Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Physical Analysis of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

So, This is amazing, (it's awesome, it's awesome, it's awesome... the animation is incredible). I happen to be a fan of the My Little Pony.  I was exactly the right age to get the full force of Hasbro's cartoons as a young girl, and with that in mind, I have fond memories of sparkly pegasai, magical unicorns and that utterly specific smell that ONLY my little ponies smell like (something about the rubber? if you have ever smelled one, you know what I mean).
I have this on my desk. Jealous?
My little pony was always filled with sparkles and magic and friendship but also, Tirek:
(From Cracked.com
"Tirek, a gigantic half-goat/half-horse/half-man and 150 percent motherfucking hellspawn, lives in his Midnight Castle. Scorpan, his Yeti-with-wings minion, executes his evil commands, which oddly mostly consists of kidnapping ponies.

Tirek's plan involves using a powerful black magic, called The Power of Darkness, to turn said ponies into dragon slaves so they'll pull his "Chariot of Darkness" and perhaps some other appliance of darkness that requires dragon energy to work properly."
So, I suggest that we all take note Magical Ponies totally owned "The Power of Darkness" for a good 10 year period. So, while you psychoanalyze that a bit I will move on, 
to the My Little Pony of today. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Now as a My Little Pony fan, but also, the mother of a little girl, the goal of watching something together that doesn't make me want to vomit with rage or gauge out my eyes with boredom is a preoccupation of mine. This show is delightful. 

While it's obviously made for kids, it has enough story to make it interesting for an adult, and is occasionally hilarious and usually filled with action. Instead of Tirek, the story is more about balance, the power of darkness is still an issue and makes a major mythological cameo in the first episodes of the series, but the stories are overall, slightly less life or death. The ponies inhabit a vaguely greek world with manticores and cocatrices and hydras and they face some perils and all that good stuff. I heartily recommend watching it to make your mind up for yourself. 
"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."
 – Lauren Faust
The Powerpuff Girls and 
Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and now,
My Little Pony: Frienship is Magic

I can wax poetic about this for a while, but as a reference to the video above. I am not the only person who is all about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. There is a very robust fan base of grown-ups and in fact, grown up MEN. Men who like animation who like interesting stories, and who may have sisters, girlfriends, or friends who grew up with the show are now finding and enjoying it.

They are enjoying it to the point that they are doing physics presentations about it, mining it for pop-culture references and even writing long essays about the ramifications of it's governmental structures mean in terms of political satires.
"One potential objection to an economic analysis of MLP: FiM is whether such analysis is even warranted. The economy of a fictional world may be abstracted without consequences in some stories; after all, any flow of capital in Harry Potter is insignificant in comparison to the existential battle between good and evil that is at the core of the story. However, many of the stories in MLP: FiM focus on the performance of economic tasks: crop harvesting, production of baked goods, and the maintenance of the town. Other episodes are about characters finding their roles in society. These kinds of stories rely on a plausible economic base to be meaningful. "
Oscar Moralde
Solidarity is Illusion: The Political Economy 
of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

This piece of art inspires fascinating thought. Which should be a primary motivator in the creation of children's entertainment. What's more, it's really entertaining and I can watch it with my daughter without qualms. That is a win.

1 comment:

  1. Great article, I'm actually sad you haven't got a load of replies