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Tag: Friendship is Magic

Ponyville Confidential: The History and Culture of My Little Pony – review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Ponyville Confidential: The History and Culture of My Little Pony, 1981-2016, by Sherilyn Connelly
Jefferson, NC, McFarland & Co., March 2017, trade paperback $18.99 (x + 254 pages), Kindle $8.99.
Order at McFarland’s Website – order line 800-253-2187

Ponyville Confidential doesn’t contain any artwork. That’s a tipoff that this book has not been authorized or approved by Hasbro, the copyright holder of the My Little Pony franchise.

Connelly emphasizes and re-emphasizes in her Introduction that although she is a fan of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic TV program and the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls movies, she is not a My Little Pony (note the lack of italics) fan. As a child in the 1980s, she hated being talked down to, particularly as a girl-child, and this included all of the girls’ TV cartoons of the time; Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake and especially My Little Pony ‘n’ Friends. She didn’t watch it. She didn’t start watching My Little Pony until Friendship Is Magic in mid-2011 (after Season 1 had finished its initial broadcast), when friends had told her, “Hey, it’s a girl’s toy commercial, but there’s something here.” By then Connelly was a film critic for The Village Voice and SF Weekly (an alternate newspaper for the San Francisco Bay Region, not science-fiction), so she was prepared to study the entire My Little Pony phenomenon, including the Bronies, as both a professional outsider and as a fan – of the post-2010 MLP:FIM, anyhow.

“This book is divided into five parts. Part 1, ‘Family Appreciation Day,’ looks at the history of the franchise from the release of Generation 1 in the early 1980s through the late 1990s, showing how long after both the toys and cartoons had ceased production, My Little Pony continued to be criticized in the media as the worst of children’s entertainment in a way that similar brands marketed toward boys were not.” (p. 4)

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My Little Pony: The Art of Equestria – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

MLP CoverMy Little Pony: The Art of Equestria, by Mary Jane Begin. Foreword by Jayson Thiessen. Illustrated.
NYC, Abrams, October 2015, hardcover $29.95 (215 [+ 1] pages), Kindle $13.49.

Furry fandom has had a sometimes adversarial relationship with the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic TV series and its fandom, or at least its Brony often-extremist fans. The TV animated cartoon series that premiered on October 10, 2010 is in its fifth season/year now. It has won the Ursa Major Award as the Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short or Series for 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, resulting in screams of both (from within furry fandom), “Oh, no! How could it have lost!?” (in 2014, to Furry Force), and (from Brony fandom), “How dare you furry fans try to hijack our program!? MLP:FIM is totally unanthropomorphic! The ponies of Equestria can just talk and sometimes fly, that’s all!”

My Little Pony: The Art of Equestria is an Everything You Want To Know About MLP:FIM, lavish, heavily-illustrated, full-color coffee-table art book. It has already been reviewed and analyzed in detail by the MLP:FIM fans, to general praise. Here is a review for furry fandom.

The book is a how-to and how-it-was-done about the TV animation series and the development of its world of Equestria, rather than an exploration in detail of Equestria and the “Mane Six” ponies, although the reader does get that, too. It begins with a double-page map, described below. A Foreword by the Supervising Director at DHX Media, the animation studio in Vancouver, outlines on one page the basic framework of the series.

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