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Is My Little Pony Still a “Little Girls Show”?

The recent popularity of My Little Pony has resulted in a fascinating phenomenon where many, many adults are watching the show for it's own merits and not because they have kids. But why, people ask, are these adults watching a "little girl's show"? There are only two possibilities:

  1. A large segment of the population has suddenly become fascinated with inane kiddie shows.
  2. Despite common opinion, it's not a "just a kid's show".

To determine which of the two it is, it would be natural to look at the marked ratings of a show to learn more about the target audience. TV shows and movies have ratings that tell parents that they're approved for all ages (TV-Y and G respectively). But there is a huge variety of shows in this rating range:

Here are many examples of kids shows with an "All Audiences" rating.
Here are many examples of kids shows with an "All Audiences" rating.

So the given rating doesn't help us learn who the show is really for, what do we do? In my experience, evaluating the content and execution lets you quickly sort shows into one of three categories:

Three Kinds of "Kid's Shows"

Baby Shows

Same characters, why is the new show so terrible?
Same characters, why is the new show so terrible?

For almost a half century, Mickey Mouse cartoons were commonly shown prior to feature movies intended for people of all age ranges. But not every Mickey cartoon is like the other. In Mickey Mouse's Clubhouse, Mickey and his friends talk to the audience, wait for them to see the problem, and encourage them to "help" (Exactly like Dora and tons of other shows like it). These shows are clearly made to entertain babies possibly up to 3 or 4 years old (depending on the kid's tolerance). Common drama elements include "On no, my car is stuck" or "I lost my balloon; help me get it back!".

Kid Shows

When children grow older than about 3, they leave baby and toddler status and become what most would consider "kids". During this exciting age range, you're unlikely to enjoy baby shows anymore, but there are plenty of great shows to replace it. For instance, my kids enjoy watching Littlest Pet Shop, Bakugan, Adventure Time, Spongebob, Barbie, Care Bears and so on.

Some of my favorite cartoons from the 80's
Some of my favorite cartoons from the 80's

Even as an adult, I fondly remember Saturday Morning cartoons consisting of colorful characters and magical worlds. But even though I was certain I would never outgrow my favorite shows, time proved otherwise. So what happened?

Eventually, I realized several things:

Now certainly there are a number of animations targeted towards teens and older that solve many of these issues. Some are raunchy toilet humor and violence (Aqua Teen Hunger Force), while others are brilliant satire (Robot Chicken), and others still make poignant social and political commentary (South Park). But even some kids shows solve these problems and transcend age ranges without being "adult only".

Shows for all Ages

Consider most major animated film releases. Movies like "The Lion King" and "Toy Story 3" are rated G because they were specifically designed to appeal to little kids, but they were ALSO designed to appeal to older audiences. They feature themes such as murder, betrayal, emotional trauma, the pain of growing up, responsibility, etc.

Long live the king...
Long live the king...

As for TV shows, example like Spongebob and Fairly Oddparents can have real issues like struggling for validation, striving for meaning in your life, the pain of working a job you hate, and facing the consequences of your bad decisions.

A sublime visual representation of living a dead-end life.
A sublime visual representation of living a dead-end life.
When an adult tells you they're watching animated movies or TV, almost without exception it's because the animation includes adult themes and humor.

Where Does My Little Pony Fit?

Until recently, this was a really easy to answer question. There have been many iterations and reboots of the show, but each was the same: bad animation, bad voice acting, stupid plots, and a lot of giggling and "girl problems"; their outfit was stained, they weren't invited to the party, they argued over who gets to be "princess of the ball", etc.

It's history is one of the reasons that Lauren Faust, the recent version's creator, was hesitant to get involved with the franchise.

I was extremely skeptical at first about taking the job. … On TV, though, I couldn’t tell one girl character from another and they just had endless tea parties, giggled over nothing and defeated villains by either sharing with them or crying–which miraculously inspired the villain to turn nice. Even to my 7-year-old self, these shows made no sense and couldn’t keep my interest. No wonder the boys at school laughed at my Rainbow Unicorn Trapper Keeper.
The previous generation of MLP: Poor animation, bland design, bad voice acting... pretty typical of a girl's show
The previous generation of MLP: Poor animation, bland design, bad voice acting... pretty typical of a girl's show

Lauren Faust is a self-described feminist who has worked to bring better female role-models into her work over the last 16 years.

