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Bronies Seem To Me My Latest Furry Obsession [Jan. 27th, 2013|05:03 am]
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Bronies are everywhere these days. And somehow, every time I run into them, they’re saying something that really bugs me. Usually it has something to do with how MLP is teaching them a new spirit of love and tolerance, and in the next breath they’re laying some hurtful comment on Furries.

According to the morals of the show, if the well to do ponies of Canterlot disrespect those from Ponyville, that’s a bad thing. But that’s how Bronies act when they are dismissive towards Furries. Apparently some of them haven’t really got the hang of this love and tolerance business yet.

MLP was from the beginning, and still is, a Furry institution – a major neighborhood in the great collective of Furry Fandom. And there is no way an MLP fan can go around acting like a Furry over a Furry show while disclaiming all kinship with Furries, unless he desires to be seen as delusional.

Bronies display the same persecution complex and need to be constantly on the defensive as Furries. They make exactly the same statements in defending themselves. They similarly insist on defending themselves to the point that they make a nuisance of themselves, and end up being resented for the same reasons.

The similarities between the two sub-cultures are so blatant that anyone would think, “If it walks like a Furry and talks like a Furry, it’s probably a Furry.”

Yes, one addresses a Brony as a Brony, not a Furry. Just like a lion is addressed as a lion and a leopard as a leopard. But at the end of the day they’re both cats, whether they like it or not. And the only reason for denial of their commonality is because one has no desire to love and tolerate the other.

I’d love to love and tolerate Bronies. I’d love to say, “Welcome to this world I’ve lived in all these years, I’m so glad you’re here.” But love and tolerance is a two way street. If I don’t start feeling some love and tolerance from them, I might just decide my new neighbors are too rude to bear and give up on them.

Another thing that bugs me is their dismissal of the original series as low quality stuff that’s painful to watch – saying that the characters had no personality, no character development, no faults or hang ups to overcome, and blah, blah, blah, blah.

The first two MLP specials had exceptional animation for TV cartoons in those days – hand drawn expensive animation. The stories were exceptionally dramatic and captivating. That Sea Pony song is still stuck in my head after nearly 30 years, the incidental music was orchestrated rather than synthesized, and though few would openly admit it then, boys liked that version of MLP too.

The old show could sustain a single story over 12 episodes, which is the most ideal situation for character exploration. Granted, as the old series progressed towards its end the budget was cut and the animation quality suffered, but not the stories.

I simply can’t abide the injustice of hearing this new show touted to high heaven at the expense of the old show. The new show is good only because the old show was so good. Without all the unusually heavy unspoken concepts of the old show, the new show would be just a bunch of colorful ponies with little else to make them interesting.

Just like any other long running series with its roots in a distant generation, the old episodes have to be watched with a sense of history. Fans of Superman might think the comics from the 1940’s are just so much tripe compared to what they’re introduced to today. Likewise, fans of the new Doctor Who might find the episodes of the first 5 doctors intolerably drawn out, dialogue driven and devoid of action - especially if they just picked one or two episodes to judge the worth of an elder series by, which is exactly what all these Bronies who run down the old MLP series have done.

They go on and on about how they watched the new series from the beginning straight through and slowly learned to appreciate it. Then they just randomly sample the old series and label it trash. But that’s not how you judge the worth of past art. First you take into account the age something was made in, what limitations existed at that time making things more difficult or expensive, what the standards of high quality were then, what social attitudes were at the time, where the envelop was and what in those days was pushing it.

When you watch something old with that awareness in mind, the very fact that you can see something has some age to it should add a measure of interest. And one should at least give the old show the same patience and study one gave the new show, because if one had simply sampled a couple random episodes of FIM, one would most likely have dismissed it as tripe as well.

Personally, I don’t consider myself a Brony. I was in on MLP from the very beginning. So I consider myself a fan of the franchise as a whole. I do not see the new show as something different. I see it as a continuation.

I’m pleased as punch that Flash Animation gives the show a brighter, more modern look and removes some of the old limitations. But in comparing a series done with Flash to a series done in Traditional Animation, one has to remember that somebody had to sit there and hand draw every second of that old series. I don’t want to suggest that Flash Animation isn’t just as much an art form as Traditional Animation, but in terms of the artists’ sweat that went into the two series, the old one has the new one beat hands down.

From a historical view, which I have an advantage in more than most Bronies, the old series pushed the envelope of expectations for a girl’s show just as much as the new series. That level of drama, suspense and conceptual fantasy was unheard of in a show created to promote a toy line of girl’s fashion dolls. The very idea of animal fashion dolls was a groundbreaker.

