On the heels— er, hooves, of last year’s successful Royal Wedding, residents of Ponyville — and the rabid fan base that follows their equine adventures on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic — are bracing for another major event. In “Magical Mystery Cure,” airing at 10:30am ET Saturday, Feb. 16, Twlight Sparkle will finally become a princess. It will conclude a morning marathon of My Little Pony episodes, beginning at 6am, in an event dubbed the My Little Pony Princess Coronation, which will be hosted by Miss America 2013 Molly Hagan.
But all that princess stuff comes only after Twilight Sparkle must work to undo the effects of a spell she accidentally cast that switches the Cutie Marks of all her friends, and thus their destinies. That’s why Pinkie Pie is working the land at Applejack’s apple farm while Rainbow Dash tends to the forest animals, and why Rarity suddenly has Rainbow Dash’s weather-controlling abilities while Applejack becomes a fashion designer. (I hope you appreciate my restraint in not referring to her as a clothes horse.) And, you know, it’s just sad seeing Fluttershy trying to replicate Pinkie Pie’s singing-and-dancing talents.
The highly musical journey, which includes an opening song that favorably brings to mind the “Belle” number from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, is sure to please the series’ wide range of fans. That includes the target audience of young girls, of course, along with the much-discussed “Brony” contingent, made up of adult males who find the show’s lush animation, witty dialogue and positive messages irresistible.
I’ll go ahead and admit here to never having personally been able to crack the Brony code. Every episode I’ve screened of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic (see, I’m not even cool enough to just refer to it as MLP) I’ve found to be well done — I may have even smiled at a clever joke or two — but I never felt like it broke down any demographic barriers for me. And hey, I’m nothing if not open to great shows in whatever demo I can find them (hello, Golden Girls). Having attended a few Comic-Cons I’ve had some close encounters with Bronies and found them to be among the more tolerable of super fans, i.e., relatively accepting of other people who might not share their obsession. (Although there are definitely instances that contradict this.) The inclination might be to think that it’s a bunch of sketchy dudes with an unhealthy preoccupation with animated ponies, and yeah, you’ll find that, but another way of looking at it is if there’s a cartoon out there that can bring together such disparate groups of people in appreciation, that’s not such a bad thing, right?
Photo: Courtesy of The Hub