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Does MLP still feel like a fantasy world?


ManaMinori
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There was a time when MLP had a more fantasy realm feel to it, with mysterious lore and spooky forests, races of individuals that were prone to adventuring out and meeting chimeras, ursa, and other different mythological species. Now, I mean, there's laser shows, auto-tune, and fog machines, bustling metropolitan cities, millennial terminology and slang, and, well...the world- while having expanded, feels very much LESS fantasy as it used to, during earlier seasons.

 

how do people feel about this?

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Talking magical ponies living in a world full of mythical creature? Yep very fictio -eh i mean, fantasy-like. mlp is a cartoon afterall..

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At the end of the day  MLP is a cartoon aimed at kids in the U.S. (or, more broadly, at Western countries) and as such has to be relatable to them, including in slang and the like.

I do think, however, it's done an admirable job of conveying a recognizable society, yet one where sentient ponies, magic, and fantastic creatures exist. Or example, holidays and life milestones that seem plausible within their world, but we could imagine ourselves celebrating something similar.

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27 minutes ago, Red Cedar said:

At the end of the day  MLP is a cartoon aimed at kids in the U.S. (or, more broadly, at Western countries) and as such has to be relatable to them, including in slang and the like.

I do think, however, it's done an admirable job of conveying a recognizable society, yet one where sentient ponies, magic, and fantastic creatures exist. Or example, holidays and life milestones that seem plausible within their world, but we could imagine ourselves celebrating something similar.

To add to this, while it would be nice to see a high fantasy MLP:FiM, the reality is it probably would not be successful towards its target audience (younger girls) if it were so.  Let's be honest, you don't see younger girls reading stuff in the same vein as Tolkien, Brandon Sanderson, or George R. R. Martin, et cetera.  And for the show being about friendship, one could argue that a high fantasy setting (or more particular, a plot-heavy epic-fantasy setting) may detract from its ability to showcase morals or themes about friendship. 

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Modern technology and even futuristic technology can still denote a world like Equestria as a fantasy setting. A fantasy world doesn't need to be restricted to the usual tropes that often designate it as such. Besides, I think having talking ponies of various colours, abilities, and more would be more than enough to warrant the brand a fantasy world.

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I guess it was an inevitable trade-off.

It bears remembering that, back in the olden days of Season 1, long before - or so it felt - the growth that followed the would-there-be-Season 2, there was next to no worldbuilding. We saw tiny bits and snippets of Equestria and, as far as we knew, Equestria was the world. It didn't help that, by and large, all of the settlements we saw were small communities, with the sole exception of Canterlot. Dragons existed, but Dragonlands didn't. There's a reason why a lot, if not the vast majority of fanon from the time portrays Celestia and Luna as sort of god-creators of the Equestrian universe - apart from this small island of knowledge, the world was a blank canvas, and that fueled the sense of mystery.

So, as the show continued and more of the world began to exist, that undiscovered space slowly diminished. Big cities sprouted, other lands appeared, the princesses became, if not more mundane, then less fantastic. The world became more grounded, more fleshed out, but with every bit of information we got, another piece of the map that simply said "Here be dragons" got replaced by "Here be this" and "There be that".

It feels much more thinking about one's childhood, with countless uncertain possibilities being replaced by fewer certainties. Neither are good nor bad by themselves, some of the things that are are just as good as things that could have been, but in the end, we can't have both. Or, appropriate a quote, season one is the cradle of possibility, but one cannot stay in the cradle forever.

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Modern technology doesn't really stop it from being a fantasy world, I feel. It's still a world populated by magical talking ponies, Dragons, Spirits of Chaos and Princesses that control the stars in the sky. There's a floating city in the sky made of clouds and an empire of Crystal lost for a thousand years in a wasteland of ice and snow, that guards itself only with an ancient artifact. There's legends lost to time, and a sprawling world of unknown beyond what we've seen. Who really knows what lays beyond the lands we see on Twilight's map, eh? Could be anything, really.

 The thing is though, you're used to most of these things. You've had more than 8 seasons now to see all this stuff and get to know the world the ponies inhabit, most of the initial mystery from the first season or two has faded as we've seen more of the world, and all the "Magical" stuff might seem mundane and normal after this long, even if it didn't back at the start. Nothing stays "New" forever.