I’ve watched several Brony-made documentaries, and one thing I find disturbing is that they will spotlight an element, like the music or songs, and rattle on about how exceptionally superior it is, to the point where I get keyed up to experience something great. Heck, they build up these songs like Andrew Lloyd Webber was writing them. But the presented example will then be a letdown, because it’s not exceptional. It’s the same type of song you had in the old series, and no way is it on the level of something an adult could be expected to buy.

These Bronies seem entirely unaware that in the past cartoons had such good songs that they sometimes hit the top 40. The new MLP songs are not of that caliber. They may be good kiddie songs, but they’re still kiddie songs, just like the old series.

Then they run on and on about in jokes for older viewers and insanely wacked out comedy, like these things had never been seen in a kids’ cartoon before. And I’m just sitting here thinking no way have these guys ever seen Tiny Toons or Animaniacs.

Then they say the show does not talk down to them, but actually, the new show has boundaries on how far it can go, just like the old show. In some ways its boundaries are smaller than the old show. The old show was free to be genuinely scary if it wanted to be. You’ll never see a baddy in the new show that isn’t drawn in such a way that all sense of scariness is eliminated.

One thing you will never get from the new show is honest to goodness adult level drama. Ponies can’t do Watership Down. Ponies can’t even do The Last Unicorn. Fans can take the ponies out of their canon box and build them up to that level, even surpass it. But the franchise can not, nor should it want to.

This is something that really annoys me as an animation fan, because I’ve seen animation that really was up to the level Bronies tout the new show. And I just keep thinking, if quality is what they crave, they should be in a fandom for general animation, not obsessing to the point of ridiculousness over a show that is as good as it can be within its own required limitations.

I personally think this quality business is a lot of bull. They’re just too proud to admit they’re in love with the characters, which is the only thing that could justify this level of obsession. These characters are adorable. They were made to be loved. Why does it have to be such a shame for an adult male to admit he has a heart, and these cute little ponies have touched it?

All those years ago when I was an adult fan of the old show, I never denied that truth or made up pretentious diversions to avoid it. I loved the old characters, and I love the new. I love them in a way that only a child should be able to love cartoon characters. And I don’t mind at all if anyone would say that makes me immature, because I personally find maturity to be highly over rated.

For an adult to fall that deeply in love with My Little Pony is to be going through a second childhood, or perhaps a first childhood, if one grew up and became hardened as fast as I did. One is realizing that being a mature grown up in this world totally sucks, and one is clinging with fervent tenacity to something that’s providing relief from the horrors of adult reality. A Brony with the balls to admit that is a Brony to be respected, in my opinion. Or at least, a Brony I could relate to.

http://stitchfan.deviantart.com/art/Bronies-and-Furries-282830441
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: huskyteer
2013-01-27 10:43 am (UTC)

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Thank you for writing this. It echoes many of my own feelings, both on the bronies-dissing-furries front and the fans-of-new-cartoon-dissing-the-old-version one. I don't like MLP in any of its incarnations, but I get very riled when people compare the old Thundercats unfavourably with the new one (which doesn't seem to me to have improved significantly in terms of animation, dialogue or character).
[User Picture]From: eliki
2013-01-27 11:50 am (UTC)

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To be honest, I actually like the old Thundercats *more* than the new one. I gave up on the new one after a short while. It just didn't have the same appeal at all.
[User Picture]From: huskyteer
2013-01-27 12:05 pm (UTC)

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I gave it a bash, but to be honest by making Tygra so unlikeable they turned me off right from the start!
[User Picture]From: loganberrybunny
2013-01-28 05:11 pm (UTC)

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fans-of-new-cartoon-dissing-the-old-version

Watership Down TV series... been there, done that, etc. Much smaller fandom than MLP, but I think it's probably a good thing that I know from the "other end" what it's like to have a lot of fans of a new version of something pouring in without necessarily having seen (or read!) the earlier versions.

For what it's worth, I too prefer the original Thundercats -- by miles, actually!
[User Picture]From: nikolinni
2013-01-27 11:05 am (UTC)

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For some reason this reminds me of people who write off older video games or heck even movies because of its dated look. But when you watch a show of the past or play a game from the past, you can't look at it in modern eyes. You gotta take a step back and appreciate it for how it was in the past. And to be honest, some games age better than others, like Mega Man X on the SNES or Super Mario Bros. But then again, I percieve that it's "cool" to like the video games of old and talk about how much the new games suck. And while there is a lot of shovel ware these days or games that blow Aurora's unmentionables (Did I really make that reference?), so too did the video games of old have their share of trash. LJN, anyone, for you AVGN or NES fans?

