Yes, the new season of the award-winning children’s program, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is quickly approaching. I can’t speak for the kids, but the internet is abuzz with anxious adult fans. They’re excited. They’re worried. They’re wondering if the strange mutant of a show will still have the clever humor and fun attitude without the girly-girl bullp*ss now that Lauren Faust is no longer executive producer.
As for me, I don’t really need a second season. The first season was something fun and completely unexpected. I never expected to like a show called My Little Pony. I’m not greedy when it comes to surprises. One season was enough, really. A second one would be nice, but I won’t be
too disappointed if the new season just isn’t the same.
After all, there’s always the internet, where what I call “The Pony Phenomenon”, really took off. There are a lot of fun, fun ,fun pony-centric things out there. Some of them I’ve experienced myself. Others I’ve only heard of.
Message Boards/Reaction Faces
I don’t know if this is where the girls from Ponyville started their rise to internet stardom, but it is where they became internet memes. Message boards like 4-Chan were inundated with ponies. The show’s characters had the simple design and just the right range of facial emotions to make them ripe for exploitation. Pony “reaction faces“, and signature images flooded the boards. Popular internet memes had their original pictures replaced with horses. Some of the ponies’ dialoug even became memes themselves. People complained. Nobody cared.
Not only were the ponies’ expressions perfectly exploitable, but so was the animation. The show often poked fun at pop culture, already putting the characters in familiar poses and situations, but the rest of the show featured a wide variety of footage useable for just about anything. Not surprisingly, people edited the ponies into just about everything. Pony version of 300? Check. Pony rap songs? Surprisingly well-synced. Pony scenes using the ol’ Larry David stare-down edited to feature the actual dialog from Curb Your Enthusiasm. Yup. Even official commercials featured clever pony versions of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” and Apple’s iPhone commercials.
What breakout hit children’s show attracting an unlikely followings of adult-male viewers would be complete without several websites catering to adult fans? Websites like Ponibooru and Equestria Daily hit the scene soon after the show hit the “big time”, becoming hubs for people to find the latest news, see the latest videos, talk to one another about their sick obsession and brows through horrible, horrible fan-fiction. There’s even a site counting down the days until the new season. The show’s creators even enjoy some of these sites. Equestria Daily was even featured as an “app” in the pony iPhone commercial linked above.
Fan Fiction/Fan Art
Yeah, yeah. I know. However, people seem to like writing fan fiction for some reason. Some of it might actually be passable. I’ll never admit it, but I actually came up with a fan-fiction story. I was listening to a certain song and it just popped in there. Something about the Cutie Mark Crusaders and an apocalyptic future inadvertently caused by an attempt to scry into their own future. The difference between me and everybody else is, I’m a writer, and I know better than to write it.
People also like to draw pony pictures. I’ve actually seen a few good ones and a few funny ones. Of course, most of them involve ponies slobbering over each other as some sort of sick “shipping” portrait, but what can you expect from the Internet.
The ponies pop up everywhere. I’ve seen them most often as the subjects of fan art done by reputable web comics artists, or even as subjects of the comics themselves. Recently, Derpy made an unexplained appearance in Penny Arcade. Comics like Femmegasm have done pony jokes for quite some time.
Yes, Hasbro does have a line of MLP clothing and accessories. Guess what? They’re made for little girls. For the rest of us who want to show pony pride on our sleeves, the Internet has a variety of options. There are plenty of t-shirt sites of questionable reputation out there willing to throw some ponies, catch phrases or a cutie mark in the middle of a shirt and call it good. Some of the designs aren’t half-bad. However, I prefer the simple designs of Sharkrobot.com’s Fashion is Magic line. I appreciate the subtlety of my favorite character’s mark cleverly shifted to the bottom left corner of the shirt. It makes perfect sense, and I absolutely love the idea of shirts with simple designs in non-traditional locations.