The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

From and Entertainment Perspective, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a Good Animated Show

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/5/2014 Category: TV
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,396 times Debate No: 54047
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




My opponent has major sentiments against the My Little Pony franchise, as well as those outside the target audience who watch the show. For that reason, I would like to set aside some time to prove to him that there are all the necessary entertainment qualities present in the show, and thus prove that there's nothing wrong with someone outside the target audience watching it.

First round is for acceptance, good luck.


I accept. Although you seem to be a bit misguided. While I am totally against the MLP:FiM fan base aka bronies; I am not (at least totally) against those outside the target audience who also watch the show. I am mostly against those outside the target audience that don't realize that the show they are watching isn't anything special.

If you are a 10 year old little boy or a 40 year old man I am fine with you watching the show for whatever reason you have (bordem, entertainment,whatever). If you are one of those and you watch the show thinking "OMG THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER BECAUSE IT HAS EVERYTHING A GOOD SHOW NEEDS TO HAVE TO BE A GOOD SHOW etc,etc,etc..." then those are the type of "outside target audience" I am against. The ones that delude themselves into thinking the show is something more than it actually is.
Debate Round No. 1


Alright, gang. Let's get the obligatory out of the way first. As a brony, I can profess this without any hesitation:

Bronies are creepy.

I won't deny that bronies are creepy; because they are. Some of the most psychopathic people I know are fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. But, let's not kid ourselves-- Every form of entertainment that was ever worth a damn has at some point gotten ruined by their few obnoxious fans. Just to name off a few, there's...

>Harry Potter
>Ledgend of Zelda
>Breaking Bad

..and of course,

The problem is, fans of My Little Pony tend to be a little bit more obnoxious, and on top of that, obnoxious about something that most people feel like they shouldn't be a fan of at all. This (along with the mere stereotype that all children's TV is bad) has led many people to have a deep resentment for My Little Pony, and assume that it's just a bad show in general.

Yes, while My Little Pony is most likely outside your demographic (not to mention your taste in television), when one really gets down to the core elements of what makes an animated show good, one can really see just how extremely well-made the fairytale about "the magic of friendship" really is:

The Qualities of My Little Pony as a "Good Animated Show"

"Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive."~Walt Disney

Choi Jong-Il is one of the most renowned animators not only in his native country of South Korea, but in the whole world. Here's the paramount criterion he puts forward in terms of what makes a "good" animated story[1]:

Unique Content:
When creator of "The Powerpuff Girls" Lauren Faust was originally assigned to create a reboot of the My Little Pony franchise, her orginal sentiment was to jump off a cliff[2]. It was clear to her that the show had to be different in some way, and not just a plot to sell more toys.And that's exactly what came out:

"Let me be clear: Kids TV that doesn’t make parents want to slit their wrists out of irritation is to be treasured...With that out of the way, I’m going to say this:My Little Pony Friendship Is Magicisn’t just kids TV that won’t make parents want to kill themselves; it’s legitimately entertaining and lots of fun." -A.V. Club Critic Todd VanDerWerff[3]

The show is by no means "sophisticated television," and I'm not about to argue that it is, but it really is a new step outside the conventional consumerist television sphere, and it's proven time and time again to be a truly entertaining work.

Here are a few other things Choi reccomends that any animator would agree with, that fans demand, and that My Little Pony delivers:

An Indentifiable Story:
In My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, Twilight Spakle, the protagonist, is an avid student who spends too much time at the books and not enough time out in the real world. Her teacher sends her on a new assignment to make friends in order for her to truly understand what magic is about.

We've all been passionate about something, and we've all had to step outside our comfort zone to completely engage in it. And, a lot of us on would rather study than have friends.

I'm just kidding. Point being, the story is easily relatable, and it keeps the audience engaged.

Make it For Children:

Humor Works:
Go ahead and take some time to watch this video clip. I put it as an https link so that the video wouldn't be at the very top of the argument:

That was an actual clip from the show; nothing fan-made. I'm not insisting for you to laugh at it, but you can agree that it definitely has a degree of comedic value and upbeat action that an animation deserves to possess.

