A Brony Tale (2014) Script

A BRONY TALE

When I walk up, there's this big, fat, bald muscular guy.

I walk in, and he goes, "What do you want?"

I said, "I want to make an appointment to get a tattoo."

He says, "What do you want a tattoo of?"

And I said, "This," and he goes, "What is that? A puppy? A kitten?"

And, like, one guy in the back goes, "It's a pony," and I said, "I want that guy to do my tattoo."


Yee-haw!

All right then, there, here we go, now.

Yee-haw!

Welcome to Apple Acres.

Come on down and meet the family!

You got Apple Cobbler, Apple Bumpkin, Apple Turnover, Apple Pie, little Jazz, Cousin Braeburn, Big Mac, Apple Bloom, and this here is Granny Smith!

Yee-hoo!

Don't worry, Twilight, I happen to be the fastest Pegasus in the sky!

The fastest Pegasus in the sky!

The fastest Pegasus in the sky!

It's because I'm awesome.

Ba-ha-ha-ha!

I've been doing voice work For about six years now, I guess.

I graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts, and basically got picked up by an agent at this showcase that we did, and told me that he thought I would be good at voice-over work, so I went in and did a reading with him.

He was confident that my voice capabilities were there, So he started just sending me out to these auditions, and it was pretty nerve-wracking at first.

I went into a room where all these people knew each other, And I was this outsider.

I didn't really know how to, you know, manoeuvre around the microphone.

I mean, I'd had singing experience, So that was good, but yeah, I just kind of got thrown into it, and the first voice-over role was... a character called Slim Pig.

And he's just this paper-thin pig that would, like, go around the barn and get into adventures.

He was, like, a cut-out pig, but all the other animals were regular... 3D.

I don't know, it was strange.

I kind of got hired to do this little boy voice.

So Slim Pig kind of just sounded like this, "Hey, Little Chicken, do you want to go on an adventure today?"

And he was just, like, this little dude.

Because I was a role already on the show, I got to play Little Chick.

This kind of sounded like this...

"Adventure! Oh! Adventure!"

I got to play the cow.

She kind of had this, like, weird voice.

"Oh!"

"Slim Pig!

Puh-please help me!

My head is stuck in a fence!

Please help me moo-ve it!"

♪ Coconut Fred ♪

♪ Fruit Salad Island! ♪ One of my favourite roles, actually, that I ever got was this Warner Brothers cartoon called Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island, and it was the sexually confused tomato.

He didn't know if he was a fruit or a vegetable, so he was very sensitive, and he performed poetry a lot.

"What am I?

A fruit or a veggie?

Either one could give me a wedgie."

I went into the audition for the new Care Bears series, and they were looking for this new Care Bear Called Oopsy Bear, who was this little boy.

I guess they got a bunch of men to read for him, and that wasn't working out, so they got me in there, and I just kind of based him on Chris Farley, like, you know, that kind of, like, clumsy guy he plays all the time?

He'll, like, fall...

"Aw, I'm re-really sorry.

I didn't mean to mess up the thunderbolt coaster.

Sorry."

I got to play...

Boris Bootie.

He was on this show called Ricky Sprocket.

It was about a show biz kid, and Boris Bootie was just an ordinary guy who really liked breakfast cereal.

And then, so I think I got kind of pigeonholed To play little boys all the time

'cause that was, like, my goto voice, Was the little boy voice.

So when I went into audition for My Little Pony, I thought it was obvious that I would read for Spike, the baby dragon.

And I was just like, "Oh, I'll just go to, you know, Do my go-to little boy voice."

Twilight!

Y-You know I love eating diamonds.

You know, he's just like this little guy.

I didn't...

I didn't end up getting cast as Spike, But I got a call-back for... not Spike, but for Applejack and Rainbow Dash.

I just ended up getting both roles, which is pretty crazy.

My job is fun.

It's cool.

It's, like, um... you know, you just get to hang out And do voices for a living.

Not too shabby.

Okay, whatever you want.

Hey! What's going on?

I'm Ashleigh.

I am, uh, at the site of a show we just played with Hey Ocean!

And I just had my first Brony encounter.

Do you have any voices for us?

Well, uh, well, I suppose that Applejack's very happy that you came out to Hey Ocean!

And Rainbow Dash Couldn't be more excited!

I need to go watch Dan Mangan now!

All right.

Peace!

Bye!

Thank you!

See ya guys!

Love you!

A Brony is a fan of the television show My Little Pony:

Friendship is Magic, and... they're usually males from the age bracket of 18 to 30, let's say.

The pervert alarm for sure went off in my head when I first heard about it.

I want to very specifically not give a shout out to my Bronies tonight.

Now a show, you're right in the middle of the normal scale.

Since the reboot of the classic

'80s cartoon debuted last fall, it's attracted a massive amount of male viewers.

Combine the words

"brother" and "pony."

The audience isn't who you might expect.

Fanboys have taken to creating pony art, posting fan videos on YouTube, and creating blogs dedicated to the show.

Weird fit demographically, but they work together.

My point is this!

Bronies have changed the definition of masculinity.

I think it's the end of...

Civilization?

What's happened is that with the spread of fast access Internet, almost the entirety of the media with the fandom Is entirely online.

It's, in a lot of senses, a brand new type of fandom.

It's this crazy phenomenon on the web, in the media...

It's kind of inexplicable, really.

What happens when a movement puts a lot of new ideas into circulation?

It, uh, doesn't really make sense.

People are inspired by the environment That surrounds them.

The Internet is a complicated idea, a set of protocols that has changed everything.

Try to realize our imaginations and the need to retreat to a world of pure fantasy.

We exist in a world of illusion.

The true nature of reality beckons from just beyond the horizon.


I got an invitation to... BronyCon.

Brony...

B-R-O-NYC-Con, in New York, which is a convention for Bronies.

It's pretty crazy.

Apparently there's a lot of these happening, although this would be the first one That I've been invited to.

"Hello!

My name is Purple Tinker, and I run BronyCon, the world's largest dedicated My Little Pony:

Friendship is Magic fan event.

We are currently in the planning stages of our next event, BronyCon, end of January.

It will be held in New York City, but something is missing...

Ms. Ashleigh Ball."

That's me!

"Would Ms. Ball do us the honour of letting us treat her like the star she is for one special weekend?"

