We’ve Created A Bronster!

As the second season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic commences, it’s worth another look at the post that started the phenomenon known as The Bronies.

Amid’s commentary on the state of TV animation, which was directed towards a professional audience, was interpreted differently by younger animation fans who aren’t as familiar with industry lingo like creator-driven animation. The unexpected reaction to the article spread on 4chan’s /b/ and sparked a world-wide fandom for this innocuous children’s show, leading to obsessive sites like this and this.

Now the folks at Know Your Meme have created the video history of this show’s popularity (and done a pretty good job of mangling the pronunciation of Amid’s name in the process):

(Thanks, Kelly Toon)


  • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

    Discussions about FIM are always fun. :)

    Maybe this is now a good time to link an interview Equestria Daily did with Lauren Faust. It’s actually very in-depth, going over the behind-the-scenes work. And some unexpected surprises (ie: it was Lynne Naylor who designed Princess Luna)

    http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/09/exclusive-season-1-retrospective.html

  • James Fox

    The 2 part season premiere is painful and could alienate newcomers from liking the series, I sure hope to god the rest of the 2nd season is better than the 2 part premiere

    • 2011 Senior Citizen

      It’s alienating because it’s written for those who are already familiar with Season 1! It’s something many shows have been doing for decades.

      • James Fox

        I mean the fact the 2 parter contains a villain that
        - Took away their traits
        - Made the characters (excluding Twilight Sparkle) a unlikeable variant of themselves

        I can imagine the 2 parter can sink the 2nd season to a low if there’s continuity from the “Return of Harmony” 2 parter given if she fails to save Ponyville from Discord and Celestia and the other 4 ponies stay as they are like say Twilight Sparkle runs away because she feels like she’s not wanted anymore

      • Inkan1969

        Well, that was part of the premise. Reversing the personalities of the main cast. That might be confusing to a first time viewer, but they just need to watch reruns to fix that. And actually, the personality reversals did lead to some very funny characterizations. The one who turned into the “brute”, for instance, had a lot of clever ways to be a jerk to the others.

    • Steve Gattuso

      This was originally supposed to be the final show in season one, and it becomes much more logical as to how it plays out when you think of it that way.

    • http://warrior-u.com Aisha Thani.

      honestly the FIRST episode I saw was the premiere, It made me watch the rest :P

  • cbat628

    It’s kind of like how people mis-interpreted Guy Fawkes’ message and a anarchist-type movement emerged. Except now it started with a blog post about cartoon ponies, which is infinitely more enjoyable to type, research, watch, etc.

    • Snagglepuss

      I think its more of an interpretation of V for Vendetta, which is about a terrorist misinterpreting Guy Fawkes’ message.

  • cbat628

    In any case, I’m glad to see this blog become such a presence since its early days, even if it’s an …interesting presence.

  • MadRat

    Amid, if it’s true that you started the Bronie movement then well… please don’t take this the wrong way but, may you suffer the bites of the mosquitoes from a thousand swamps. But of course I mean that in a good way and it can’t possibly be true anyway… right?

  • DNAndy

    The show is alright. The fanbase is annoying. The end.

    • Inkan1969

      I can agree with that. But that’s usually what happens with any show.

  • Mike Russo

    I’m so tired of hearing about this show and seeing pony avatars at every forum I’m a member of. I’m still convinced a large segment of this pony fandom like this show ironically.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/Tigercat919 Michael F.

      I have no idea why MLPFIM is as popular as it is but I have to admit that Hasbro and Hub are definitely taking advantage of it. I assumed that the Hub was going to be nothing more than a small level network that might not survive in a slightly crowded market but now it’s looking like it’s going places.

      • 2011 Senior Citizen

        A third season is confirmed.

        So…. what were we saying about the end of creator-driven animation on television?

      • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

        Wait, third season? I’ll have to check that out.

      • Beau

        Third season is NOT confirmed yet.

        A fan asked Jayson Thiessen, who said “I’d probably get fired if I answered that”. Meaning, there most likely will be. They just can’t say anything at this moment.

    • Inkan1969

      I can understand getting fed up when a show you’re not into becomes seemingly inescapable. But I think that inescapability is only in the mind. So with some effort, you can shut out the MLP stuff from your forum life if you really want to. It’s best to avoid fandom activity of a show you don’t like and move on. In the past I did not do that all. I absolutely hated “Animaniacs” and “Shrek”, and moreso the fandoms that swarmed around both. I didn’t just stay out of the fandoms’ way: I trolled their sites with a lot of flames and tried to raise heck. What that got me was a lot of people ticked off at me, for valid reasons. It’s not worth throwing a fit over a fandom for a show you don’t like, just walk away man.

      • Seth

        I can vaguely understand not liking Animaniacs, but how the heck did you HATE that show?

    • http://equestriadaily.com Him.

      Dude, unclench for once. So people like a show you don’t. Big deal. Are you that bitter that you let the joy of other people annoy you?

      And no, we genuinely enjoy the show.

      • Bruce Wright

        “Dude, unclench for once. So people like a show you don’t. Big deal. Are you that bitter that you let the joy of other people annoy you?”

        Him, that’s the point of this whole website. YES. This is the website for “bitter about shows you don’t like.”

    • Beau

      Well Mike, you’d be wrong. True, some do like it ironically (they don’t even attempt to hide it), but most of us like it because it’s actually damn good.

      If you can’t deal with that, then you should probably quit using the internet.

  • http://popyea.deviantart.com/ nick

    the designs aren’t ugly, but the obnoxious fans are!

    • What

      Yeah there are no ugly fans of any other cartoons.