Regardless of whether you're a fan of the show, or whether you even like it at all, there's no denying that the effort put into this creation gives it a rightful seat in TV Giude's Top 60 Cartoons of All Time[4].

Top critics profess it, fans profess it, the formula is followed, and the ratings don't lie. Regardless of what my opponent presents, it's impossible for him to prove that the show is not at least "good" by animation standards.

[2] Bronies: The Documentary


"Regardless of what my opponent presents, it's impossible for him to prove that the show is not at least "good" by animation standards."

Impossible? No it isn't impossible. I will admit it will probably be a hard task, but not impossible one.

Well I am going to start my side of the debate by first acknowledging the "target demographic".
What is a target demographic? Well it is like a range of sorts. It can be easily defined as the rating a toy would get. Say a toy says "ages 7 and up". That mean that the toy is meant for kids that are 7 years old. The "and up" part, of course, means anyone above the age of 7 years old. The thing is while a target demographic or even a toy rating puts a range on something that range doesn't necessarily that it is restricted to those of that age group or gender. It just means it would get the MOST enjoyment by those of that range. A 7 year that gets that toy will get more enjoyment from it than a 25 year adult. That again doesn't mean a adult can't get any enjoyment from that toy or can't have it. It just means they are less likely to enjoy it than the 7 year old.

I believe my opponent is partially right. My little pony: friendship is magic is good show animated show, but realistically only to those in the target demographic. That means some subject matters won't be in MLP and will never be in the show especially when compared to other shows that are meant for other demographics.

What is a animated show/cartoon really? It is basically just a animated story. Some can be good stories. Some can be bad stories. MLP is no different. It is a story as well, but this is a story meant for 5-8 year old girls. If you watch MLP and expect violence or something that you would expect in a show meant for adults you aren't going to see this at all really. You might get some watered down violence, but that would be all. You also aren't going to see a lot of the elements that make a story good. This is why people of all ages usually watch tv shows in general. They get hooked on the stories and the characters in the stories that the tv shows tell. Take any popular tv show that has ever been put out in the last few decades. Were they just about random events that went no where? No! They all told a story that had a beginning, a middle, and finally a end. Take popular tv shows that are going on right now. Would Adventure time be as popular as it is now if it was just Finn and Jake just walking around all day doing mundane chores or tasks? I doubt it. Would Gravity Falls or Phineas and Ferb be popular if the characters just spent their time talking about their day and how great it was? No. These shows tell and show the stories about why their days are great.

On the subjects of what makes MLP a "Good show".
My opponent claims that part of what makes MLP a good show is unique content. I will address this by referring to one of my previous debates to save time and text.

In the second paragraph I explained what Lauren Faust herself originally created taken from her very own words she said at a Con, her DA account, and a Q&A.

A show that as my opponent pointed out is "unique content". Anyone that watches the show now or knows anything about the show now knows this master piece that she created isn't what they are watching. She tried to go against the limits put in place by Hasbro. This is proven in the Brony documentary extras where she is interviewed and various other places. The show that we see now isn't bad, but because of those limits you miss out on a lot of great story. What we see now is a show bound by limits that has wasted potential. In the end, this is a story we have seen before. It isn't really unique. It is the story of a outcast finding friends and the aftermath of such. There is some unique content here and there, but there is much more blandness.

My opponent says the show isn't "sophisticated television". He is right. It isn't, but something doesn't have to be sophisticated to be good or entertaining. Faust's original concept was by no means "sophisticated television". It was a good story with elements that all can enjoy. It had action, adventure, drama, and family values that people could enjoy all the while teaching little kids morals. You don't need sophistication to enjoy a story such as that. You just need to be a person that likes good stories and good storytelling.

