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dobie

My Little Pony: Why I'm so obsessed.

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Jan. 13th, 2012 | 05:22 pm

When my room mate (skyefox) first suggested I watch an episode or two, I flat out refused, citing that I was "more of a GI Joe or Transformers" kind of guy. But then, after much prodding, I sat down and watched my first episode (Sonic Rainboom, for those interested) and was blown away by not just the depth of the story, but the amazing voice acting, superb music and wonderful animation. So from there, I watched the pilot episode and almost immediately got hooked.

Why? The characters have a depth to them that is rarely seen in a cartoon, or even most of the more mature entertainment fare out there, the animation, while simple, is extremely well done (and from a technical standpoint is pushing the boundaries of Flash animation beyond what most people thought was possible) and to top it all off the the characters are relatable.

The main cast represents six different paradigms of self: A couple athletic types, one of whom has an insane work ethic, the other is talented but lazy. A shy veterinarian, who is always working to overcome her fears and shyness. A fashion-obsessed artist type who tends to bite off more than she can chew, especially when it comes to making her friends happy. A spacey party planner who often takes things too far, but is always there to lighten the mood and remind the others that even in the darkest of moments, there's always something to laugh about. And a finally, a neurotic perfectionist student who often prefers the company of her books to other ponies, and is obsessed with pleasing and living up to the expectations of her teacher and mentor.

No one character is ever depicted as being better for having a set of traits the others don't have, and they ALL have very real and believable character flaws. The stories are character driven and while episodic, there is continuity and over the course of the series you get to see the characters mature and develop. And along with all of that, it's cute and funny and somehow squeezes in some mature themes.

The situations are familiar and the challenges faced by the characters are also highly relatable:

Everyone has had deadline anxiety, or been over the top with worry that their friends didn't like them anymore.

Everyone has had a big event/convention/party that they've looked forward to for months, only to have it fall flat on it's face for whatever reason and not live up to their expectations.

A lot of people have had their pride get in the way when tackling an insurmountable task and forgotten (or refused to accept) that they have friends that they can call on for help.

Many people have had to deal with being too wrapped up in school and study to go out and make friends, or been unsure how to approach people TO make friends.

And who in their lives HASN'T, at one time or another, had to deal with choosing one friend over another to take to a special party? Or had two friends who had opposite and clashing personalities who you had to help find a middle ground when all three of you tried to do something together? Or had to find your place as the new person in a group that you just didn't fit into? Or faced the demons of their past in school when you had to return for an event or reunion?

There are plenty of "classic" cartoon moments that hail back to the old Warner Brothers cartoons that I grew up with, plenty of subtle pop-culture references and enough in the way of mature jokes (that a lot of kids just would NOT get) that even the most stoic adults that I've watched it with still smile quite a bit.

TL:DR, it's not for everyone, but those who do enjoy have very real reasons for doing so. It's not just another internet meme, or a rebellion against trolls, as has been insinuated.

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Comments {8}

Brown Leopard

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from: brown_leopard
date: Jan. 13th, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC)
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Now I don't quite feel so bad :)

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Proxima Centauri

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from: equusmaximus
date: Jan. 14th, 2012 04:19 am (UTC)
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One of us! One of us! %)

When I first saw the artwork for this cartoon, I refused to even look at it. It looked awful, and there was no way I was going to waste my time watching it. Friends kept prodding me though, and one sweetling was particularly insistant and provided a you-tube link. I finally caved in, and had a look.

Oh. My. God...

I was hooked, big time! Yes, the animation certainly has a unique style, but it's good, and the stories are fun, and they're ones that (as you point out) everyone can relate to! I'm 42, for crying out loud, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I love this show! It took me a while, but I finally have the complete series saved off in 1080p Mpeg4 format files. I've got them on the house-server, and they can be brought up on the TV using our linked Blu-ray player. :)

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Thrashbear

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from: thrashbear
date: Jan. 14th, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
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Oh wow, I didn't know Skye got you into it. Did you know you got me into it? I have yet to pay forward the favor.

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kai_tokuro

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from: kai_tokuro
date: Jan. 20th, 2012 09:21 pm (UTC)
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*Obligatory welcoming to the herd comment* But yes, it is a very well done show that I constantly explain to people. Its a children's show that's not really a children's show. And I believe the first season comes out on DVD at the end of Feb, or available on ITunes now... y'know... just saying. *Hugs*

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Dobie Tanpaw

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from: dobie
date: Jan. 20th, 2012 11:46 pm (UTC)
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*grins* Dun need to welcome me to the herd... I've been calling myself a Brony now for a long time...

And I already have the iTunes season passes to S1 and S2 ;)

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kai_tokuro

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from: kai_tokuro
date: Jan. 22nd, 2012 07:59 am (UTC)
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*Brohoof*

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wildw0lf

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from: wildw0lf
date: Jan. 27th, 2012 10:08 pm (UTC)
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I never watched MLP. I'd like to see one with you sometime.

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Dobie Tanpaw

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from: dobie
date: Jan. 27th, 2012 10:12 pm (UTC)
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:) I'd like that

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