No, no – wait! Don’t leave yet!!
Yes, I know you just read the dreaded P-word, but hear me out!
Today, I’m gonna talk to y’all a bit about a new favorite series of mine, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Now, I know what you’re thinking-
Yes, I know but-
It’s for little girls.
Well, it was originally designed for them, yes, but-
I’m not interested.
But the writing is really well done and-
Ponies. For little girls. NO.
Fine. If you won’t give it a chance, fine. But what I’m trying to say is that it’s not as simple as it looks. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a reboot of the My Little Pony series that originally wanted to teach young girls about the wonders of friendship and life values.
That’s not all it is. The writing for the series is actually surprisingly well done. The characterization is detailed and well-organized, the writing is witty and entertaining, and most episodes come with a nifty little plot twist to keep it entertaining. PLUS, there’s MUSIC. Almost every episode in the series has its own song that’s short, sweet, clever, and will have you humming for the next several hours. Most of them are silly little things, much more akin to the Doctor Horrible soundtrack than something from Barney. I’ll admit that I’m actually a proud owner of a neat little torrent of the complete soundtrack for the first season! (And yes, there’s more than one season.)
For those of you who aren’t that familiar with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, lemme give you a bit of a rundown. MLP:FiM is centered around a young unicorn named Twilight Sparkle. (Don’t get scared off by the names, just bear with me.) This unicorm is a student of magic, working as an apprentice under Princess Celestia. Because she’s pretty much a total nerd and does nothing but study, Princess Celestia sends Twilight – and her pet baby dragon/assistant Spike – to a town called Ponyville, where she’s supposed to learn about friendship and generally how to interact with other people…er, ponies. While there, she meets several ponies who decide to become her friends (a horrifying concept for Twilight at the time). These ponies are Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Rarity. These six ponies, also known as the “mane six”, band together to go on adventures and learn about the values of friendship.
Now, hopefully y’all haven’t given up on me yet, because here’s where I explain why exactly that’s interesting to anyone over the age of seven. This show is ridiculously well-written. Lauren Faust, the main writer for MLP, put so much more work into the plot and the storyline than was needed for a simple story about the joys of friendship. To give you a bit more background, Faust has also helped as an animator in things like The Iron Giant and Code Name: Kids Next Door, and helped write The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. In MLP, she managed to work in wit, sarcasm, surprises, and jokes so seamlessly that an 18-year-old boy can easily watch the show with his 6-year-old sister and the two can both be entertained.
The entertainment factor of the show so greatly outweighs the albeit slightly cheesy friendship-centric storyline, that when you think about it, it’s no surprise that the teen and young adult fanbase is as big as it is. If you’re still not convinced, watch this reaction video, done by a favorite YouTuber of mine, Alex Day. He’s actually the one that ultimately convinced me to give the series a try.
All I’m really trying to say is to give MLP a chance. If you go into with an open mind and a willingness to put up with just a smidge of “What I learned about friendship today is…”, then you may be incredibly surprised to find that it’s actually a pretty entertaining piece of work. I’ll admit, up until I watched Alex’s reaction video, I didn’t understand the appeal of the show either, but I gave it a go anyway. Try it out! Each episode is only 20 minutes long. Here are the first two (One & Two) that make up the two-part pilot to the series. Take a break from studying or gaming or whatever and give them a watch. You might just surprise yourself.