  • http://dtoons.com/conroy Failed Art Student

    I’ve seen the artwork on that billboard before. I thought it was fanart! I never thought Hasbro would have the ponies look so badass.

  • Snagglepuss

    I think everyone understood it. I think they just thought it was alarmist and absurd. On the other hand, the business standpoint is what made it surreal enough to explore. How could something so otherwise informed be so reactionary?

    • Thedude

      yeah, that

    • Inkan1969

      I still have to disagree with Amid’s premise that MLP was a specific example of the “death” of creator driven animation. Sure, the ideal case should be artists being able to develop their own original projects. But the artists working on “Friendship is Magic” have been able to utilize their talents to make a well timed and designed show, even with its toy franchise connection. I then continue to assert that “Friendship is Magic” is creator driven.

      • Deerhunter Dawg

        Yeah, but you have to give him the handicap, he didn’t watch the show!

  • Josh

    We understood it well enough, but the article itself was kinda…yeah, i’ll go with what Snagglepuss said.

    Also, great going on creating this mess.

  • Dario

    Anyone who wants to learn the history of animation should consider this an example of dark ages.

    • Conor

      Yeah, no. That’s the main problem with Amid’s original post, he latched onto a specific cartoon not based on actual quality, but based on the original source material. While it would have been possible to make a case for a decline in animation at the time the article was written, FIM was by no means a proper example. There were, and still are much worse shows on television: Johnny Test, Total Drama Island, 6teen, and Nearly Naked Animals to name a few.

    • Amigo

      Except you wrong, we are coming out of the dark ages. We have shows like adventure time, regular show, action shows like young justice, the new thunder cats

      Remember just last year Cartoon network forced a live action segment through out the day.Before that they had a slew of bad cartoons, robot boy, my gym partner is a monkey, camp lazlo and squirrel boy. Now its trying to make a step in the right direction.

      And with the hub bringing us more cartoons. I’d say were in a revival.

      • Dogman15

        Hey, Camp Lazlo wasn’t bad. It was made by Joe Murray, the same guy behind “Rocko’s Modern Life”.

      • Scarabim

        It still sucked though. Horrible-looking unfunny characters. Guess that’s why it failed.

    • DNAndy

      Woah, let’s not go overboard here. The television animation industry isn’t in the same, terrible state as it was in the late 60′s-late 80′s. At least people are still able to be creative with the shows that they are given to work on.

      Amid really could’ve used a better example than this show, like Johnny Test, one of the laziest cartoons on television.

    • Inkan1969

      How do you figure that? You did not elaborate?

      • Dario

        I was thinking of Pucca, for instance. Success but almost no animation. The Filmation Studios were accused of ruining animation by many, but at least I can remember He-Man, at least that. Back then, the shows could be horrible. I don’t deny that, but real artists were behind those shows. At least in many cases.

        I think that today, thanks to technology and Internet anyone “can” animate. I like that idea, but it has its consequences on the quality of designs and jokes.

      • Conor

        Pucca at least has some visually interesting elements, which is more than I can say for He-Man.

      • 2011 Senior Citizen

        The studio that animated Pucca, Studio B, also animated this show. Coincidence.

      • Inkan1969

        Other people pointed out that Studio B did the animation for both “Pucca” and “Friendship is Magic”. So it’s not “anyone” that’s animating these shows; it’s the professionals working on the Studio B staff.

        I thought both shows had fluid and smooth animation. “Friendship is Magic” improved over “Pucca” in featuring memorable facial expressions that I’ve found to have a lot of dramatic strength.

    • Anonymous

      The 2010s, the dark age of animation?

      Don’t be absurd, the choppy, plastic, age-ghettoized animation of the late 1970s and 1980s beg to differ.

  • Mike Russo

    If I see another image of these characters along with the phrase “Haters Gonna Hate” anywhere else on the internet I’m putting an axe through my laptop.

    • http://equestriadaily.com Him.

      Yeah, committing property damage simply because you see someone enjoying the show is clearly the actions of a sane man.

  • Person who’s brain is melting

    I see Brony phenomenon like a bell curve graph that describes the fanatics of any given subject to the un-motivated people, with the majority of people in the middle. Anything in culture (Cartoons, consumer electronics, artists, etc) will naturally develop a fanbase, which has been made allot easier thanks to the internet where people can communicate with each other from around the world.

    If a show like Powerpuff Girls was made today, I would think it would have the same reaction as MLP FiM has received from adult fans.

    • DNAndy

      “If a show like Powerpuff Girls was made today, I would think it would have the same reaction as MLP FiM has received from adult fans.”

      I don’t think it would as strong as the MLP fanbase is right now. For one, PPG didn’t have a series of terrible cartoons with the same characters before it. Plus it was never really branded as a show for girls like MLP:FIM is.

    • Nissl

      I don’t know, as someone who focuses on the writing and the unique potential that animation gives it more than the animation itself I was pretty done with Powerpuff Girls after a half dozen episodes. My reaction actually kind of reminded me of my reaction to Phineas and Ferb. The characters served the concept and the world was quite clever in the first few episodes but ulimately fairly limited, especially once they expanded to a half hour format. As a result, ther was nothing particularly interesting or relatable about any of the characters and a lot of the jokes, like having to ask permission to leave and fight the bad guy, were used over and over again. That’s cute the third time, but tiring the sixth time. The novelty episodes like the Beat-alls one were clever and well executed, but they give up on the kid segment of the audience entirely and there’s only so much of that you can do without disappearing down a self-referential loop.

