I dought it well, unless its leaked.... They still have the BluRay release in ~ a month, if it is leaked onto youtube then they well not do bluray sells (they said this for themselves) Just borrow the BluRay from someone when it comes out.
umm.. then the blu-ray probably wont be coming out... why does everyone have to ruin something, they could have waited 6 months for the blue-ray to comeout beofre posting a pirate of it!! Also tht money was going to charity!
Actually, as the creators have told the fans in many angry public statements, they were expecting to make money off of it becoming a runaway success and that they were so confident that it would make money for them that many of the crew worked for a year without pay.
They of course did this without realizing that it was a very niche and is of poor quality, and immediately blamed it all on piracy.
wait. Did you just say that this was a poor quality production -_- I can now see that you are to incompetent to hold a liable discussion with, this was the highest quality documentary (next to planet earth, but that has millions of $$ poured into it) that I have seen. Bye now, you may continue to argue with others of you intelligence, I for one am leaving.
okay i am sorry for pointing out the choppy editing, poor pacing, near total lack of female presence and managing to be both inaccessible to a large portion of the outside audience while also having nothing new or interesting for existing fans other than self assurance and injokes
i truly am a troll for watching the documentary and finding issues with it
I want to give the documentary a chance. I've seen a couple of clips and it doesn't look bad. If this gets decent reception then they might make a sequel and explore the nature, myths and themes of the show and how the fandom interprets them or explore the origins of the fandom and show and explain both the light and dark side of it. Then again maybe that sounds too good to be true. BTW great review. I like how you kept it balanced and presented both the pros and cons. I'd say you are a better reviewer than most "internet" reviewers. *coughdougwalkercough*
Well, every time I see a "documentary" or even explanation of bronies that reviews both sides it gets constantly bashed by anti-bronies saying that "All bronies are secret cloppers" or whatever it explained about the dark side of the bronies (which every community has) I think they did it this way as more of an informational introduction to the good side of the brony community.
This might sound slightly hypocritical of me, but I knew that was going to be the end result. A circle-jerking of sorts showcasing the "good" sides while avoiding all the not-so-positive aspects the fandom has created. Which is why, when a friend offered to lend it to me, my only answer was "Eh, not interested."
I watched the documentary today and read your review a few hours later.
Being the MLP-fan I am, I though it was somewhat overglorifying in what it presented (and what it left out). While I did like the documentary for what it was, I strongly agree with you. In my eyes, the review is written very fairly and covers valid and important points.
One can't say from your perspective that it was terrible, but rather it had 1 of 2 things: 1, not enough time was spent gathering research, and they left out considerable amounts of crucial information, therefore making the documentary seem half-baked. 2, the researchers were biased, or had far too much familiarity with the fandom. They missed several important points where people outside of the fandom were left confused.
1. There was no research really presented bar a few vacuous comments by a couple of professors. Even then it wasn't statistical as much as it was generalising comments that anyone could come out with without a doctorate.
2. The documentary definitely had too much familiarity with its audience.
A number of reason I guess, first of, its obvious that you spent quite a bit of time watching it not only once, but twice, and with other people who weren't bronies to clarify that it does a poor job of explaining thing to people who aren't familiar with internet culture.
Secondly, a more ulterior motive, I feared that the documentary would end up like this after watching its initial kickstarter video and hearing the thoughts of other's, while this review obviously isn't a reflection of my thoughts on the documentary since I haven't seen it, I does bring to light my fears that the documentary would fail in its role as a documentary. Subsequently it provides perfect link material.
Lastly, it's just really well balanced, you highlight the few positives but also bring light to the many negatives in a way that seem's tasteful and not overly bitchy which is uncommon given the context of what your talking about and the fact that this is the internet after all.
Thanks for writing this review! It really hit the nail on the head for me! I haven't seen the documentary, as I watched all the clips / trailers I could find and thought "uhh... this seems a bit propergandery" and decided against paying to watch it in full.
I'm feeling more and more like there is a split growing in the Brony fandom. Lets group them, for example's sake: Group A: those who enjoy the show along with their other interests, and Group B: those whose 'life changed' after watching the show and feel like they are some kind of enlightened special group of unique people that suffer the rest of the world and their intolerences...
