clients interfering with the creative talent. There are definitely some mirroring to those in the animation industry.

  • I did not read this original post you made about Lauren Faust selling out but it does seem like you were pretty wrong about it, whatever you said.

    On this subject, Lauren Faust made a really cool comment on her DA page about people’s perception of the Bronies:

    I would like to add at this point that cupcakes are sweet and tasty. Cupcakes, don’t be too hasty. Cupcakes.

  • James Ciambor

    Seriously why is it that a few alterations somehow make this series the best thing since sliced bread. Creator Driven programs are dead and being replaced by this. Lauren Faust may be talented and stylistically be similar to her husband but why not take all that creative energy and invest it into something else. I agree with CHDR whenever someone has an indifferent opinion about a popular animation a flamewar ignites. I think that differing opinions make the world less bland. Though shouldn’t create such turbulence that leads to flamming or even physical fighting. I respect peoples opinions in moderation.

    I agree with the sentiment that Lauren did a lot with a program that didn’t have much going for it but she can do better than this, in the same sense that Jessica Bortuski can do better than revamping Looney Tunes. Which I hate to say this as a fan of the beloved Warners cartoons it is near impossible to resurrect as a brand at this point, stick with the classics please.

  • Pow!

    As long as this discussion is being had, this video should probably be watched:

  • I do love the show, while I’m an adult female I didn’t really grow up with the ponies so there isn’t really a nostalgia factor going on there. (I played with Ninja Turtles and all the other “boy” stuff instead) A lot of the people above complaining about the show are men, so I will give this from a female who grew up in the 80s where all the girl shows were awful’s perspective. A few things that many of you haven’t considered…

    Some people say “why do people love this show there is better stuff out there?” Sure there is. But let’s be honest. Where is there another good show directed at little girls? Seriously? Show me one other show that isn’t a big pile of crap that is directed at a young female audience. That’s right, there aren’t any unless I go to Japan.

    Obviously at my age I’m not too concerned about the demographics effecting me personally but MLP is the best show on television that is directed at girls. MLP fills the void that I did not have as a little girl. Again, I watched the boy cartoons when I was a little girl in the 80s. The boy shows got the fun action and awesome characters whereas the girl shows were stupid and treated me like I was an idiot.

    MLP is a show directed at girls that is smart, well done, and has great characters. While I believe children should get to watch what shows they want to regardless of if they meet the targeted demographic, I think it’s also extremely important that girls can get some high quality stuff directed at them too. I really hope that this trend continues because girls need more awesome shows to grow up with, Faust has done an amazing job.

    MLP is hardly the best show ever but even as an adult, I really enjoy it. When I want a theatrical masterpiece I’ll pull out my Pixar and Ghibli, when I want characters with deep plots I’ll bust out my anime, when I want to watch something really silly I’ll watch Adventure Time/Regular Show, but if I want to just watch a nice little show that makes the world feel like it’s a better place, it’s pony time.

    If you don’t like the show that’s totally fine, different strokes for different folks. But dammit, outside of anime, awesome shows for girls didn’t start to emerge until I was well into high school, I’m thrilled to see this. And if grown men love it, more power to them! I still love my Ninja Turtles so I’m totally cool with the guys getting into the ponies!

  • James Ciambor

    Angieness, I agree that girls programming used to be more condescending but now the majority of programs on most stations are aimed at women they are just a larger demographic, I actually find a reversal in the situation. Again my point about the Ponies had to do with the fact that when something is intensely popular such as this, when someone like me disagrees it usually ignites a flamewar for no good reason, CHDR is right. Unfortunate for anyone they may not prefer popular animation.

    Again your also not opening your horizons their is actually quite a lot of rich contemporary animation out there that doesn’t just hold the name Pixar, Ghilbi, or Pony. The animation outlets in New York for one are just as creative as Ghilbi and Pixar. Because unlike Los Angeles New York has people that are rebellious against the corporations. John Dilworth, Bill Plympton, and Patrick Smith are examples. What about the people that produced the Secret of Kells. Sure animation is far from its peak in the renaissance and the golden age. Though honestly there is a lot to be discovered a lot of unsung individuals in animation today, who deserve more exposure than the shamlessely promoted popular companies.

