Over here, I have done a few editions of Right in the Childhood. There has been coverage of some great 80s classics like Thundercats and Thundarr the Barbarian. I even dipped into the 90s with a little X-Men. But now I have to cover something that has been, well, lets say transcendent in popularity for many decades. My Little Pony. This one was requested by my wife.
DUN DUN DUN!
“Oh Richie is going to rip on the bronies!”
Heck no, I do not spit all over all what brings other’s joy. Instead, I am going to give my honest assessment of the show with a little hammy humor thrown in just like all the previous Right in the Childhood columns.
This one I take on the newer version of the cartoon as that is the one that seems to have the bigger following these days. Plus, it is available on Netflix.
My Little Pony and Ancient Chinese Philosophy
Okay, in this first episode of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, there is a bit of a monologue mostly from a narrator. Quite frankly, it is kind of amazing…
“Narrator: Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria, there were two regal sisters who ruled together and created harmony for all the land. To do this, the eldest used her unicorn powers to raise the sun at dawn; the younger brought out the moon to begin the night. Thus, the two sisters maintained balance for their kingdom and their subjects, all the different types of ponies. But as time went on, the younger sister became resentful. The ponies relished and played in the day her elder sister brought forth, but shunned and slept through her beautiful night.
One fateful day, the younger unicorn refused to lower the moon to make way for the dawn. The elder sister tried to reason with her, but the bitterness in the young one’s heart had transformed her into a wicked mare of darkness: Nightmare Moon. She vowed that she would shroud the land in eternal night. Reluctantly, the elder sister harnessed the most powerful magic known to ponydom: the Elements of Harmony. Using the magic of the Elements of Harmony, she defeated her younger sister, and banished her permanently in the moon. The elder sister took on responsibility for both……sun and moon…
Twilight Sparkle: …and harmony has been maintained in Equestria for generations since. Hmm… Elements of Harmony. I know I’ve heard of those before… but where?”
I know where, I’ve heard this before…
This is basically Yin and Yang. Don’t know what that is? Here is an excerpt from what I found on Google…
“The principle of Yin and Yang is a fundamental concept in Chinese philosophy and culture in general dating from the third century BCE or even earlier. This principle is that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites, for example female-male, dark-light and old-young.
The two opposites attract and complement each other and, as their symbol illustrates, each side has at its core an element of the other (represented by the small dots). Neither pole is superior to the other and, as an increase in one brings a corresponding decrease in the other, a correct balance between the two poles must be reached in order to achieve harmony.”
Of course, a more obvious reference to what is probably in my audience is the light side and the dark side of a certain religion in a mega movie franchise…
Twilight Sparkle and the Gang
So we cut to Twilight Sparkle galloping down some road where she runs into a few peers of hers. They invite her to come join some shindig over in the castle courtyard. Twilight Sparkle is straight up like “Sorry, gotta study.”
She ends up going to some library where I kid you not, Twilight Sparkle has a unicorn horn that apparently harnesses TELEKENESIS, which of course she uses to pick out books on a shelf. I would have used the powers for something way way cooler than that, just saying.
She sends a message through some sort of magical means via a raven…err…dragon to the princess warning her of impending doom. The Princess straight up dismisses her. Tells her to go make friends. NO!!!!! Why do they always dismiss warnings from the scholars? WHY?! She’s gotta learn about the Elements of Harmony!
Meeting the Elements of Harmony
She meets several other ponies who appear to be representations of various elements. Its like she’s meeting the different elements, perhaps? Nahhh….
Of course, in meeting everyone, Twilight Sparkle is essentially me… everyone is too perky and I just want to introvert.
After all of the main characters meet… the villain finally makes her appearance…. NIGHTMARE MOON! She has promised eternal night. MUWAHAHAHAHA! So we continue into Part 2…
My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Part 2
Our characters learn they must set off to the forest to find the elements of harmony. Five of which they know, and the sixth is a bit of a mystery as to what that element is.
They are presented with challenges which they must use the elements that they represent to overcome them. They even have the old folk tale of The Lion and the Mouse complete with the lion with the thorn in its paw. I kid you not, folks. You have to respect presenting that to a new generation.
Twilight Sparkle goes in a straight up battle with Nightmare Moon. Eventually, Twilight Sparkle comes to the realization of what the sixth element of harmony is. It is Friendship, which is magic.
Friendship = Magic
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic!
BOOM! Nightmare Moon is defeated and balance is restored to the Force…err… I mean Day and Night. The sisters from the beginning narration are reunited and everyone is happy, I puke at the sugary sweetness that I was expecting. The end.
I wanted to make fun of this cartoon so bad. You have no freaking idea. Yes it is unicorns and characters with silly names like Twilight Sparkle. Yes, it is feminine in appearance. But dammit, they have a decent story with a very well thought out backstory for everyone. I’m not saying sign me up for binge watching on Netflix, collecting toys, or that I am going to attend any brony conventions. I’m just saying, there is a reason why this has an adult cult following.
If I lived with someone who was obsessed with this and had to watch it on TV in the same room I’m in, I would not feel like I’m in complete hell. It teaches good lessons while using nerdy fantasy and sci-fi story line elements.