Not that I’m going anywhere anytime soon, but I wanted all this on the record.
Or at least don’t assume too much about them. I caught this banner last night on Equestria Daily:
I can just see Rarity turning up her nose at such mundane morsels.
I admit up front that seeing My Little Pony: Equestria Girls was not a priority with me: I didn’t make the trek to Stillwater, the only place in the state where it actually played theatrically, and while I’d pre-ordered the DVD, which arrived last Tuesday, I didn’t watch it until the following Sunday. (Let it be said that this dawdling tactic is not at all unprecedented.) And besides, the basic premise and I did not get along: if I wanted to watch a cartoon about teenage girls, I’d go hunt up reruns of Daria or something.
That said, I must admit, the deponification of ponies went far better than I’d anticipated. I could argue that all these girls — and all but a couple of the boys — looked like they weren’t getting much for lunch, a cafeteria scene to the contrary notwithstanding, and besides, I’ve already seen Mean Girls; but for the most part, the story holds up, the characterizations make sense, and the songs, in MLP:FiM fashion, are ridiculously catchy, even the one I’d vowed to hate. (That would be, um, this one.) My inner 9-year-old girl pronounced herself pleased, though I was put off by a Bonus Item on the DVD in which some Hasbro suit in an Original Penguin shirt declared that they could just as easily do, say, My Little Flounder.
Ultimately, I have to say what I said on Twitter when I’d finished watching it:
It’s like coming home and finding someone painted the house: it looks wonderful, but it’s not something I wanted done.
Season Four, with actual ponies, starts in November. This will have to do for now.
A survey of non-pony fans — I am assured that there are such — yielded these interesting conclusions:
1) Exposing people to episodes of MLP does NOT automatically turn them into Bronies or fans of MLP
2) People who MAY develop into fans DISPLAY a distinct set of characteristics that correspond to a curious, open and less traditional approach to life
To contribute a single data point: two weekends ago, I exposed someone — Future Daughter-in-Law — to an episode. (Specifically: “Call of the Cutie.”) I also pointed out where on Netflix the other 64 episodes could be found (in the obvious place), and noted that I’d actually written some fanfic.
Results: Not clear at this time, though somehow she read the entirety of The Sparkle Chronicles. Based on point 2, however, I am hopeful, if only because I’ve seen her bookshelves, and they rival mine for sheer variety.
From their 2011 Starry Night gala, Vancouver’s Shooting Star Foundation presents singer Rebecca Shoichet:
She’s also a member of SideOne, the estimable cover band:
… this band is made up of extremely talented and experienced musicians, and the sets were crafted for the sole purpose of packing a dance floor, while avoiding entirely the typical cover band cheese.
But most of the time when I hear her, it’s something like this:
Except for those last spoken words, which were spoken by, um, someone else.
Let’s face it, fighting is serious business, and we must forever remain focused on the mission. Funny stuff is right out.
Like all class patches, the Brony patch for Class 14-05, which is training at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., is unofficial and only worn during pilot training, said 1st Lt. Thomas Barger, a spokesman for the 71st Flying Training Wing.
“It was kind of a fluke,” Barger said in an email. “During a slide show presentation while previewing the different patch options, the student presenter threw the ‘My Little Pilot’ patch design into the mix as an ironic joke. That patch made it all the way through the approval process and is even more ironic since the class never really wanted it in the first place. They thought it was so off the wall that it was hilarious. They have embraced the irony and humor of the patch and in so doing have fostered closer ties with each other.”
No matter what the circumstances, you can never have too much pony.
(Sent me by a Texas reader; this also made an EqD Nightly Roundup.)
And so ends my first encounter with the My Little Pony fandom. As Mark Twain said of carrying a cat by the tail, it’s an experience you can get no other way.
Last year’s Silly Filly Con, put on by the same folks, was limited to the locals: 120 maximum, said an official. They may have doubled that this year at Midwest Brony Fest, and not just because the name is, um, less silly.
Good news: Enthusiasm was sky-high; I discovered that there is someone in the fandom older than I am. (Which, believe me, is a relief.)
News slightly less good: Attendance at the writing panels was sparse.
Total blown on merch: $23. (I tiptoed past the triple-digit plushies.) Almost half of that was spent on a print of this slightly derivative work by “braeburned”:
Well, it’s kind of Magritte-y, n’est-ce pas? (Eeyup.)
Equestria: A place of safety, friendship, and love. It has faced many threats, ranging from Changelings, Dragons, Windigoes, tyrannical Unicorn dictators, and a particularly mischievous Draconequus, but managed to defeat them all. But now Equestria faces its greatest threat ever: A gigantic tornado filled with killer sharks.
“Hurricane Fluttershy” was never like this.
So basically, we have a song James Horner wrote for the Disney film Hocus Pocus, which film he didn’t actually score — he was hired, they’d finished this one song, and then apparently he was booted in favor of John Debney.
Oh, and since it’s a song, it has words, and for some reason, a lot of people think those words were written by Edgar Allan Poe. (They weren’t.)
How this particular mishmash ended up as the background for a particularly lovely My Little Pony video is something I can’t explain, except to the extent that sooner or later, everything gets ponified.
This was done outside Hasbro and is decidedly non-canon. I don’t care. I think it’s wonderful. And as I’ve said before, the fandom is getting to the point where they could sustain the series even if Hasbro junked it.
Speaking of the fandom, I’m pretty much immersed in it this weekend, so I may be filling up a lot of space here with pony. You have been warned.