  • Brianne

    James- Can you list which TV animated shows are targeted for girls right now? I’m just curious.

    • James Ciambor

      This show specifically for starters then Totally Spies, Powerpuff Girls, Fruit Basket, My Life as a teenage Robot, The Mighty B, Kim Possible, The Life and times of Juniper Lee, As Told By Ginger I mean come on all of these were mainstays in the past decade. They see theres potential. Not to mention that most programs try to aim towards both gender’s.

      I’m also just curious why this show is being canonized when its the same brand just a few alterations. Also I was referring to all the collective programming not just animation. I mean whatever floats your boat, though in all due seriousness most executives believe that girls are more into live action and that is where there are more shows specified for them than boys that’s the thing.

      Oh and by the way for people saying that this is the best thing since sliced bread look at what New York has been doing Amid should know he knows some of those geniuses like John R Dilworth ,Bill Plympton, and Patrick Smith. What about the studio that produced Secret of Kells. I don’t see those four specific things getting recognition in contrast to a program with just a couple of re-alterations from its eighties counterpart. These days differing opinions seem to ignite flame wars. Your curiousity has been answered.

      • Brianne

        None of the shows you listed have been in production for years. Power Puff is rerunning on Boomerang at least.

        Thanks for trying to answer my question. Good luck in your animation endeavors.

      • James Ciambor


  • Ricardio

    The biggest issue I take with this article is the fact that it glossed over the unsavory parts of the fandom. Every MLP thread I’ve seen on /co/ is riddled with porn fic and art. I don’t care if regulat people like this show, but Bronies themselves are [comment edited for rudeness].

    • Honestly that can apply to just about every popular cartoon that existed. Even in the pre-internet age there were things like “Tijuana Bibles”.

      Besides, the less attention we give to those things in the mainstream article, the better IMO.

      • Scarabim

        It’s true, there’s some awful stuff out there – I’ve stumbled across creepy art using Fairly Oddparents and Kick Buttowski, and it’s out there on the ‘net for kids to see.

        I wish places like Deviant Art would ban artists that take characters so completely and hideously out of context like that. It’s not “fair use”, it’s ABUSE, and there’s nothing fair about it, especially to those characters’ creators and the intended audience.

      • Chris L

        I’d sincerely like to know what you think would happen to all of that cartoon porn if the artists who make it were banned from their usual hangouts. Do you really believe it would simply go away rather than just migrate to a different community website? As Charles pointed out above, there’s always been this sort of illicit activity with popular characters: from Tijuana bibles to classical myths about gods and demons raping women in the form of animals.

        Frankly your comment smacks of the kind of misguided, paranoid child-worship that prompted people like Tipper Gore to lead the charge of censorship towards rock and rap musicians in the 90’s, garnering the support of whitebred American parents too cowardly to talk to their own children.

        Thought policing does not work. It never has, it never will. Not only that, but proponents of such censorship unwittingly nudge their societies ever closer to the brink of Orwellian fascism. Once you’ve set the precedent for prosecuting those with offensive tendencies you leave open the possibility of the definition of “offensive” being maliciously expanded in the future.

        I don’t care if this particular flavor free speech strikes Brewers as unsavory. As far as I’m concerned you can take those “thumbs ups” and imagine your most beloved childhood cartoon star shoving them into all sorts of creative areas …and loving it.

  • James Ciambor

    Thanks for being facetious and taking my words out of context, I was referencing live-action mostly. This is precisely why other opinions cant be accepted all it does is ignite flame wars. Tolerance is dead.

  • James Ciambor

    I hope I’ve made it clear that I was referring to live-action. Though there have been attempts by executives aside from this. Again executives think animation is more marketable to males, not true. Females are on the verge of making up a good percentage of the animation industry why are executives seem to ignore that interest for females is strong?

    I’m sorry if I came off harsh in the previous post Brianne, however if there really isn’t much other material this isn’t the place to start to me at least. Try being more creator driven I’d love to see things like Angora Napkin or other creative driven properties being marketed towards women. People complain that female animation programming is two condescending but I think if they expand on that then that is essentially one step in the right direction.