Wow.

I guess... we'll see.


I'm a trained Harley Davidson mechanic.

I have built and can build custom motorcycles from scratch.

I can weld.

I can run a CMC machine.

I played college football.

Uh, what's the other one?

Bodyguard ranch hand for a science fiction writer, I worked as a GM glue guy a GM dealership.

On top of all that, I watch a show for little girls.

I'm known as DustyKatt in the fandom, and I'm known as the Manliest Brony in the World.

If this guy can like a girls' show for what it is, you can too.

Every character doesn't have the answers, right?

They have to go find the answers, They have to learn from their mistakes, and that's what draws me to My Little Pony, Because you have character-driven story where the characters learn something and grow.

There's six main characters in the show.

Twilight Sparkle.

Her characterization is fairly easy.

Twilight is the intellectual shut-in.

Now you have Applejack, who is the hard worker, that pony you can go to, but her problem is she can't let others help her.

Fluttershy, too shy for her own good.

That's one of her fallacies that makes her a character.

Rainbow Dash... my, what an ego!

She'll never get into the Wonderbolts, Because the Wonderbolts are a team situation.

There's no "I" in "team."

Rarity...

Element of generosity... to a fault.

She has to get over that. She has to learn from that.

And then we get to Pinkie Pie, party animal extraordinaire.

Off into left field all the time, but still, when somebody needs to be picked up, when someone is feeling sad, she's there every time.

Each individual character is so well rounded within an archetype of personality, so people can see themselves as a Rainbow Dash, a Rarity, or an Applejack.

That is the basis of excellent storytelling.

Don't think of it as six little ponies in Ponyville.

Think of it as six friends learning from each other.

It just happens to be wrapped up in a package of pastel ponies that's animated well.

This is a show for kids, but it doesn't wallow in that point.

I'm just a guy who happens to like a TV show.

I love My Little Pony.

I love what it does, I love the message it sends, and I want to be a part of it, and I want to be able to play in that universe.

We're suppose to chug beer, ride motorcycles, be degrading to women, and like explosions.

That's what's engrained in our brains from the minute you're born and put into a blue crib.

Well, I like what I like.

I don't need society to tell me what I like, and that's all there is to it.

Ei-ei-o, and here it goes!

As Twilight Sparkle would say, "We must science this immediately!"

About a year ago, the Brony Phenomenon sort of fell into our laps, and as soon as I heard about it, I thought, "Somebody needs to study this."

"Fandom" is a term that's used for the community, and in general, people usually look at fandoms with kind of a little bit of a, like, "These people need to get a life."

Well, in fact, actually, where does the term "fan" come from?

"Fanatic."

You know it could be, um, the Carolina Panthers.

It could be, um, Star Trek.

Uh, it could be My Little Pony...

Oprah.

It could be Oprah.

It could be anything.

Our Bronies ranged from 14 to 57, with the average age was around 21 years of age.

Then there's the question of gender.

We usually ran around

85% male and 15% female.

Some female Bronies like to be called Bronies, some like to be called Pegasisters.

And we question if that 15% female, how much of those are Bronies because they have a Brony boyfriend.

Hmm-hmm. Yep.

Bronies score lower in neuroticism.

Neuroticism is sort of like a tendency... and I've sort of wrote it's a tendency to experience negative emotions like anger, anxiety, to worry, to be stressed, and the Bronies have lower scores, so again, that would tend to say this is a group... now, there are going to be Depressed Bronies, and there are gonna be Anxious Bronies, But that's very positive.

Education level...

What we found was around 35% of our Bronies were in high school, while about 62% were in or had completed college.

And then one of the biggies, the sexual orientation question, which... many people when they first hear about the Bronies will say things like, "Well, is it a bunch of gays and that?"

84% of the Bronies will describe themselves as heterosexuals.

One and a half percent label themselves as homosexuals, and about 10% bisexual, and then around 3-4% asexual.

Asexual is, based on clinical experience, some people who just simply are not interested in sex.

It's still a puzzle, when I think...

It's still a puzzle.

It's a puzzle to us as well, but, um, I think that it's... that the, um, that society as a whole is becoming less negative in their attitudes toward Bronies.

My name is Mike Bernstein, and I am the broadcast director of Everfree Radio.

Everfree Radio is an online radio station and network of programs dedicated and mostly marketed towards the Brony community.

I ended up watching it because I thought, "Okay, clearly this is a phenomenon.

I have to understand why."

And I watched the first episode, and the first episode is a cliffhanger, a two-parter, so I'm like, "Okay, well, I gotta watch the second part."

You know, you gotta see how the beginning story arc ends.

And then, you know, I got to the end of the second episode.

I'm like, "Yeah, that's pretty decent.

It's okay. It's not bad.

You know, I better watch the third episode To make sure that it's, you know, maintaining that level of quality,"

And then the fourth and the fifth, and by the time I got to the 17th episode, I kind of hung my head in resignation.

It's kinda like, "Damnit."

You know?

"I guess I'm a Brony.

Oh well, better come to terms with it."

4chan is an image and message board where the Brony movement began, basically, back in...

I think it was October of 2010.

Somebody wrote an article.

They were citing My Little Pony:

Friendship Is Magic as showing that companies were micromanaging programs.

Well, new cartoon shows are all about merchandising, so somebody on 4chan went and decided to watch it and said, "Hey, it's pretty good,"

And so they made a post about it.

Other people started watching it, and they're like, "Hey, yeah, it's actually pretty good."

And it became this kind of, like, weird phenomenon.

They ended up becoming kind of like their own little clan.

So more people watched the show to try and figure out, "Okay, is this just a big joke?"

And then they started posting images on the boards, and then the moderators of 4chan decided, "No, we don't want all these pony images everywhere,"

So they shut it down, so then they start another one.

It became this whole, like, flurry of online activity.

In a sense, 4chan was the start of the Brony community.

It's the deep depths of shameless Internet.

Actually, people like to think, okay, Bronies, The name "Bronies" came from

"bros" and "ponies."

That's not where it came from.

It came from the "/b/" message boards, and "ponies."

So that's how they combined it.

It was 4chan "/b/" and "ponies," so Bronies, but I kind of like the "bro" one better because it feels a little more, you know, "Hey, bro!"

So that's just me.

