Bronies, guys who love the TV show My Little Pony, Friendship Is Magic, are a fascinating and curious bunch. News flash: They don’t all live in their parents’ basement. There are bronies in the military, bronies in the sciences and law, bronies everywhere, united by the enthralling adventures of Twilight Sparkle and her friends in the magical land of Equestria. As they watch the show and participate in online forums, these dudes, guys, boys, and gentlemen are developing their talents, life skills, and friendships while passing on the messages of honesty, kindness, laughter, loyalty, generosity, and yes, magic–despite the disdain and hostility of the outside world.

Director Laurent Malaquais and Producer Michael Brockhoff  join us tonight to discuss Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony, the documentary that takes us from Appalachia to Israel as we meet MLP fans and learn how their lives have been affected by the show.  Bronies also includes interviews with the show’s creator Lauren Faust, voice actors Tara Strong and John de Lancie, as well as other show creatives. The Living Tombstone, a remixer from Tel Aviv whose MLP music and animations have made him an online legend, is doing his first live DJ show at BronyCon, and Amersterdam-based fan LaserPons3 creates MLP-themed laser shows which he plans to show at a UK Bronies convention. Daniel, who has Asperger Syndrome makes plans to travel alone to the same convention, despite how uncomfortable strangers make him.  German-based Nadine and Ben met and fell in love through their passion for MLP, Nadine creates figures based on MLP to sell at Brony conventions.

Both Lyle and Alex are prepping for their first BronyCon in New Jersey. Sixteen year old Lyle is pretty sure his conservative father will object the whole idea, but his father consents to go and learns a few things. Alex lives in a small town in Appalachia where he already stands out as different by driving an old Mercedes instead of a pickup truck – add in the custom MLP stickers and well, his car is bashed in by rednecks. But Alex refuses to give up his love of MLP, and the convention renews his appreciation for his own Brony-ness.

After watching Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony, I couldn’t help but adore and respect the fans of this show, who get some on-camera analysis from psychologists studying the phenomenon.  They embrace themselves and others, raise money for charity, expand their creative and social skills, and have fun.  For many in an uncertain world, MLP shows that everything will work out fine and that honesty, kindness, laughter, loyalty, and generosity are rewarded in kind.