    All this is is the same brand re-altered a bit. Which to that I essentially say I respect Lauren Faust she is obviously talented and I think she can do better than this, in the same sense that Jessica Bortuski can do better than the Looney Tunes revamp.

    • Geneva

      Yes, they could do VERY amazing stuff with all-original content– but guess who decides what gets to be widely broadcasted and distributed? Who has funding and veto power? I am pretty certain that any artist’s dream projects would be totally original material, but, uh, not everyone gets to spearhead their very own 100% creator-driven project, unbridled by executive pressures. From what I’ve read, Faust proposed FiM as a “side project.” You’re taking these productions out of the context of the reality creators have to navigate.

      Furthermore, criticizing an opinion (or, rather, merely asking a legitimate question about where these opinions came from) is not the same as censoring or failing to tolerate.

    • Brianne

      Hey James, I wish more creator driven animation was out there too, it would be wonderful!

      Lauren has Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls:

      Jessica has a website full of characters and original films:

      It isn’t for a lack of trying. I think studios are afraid of taking a gamble on anything not already a “brand”.

  • James Ciambor

    Well I would agree Geneva that executives are skeptical about releasing creator driven programs. They want what was already proven successful. Again I’m just a little at nerve that this stuff is canonized when these artists could be making better use of themselves by making their own concepts. Though its not always executives you remember Cartoonstitute? Even then some of the concepts were still mediocre, Regular Show stood out and was chosen eunanymously. Again its not as oppressive as it was in the eighties.

    If this was 1984 your argument about executives couldn’t be righter and I would’ve have eaten my own words fast forward twenty seven years later. Now there are some outlets that would distribute original material seeing it just as marketable as merchandise. Especially when Faust is married to Craig Mckracken that would help her get her talents exposed by certain networks, I would agree that even by herself without him she can do it so why not. I think that MLP was somewhat of a choice for them to because they personally have an affinity for it and I shouldn’t stop them.

    Though stopping them isn’t the point please before responding understand this next sentence. I am just alienated that this stuff is considered the best thing since sliced bread when I have seen better animated material some of it is from these very artists. Angora Napkin is a perfect piece marketable to a female demographic without being condescending.

  • James Ciambor

    I agree with your comment about executives being oppresive depending on the outlet. If it was 1984 there would have been no way to get anything across I read John K’s blog hearing disturbing stories about the 1980’s production system.

  • James Ciambor

    I don’t think its always the executives though Brianne, yes some outlets are afraid of trying new brands and want to rely on proven successes. But the Cartoonstitute was Cartoon Network taking a risk for artists visions. From viewing it there were only a handful of exceptional concepts. So its also based on the idea that exceptional ideas are not always easy to find even for talented artists. Also its not as severe as the eighties when purposing anything even in the context of what they were producing was frowned upon.

    Artists couldn’t make even one creative decision it was the scriptwriters and executives who never picked up a pencil who made the decisions. Worst period for American animation history, Japan was beating us at our own game at this period with Nausicaa and Castle In The Sky. After the Disney renaissance things began to loosen up allowing creator driven programs for the first time since the sixties. The nineties was arguably the best decade since the Golden Age and we were on par with anyone.

    We still are in a period of animation were creator driven is still relatively accepted thanks to the nineties renaissance. Its effects are drying up fast though because there is not enough creator driven runaway successes as there was giving executives this naive idea that its not working. Truth is they haven’t tried hard enough. Though believe me there are still outlets looking for creator driven programs. I wish Lauren Faust had gone elsewhere aside from The Hub there are others that would have given her more freedom. I look at her portfolio and personally think she has potential that could go beyond this rehash that was only slightly tweaked.

    • Bob Harper

      Hey James,

      You seem to be throwing Lauren’s name around allot. Do you know her? I’ve worked with her, and have never met anyone so passionate about what she’s doing. She was inspired by the original MLP and decided to try to make it something more than it was, and she has succeeded by all accounts.

      She does do her own material and has been hustling it to every studio, and even produced her own line of toys and books, but has hit road blocks getting it on air, in spite of being married to Craig.

      They are both insanely creative, and original, but the powers that be still decide to what goes on the networks.