Dismissing a series because of it's old dated look is silly at best. You'll never experience the awesome if you don't roll the whole thing. It's like judging Doom (A classic FPS that set the bar for gameplay - and violence - back in the day) because it's primitive and judging your experience solely on level one; You miss out on all the good old-school shoot'em up action, the classic 2D monster sprites, the cleverly hidden secrets, the feeling of kicking lots of ass, and the classic MIDI rock music -- on top of handing hell its ass for all eternity. So too do modern bronies who dismiss the old shows for its looks miss out on all the cool that you pointed out in your article.

Also, you're right. Bronies need to stop hating on furs, and so do furs. I've not directly partaken in any of this drama, but I've seen the same tired-and-true defenses to the series (with little mention of the characters)that you pointed out in the article. But I think the thing is that guys who like MLP are afraid of admitting it IRL because, well, people can be harsh, judgmental, non-understanding dicks. It's kinda like the reason why someone I know is afraid to come out and say "Hey, I kinda like femboys and girls and what not". And perhaps their lack of comfort with saying it IRL feeds into the internet, so they have to come up with all these reasons -- other than the characers -- for why the show is cool.

But hey, these are just my thoughts. Also, how've you been? Still feeling sick? Haven't seen you on SL these past 2 days

[User Picture]From: eliki
2013-01-27 11:49 am (UTC)

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Ah, well I *still* play SNES games. (I've played through Mr Nutz about 3 times and am working my way through it a 4th - I'm hooked. The shame.) Heck, I still goof about with old ZX Spectrum games from the early 80s, which have horrendous graphics and sound. I love 80s bands such as Ultravox, Depeche Mode, John Foxx, Human League... I love the old Thundercats cartoons, as well as shows like Dogtanian, Willy Fog, Cities of Gold, Ulysses 31, Star Fleet, Terrahawks. The animation or effects etc may well be pretty grim by todays standards, but they have good characters, storylines and ideas. So it's pretty stupid to just dismiss a massive amount of really good stuff just because it's not cutting edge. Heck, I still play the early Tomb Raider games, but they're no less fun just 'cos they don't need a multi-core CPU and a 50gb graphics card. ;)

I'm also a big fan of the new MLP show, and furry. I just think "get on with it. Watch your shows, enjoy them, discuss them among other fans. And leave other people to get on with what *they* like." We'd all be a lot happier if we just got on with it.
[User Picture]From: ungulata
2013-01-27 03:52 pm (UTC)

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You are right, when I try to sell the show to people by telling them how all the ponies have awesome personalities and quirks, their eyes just glaze over before I can finish my first sentence. But saying the the animation is slick, the voice acting is great, and a Big Name (Lauren Faust) was instrumental in rebooting the MLP franchise to the point that it attracted mainly adult male viewers and caused a riot in the underbelly of the internet (4chan), people listen.
[User Picture]From: nikolinni
2013-01-27 04:57 pm (UTC)

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Hey now, we're not saying to totally ignore the nice animation, Lauren Faust, or anything like that. We're just saying if you like the show because of the characters, well be sure to give them their time in the spotlight. After all, you can have all the awesome you want, but if the characters suck..well the show might not be as good as it could be.
[User Picture]From: ungulata
2013-01-27 08:06 pm (UTC)

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Check out Ponyville-trot.dreamwidth.org or Broniesaremagic here on LJ, click on the "picture art" tag and have a look see all the pony art. 8^)
[User Picture]From: eliki
2013-01-27 11:43 am (UTC)

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Well... I'm a relatively new fan of MLP, but I've been a fan of furry art since the early 90s, and considered myself to be a furry (in the sense of drawing art and writing stories and emailing other furry fans) since 2000. And yes, I think MLP is one of the best shows I've seen in a very long time. But I certainly wouldn't want to turn against furry because of it.

I guess I've been lucky, because a large number of furry friends are also fans of MLP. And the ones that aren't keen on it do at least have enough respect for other peoples likes and dislikes that they just say "I don't like it but I'm really glad you've found something you enjoy so much." And that's how it should be. And I haven't yet stumbled across anyone in the MLP fandom who has had a go at furry. I think that if I hadn't been a furry fan, chances are MLP probably wouldn't have appealled as much anyway. People perhaps get that little bit more from the show if they've been in the furry fandom a while, because of the things that appealled so much about furry, which then cross over.

