Hub Television Networks. (2011). Equestria Girls . Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTPqjKk_xCo
The Hub put together this video, a parody of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”, to serve as a promotional spot for MLPFiM. It is sung by Pinkie Pie’s singing voice actress, Shannon Chan Kent, and all video clips came directly from the show, much like a fan video. It makes direct references to elements of the fandom, such as the fans calling themselves “bronies” and the love for DJ-P0N3.
The song feels like a love letter from the network to the show’s older fans. It is, effectively, an official fan video, and one that makes jokes only these fans will understand. Admittedly, it has actually caused some fans to worry that the show will change too much in season two to cater to the older fans—as many of my other sources suggest, a large portion of the show’s success is due to the focus on being a positive influence on young girls—but hopefully these worries will prove unfounded.
Faust, L. (Producer). (2011). My Little Pony Friendship is Magic [Television series]. Vancouver: Studio B Productions.
A young unicorn, Twilight Sparkle, learns about the magic of friendship through various adventures and hijinks with her friends in Ponyville over one season of twenty-six episodes. Her friends—including Applejack, a farmer; Rainbow Dash, an athlete; Rarity, a fashion designer; Pinkie Pie, a pastry chef and thrower of parties; and Fluttershy, the overly-shy local version of a veterinarian, help to bring Twilight out of her intellectual shell. The lessons she learns are generally presented as letters to her mentor, Princess Celestia, at the end of each episode.
As virtually every other work presented here suggests, MLPFiM is a bright, colorful show, aimed at girls around the six- to eight-year old range. However, for all the reasons presented elsewhere in this blog, it’s eminently watchable by those of all ages and genders. It is certainly not the deepest, most intellectual show out there, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of the most fun.
Faust, L. (2010, December 24). My little non-homophobic, non-racist, non-smart-shaming pony: A rebuttal [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2010/12/24/my-little-non-homophobic-non-racist-non-smart-shaming-pony-a-rebuttal/
Ms. Faust rebuts a previous article on the Ms. blog regarding the alleged negative messages in MLPFiM by discussing how her childhood experiences led her to her current opinions, giving specific refutations to points raised in the previous article, and listing the messages she intended to convey with the show. In particular, while Faust played with My Little Pony toys (among others) in her youth, she didn’t enjoy the actual show from the ’80s: she felt the characters were largely indistinguishable.
Faust’s frustration with typical animation targeting girls has paid off in spades. Her intended messages have not only produced a wonderful show for little girls, but also created characters which adults can enjoy and relate to. The complex characters of MLPFiM, with their diverse personalities, talents, flaws, and goals, allow for complex plots which are enjoyable by young and old alike.
Dent, S. (Speaker). (2011, June 27). Presenting My Little Pony at the Dot Conf [Video file and slideshow]. Retrieved from http://www.sabrinadent.com/2011/06/27/presenting-my-little-pony-at-the-dot-conf/
Ms. Dent opens her presentation by examining the effects that other corporations’ efforts to control their brand image through lawsuits had on the internet’s opinion of those corporations. This leads into her lesson one: “The internet hates lawyers.” She then goes on to describe what happened to create the older fanbase for MLPFiM, from 4chan to all the fanworks (lesson two: “You do not control your brand.”) before discussing Hasbro’s reaction to that fanbase. Hasbro seems to have decided to not just ignore but actively embrace the extended fanbase and their creations even to the point of creating their own parodies, such as the “Equestria Girls” video Ms. Dent played at the end of the presentation.
The marketing standpoint is an interesting one; however, it is difficult to know how well Hasbro’s apparent strategy is working from their perspective without seeing more specific sales numbers than Hasbro is willing to publicly distribute. Still, Ms. Dent does a very good job of explaining how the explosion from minor meme to major phenomenon was allowed to happen.