Overall, Dead Pony Flying is a story that’s not only about last requests, but hanging onto life, and observing how life continues on. Rainbow Dash brings an energy to it while imparting some contemplative thoughts in her final moments, while Scootaloo brings a determination to pay homage to her hero. The story is focused on where it needs to be: the characters, without a crowded setting that wouldn’t fit with this type of story. It’s a technically-sound story that plays around with mortality and death without being too dramatic. It’s a simple slice of life about death that abounds with an appreciation for life.
Which matters to me these days, since Dash is about sixty in this story. You know who else is about sixty? (Of course you do.)
Of all my pony tales, DPF has been arguably the best-received; I keep telling myself that it’s not because it was the shortest.
She’s one of the sweetest, kindest mares you could ever hope to know. Just the same, things can go horribly wrong:
I recently bought this vinyl figure put out by Funko. While Amazon reviews warned me of a chemical odor that lingered on in the figures of this line, I still wasn’t prepared for the dizzying wave that flooded my room when I removed the packaging. Although I’m not particularly sensitive to smells, it was enough to suggest to my paranoid mind the possibility of becoming a grotesque news item.
Such as, for instance, this one. (At least I resisted the presumably obvious “Funko” joke.)
Derpy then spent the next twelve hours or so alternately placed by an open window and shut up in a cupboard. Now that I’ve let her air out for a bit it’s not so bad.
I suspect she’s been hitting the ol’ Otis Spunkmeyer in her spare time.
Luna is best Daria.
(From an EqD Random Media roundup.)
How much of what we are is predetermined, and how much is actually up to us? Some pony-oriented speculation ensues.
Given my fondness for three-word combinations, I am surprised to find myself flabbergasted by this one, which I must admit I never expected: “Fluttershy sports bra.” This can actually be had from Hot Topic, at a price that doesn’t exactly soar, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. At the very least, it’s an acknowledgement, perhaps long overdue, that not all the MLP:FiM adult audience is guys with neckbeards, or guys trying desperately to grow neckbeards, who live in Mom’s basement.
There is, of course, only one way to top that: “Also: Derpy version.”
(Via Equestria Daily.)
What’s missing from this press release?
When Screenvision teamed up with Hasbro Studios and Shout! Factory to bring the full-length feature, My Little Pony Equestria Girls to cinemas across the U.S. and Canada beginning June 16 they had great expectations. Those expectations have been exceeded, with packed houses and numerous sell outs by exhibitors in major markets, leading partners to add more showings in both the morning as well as evening times, giving fans more opportunities to experience the film in theatres.
The distributor treated this state like the wrong side of the Everfree Forest: the film played in exactly one theater. In Stillwater, for Celestia’s sake.
And how much actual box office did EqG scare up? Nopony is saying. I’ve been checking Box Office Mojo for a couple of weeks, and I’ve come up empty. I have to assume that this is what Hasbro wanted all along.
(Via Derpy Hooves News.)
A Russian community was not amused when local pony fans took it upon themselves to give a local statue some Rainbow colors:
This is not the first time this stallion has been vandalized; two years ago, he was uprooted and left on his side.
A rare opportunity here: pony stuff and girly stuff in the same post.
Alessandra Ambrosio is a Victoria’s Secret Angel and, says Forbes, number six in earnings among all models for the 13 months ending May 2012 — and she was pregnant for nine of those months. (Son Noah was born on 7 May 2012.) She turned out Saturday for the modest Hollywood premiere of the My Little Pony movie, Equestria Girls:
She also has a four-year-old daughter named Anja, who attended the premiere with her.
If you ask me, the colossal joke about Equestria Girls, the mostly-human theatrical spinoff from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is that it’s been booked in exactly one moviehouse in the entire state. In Stillwater, for Celestia’s sake.
Not that I’m thinking the film is going to be terrible or anything. Some extraordinarily talented folks brought us MLP:FiM, and by and large they’re the same folks behind EqG. So I’d expect, at the very least, technical proficiency throughout, and several really spiffy scenes.
National media, by and large, have been hostile, as they have been for all three seasons of the television series, mostly because they profess to be horrified that there is an audience for it outside the target market, by which they mean, um, guys. They’ll forgive the adult women in the fandom, maybe, but woe unto you, bearers of the Y chromosome. (I once called out Breitbart contributor Kurt Schlichter on some related point; he was apparently shocked to see such a thing in his tweetstream, but to give him credit, he kept his cool during the subsequent discussion, unlike a few of his putative acolytes.) Apart from the Hub itself, the only television source that’s generally pony-friendly is WTVY, the CBS affiliate in Dothan, Alabama; I am told that this is because there’s an actual brony on the news staff.
But nothing the ponies did in 65 episodes is quite so heinous as what their miniskirted teenage-girl counterparts do in 65 minutes, for several reasons:
- The aforementioned miniskirts;
- They’re all kind of on the thin side;
- [insert "ponies of color" joke here].
Role models, doncha know. And it’s not like the, um, girls are being slutty or anything; it’s just that We Don’t Like This.
I’m not enthusiastic about it either, for the same reason I don’t particularly want to see a version of The Tempest with an all-marmoset cast. I realize that Hasbro, knowing that MLP is one of its few reliable gold mines of late, would like to extend the brand; then again, not all brand extensions are successful or even desirable. Be assured, though, that my little ponies — it says “My” right there on the label — are, and always will be, quadrupeds.
Not quite the same as being on the road to Damascus — but perhaps more similar than you might think.