"Is it a show for little girls, or is it meant for everyone?" This question has been debatable ever since the new MLP show, Friendship is Magic has turned into a cult following and a fandom.
Many have said that the new show was made for everyone, and others have said (including I in the past) have said it was meant for little girls.
But what if both sides are true in their own ways? What if both sides are trying to cover up about what MLP originally was? Let's take a look into history
"My Little Pony is a brand of plastic ponies produced since 1983 by the toy manufacturer Hasbro. Marketed primarily to girls, the ponies feature colorful bodies and manes and a unique symbol on one or both sides of their flanks, referred to in the two most recent generations as "cutie marks".
Following the original My Pretty Pony toy, introduced in 1981, My Little Pony was launched in 1983 and the line became popular during the 1980s. The original toy line ran from 1983 to 1995 (1992 in the US), and inspired animated specials, an animated feature length film and three animated television series."
Now let's take a look at when MLP first appeared into the media.
"Rescue at Midnight Castle, also known as Rescue from Midnight Castle and released later as Firefly's Adventure, is a 1984 animated television special based on the Hasbro toy line, My Little Pony. It was released in 1984 as a pilot of the proposed television series, and featured the voices of Sandy Duncan, and Tony Randall.
My Little Pony is an American animated television series produced by Marvel Productions and Sunbow Productions based on the My Little Pony toys released by Hasbro. The series featured as the first segment of a program called My Little Pony 'n Friends. The second segment would be an unrelated cartoon based on another Hasbro franchise - either Glo Friends, MoonDreamers or Potato Head Kids. The series debuted in September 15, 1986, a few months after the release of My Little Pony: The Movie, which had introduced the Paradise Estate and many of the series' main characters and ended in September 23, 1987. Two previous television specials were also edited into segments of My Little Pony and Friends: Rescue from Midnight Castle and Escape from Catrina."
Now let's take a look at the next cartoon, My Little Pony tales.
"My Little Pony Tales is an American animated television series produced by Graz Entertainment and Sunbow Productions, based on the My Little Pony toys by Hasbro. The series premiered on July 3, 1992 and ran through December 25, 1992, with a total of 26 episodes. The series was noted for its contrast to the previous series. While My Little Pony and Friends was generally considered an action/adventure series, My Little Pony Tales was an early example of slice of life among children's cartoons. It was also primarily geared towards older pre-adolescents, a steep deviation from the younger audiences attracted by previous incarnations of the franchise."
Now that really does say something, doesn't it? At first it was just a toy line, that turned into several animated shows and a movie, now into a new show which wanted to target pre-adolescents (9 to 14 years old), but not from full adolescents to grown ups.
On to generation three; While there may not have been any TV series in that generation, there was a lot of direct to VHS/DVD shorts and films, the oldest being A Charming Birthday (2003), and the youngest being My Little Pony: Rainbow Dash's Special Day (2009). However, there was also a 90 minute musical that released in 2006 called My Little Pony Live: The World's Biggest Tea Party. After all that, there was actually one Generation 3.5 DVD released on October 13th, 2009 (nearly 1 year before FIM's debut) titled My Little Pony: Twinkle Wish Adventure.
Now we finally move on to the current generation of MLP, #4, and towards it's new found fandom.
"My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is an animated television series produced by Hasbro Studios and DHX Media (formerly Studio B). It was premiered on October 10, 2010 on The Hub, an American television channel partly owned by Hasbro. This incarnation was created by Lauren Faust and has gained wide acclaim for its sophisticated writing and nuanced characters. As a result of these qualities, Friendship Is Magic has not only proven a major success in its intended demographics, but also gained significant followings in peripheral ones, such as teen and adult males. The show has also attracted media coverage for its fanbase, which has spawned numerous adult-themed parodies, mashups, and images, mostly outside its main target audience, especially seen on YouTube and DeviantArt.
The show has been critically praised for its humor and moral outlook. Despite the target demographic of young girls, Friendship Is Magic has, in addition, gained a large following of older viewers, predominately teenagers and young adults, largely male, who call themselves "bronies". Reasons for this unintended appreciation include Faust and her team's creative writing and characterization, the expressive Flash-based animation style, themes that older audiences can appreciate, and a reciprocal relationship between Hasbro, the creators, and the fans. Elements of the show have become part of the remix culture and have formed the basis for a variety of Internet memes."
Now into the modern fandom.
"The appreciation of the show by an older audience came as a surprise to Hasbro, Faust, and others involved with the show, but they have embraced the older fans while staying focused on the show's intended audience. Such reciprocity has included participation in fan conventions by the show's voice actors and producers, recognition of the brony fandom in official promotional material, and incorporating background characters popularized by the fans, such as the fandom-named "Derpy Hooves", into in-jokes within the show.
The show received praise from television critics and parental groups. It also found an unlikely audience in a large group of Internet users in late 2010 and early 2011. These older fans, typically males from 18 to 35, were drawn to the show's characters, stories, animation style, and influence of the show's propagation as an Internet meme. The fandom adopted the name brony (plural bronies), a portmanteau of "bro" and "pony". The fandom is considered part of a New Sincerity trend, and its technology-savvy members have created numerous works in writing, music, art, and video based on the show, and have established websites and fan conventions for the show.