  • Dats All Folks

    That’s really disturbing.

  • James Ciambor

    Listen Bob I’m complimenting her that she could do better than this if you read carefully I have been saying this. Never insulted her in any sense of the word please don’t take what I say out of context, it seems to ignite problems. I am a huge fan of her portfolio and concept art but the whole pony brand itself alienated me long before this revamp I grew up hating it, that not even a talented artist can change my opinion that people are free to agree or disagree with. Of course she make something out of what little resources she had more personality and depth are noticeable changes. Though again its just my personal opinion that this is the same original brand just slightly re-altered.

    There are some outlets that accept creator driven material look at The Cartoonstitute. Again we still have some of the effects of the nineties renaissance still abundant in the industry. Its not disturbing what I am saying I just think that executives aren’t 100% to blame. This is not the nineteen eighties where executives didn’t accept anything even within the context of the series. The rant about executives makes many forget about two things. One the industry has been in worse positions with the big suits merchadising progam’s of the eighties had no distinctive style from any artist, you couldn’t tell that talents like Bruce Timm, and John K worked on these programs because they weren’t allowed to experiment until the nineties.

    Two if you look at the executives vantage point they are looking at being fiscally responsible. Not that their right but until artists begin being their own businessman they are going to have to play ball with the executives. I wish artists would start pulling a Roy Disney and take some financial classes so you don’t have to take crap from executives that don’t know what there talking about from an artistic standpoint.

    • The Brewmasters

      James – While we appreciate your participation, you’ve made nine comments on a single post. Per our commenting guidelines, “A half-dozen comments on a single topic are unnecessary. Think about what you want to say and say it once. You can influence a discussion by the quality of your writing, not by how many times you repeat yourself.”

    • I participated in Cartoon Institiute and it wasn’t “executive free” nor were all artists given free realm to create what they wanted, although that was the intent.

      You don’t like My Little Pony – no problem. I’m not saying you insulted Lauren, but you make out what she is working on as something that is beneath her. This is where we disagree.

      My daughters, her target demo, love her My Little Pony, it inspires them and helps build their self esteem, which was Lauren’s goal with the show. They’ve watched the original ones and pretty much get bored with it in a couple of minutes, but Lauren’s show engages them, so I say she took the property further than it has been.

      The business works pretty simply. Prove you can run a shows and make it successful and then doors open a little wider for you to do your own thing, sort of the Dov Simens school of thought. I think Lauren’s on the right path for her career. She does more than what you seen in her portfolio.

      I agree about artists being more business savvy, and many of us are heading that route. But a better example than Roy Disney who wasn’t an artist, is Walt, who started out as a cartoonist and built an empire with the help of his business savvy brother. Or even Jim Henson, who kind of had it all.

    • You don’t think Lauren has ever tried to pitch her own original ideas? Because she’s done exactly that MANY TIMES and they kept rejecting her. “We don’t want girl stuff”, “Girls don’t watch cartoons”, etc.

      I agree 100% that I’d love to see something original from Lauren. The thing is that the success of MLP should give her the much-needed clout to get her original concepts off of the ground.

  • DJM

    As a guy with Asperger’s whose never seen this show and probably never will because I hate devout meme sensationalism on any subject, I’m more insulted by the “bronies” who thought the Aspie quote was the worst, most insulting part of the whole article, and thus, pointing your “community” in a negative, demeaning light. Screw you guys. It’s about as positive as one can get about something making people out of the targeted demographic feel good in surprising ways, and probably as close to Amid eating his crow as we can get.

    Seems like you bronies learned nothing at all.

    • Brony

      I definitely agree with you on the reaction from the Bronies. I’m a Brony myself and was flat out surprised by that reaction. I understand when we get annoyed about an article getting some information wrong or so, as well as the haters who comment back on us making several assumptions about our sexual orientation and what not, but to dismiss the fact that MLP helped someone, that there truly was some magic involved where this show did something no professionals could just because they didn’t feel he was a good poster boy for them was a real shame.

      I don’t represent the Brony community, but I myself was disappointed in that reaction from otherwise very kind people. I hope there weren’t any lasting damages done from those remarks.