On the point of "An Identifiable Story".
It is identifiable to some extent, but most people can't identify with everything that MLP has or rather what it doesn't have. Take the character Scoot-a-loo. Disabled people could have easily identified themselves with her as a character. She can't fly and wants to fly like her idol. The episode "Flight to the Finish" she believes that all she had to do was work REALLY hard and she would be able to fly. The episode ended with Rainbow Dash saying "maybe you will fly, maybe you won't". Basically it is inconclusive if she can eventually or can't fly ever. A disabled person can't identify with "maybe". A good example of this would be If I break my back and the doctor says "you will never walk again". I am not going to believe that if I work really hard I will prove him wrong. I will still hope that I can walk again someday or that they find a cure, but I am not going to fool myself into believing that I can walk again just but putting effort into. My ability to walk wouldn't be what defines me a person. How I would continue to live my life and what I do in my lifetime is what would define me as a person. There are plenty of famous and unfamous people with disabilities who have gone on to do remarkable things. FDR used his personal victory over polio as way to help renew of the nations spirit. It is hard to identify yourself with a character or characters in a story when they water down the things that most people have to deal with on a daily basis.

This is just one of the very many cuts the show does. It is hard to "identify" with anything when it isn't in the show.

On the point of "Made it For Children".
This actually is the reason WHY it can't be good. As I said previously certain elements can't be included. If they are included they are watered down and/or hidden. These are elements that makes stories good or great. Without them the story doesn't go anywhere and usually ends up being bad. One can never really fully enjoy MLP because they will always be left in the dark about certain characters, plots, and show lore. You won't ever get answers or learn enough about the characters and the world they live in. The story will never be fully completed. A good story likes to envelop the person into the story almost to the point that one can feel like they know the character(s) on a personal level. As if they were real people.
This all goes back to my target demographic point. There will be those that watch it and can enjoy the show with these limits, but others will and do find it hard.

On the point of "Humor".
The "Infinite monkey theorem" goes "if you put a bunch of monkeys in a room filled with typewriters they will create shakespeare eventually". Basically the humor works in the show, but in that there will always be something that someone will find entertaining or in this case humorous at some point in time. As another example of this I dislike various the music genres like country. That doesn't mean I hate everything from that genre. There are actually two country songs that I do like, but for the most part I still hate country.
I would be lying if I were to say I never chuckled or laughed at something in a MLP:FiM episode. Although most of the time I don't laugh. Given enough time you are bound to get something right and that is how MLP's humor is
Debate Round No. 2


Unfortunately, something came up at home, and I won't be able to submit in argument until next round. I ask that my opponent provide no further argument this round, and that this won't affect the voting process.


"Unfortunately, something came up at home, and I won't be able to submit in argument until next round. I ask that my opponent provide no further argument this round, and that this won't affect the voting process."

Well I am a very reasonable and I guess to some extent honorable person, so I will agree to these terms. No arguments will be posted until next round.
Debate Round No. 3


Outside the popular demographic, yes. But so what?

The main reason why you can't vote in favor of my opponent is simply that his case just doesn't have enough solidity to go against the criteria presented.

The backbone of Con's argument lies solely on the baseless notion that because the show doesn't appeal to adults, it can't be good. The entire past round, he argued about how the show isn't good because it doesn't have things adults like, like... violence. This statement could be true or false, but that's not any part of the resolution. There's no reason to acknowledge my opponent's arguments here because they do absolutely nothing to prove that My Little Pony is not a good show.

However, my opponent does say this...

"My little pony: friendship is magic is a good animated show"

And he resolution is this:

"My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a Good Animated Show."

That's a concession. Plain and simple. But disregarding the fact that my opponent agrees with the resolution, here's why what he argues is not enough to refute my own contentions.

Most shows have a story, obviously, but My Little Pony's storyline exceeds that of many.

My opponent makes sort of a strange argument to attack the storyline of the show. But first we need to look at my opponent's questionable criteria for a good storyline:

1. No story is any good without violence (a bit of a non-sequitur if you ask me),
2. My Little Pony's storyline has little violence,
3. My Little Pony has a bad story.

