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STUDIO MVD Visual
RUNNING TIME 90 minutes
- Best of B.U.C.K. (Brony convention in UK)
- Best of Galacon (German Brony convention)
Find out why watching My Little Pony makes you a better friend and happier person.
Lauren Faust, Tara Strong, John de Lancie
Through a series of interviews, you’ll meet a variety of young male My Little Pony fans and find out why the newest series has created such a strong fan base that thousands of men gather each year at Brony conventions.
Who is the ideal audience for Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony? Anyone who has ever felt judged for their hobbies. Or thought they didn’t fit the stereotype for the hobby they were involved in. Or anyone who loves pastel colors, big eyes and long hair.
Based on the low-budget DVD cover, I expected this to be a grainy, uncomfortable documentary that was mostly enjoyable for how bad the production quality was. But that is not true of Bronies at all. It starts with a series of men proudly talking about their reasons for enjoying My Little Pony episodes: the men say they smile back at the characters, that the show teaches so many good things, that the show is just amazing. These are not the most fit or fashionable men.
In the documentary, Bronies are defined as high school and college boys who enjoy watching My Little Pony. Specifically, fans enjoy the 2010 series titled My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The documentary then shows you what others might think of these fans. First it shows various Fox News segments discussing Bronies: the segments say that watching My Little Pony is one of the worst hobbies and compares it to terrorism and Bronies conventions are described as being foretold by the Book of Revelations. Then the documentary interviews various people to ask what their thoughts are about Bronies, and they are described as: gay, pedophiles, sexual deviants, weird, and creeps.
But the point of the documentary is to convince you that none of these stereotypes are really true. And I think it successfully does this. Of course at scenes of the Bronies conventions, you’ll see some of the flamboyant fans you expect, but that is not true of any of the fans profiled. While following a wide variety of fans from different parts of the world, you’ll start to wonder why you aren’t watching My Little Pony. You’ll also start to feel ashamed that you ever judged people who were fans (if you knew there was such a thing).
I assume the first profile is included to provide you with the complete opposite image of what you thought a Brony would be. Alex Tibcken lives in a small rural town and drives an old Mercedes because he, “doesn’t see the fun in competing with the rednecks by driving a big truck.” He buys his My Little Pony merchandise at the local Walmart and says that he became a fan of the show after watching an internet video collaboration and that My Little Pony gives him something to look forward to.
Other Bronie profiles include a young 13-ish boy who loves how accepting the My Little Pony community is and whose dad describes him as an excellent target shooter . There’s also a musician in Israel who creates electronic music based on My Little Pony episodes. And a young adult with Asperger’s whose mother feels one of the My Little Pony characters displays similar emotional traits as her son, and a man from the Netherlands who creates laser shows with My Little Pony animation.
Throughout the documentary, a point is made to show the traditionally masculine traits of fans, including an artist who used to draw military vehicles, the boy who’s a good marksman, and the young adult who likes working on his classic Mercedes.
The documentary also includes interviews with significant My Little Pony contributors. You’ll learn more about Lauren Faust, the creator of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series. The woman who voices Twilight Sparkle, Tara Strong, is also featured, and it probably comes as no surprise that she looks like an animated character with her giant eyes, exaggerated makeup, long pony-like hair and cutesy big eyes/wide forehead. She also has oversized breasts, but I’m not sure if that’s really a My Little Pony trait.
John de Lancie also shows up at one of the Bronies conventions. Most well-known for playing Q in Star Trek: TNG, de Lancie is the voice of Discord in the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series. He discusses his thoughts about the series and in the documentary, he goes to a lunch for Brony military service members where they describe why they’re fans and explain that exposing yourself to the “feminine” elements of harmony and kindness do not make you gay, and that My Little Pony values correspond to military values
The grand finale of the documentary shows various Brony conventions where fans can share their admiration. You’ll get to hear the music inspired by episodes and see a laser show featuring favorite characters.
One final note: just as fascinating as this documentary is the producer’s real life story. When I first read it on IMDb, I thought it was a joke. Laurent Malaquais was abducted by his father and lived under an assumed identity until he was 16. His first feature length documentary film was about living underground with his father. It looks like I’ll be watching more Laurent Malaquais documentaries.
The special features are just an extension of the documentary – showing more of specific Brony conventions.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars