Button's Adventures is a fan-animated series based off of a background character from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. It focuses on the exploits of eight-year-old Button Mash and his family and friends, delivered in four minute episodes as a collection of various skits.
The animator is JanAnimations, who has already gained renown in the fandom for his "Ask the Crusaders" Tumblr, the music video for "Picture Perfect Pony", and the "Let's Go and Meet the Bronies" animated segments for the documentary film Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony, but this is his first foray into a full-fledged episodic format and he has yet to disappoint. The animation is of the same quality as the original, while the humor is even more pertinent to its intended audience.
One episode has been released so far, with more planned for the future. The pilot also sets up the framework for "Don't Mine At Night", a parody (of a parody) of Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night", with Button and Sweetie Belle playing Minecraft together.
Unfortunately, JanAnimations has received a cease and desist from Hasbro effectively ending the series... in pony form. Both Jan himself and Button's voice actor have expressed interest in retooling future episodes to include original designs so as not to run afoul of any more lawyers. However, negotiations with Hasbro's legal department are ongoing (Jan himself says that the "situation is still evolving"), and many of the works of JanAnimations have been permitted to be reposted on Youtube, including Don't Mine at Night. Thus, there may yet be some hope for the future of the series.
Additionally, the JanAnimations panel at Galacon 2014 brought several interesting facts to light. For one thing, Hasbro was not notified about the C&D (apparently their autonomous lawyer firm shut down Button's Adventures out of hand due to its similarity to the actual show). And for another, though nothing is set in stone, a deal is being worked out between Hasbro and Jan that will "make both us and them happy". This could mean that Jan might get a limited license to continue the series...
Well, until Jan finally provided an update on the situation, and basically said in no uncertain terms that Hasbro was apparently really just screwing around with him in order to try and avoid saying "no" outright in order to avoid fan backlash. As far as we know, Jan is basically unable to make fan-works based on Hasbro stuff anymore for the foreseeable future.
Finally at Galacon 2018, after spending so many years in limbo thanks the Cease and Desist, JanAnimations decided to end the series overall and actually give a send-off to the poor colt in the form of Game Over. A spiritual successor under the title Vulpwood has been announced, although not too many updates have come out of it since.
The series provides examples of:
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: Button's Mom. Word of God places her age at somewhere between 30 and 40, whilst her oldest son (Button's brother) is about 17.
- Accidental Misnaming: "Bar Buddies" has Button repeatedly refer to Neon Lights as "Nylon Tights".
- Aerith and Bob: Button Mash and his mother. Word of Saint Paul says her real name is Elaina, but Word of God is that she doesn't have a name. Eventually, it was revealed to be Cream Heart.
- Age-Appropriate Angst: While not much goes right for Button Mash, most of the things he gets upset about are things an eight-year-old boy would be concerned with, i.e. getting an ice cream headache, losing a contest on a juice box, and having to go to school instead of play video games.
- He also goes into Rage Quit in Don't Mine At Night but then subverts it as he goes back in for Sweetie Belle. Aww.
- Ascended Extra: Button Mash was originally a nameless background pony that appeared playing an arcade-style game. Fans were so taken with him that this series was created.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Button is highly impulsive and forgetful of his belongings, but can also be held captivated by his gaming for long periods of time.Button (during his ice cream headache): Aaaaahhh! Aaaahhh! Oh, hey, a bit!
- Badly Battered Babysitter: Button takes this role in "Don't Mine At Night", taking all of the hits in order to protect Sweetie Belle, who is actually the cause of some of his deaths.
- Big "NO!": Button lets one out after Sweetie's verse in the "deleted scene" distracts him, causing him to lose the game he was playing.
- Big "SHUT UP!": Button to Neon Lights in "Bar Buddies" after Neon notices that Button has been drinking apple juice.
- Bilingual Backfire: Played for Laughs. When Button's mother confiscates his game set, he grumbles at her in Humgonian. Turns out she memorized the Conlang too.
- Brain Freeze: Button gets a crippling one near-instantly after challenging Sweetie Belle to a milkshake drinking contest. He immediately forgets about this when he finds some money on the floor.Button: AAAAAH AAAAAH AAAAHAAAHAAAOWWWW (later) IT HURTS! IT HURTS! IT HURTS! Oh hey, a bit!
- Butt-Monkey: Button. In the first episode, the only scene that doesn't have something even mildly bad happening to him is "The 'Stache".
- Check, Please!: Neon Lights does this at the end of "Bar Buddies", finishing off his drink after Button falls off his stool.
- Conlang: Humgonian, an in-universe constructed language that both Button and his mother understand.Button's Mom: I was young once, too, you know! Oh, and by the way...thry tee blyn. [You're grounded.]
- Deadpan Snarker: In Don't Mine At Nightnote , Button ends up getting some of these moments because of either bad luck, Sweetie Belle, or both.I turn a sec, you're getting shot / then you jump through a portal; well, why not?!When I think it can't get worse / an Ender herd shows up, of course!
