September 22nd, 2011
01:03 PM ET
Season two of The Hub Network's original series "My Little Pony Friendship is Magic" debuted last week.
The latest incarnation of Hasbro's "My Little Pony" franchise follows the adventures of unicorns Twilight Sparkle and Rarity - along with their pony friends Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy - as they gallop through life in the village of Ponyville and its outlying kingdom, Equestria.
I'm tempted to say something along the lines of: Depending on your age, "My Little Pony" is either a warm, fuzzy '80s memory or something that the children in your life are into... but back when Marquee covered "My Little Pony's" Katy Perry song parody, I got schooled by some members of a group known as bronies (as in, bro-pony).
It's true: "My Little Pony Friendship is Magic" has a large fan base of males who are mostly in their teens to early 30s. The Katy Perry parody (produced by The Hub) even mentions the bronies by name.
In the post, I (apparently mistakenly) implied that "My Little Pony" fans were mostly seven-year-old girls. Boy was I wrong! A handful of bronies went so far as to track down my e-mail address and office number and leave me messages. To the bronies, I say "thank you." You exposed me to a world I otherwise wouldn't have known existed. There are multiple web destinations for bronies, but Equestria Daily appears to be the most concise at the moment.
As Wired.com so aptly put it, "Most people over the age of, say, 20 remember 'My Little Pony' as a saccharine-smelling Hasbro toy and cartoon from the 1980s." Wired's article goes on to explain that most bronies cite excellent storytelling, clever nods to pop culture and a healthy smattering of irony as the reasons why they gravitate toward a show that wasn't originally intended for their demographic.
Heck, the bronies can even count Bill Clinton among them!
The former president aced a "My Little Pony Friendship is Magic" quiz when he was a guest on NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" in June. True story! In the interest of full disclosure, however, Clinton was asked just three multiple-choice questions, two of which had answer choices that were comically incorrect, e.g. "Q: The ponies' most powerful enemy is which of these? A) Krastos the Glue Maker B) the evil pony Nightmare Moon or C) the cynical grown-up Chester"... the answer being C.
Just last month, Stephen Colbert gave a shout-out "to all my bronies who may be watching" on "The Colbert Report."
A high school boy's physics presentation became a YouTube sensation when the student applied real-world principles of physics to explain exactly why the magical world that the ponies inhabit isn't possible. For example, he shows a scene in which a group of butterflies catches one of the ponies in mid-air and explains that this couldn't actually happen, due to the pony's mass in relation to the collective mass of the butterflies, providing charts and exact scientific data.
And for the "Throwback" portion of this week's "Throwback"... I am part of the demographic for whom "My Little Pony" means extremely hazy memories of "My Little Pony's" predecessor, "My Pretty Pony," a 10-inch toy pony that was a more organic shade (brown with blonde hair) before she was miniaturized and pastel-ized, becoming the iconic "My Little Pony" that was a huge part of my childhood.
I have fond memories of playing with my barn play set for hours, and watching the ponies' adventures with resident barn girl, Megan, on the cartoon TV show that was half "My Little Pony and Friends," half "Glo Friends." My most prized ponies were Blossom, Lemondrop and the unicorn named Moondancer.
What does "My Little Pony" mean to you?
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