Then my opponent is either arguing one of two things: that My Little Pony doesn't have a beginning, a middle, and an end (false)...

Beginning: Twilight is sent on a quest to further her studies,
Middle: Nightmare Moon returns,
End: The Elements of Harmony are discovered (S1E1).

...or that My Little Pony's story isn't adult-like enough to be any good. The major contradiction here is that my opponent contrasts My Little Pony with Adventure Time and Phineas and Ferb for having more grown-up stories, when these are also two shows that were also originally intended for kids that developed a strong fanbase for adults. Once again, this supports my resolution, and not his.

If I were arguing that the show is good for any demographic (which the words "entertainment perspective" would suggest that I am), then my opponent's entire argument here wouldn't mean a thing.

The concept is not always new, but the content used to express it is effectively original.

Con can only really find one foothold to argue against originality, and it's a loose one. He argues that the concept of the show is not original. This is wrong, but even if it was right, it wouldn't do enough to brand the show as "unoriginal."

After citing a good load of evidence that supports a claim irrelevant to the debate (him desperately trying to continue the "bad story" argument), he finally gets around to calling the concept something we've seen before. However, despite the evidence he shares beforehand to his other claims, his belief that the concept is nothing new is one-hundred percent subjective. True, the "girl making friends" scenario has been done, but six characters that equally represent a necessary attribute to maintaining peace is original. Characters overcoming internal flaws that contribute to fighting the external conflict is original, especially in a kids' show.

Then he called Faust's concept a good story. Since a predominant proportion of the show was produced by Faust, that, like the rest of my opponent's case, ...agrees with me.

My opponent also agrees that the characters are identifiable.

"It is identifiable... Disabled people could easily identify themselves with [Scootaloo]."

Again, my opponent only argues this on one weak foothold: comparing Scootaloo to President Roosevelt and a patient with a broken back.

Once again, this still isn't relevant to my contention. This was where I made an argument about storyline, and ironically, this is the one place my opponent failed to bring it up.

Nonetheless, argument from analogy is always one of the worst arguments one can present. The reason for this is that the analogies are almost never fully accurate. Scootaloo is not disabled, she just can't fly yet. Her character is the equivalent of a child who can't swim, not a paraplegic. The idea of is that all of these characters have goals the want to accomplish, and we can relate to a large sort of them well, whether it's motivating or not, and my opponent failed to address this.

Experts say cartoons are better when for children... but I don't know, my opponent disagrees.

This is where con says that My Little Pony can't have any possibility of being good because it's for children. This argument has two enormous contradictions:

Minor enormous contradiction: My opponent considers Phineas and Ferb a good show.

Huge, major enormous contradiction: Choi Jong-Il recommends that cartoons are made for children in order to improve their quality. This is something I already presented. My opponent is attempting to refute a renowned animator's insight with his own opinions. Regard should not be given to my opponent at all because he's straight-up saying that a world-famous cartoonist is wrong about animation.

Infinite Monkey Theorem is flawed.

My opponent's theory that things are funny in entertainment because once in a while the writers get lucky is beyond irrational. Grown Ups was not a funny movie. It was written by monkeys with typewriters, and nothing was funny. To be funny, writers have to have deliberate talent in writing a script-- it's not an accident.

And the humor in My Little Pony is consistent. It happens every episode in an original, punchy way that critics that I've cited beforehand appreciate dearly.

The monkey theorem is completely untrue. Some writers have talent; some don't, and the writers of My Little Pony are some of the most talented in the industry, especially in the children's department.


There is no justifiable reason to vote for Con in this situation.

A large majority of his argument is based on a premise that children's television can't be good. The premise in unstable and-- in lamence terms-- wrong. He is using no more than his own personal insight and cruel misinterpretations of sources to make his statements, and even if is arguments were stable, they don't refute the central point.