Cartoons for girls don’t have to be a puddle of smooshy, cutesy-wootsy, goody-two-shoeness. Girls like stories with real conflict; girls are smart enough to understand complex plots; girls aren’t as easily frightened as everyone seems to think. Girls are complex human beings, and they can be brave, strong, kind and independent–but they can also be uncertain, awkward, silly, arrogant or stubborn. They shouldn't have to succumb to pressure to be perfect.

In other words, what we typically think when we hear "girl's shows" is just one kind of girl; the frilly, vain, wants-to-be-a-princess image that Disney, Mattel, and even Hasbro themselves have been promoting and supporting for decades. But Hasbro gave Lauren a vast amount of creative freedom to make this show fit her ideals.

“Saying something is ‘for girls’ or ‘girly’ is usually equated with being not worthwhile, being stupid.” - Lauren Faust, Feminist animator and creator of MLP FiM

She brought together a dream team of animators, voice actors, and musical directors to break the stereotypes and make a show where:

So What's the Verdict?

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (MLP:FiM) comes from a long legacy of frilly girly nonsense shows that your average adult (or male of almost any age) can barely tolerate to watch and everyone knows it. But the new version is the work a talented and experienced team led by a woman who has spent her entire career trying to sever the "girly = stupid and vapid" linkage.

Therefore, MLP:FiM IS a girl's show in the sense that it's targeted towards girls, but not in the sense that it's a completely different animal than what people usually consider a girl's cartoon.

But is it a "kid's show" as people constantly claim? Here's Lauren Faust's own words on the subject:

By design, MLP:FiM is a show for all ages; just like many other cartoons adults still enjoy (Anime, Spongebob, etc) and all the blockbuster animated films.

Conclusion: It's hardly surprising that adult males will watch a show that was specifically designed to appeal to adults of both sexes. The real shock is that the design team were so incredibly successful at making the My Little Pony franchise worth watching.

Adult Themes and Pop Culture References in MLP:FiM

For fun and because I find it useful having a list handy, here are some of the jokes or asides placed in the show for adults:

Spiked Punch
Spiked Punch
The Big Lewbowski
The Big Lewbowski
Star Wars
Star Wars
Funerals
Funerals
Fainting Goats
Fainting Goats
Cancer
Cancer
Steroids
Steroids
Silent film villains
Silent film villains
James Bond
James Bond
Clockwork Orange
Clockwork Orange
Anxiety
Anxiety
Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Insanity
Insanity
Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland
Comedy Clubs
Comedy Clubs
Lord of the Rings
Lord of the Rings
OCD
OCD
Drug Addiction
Drug Addiction
Q from Star Trek
Q from Star Trek
Cheating and sportsmanship
Cheating and sportsmanship
Tribbles from Star Trek
Tribbles from Star Trek
Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones
Top Gun
Top Gun
Metal Gear
Metal Gear
Immortality
Immortality
I Love Lucy
I Love Lucy
Slavery
Slavery
To date, this is the single best summary of the Brony phenomenon and why questioning the manliness of anyone who watches MLP is really kind of ridiculous: CLICK HERE

45 Comments to “Is My Little Pony Still a “Little Girls Show”?”

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I really enjoyed your article, but I just have to say, Pinkie’s bowler hat is supposed to represent Dr. Watson from Sherlock Holmes.
Bowler hats are not exclusive to a Clockwork Orange.

It’s not just the name of the show, it’s the entire theme of ponies, fluffy clouds, and vibrant colours. This has always been directed towards little girls. I see where you are coming from, but if these people were trying to get the attention of a more mature audience, they should have chosen a better theme.

The entire image is so off putting.

    I disagree. Adventure Time is buried in rainbows, fluffy clouds, cute little creatures… and yet it’s a show most guys could watch without batting an eye. All you need to get adult’s attention is engaging characters, an interesting story, and some good jokes now and then (which this show definitely has)

      This is only partly true. Adventure Time might seem like a show surrounded with rainbows, fluffy clouds, and cute creatures, but it also has some /huge/ and /glaring/ backstory once you watch enough of it. For example: The reason why the Ice King is the way he is, and why he’s an insane old geezer who always tries to kidnap princesses, or only wants to be with someone? …Well, I don’t want to spoil anything. Let’s just say that 2 specific episodes can easily sum it up. And, you know, MLP and Adventure Time aren’t all that different, to be honest. They both exist with cute, yet almost creepy, talking beings inhabit most of the world, where few, or no, humans exist; they both have sad backstories to the world (Luna becoming jealous of Celestia and letting that jealousy rise, and the fact that OOO is really just a new world on top of the remnants of the previous one), and they both have fairly happy strokes to them that tend to seem a little girly: Adventure Time with its seldom romantics, and the fact that Equestria is filled with technicolor ponies that have magical deformities that allow them to have advanced sentience and ability.