So yeah, voice-over work is my job, and I just, like, love... love what I do, love that I get to be a cartoon for a living, but my main passion is music.

In Hey Ocean!

There's two other members besides myself, Dave Vertesi and Dave Beckingham.

The three of us have been doing this music thing for almost seven years now, and over the last couple months, we've been feeling the presence of the Bronies.

Bronies by the dozens have been coming to concerts.

I didn't watch the first episode and then just suddenly get drawn in or anything.

I don't wanna be mean, but, like, I don't care about My Little Pony.

♪ All we do is mess around ♪

♪ But I know that it's love ♪

♪ we've found ♪ I think it's kind of difficult for both of them, because there's this whole other fanbase that's, like, kind of latching themselves onto our music.

Yeah, it's weird, like, 30-year-old dudes liking a little kids' show about female ponies, you know, that fly or whatever, but that said, weird can be really rad and really good, and it's important.

I love people who are genuine and who are, like, "This is who I am, and that's what I like."

I like the Bronies for that.

♪ Baby ♪

♪ there's no time to waste ♪

♪ Sing until you have no voice ♪

♪ Ooh hoo whoo ooh ♪

♪ Sing ♪

♪ because you have no choice ♪

♪ Ooh whoo ooh ooh ♪ There's nothing that can compare to standing on a stage and singing with an amazing band and some of your best friends.

It's what I love more than anything, and it's the dream, for sure.

♪ Don't tell me ♪

♪ that we've come this far ♪

♪ To start again ♪

♪ or fall apart ♪

♪ Sing it ♪

♪ when you're lost at sea ♪

♪ Love will bring you ♪

♪ back to me ♪

♪ Sing until you have no voice ♪

♪ Ooh hoo whoo ooh ♪

♪ Sing ♪

♪ because you have no choice ♪

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ Our love ♪

♪ is like a big blue wave ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh ♪

I just discovered Hey Ocean!

Through finding out about Ashleigh and the other Bronies, it was like, "Oh, hey, you know, she's in a band, you know."

"Wow, really?"

So you check it out, and then you find out it's awesome.

Mandopony is sort of the persona that I developed to release music online based off of My Little Pony:

Friendship is Magic.

The show generates so much positivity, it makes so much good happen, and yet it meets such disappointing, like, venom from... so many people are so venomous towards it, and so hostile and destructive towards it.

It just disgusted me and made me so sad.

That was why I wrote the song.

♪ We're a long way ♪

♪ from Equestria ♪

♪ A long, long way ♪ I think, you know, saying we're a long way from Equestria is just a way to surmise the fact that, yeah, all things considered, we're so far from this world.

Like, the characters in the show, they learn, they forgive, they share, and they celebrate friendship and kindness instead of mocking it, and that we are so far from that, but it's getting better.

I think it's getting better.

♪ A long way from Equestria ♪

♪ A long, long way ♪

I'm just kind of trying to decide right now to go or not to go.

That is the question.

And it's just kind of at a crazy time.

Like, I'm really busy with work right now and touring with the band.

I don't know if I have the energy to go into one of these conventions.

I've heard crazy things about conventions.

For someone like me who's pretty new in the game, I might not be able to cope with it.

I don't know.

I didn't really expect to have fans, per Se, in the voice work that I do, and it's pretty crazy that I do.

I'm nervous.

I'm definitely nervous.

I've got, um...

I don't know, something about it just gives me kind of an uneasy feeling, but I'm just going to go for it.

You gotta do things that scare you in life, and I think that this is going to be a really, really weird and wonderful opportunity, so...

I'm gonna do it.

I'm gonna go to BronyCon.

BronyCon is a convention for Bronies, fans of My Little Pony:

Friendship is Magic, or any generation of My Little Pony, to come together and just share their interests... art, music, or just the best of the show itself.

There are people flying in from California, flying in from Europe, because Ashleigh Ball will be at BronyCon.

Voice actresses, in a sense, are the stars of the show, because they are the voices of the characters people love.

You know, to hear some of the Bronies Talk about Rarity... oh, they would love to meet Rarity.

The role in the community is they are the biggest celebrities.

They are the biggest draw to these conventions because people want to have that kind of, like, one on one with the closest thing there is to the characters.

I think we have near on a thousand preregistered, and we have the capability to let people pay at the door.

We're looking at basically hitting fire code limits For the convention.

Military Bronies are just people who enjoy the show And are in the military, and it can be from the extent of somebody who watches the show regularly and maybe has a few pieces of art, And other people who liked the whole thing.

That's a Mark 46 machine gun.

It's a semi auto version, but shoots 223 ammo.

My friends were making fun of me For being a Brony for years, and so I told them what could be more manly than going around with all the friends with the machine guns and all the tactical gear and everything else Than go out with Brony gear?

The definition of a man is a human male with an X and a Y chromosome.

That's it.

It's as simple as it really gets.

My name is Bryan Mischke.

I'm predominantly an artist by hobby, and everything like that has been pretty much my one and only real passion.

I have a long time history, six years of service in the National Guard, the Army National Guard, so I think that pretty much is the gist of who I am.

When I was 16, I was in school still.

I dropped out at about 16 and a half.

17, on my birthday, I joined the military.

I swore in that day my recruiter got me, and at 18, I was in Iraq.

Best allegory I can possibly use to describe Iraq, um, came recently when I saw the movie Tron, and it's very interesting, because basically, when you go out to the world of Tron, Everything is really barren, everything is really organized.

It just kind of... it feels real, but it's not real, and devoid of real, like, life.

It's just feels like that.

Everything is devoid of life. That's the desert.

It was desert for me when I was down there.

Every tough experience is only gratifying after the experience.

I guess I would say is that the last five months in Iraq was probably one of the hardest experiences I had, if not the hardest.

Actually, you know, to be honest, The hardest actually came after that.

I went through probably a really good year and a half Of a pretty deep depression after I got back from Iraq.

For some reason, I don't know why I felt this way, and I still can't put a finger on it, but I felt a tremendous amount of shame after a while, just for everything, even for the military, maybe.

I don't cry, I don't, and I just remember this one time, I just went for a walk, and so many things are going on, and I just broke down and called my mom, and I cried for, like, three minutes, and it's kind of getting me a little emotional right now, But, like, I just let it all out.

I talked about everything that was affecting me, And I don't really talk about those things.