  • Hal

    I think I missed something here – where’s the insensitivity in the article posting? Was there a really gutting snide comment or remark made that’s been deleted or something from the article? Not joking, I’m incredibly confused by the amount of comments on this and need someone to clarify what the kerfuffle’s aboot.

    • Hal

      Thank you all. I’d never have known this Brony Hitler mashup existed if not for the Wired article, and its even BETTER in context of everything I just read on this comments section.

  • EC

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Be considerate and respectful of others in the discussion. Defamatory, rude or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted.”]

  • James Ciambor

    EC that wasn’t really necessary.

  • MIke

    So your mocking a person with a mental illness who likes to watch cartoons, but you make blog posts about cartoons, and your around this mans age. (rolls eyes), Hypocrite.

    And do some research on Aspergers next time. I found that to be more insulting than your hypocrisy (as I already stated above).

    • Claymore

      I have aspergers and it’s not a mental health issue, it’s a disability, I also have mental health issues and I think it’s wrong to stigmatize people with mental health issues as well, but they aren’t identical. It is possible to have good (to be clear, I do not mean this in a moralistic sense where people with poor mental health are considered to be bad or a danger to others) mental health while being neuroatypical with a condition such as ADHD or autism. Again, it’s not ok to discriminate against disabled people or people with mental health issues, but I don’t think my autism needs a cure, whereas I do not want to be suicidal/have self harming or intrusive thoughts.

      For the record, I also found Amid’s post to be ableist.

  • Inkan1969

    What I like the most about “Friendship is Magic” is the comic timing. Pick nearly any scene from any episode; the way the gag is set up and the pacing between each event seems perfectly choreographed for the biggest laughed. No other recent cartoon series has made me laugh as much as this series.

    Also, the series emphasizes visual humor and drama. Most of the gags are sight gags. I also disagree with DamianoD in that I don’t find the facial expressions repetitive. I find the opposite, actually; they’re very expression of the character’s emotions and are memorable. And this series would be enjoyable to watch just by sitting back and gazing at the detailed backgrounds and gorgeous color scheme.

    Amid once asserted that this series marked the “death” of creator-driven animation. I think instead that this series is a continuation of creator-driven animation. It may be based on a toy franchise, with Hasbro having its agenda to sell stuff. But the end product I see on my screen seems to reflect the creative talent’s own sensibilities of quality animation, rather than any suit’s agenda. I genuinely would consider “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” a cartoony cartoon and a creator driven cartoon. A cartoon where artists can tell a story using the cartoon medium’s tools. It’s one of the best cartoon series in recent times, along with “Adventure Time with Finn and Jake”, “Regular Show”, and “The Amazing World of Gumball”. All four shows display the unique vision of their artists, in distinctive and interesting styles.

    I don’t see why a fandom rising around MLP:FiM would be so strange. It’s really no different from the fandoms that rose for “Spongebob Squarepants” and “Phineas and Ferb”.

  • Fotohunter

    You know, I agree in a way that this show could help do that. Even though I learned most of my social skills in harsh trail and error combat MLP really show good bases for friendship. Although I think it should also focus a bit more in independent thinking too.

  • I’m sorry. I don’t care if is a cartoon, a comic book, a sitcom: If you have learned your social skills from a work of fiction, you REALLY need to get out of your house and talk with more people.

  • David Rinella

    As a brony with Aspergers, I’m offended. Not by the quote in the original article, mind you. That was what the interviewee said, in correct context. That was fine. What bothers me is the way you presented it here. You seem to think that it’s hilarious that a man with a social-interaction disorder was able to use fiction as a tool to help better himself. It’s much easier for us to learn messages about social dynamic through fiction, because most people in the real world work on the assumption that we’ve already done so. That makes real-world interaction very difficult. Fiction, especially this show, makes no such assumption. The lesson is easier to learn that way.

    And, for the record, I don’t like the show because I have Aspergers. I like it because it’s clever, well-written, and makes me smile after a bad day. I like it because the cleaner parts of the fandom write and draw some absolutely incredible stuff. I like it because it’s fun to be a brony.

  • James Ciambor

    Jerry I apologize for impulsively commenting please don’t post either of these.