      I mention this not to trash something that is a pretty good show but because it goes back to a comment I made on Amid’s original piece that did not make it through moderation. One of the flaws with so many past creator-driven shows for me is that they spring from a single concept, and often put out just a few fairly stereotyped characters in service to that artistic concept. While this approach makes these shows more of a cohesive whole, I would posit that it also limits their range and staying power of these shows tremendously compared to a show that is forced to have a half dozen strong characters and do a ton of world building.

  • http://www.classicparamountcartoons.blogspot.com ParamountCartoons

    Wow. How a commentary started a meme.

    In the paraphrased words of the brat from Bugs Bunny’s “Easter Yeggs”-

    “I Wanna Starta Meme!”
    “I Wanna Starta Meme!”

  • http://exclusive-cheese.deviantart.com/ Taco Wiz

    You think young people don’t understand? I’m 15 and I understand “creator-driven animation”. During the 1970s and 1980s almost every animated television series was based on a pre-existing property, and the shows themselves were made by marketing people/executives rather than cartoonists or entertainers. The main purpose of animation was to advertise products. Nickelodeon’s Nicktoons block, which was considered a huge gamble in 1991, changed the industry and made actual cartoons popular for the first time in decades.

    See? I understand, and I’m younger than most bronies.

    • Deerhunter Dawg

      You know, even if you didn’t know what “creator driven animation” is, you know what it is after you finish reading the phrase.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I’m 34 and had been through much of that era.

    • http://www.spitandspite.com Shhhhh,,,

      I’m old and wish everyone would stop shouting. I’m trying to watch my pink haired horsies fly around.

  • Fred lassetter

    I’m pretty sure this is exactly what they are talking about when they say why the terrorists hate us.

    • http://www.animehell.org danno

      Maybe we could fight terrorism with ponies?

  • http://www.hobsonanimation.com Kevin

    I can’t believe there’s really a billboard of this show. Fluttershy and Rarity look awesome!

    I used to watch the first My Little Pony’s cartoon when I was in Preschool and the only thing I liked about it were the weird monsters and villains.

    It’s amazing how much Friendship is Magic has become so extremely likable. The ponies in Friendship is Magic have much more personality and charm the the older ones.

  • JR

    I’m surprised during all of the pony discussion that have plagued Cartoon Brew no one’s brought up that Lauren Faust no longer works for the show. That’s a fairly important topic I’d imagine.

    • 2011 Senior Citizen

      Lauren Faust announced on the airing of the last episode of the first season that she left the production crew and stepped down from being executive producer. She will now be creative consultant. Translation: the writers can show her what they wrote to see if she’s okay with it. She gave no clear reason why this happened, but said that “it was something she knew would happen for a long time”.

      • JR

        The whole situation always struck me as fairly suspicious. It certainly didn’t me much faith in the Hub and Hasbro’s leadership.

      • Nissl

        The mega-interview she gave on Equestria Daily a few weeks ago made it crystal clear she’s not doing anything on the show anymore. Her influence will still be visible in the writing and much of the storyboarding of season 2 since those processes were partially to mostly complete when she left.

      • http://stickylickysweets SLS

        From what I’ve read it looks like the actual boarding started _after_ she left, but she had a big hand in the writing.

  • Mike Russo

    Someone compared this pony stuff to the Powerpuff Girls? PPG at least had violence, monster fights, blood, broken teeth and evil monkeys. It doesn’t matter how it’s presented. My Little Pony is still My Little Pony.

    • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

      “Isn’t that just like a boy; can’t handle the slightest bit of sentiment.”

      I’m kidding I’m kidding…sorta :)

      • 2011 Senior Citizen

        Ho ho hooooo! :D Snap.

        But I did check out a few episodes. It IS VASTLY different than any of the previous shows. So Mike’s statement about My Little Pony STILL being My Little Pony is a bit confusing to me.

    • DNAndy

      I don’t think the new personalities are that great either. Twilight, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash are pretty much rehashed versions of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup. Applejack is the “cowgirl texan farmer” (ugh), Pinkie Pie is random, and Rarity is a fashionista. I understand that most characters will start out as archetypes and will develop overtime as the animators experiment, but I just don’t see all of the praise for these characters. They have no depth.

      • 2011 Senior Citizen

        “Random”, “Fashionista”, “Texan”. ……yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeaahh…. and? What’s wrong with those? They can be enjoyable. Also, didn’t Lauren say one of the goals for this show was for it to star female protagonists with depth?

      • Inkan1969

        DNAndy: I think the characters have developped more depth over time, starting out from the one-sentence ideas you listed. From the first ep I assumed Pinkie Pie would be the cutesy comic relief who’d always be happy. Recent episodes constructed a vicious and explosive side of her personality, and they convinced me that this angry side really could arise from such a character. Rarity was introduced as a fashionista. The makers have interpreted the fashionista idea as an artist’s persona, where Rarity happened to choose fashion design as the medium for her artistic visions.

        In this respect “Friendship is Magic” reminded me of “The Venture Brothers”. The first time I saw either show I thought I knew everything about the characters; over time both casts have grown beyond their archetypes.

    • Inkan1969

      That sounds impractically specific for a description of what a good cartoon has to be.

    • http://equestriadaily.com Him.

      MLP has hydras, griffins, Q, and mental instability. For god’s sake, stop complaining about a show you haven’t seen.

    • http://johnpannozzi.blogspot.com John Pannozzi

      No offense, Mike, but have you even watched a single episode of the damned show?

    • http://johnpannozzi.blogspot.com John Pannozzi

      Oh, and I should point that Mike Russo has openly expressed a soft spot for the Care Bears. Not I dislike Mike as a person, but this is pretty straight-up hypocrisy.

    • Beau

      watch the damn show before criticizing.