      Absolutely.

Adult references are there to make watching something tolerable for the parents that are watching it with their kids. They aren’t enough to get adults to seek out a series and become fans. I agree that there’s something special and MLP:FiM for it to have such a big adult following while still nominally being a kids’ show, but it’s pretty obvious that it’s not the “adult references” that do it.

Chakat Firepaw says:

A slight correction about the earlier versions of MLP: While most of it was a stereotypical little girls show, the earliest bits had more in common with FiM.

The original pilot, “Rescue at Midnight Castle”, is a piece of nightmare fuel often described as “My Little Ponies v/s Satan.” However, the 1980s MLP has the unfortunate problem of having jumped the shark in the pilot.

    True, though there are significant differences in level. Also in considering the target audience of haters or doubters, I will speak from their perspective which will likely be that there has never been value in the show.

This is a very thorough, informative article; even more so to me because of the sociology classes I’ve been taking recently. The issue of traditional gender roles (e.g. “men’s work” vs. “women’s work” or what’s considered “masculine” or “feminine”) and gender socialization (the way parents, teachers, peers, and others encourage gender separation and “proper masculine/feminine” behaviors for boys/girls respectively) immediately raised My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic flags for me, mainly because I have an elementary school-age brother who adores the show as much as my even younger sister and I do, if not more, and our father routinely tries to convince my brother that it’s “a little girl’s show” and that he’d be teased and bullied at school if his peers knew he liked MLP:FIM. What’s really disheartening is that, last Christmas, my sister received all of the “mane six” (except Fluttershy) and a Princess Cadence, but even though my brother had asked for MLP toys as well, he didn’t get any. (My sister was nice enough to give him her extra Rarity afterward.)

It’s so frustrating. I have friends my age and older who are Bronies, and I’ve never seen them teased for it. I completely agree with your assessment of the “little girls’ show” issue.

(And just between us, OH MY GOSH, Discord was Q?!?! That explains why he was my favorite villain. I hadn’t watched the Star Trek episodes featuring Q when Discord was first introduced on the show, but now, it just makes him even more awesome!)

    Yup! Jon DeLancie voiced Discord and the fandom collectively squeed.

    As for your brother, I would say support him in his fandom by including him and reminding him that it’s ok. Your Dad is right that he should be super open about it and such or he probably will get teased or worse, but that depends on how old he is and how savvy he is (if he’s popular, he could get away with it). That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be a fan.

    If necessary, share this page and maybe my “why I’m a brony” page with your Dad if he really has a problem with it. I’m also willing to chat with him in e-mail if he’s curious about it as my four kids (one of whom is a boy) all watch the show with me.

    I squeed when I heard he would be voiced by Q! I loved him when I was a kid and I think they could not have a cast a better actor for Discord.

I think the image of Poundcake on the ceiling is a reference to a much more adult film: Trainspotting.

LOVE IT! Great article and break down. Though I will disagree with you on Spongebob, I don’t know how adults can watch that show. *Shrug*

When I met you (lady from CC of Salem) I was excited to actually meet one of the talented people behind the fandom. While Dan and myself are Bronies,we are not the skilled ones.

I always find it funny when people call it “Gay” for men to watch because the Bronies I know are not the stereotypical males one calls gay as an insult. Including my husband who smiles like an idiot (and adorable idiot, mind you) when Pinkie Pie comes on the screen or I play smile, smile, smile.

I guess what really gets me is how much hate the Bronies get. For some reason haters are so insecure with themselves, they can’t just not like it, they have to verbally abuse those who do.

    It’s pretty crazy. If you were to consider it for a second, this has happened again and again through history. Rock music was evil in the 50’s. Then there were 80’s punks, 90’s goth, Anime fans were freaks, D&D players were satan worshippers, LARP’ers total nutjobs, and on and on.

