|Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde Ponies from Zootopia by AldoBronyJDC
Hello everyone! I’m Andy Lagopus, and today marks a very special day. The end of an era.
Now, what’s that got to do with Zootopia? I’m glad you asked.
You see, MLP holds a very special place in my heart. I’ve been a fan of the show for most of my adult life, since 2011. It got me into voice acting. It got me involved in a fandom for the first time. I made friends that I never would have had the chance to meet, and I learned how to be a better friend to those I already knew. It inspired me to be a creator, rather than merely a consumer of entertainment. And, most relevant of all, ZNN itself would not exist if it were not for MLP.
Let me explain. Buckle up, it’s time for an internet history lesson!
The Brony fandom got its start back in late 2010 on 4chan’s /co/ board, shortly after the show itself debuted on October 10th (10/10/10). An article blasting the show’s existence had gone viral for being “The end of creator-driven animation”. This article alerted a lot of people to the show’s existence, and while many dismissed it out-of-hand for the reasons the article did, some people took the time to watch the show to see if it was any good. To their surprise, it was. Shockingly good, even. They began to make memes about it, and eventually the fascination with a show for little girls grew to the point where moderators of the /co/ board started deleting threads with ponies in it. This spawned its own meme, “Mods are Asleep, Post Ponies”, and, being 4chan, things escalated quickly. Soon, all discussion of MLP:FiM was banned from /co/, and all the users who wanted to discuss this surprising show were forced to find another place to talk.
One of those people, who goes by Sethisto, decided to make his own place for sharing pony stuff. A website for showing off the cool things fans made, updates and news, etc. A site called Equestria Daily, or EQD for short. The site exploded in popularity, getting millions of views per month as people searched for art, stories, discussions, news, music, and everything else MLP related. It quickly became a one-stop-shop for the recently coined “Brony” fandom, where you could find the best of the best that the fandom had to offer.
I stumbled on the show while I was looking for Doctor Who memes – and wouldn’t you know it, one of the only ones at the time was the character of Doctor Whooves, a background pony with an hourglass symbol who looked suspiciously like David Tennant. I watched the first episode he appeared in, “Winter Wrap-Up”, and I have to say, the worldbuilding is spectacular in this episode. I could go into it at length, but we’d be here all day- suffice it to say, it had catchy music, fun characters, and an intriguing world on display that my curiosity would not let go of. I had to know more. And by the end of that weekend, I had binge-watched the entire first season. But it wasn’t enough. I wanted more.
And so my search for more pony led me to EQD, sometime in the summer of 2011. At this point, nobody knew if there was even going to be a second season of the show, with potential continuation at the mercy of the corporate overlords who own it (a feeling I’m sure many of you are all too familiar with). Imagination about a possible second season ran wild, and fans took to filling in the gaps themselves. From this, EQD had lots of content to share. I marveled at the fanart. I jammed out to the fan songs. I even gave Fanfiction a shot, which I had been reluctant to do since I thought the very idea was cringey (2010 internet was a very different place).
As the years went on, many facets of that community came and went. Individual creators made amazing things, and stuck around for several years, but eventually moved on to doing their own thing. Projects were put together, many of which I became a part of. I never really achieved “horse fame”, as some called it, but I was always observing how this incredible fandom grew and changed over the years. And over time, I noticed that there was one pillar of the community that never faltered, that never stopped, that never lost its touch. Equestria Daily.
Skip forward in time to March 2016. Zootopia released, and for the first time since MLP, I found myself absolutely in love with a piece of media. The world, the characters, everything about it was just incredible. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I joined the subreddit, message boards, discord channels where Zootopia fans were gathering. And what I saw was oddly familiar. Soon I recognized what it was.
I was witnessing the birth and growth of a whole new fandom. The Zootopia fandom.
This fandom is incredible, and I wanted it to stay incredible. I didn’t want it to fall by the wayside like so many other movies tend to do once they exit theaters. I wanted this fandom to grow, to flourish, and to last. I wanted to read fanfics, listen to music, marvel at art, all like I’d seen done before. I wanted to help form a community like that I had experienced before, flowing with creativity and inspiration.
To that end, I drew on my experiences as a Brony to find what I could do. And the answer was clear. I give a large part of the credit for the Brony fandom’s cohesion and longevity to EQD. If I wanted that for Zootopia, I needed to make something similar.
And so, on March 31st, 2016, inspired by Sethisto and Equestria Daily, and with a little encouragement from Seth himself, I registered the domain ZootopiaNewsNetwork.com and made the first-ever post on ZNN.
The rest, as they say, is history.
So today, as the show comes to a conclusion (though the brony fandom will live on forever, if the ratio of official-content-to-fan-content is even close to that of Zootopia), I wanted to pay tribute to the community that started it all for me. To all the friends I made. To the people I met. To all the projects and creations I took part of. To the good times and the bad. To my first fandom.
To My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
Thank you for indulging me and my nostalgia. I turn the rest of this article over to Merc_Marten, who has prepared a special MLP-Zootopia Crossover AOTD to celebrate the occasion. Without any further ado…
Welcome to Zoobronia
We open. with some images of Judy hanging with the ponies.
|Here Come the Po-Po by VanillaGhosties
|Judy Hopps and the Princess of Friendship by Tsaenoa
|Dash and Judy Pop the Weasel by Tsaenoa
|Farmer Buddies by Alasou
|Carrot and Judy Hopps by zigrock001
|Building a snowman by fuzzguy456
|Faluous Judy by Mew-Me
|Judy and the Apples by JohnRaptor
|Fluttershy and Judy Redraw by Dodj-E-Cur
|Pinkie’s Present to Judy by JohnRaptor
|Fluttershy meets Judy Hopps by JohnRaptor
|Judy’s New Dress by Tsaenoa
And now a couple of pony pics featuring Nick.
|Nick and Pinkie by Dodj-E-Cur
|Con Artist by Alasou
Nick and Judy together with the My Little Ponies
|The Meeting by Theodoric476
|Nick, Pinkie, and Judy by LuigiFox
|Call for Backup! by Novaintellus
|Ask Movie Slate – Zootopia by jamescorck
Here are two Zootopia X My Little Pony pics featuring Gazelle
|Commission – Diva by GEPredators
|Try Every Rainbow by Mazin
Next up, a collection of some of the My Little Ponies, re-imagined as characters from Zootopia
|button Wilde and Sweetie Hopps Reunited by EJLightning007arts
|Sweetie and Button in Zootopia by EJLightning007arts
|Twilight as Judy Hopps by Deaffinity
|Judy Hopps n1 Fan by Alasou
|Mr. Big and His Henchmare by Alasou
…and vice-versa. Nick and Judy as MLP characters.
|My Little Zootopia by Jose-Ramiro
|My Little Zootopia2 by artwork-tee
Oy, you let one universe cross-over, and they ALL wanna come and join in!
|Clash of Realities by KTurtle