Life was just so much simpler when you were out in the desert.

Everything was planned out for you and everything.

Now you're back in the real world trying to figure it out.

Art stopped doing for me what it used to do for me.

I just kind of stopped drawing altogether.

I didn't really see the point. It didn't really make me money.

It didn't really make me feel happy.

I didn't really feel like I had a purpose anymore In that area.

And then I discovered ponies.

I discovered a reason to draw again, Now here I am, making art again, so... don't underestimate the things that make you happy.

You know, if drawing ponies makes you happy, there is no reason to feel bad about that.

Yeah, I've been drawing this, or I guess I say I drew this drawing.

It's a pretty detailed drawing.

This drawing took me probably about a week.

It's the first drawing I've drawn in a very, very long time.

It was kind of the catalyst to me getting back into artwork after probably about a year, year and a half hiatus.

Princess Celestia is amazing.

Princess Celestia rules over the kingdom, and she raises the sun, and she is like a surrogate mother to Twilight Sparkle, which is the main character of the show.

Of all the characters on that show, that's the one I come to admire most.

She's lived a thousand years, and it feels like it.

Like, she's just kind of seen it all, and really just knows what to say at the right time.

Any adult who has really gone through it all and has been really thoughtful and really caring and everything like that Is going to be a Princess Celestia.

You know, I mean, your mother should be a Princess Celestia, In my opinion.

Nicole Oliver, which is the voice actress of Princess Celestia, is going to be doing a panel at BronyCon, and I really want to give this image to her, this drawing that I made of her character.

I think it's really important that I give it to her, because I really want her to know That she's able to change lives.

It's really important to me.

I really need her to know that and just thank her for being a part of it, and I hope it really goes over well.

My name is Phoe.

I'm a blog author, and I'm an admin on Equestria Daily, which is the major pony news blog and media hub for the fandom, for the Brony fandom.

It's basically... we do what we think people are interested in seeing.

More or less, it turns into a fan hub, because most of what we do is post things that other people make that we think are cool.

We also like to get interviews with actors and writers and directors and stuff like that, and talk to them about their experiences.

If anything happens, like if Hasbro releases a new toy Or there's an announcement, or anything at all like that, we report on it as soon as we possibly can.

Any speculations, any rumours, any, just... any news at all.

It's like a gossip column with a newspaper stuck on with a staple.

Anytime anything comes out related to the show that could produce fan work, within, like, three hours, you have, like, professionally made songs.

It's absurd, it's amazing and wonderful, and I can't get over it.

When we were first starting, we made a huge deal out of getting, like, a thousand page views, and then, like, 10,000 was like, "Oh, my gosh, amazing."

I mean, that took, like, months to hit.

And then we started climbing up, getting 100,000, 200,000... skipped over 300,000, because it was going too fast.

Got to half a mil.

And it was like, "Oh yeah, wow, we're really making it."

Then a million happened in a blink of an eye, and now we're at close to 260 something million views, and we hit a million more every month...

More than a million... like, two or three million a month, And it's just like, "Ha, remember when a thousand was a big deal?"

Like, "Yeah..."

I guess the ideal goal would just to be, like, an animation media outlet, just have it all in one place, and then sort of be the CNN of silly cartoons.


I decided that I needed a break.

I needed to get away from the city, and one of my best friends lives on Saltspring, and she invited me and a bunch of my really close friends.

I'm working a lot.

I'm doing a lot of series, I'm doing a lot of the stuff with the band, And it's important, I think, to get away from it all for a little while and just kind of escape.

Apple fritters...

Apple rhubarb pie...

Apple turnover.

I feel like I'm myself right now in the truest form.

Some people can just, like, really hone in on that.

They just, like, know you so well, they just bring you back to yourself, and it's important to have those people in your life.

My name is Stephen Carver, but I go by the name of SaberSpark online.

I have a channel on YouTube called SaberSpark, and I do top 10 lists, I do reviews, I do shows where I talk about Bronies And how they act in the fandom, and just things like that.

I am somewhat of a sociologist, and that was something I studied a lot in college, and that's where my Brony, you know, Interest really piqued.

There's a term we use in sociology Called the Pink-Blue syndrome.

When a boy or a girl is born, they are automatically given a little pink cap or a blue cap to say, "You're a boy, you're a girl."

Culture is designed around that where guys play sports, girls play with their dollhouses.

Guys are tough, girls cry.

Take, for example, My Little Ponies.

These toys have been designed to be sold to little girls.

That's the weird thing about it is guys love the show, and they want to actually buy merchandise.

You have an audience that is younger girls who still love the show, My Little Pony, And then older guys, and you have both of those people Showing up in the same aisle that's designed for little girls, so it's kind of the bizarre, you know, gender roles conflict.

Just me standing in this aisle to begin with, There might be a mom and her daughter walking by and look down this aisle and see an older guy looking through pony toys.

It's programmed in their mind to jump to the worst case scenario, which might be, you know, "Oh, he's a pedophile," or, "He's a big ol' manchild," or, "Something's wrong with him."

The fact that boys are becoming more brave and go into the pink aisle buying pony toys is a sign that they're not afraid to say That, "Hey, I'm a dude, and I like My Little Pony."

A guy can, you know, like pink stuff, and a girl can like blue stuff, and once we get over that hurdle, we can finally start making some progress, as in girls can do fireman jobs and be an astronaut And be a police officer, and guys could maybe be a teacher for elementary kids or be a nurse.

That's fine.

At first, there's a bit of a shock factor to it Because it's My Little Pony.

It's got this huge stigma being pink and girly, and just poorly executed

20-minute commercials.

And then it turns out to be really exceptionally well crafted.

I think it's a unique kids show in that it has a lot of adult references...

I mean, nods to Star Wars, nods to the Brady Bunch, to Benny Hill, to just all sorts of media that a seven-year-old girl would have no idea about.

There are many of them that are in it for the guidance function.

Many more are into it for the social function.

Take a look at the 20th century.

You're going to see that after every catastrophic and chaotic time in history, you're going to see something in reaction.

The Roaring '20s were a reaction to World War I.

The beatniks and the Bohemian generation were a reaction to World War II.

You had the Korean War, but Vietnam came really quickly, and what did you have after, during that, but the hippie movement?

You know, don't trust anyone over 30.