Why do I like MLP? Similar reasons to furry - it's an escape from the crappy scumbag world we live in and the cretins that run it. It's a door back to a world where childhood still lets you believe in just a bit of magic. MLP just happens to cover some of the best parts of being a furry fan - the happier side, the magic, the bright colours, happy endings. So that certainly helps.

I'd agree, I wouldn't say the animation is "the best animation ever seen and the highest quality." I've seen some outstanding animation from Japan that knocks the socks off everything else. And Disney still knock out some decent stuff from time to time when they can drag themselves away from their 3D. But I do think MLP makes the most (and beyond) of the Flash software and it's impressive from that point of view.

Still, it does make me laugh when some furrys (and some bronies, I've no doubt at all) trot out the "we're so tolerant" line. I've been on FA since 2007. I've seen plenty of evidence to the contrary thank you, from some quarters, as anyone who dares criticise Wolfynails vile rape art will know, when he, Fleki and the various buttkissers gang up on anyone who says he has a sick attitude. And I've seen furs mocking "humans" just because they're not into furry. So there's hypocrisy and drama on both sides really. Twas ever the way.
[User Picture]From: ungulata
2013-01-27 03:40 pm (UTC)

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Oh pshaw, people are delusional as a rule. You should be old enough to have noticed that by now. 8^D You gotta love and tolerate them anyhow, otherwise it's war, because those delusions aren't going anywhere.

I was there in the 1980's watching cartoons. So much of it was damn awful, churned out by Filmation and Hanna Barbera. My go to cartoons were The Adventures of the Gummy Bears, Dungeons and Dragons and Ulysse 31. I did not have cable, so most everything I could catch on broadcast TV was unwatchable crap. In 1986 there was an animation short subject collection in the local repertory theatre called "Animation Celebration", and one of the shorts was called "Cat and Mouse" (Kirk Henderson). In that short, the cat bemoaned what had become of the art of animation, cartoons made so cheap and lousy that they were reduced static puppets with frozen grins on their faces, regardless of the dialog and action. We're talking about what was still old school animation, painted cel by cel, none of this computer generated stuff like the ballroom scene in Beauty and The Beast. I love cartoons, and I couldn't stand most of the cartoons on TV.

Bronies are in love with the characters in the show. If they were only interested in the quality or beauty of the animation, there wouldn't be frequent questions of "who is your favorite pony" and matching your personality to various canon ponies. I personally find that the animation is not that beautiful in MLP:FIM. My wallpapers are of the backgrounds, devoid of ponies, and I can think of only one candle-lit scene that was beautiful. I have framed lithographs of scenes from Bambi. In MLP:FIM, it's the fanart that's beautiful. What MLP:FIM has going for it is the ponies, smooth, complex animation, great voice acting, compelling stories and a fantasy universe with continuity. People who think that MLP:FIM either invented all that and is dipping into Know Your Meme for ideas are naive. Naiveté is not a stretch if you notice that many fans are still in their teens.

So yes, Bronies are Furries, right down to the fursuits and nerd conventions. At least at pony conventions the nuttier nerds roleplay members of the master ungulate race (superorder ungulata, need I say more? X^D) rather than *shudder* dogs and cats. -_^

Stay young and wide eyed! 8^)
[User Picture]From: nikolinni
2013-01-27 05:01 pm (UTC)

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Dungeons and Dragons! I never saw it growing up, but I found the DVD of the COMPLETE SERIES in a thrift store. It even has a D&D adventure set up with the characters from the show as PCs, and Venger can even show up in the adventure too. Heck, one of the special features is the actual final episode, with (I think) most of the cast just doing it radio drama style (so, no video or animation, just voices).
[User Picture]From: ungulata
2013-01-27 08:03 pm (UTC)

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If I had ever spotted that in a thrift store, I'd have jumped on it too!
[User Picture]From: loganberrybunny
2013-01-28 01:04 am (UTC)

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Ulysses 31! =:D That was on British TV when I was young, along with things like Mysterious Cities of Gold and Willy Fogg. All fondly remembered by Brits of a certain age (ie, mine). Just for that Ulysses reference, I shall reward you with this video -- completely worksafe; it was on Children's BBC. One of the great moments, in fact...
[User Picture]From: ungulata
2013-01-28 01:40 am (UTC)

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THAT WAS SO COOL! Thanks! Great singing!

