“My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” is the latest iteration of the many-times rebooted and reinvented “My Little Pony” television series and toy lines.
An American-made cartoon that premiered in 2010, the show has received praise from critics for its impressive writing and humor, as well as its positive moral outlook.
The show follows a young unicorn named Twilight Sparkle. Twilight is bookish and rational, valuing the pursuit of knowledge and spending more time studying than making friends.
After being instructed by her mentor, Princess Celestia, to study friendship in a small town called Ponyville, Twilight eventually becomes part of a small group that is the world’s only chance to stop a magical curse of endless night.
Something that very few people saw coming, however, was the show’s popularity with people outside its target demographic of young girls.
Of all the shows available to the college audience, young adults are watching ponies learning lessons about friendship—for what reason?
The “My Little Pony” series’ previous television iterations have always been soaked with a saccharine happy-laughter-color aesthetic. While appealing to its target demographic, it rarely had much in the way of character development or strong storytelling.
This reincarnation of “My Little Pony” is deeper.
“It’s more than just clever—it’s well-written,” said junior Skylar Tiahrt. “It’s not the sort of humor you’d find in ‘Family Guy’ or something. It’s a more brilliant, subtle absurdity.”
Freshman Corinne Vanden Bosch agreed with Tiahrt.
“‘Friendship is Magic’ is kind of refreshing– it’s a non-cliché kids’ show,” she said. “There’s a little bit of sarcasm in the writing.”
“[The show is] a great example of a children’s show that doesn’t just have to be for children,” said junior Toben Archer. “There’s a lot in there that an 8-year-old wouldn’t pick up on.”
However, not everyone who is exposed to the show likes it.
“It’s like Nazi propaganda,” said senior Justin Karmann. “It’s full of promises and colors, but it’s all lies.”
Whether you like it or not, with the impressively varied and broad fanbase, as well as the commercial success of the show, dents in the perception of “My Little Pony” have been made.
Maybe these brightly colored little ponies, rainbows and lessons on friendship are not only for 5-year-old girls, afterall.