It’s finally happening.
After almost exactly seven years of the latest My Little Pony generation being on television, we’re finally getting a feature film!
My Little Pony: The Movie is sure to have a massive impact upon the fandom. Although the movie is probably already released by the time many of you read this, as of this writing the movie is set to come out in just four days.
Here are some of our pre-release thoughts and predictions about how the movie might affect the fandom; for better and for worse!
“Why are there so many grown men at the My Little Pony movie?”
It’s not hard to imagine the movie will be many people’s introduction to the fandom. Imagine you and your family are being dragged to some girly animated film about colorful ponies. Your daughter/sister/niece is excited for the movie, and you expect it to be a fun outing with the family.
As you get your tickets you notice a very particular crowd is at the theater today. Geeks in their late teens and 20s are excitedly clamoring about something. They’re probably there for that new Blade Runner movie or something.
As you enter the cinema with your family, you immediately notice something is wrong. The crowd you saw earlier seems to have followed you in, but you were certain this was the cinema for the pony movie. You must have made a mistake.
You turn and begin to explain the error to the family but before a word can exit your mouth a stampede of bronies wielding giant pony plushies overcomes you. Both you and your family are knocked to the ground as the roar of bronies loudly singing their favorite pony songs off-key echos throughout the room.
Okay…so that probably won’t happen.
At this point in time, people’s perception of bronies could go either way. It only takes a couple crazy pony fans to make headlines and spoil the fun for everyone else, but at the same time bronies are generally known for their friendliness and goodwill.
A glimpse of the worst case scenario has already occurred.
This writer had the pleasure of viewing the first two Equestria Girls films in theaters. [For those unaware, Equestria Girls is a My Little Pony spin-off which saw a limited theatrical release for its first two movies.] While other peoples’ mileage may vary, I personally witnessed something both interesting but also rather concerning.
There was a sizable audience for the first Equestria Girls movie, but most of the viewers were not the movie’s target demographic. Yes, bronies had taken over the cinema to the dismay of many families. That’s not hyperbole. I personally witnessed multiple families get up and leave the theater simply because they were too weirded out by the fact so many older males were in the audience.
The bronies in the audience were not causing any disturbance other than occasional laughter. Perhaps the families which left during the movie were simply being sticks-in-the-mud, but on the other hand it was of large enough concern that when the Equestria Girls sequel “Rainbow Rocks” came to that theater the following year something surprising happened.
When I went to buy my ticket, a question was posed to me: “Will that be fan or family?”
That’s right. The local theater I attended was segregating bronies.
Apparently enough people complained after the first movie for theater management to take action by the time the second one came out. This worked out great for us, because we quite literally had the cinema to ourselves, but this could be bad news for the 2017 My Little Pony movie coming out in just a few days.
Even if every brony in every theater everywhere behaves like a saint, there is still a possibility that the stigma will continue to be perpetuated. Hey, the idea of a bunch of grown men watching a pony movie is silly and no one knows that better than bronies, but let’s hope things don’t go beyond poking a little fun at an internet oddity.
Could the movie be the next big brony influx?
There’s no denying the brony fandom is buckling down for the long-haul in response to its membership going down. As bronydom becomes less of a passing trend and more of a tightly-knit community we can naturally expect our numbers to decrease.
There’s nothing wrong with being a comparatively smaller community of dedicated fans, but it sure was fun to be a part of the fandom when it was “the thing” to be a part of. It seemed like everyone on the internet was a brony during seasons three and four.
Could the pony movie bring back another golden age of bronydom? It’s not difficult to assume the movie will be a big deciding factor for the future of the franchise and by extension the brony fandom.
Maybe this is the beginning of the end for generation four; the movie could flop, some kind of petty drama might paint the fandom in a negative light, or maybe the toys simply won’t sell as well as Hasbro wants.
Or, things could go the complete opposite direction. The movie could be a massive success which not only revitalizes the brony fandom but also bring upon a new age of 2D animated films in general. We might see a massive influx of new fans that keep the community alive for many more years to come!
It’s an exciting time to be a part of the fandom, but I don’t envy those of you reading in the future who already know the outcome. I for one am on the edge of my seat!