Friday, May 31, 2024

Bienvenue à Equestria ~ My Little Pony in French and English

I am a fan of "My Little Pony" which makes me, what, a "brony?" Or maybe, at my age, a crony?

I was aware, back in 2012, of the unusual My Little Pony fandom of young men between the ages of 15 - 30. I know I was aware because I can see I wrote a blog post about it back then

The brony fandom is considered so fascinating that two separate movies were made about them: Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony and A Brony Tale. I've watched both of them.

However, I was so clueless in 2012 that I included in my blog post an image of a "My Little Pony" toy from an earlier generation of the My Little Pony franchise, instead of one from the generation that really captured the brony imagination "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic."

The Friendship is Magic (FIM) animation series includes little knowing asides, which is one of the reasons it is enjoyed by adults. In one episode, called "Too Many Pinkie Pies" there is a reference back to the look of an earlier generation My Little Pony.

A FIM generation pony looks like this:


Grace à la langue française

So how did I become a Pony crony? It's because of the French. When the convicted felon Donald Trump was elected POTUS in 2016 I began to learn French with the idea that if I had to ask for political asylum in Montreal (the closest big Canadian city to New York) I would be ready by becoming bi-lingual. And as Trump is threatening to be POTUS again, I still have that escape strategy in mind.

In addition to taking classes at FIAF in 2017 I began to watch cartoons on YouTube that had dubbed French versions. Cartoons because they are mostly aimed at children which means the dialog was slower, clearer and with a smaller vocabulary than anything aimed at adults.

I started with random videos like this one, La chanson des squelettes. Then I graduated to the French version of the British animated series Peppa Pig which is aimed at four-year-olds. When my French got a little better, and I had seen every French episode available of Peppa Pig, I moved on to another British series "Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom" called in French Le Petit Royaume de Ben et Holly, which is for eight-year-olds.

Like all good TV shows for kids since Sesame Street, these shows have humor that parents can appreciate, especially Ben and Holly. Peppa and Ben and Holly were created by the same team.

So finally I had seen all the French version Ben and Holly episodes and was looking around for something else when I hit on My Little Pony: La magie de l'amitié en français

At first I watched the episodes strictly for the French, but my French was not good enough to understand all the. dialogue, and I sometimes struggled to understand the plots, so I would watch the English language version of the episode I was struggling with. And then I became interested in the show. There were two episodes in particular that I thought raised the MLP: FIM series to a level above Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly. I will write about them soon.