As far as the central point goes, he verbally agreed to a number of my contentions, and even the resolution itself. It seems clear that while my opponent hates the fandom, our respects for the exceptional development of the show itself are mutual.

There is a clear agreement between us that My Little Pony, while being for children, is an effective source of entertainment for children, parents, and the fandom alike.



Wow I don't know where to even begin. Clearly Pro either didn't read my argument or he somehow misinterpreted. What he did seem to read Pro completely twisted it into his favor. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I guess I am going to have to.

The whole point to my my "outside popular demographic" thing was to prove that there is a reason for demographics. That reason being that demographics are made to cater to people INSIDE of the demographic. As I said before that doesn't mean watching or enjoying something that isn't in your demographic is bad. That means you are less like to do so. Just like with toys. A toy dump truck would not get as much enjoyment from a 30 or 40 something year old VS. a 2 or 3 year old.

Pro thinks the backbone of my argument is that the show doesn't cater to adults. This isn't true. The backbone of my argument is that just like with anything adults are LESS LIKELY to enjoy something that isn't made for them. Adults usually want adult elements in their stories. Do adults like things that don't have these elements? Yes, but how many adults talk about the latest episodes of Sesame street at the watercooler? Not many. Even in my place of work I hear more of my co-workers talking about the latest sports team or the current event on the news. I have never heard a co-worker of mine talk about (insert kids show here). That doesn't mean they hate kids shows, but that means they don't find them as interesting a sports or current events.

Pro says that I said that adults can't enjoy MLP because it doesn't have violence. This also isn't true. I said adults can't enjoy the show because it is limited. There are plenty of shows/movies that don't feature violence that adults enjoy. It isn't about the elements that MLP lacks. It is about the limits to the story that MLP lacks that makes one not like the show.

I will bring up another of Faust's original stories that was cut due to the shows limits. There was a story about the characters finding a pony that was abandoned as a child and then raised by deer. This was cut from the show because of the "childrens only" limit it has on it. Disney's "Meet the Robinsons" was pretty much that cut episode. It was a story about a child abandoned as a baby at an orphanage. He then spent his life trying create a way to see his mother. This was a basically uncut story about child abandonment and family. The same type of story that MLP cut because it was too far above the limit that Hasbro placed on the show. I am pretty sure most people can agree that they have seen at least one Disney movie in their life. Hate them or love them Disney is further proof that a story can be good without violence. Especially when that story doesn't have limits on it.

Humans don't like limits. We have spent centuries breaking or going past our limits. If you tell someone to create something, but tell them that it has to be a certain way does that mean whatever they create won't be good? No, but it probably could be much better without the limit you placed on them.
That is what I was originally trying to argue. MLP:FiM is a decent shot at a good animated show, but in all fairness it is crap because of the limits. It can't go any further than what it already has. As I said before it has lots of wasted potential that could have been used by now if it had no limits.

"True, the "girl making friends" scenario has been done, but six characters that equally represent a necessary attribute to maintaining peace is original.Characters overcoming internal flaws that contribute to fighting the external conflict is original, especially in a kids' show."

This is false. I bring up Sailor Moon and various other shows like it. There will always be stories like this because as I said before "it isn't anything new".

"Then he called Faust's concept a good story."

Again Pro missed vital information by just scanning through my argument. I said Faust's ORIGINAL concept was good. Going back to limits the show that is presented before us today is only a bit like Faust's original concept. She herself said she left the show because she was sick and tired of being limited by "her bosses".

"Q: Lauren, without getting into the details of your departure from the show, is there any possibility of reconciliation and your return to the creative team in some capacity if both parties could come to an understanding? Or are those bridges burned and everything behind you by now?

A: I have had a hard time of letting go of MLP, but I really think I have to move on. I hope some of the themes I wanted to explore can be brought into future projects. I think I can do more of what I'd like to if I wasn't restricted to such a very young audience. Making something for kids over 10 would be more satisfying."

She does later go on to saying that she doe like some limits, but as you can see from her very own admission she wanted to so much more with the show that she wasn't allowed to do because the show wasn't made for kids over 10 years.