    You know who else gets way to IN to their entertainment, dresses up, screams like a girl about it, and makes everyone else uncomfortable? Sports fans.

    Anyway, if you haven’t checked it out already, take a look at my DA account (nimaru.deviantart.com). I think you’ll like it 🙂

    Also, the computer has been awesome. Dan kicked ass on his recommendations so thank him again for me.

Not to be rude or anything but it’s based on Trainspotting (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgeDh1WCyeM) and not Poltergeist.

Person pattersun says:

“By design, MLP:FiM is a show for all ages; just like many other cartoons adults still enjoy (Anime, Spongebob, etc) and all the blockbuster animated films.”

BY design MLP:FiM is a show for all ages? I am sorry, but while that may have been its intentions the fact is that it really isn’t a show for all ages. It is still a show mainly for little girls. This has been prove countless times in the show and by actual words from top Hasbro people.

I will prove this by going after your “Adult Themes and Pop Culture References in MLP:FiM”

Here is what I will give you because for the most part you are right:

– Spiked punch
This can actually go either way because “spiked punch” doesn’t have to mean booze in the punch, but since it usually does like I said I am giving you this one.

-The big lewbowski
Not really that big of a deal though since the scene in question was only a few seconds

-James bond
Spy stuff has existed since forever. Again not really a big deal though.

-Insanity
-OCD

Here is where you are some-what wrong

-Silent film villains
Not really a adult theme or a pop culture reference. Just a reference to the days of old. It isn’t like that isn’t done a lot (see family guy)

-lord of the rings
Again not really a adult theme or pop culture reference just a small parody of a book that became a movie. This has been done plenty of times on other shows as well

-Alice in wonderland

Ditto. Quite a bit

-star wars

Again Ditto. Almost to death

-“Q”

Discord was like Q, but from what I can remember of Q Discord was no Q or if he was then he was like a Q light. To take a quote from Austin Powers “He was the diet coke of Q, Just one calorie not enough.”
Realistically the same can be said of Eris from Billy and Mandy.

Here is where you are COMPLETELY WRONG
-Slavery
once scene of ponies all tied together might hint at slavery, but that does’t mean it is slavery.

-Metal Gear
This is for a fact not true. Just because a character has a eye patch and a headband doesn’t mean they are the the great “Snake”.

-Top Gun
This is not proven. This was, if anything, just your basic military type deal

-Immortality
This is completely not proven. If anything all this proves is that the characters have long life spans. The show fails to explain this, so one can only guess at the age/life span of any one character of show.

In fact the long life span argument seems to be the most logical when you take in account that “granny smith” stated in a ep that “the last reunion was one hundred moons” ago. Yet when you first are introduced to Applejack when a family reunion is happening. Does that mean it was about eight years since the first episode? If so then with the current 65 episode that are out now that would mean 8 years time has happened. If that is the case then in those 8 years the characters have not changed their appearance in the slightest

-Cheating/sportsmanship
This is a theme in just about every show. Even the shows that you yourself defined as baby shows.

-Doctor Who
Not proven. This is actually a case of reading to much into something again. Just because a character has certain thing that could be considered part of another character doesn’t mean that this one or any of the other charters show are direct nods to Dr. Who. In fact the character in question was named “Time Turner”.

-Comedy Clubs
Not an adult or pop-culture reference

-Steroids
Not proven. There was no background to the character. For all we know he is just a general “meat head”.

-cancer
This isn’t proven at all since they never went into the background (no surprise there) of the character in question. There a lot of reason why the character was bald. Maybe he was bald because that was just the style he liked.
Shaved head =/ cancer

-fainting goats
I don’t see how this is a pop-culture or adult reference

-Clockwork Orange
as some one else said bowler hats aren’t exclusive to Clockwork orange in fact the episode in question was a mystery episode. The episode itself was based off of some mystery book. The bowler hat was clearly a nod to Dr. Watson or basically British detectives of that sort

-funerals
I will point out why this is wrong below

That is just what you have stated though. There is, in fact, plenty of stuff that the show COULD have included and actually SHOULD HAVE include that it has not and ultimately not include.