    • Reo

      Having seen both shows, I can safely say you have a point, as I believe PPG can offer more for boys than MLP could. This coming from personal experience with PPG back in my school days and not being ridculed for watching it. Had MLP been in its place, I can guarentee I’d been in more fights as a kid.

  • DonaldC

    Honestly, I’d blame /co/ more than anything else.

    They where having topics about it a while before it was even mentioned here.

  • James Ciambor

    I agree with Mike. The concept and mentality is the exact same. I’m aware that they have a talented personnel and they are more successful at appealing to audiences than the original. Though seriously if this is praised as the best thing to happen to American Animation in a long time then there is something wrong. This series is essentially an inane eighties concept, that is overhauled by several countless whose who of talented animators.

    Though this universal praise is alienating. I watched the series for three or four episodes, beyond improving everyone’s self-esteem it doesn’t to me have much appeal beyond the target demo. I know because I’m in the minority I will be categorized as a troll but its not that at all. This is a testament of how talented these artists are, they can take this really cloying concept with few resources and still make something worthwhile for the demographic their aiming at.

    • http://www.sibsy.blogspot.com Sabrina

      “This series is essentially an inane eighties concept, that is overhauled by several countless whose who of talented animators.”

      Annnnndd….?
      I don’t really see why that’s a problem.

      Maybe it’s just me.

      • James Ciambor

        The issue is that this is being characterized, as the greatest thing to happen to American animation in a long time based on critical reception. If you want proof of that statement I have several publications and fandom’s, that laud this program as if it is revolutionary possibly overstating things.

        This is simply not true if you analyze everything this country has to offer. The personnel are very talented but there are some things you can’t change. The concept and mentality are the same as the eighties. An overhaul of the series by even some of the best television animators, in the industry can’t really change a broken concept, that has been broken since the eighties.

        Maybe its just me to Sabrina its called being subjective and in the end no one really is right or wrong. I just personally think its the same concept only refined. It has more appeal, the animation is better polished. Though even then to me its testament to how talented these artists are making the best out of an awful situation.

      • James Ciambor

        The other issue is that executives will think that this makes more profit than Creator Driven work. Which will inhibit that work from furthering itself.

      • snip2364

        Not if, as Faust has done, they take the client’s franchise and put their own spin on it. They will be able to give it as much creativity as a creator-driven show!

      • James Ciambor

        It seems you didn’t register my comment that executives will think that this makes more of a profit than creator driven programming does. o gone will be the days of Ren and Stimpy, Rocko’s Modern Life, Dexter’s Lab, Samurai Jack, . Essentially what will be stifling to these artists is that everything has to serve the concept and can’t go outside of that context. The reason why artists create their own programs or at least aspire is because they want to create their own rules and set their own boundaries. Lauren should be commended because her original intent was creator driven work through Galaxy Girls.

    • Inkan1969

      The show may be built from an unremarkable concept. But from that artists can make something worthwhile. What first came to my mind was “The Godfather” and “American Psycho”: terrible novels, yet filmmakers were able to make pretty good movies from the stories. “My Little Pony” may have started with an old 80′s relic of a property, but I’ve enjoyed the characterizations and the world building the talents have constructed over the relic.

  • Anthony D.

    These are my only concerns for the new season:

    -Lauren will be less-involved though she’s still working on the show in some way.

    -A Toonzone forum member said his concern is that the fandom will be the show’s downfall and I kinda agree with that. Don’t forget, it’s a kid show and kids need to enjoy/learn from the show as well as older audiences.

    Whatever the future holds for FIM, I’ll be happy to a part of it.

  • Jody Morgan

    And here I thought the brony fandom came into being because Lauren Faust, Jayson Thiessen, and the other artists and writers working on the show created something that had some appeal both to the target audience and to a decent number of open-minded adults. Silly me, I should have known it was actually started by a snarky (if largely accurate) Internet post that trashed the show immediately after its premiere.

  • Vixie

    I am a fairly recent convert to this show. Having worked at Toys R Us in the 80′s when the whole MLP thing started, my memories of them were not good, and I resisted watching. It was when a friend who is a former Disney animator told me I am missing out that I decided to give it a try. Took me a few episodes, but I got hooked. I do have a few ideas on why it is so popular.

    First off, the character designs are appealing. It seem every cartoon I see these days has really ugly designs, it’s nice to see a break from that.

    The music in the show is well done. The songs are well written, and don’t try to ride the coattails of what is big now. It’s nice to hear music that is not hip hop or whatever else is popular.

    I like that it does use some cultural references, but not in an overdone way. A good example is Pinkie Pie getting around like Pepe LePew. Not many young people will get that, but adults will. There are many examples, and they are not in your face like so many shows and movies are.

    Last, but most importantly, the writing. This show is very well written. The characters are well fleshed out, and their personalities drive what happens. I have long felt good writing is key to success, and this show shows how true that is. It’s funny, sweet, and has a good message without being preachy.

    I have had little contact with the fans of the show, but I do know I am enjoying a funny show with well rounded characters. It has been a pleasant surprise to find this out, and I hope the show has much more success in future.

  • Inkan1969

    Coincidentally, Supervising Director Jayson Theissen answered some questions at a fan meetup.

    http://www.mlponies.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=179&p=71982#p71982

    The passage that struck me the most: “So as to who they’re performing for, it’s not [fanboys], it’s not 6-year-old kids, it’s themselves. They’re just doing what they think makes the show as great as they can, to entertain each other as best they know how.” That has always seemed to be the ultimate characteristic of a good cartoon. When the artists can make a cartoon that they themselves find entertaining, the cartoon will most likely be a quality cartoon that everyone can learn to appreciate.