I feel that I fit into 'Group A'... I am a big fan who collects a huge amount of merchandise and watches every episode as soon as it comes out... but I also do that in a number of other fandoms, and I have plenty of other interests to occupy my time between MLP episodes that doesn't include 'all things MLP'. Additionally I am fully accepting of the fact that MLP is and was always meant for children, and I'm humbled by Hasbro's open-arm response to the brony fandom, allowing 3rd parties to produce brony merchandise... but Hasbro still have have a reputation to uphold with familes and children, their target market. I think that 'Group A' also includes those with only a couple of bits of merchandise (if any): the main feature of 'Group A' fans is that it hasn't completely absorbed their lives.
...But I've been constantly flabbergasted by 'Group B' bronies who insist that the show was NEVER made for children alone, and that they have ALWAYS been the most important market for MLP:FiM. They proclaim that they are the number 1 moneybringer for Hasbro, and that Hasbro should cater to them primarily, if not exclusively. Take the recent Alicorn rumors... the reaction has been astonishing! I've seen everywhere things like 'Hasbro should know better than to do this, since their customers [the bronies] don't want it!', and 'I can't believe Hasbro are still insisting on making princesses for little girls rather than what we want!'. I'm not just making this up: I have seen these kinds of comments almost every day since the whole alicorn rumors in particular came up. Since when were bronies such big-headed 'special snowflakes'?
This documentary really feels like it was made for the Group B bronies, and as has been mentioned already, is almost entirely for the purpose of validating them as special snowflakes. The result is that both 'Group A' fans and people who are new to the fandom are alientated.
Personally, I don't know if I want to be called a 'brony' anymore. I won't stop loving the show, but I'm not sure I can stand the 'Group B' fans anymore, let alone being grouped in with them...
It's definitely not the sort of documentary that you need to watch to necessarily comment on, as the very notion of making a documentary about bronies deserves commentary long before you get down to the content. That usually goes against my entire approach, as I'm an enormous supporter of checking something out before criticising it, so that you have a credible opinion. That said, this documentary is almost exactly as you probably predicted it to be, and so you can say with reasonable clarity what the pitfalls are within.
This split you have observed is highly perceptive and accurate. I think it's always going to be the problem when an abstract label is applied to a group of people: within that social microcosm, different people have different levels of interest, and therefore the moderates are going to be offended by the extremists. I don't think that there is anything necessarily wrong with being an adult and enjoying the show, or collecting the merchandise. People have hobbies, and there isn't anything inherently damaging about having a quirky side. Being a grown-up doesn't mean that you have to entirely grow up, after all.
Your 'Group A' bronies are the bulk of people that are posting on this review. They give rational opinions and detailed responses while retaining a sense of normalcy. They aren't quick to get offended, and are more than happy to say where the obvious flaws are in something (such as MLP).
Your 'Group B' bronies are the ones driving the 'Group A' bronies away, and this rift you have alluded to is certainly there. So many people are abdicating from the fandom because they don't want to be associated with some of the more embarrassing aspects of the fandom. 'Group B' bronies are usually motivated by ignorance. I have encountered plenty of people who believe that bronies are responsible for most of Hasbro's income, utterly ignorant to the fact that Hasbro own so many products outside of MLP. On this deviation, for example, I came into contact with plenty of people on the 'alicorn issue', which blew my mind: [link]. Some of these people spend so long worrying about pointless things. It is quite alarming.
I would just like to say that, from the inception of this documentary, I've been skeptical. It's a documentary that people paid money to have made that is doing nothing more but telling those people that they are okay. They have paid money to validate themselves and what they are interested in. And that's laughable to me, not going to lie.
It's made worse by the fact that you have to pay money to see it. You already paid money to have it made and now you can't see what you paid for...unless you pay again. I'm incredibly bothered by the fact that there is absolutely no mention of the negative sides of the fandom, but I am not in the least bit surprised; again, this is a movie all about validation. I say if that's what they want to spend their money on, that's all well and good. I just detest knowing that from now on, when I try to tell a "brony" that is acting inappropriately, he will automatically shove the existence of this documentary into my face and tell me "WELL JOHN DELANCIE SAYS WE'RE GOOD PEOPLE SO THERE."
This is a fantastic observation. You are completely right - it is a documentary made for the purpose of validation. Bronies paying ludicrous amounts of money to be able to hear praise about what they do. The fandom as a whole is so insecure that it requires that form of validation, which is quite bizarre.
