Take a Drink: every time Ashleigh Bell does a new voice
Take a Drink: every time she seems a tad uncomfortable
Take a Drink: for every new fan we meet
Take a Drink: every time someone expresses skepticism or worse regarding bronies
Do a Shot: for the My Little Pony rave
By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
Y’all know what a Brony is, right?
Does this help?
Put simply, a Brony is an adult, usually male, fan of the My Little Pony animated children’s TV show. A Brony Tale tries to examine what’s become a bona fide cultural phenomenon, while also documenting the bemusement, ambivalence, and growing respect for the movement from voice actress Ashleigh Bell.
The Bronies have been a source of snark, derision, and even overblown fear ever since they popped onto the cultural radar in 2010. A Brony Tale seeks to demystify and destigmatize this fandom by showing the depth and breadth of its membership. These aren’t just a bunch of creepy basement-dwellers with Bubbles glasses and mom jeans.
Although he’d be welcome, too.
Along the way, we meet every one from an Iraq War veteran to a club DJ to a bona-fide biker badass, and learn about just how pervasive and numerous these folks are. Bell is a good choice as an audience surrogate- her apprehensiveness at getting involved with her atypical fans mirrors our own, and if she isn’t exactly a full-blown convert by the end, she does learn how to connect and be comfortable with them.
Finally, needless to say, the convention portion of the film makes for some Grade A people-watching.
What’re you looking at, Bub?
A Brony Tale is an entirely partisan piece, and while it does a good job at the demystifying/destigmatizing part of its goals, it really doesn’t succeed in explaining why this overwhelmingly adult male audience is so obsessed with this particular children’s show, as opposed to say, Adventure Time. Also, while it’s happy to talk about Bronies for Good and rehabilitated veterans, it completely ignores the darker corners of this obsession that my Google Image Search insists exist.
Scroll down far enough on any image search and you’ll find out what I mean.
The lengthy, epically-produced section of the film comparing Bronies to cultural megashift movements like the beatniks and hippies is ever-so-slightly (completely) ridiculous.
I’ll eat my words when my kids are reading Forchan Kerouac’s On the Pony Road.
A Brony Tale takes an admirable stab at the whos and whys of the growing male My Little Pony craze, accomplishing the former beautifully, but coming up a little short in the latter case.