Then you get into 9-11, and I think that 10 years later, this is what we're seeing.

We're tired of all the violence, we're tired of the terrorism, we're tired of worrying about this.

Let get to something that is tolerant, friendly... we can escape into it.

Close your eyes and watch My Little Pony.

It's all about conflict resolution.

It has a positive message, and not only that, but it's entertaining.

We are currently at the Santa Monica Pier, uh, enjoying a Brony meet-up for So-Cal Bronies.

Whassup?

The So-Cal Brony meet-ups, they're just a bunch of people that get together that like My Little Pony.

Right now, we're 800 strong.

We put on small events that'll be spur of the moment.

We'll just be hanging at people's houses, Or, you know, they'll be, like, "Hey, let's go to In-N-Out at two o'clock in the morning," and boom, eight people will be there Because they're local, or we'll plan big, huge events like our Grand Galloping Gala last Friday, which was 250 people, um, you know... it's just a bunch of people that want to hang out and have fun and get to know each other, so...

Yeah, there's a website that we can go on.

It's called Meetup.com, and from there, there are different groups and stuff that you can go to, and one of the groups is So-Cal Bronies.

I literally post it up on the boards, and people take interest, and they want to do it, and they're excited to hang out with each other.

So-Cal what?

So-Cal Bronies!

Bronies!

Bronies! Bronies! Bronies!

Bronies! Bronies! Bronies!

Well, I'm Liam James O'Donnell Linehan III, if you must know my full name.

I am actually in high school.

I'm one of the youngest people here, surprisingly.

I'm only 17, but regardless, these are... these are my people.

Join in!

♪ Until you all shared ♪

♪ its magic with me ♪

♪ Big adventure ♪

♪ Tons of fun ♪

♪ A beautiful heart ♪

♪ Faithful and strong ♪

♪ Sharing kindness ♪

♪ It's an easy feat ♪

♪ And magic makes it ♪

♪ all complete ♪

♪ Yeah, My Little Pony ♪

♪ Do you know you're all ♪

♪ my very best friends ♪ Woo!

So-Cal! So-Cal! So-Cal!

I have this one friend who's been my, like, best friend since second grade.

Since the very minute I told him I was a Brony, he's made fun of me non-stop, like, just never-ending.

And about maybe a month ago, I forced him to watch one episode, and he's just in love with it instantly.

The grade school I went to was tiny.

There were 32 kids in my graduating class, which made it almost impossible to fit in if you weren't the mould that everyone wanted you to conform to, and I wasn't.

Like, last year, at the end of, towards the end of the year, we had really started getting together as a group of friends who are all into the show, and we decided that we wanted to start a club.

So we got our friend who is really good at drawing vectors on the computer, like this, and he designed this shirt for us.

And so you have this Harmony spelled out with elements of the periodic table, and it's kind of a pun, because the strongest force in the show is the elements of Harmony, and so that's kind of a pun, and then he drew out the vector, and we all bought the shirts.

A Brony?

No, I've never heard of one.

If you really like My Little Pony, could be something for you there, I guess.

It's like adult comedy... no?

There's people into weirder stuff than that.

That's pretty random.

People should be grown up around now.

That's, that's pretty odd.

Which one of you guys created that adorable logo with the Northwestern "N" and Twilight Sparkle?

Was that you?

I like the idea that Twilight Sparkle should be our official mascot, Because A, she's nerdy, and Northwestern is legendarily nerdy, and B, she's purple, and Northwestern is purple, so I think that we really do have to accept That Twilight Sparkle is our mascot.

They have, like, a place where they put, like, local meet-ups for different universities across the world, even, and I saw one for Northwestern, and I was, like, "Wow, there actually...

There are Bronies at Northwestern.

That's cool.

Let's see what's up there."

And I joined the group.

We usually meet, like, about every two weeks, um, catch the new episode, maybe watch a few other episodes.

Brings people together, you know, makes friendships... appropriately, I suppose, and I guess it is kind of cool that a show, you know, so ostensibly about friendship is creating friendships in the real world.

A big part of any community isn't just the show, but reacting to the show and being able to share your first reactions on those episodes and whatever else you might find online, and... but that's just really the beginning Of what we've been doing, and it's like parties and games and food and fun, all this stuff.

There seems to be this undercurrent to most of the things that's reported Or written about us where two-thirds of the time, threequarters of the time Has to be spent reassuring people that we're not insane, and that's somewhat... well, we may be insane, but not criminally insane, I should put it.

Northwestern is a place where fraternities are actually really important, And when I came to Northwestern, I swore I was never going to join a fraternity.

The whole fraternity aspect kind of puts the whole "bro" in Brony.

I mean, it's all about the community.

You can share it with other people, and that's, you know, the magic of being a Brony.

There should be like, a book about packing a suitcase.

♪ Going to BronyCon... ♪ Yeah, it's exciting.

Is it?

What am I doing?

I'm getting my Rainbow Dash full costume shipped to me tomorrow, actually, so it'll be here in the morning.

Just kidding.

I'm not gonna do that.

To be honest, I don't know what the convention is going to be like.

Um...

I kind of have an idea, but... yeah, I'm not totally sure.

Like, these people could be... they could be really scary.

Maybe I should be packing bear mace or something.

But...

I did have a stalker a little while ago.

I believe it was a male.

He called me with, like, a vocoder thing, something, a distortion on his voice, so it sounded really low and scary, kind of like the "Scream" voice, like... uh...

"Hello, Sidney, are you alone in the house," that kind of thing, but, like, really low, and... yeah, just asked me what I was wearing and what I was doing that night, and, yeah, it was a little bit weird, just kind of invading your privacy.

It's a weird feeling, but nothing came of it.

People were, like, "You should call the police.

You should do this and that," and I just kind of let it go.

Um...

Bronies were not on the radar at this time.

The Bronies that I've met so far have been really nice.

They're really enthusiastic about the show, and it's definitely going to be interesting to be in a room full of just, just Bronies.

Maybe I'll find my soulmate.

Oh, man.

You know, my whole philosophy in life Is do what it takes to be happy, as long as you don't hurt anybody else, you know.

Some people call me a big kid.

Me and my wife, we're just big kids, And we're happy.

You know, I own my own house, but I love video games.

I have Transformers, My Little Ponies...

