Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony (2012) torrent download

Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony

2012

Action / Documentary

5.7

Synopsis

In 2010, producer Lauren Faust reworked the notoriously sexist My Little Pony franchise to attempt a quality TV series for both girls and their parents to enjoy, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. As it turns out, Faust succeeded beyond anyone's expectations with an acclaimed hit that also created an adult and teen male fandom no one saw coming, the Bronies. This film explores this following with a look at the franchise, the lives of particular fans around the world and the creative passions their seemingly unusual interest inspires. Although sometimes troubled by the prejudice of others, these kindred spirits enjoy a community experience both in spirit and at conventions that has a special magic all its own.

Director

Laurent Malaquais

Cast

Tara Strong
as Herself
Peter New
as Himself
Lee Tockar
as Himself
Lauren Faust
as Herself

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jeremy-hammond-4 5 /10

Well put together, but what was the point?

I am not a Brony. I have never seen an episode of My Little Pony. Before seeing this documentary I was aware of the Brony phenomenon, but was relatively removed from it. I watched 'Bronies' to try and learn a bit more about the people behind the fandom, and was hoping to find an unbiased account of Brony culture, warts and all. I think overall this documentary was successful in a few ways, but was mostly overshadowed by it's failures.

It's a very self congratulatory piece of film; plenty of discussion of the community aspect, the creativity and fun of it all, the feeling of 'fitting in,' but it's all at a very cursory glance. People say they like the morals and apply them to their lives? How about a few examples? You think the writing and animation are well done? Why not go a bit more in depth? There was very little that needed to be said by this documentary, yet we're consistently fed what feels like a party line.

If you're looking for an objective documentary, this is not it. There is superficial lip-service paid to the female fans of the series, but it comes in the form of a short musical number and one documentary subject who is never on screen without her male counterpart. For a fanbase which has taken up a decidedly masculine moniker, I'd expect some discussion of how it effects women who want to be involved. Additionally, there is no discussion of the darker sides of Brony culture, like the fan- produced My Little Pony pornography known as 'Clop.' The documentary goes so far out of its way to avoid this subject, that it actually even includes a reference to 'clop' in a musical number, but immediately changes the subject.

It feels at times like the documentary was never intended to explain Bronies to outsiders at all, but rather to be a celebratory exploration of the growth of Brony culture, to be viewed and enjoyed by Bronies themselves. This would be easily explained by the creative crew, and the Kickstarter funding. There's nothing wrong with this, but why phrase it as though it were intended for outsiders? Why even add the animated sequences with the professor teaching us about MLP history?

It's not all bad, honestly. The creator of this documentary clearly knows how to pace a film. Scenes go as long as they need to, dialogue is generally moving the film along, and overall it's quite well shot. Some of the characters are quite compelling, and the creative side of Brony culture is very well represented.

I think if there was one major takeaway from this film, it's that people who like MLP are producing a lot of content for the fan community, and that creativity is a major tenet of Brony culture. The film is very successful in conveying that there is a strong community, and a lot of creative content being produced. It's major failure though, and what causes the whole thing to fall flat is that it doesn't successfully convey why the Bronies become attached to MLP to begin with.

Reviewed by MartinHafer 5 /10

The elephant in the room

Depending on your age and background, you may well be aware of what 'Bronies' are. These are, usually, adult male fans of the recent animated My Little Pony series--a series intended for very young little girls. The folks who made the shows were surprised by this phenomenon. It seems that adult men are now its most rabid fans and have begun organizing giant conventions for My Little Pony which are every bit as big as you might find for Star Trek or Anime.