– Disabilities

This is a theme that show shouldn’t have any problem with. A character that is blind or can’t use a certain part of their body isn’t violent or graphic. Malcolm in the Middle had Stevie who was in a wheel chair I believe and had a speech problem. Yet Faust the creator of the show has mentioned that the character “scoot-a-loo” can not fly and will never be able to. The show, however has yet to make this known. To the average view the show would have you believing that she is just a “late bloomer” that she will fly one day.

-funerals and death in general
Death is always a touchy subject no matter what the show is, but it is also a sad yet natural fact of life. The scene you mentioned was about 4 to 5 seconds and had a song played over it. The show doesn’t want to nor will show or even mention death in any way. This is proven with the character Apple Jack. Faust again has mentioned that the reason we didn’t see Apple Jack’s parents in the reunion ep and haven’t seen them at all in the show is because they are dead. This is pretty important information that the show has once again faltered on acknowledging. Once again to the casual viewer the parents just seem to be not around. They could be hard workers or they could be off somewhere. The Apple family reunion had twice made this known with two shooting stars, but again the average view isn’t going to connect two shooting stars with the parents being dead. I know I sure didn’t come to that conclusion when I saw them.

The sad part is the a show that you would consider a “baby” show actually had no problem mentions death and they didn’t sugar coat it at all. The show in question I am talking about is Sesame Street. The human character Mr. Hooper died. The show could have said he just went away or could have slowly phased him out of the show until the children that watch show at the time of his death had grown up and stopped watching the show. They didn’t do either of that though. They actually had the a episode based around his death. The scene was very mature for a show that even you would probably consider not mature at all. I won’t lie. I never saw that scene a a kid, but when I saw the scene now as an adult I cried. They even had Big Bird go through some of the phases of acceptance. He got a bit mad that Mr. Hooper wasn’t going to be around and he even didn’t seem to believe it at first. Before he finally did understand that Mr. Hooper was gone forever and wasn’t coming back.

This is pretty sad that a show aimed specifically at teaching preschoolers number,letters, and colors can out do a show that you claim is for families and not a “baby show”. After all MLP:FiM is afraid to mention death and will even make a joke out of it (in the funeral scene characters claimed “this one is too old”) yet a show such as Sesame Street will dive right into it.

-Abandonment
Again you claim this is a family show, a show for all ages, but again for some reason certain themes or subjects still seem to be considered to taboo for said families. As I previously mentioned though, other shows have no problem. Another good example would be how Ben 10 has mentioned Stockholm syndrome, and death and this too would be considered a family show. Lauren Faust had mentioned that she had many ideas for the show that the people at Hasbro had said no to. She has ideas about a better version of the first episode that was shot down, plus some of the stuff I have mentioned before. Of all the stuff that had been shot down the greatest argument for bronies has also been shot down and shot down hard. One of Faust’s ideas was a episode where the the characters Apple Jack and Rainbow Dash are in a forest and they come across a pony that looks like a deer. The idea behind the plot of the episode was the the pony was abandoned (some what a kin to Tarzan) when he/she was young and then raised by deer. The rest of the episode would have been (probably watered down) version of nature vs nurture. Where one of the character would argue that the pony belongs with it’s own kind and the other character would argue to leave well enough alone. I will tell you now that about 50% of the hardcore zealots or “nega-bronies” as you called them would probably not be or exist if this episode had come to be. I for one would be more for the show and on the side of the bronies if even one of the aforementioned subjects were acknowledged. This episode alone would probably have made me a brony even alone.

In conclusion. You and the rest of the bronies can live in your little made up world of ponies and think the show is as great as you like to make it seem but the sad and true fact that it isn’t. Because for every point you claim as a positive for the show can be easily shot down by the show itself or by the millions of facts against it.

    You certainly put a lot of effort into your reply and I’ll try to respond briefly.

    – Just because it’s mainly for girls doesn’t mean that it’s not full of things adults enjoy. How many adults love Disney princess movies? Is that a bad thing?
    – Most of the things you say that aren’t adult references ARE things that the main audience wouldn’t understand. Hence “adult reference”.
    – The show’s creator said she designed it for parents to enjoy. At this point you can only argue that she didn’t say that or she failed to do it.
    – Sesame Street is a baby show. The fact that they once, very carefully, covered the concept of death does not change anything. They didn’t “dive in”.