We like to do things that make us smile, you know.

I'm not really worried about, you know, What she'll think of us.

Like, she's being brought up in all this.

We just want to bring them up with this happy, You can like anything.

It doesn't matter if you're a child, an adult, A girl, a boy... if it makes you happy, there's nothing wrong with that, you know, you just do it.

And if that makes people uncomfortable, that's their issues that they have to work out, because if you're walking down the street smiling, Ponies on your shirt, nothing can hurt you.

It has such a positive message, and it can... it's great at appealing to every end of the spectrum, both kids and adults alike.

There's no bad this show can bring.

We had a particularly bad thunderstorm about a month or so ago, so the next morning, she told me, she said, "Daddy, there was a big thunderstorm, and it was really loud, and I got scared.

I fell off my bed."

And I said, "Arianna, why didn't you come and wake us up?"

And then she told me, I'll never forget, she said, "Oh, well, Daddy, Pinkie Pie came out of my TV and told me to giggle at the ghosties."

Pinkie Pie taught her to deal with these fears.

You know, it's not about loving a little girls' show.

It's about loving these messages, and quite frankly, if all these people are following this show, Which has very strong happiness morals, you know, be kind to your friends, always be honest...

Like, this is all good stuff, and people are following this.

My name is... my real name is Martin.

The name I that go about online is Rommel.

I helped co-found a group by the name of Bronies for Good.

It's a solidarity support organization, not a charity organization, because we haven't filed a 501(c)(3), and we don't plan to.

So Bronies for Good as an organization within the Brony community Has raised 80,000 to 85,000 US dollars, and that has gone to the Children's Cancer Association, And to Your Siblings, which had three different projects That we helped fully fund.

The first one was a clinic in Uganda, the second one was a sustainable village in Burundi, and the third one was the expansion of an orphanage in Uganda.

Bronies for Good definitely really shows that, you know, you can take what this fandom has and apply it to a very altruistic purpose.

Bronies for Good really hammers on the social change, on the "helping others" part.

It's not just a good thing for America, It's a good thing for the world.

The world needs it.

We need to get out of this sense that everything is individually done and the world is, um... is not subject to change, because it is subject to change, and Bronies are making that happen.

Uh, it's pretty good, but can you make it 20% cooler?

It needs to be about 20% cooler.

20% cooler.

20% cooler.

Needs to be about 20% cooler.

So I guess in one of the episodes, Rainbow Dash talks about something being 20% cooler.

I'm not even sure what she was referring to, But the Bronies found that line, I guess, and found it really entertaining, or there was something about it that they latched on to.

I mean, it's just an awesome phrase.

It's just... who says "20% cooler"?

How do you make a percentile out of cooler?

There's, like, shirts I've seen, With shirts that say, "make it 20% cooler."

Or, like... people always write on our YouTube page for Hey Ocean!

Like, "This band is 20% cooler," or whatever, like...

So you know this "20% cooler," or, you know, Bro-Hoof, you know, those are all signals that groups, fandoms use to recognize, "Ah, we've got another."

Yeah, it just became this thing.

20%.

Not that much cooler.

Sometimes people are puzzled, and if people are puzzled, hey, it's a chance to spread the word.

It needs to be 20% cooler.

20% cooler.

20% cooler.

Like, 20% cooler, seriously.

20% cooler.

♪ 20% cooler! ♪ No, baby, it needs to be about 20% cooler.

Mmm.

I am a Brony.

I am a Brony.

Like, it's not like an unsure thing.

It's not like an, "Eh..."

I watch the show, I look at the art, I read some of the fanfics, but most of all, like, beyond any of that, I listen to the music.

I'm Silva Hound.

All I've done is DJ pony parties.

I make music.

♪ It's Silva Hound. ♪

♪ Silva Hound... ♪

♪ I-I-in the mix! ♪

♪ I used to wonder ♪

♪ what friendship could be ♪

♪ Until you shared all its magic ♪ ♪ with me ♪

♪ Big adventure ♪

♪ Tons of fun ♪

♪ A beautiful heart ♪

♪ Faithful and strong ♪

♪ Sharing kindness ♪ ♪ It's an easy feat ♪

♪ And magic makes it ♪ ♪ All complete ♪

♪ Yeah, my... ♪ I just do it.

It just Whether that's because of a result of my creativity or the show's creativity, or both working together as one, I can't... I don't know.

♪ My Little Pony ♪

♪ My Little Po... ♪

This fandom has some good music, better than anything on the radio now.

I find it a great pleasure to sample a lot of the stuff from the show.

I just have a lot of fun with it.

It's pretty rewarding.

As of right now, I have recently hit a million views on YouTube.

Um, I have a thousand followers on twitter.

I'm reaching 2,000 on SoundCloud.

I just said, "You know what, I'm going to sell this and see how much money it gets."

And it got a little, it got a nice little piece of change.

You know, I just needed some money for college, and...

I'll be taking calculus next year.

The pony music really helped me to afford that.

You know, I grew up in Atlanta...

Atlanta, Georgia, the dirty dirty.

And, you know, growing up here wasn't the best of paradises, but, you know, I survived.

Growing up with that mentality, I just sort of took that into my music, you know?

As long as I'm alive, as long as this laptop is on, you know, nothing's gonna stop me, you know?

♪ So I'm gonna put ♪

♪ my hooves up high ♪

♪ Don't worry ♪

♪ about tomorrow ♪

♪ 'Cause I'm here tonight ♪

♪ I'll grab the world ♪

♪ Before it passes by ♪

♪ Don't worry about tomorrow ♪

♪ 'Cause I'm here tonight ♪

Go! Go! Go! Go!

Go! Go! Go! Go!


This is going to be an interesting journey, so here we go.

♪ It's your fear of flying ♪

♪ It's your fear ♪

♪ of flying ♪


What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth... the belief that our destiny is shared, the idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or where you love.

It doesn't matter whether you're black or white, Or Hispanic or Asian, or native American, or young, or old, or rich, or poor, able, disabled, gay, or straight.

You can make it here in America if you're willing to try.

You ain't a man unless you're watching My Little Pony, son. Okay?

You know what I do, when I get done the gym?

I go home, I have my protein shake, I put on my Comcast DVR, and I sit down with a big bowl of cereal and I watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

You know why?