The purpose of Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony appears to be both to explain this fandom and to also normalize it as much as possible. Nice and very likable teenage and adult men are interviewed about their obsessions with these incredibly happy and sweet cartoon characters. And, the film features charming narration by John de Lancie (who does the voice for one of the characters on the show and is also adored by Star Trek fans for playing 'Q') and it also has many interviews including the show's creator as well as another one of the voice actors, Tara Strong. They all seem to agree that it's a benign obsession and the notion of these guy emulating the positive messages of the show isn't a bad thing at all--and the film does a great job in normalizing this fandom. However, it also seems to occasionally miss the proverbial elephant in the room. This is because two big problems really aren't addressed in the otherwise entertaining film. First, the women and children who like the show are almost completely ignored. Now I know that the film is about adult fans but the film says a Brony can be a man or a woman--yet not all that many women are interviewed and the focus clearly is on the guys. No young girls are interviewed. That is all very odd-- especially in light of the second problem. There is a far darker side of many of the Bronies. The Brony movement began on 4chan--a website often linked to some of the stranger, more militant folks lurking on the internet. In light of this, it isn't surprising that SOME of the Bronies have a much more sexualized view of My Little Pony and there are quite a few reports of inappropriate behaviors by some of the Bronies at conventions or on websites. Sexual harassment, an unnatural infatuation with children, anatomically correct pony pillows or fan art and emotional bullying are sometimes serious problems. Now I am not saying all or even most Bronies behave this way, but it IS a problem--one often addressed on the internet yet oddly missing from the documentary. Sites such as Ponies for Parents and Brony Stupidity (among others) point out many examples of inappropriate conduct that clearly indicate that not all Bronies are as nice and benign as the ones you see in the film. Try a Google search using the terms 'My Little Pony porn' and you'll come up with tons and tons of examples of amazingly twisted fan art and porn videos. Yet, inexplicably, the film never mentions any of this. When a film ignores such obvious controversies, it becomes, in a way, more like propaganda than a documentary--the big reason why I felt a little uncomfortable watching this otherwise well made movie. Watch if it you want--just be aware that there is far more to the fandom than you see in this film.

Reviewed by velcrohead 2 /10

If this was meant to be a defense of bronies, it didn't work

Right off the bat, I'll let you know that I am NOT a brony. I don't think there's anything wrong with a man watching "My Little Pony." I've seen one episode of "Friendship Is Magic" and the old 80's series. I get the nostalgia. I'm fine with people following it.

This documentary, however, was created with the intention of explaining bronies to non-bronies like myself, as though to somehow acquit the fandom of the negative image it has been saddled with, fairly or unfairly. This film utterly fails to meet that objective.

One would think, in order to show that bronies are just normal people like you and I, that normal people would be put front and center in this documentary. They are not. The filmmakers seemingly selected some of the most extreme bronies they could find. Basically every person focused on in this documentary is a walking, living, breathing personification of every negative brony stereotype. Without meaning to be cruel or unkind to those who featured in the movie, effeminate, basement-dwelling, autistic, pasty-skinned, doughy manchildren is all this reviewer could see.

And that's a shame, because in the group shots at Bronycon there did appear to be some relatively normal-looking people in the crowd. Perhaps in the five minutes wherein the documentary glossed over the military brony luncheon they could've actually found someone to shatter the stereotype, but even in that brief moment, they highlighted the most effete members of the group. For heavens' sake, Tara Strong was standing right there with her boobs practically hanging out and not one eye was on her chest.

If the hope was to bring bronies into the norm, perhaps the documentary shouldn't have focused on such outcasts. You have the pilot guy, who spends his days getting his life threatened because he unwisely paints a target on himself by putting pony art on his car. You have the kid who we all gave wedgies to in high school who took his PARENTS to bronycon (oh, the humiliation) and whose father, throughout the movie, looks one step away from sending the kid off to military school for de- programming. You have the agoraphobic, socially-crippled Asperger's guy from England, who, let's just face it, is a blazingly hot mess. You've got people who insist on being called by their internet screen names in real life. The list goes on, and none of them appear to be anything other than social outcasts and maladjusted losers. This is NOT how you show how normal you are.

As a non-brony, I approached this documentary hoping it would do something to dispel the overwhelmingly negative stereotype that follows the Brony sub-culture around. I hoped to gain some understanding of it. I watched it along with my wife, who had never even heard of bronies prior to viewing it, and not only did it not represent the fandom well, but it actually caused my wife to think poorly of it.

If you're a brony, you probably won't see anything wrong with the film. But be aware, if you recommend it to a non-brony as a way to make your fandom look better, you will be shooting yourself in the hoof, because this will only hurt their opinion. Vote me down if you wish. I have no hate for MLP:FIM fandom, and I think it's great you have your hobbies, but this is the way it looks to people outside the bronyhood.

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