Title: Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony
Fix: Documentary About a Baffling Cultural Phenomenon
Spotlighting a small but singular pop cult, this documentary looks at the adult devotees of the animated show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. For the self-described Bronies, their shared obsession rewards them with friendship and fun.
When someone first explained Bronies to me, I felt like an old lady because I just. didn't. get it. I also couldn't help but wonder if Bronies was code for Weird Perverts. So obviously, when a documentary about this mystifying community came up on Netflix, I HAD to watch it. Because WHAT? And also WHY? And most importantly, WTF?
Spanning several countries and age groups, the film focuses on seven Bronies and the evolution of their love for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic while analyzing the overall fandom. The documentary culminates with BronyCon, a wonderfully uninhibited celebration of all things MLP.
John de Lancie as himself
Q IS IN THIS MOVIE, Y'ALL. I know, I'm as surprised as you are. But it turns out that de Lancie is the voice of a major villain (Discord) on the show, and he is HUGE amongst Bronies. HUGE. He seems like a super nice guy, and as a major STTNG fan, that made me v. happy.
In addition to appearing as himself, he also narrates the animated portion of the documentary. (Because of course there's an animated portion.)
There aren't any other familiar (to me) faces in this film, on account of the whole documentary thing, but I wanted to highlight my two favorite stars.
Lyle is a totally adorkable teen whose conservative dad isn't quite down with the whole animated girlie pony thing. There's just something about Lyle that is so normal yet so weird, and I loved the crap out of him.
Daniel is a Brit with Asperger's, and his love of MLP actually helps him deal with his social anxiety. As a result, his storyline
made me cry is truly inspiring.
I also adored Nadine and Ben, a German couple who fell in love over their shared Brony status. SO CUTE.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Make Like Sardines
Pack 'em in, y'all, because who ISN'T fascinated by a group of males who love animated ponies that teach lessons on friendship? Like any good documentary, this film adds a very human angle to an intriguing premise, and there are many, many moments when you'll need to turn to a friend, either in surprise or bewilderment or just to make sure he/she saw that thing that just happened.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Whatever Makes You Feel Magical
Don't fill up on so much alcohol that you can't absorb the impact of this movie, but feel free to indulge a little. Because the film gets a little weird, and so should you.
Use of Your Netflix Subscription: Oddly Satisfying
I went into this film with a burning case of curiosity, and I emerged with the warm fuzzies. Seriously.
Bronies might sound strange or freakish, but when it all comes down to it, they're nerds, just like you and me. This documentary did a great job of exploring the culture without ever mocking it, and by the end, I found myself connecting with a fandom that had previously baffled me.
So don't be surprised if my next Netflix Fix is an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.