They’re fans of the animated series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic—the Bronies. And, throughout the year, News 4 This Morning covered several aspects of this unique and passionate group of fans that has emerged just in the last few years.
Although My Little Pony has existed as a franchise since the 1980s, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic gained a unique fandom of teenagers and adults from all over the world in addition to the traditional demographic of young girls.
The series was created by Lauren Faust, who had a history in animated series with a wide demographic appeal, such as The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. Several other writers and staffers with those series have also written and worked on the show.
The reasons for the series appealing to teenagers and adults all across the world are given by fans as many: creative animation, catchy music, positive morals and themes, an upbeat setting, pop culture references, appealing and fleshed-out characters and more.
The series recently began its fourth season on the Hub Network, where it is one of the highest-rating programs on that channel.
Throughout 2013, many of these fans gathered in conventions all across the United States and the world. These included conventions such as BronyCon, which drew over 8000 in attendance. Smaller conventions took place across the country as well such as TrotCon in Ohio, the Midwest Brony Fest in Kansas, and BronyFest in Texas. In other countries, there were conventions such as GalaCon in Germany and BronyCAN in Canada. At these conventions, fans were able to attend panels on a wide variety of topics relating to the show and its fandom, dress up as favorite characters, purchase merchandise based on the show and, of course, interact with other fans and Bronies.
One notable element of the Brony fandom is the artwork created by many of the fans. While some fans simply enjoy watching the series, other are inspired by Friendship is Magic to create artwork in many forms: writing fanfiction, composing or remixing music, creating new animation, crafting plushies, or drawing and painting based on the show. Earlier in 2013, a Brony fan artist created a WTVY News 4 This Morning “OC” (Original Character) and others gave their artistic interpretations of that pony. Others created original “ponified” versions of the News 4 This Morning Team. (Many people and celebrities and have “ponified” by the Brony community, including almost all of the writers, actors, and staff of the show itself.)
Aside from artwork and creativity, many in the Brony community are involved or have contributed to charities of some kind. In 2013 alone, a fundraiser for a Wildlife center in California that provides sanctuary for animals backed by the series creator raised over $25,000. The Bronies for Good group raised thousands to help fund rainwater harvesting tanks in Tanzania. And, at conventions like GalaCon, auctions and fundraisers brought in tens of thousands of dollars to various charities and causes. Even the staff from the series participates and promotes charities. For example, voice actress Andrea Libman took part in the “Ride to Conquer Cancer,” a bicycling fundraiser. Libman, with the support of her many fans, raised over $20,000 for fighting against the disease.
As the fourth season is only five of twenty-six planned episodes strong and many conventions are on the table for 2014, it is likely the Bronies will continue to, as they might say, “Keep Calm and Pony On” into the new year and beyond.
To see expanded versions of our coverage of Bronies and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, be sure to check out the “More Stories” section on this page!