On the appealing strangeness of My Little Pony

I’ll confess I had no impression about “My little pony” (I’ll abbreviate as “MLP” to save keystrokes) until about a year ago, when I first sat down with my daughter and watched the first episode1 of “MLP: Friendship is Magic”.

My first observation was: “whew, this isn’t as dumb as the other toddler shows she watches; sure, this is approved”.

My second observation was: “wow, this is chock full of a whole cast of female characters” (blowing past the Bechdel test2)

My third observation was: “wait a minute, this is way smarter for any other show that she watches”

The first two were the reason MLP is a big thing right now at our home (figurines, the shows, the movies, even the books3), but it’s this third fact that’s most intriguing.

There are (especially as you get into the later seasons) all kinds of pop-culture references, sometimes really oblique or deep ones, and I sit and wonder, “who is this for?”.

Is it for adults who occasionally watch along? I buy that for a Pixar movie, where we’re essentially in the same seat together for a whole two hours, but … here? It’s a mystery to me.

Anyway, In the end … yes, I’m a total Lauren Faust4 fanboy now, which means “DC Super Hero Girls”5 is approved 6 too 🙂


  1. Imdb link ↩︎
  2. i.e. whether conversations between female characters involve male characters or not; here, male characters are mostly irrelevant to the plot ↩︎
  3. E.g. the Omnibus series, more on which later ↩︎
  4. Who basically created the entire MLP franchise from whole cloth ↩︎
  5. Imdb link ↩︎
  6. … another Lauren Faust creation, with similar dynamics (and many of the voice cast too) ↩︎