"My opponent also agrees that the characters are identifiable."
"It is identifiable... Disabled people could easily identify themselves with [Scootaloo]."

Again this is Pro twisting my words. If Pro would have read the full argument he would have seen that I mentioned that because this character is censored a disabled person CAN'T identify with this character. To further prove my point. The same character is seen without any disabilities in the movie "Equestria Girls". Pro missed how it is proven that this character CAN NEVER FLY. That means this character isn't just one who "can't swim yet". Faust's own words is that she is in fact handicapped when it comes to flying. A disabled person would never know this unless they look that bit of information up. The show keeps this a quiet fact. The one episode to sort of mention this fact ends with "MAYBE" not "NO". A word that disabled people dislike, but do accept. As I mentioned though this shouldn't be what defines the character. What should define the character isn't the her flight ability, but who she is as a character. Pro doesn't understand that a disabled person can't identify with a character that even PRO thinks isn't disabled.

"In an August 2012 summary of an interview with Lauren Faust, it is revealed that Scootaloo was originally intended to be handicapped and would never be able to learn to fly. Faust had conceived a story playing out over three episodes during the first two seasons, during which Scootaloo would learn that her worth is defined by her talents and not by what she cannot do. However, this storyline was evidently dropped."

"My opponent is attempting to refute a renowned animator's insight with his own opinions. Regard should not be given to my opponent at all because he's straight-up saying that a world-famous cartoonist is wrong about animation."

To counter Pro's statement allow me to quote another "world-famous cartoonist".

"You're dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway." - Walt Disney

The infinite monkey theorem is true. "Even a broken clock is right twice a day" also comes to mind. Which Pro fails to realise. My little pony has been going on long enough to where even if you do hate the show it can still get a chuckle from you every now and then. Sure it could be in part to good writing, but it is also in part that everyone and everything is bound to get something right eventually. Luck in layman's terms.

"He is using no more than his own personal insight and cruel misinterpretations of sources to make his statements"
Hello Pot! My name is Kettle. You are black!
Pro is clearly being a hypocrite here. This whole debate is about ones personal insight/opinion, but I am no way "misinterpreting" anything. I am stating facts that I have come accross with research.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by personpattersun 7 years ago
I am not arguing an RFD after the fact. I was simply making a statement to help clear up a misconception. It isn't like he or anyone else will change their vote for me or you because of a statement. If they vote for me. They vote for me. If they vote for you. They vote for you. Plain and simple. You don't need to feel threatened.
Posted by MassiveDump 7 years ago
Please don't argue an RFD after the fact. If anyone votes for you, I wouldn't do that either.
Posted by personpattersun 7 years ago

You seem to also miss my point. I never actually conceded. I said the show was good for it's target demographic (I was being specific). Considering I(CON)am not in the target audience that means I don't believe it is a good show (in general). I had a problem trying to to figure out how to say that. Also I never once talked about the Fandom in the debate. I always kept it on key with the show. I did see the resolution, but perhaps I misunderstood it a bit. Which is still my fault.
Posted by bladerunner060 7 years ago
There was nothing wrong with Pro's conduct, but I'm awarding conduct to Con as a sort of reward for his own willingness to kindly give up a round after Pro requested it. Good sportsmanship, Con!

In the end, though, this debate was about whether MLP was a good show. As Pro clearly demonstrated, and Con conceded, there are sufficient elements for MLP to be considered a "Good animated show". While I fault Pro for not including "Bad Seed" in his rounds, I can overlook it.

Con tried, to some extent, to reframe this debate into his own problems with the fandom of the show. But as Pro noted, some fans of any popular franchise be crazy. Con didn't seem to draw that back around to the resolution, and I didn't find his reframing compelling. So arguments to Pro. This debate seems to have come out of a history of conversation on the subject, but I'd warn Con that he still needs to pay attention to the resolution he's debating.

As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.

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