    As for this: “You and the rest of the bronies can live in your little made up world of ponies and think the show is as great as you like to make it seem”

    It really would be nice if people could just let people enjoy things that they don’t. If you want to discuss the merits of my proof that it’s a show for all ages, you’re welcome to do so if you can manage to do it politely.

      Person pattersun says:

      “- Most of the things you say that aren’t adult references ARE things that the main audience wouldn’t understand. Hence “adult reference”.”

      I am sorry but this is wrong. You do realize we live in the information age right? Information is spread to people of all ages sans kids that can barely form words. While not every parent lets their kids play violent video games there is a large majority. You see this every day when you jump in a multi-player game and you hear some little kid over the mic. Most those references kids would know. I am pretty sure kids/ target audience knows what star wars is. They might not make the connections right away, but I know plenty of kids that know of star wars that are below the age of 10. Sure not EVERY reference is considered adult, but the adult references are very few. The Transpotting one, Big lewbowski, and the spiked punch might be the only real adult reference, but the rest are big enough or new enough to where little kids would know what that is. After all little kids should not have seen R rated movies by this time or at this age. Little kids would have seen Alice in wonderland or or lord of the rings.

      – The show’s creator said she designed it for parents to enjoy. At this point you can only argue that she didn’t say that or she failed to do it.

      Okay okay this is wrong. You see bronies don’t understand the difference between an actual creator and a person that remade the show. Lauren Faust didn’t “create” the show. She didn’t walk up to Hasbro’s HQ and say “Hey I have a completely original idea that has never been done before called MLP…”. MLP existed before her. She did play with the toys as a little girl. Lauren Faust just did the revamp of the show, another reason why it is usually referred to as “G4” or generation 4. As such she can’t really decide who the show is for. You are right she meant for the show to be enjoyed by parents or more specifically families, but again she has really no say who the show is for, since she doesn’t own the show. Hasbro gave her certain freedoms with the show and a guideline that she had to follow for the most part. Hasbro still owns it and they dictate who the show is for. Why do you think that even with the knowledge that the show is watched by more young men then little girls does Hasbro continue to make sure the show is still targeted to little girls. All the marketing is for little girls. If Hasbro really wanted to they could easily make the show more gender neutral and change the marketing for everyone.

      This goes back to some of my other points I said to you before. Hasbro shot down a episode because they didn’t see it as something that little girls should be worrying about. I can’t see a family having a problem with a disabled character. I think one of the people who work on the show has a disabled son. I can’t see a family writing in or threatening to sue Hasbro because death was mentioned in the show. If this was the case there should be a lot more shows that should be canceled by now. I can’t see a family freaking out over a nature vs nurture argument. None of these are graphic or violent themes that families would be horrified by. It is another sad fact of life that some times parents can’t deal with their child. “Meet the Robinsons” has a mother giving up her child in that movie and it is considered a family movie.

      It is even shown in the fact that some of the character development is stunted or completely removed/stopped. Allow me to quote a statement from another brony about the character Applejack.

      “…..And yeah, dem writers never are gonna develop Applejack, because she’s outside the role models of little girls. everyone wants to be a wise professor, the number one, the soul of the party, the successful designer, or the kind veterinarian.
      Nobody wants to be the working farmer.”

      This is a sad fact in life as well. I can’t recall any time or any instance of any girl little or otherwise claiming they want to be a hard working farmer. That isn’t to say females in general aren’t hard workers, but they want to work hard in fortune 500 companies not in the dirt.

      This once again goes back to the what I have been saying though. If the show was TRULY for for parents/Families then why is stuff that the families/parents are okay with being cut out or removed? Why isn’t Apple Jack’s Character being developed if the show isn’t meant for just little girls?

      – Sesame Street is a baby show. The fact that they once, very carefully, covered the concept of death does not change anything. They didn’t “dive in”.

      I don’t know if you have seen that scene or not, but they did dive in. Compare it to MLP. Sesame street handled it as if it was speaking to adults. As I mentioned MLP won’t and hasn’t mentioned death. The ONE funeral scene was made a joke of and didn’t last but a few seconds. Two stars passing by in the night sky also isn’t the same as covering death. The two stars could have meant anything. The targeted audience and adults aren’t going to instantly think “Two star passing by in the night sky??? OMG HER PARENTS ARE DEAD!!!”