I watched the series in French and I swear the voice acting was much better than the most of the English-language voices I heard in the intro-clip in that vid. Les Mysterieux Cités D'Or, Sebastien, Iznogood and some other cartoon involving recycling the same characters but in different times in history, were not consistently available for me to watch so I never got hooked on them. I think all of the above were France/Japan collaborations.
[User Picture]From: loganberrybunny
2013-01-28 05:08 pm (UTC)

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It's a shame Phillip Schofield didn't sing live in that clip! He could have done; a few years later, he was playing the lead in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the West End. Ah well, what might have been...
[User Picture]From: sonious
2013-01-27 06:21 pm (UTC)

A conversation I would have with one of those Bronies

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"Well I heard you like a furry show, that's kind of cool."

"Excuse me?"

"My little pony, that show with the furry horses."

"They aren't furry, they're just ponies."

"...That talk and congregate like people."

"So? They're still not furry, they're just ponies, big difference ... forget it... So, man, are you a brony?"

"Nope, I'm a fan of My Little Pony."

"That means you're a brony."

"No it doesn't, that makes me a fan of a television show called My Little Pony."

"That's a brony!"

"No, that's just a fan of My Little Pony, big difference."

"...WHAT! There is no difference."

"Sure there is, one is a fan of a television show, the other is a brony."
[User Picture]From: rabbitswift
2013-01-27 07:04 pm (UTC)

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Boy, aren't they? I'm still surprised at how popular the show has become. But I think that may be part of the problem. How many people are "fans" of My Little Pony because it's cool to be? And people have always ragged on the furry fandom. Even parts of the furry fandom do it, too. So they do that to fit in as well. I kind of suspect that, once the new show gets a few more years on it that people will start to settle down a bit and the fanbase will grow to be at least a little bit more mature. Call me overly optimistic.

I will agree that this Pony fans vs Furries is kind of silly. Personally, I don't mind if fans of MLP don't want to be part of the furry fandom as a whole. It's not up to me to say what labels or fandoms apply to someone else. But there are, at least, an awful lot of similarities between the two fandoms, and a lot of Pony fans in the broader furry fandom, so denying that there's any possible link is silly.

As for the New Show vs Old Show stuff, I suspect that will always be present. No matter how much the new show owes to the old, there will likely always be those who dismiss the older work because it's not what they like. It doesn't mean they're right to do so, and personally I think if you're going to be a fan of a particular work you ought to want to get to know its history and where it's coming from. But people are ridiculously clannish by nature, and that applies to fan bases as well. (Saying this, I will freely admit that I'm guilty of some of this, myself, as I do not care at all for the new Dr. Who series. So perhaps I have no room to talk here. But I at least made the effort not to dismiss it out of hand.)

Again, I suspect that some of this stuff will fall away when this new My Little Pony show gets a few more years on it. The fanbase will grow up a little, and those who're just there because it's cool will fall away from the next cool thing, and maybe those who stay will be the sort who can appreciate the history of things.
[User Picture]From: ungulata
2013-01-27 07:58 pm (UTC)

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I'm loving this comment! MLP fans who are posers in disguise! Oh that totally flies. LOL! We're in it for the weird looks and the embarrassment of hoofing through the blind-bags in the pink section of the toys, looking for that hidden Fluttershy. Thousands of us at "conventions", hanging in mute admiration on every word spoken by Lauren Faust and the VA's, mostly hipsters! X^D No really, I find that hilarious!

You are way over optimistic about the maturity. I go to furry conventions (WTF and CACE). WTF is just as nerd-tastic as Bronycon, just on a smaller scale. I'd say the the maturity at both venues was just about even.

I have to agree with you with the rest of what you have to say, except that when the fans move on, it might not be because they were never fans to begin with but because they got tired of it (like I got tired of The Hardy Boys long before I'd read all the books and I got tired of the local Rock radio station playing the same tunes for the last 40 years) or because they put too much stock in the drama, leading to distaste through association (aversion therapy).

So, rock on and stay hopefully optimistic! ^_^
[User Picture]From: rabbitswift
2013-01-27 08:07 pm (UTC)

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I didn't say all fans of the show were. Of course not everyone who's a fan of the show is in it just to be cool. I simply meant that there are some who are in it for the show, and some who are in it because it's the new hot thing, and as the shine wears off you'll see some people drop away.
[User Picture]From: eliki
2013-01-27 09:23 pm (UTC)

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I've no doubt at all there are fans who are into the show for its "coolness" but that's the way with literally any fandom, I'd imagine. But yes, some of those will fall away eventually and in its way, it'll probably strengthen the fandom when it leaves the fans behind that are in it for the long haul. :)

I'm a big fan of the show, and it surprised me that I took to it so quickly and so much. The reason I like furry so much is because of the creative side. (Precisely why it depresses me so much that FA has become a swirling cesspit of badly drawn porn in the last few years - finding the gems amongst it is harder than ever these days. But it wasn't always that bad.) So with the vast creative side of MLP fandom, that helped a lot. As I said in my own comment here, I like the way that some of the best aspects of furry can be seen in the MLP stories, characters and fandom.

