Three common criticisms of MLP:FIM are that it is “girly”, “gay” and/or “childish”. Here is my rebuttal to these three perceptions.
Well, there certainly isn’t a hard argument one can make against it- after all, it’s not filled with macho robots or explosions or superheroes with superpowers. Well, I guess it sort of has the last one but that is something of a stretch. For the most part, all the “girly” ness can easily be attributed to corporate meddling; after all, they weren’t trying to make a gender-neutral television show, they were targeting a specific market at the time to try to sell their wares. The difference, I think, between the earlier version and the new version (which I base on assumptions about the first version from the 80′s because there is no way in hell I’m going to be watching those, low expectations or otherwise) will likely be that this newer version basically tries to skin the limits of the limitations they put on, and some bits easily slip under the radar; whereas the earlier ones probably didn’t need limitations set at all and they (the producers/animators/etc) went to create a show designed specifically for selling the toys, possibly with very little pride in their work. Now, naturally, it’s not for everybody. The ponies themselves are usually coloured in various hues such as purple, pink, and pastels that are often associated with the female gender. A better question is why that is the case, but I digress. They are however, animated fucking beautifully; the realistic animation of their manes during movement left me flabberghasted that the bloody thing was done in flash. Having experienced the creation of flash videos and realizing just how much work it is to add some minute, and innocuous details made me feel that there was a lot of pride on the part of the creators; after all, they could have easily gotten away with just moving the symbol up and down, say, when Rainbow dash or another pegasus pony is hovering, but they took the time, in each instance, the animate their manes and tail reacting to their oscillation; same with walking, running, moving their head. I can still watch it now and notice such little nuances and am still blown away by the expertise that went into it. Yes, there are some pithy bits like the letters at the end and a few tidbits here and there, but personally I like the contrast that sort of thing can provide with my other favourite shows, compare, for example, Charles Lister from Red Dwarf With Twilight Sparkle.
Freddie Mercury was a Homosexual. That doesn’t mean Queen’s music isn’t fucking awesome, though. Well, unless you are a homophobe, I suppose. But really, I’m not really sure what this could possibly mean. I think maybe people just like the alliterative with girly so plop this in there as well with no real basis.
Now, I will contend that you MAY have something of a point here, given that the show is, obviously, intended for that demographic. But I can’t help but wonder, personally, why they would pay such close attention to little details like the manes/tails swaying in response to movement/wind/etc and so forth, when clearly their “target demographic” isn’t going to nitpick that type of thing. Again, they take pride in their work, and this extends to the writers, who try to make things appeal to nearly any audience. In particular the various puns that wouldn’t be “got” by most in the “childish “bracket, such as the “nightmare moon”/”mare in the moon” which works not only because mare is the name for a female horse but also because mare is the singular latin word for “sea” and is used to describe the patches, or “maria” of plains on the moon. Hell I didn’t even get the equine->Equestria reference at all until a few days ago. I also rather liked the exploration of the ideas of Critical Thinking in the “Bridle Gossip” episode, even if they sort of took a backwards step in that regard with “Feeling Pinkie Keen”, which is my least favourite episode, Aesop-wise. Have I personally learned anything from it? Well, aside from the fact that book titles with long, alliterative and possibly redundant names are kind of funny, no. But compared to the cartoons I would watch as a kid, I feel this one is better done. Even if the theme song isn’t as catchy as Duck Tales, it makes up for it by not being STUCK IN YOUR HEAD AT THE WORST TIMES. Like, say you are at the altar and the minister says “And do you, XXX take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife”, would you rather accidentally blurt out “DUCK TALES WOOHOO” or, “I used to wonder what love could be, until you shared it’s magic with me” etc. I mean, see, the second one might actually pass for a vow. IT COULD SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE.
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