    • http://dtoons.com/conroy Failed Art Student

      That’s the mindset that the Termite Terrace crew and Pixar have, and its work wonders for them.

  • Kellie

    I’m not a big fan of this show but I’m happy for it’s popularity because I’ve noticed a strange trend where it’s okay to like shows made for little boys (Transformers, Thundercats, etc) but a bad thing to like shows made for little girls, and by the look of things MLP is slowly breaking this trend.

    Of course there are still people who complain about it being a show made for little girls while hypocritically wearing their Thundercats T-Shirts or whatever, but that kind of hypocrisy just provides the world with a little more humor if you ask me.

    I’m also a bit surprised no one has mentioned anything positive regarding the Looney Tunes Show here. Am I the only one who thinks it has some of the most beautiful visual designs out there (even if the jokes themselves are kinda lame)?

    • Inkan1969

      “The Looney Toons Show” actually had an ep that cast a young Granny as a spies for the Allies facing off Nazis in occupied Paris. It was notable in that the story was played straight, actually resulting in a decent adventure story. That made me decide that Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone should quit making snarky comedy and instead focus on straight action.

  • http://www.sweetposer.tk/urbmn/ Cameron A.

    I’m not that bothered by My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic or the ‘tude expressions on that billboard. What really gets me is the current overuse of the Gotham typeface. Saturday Night Live, the Obama campaign, Discovery Channel, HGTV, even Cartoon Network – it’s to the last ten years what Helvetica was in the 1970s.

  • http://anthonycorner.blogspot.com Anthony

    I’m OK with the show to some degree, the problem is all the hype around it, I mean: It is really THAT good? I saw three or four episodes, and they are OKayish for little children, but an adult should know better. It’s not a bad show, it’s just…bland, and if this is what passes as a “quality show”, God, do we have standards this low?

    • Inkan1969

      What do you find bland about the show? I don’t really understand what is it we’re supposed to know better about?

    • Anonymous

      “Know better”
      “Standards too low”

      Have you met the population of the western world in the last 20 years? Or watched a few hours of prime time recently? Obviously not.

      If other people can gawk at the drunks, pseudo-celebrities, and circus of fame seekers that populate that excuse for entertainment called reality television; then I can certainly set aside my pride, turn my mind off and tune into colourful little cartoon about amusing equines.

  • David

    Maybe there quality of the show is high because they didn’t judge by three or four episode.

  • Keegan

    As if ‘tude wasn’t bad enough, here’s some PONY ‘TUDE.

    Oh great. I love this MLP fad.

    /sarcasm

    • Inkan1969

      I’ll admit that fans might be overreacting to the novelty of this advertising strategy. You wouldn’t expect a little girl’s toy property like MLP to have billboard advertising playing up an adult film like “Bridesmaids”, and so on. Of course, the billboard is just another example of what cartoon ads have been doing for years. Hollywood CGI movies trying to bring in general audiences, for instance, do cultural referencing like that billboard all the time, frequently referencing films and shows not made for kids.

    • Inkan1969

      Here’s the next billboard in that series.

      http://geekscape.net/news/geekscape-exclusive-new-my-little-pony-friendship-is-magic-billboard-kicking-off-season-2

      I strongly suspect the ad makers were appealing to Bronies considering how dated the reference is.

      OK billboard, but referencing can get cheesy if they keep doing it.

  • Matt Sullivan

    You can gripe all you want about this series but it has more fans and fansites than any other cartoon I can think of.

    • Mike Russo

      It’ll be fleeting.

      • Deerhunter Dawg

        Is bitterness and shadenfreude really better than enjoying a cartoon?

      • eeteed

        “…Is bitterness and shadenfreude really better than enjoying a cartoon?…”

        maybe, but best of all is enjoying a cartoon ABOUT bitterness and shadenfreude!

    • Keegan

      Not due to it’s quality, though. It’s only popular because the internet is a f*cked up place.

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

    it is human nature to form tribes… groups with a common interest… this is just representational of the types of ‘desperate to belong’ groups which will inevitably appear more and more in the stay indoors arguing via computer era.

    It’s the Furby situation… cabbage patch dolls… beanies babies (?)… tamagotchi….only now with the internet the hype is instant and gleefully perpetuated by the fans. I am tremendously envious of the position the people making money from this are in. Success and no harm done… hats off

  • Cath

    face hoof.

  • chewbEcca

    I just came upon the knowledge of said obsessive trend recently, all I knew before was that there was the new TV show and

    I’m actually glad to say “I don’t know my memes!!”

    How come there is absolutely NO mention of the original 1980′s show? :( I totally grew up on that. I presonally think the character designs of the orignal show and the original toy are waaaayyy more appealing than the new generation, but then again I am heavily biased off of my childhood obsession. The new show does have a great design to it, the MLP spirit and much better animation, but I don’t think it warrants such an obnoxious fanbase I just came upon the knowledge of said obsessive trend recent

  • Mohamed S.

    The article didn’t really pick up on /b/ but rather /co/. The cartoon and comic board on 4chan, and they are a bit more knowledgeable about animation than the average person and do follow animation blogs like cartoon brew to get the latest news on the industry.

  • DB

    I read about “Bronies” on this website, but that video was enlightening for me in linking the phenomenon to 4chan.

    As a ** cough ** middle-aged person befuddled by the proliferation of cat pictures with stupid text that I kept seeing on various message boards it was only about a year ago I thought to ask someone what that was all about and was informed of lolcats (and by extension 4chan).

    It’s weird to know there has been a whole mindset in this country going on for a long time now I knew nothing about.