I certainly don't like it for any "cool" reasons though, and I know Loganberry doesn't either. In my case, for right or wrong, it's helped a lot with what happened in 2011. In Logans case, it's helping a lot with his own recent bad news. Perhaps it's different here in the UK, but it doesn't really seem to have a "cool" feel as such. People just kinda get on with it here. It's popular, but no more so perhaps than any of the other kids shows that are around at the moment. :)
[User Picture]From: rabbitswift
2013-01-27 09:48 pm (UTC)

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I suppose I didn't word things clearly enough. I have a feeling that most of the people who like the show, and who are vocal about it, are genuine fans. I think that's the case with most fandoms. But I thought the discussion was largely to do with people who disliked the old show out of hand and didn't care about its role in establishing the new show, not so much who's a True Fan and who isn't. So my point was that because this show is still new and shiny, and still attracting a lot of attention from a lot of people, that this is perhaps skewing the results, as it were. That's really all I was trying to say. Of course, my perception of it is largely filtered through FA and related sites, so take that into consideration.

As for its attractiveness, I can see why it might be a nice change of pace from the usual on places like FA, and from what little I've seen of it, it seems like a really sweet, imaginative little show. I guess my surprise lies not in the fact that people like the show, but in how quickly it has risen and how quickly people outside its target demographic embraced. Which isn't to say that's a bad thing, mind. Merely unexpected.
[User Picture]From: eliki
2013-01-27 10:54 pm (UTC)

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Oh it's okay. I knew what you were trying to get across so it wasn't in any way taken as insulting. I just thought I'd mention a few of my own reasons for liking the show, and the fact that at least in the UK, it hasn't really ever gained the "this is cool" thing in the same way.

But yeah, I took it that the original discussion was mostly about the old vs the new, and furry vs MLP, etc. Ah well, things tend to wander sometimes. I do think it'll be interesting to see just what happens once the fandom does settle down totally, because things will almost certainly change to some extent, I'm sure.

It's a shame in a way that the recent documentary isn't free. I still haven't had chance to watch it, but it probably goes a long way towards trying to explain some of the phenomenon. :)
[User Picture]From: rabbitswift
2013-01-27 11:09 pm (UTC)

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Yeah, but I seem to have insulted the commenter above you, when I wasn't meaning to say anything bad at all. I might not be interested in the show, but I'm far from one of those people who gets frothing at the mouth upset about it, either.

I know it has been good for you and Logan, too, and I'm glad of that. I can't hate anything that has brought comfort and happiness to the two of you.
[User Picture]From: eliki
2013-01-27 11:27 pm (UTC)

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*Hugs* I know. I know you'd never have intended anything like that - that's just not who you are. So I know you wouldn't have intended that at all.

And thank you. It's helped in its own way, for various reasons, and I'm certainly grateful for that. :)
[User Picture]From: ungulata
2013-01-28 12:03 am (UTC)

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What? What? No worries, I'm not insulted! To insult me you are going to have to try harder! X^D I just thought you were suggesting that the brony population was way swollen with hipsters, and with the hipsters gone the fandom would shrink like the Grinch's heart in reverse. ^_^ I think you can't get much further from hip than MLP:FIM. Plastic brushable ponies are gonna weed out the pretenders something fierce. 8^D
[User Picture]From: loganberrybunny
2013-01-28 01:43 am (UTC)

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*Hugs* I saw that last sentence; thank you. =:) Really, I think the "love and tolerance" motto is more a hindrance than a help sometimes. Whatever some people may say, it's not some deep article of faith among bronies; it's tossed around quite casually, and mostly used to annoy trolls on YouTube by effectively laughing in their faces. I don't think I've ever used the phrase myself in a totally serious way.