      “As for this: “You and the rest of the bronies can live in your little made up world of ponies and think the show is as great as you like to make it seem”

      It really would be nice if people could just let people enjoy things that they don’t. If you want to discuss the merits of my proof that it’s a show for all ages, you’re welcome to do so if you can manage to do it politely.”

      I am letting you enjoy your show but I am going to correct you guys when you want to put out misinformation. I might have been a bit harsh about the way I went about it, but life is harsh there is no changing that fact.

        Wait… so your viewpoint is that because kids COULD look up all the references that the people who put them in there didn’t put them in there for adults? Wait, seriously?

        And it’s not about the movie rating, it’s about the age and obscurity of the information. What kids have seen Top Gun? Which ones know what fainting goats are? Hell, most ADULTS don’t know what fainting goats are.

        And you’re dead wrong about Faust. She rebuilt the show from scratch nearly discarding everything that has every come before. Almost nothing is the same other than the name and the fact that there are colored ponies. It was her express goal to make the show better, more real, and more family friendly. She was the creative and driving force behind the new show and wrote what she called a “pitch bible” that described in detail exactly what she wanted to do with the show which she sold Hasbro on.

          sweetPixiessmile says:

          Hi! I know I’m commenting on a long dead and buried post, but I just wanted to thank you.

          A friend of mine just pointed me on to your website on a Facebook post where another unfortunate brony was being pressured by their family to stop watching MLP; your article “Why I Am A “Brony” (a fan of “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”)” was very well reasoned and encouraged me to browse your other MLP articles.

          I just wanted to say that I applaud your (albeit absolutely ancient by internet standards of timely content) attempts to engage Person pattersun. While his (just using male pronouns since I don’t know his true gender) arguments were undermined by his dismissive and elitist attitude, his stance was further eroded, in my opinion, by his complete and utter misconception that suppositions, assumptions, conjecture and perception is not PROOF, but opinion.

          While he made some interesting and cogent points (as difficult it was to read due to his aggressive and demeaning diction), I was still unable to follow the actual gist of his argument, as it seemed to waffle between brony-bashing and MLP:FiM bashing, and failed to be convincing that MLP:FiM was DESIGNED to appeal to adults and children alike, the opening quote he took issue with in his first comment.

          I leave two quotes behind:

          “People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” – R. W. Emerson

          “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” – C. S. Lewis

          Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I’ve heard many Bronies say they’ve used your articles when talking to family and friends who censure their interest in MLP:FiM.

        Hes trying very hard to push his opinion. And it shows. Guy,they are obvious adult references.Jeremy,you forgot one very classic example that destroys pattersons argument.. the time travel episode.. Pinkie is dressed like Marty McFly…. no little girl would ever get that connection.

      Person pattersun says:

      “Wait… so your viewpoint is that because kids COULD look up all the references that the people who put them in there didn’t put them in there for adults? Wait, seriously?”

      No my viewpoint is stuff that you consider adult isn’t really adult anymore. When you have kids with the freedoms that they have now-a-days and the abilities to get in information on the fly. They can easily find out what they need to know in a matter of seconds.

      “And it’s not about the movie rating, it’s about the age and obscurity of the information. What kids have seen Top Gun? Which ones know what fainting goats are? Hell, most ADULTS don’t know what fainting goats are.”

      Okay so now obscure reference = adult reference now? I don’t think it works like that. Just because something is obscure to kids (and adults as well) does’t make it instantly a “adult reference”

      As for what kids have seen top gun I am sure there are some. It is a OLD movie not a X rated one. Who is to say some father or mother isn’t a hardcore fan of top gun and doesn’t own the dvd or blueray? You can’t say that everything that doesn’t happen RIGHT NOW is a adult reference. Both you and I probably wouldn’t know about any references that were made in 1890-1920’s. Does that mean that those references aren’t meant for me or you? No. Stuff that is happening today will be the new references in the next 20 years.