Because it fills my testosterone up so I can go back to the gym again and just start pumpin' it out and get bigger, and bigger, and bigger, son.

Yeah, so you gotta get...

I like being strong.

Like, one thing I really like, is just...

I don't... when I was a kid being picked on and bullied, Like, being, like, helpless to the fact that someone is pushing you around?

I hate that feeling.

So that fact that I'm stronger and I'm taking classes to defend myself, Not only can I defend myself, but I can defend my friends, and I can defend my family if anyone's a jerk, so that's what I really got out of it, Like, each time, I'm stronger than I was yesterday.

If you know me, I'm a very huge Dragon Ball Z fan, and that show just inspired me so much as a kid.

So... just being like them is what I idolized, but I was fat and lazy as a kid.

You know, a bunch of people, they always see shows, And then are like, "Man, that would be so cool to be like him,"

Go back to eating their diet soda and cookies and stuff like that, and that's how I used to be.

Then I found some friends in high school who had a mutual interest in weight lifting, and they took me in and showed me the wraps, and I was just like, "Hey, I'm gonna weight lift."

But I'm still a nerdy person inside.

Bronies aren't, like, the most physically active people, as I've seen at BronyCon, but that's not a bad thing.

If that's their choice, then okay, but I just wanna show them, like, "Hey, if you guys wanna feel healthier and more confident, then I can help you out with that,"

So I would just upload a fitness video every now and then.

I just want to show you you can still like the show and just be in shape, because I feel like when you're in shape, you're just a lot more confident, and you feel better about yourself.

You look better.

Everything just falls around you, it's... falls into place.

Everything just...

It's just awesome.

One day, Patrick and I were, I was getting ready to leave the office, and Patrick said, "By the way, Marsha, have you ever heard of a Brony?"

And I said, "A what?"

"A Brony."

And he said, "Will told me that

'I'm a Brony.'"

He said to me, "Dad, I'm drawing again".

And I went, "All right, Will, you know, that's great,"

Because he's very artistic.

And I said, "So, what are you drawing?"

And he got real quiet, and I said, "Will, what are you drawing?"

And he says, "Well, have you heard of My Little Pony?"

I'm Will.

I'm a senior in high school.

Um...

I guess I'm pretty normal, I suppose.

Thankfully, knowing my dad, I was sort of already expecting, you know, he wasn't going to, like, freak out and kick me out of the house or anything, but when I first told him, he was a little hesitant.

He was like, "What?"

The way I told him is that I was drawing again.

You know, he got all excited, and he was like, "Well, what have you been drawing?"

And I was like, "Well, this is going to sound really weird, but I've been drawing, like, ponies."

And he's like, "You mean, like horses and stuff?"

And I'm like, "No, no, no.

Like, the cartoon.

Like, My Little Pony."

You know, my dad knows only about, like, you know, the old stuff, so he kind of was like, "Whaaaat?"

So I started telling him about it, you know.

I was like, "Oh, it's the new show and everything,"

And so my dad was like, "Oh, that's pretty cool."

And then the thing that really stood out to him was when I said, "You know, there's a lot of people who watch that."

I saw my dad, he was like, "Ohh..." so that was my dad going off in little psychologist mode, you know?

So my dad definitely was okay with it.

So we got picked up at the airport, and it really wasn't what I expected.

There was a line of Bronies all in matching T-shirts, and one of them had a Rainbow Dash sign.

That's how I knew it was for sure the Brony Convention people.

They were really, really enthusiastic about being Bronies, and about just the whole pony fandom situation in general, so yeah, it's gonna be... it's gonna be a trip.

It's gonna be really crazy tomorrow, I think.

So I set out to try my luck in the big city, Manehattan, the most cosmopolitan...

That's here!

We're here right now, in Manehattan.

Oh, my god, that's probably why they're doing this here.

So it's the night before the conference, the big BronyCon tomorrow.

Just got to the hotel, scattered things around, and... ooh!

I'm doing a bit of Brony research.

There's some things that I don't know about the world of Bronies.

I guess I'm just a bit, I'm maybe a little worried that they're going to ask me some, like, crazy questions about the equestrian world that the ponies live in that I'm not going to know the answers to...

Which I don't really need to, but I feel like I really... I should.

I think I'm definitely going to get asked to do A lot of pony voices tomorrow.

It needs to be about

20% cooler.

Okay, that'll be my go-to line for tomorrow.

It needs to be about 20% cooler.

Bronies, you're gonna have to work on your cool factor.

"Rainbow Dash, Sparta Mix."

Oh, this is gonna be good. Let's try this.

Awesomeness!

It's a whole, like, techno remix made from that one line that I say.

Who is behind all of this?

The Bronies, they're behind it.

Ooh...

Who makes these videos?

Oh, man.

Okay, I'm over it.

Let's go get pizza.

Time step, Times Square.

♪ It's just gonna be crazy! ♪ It's all about friendship.


Life is a culmination of mistakes that you've learned from, and pain is a good teacher.

You can't believe you're going to fail.

You know, those people who are, if you ever talk to those people who are, like, really rich and really successful, failure never even occurs to them.

It never occurs to them that they can fail at what they're doing.

That's almost, like, a beautiful thing.

That ain't me, though.

Um, to me, life's the experience.

You try, you try and become a better version of yourself Every day.

I'm not saying you need to change, you need to become a different person, just a better version of yourself.

I just think that once you stop working on yourself, the only way you have to go is down from there.

They say people fear what they don't understand.

Maybe I just have a lot of fears, and I just need to understand to feel secure in life.

Like, I know I'm a different kind of person.

Like...

I've gone through so... life just... just not fitting in, not really...

You know, everything has always kinda been A one-size-fits-all society, you know, a formula that I never...

I was always outside of.

You gotta know what helps you, and I feel like, you know, I had a lot of crap in my life, but I don't feel like I'm any worse for it at all.

And I love, I mean, I love my life.

People regret the things they don't do.

You only regret the things you don't do, and I don't have a lot of regrets, because I go after...

I'm not a "don't do" kind of person.

I think... that's the only way to live, but maybe most people aren't like me.

Maybe most people aren't willing to just... you know, willing to go on that everlasting quest.


So we are on our way to BronyCon.

It is 9:30...

I think it might be a little after 9:30.

We're a little late.

Um, it's an exciting time.