I also find the payment side of things to be concerning. While I'm sure there are reasons for charging money, it seems unusual to charge such a high price for a digital download. I believe the people who funded it get a free copy/download if they donated enough, although I do have to question how they intend to educate non-bronies about bronies by charging money for the 'privilege'. People just won't bother. The only people buying this will be bronies, who already know what they are. It creates an awkward situation where the purpose of the documentary and its distribution method fall into contention. Even if they manage to get it onto Netflix, that is still a pay-for-view service.
We'll have to wait and see what happens. I do hope that it doesn't win any awards, though. As a documentary it's fairly bad, and so if it wins awards either because bronies spam polls or because people get swept up in a wave of hysteria I'll be quite irritated.
I figured it was a fishy documentary by the time I read "Please don't post this on youtube." on Equestria Daily.
Okay. I'm sorry. But if you have people fund your film, why not share it with the open public? Instead now the documentary just sounded like a great big pony circle jerk fest. So I didn't even bother to watch it. Ballad of the Brony was way better and that guy didn't go around asking people for money to make it.
Although this did remind me of something in the Furry community. Kind of similar, go with me here. The two guys who help out with the con kind of did a "Furries in the media" special to new con goers. It was immensely informative. I'm not sure if they went about explaining what furries are to non furries, because there were none at the con. Makes sense.
Also I'm sick of people talking about all the male fans. Stop giving the Bronies massive egos!
Okay, I realize that charging money seems ridiculous, but let me explain.
Firstly, I AM Lyle Gilpatrick, the one with the dad. When they came to my house to interview, they needed a hired sound guy, plus all of his equipment. Then, at each location, they needed to rent camera equipment because they couldn't get their stuff on the plane. THEN they needed plane tickets, THEN hotel rooms, THEN tickets for the conventions, and all for every single location, PLUS pay for the animators and other people who pitched in. It cost well over 300K to make.
Equestria Daily are rather foolish at times. When episodes leak early, they like to say, "Don't go and watch it on Youtube!", which, of course, tells people that the episodes are on Youtube and motivates them to do precisely that. When they told people not to post it on Youtube, of course people are going to do it. They don't really have any authority within the fandom, despite being a fairly big part of it.
I agree that sharing the documentary would eliminate some of the cynicism towards it. It's hard not to see it as some brony-praising piece of fan-service made for the bronies when it isn't available for everyone to check out. While I'm sure there are reasons for charging money for it, putting it out on Youtube for free would certainly allow more people to see it, which was the purpose of the documentary in the first place. As said in the exchange with =hinoraito below, the exclusion of females from the focus was quite concerning. Then again, what do you expect from bronies?
I'm reminded of a comment I saw made once where a brony stated "My Little Pony: FiM is really a show for men! There are things in it that are too deep for little girls to understand." While there are "pegisisters" (is that the term?), they're not seen as people on the same level of bronies; more like "lesser persons".
This is, of course, only talking about a certain part of the brony base. I am sure there are bronies out there that are perfectly respectable people.
I think, with me, if you call yourself a "brony", you are a type of person I do not want to know. If you call yourself "a fan of MLP", I'll be less bothered.
I would agree that 'fan of MLP' is a much more well-rounded term. That way you're not identifying yourself as part of a culture, but as a fan of the show, which in turn implies that you have other interests outside of MLP. I've seen plenty of male bronies saying that girls can't be bronies, at which point I lose the will to engage with these bigoted people.
I was waiting to read a review from you. GREAT REVIEW! It touched all of my concerns. When I first started watching it, it sounded like they would look at both side of the coin. But then halfway through I realized that I could not show this to my parents has they would be VERY confused.
Not only that but, let me put my annoying feminist hat on XD I was very angry that this documentary BARELY touched the women of the fandom. They were mentionned and oh so made fun of in that 30 second song bit. At this point, I dont care what their intentions were. It is clear that they have no idea, NONE, what the female fandom is composed of.
I call this sexism by omission. Failing to see us, failing to understand us to praise the majority. UUUUGH man. I could go on about this but I'm too angry/frustrated/disappointed to make a clear point LOL
-But- (there is a but here) some female fans I feel have purposely refused to be interviewed. So even women are not helping women D: How sad... anyway this made me decide that I should step up and if I get an opportunity to get interviewed, I will take it, even if I make a fool of myself <_<
That said, we should gather up some fans and make our own documentary. I would be all up that idea.