Though the show had been discussed on 4chan's cartoon forum before the essay's publication, the alarmist nature of the essay led to more interest in the show, resulting in a positive response for the series for its plot, characters, and animation style. This reaction soon spread to the other boards of 4chan, where elements of the show quickly inspired recurring jokes and memes on the site. Some of these included adopting phrases from the show like "anypony", "everypony", and "nopony", instead of "anybody", "everybody", and "nobody", or jokingly stating that they watch the show for the "plot", a reference to the ponies' flanks.
The number of Friendship Is Magic posts drew attention on the site. Fans of the show defended it against various trolling attacks from other 4chan boards, leading to a temporary ban on the discussion of anything related to ponies. Christopher Poole, the founder of 4chan, briefly acknowledged the popularity of the show on the site at the 2011 South by Southwest festival. Poole has since created a dedicated board for discussion of the show and its fandom. Though the discussion of the show continued at 4chan, fans created other venues to discuss it, and the fandom spread to other Internet forums.
The adult interest in the show is comparable to that of The Powerpuff Girls, Tiny Toon Adventures, Rocko's Modern Life, Animaniacs, Phineas and Ferb, Yo Gabba Gabba!, and Spongebob Squarepants: older audiences appreciate jokes aimed at adult viewers and a sense of nostalgia for older cartoons. Many of the aforementioned shows had attracted college-aged fans who, when Friendship Is Magic was airing, would be raising children of their own. The show references works that older viewers would recognize, such as I Love Lucy, The Benny Hill Show, X-Men, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Diamond Dogs, and The Big Lebowski. Most of these fans are surprised by their fondness for the show. Shaun Scotellaro, operator of Equestria Daily, one of the main fan websites for the show, said, "Honestly, if someone were to have told me I'd be writing a pony blog seven months ago, I would have called them insane." He commented that the spread among adults was accelerated by its presence in online gaming. Further interest came from the furry community, which includes a large number of animation fans. One contributor to "The Brony Study" said that the adult fans are "a reaction to the US having been engrossed in terrorism for past ten years" in a manner similar to the Cold War, and are "tired of being afraid, tired of angst and animosity"; the show and its fandom are outlets from those strifes."
When you think about it, flame wars between bronies, anti-bronies and just trolls wouldn't be happening to often if the following also didn't happen
1: The constant posting of ponies on 4Chan
2: The newfound terms and phrases, often used in spite towards haters and trolls
3: The temporary ban on anything pony related
While I like a lot of TV show's myself, I wouldn't constantly make posts about them, especially towards places who will most likely shake their heads at it.
4Chan may have gave into it all and created their own thread for the bronies, but it doesn't mean that the flame war is over.
As you read this, several bronies (not all, but plenty enough) are still posting pony memes on unrelated places, fighting with trolls and anti-bronies, and some are still struggling to try to "open eyes" towards the people who say that everything about it was for little girls, and that doesn't deserve to be loved by males, especially the older ones.
It seems like they forgotten that even though some of their opinions and beliefs can be facepalming, everyone has a right to have their own thoughts and beliefs, whenever people will like it or not. That's why we have democracy, because people living in a democratic country have their rights to protest about anything (religion, racism, sexism, etc) as long as they don't take it too far by causing violence. And I personally don't see any mob violence towards bronies and haters happening anytime soon.
And to the people who say that it's both for little girls and for everyone: You're all wrong.
My Little Ponies original purpose may have been for little girls as a toy line and with the 1st generation of media involving MLP, but it has evolved from being targeted towards pre-adolescents to what it has become now; Everyone, including teenaged and adult males, but is still trying to retain it's original purpose to attract children to it.
Also, why I think the original 3 generations are meant for younger children/pre-adolescents is because of the following reasons;
1: The lack of inside jokes towards non-child shows and movies like in Friendship is Magic
2: The more child approving style of animation, music, structure and overall plotting
3: The different fanbase, since I never saw any teenaged to grown up MLP fans until FIM appeared
4: The fact that is started as a toy line which was promoted to children
The new show may have toys too, but it doesn't skip the other fact that FIM has a more all approving, simplistic style of animation (Adobe Flash), music and with all the hidden adult humor and inside jokes towards non-grown up things. Things in MLP may have changed, but it wasn't always meant for everyone, whenever people will want to accept it or not.
I may accept as well that it's changed, but I'm never going to say that MLP was always for everyone, and that it wasn't always for little girls. FIM may still try to attract children, but the fanbase is pretty much made of teenagers and grown men.
The other main question is this: After reading this, which side are you on? Are you with the bronies, the anti-bronies, the trolls or are you just one of those people that just doesn't care and doesn't believe the hype? The answer is up to you.
The corruption has now been exposed. Feel free to share a piece of your mind and/or criticism on this in the comment section below, and don't be afraid to be as honest as you can.
I won't take it personally, and neither should anybody else.