The Mad Aardvark

Critical commentary on culture…

Ponies: They Could Be Worse

Posted by madaardvark on October 15, 2014

“MLP in Spongebob” by bronielover106 (deviantART)

In light of recent life changes, I’m having a much more positive outlook on the world. I have found myself still seeing those things that need improvement, and I still don’t care for them, but I’m spending more time focusing on what I enjoy rather than what I don’t.

A lot of what I dislike comes from seeing inevitable change, and I’ve had to learn to accept that. Other things that go through such changes, though, are hurtling towards an inevitable disintegration. I’ve had to accept that, too. As we age, we have to be cognizant that there are experiences we have had that define not just ourselves, but entire generations. These things can’t be shared ever again.

The death knell for Saturday morning cartoons has been rung, and despite a few education shows for toddlers, there really isn’t a long line-up of brainless cartoon junk food to watch on Saturday mornings anymore. Is that for the best? Or is it just different now? It stands as no surprise to me. I myself raised my daughter without that weekly institution. She had entire television stations dedicated to cartoons, and now streaming for whatever kind of show she wants to watch. We spend whole weekends with Spongebob Squarepants playing almost non-stop. (Weekends tend to be the time when Nickelodeon marathons the hell out of Spngebob.)

Once upon a time, I couldn’t stand Spongebob, not for the sexual innuendos, but for the philosophy of the show. Now, though? I’m getting more complacent with it. I have to admit, it’s a rare show that still relies on hand-drawn animation that manages to draw characters as three-dimensional objects, rather than flat computer-aided images that most cartoons use nowadays. The world and characters are consistent, too, both in their behavior and the function of their world. As weird and chaotic as the show might be, it functions with a regular, consistent representation of how its own reality works, and that’s something you can only appreciate from watching this show at great length. Forced to, if you will. At great risk of mental health. Because your daughter wants to.

I’m starting to appreciate My Little Pony, too. It’s a horribly drawn show, and the dialogue is mind-numbingly stupid, but the message it sends is consistent and very rarely hypocritical, unlike, say Monster High, which TELLS children that they should embrace their differences, but SHOWS them a world where all the girls fit the EXACT SAME body type. And that’s really why I have loosened my stringent cartoon beliefs to let my daughter watch those Ponies: a very positive message for girls. They’re strong and independent, and their world consists of something unrelated to impressing boys or even needing them around. Boys are there, in the background, doing their own thing, and the girls pretty much run the world. It’s a nice place for an otherwise sexist world. If only the animation wasn’t so, so awful!


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