    Speaking as only a distant observer, it makes sense of the Bronie thing springing out of 4chan…where ironic detachment, anger and genuine sentiment have collided in anarchic ways that must be confusing even though I guess that was the intent.

  • AJ Gutierrez

    Im 22 years old, Im an animation student. I have very high standards for Animation, my favorite films are The Iron Giant and Secret of Nimh, my favorite tv shows are Samurai Jack and Futurama. I grew up on creator driven show from the 90′s and you know what I love MLP: Friendship is Magic.

    While i have respect for you guys seem to lack understanding for the shows popularity. You dont even understand the creative freedom driven to make this show. And it seems that you question the taste of us bronies.

    What i’m trying to say is that many fans of this show are not as naive as you think we are. There are many appealing qualities to that show that attract many people. as a matter a fact, this show is driven by the imagination of Lauren Faust and isn’t that how animation is truly driven by?

  • http://www.nickandmore.com Andrew T. Hingson

    What’s so hard to grasp Mike? It’s a well written, witty and genuinely entertaining cartoon.

    You think it can’t be those things because Hasbro’s purpose for making it was to shell toys to little girls?

    If the staff want to make a good show and don’t want to phone it in they can make a good show based on anything.

    If people are claiming it’s manly and not in a ironic sense they’re just being silly playing it up to be something it’s not. It’s clearly written for children, clearly written with girls in mind, it’d be the most inspiring to girls I figure but the characters are entertaining, well written and consistent.

    People don’t have to like something ironically when it’s actually entertaining. But don’t take my word for it and don’t let the annoying fanbase ruin it for you, just check it out some day and you’ll probably see why people are currently enjoying it without a tinge of irony.

  • OH NO NOT A GIRLS’ CARTOON

    I love how the idea here is “hehe, those ignorant masses just didn’t GET our post and just assumed it was some silly Chicken Little act.” Everyone knows there have been MANY cartoons based on popular franchises and have tons of merchandise, and none of them have killed creator-driven animation. Yet when THIS ONE SHOW popped up, we were treated to wails of “oh nooo, the creators are all dead now! Pastel equines killed them!”

    Look, nobody expects you to be fans of My Little Pony. I can easily see how someone wouldn’t like it. But to accuse this show of not being “creator-driven” enough when Lauren Faust went OUT OF HER WAY to give the main characters varied personalities is absurd, and it proves none of you even wanted to give the show a chance. She had a huge hand in developing these characters, but that doesn’t count. Why? Officially the reasoning is “because it’s based on an old toy line and is meant to sell even more toys!” But what about all the little boys’ cartoons based on toys and established franchises?

    It’s been pointed out that when Thundercats was revived, Cartoon Brew made no post about how its mere existence proved that creator-driven animation was dead. It too was a poorly-written, toyetic 80′s cartoon, and it was similarly reborn with a new focus on story and character development. The only difference between it and My Little Pony is that Thundercats was aimed at boys, and MLP at girls. Cartoon Brew’s response? “Hey, this Thundercats remake looks pretty cool!”

    Cartoon Brew has taken a few jabs at the male fans of MLP, but why? Is it because they’re watching children’s entertainment? Of course not; CB reviews children’s entertainment on a regular basis. You don’t see the blog mocking fans of Spongebob for simply liking the show. Why is that? Call me crazy, but I suspect CB specifically finds male MLP fans funny because “ew, boys watching cartoons for GIRLS!”

    As a woman, would Cartoon Brew laugh at me if I watched Beast Wars, simply because it’s aimed at boys? What about Batman: The Brave and the Bold? Or yes, even the new Thundercats? Would anyone here say “haha, it’s funny that a girl’s watching a cartoon for boys!” No. Cartoons for boys are assumed to have a universal appeal. But as soon as a show is aimed at girls, it’s terrible for boys to watch it, much less enjoy it.

    Where was Amid’s rage when Batman: The Animated Series premiered? Why didn’t he wag his finger at Bruce Timm for stooping so low as to work on an established franchise that sold millions of toys? Why didn’t the He-man or Ninja Turtles reboots get any long-winded essays about how they herald the death of creator-driven animation?

    The most recent MLP episodes feature a dragon voiced by John de Lancie, who essentially revives his character Q from Star Trek for the role. If Adventure Time featured that exact same character, the animation community would hail it as brilliant. But since it’s in My Little Pony specifically, it doesn’t count. The show is still an affront to good taste and its fans should still be mocked. Because you know, it’s for gi–I mean, kids. Oh and toys. Yeah, the toys. Right?

    Face it. The animation community didn’t mind any of these other shows, nor did they look down on said shows’ older fans. Oftentimes, they WERE the older fans.

    But this show’s for girls. And that makes it bad.

    • I’ve got cooties

      Hear hear!

    • James Ciambor

      No one is rating other successful adaptions or reboots above this. Faust and the other artists were resilient in that they had little resources and an inane concept and managed to make something work. George Lucas shot the Death Star sequence with an abused ping pong table and odds were against him to create something decent, but because of his talents it is now hailed within movie history. This is comparable in the context that they were able to make something decent out of little to no amazing conceptual material.

      Also Bruce Timm was building on a much stronger concept than MLP ever was. Despite the fact that Timm and Faust are of equal talent Faust was given an unremarkable concept, while Timm was given a well established one and built upon the success of what can be traced back to the Fleischer Superman’s. Faust had to improvise good ideas because she wasn’t given a remarkable brand but she built something out of the ashes. While Timm already had countless ideas based on an already established brand. Him and his staff could see some conceptually strong material written in the comic strips and adapt it and maybe overhaul it a little to adapt to their design preferences. Kudos to Faust in that arena, it can be more difficult when you have less resources but still make it work this a testament to Faust’s talents. Timm was given a great brand on a silver platter while Faust had to persevere, so really Faust has an advantage that she can make something decent out of anything. Comparisons are not necessary. Because you have people of equal talent but what they are given conceptually is different.

