Anyone else baffled by the my little pony thread?

I never said it was anyone else’s fault that I didn’t know about it. Just that I didn’t know. Why are you reading negative judgment into my baffledness?

I was baffled too, and a quick perusal of the thread led me to believe it was some subversive, super-adult, pornographic/psychotic version of My Little Pony. Imagine my surprise to learn here in THIS thread that it’s actually something sweet!

I’ve recently allowed my 7-year-old to branch over into Cartoon Network from Disney/Nick/PBS and he’s hooked on all these weird shows with innocent-sounding names like Adventure Time with princesses and talking dogs. They all seem about the same: one level aimed at kids but with a jokey, “there’s more to it than this” undercurrent. Honestly I can barely focus on them because the animation is so repulsive.

Add me to the list of Ones Learning Something New here. Thank you.

You’re obviously not alone in your befuddlement.
The thread is so popular because it is a remarkably well-written cartoon; that is rare, and people have noticed it for that.
It is a children’s cartoon, but not dumbed down, so it can be enjoyable from an adult’s or child’s perspective.
There are people whose children watch it, and people without any children who watch it. (I watched one ep so I could understand who the little toys I’d gotten my niece were, and ended up watching them all).
It’s quite a few people making a lot of posts, I think.

I am utterly baffled that people find American Idol or X Factor or America’s Got Talent or whatever to be of any interest. But, knowing that they do find them of interest, I’m not surprised that they want to start (long) threads to discuss them (which I have no interest in reading). MLP:FiM, same deal I’d think.

MLP:FiM actually has surprisingly good animation… but probably not in a 7yo boy’s interest, unfortunately. (more due to his probable social expectations, than due to the content)

We all have our lines in the sand, those “uncanny chasms” where we can’t wrap our brains around some collection of data and accept what it is trying to present.

I have thoughtful literate friends who read deeply and just can’t wrap their brains around the possibility that a “comic book” like Watchmen can have “literary” value. I have friends who can’t imagine that some video games are not just “electronic crackpipes” but actually provide worthy benefit to the player.

While I love cartoons - enjoyed watching PowerPuff Girls and Dexter’s Lab as a parent hanging out with my kids - when I saw the first MLP thread, I immediately thought “WTF?!”

Now, while I clearly get the message that it apparently has qualities that translate to adult appeal, I still don’t see myself investing the time to try to get past my own chasm - and I get that it is my issue; I simply don’t have interest.

So yeah, I was baffled.

Well, I haven’t gone looking, but I’m sure Rule 34 is still in effect, and shippers are going to ship. That’s not the point of the fandom, though.

It’s a charming, rather intelligent show that manages to appeal to people far outside its target audience, while still being accessible to kids. It’s sweet without being saccharine, and it doesn’t treat children like idiots. The fact that all of this completely subverts expectations based on the horrible half-hour toy commercials of the 80s undoubtedly helps, too.

Yee-up. It’s not that it’s merely a good cartoon that’s given rise to the subculture, it’s that it’s also a non-cynical, good-hearted show, which is staggeringly novel to folks in their 20-30s.

And there’s the fact that it’s freaking My Little Pony that causes cognitive dissonance in the guys who like it, so they seek out others for reassurance that it’s not just them. :stuck_out_tongue: But the community is friendly and I’ve met some nice folks through it.

From what I understand, it was created by basically the same team that did Powerpuff Girls, so the similarity is unsurprising.

I have watched it a few times with the Celtling. It’s not my cup of tea, but I do like the basic themes. It’s not about being pretty and waiting to be rescued; these girls kick behinds and live by a code. So I’m all for her watching it.


For the record, I liked the original GI Joe as a child, and FiM today.

(And apparently, the original My Little Pony almost did a crossover with GI Joe, way back when. Marvy.)

Bingo. If you want to see a direct PPG parallel in the show, take a look at the Cutie Mark Crusaders, but the stylistic influences are everywhere.

Well, this thread has been enlightening. I had no idea there was a new version of MLP, much less one that appealed to adults, and I too was baffled by the other thread. I mean yeah, MLP was popular back in the '80s, but no more so than Care Bears and He-Man, yet you don’t see those shows inspiring 8-page threads on here decades after their heyday.

I’ve watched and enjoyed Superjail and Metalocalypse late at night, but it’s not something I wants my kids to accidently watch. Everytime I see them watching chowder, adventure time, or Flapjack, the stuff seems so similar, I do a double take just to make sure they aren’t playing something old off the Tivo.

That’s what I was thinking it would be like, but it wasn’t. At least I didn’t get that out of the first ep. :slight_smile: I used to like Powerpuff Girls, when I’d run across it.

I got into the show a few months ago, and it was definitely a surprising discovery. There was definitely some novelty factor with the unexpectedness of My Little Pony being actually good. The show is strong enough to stand on it’s own after that wears off, though. The first two episodes aren’t a good starting point, as they’re quite different from the rest of the series. I also feel like the best episodes come later in the show, even though the above mentioned Applebuck Season and others are still good. Personally I’d recommend starting with one of:

Episode 9 Boast Busters
Episode 7 Dragonshy
Episode 25 Party of One

As one of the major contributors to the other thread: Yeah, we do like the show. Really. And not ironically, nor because we’re lonely nerds whose development was arrested at age four. We like “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” because it’s a well-made cartoon with gorgeous animation and solidly-written stories that impart a great message without being preachy or saccharine.

Others have mentioned “The Powerpuff Girls,” and I’d agree that PPG is the closest comparison to “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” The two shows have a lot of production staff in common, including MLP:FiM show creator Lauren Faust, who was a writer and artist on PPG, and is married to PPG’s creator, Craig McCracken. Both shows feature a madcap sense of humor and strong, multidimensional female characters. And both shows have that rare ability to appeal to adult viewers without relying on the sort of cynical nostalgia-mongering or “over the kiddies’ heads” style of humor that characterizes much of American animation (Dreamworks, I’m lookin’ at you). In other words, the humor is much more Pixar or “Futurama” than “Shrek” or “Family Guy.”

It’s certainly not for everyone, and one thing that I’ve appreciated about the fanbase is that (unusually for folks on the internets), they tend to be good-natured about people’s responses to the show. After all, we’re fans of a frickin’ My Little Pony cartoon - it’d be rather silly, not to mention hypocritical, for us to get upset that not everyone likes the show. :wink:

But if you enjoy clever writing, well-drawn characters whose strengths and flaws alike are explored in detail, and the best animation this side of the Pacific, I encourage you to give the first few episodes a shot. They’re all readily available on Youtube, with the (unspoken) blessing of Hasbro. You may find that you enjoy it more than you’d have expected. :smiley:

Well, Craig McCracken (who created PPG) is married to Lauren Faust (My Little Pony). Lauren Faust also did Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.

She was a storyboard artist for PPG, which no doubt accounts for some visual similarities and a few sight-gags.

Has anyone mentioned the music? The musical numbers are part of what drew me in. They don’t do music often - but when they do, it’s clever, and good. (There’s one entire number that’s a rewrite of a song from ‘Sunday in the Park With George’. Yes, they borrowed from Sondheim - and they did it very, very well.

They also do a lot of visual tributes to older animation - there’s a whole episode that’s a homage to the old Roadrunner/Coyote cartoons, for example.

I hope they bring John DeLancie/Discord back. That was fun…and oddly disquieting at points.