Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100% (Critics) / 89% (Audience)
Directed By: Brent Hodge
Written By: Brent Hodge
Starring: Ashleigh Ball, David Beckingham, Mike Bernstein
Studio: Abramorama Entertainment
Synopsis:Vancouver-based voice artist Ashleigh Ball has been the voice of numerous characters on classic cartoons such as Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, Cinderella and more. When Ashleigh was hired as the voice of Apple Jack and Rainbow Dash on the 4th generation installment of Hasbro’s My Little Pony series, she had no idea she was about to become an internet phenomenon and voice celebrity among a very unique type of fan…The Bronies. The subculture of middle aged men who are obsessed with the show My Little Pony. The documentary “A Brony Tale” not only gives us an inside look into the incredible niche world of these men, but also an intimate look into the courage it takes to just be yourself…even if that means liking a little girls cartoon. – (Source)
Bronies get a bad rap. They are ridiculed and derided as being some sort of freaks so it was pleasantly surprising to see that this movie made sure to not make fun of them and instead strove to present each Brony spotlighted as a perfectly normal, well-rounded human being who just happens to really, really like a show geared towards little girls.
It was also a good idea to use MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC voice actor Ashleigh Ball as the outsider viewpoint through which we are given entrance into the world of the Brony. Ball is so damn perky and bubbly and her apprehension at entering into Bronyland was cute as heck.
I understand the film’s desire to present Bronies as normal but it was a tad bit disingenuous to skate around the seedier side of the Brony fandom. It wouldn’t have been out of line either because all aspects of all types of fandom have their slash fiction loving, eroticizing dark side. Ignoring that part of the Brony legion really stood out like a big striped and winged elephant in the room.
If these Bronies are serious about their fandom and growing these BronyCons into Comicon levels of events then I am going to need them to step up their cosplay game. I have never seen such enthusiastic fans who just say “fuck effort” when it comes to cosplay like a Brony. Do better, dammit!
Final Verdict: A very respectable and downright affectionate look at a subculture that is overwhelmingly mocked and misunderstood. Things got a bit whitewashed in the film’s bid to present being a Brony as just another harmless, geeky hobby but in the end this documentary almost made me want to start watching My Little Pony myself. Almost.