I completely agree. I mentioned the pegasister point, but you have expanded upon it well. There were brief mentions of women in the documentary, but they were marginalized throughout as a side-thought; a mere footnote to be alluded to every now and then. None of the bronies followed, bar that German girl (and even she needed a German guy as part of her story to make her relevant) were female, and at the convention the focus was generally on the male part of the fandom. I do greatly sympathise - bronies will probably only make one 'official' documentary, and this is it. To omit any mention of the female side of things is so grossly unfair that I wouldn't be surprised if women left this fandom due to being under-appreciated. I understand that women liking My Little Pony isn't as 'unorthodox' as males, but that's neither here nor there - the documentary should have mentioned females as being a vital part of the community, rather than merely a few middling words in that song and some passing references.
I was talking to some people last night about this and your name actually popped up. I was irritated that the 'featured artist' in the documentary is a person who draws pony pornography, which I think is completely warped for a documentary designed to show bronies in a positive light. We discussed which other popular artists could have been used who don't draw pony porn, and your name came up. The fact that you're female, your connections to WeLoveFine and your sensible attitude would have made you a great person to be interviewed. Maybe at some point you and I should have a discussion about these kinds of things and record it - people would probably enjoy listening to us both criticising the unfair parts of the fandom.
Oh my! .... MY NAME CAME UP!?! That is a pleasant surprise as I have been fighting to make myself a place upon the artists of welovefine (and in the pony community in general). Just last year a friend of mine who went to a pony convention had to tell people they were wearing my shirts... cause they had no clue who I was LOL.
I would GLADLY discuss with you, make a podcast or something. I'm kind of clumsy with words but WHATEVER. I'll do it anyway XD
Your style is very recognisable. Those people are silly if they didn't realise they were wearing your shirts! I'm sure that you will continue to gain popularity as time goes by. You definitely deserve the attention.
As for a podcast, let's go for it! I'll come up with a plan on how to structure it (whether it will be just you and me, or if we'll include other people as well representing different views) and then we can have a practice-run to see how it works. If it goes well, we can do it properly and show people. If people like it and we enjoy it, we could do more in the future!
I'll note you at some point in the not-too-distant future with some ideas.
AKA, almost exactly what the Something Awful people expected it to be.
I've not watched it, probably won't intend to, considering it's just only showing the bronies in a positive light (this kinda stuff I already know about, I don't care to know about it). I want to show something to people to kinda explain what bronies are, why they like the show, the good and the bad, etc. Seems like this won't cut it... not surprised.
Seems like what they could've done is brought in someone completely unfamiliar with EVERYTHING, show it to them, they ask questions, and then they bring in the answers. Or just look at it from a perspective of "I don't know anything, what should I know if I were the audience?"
Or better yet, look at the internet, bring up what the internet hates/likes about bronies and explain it, more in-depth.
Ah well... I'll just continue to roll my eyes at the documentary, since I heard of its production.
That would have been an interesting idea. I'm not a big fan of telling people 'how they should have done it', as I'm not a documentary maker and I don't have any knowledge of the logistics of creating something like this. However, I think, if the purpose was to educate people who don't know about bronies (which would be the only credible reason for making this documentary) then it would have made sense to get a non-brony, perhaps asking questions, and then have the documentary provide visual/video evidence answering said questions. At the end of it, the person unfamiliar with bronies would have no more questions, and thus the documentary would have fulfilled its basic premise.
They could have also addressed misconceptions about the bronies. Sort of a, 'This is what bronies are', and then finding evidence to suggest that while those things do happen, they aren't the norm.
But 'eh. Even if you had a chance to watch it, I don't think you necessarily need to. It won't tell you anything that you don't already know.
(Oops, I had meant to say, "this kinda stuff I know about, I don't want to hear any more of it."* That's what happens when I type everything right before I go to sleep.)
Yeah, I assume that the intent was to have bronies explain themselves to the internet and people who've never been on the internet so people know what its all about and why they're so into it. Hm... from the sound of it, this documentary makes me fat (no inflation fetish).
Anything. Bronies are the joke of the internet. Proof that the thing exists, (like cloppers) talk about it, give information about it. Prove that that's not ALL bronies. Which I imagine is mostly true (please be true).
I've seen the good and bad side of bronies, it's on the surface of the media for 'em. Equestria Daily, etc.
I think the fact that bronies are the joke of the internet is largely why this documentary won't do anything to change people's perspectives. No one is suddenly going to change their mind about bronies, and the fact that bronies threw so much money at validating themselves only makes them into a greater target.