The History and Culture of My Little Pony, 1981-2016
New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Children's LiteratureNew Books in FilmNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books Network February 23, 2017 Rebekah J. Buchanan
In Ponyville Confidential: The History and Culture of My Little Pony, 1981-2016 (McFarland, 2017), Sherilyn Connelly examines the long and complex history of Hasbro’s My Little Pony franchise. Since it debuted in the early 1980s, controversy has surrounded My Little Pony. Dismissed as solely toy advertisements and not serious enough, the series has been critiqued since its inception. In her new book, Connelly explores the history of the franchise through four generations of ponies, comparing it to cartoons geared towards boys such as Transformers which, despite their similarity, were largely spared the criticism the ponies generated. The book is a comprehensive examination of the series through Season 5 -Friendship is Magic as well as first three Equestria Girls films. Connelly uses archival research into popular media’s response to the series as well as fan response through listservs, petitions, and fan pages to present a wide-range of information examining the My Little Pony phenomena. In addition to its discussion of My Little Pony, Connelly’s book serves as an examination into how children’s television is mediated, discussed and gendered.
Rebekah Buchanan is an Assistant Professor of English at Western Illinois University. Her work examines the role of narrative–both analog and digital–in people’s lives. She is interested in how personal narratives produced in alternative spaces create sites that challenge traditionally accepted public narratives. She researches zines, zine writers and the influence of music subcultures and fandom on writers and narratives. You can find more about her on her website, follow her on Twitter @rj_buchanan or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.