When Ashleigh Ball got the job voicing a few of the characters in the television show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
, she had no idea she'd become a cult heroine in the world of fandom.
The show, based on toys that were popular for young girls in the 80s, has oddly attracted a following of straight, adult males. Yes, males.
They have dubbed themselves "Bronies" and created an entire community centered around celebrating the program.
In this film, the crew travels to meet Bronies from all over the country as Ashleigh prepares for her first BronyCon
in New York. We see the very definition of "masculine" in a Brony who builds motorcycles; the tender side of an Iraq veteran as he renews his love for art by drawing tributes to the show; an African-American DJ that specializes in Brony parties and a group of students from Northwestern who hold their own Brony meetups.
Though it may seem an odd thing to obsess over, nearly every Brony mentions that positivity is what draws them to the show and the community. These folks don't appear creepy or crazy; they're passionate and sincere. Above all, they're sweet.
Following Ashleigh's acclimation to the community throughout the film gives us a unique perspective of someone who is warming to the group's virtual embrace.
To paraphrase what director Brent Hodge said in the Q &A, it's nice to see a documentary that leaves you feeling good instead of bad.
He certainly achieved that with this fun, lighthearted look at one of our most unique subcultures.
A BRONY TALE screened at the 40th Seattle International Film Festival.
Labels: 2014, 40th Seattle International Film Festival, A Brony Tale, Ashleigh Ball, Bronies, documentary, film, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, review, SIFF, SIFForty, Tassoula