Since its debut, Netflix has been a source of procrastination, enjoyment, and an escape from the outside world. While most people use it for watching films and television shows, Netflix also has a large amount of documentaries to educate the masses. One documentary, “A Brony Tale,” stands out because of its odd subject as it dives into the growing sub-culture known as Bronies. But is the quality of the 2014 film mirror the level of uniqueness?
Bronies are self proclaimed fans of the children’s cartoon “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”. Although the show is targeted for predominantly young girls, Bronies consist of mostly adult males. Females have also been absorbed into the Brony culture. At first, this may seem strange to some, which is one reason why ‘A Brony Tale’ is so interesting.
The documentary follows Ashleigh Ball, a singer/song writer and voice actor. Ashleigh is no stranger to ‘My Little Pony’, for she voices the characters Applejack and Rainbow Dash. After receiving an email invitation to attend as a panelist for a Brony convention also known as Bronycon in NYC, Ashleigh and her filmmaker friend decide to uncover the phenomenon that it is Brony culture.
Throughout the documentary, various Bronies are interviewed, giving them a chance to tell their side of the story and explain why there is such a following by male audiences. It’s quite interesting to hear stories on how Bronies stumbled upon the show as well as the source of the crony craze, for the outside world is rather clueless to this phenomenon. From Dustykatt, the manliest Brony in the world, to a family compiled of Bronies, the film showcases the vast diversity among the Brony community. Although there is a large amount of Bronies interviewed in the documentary, there is something missing.
A great documentary, or even argument for that matter, doesn’t feel complete without the opposite side of the given topic. This is where “A Brony Tale” really disappoints. In the film, there lacks interviews on people who aren’t aware or against Brony culture, as it predominantly focuses on the Brony side of the spectrum. While we do see the film through the eyes of Ashleigh, someone unfamiliar with the culture, it would have been nice to have more influence on other people. There are a few very brief interviews of people on the street, but it doesn’t give the sense that the filmmaker wanted to show the unfamiliar view of non Bronies, who may think this is a form of pedophilia.
With a 78 minute run time, the documentary feels somewhat rushed, as I found myself wanting more. Having more focus Ashleigh interacting with Bronies would have been one way to lengthen the film and answer her question on what a Brony is. Aside from the few problems with pacing and interactions, “A Brony Tale” offers an eye opening narration about the Brony culture through first hand experiences, as well as giving yet another example on how people judge something without getting to know what it’s really about. The documentary does a fantastic job at showing the passion of select individuals through the close-knit community that continues to grow, which only makes the film even more special. If you’re a fan of documentaries, especially ones on outlandish topics, Netflix’s “A Brony Tale” is a must watch.