Fandom is Magic: South Florida Bronies Meet My Little Pony Stars at Animate! Miami

Categories: Culture
Brony.jpg
Elisa Melendez
Brandon shows his brony pride.
At the Animate! Miami convention last weekend, a wide variety of fans descended on the Doubletree Miami Airport Convention Center in mutual appreciation of all things animation. But few have fascinated and confused mainstream America like the bronies, enthusiasts of the children's television show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The show is rated TV-Y, appropriate for all children, but it has curiously taken hold among adults, most of them grown men, all across the country.

We took to the convention floor and spoke to the self-professed bronies of South Florida, as well as the voice actors behind some of the beloved characters. Saddle up after the jump.

See also:
- Animate! Miami: It's Adventure Time! The Five Best Cosplays
- Photos: Animate! Miami at Miami Airport Convention Center


Brandon, a brony who's a freelance video editor by trade, came upon the TV show after seeing references to bronies and My Little Pony in chat channels of popular online games such as Team Fortress 2. Curious, he did his research and watched his first episode, "Over a Barrel." He was hooked soon after. It takes more than simple viewing to make a brony, according to Brandon: "An occasional fan is an occasional fan. Bronies embrace the culture and contribute to the fandom, through fanfic and art." For Brandon, the show has much to offer, including humor and a nostalgic throwback to his animation-rich '90s childhood.

A running theme throughout this and future conversations was the uniqueness and development of the characters, as well as a personal identification with a particular pony's personality. At Animate! Miami's My Little Pony VIP party, we spoke with a couple of the personalities behind the ponies.

AndreaLibman.jpg
Elisa Melendez
Andrea Libman poses with her ponies.
Andrea Libman, the voice actress who lends her voices to Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy, among others, learned about the phenomenon from the animation director.

"There's this thing called 'bronies,' he said. Young guys. We didn't really believe him."

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