All right, BronyCon, here we go.


What's your favourite episode?

The first episode was pretty phenomenal.

All right, so...

Bryan?

Yeah, just Bryan.

This is Bryan, just Bryan.

How you doing?

I'm really sorry... you guys are going to hate me for this, But I haven't drawn in a year...

Show it to the crowd!

Show it!

Show it to the camera!

There we go.

How does it feel to be awesome?

Okay. Okay.

F-forget you.

I can eat all these apples.


He goes, "What is that?"

"A puppy? A kitten?"

And, like, one guy in the back goes, "It's a pony!"

And I said, "I want that guy to do my tattoo."

Whoo!

Go, ninja, go!

Go, ninja!


I feel like my life is sort of changing in a way.

Like... not totally, but just... there's a lot of people out there That really love these characters, and, like, I'm by no means, like, in charge of what they say and do on the show, but I'm kind of giving them...

I'm giving you life.

I'm giving them, you know, a voice.

Presents!

Yay!

And it's Applejack and Rainbow Dash singing together, and it looks like they're recording a pony script.

"Dear Ashleigh, thank you for bringing an edge To My Little Pony.

You rock!"

A conch shell!

Piggy's got the conch!

And... oh, with a note inside of it.

"Your new Shell Phone.

I have an incoming call for a Mrs. Atlantic Ocean.

She wants to say hello.

Will you accept?"

Hello?

Yeah, I guess I feel like I'm a part of something.

I'm a part of this movement, like...

I'm not a Brony, but I'm...

I'm, uh...

I'm a part of these people's lives because I voice these characters.

Yeah, before I left for this convention, I really wasn't sure what I was getting myself into.

I was a little nervous.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect and who these people were... like, who are Bronies?

I'd had a couple interactions in the past, But not at this capacity at all.

To get this response from any group of people is incredible, and it just happens to be that this particular group of people are mostly grown men who are into this series about girl ponies... which is pretty bizarre, when you think about it, but at the same time, they're not doing anything wrong, and they found each other, and I think it's an honour to be a part of that.

Yeah, it's a beginning of something.

It could fizzle out.

Things like this have happened before.

There's a big rising tide, there's a force, and then it doesn't go anywhere because nothing picks up the torch, and I really hope that something comes along that will do that, because this is not selfsustaining.

It can't carry on forever.

But it has so much potential to just shape the way that we think about things, and make people be like, "Oh, well, maybe it's just if something is good, Then we can like it."

People like to think it's just a TV show, It's not that big of a deal, and at the end of the day, maybe that's all that it is, just a small footprint in history.

But so many people's lives have been bettered by it.

I think the best part about being a Brony is that it just really is, you know, like, it's more than a fandom. It's more than a community.

It really is like a big family.

It's not about My Little Pony, it's about "Friendship is magic."

You know what I mean?

And about that sense of solidarity, That sense of community, and all those different things that really bring people together under a really wonderful umbrella.

It's not cynical, that it's just this positive oasis in a sea of sarcasm and cynicism in modern society.

The characters are well developed.

They try to accomplish goals.

If they fail, they learn from their mistakes.

They move on.

It doesn't become this big, you know, ironic to-do.

Give Bronies the benefit of the doubt that they're all good people that like a kids' show for what it is.

They aren't weird, deviant, you know, people.

All they are are people who like a cartoon show.

That's it.

You've noticed how big the fan base has gotten so far.

My question is, how much bigger do you think it's going to get, and for how long?

As long as My Little Pony exists, There will be Bronies.


♪ You remind me of a boy ♪

♪ who once left me destroyed ♪

♪ When he cut me like a saw ♪

♪ with his back and forth ♪

♪ And I remind you of someone ♪

♪ you loved when you were young ♪

♪ She tossed you like a stone ♪

♪ into the ocean ♪

♪ We thought ♪

♪ we'd never dance again ♪

♪ So scared of second chances ♪

♪ But now ♪

♪ there's something happenin' ♪

♪ You make me wanna dance ♪

♪ You make me wanna move ♪

♪ You make me wanna ♪

♪ You make me wanna make ♪

♪ a new dance up ♪

♪ You make me wanna dance ♪

♪ Like no one ever has ♪

♪ You make me wanna ♪

♪ You make me wanna make ♪ ♪ a new dance up ♪

♪ You make me wanna ♪

♪ make a new dance up, yeah ♪

♪ And you know the moves ♪

♪ 'Cause it's our dance ♪

♪ And you know the moves ♪

♪ And you know ♪

♪ the moves ♪

♪ 'Cause it's our dance ♪

♪ And you know the moves ♪

♪ Slow ♪

♪ Dance ♪

♪ Square ♪

♪ Dance ♪

♪ High School ♪

♪ Dance ♪

♪ So you think you... ♪

♪ You make me wanna dance ♪

♪ You make me wanna move ♪

♪ You make me wanna ♪

♪ You make me wanna make ♪

♪ a new dance up ♪

♪ You make me wanna dance ♪

♪ Like no one ever has ♪

♪ You make me wanna ♪

♪ You make me wanna make ♪

♪ a new dance up ♪

♪ You make me wanna dance ♪

♪ You make me wanna move ♪

♪ You make me wanna ♪

♪ You make me wanna make ♪

♪ a new dance up ♪

♪ You make me wanna dance ♪

♪ Like no one ever has ♪

♪ You make me wanna ♪

♪ You make me wanna make ♪

♪ a new dance up ♪

♪ You make me wanna dance ♪

♪ You make me wanna make ♪ ♪ a new dance up ♪

♪ You make me wanna ♪

♪ make a new dance up ♪

♪ You make me wanna make ♪

♪ a new dance up ♪

♪ You make me wanna ♪

♪ make a new dance up ♪

♪ You make me wanna make ♪

♪ a new dance up ♪

♪ You make me wanna ♪

♪ make a new dance up ♪

♪ You make me wanna make ♪

♪ a new dance up ♪

♪ You make me wanna dance ♪


♪ I have the feeling ♪

♪ that I went out last night ♪

♪ I'm sticking in ♪

♪ for the rest of my life ♪

♪ No more temptations ♪

♪ walking in front of my eyes ♪

♪ I'm turning 'round ♪

♪ and living inside ♪

♪ Living inside ♪

♪ Living inside ♪