Tuesday, July 22, 2014

[Review] A Brony Tale (Documentary)

"We might be insane but we're not criminally insane."

In case you aren't familiar, a 'Brony' is generally a male anywhere from age 14 to 57 who is a fanatic of the cartoon series "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic". They religiously watch the show, they buy the toys, and they even dress up as the pony characters sometimes. Yes, this really exists, and it's a considerably rampant phenomenon and a perplexing subculture to us outsiders. A Brony Tale takes an affectionate and surprisingly insightful look into this fringe craze. It might just change any preconceived notions you had about the people that participate... scratch that... not just participate--but actually live this way.

Directed by Brent Hodge, this documentary is framed from the perspective of Ashleigh Ball, a voice artist of two characters on the "My Little Pony" show. She and the director set out across the country in search of Bronies, and it all culminates at a huge festival called Bronycon. Along the way, there are interviews from various members of the Brony community, including the "manliest Brony of them all..." He's a 40-year old welder by day, bodyguard by night, and full-time Brony. The interviews supply plenty of interesting tidbits about Brony culture, and the film traces back the origins of Bronies to the 4chan internet forums. The doc provides a number of Brony statistics, and even delves into the sociology and psychology of what it means to be a Brony.

The Bronies claim that "My Little Pony" is a testament of happiness, harmony, positivity, and friendship, and the Bronies embrace these morals in every day life. They refute any accusations of pedophilia or manchild weirdness. And they're crusaders in breaking the boundaries of gender norms and simply being whatever makes you happy. Some go as far as to say that Brony-ing is a direct reaction to the violence and hostility around the world.

A Brony Tale is a thoroughly fascinating and eye-opening documentary, and the presentation heavily stands alongside the Bronies. Even after seeing it though, it's definitely still understandable to think that these people are strange and it's easy to be skeptical about this culture, but it's hard to argue with the positivity they embrace, especially if they apparently aren't doing anything wrong. That said, I personally won't be dressing up in Pony costumes anytime soon.
*goes to watch the first episode*

Recommended Doc


  1. The pony costumes are just cosplays. As a brony, the costumes aren't really my thing either.

  2. I know when I first saw this in the Netflix library, I laughed, but you're right. It probably just change perspective after you've actually watched the film. I might have give it a go sometime. Great review!