      The boys being attracted to MLP is still a mystery at least to me but I still respect their appreciation. Even though they make no bones about aiming to a female demographic, which they are successful in that context. I watched a couple of episodes and the series served its purpose in not only improving the brand but reaching out to millions of viewers.

      The issue to me and this is where I go sore is that is that its critical reception, makes it seem that its the greatest thing to happen in American Animation in decades. This is simply not true though if you want the links, publications and fandom’s have characterized it this way.

      • I’ve got cooties

        James, most of your comments seem to be very supportive of the show, which is great, but I can’t help but get a little miffed at your statements like “The boys being attracted to MLP is still a mystery at least to me.” Similar to what OH NO NOT A GIRLS’ CARTOON said, it’s a gigantic double standard. No one balks at girls who watch Ben 10 or Transformers or Batman. No one is bewildered by a girl liking boy things. Your perception is, however well meant, rather sexist. Are you also mystified by white people who watch shows that are aimed at black people?

      • James Ciambor

        Not exactly I think the Proud Family is one of Disney’s greatest programs in quite sometime, how it was abruptly canceled back in 2005 is a “mystery to me”. Characterizing me as a racist is quite ignorant and a last ditch argument, and a distortion of what I actually said. While I might be supportive of the show I think that I made some legit criticisms.

        Firstly you have to understand what they are working with conceptually, MLP is a story of persevering over the odds. By taking a washed up concept that seems that it will never work and making something worthwhile. That is the programs greatest quality.

        Though the comparisons to Faust and Timm were just as bizarre as how you perceive my males comment. Even though they are equally talented Timm had conceptually exceptional material he could borrow from. Faust had to improvise because the source material from the eighties was much weaker, than anything that Timm had borrowed from, which origins go back to Fleischer’s Superman. Yet Faust rose the concept out of the ashes and made it endurable.

        There a two main criticisms otherwise this is an outstanding program.

        1.) Despite how successful an overhaul the series may have, the concept remains the same and you have to serve that concept and can’t go outside of the boundaries. Creator-Driven programming is where artists set their own rules and boundaries and are really God in a sense. Programming like this is going to convince executives to take the toy-brand direction, and prohibit another Ren and Stimpy, Samurai Jack, or Avatar. We are already seeing this being the case.

        2.) Its critical reception is over-the-top and overstated. Its under-minding other animators out there. Bill Plympton, Bruce W. Smith, and John Dilworth are producing profound contributions but they haven’t really haven’t been given word-of-mouth for awhile. As several publications and fandom’s are only dedicating their praise to this program its like an avalanche hit. Though when I watch the program I can’t really understand why. It is an exceptional program concerning what its ultimate goal was and they reached that, but I would never characterize it as anything revolutionary.

        The industry to me is going in the wrong direction, because the newer concepts seem to suffer from banality. There isn’t jumps in innovation like Ren and Stimpy or Samurai Jack presented. There is a lack of proficient draftsmanship within Adventure Time, or Regular Show maybe that was done intentionally.

        Regardless I should not be prosecuted for this, one of the purposes for Cartoon Brew is to express subjective opinions. No matter whether or not they fit the mold of the majority of opinions.

      • I’ve got cooties

        I wasn’t attacking your opinions on the show. If you had said “I don’t know why anybody likes this show,” I would not have taken issue. But you said “I don’t know why men like a show for girls.” And I wasn’t calling you racist, I was comparing your sexist assertion to a racist one to try to shine light on the inappropriateness of a widely accepted attitude. Many people think long standing, common sexist beliefs are ok, but most agree that racist ones are not. I’m sorry I didn’t make my point clear enough. And yes, Cartoon Brew is for expressing subjective opinions, and I am expressing mine.

      • snip2354

        “Programming like this is going to convince executives to take the toy-brand direction, and prohibit another Ren and Stimpy, Samurai Jack, or Avatar. We are already seeing this being the case.” And then THOSE shows were merchandise-driven for a while. Ever wonder what all cartoons are really run by? Merchandising. It’s one of the reasons why some shows are canceled and others are not.

        “Its under-minding other animators out there. Bill Plympton, Bruce W. Smith, and John Dilworth are producing profound contributions but they haven’t really haven’t been given word-of-mouth for awhile.” Say… you know who else also fit that description perfectly before 2010? …Lauren Faust. None of these artists are different than the other in terms of how people perceive them! People have to be able to take turns in this world.

        “There is a lack of proficient draftsmanship within Adventure Time, or Regular Show maybe that was done intentionally.” ….WHAT?! Where the heck is this coming from?!

  • http://warrior-u.com Aisha Thani.

    Only gave this cartoon a shot recently, it’s pretty good. End’s with a moral, which might be annoying to some, but still pretty good. Definitely a step in the right direction in providing young girls with good role models. and the fact that boys like it too ROCKS.

    Lot’s of AMAZING shows on television right now and I couldn’t be happier, I always thought Amid’s original “this is the end” post was too pessimistic.

  • Lionel Bee

    People like it because its the rebellious thing to do right now. There’s a certain self-affirmation that goes into that kind of fandom.

    “I’m so confident in myself I can watch a show ostensibly designed for little girls!”

    It’ll blow over. I don’t think these people actually watch the show ironically (although some do for the sake of trolling other forum goers)

    I never bought into Amid’s original post about the show but I am amazed by the response of some of the fans — wait so you’re telling me a show for kids can be good?!? But as we all know that’s impossible! Dear lord, everyone must know of this!

