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Tribeca FF 2014 Films, On Your Radar: A Brony Tale
by Kathryn Loggins

There exists a group in this world that is obsessed with the reboot of the 1980’s cartoon My Little Pony - they call themselves “Bronies”. This group is sweet, nerdy and loveable, but there is one major detail that tends to make them a bit odd: the “Bronies” are predominantly male. These men (generally 15 to 40 years of age) are self-proclaimed fans of a cartoon whose target audience is actually little girls. How is this possible? What do these men see in a show like My Little Pony? The documentary A Brony Tale examines the phenomenon of this societal group and invites the audience to join in on the fun.
Most “Bronies” have a sweet disposition and are strong advocates of friendship. Most of these men are looking for a way to connect to other people, because they have a hard time making friends within mainstream society. Oftentimes, they are ridiculed and bullied by their peers for liking My Little Pony, so when the “Bronies” come together they focus on love and peace within their culture.
A majority of the story is told through the eyes of Ashleigh Ball, one of the voice actresses for My Little Pony – Friendship is Magic. She is asked about her relationship to the “Bronies” and she confesses that she’s never really heard of them. After she’s made aware of the immense fan-base the show has generated, Ashleigh becomes intrigued. The documentary continues in following Ashleigh on a new adventure as she is invited to attend the 2012 BronyCon (like Comic-Con, but for “Bronies”!) as an honored guest. Her experiences within the world of the “Bronies” are both amusing and sincere.

The documentary itself walks the line between making fun of the culture and condoning it. As I was watching the movie, being thoroughly entertained and laughing out loud, it was hard to tell if I was laughing because it was absolutely ridiculous or wonderfully charming. I guess that\'s for each audience member to decide for himself or herself.