But there's plenty left in the wide world that Equestria exists on, even now after all this time. But the story we follow is such a small one, of 6 mares, a dragon, a few little fillies and the friends they make on the way, and outside of the occasional epic adventure, this story is mostly about their daily lives, silly little stories and good morals. It's a small window into a world I think even now we know very little about. There's plenty of fantasy and mystery there if you think about it. The occasional movie theater, or arcade cabinet, or sprawling modern city doesn't really detract from that. Not every fantasy land needs to be stuck in the dark ages.

Edited by BasementSparkle
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I like the idea of a world that magic and technology can exist together. Equestria still feels like a fantasy world to me, despite their high level of technology.

Telephones

tech01.jpg

Steam engines

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Electroencephalography (Did Twilight invent this???)

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Sewing machine

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Sound recording and electronic amplification

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Motion pictures, with sound. (High level understanding of chemistry to create film stock)

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X-Rays, and electric lighting

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Hydroelectric dam producing electricity...NOT produced by magic!

tech08.png

Edited by cuteycindyhoney
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35 minutes ago, cuteycindyhoney said:

I like the idea of a world that magic and technology can exist together. Equestria still feels like a fantasy world to me, despite their high level of technology.

That's something I love about it too. And while Twilight isn't my favorite pony, I love that she embodies a zeal for both science and magic, and that it's possible for them to co-exist instead of fighting each other (not sure if the parallels to our world were intentional, but it spoke to me a great deal).

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Equestria was always a fantasy world based on a toy line meant to sell plastic horses, but with that being said, the very fact that this website exists means that in a way it has far surpassed that. In a way, MLP G4 has become a way of life. Not that I personally think that its the healthiest thing but if a fictional fantasy world can give people a sense of satisfaction then that can't be all bad. But I'm rambling.

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16 minutes ago, Octavia_Melody2 said:

MLP G4 has become a way of life. Not that I personally think that its the healthiest thing but if a fictional fantasy world can give people a sense of satisfaction then that can't be all bad. But I'm rambling.

A pretty similar argument could be made for a lot of things that are now a "way of life." Teaching moral lessons through parables was most likely the original purpose of storytelling, because it could be conveyed effectively to anyone, even those who were mostly illiterate. In our modern age of mostly doing it just to earn a profit, this purpose has mostly been lost, but occasionally, something wondrous happens and that ancient 'magic' is made anew.

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It's still a fantasy world because technology is all over the place from 1950s up to modern era.

I don't think that ponies don't have the actual need for cars when ponies themselves are a bit faster than humans. Plus I have a difficulty imagining ponies driving a model T car/ modern 21st century car

Some of them can fly so there is no real need for aircraft in the traditional sense, mass reduction and levitation magic can solve that problem. Ponies already have trains and those are still used because nothing else  technically would be better for the job.

Some can teleport. Some cannot fly or teleport but it doesn't really bother them.

Edited by R.D.Dash
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7 hours ago, R.D.Dash said:

It's still a fantasy world because technology is all over the place from 1950s up to modern era.

I don't think that ponies don't have the actual need for cars when ponies themselves are a bit faster than humans. Plus I have a difficulty imagining ponies driving a model T car/ modern 21st century car

Some of them can fly so there is no real need for aircraft in the traditional sense, mass reduction and levitation magic can solve that problem. Ponies already have trains and those are still used because nothing else  technically would be better for the job.

Some can teleport. Some cannot fly or teleport but it doesn't really bother them.

I still wonder if there's some Pegasus/Alicorn resistance against fixed wing aircraft. It may be that they don't have an internal combustion engine small and light enough to power one. They do have pony-pedal-power helicopters. These may rely on the inherent magical strength in an Earth pony's legs though. It may not count as technology.

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Cherry_Berry_in_the_Rainbow_Helicopter_S4E21.png

 

Oops! How did this one get in here?

barneycopter1.jpg

 

Pinkie_Pie_catches_up_to_Rainbow_Dash_and_Gilda_with_a_flying_contraption_S1E05.png

Edited by cuteycindyhoney
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