I'm really pleased to see posts like Perri's being made, and to see all these responses, since I find the relationship between the pony and furry fandoms fascinating. My own response is down there (*points*) as it's too long to repeat here, but I think most of we pony fans simply enjoy a bit of escapist fun -- and a community that I find a pleasanter and more convivial place to be than much of FA, which is de facto Furry Central these days.
[User Picture]From: ungulata
2013-01-27 11:32 pm (UTC)

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My impression after watching the documentary is that it is mostly a tale of five or so people and their emotional journey to a brony con. One person apparently suffers from ochlophobia (fear of crowds), another might have asperger or something similar, and another is an outlier in that he drives an old mercedes where pickup trucks are the norm. The doc is a snapshot of the positive influence MLP:FIM has had on the lives of several people by facilitating comradeship and through works of charity funded by Bronies. It could probably have been about any fandom, I don't think it will tell you anything about the big bang which created the fandom.
[User Picture]From: eliki
2013-01-27 11:50 pm (UTC)

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Ahh, I see. That's fair enough. I had seen a few reviews of the documentary and what I've mostly picked up from friends is that it's very much "a feel-good documentary." They said it intentionally didn't focus on the (very very small) negative/dark side of the fandom (the .MOV videos for instance) but was more about the good side. Of course that will still certainly be really interesting to see, and I'm all for anything that's uplifting at any time! :) (I have panic attacks and a fear of crowds too, so that should be interesting viewing...)
[User Picture]From: symphonic_rp
2013-01-28 09:19 am (UTC)

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Actually, I've seen some comments that suggest some Bronies may be in it more for the sub-culture than the show. Which again mimics an aspect of Furry Fandom, as we have quite a number of furs who claim to be in it only for the socialization.
[User Picture]From: eliki
2013-01-27 09:13 pm (UTC)

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Grrrr, what IS it about that blindbag Fluttershy?! I've managed to track down all of the other 5 and so has my sister. But that Fluttershy is proving to be so darn elusive! I'm sure they'd say that all the blindbag ponies are made in equal quantities, but by heck she's a tricky one to track down for *some* reason.
[User Picture]From: ungulata
2013-01-27 11:08 pm (UTC)

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You have the numbers for Fluttershy in the blind bags, right? In Purple/wave 3 set she's #20, in the Yellow/Alicorn/wave 5 set she's again #20. In wave 4 she's transparent. I have a fan-moded Fluttershy but not yet the real McCoy. I expect to finally get her in a wave 5 box. Good luck! ^_^
[User Picture]From: eliki
2013-01-27 11:23 pm (UTC)

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No, I'd heard there was a code or numbering system, but I wasn't sure how that worked. But thanks for that, and I'll make a note of those. :) I've got the glittery transparent Fluttershy from the rainbow set too, (the same as the wave 4 bagged ones) but... well, one day we shall be victorious! :)
[User Picture]From: ungulata
2013-01-27 11:51 pm (UTC)

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Do you have any of the bags the recent blind bag ponies came in? Look along the seam in the back, it's a kind of flap that runs top to bottom of the bag, like on a bag of potato chips. On that flap, right next to a large hole for hanging the bags on a display rack, are five embossed numbers. The first, third and last numbers are the same on all the bags in the box. They're there to disguise the important numbers, the second and the fourth numbers. It's the second and fourth numbers that indicate which pony is hidden in the bag. So Fluttershy in the yellow/alicorn¹ bags should be: 72102 (that's x2x0x where x = the numbers that don't change and should be ignored). Look up blind bag pony codes (Yahoo, Google...) and you'll get pictures, numbers, the whole 9 yards. 8^)

¹ I meant pegacorn, but alicorn is pushing the real term for a winged unicorn aside in the popular vernacular.
[User Picture]From: eliki
2013-01-28 02:59 pm (UTC)

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Yes! I kept a few of the bags, and I found the embossed numbers you mentioned. I had absolutely no idea those were even there, but they're easy to find now I know where to look, thank you. :) So the key is going to be tracking down x2x0x in those bags... I did find that the local Tesco supermarket had a whole new box of wave 6 blind bags today. So I went through the lot (no doubt being watched like a hawk by the security doods) but alas, no Fluttershy. Still, I did get a very nice Mosely Orange! :)
[User Picture]From: ungulata
2013-01-28 11:19 pm (UTC)

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Mosely Orange (#11) is also on my list of ponies I'd like from Wave 6. But in wave six, Fluttershy is #02, not 20! That places her at the front of the box and more likely to be among the first to go! =8^0 Here's a Tumbler post with all the codes and pictures: http://mlpg4merch.tumblr.com/post/24157634436/g4-blind-bag-master-post
[User Picture]From: eliki
2013-01-29 01:48 pm (UTC)

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Ah, right! Then *if* I get a repeat of Mr Orange, I'll keep him safe somewhere and I'll let you know. Chances are I probably won't get another, but you never know and I'd be more than happy to keep him aside for you. :)

And thanks for that link too! I'll keep that one safe, and perhaps print out the charts so I can take them with me. I see what you mean - Fluttershy is now 02... I'll have to remember that then especially. :) I spy wave 7 bags listed too, with a Fluttershy again, but this time she looks like one of those gummy sweets. :o
[User Picture]From: loganberrybunny
2013-01-28 01:34 am (UTC)

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Someone somewhere recently said that MLP:FiM wasn't a truly great show in its own right, but that the combination of the show and its fandom was another matter. I tend to agree: it's a good show with a great fandom.