      To better explain this there is a new song by the rapper Lupe Fiasco called “Old school love”. A long from that song goes like this

      “…and realize your future is somebody else’s past”

      The site Rap genius defines the line to mean this

      “Whether your life is going to be good or bad, someone else has had it before you. Often better or worse.”

      basically history repeats to some degree. It might not repeat perfectly, but the same things have happened before and will happen in the future. Yesterday’s TV/Movie/book is tomorrows reference. You can’t call everything that you know kids wouldn’t know off the top of their heads or right away “not meant for them”. Look at the old tv show “Animaniacs”. The was filled with adult references. Most kids didn’t understand them at the time. Even now when I go on youtube and see clips of the show. There are a lot that I still don’t really understand. Yet at the same time there were plenty of adult things that when the show first came it I did understand. A segment had one of the Warner’s saying “we need to look for prints” then it shows Dot hold Prince. I knew at the time who Prince was. That didn’t fly over my head. In 50 years from now though there aren’t going to be to many people adult or otherwise that would watch that same clip and not instantly know how Prince is though. In 90 years from now there will probably be none that see that clip and know who Prince is.

      To continue on your “top gun” thing though. I think I already pointed out the first time that there is no definite proof that that scene or , let alone, that episode was a “Top Gun” reference. It could have been just your basic military thing. Not everything in that show is a reference. Unless you have something from the writers of the shows that says that was in fact a top gun thing.

      “And you’re dead wrong about Faust. She rebuilt the show from scratch nearly discarding everything that has every come before. Almost nothing is the same other than the name and the fact that there are colored ponies. It was her express goal to make the show better, more real, and more family friendly. She was the creative and driving force behind the new show and wrote what she called a “pitch bible” that described in detail exactly what she wanted to do with the show which she sold Hasbro on.”

      No my good sir you are the wrong one. As I mentioned before this was her goal. YES, but she still had a guide line that she had to follow. I had already pointed out multiple times that a lot of her “family friendly” ideas were thrown out. Hasbro still wanted and still does want it to be what they want it to be.

      The truth is though that most of what you call “baby shows” are just as family friendly if not more so. If you ever watch enough of PBS or Nick Jr Or Playhouse Disney they usually have a small advert that says something along the lines of “These shows are to be watched with your parents to help kids learn and play together”.

      I once again bring up sesame street. They have recently added a puppet that is poverty-stricken. This one put in there because of the recession there are a lot of families that are going through hard times. The Afrian sesame Street has a puppet with aids. The only reason why the american one does have this puppet is because aids isn’t a big over here as it is in Africa. Will these theme or problems ever be presented in the so called “family friendly” My little pony that Faust spent so much time on to make family friendly? I seriously doubt that. In fact I thing most if not all characters on the show are pretty well off. They might not be rich but they aren’t making cut backs or talking about how they might have to go with out something this time because they don’t have the money or “bits” to buy it.

Jtag diagnostic: For best performance, put a 'no_image.gif' generic image for missing images in your root graphics folder

[…] ago, The Geek Professor wrote another post of many arguing that the description of FiM as a “kids’ show” is inaccurate.  A few […]

UltimateTwilightSparkleFan says:

Yeah,this article is true.It’s not for kids.I mean,why would a kids show even have violence on it?MLP FIM Is an all ages show!Oh yeah,there are some rumours that say mlp is a anime.Can you write about that rumour?I’m curios

StrawberryFan says:

I think that Strawberry Shortcake is a ‘Kids Show,’ not a ‘baby show’.
Being 12, I’m still a fan.

While I think Lauren Faust MEANT for MLP to entertain little girls, the show has tok many complex situations for someone of a young age to comprehend. It’s not made for little kids, but meant for them. Sure, young girls can grasp the simple concept of Twilight and her friends, but the backstory woven in between every episode is really only appropriate for teens and up.

One example is Luna’s backstory- jealousy of her sister’s reign, then battled with her sister against the Elements of Harmony and banished to the moon. Have you ever seen such emotion filled intricate stories in Sesame Street or Dora the Explorer?

Honestly…

I know, several years later now. But the show has changed, I would not recommend it for young children anymore as it has definitely become more adult orientated, which may have the side effect of it being one of the biggest jokes in history.

Ok I was a mlp fan and I’m 14 ok so I just got over that stupied kids show I only watched it for my sister because she beged after a while I hated it then started to love it there is an entire amino for mlp most of the members are in there 20s or 30s and watch it hope this helps

MLP is 4 to 11 years so it isn’t really a show for adults

Dec Browne says:

Not that I have anything against them at all, but there’s also a small Thomas the Tank Engine fandom. Check it out.

http://railfanbrony.blogspot.com.au/?m=1

I, for one, like ‘baby shows’. Do YOU believe I should kill myself?

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