  • snip2364
  • another younger fan of animation

    yeah… you know what? I’m tired of people saying animation is going the wrong direction. I’m just happy as long as it’s going.

    you know what would be great? if we were happy when an animated show was SUCCESSFUL. Even if we didn’t like it.

    I’m more scared by the new Winnie the Pooh barely making it’s budget back than I am by the success of a merchandise driven show.

    I’d rather Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked make money than fail, why? Consider the following.

    If the Thundercats, Transformers, He-Man, My Little Pony, G.I. Joe and the plethora of other merchandise driven cartoons in the 80s had failed and the merchandise hadn’t sold, do you think executives would have wanted to risk making Bakshi’s Mighty Mouse?

    you know, that little cartoon that kicked off the whole creator driven cartoon era? yeah, well, that wouldn’t have gotten made and that awesome era wouldn’t have happened.

    I would rather live in a world where there were a ton of crappy cartoons and ONE cartoon like Ren and Stimpy than I would live in a world were cartoons did horribly and executives were afraid of making them.

    but then again, I’m just a younger animation fans who isn’t as familiar with industry lingo as you professional types, so what do I know?

    • James Ciambor

      Its really all subjective. We perceive the same things quite differently but it makes the world a much more interesting place to debate. Also with different opinions comes artists that try to make cartoons in different ways leading to diversity within the industry.

      The main problem is that executives are going to get the wrong idea. Based on what’s been recently seen they are conjuring this idea that toy brands and adaptations are more profitable than creator driven work. So to them much of that is on its way out. So its less likely to see what flooded the industry back in the 1990′s and early 2000′s. We have been seeing a return to excessive adaptations and toy-brand influence for the first time since the early nineties. Yes Faust reboot was successful, but imagine how many are going to fail.

      The issue is that for all the successes in this area such as Faust’s reboot, there will be failures because generally speaking artists are going to be stifled because they have to serve the concept and not go outside of that. Though really it contradicts the creator-driven premise, which is to create your own rules and boundaries. The most important aspect is that you play God, really in ways that you couldn’t with previously established material.

      Faust made something endurable, but my biggest lament is that its being characterized as the greatest thing to happen to American Animation in quite sometime. This is by several fandom’s and publications. Again Friendship Is Magic is a story of resiliency on the artists part, that these staff were talented enough to transform an awful idea into an industry contender. That doesn’t make it revolutionary, it just conveys professionalism and proficiency on the part of the artists, and a deep respect for them.

      • I’ve got cooties

        Perhaps it’s not “the greatest thing to happen in animation for some time,” but it is the greatest thing to happen to girls’ entertainment in quite some time. Perhaps it’s not as innovative as Adventure Time and Regular Show, but it blows it’s previous incarnations, and other girl-targeted shows and movies completely out of the water. It’s spoken to people outside it’s audience and opened the minds of many people to the thought that girls’ interests just might not be completely useless and stupid as everyone thinks. That very few people are acknowledging that these very old, (and by the sound of many comments on this thread) very alive boundaries have been broken is amazing to me.

  • http://www.artware.mx Arturo

    So… is Amid Amidi the responsible of this madness?, you should be very ashamed of yourself, Amid… very ashamed :-p

    (just kidding)

  • Matt Sullivan

    Frankly I don’t know why we listen to Amid when he’s never WORKED in the animation industry. ( as far as I know )

    • Snagglepuss

      I think he wrote for Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon.

    • DNAndy

      He was involved in the production of APC and Boo Boo Runs Wild.

  • Jorge Garrido

    ITT: Nerds vs Geeks

  • http://wingingitstudios.deviantart.com/ Alissa

    I’m just glad that a show aimed at little girls (at least initially) isn’t completely idiotic and rather cute. My little sister is happy with it; so that’s all I care about.

  • Taylor

    I’m surprised the article didn’t mention all of the MLP fan porn that is generated. I guess it can just be assumed that there’s fan porn for anything with a following nowadays.

    • Rayberay

      If you think of it, it’s there. This applies to ANYTHING, and it’s called Rule 34.

  • Reo

    …it’s a decent show, not my favorite( mine is Batman: Brave and the Bold).
    I can safely say this is the only show I can watch with a predominatly female cast. Besides PPG, I can like these characters despite their cliche archetypes and plotlines.(Glida as the old friend who trying to take her friend back, Discord as a Mr. Mxyzptlk clone).
    I’m not a real fan of the fandom, but I usually don’t care for any kind of fandom( Sonic fans for one). I recently showed this show to a friend of mine and she became obsessed with it, while I kind’ve shrugged it off. To each their own I suppose.

  • OldTimer

    LMFAO, you guys realize you are bitching about Ponies, right?

  • Dree

    I just love how Cartoon Brew bound determined not to admit that MLP: FiM is a success because it’s good. We bronies like this show because its very good, and very creator driven. Get over it.

  • Abigail

    Luved every minute of it!! Even though my brother doesnt like to admit it he is a mylittlebrony and pony fan!!Yesterday I told him WELCOME TO THE HERD!!! Plus me and my Friend we made a Mylittlebrony2 Fan club at school and we learned to love and toilerate the shit out of everyone!!

  • http://leafydragon.tumblr.com leafydragon

    The show is actually really good, the characters great and despite its obvious flash-style animation, its still very enjoyable. I would consider myself a brony, but im a teenage girl so I dont know if the terminology still applies?

    • fellow pegagsister

      girls are pegasisters ^-^

    • Rayberay

      Well, there’s pegasisters. Or bronettes.

      But you can call yourself a brony if you want. It’s become kinda a unisex term, really.