As a furry and a brony who's sometimes had doubts about both terms, I think the main reason I like FiM is simply escapism. Especially right now, when I've suffered a hugely traumatic personal experience, but also in general further back, I wanted -- maybe even needed -- something where I knew there wouldn't be blood and guts, where there would always be a happy ending, and where kindness and generosity were unashamedly celebrated and made central to success. This is that show.

I do think most FiM fans know and recognise that it's not the most technically accomplished cartoon in the world ever ever ever. Of course there's nothing to compare with the raindrops falling in "Little April Shower". It's nice to look at, and from a subjective point of view it's got nicer to look at as the seasons have gone on. I don't think hand-drawn animation taking more effort necessarily makes it better, but I don't feel it's a contest anyway.

I've watched a reasonable amount (by no means all) of the earlier generations of MLP, and the original cartoon is good fun; it's a bit like The Raccoons in certain ways. I don't like "Tales" because I can't usually stand plots like those, regardless of species. G3 is sweet in places (Minty's socks!) but dull in others. "Newborn Cuties" is the only version that I really do only watch to make fun of.

It's hard to comment on scariness boundaries since I don't know how US TV dealt with this in the 1980s/90s. FiM surely does push limits within the TV-Y sphere, but that's not the same thing, of course. Over here, The Animals of Farthing Wood was a cartoon that actually killed off a few characters on screen; it's still notable for doing that, but then we don't have TV ratings as such.

I also think the UK FiM fandom is a bit different from the American one, despite the internet's existence. We're a lot smaller, for a start. There is quite literally no merchandise aimed at older buyers in physical shops here, except for the IDW comic in bigger comic shops. And perhaps as a result, there's not really any sense of coolness about it; cultness maybe, but not coolness.

The one place I think you may be a bit harsh is with the songs. In the UK, "Bright Eyes" is the probably ultimate commercially successful cartoon song (number one for six weeks) but I absolutely believe that with sufficient exposure "Smile" could have been a top-40 single. I wouldn't really call "Find a Pet" a "kiddie song", either; it's not at all the usual cartoon song.

And this is far, far too long now. I've meant for ages to make a post myself about how my furry and brony fandoms overlap and coincide, and maybe your piece will finally push me into actually doing so!
[User Picture]From: ungulata
2013-01-28 01:59 am (UTC)

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In Canada, Treehouse broadcasts a censored version of MLP:FIM, cutting out parts where Rainbow Dash calls other ponies "loser" or "egghead". Can you believe that? Unbelievable. (This is hearsay because I have not seen the Treehouse broadcasts of MLP:FIM.)

For decades I've said that Disney broke the mold after they made Bambi, and they didn't come close to getting back into high art until Bluth and co. whacked them over the head with The Secret of NIMH and they released The Lion King. Although I think the real high-water mark was in The Rescuers Down Under where they melded 60's Rescuers style with computer animation and the reborn quality à la Lion King. Now that's art!
[User Picture]From: loganberrybunny
2013-01-28 05:06 pm (UTC)

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This clip is from Treehouse, and has "losers" muted out during "Party of One". I didn't realise "egghead" had been zapped too, though. That really is absurd!

I need to watch The Rescuers Down Under again; haven't seen it for ages. My favourite cartoon art, though, isn't actually Disney at all; it's the watercolour backdrops used for all but the opening scene of Watership Down.
[User Picture]From: zorro456
2013-01-28 05:27 am (UTC)

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I have never understood the MLP Fanatics.

I have always preferred Animaniacs.

Even my MOM was an Animaniacs fan in her 40s when I was in Europe.

Animaniacs was way smarter than MLP.
[User Picture]From: eliki
2013-01-28 02:54 pm (UTC)

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Animaniacs was way smarter than MLP.

True enough, perhaps but I never quite got the hang of that show. It always seemed to be full of in-jokes that might have meant something to Spielberg but meant zip to me. Then again I'm a knucklehead so most things go straight over my head. ;) Perhaps they were references to US stars, actors etc and since I'm in the UK, chances are that didn't help. :)
[User Picture]From: loganberrybunny
2013-01-28 05:07 pm (UTC)

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Mm, but it's all personal preference, isn't it? I watched Animaniacs a fair bit, but it never really clicked with me. MLP:FiM did. I don't like cartoons more or less according to how smart they are.