- Determinator: In the Hearts and Hooves "Deleted Scene", Button apparently spent six hours playing his arcade game and was willing to do it again.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- Why exactly does the father keep a fake mustache in his bedroom cupboard? And why is the mother so inclined to not let Button go near it?
- Don't Mine At Night. Button's just watching Sweetie Belle's progress from a monitor, but the game environment shows him as a ghost, making it look like he's watching her from the afterlife. He does die in the game several times, but still.
- Game Over. If you aren't being too depressed about the whole situation and outcome, just listen to the entirety of the lyrics and tell me it doesn't sum up the entire legal situation between JanAnimations and Hasbro. Word Of God even stated that the entire video was packed with symbolism regarding Button's entire situation.
- Doting Parent: Button's mom. Her cutie mark is even a heart with a baby bottle.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Neon Lights and Button, in "Bar Buddies."
- Drunk on Milk: The "Bar Buddies" short has Button getting drunk on apple juice. Neon Lights even lampshades it.
- Establishing Character Moment: The Teaser gives one for both Button and his mother, though his mother arguably gets a second one by bringing him an old video game system, showing that she too has (or, at least, had) a thing for video games.
- Face Hoof: Button's mom, after he becomes "The 'Stache".
- Fictionary: In-universe. The Humgonian language from one of Button's games is so fleshed-out that it even has a phrase for "You're grounded."
- Funny Background Event: Vinyl Scratch passed out on the couch in "Bar Buddies".
- Gag Dub: Button's voice actor did a bit of this in a stream, quite a few of those clips were compiled here. Warning: They're NSFW.Button: Mom, have you seen my Joy Boy? 'Cause I wanna put it in your butt!
- Black Comedy Rape: Some of them involve Button getting molested by his dad, as well as forcing his mom to give him a blowjob.
- Gamer Chick: Button's mother apparently was this in her youth, since she has an old gaming machine with a game that resembles Pong and can understand the Conlang that Button speaks. She's evidently where Button gets his love of video games from.
- The Ghost: Button's father has yet to make an appearance. When a drawing of his family is shown, the dad's face is obscured. According to Word of God, the most likely explanation for his absence is that he's too busy "working."
- Grand Finale: Game Over.
- Depending on how you see it, it can also double as Downer Ending, because Button runs away from home, leaving a last goodbye to his family, and heading towards an uncertain future.
- I Want My Mommy!: Button calls for his mom when he loses a juice box contest and again when he falls off a bar stool while drunk on apple juice.
- Just One More Level!: There's one instance of Button staying up all night playing a game, becoming partially delirious in the morning.
- The Klutz: Button, to the point where he accidentally sets a toy train on fire and even he doesn't know how it happened.
- Last-Second Word Swap: Neon Lights in the "Bar Buddies" video goes "FFFFFFFFFFFFF" before he says "Fudge" instead of something else.
- Motherly Side Plait: Button's mom wears her mane in a side plait.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the "deleted scene" from Hearts and Hooves Day, Sweetie sings about Button, inadvertently distracting him and causing him to lose against the final boss.
- No Name Given: Button's mom, dad, and brother.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In Game Over, Button leaves all of his games behind—not even bothering to turn them off—as he runs away from home.
- Pac Man Fever: Even the handheld uses 8-bit chiptunes. Possibly justified by the MLP universe's own Schizo Tech.
- Pardon My Klingon: When he's grounded, Button Mash shouts "Zeikamif!" This is a Humgonian word subtitled with Symbol Swearing.
- Porn Stache: Given his mother's reaction to Button trying it on, his father's fake mustache is implied to be this.
- Recursive Fanfiction: In a fandom with so much fan music, a parody on "Stacy's Mom" by Fountains of Wayne featuring Button's mother was inevitable. It happened twice, once by Poni1Kenobi, once by CyPony.
- Say My Name: The "deleted scene" from Hearts and Hooves Day has Button scream "Sweetie Belleeeeeeeeeeee!" after her singing about him distracts him, causing him to die.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Implied in "Bar Buddies" when Neon Lights chugs his drink and asks for the check after seeing Button fall off his stool crying.
- Ship Tease: Some between Button and Sweetie Belle:
- Apparently, they were on a date when Button got brain freeze.
- And then she forgives him and gives Button a second chance. Dawww!
- This also leads into another project from Jan Animations, "Don't Mine At Night" (A song/video parody of Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night", where the two are playing Minecraft together (as a play on Sweetie Belle's voice actress Claire Corlett's own appreciation of the game).
- Speaking of Claire Corlett, she recently posted on her Ask.fm Account that in regards to the Spike-Sweetie Belle ship, "I'm currently dating Button Mash so why would I go to Spike?" which almost counts as an Approval of God, if not Ascended Fanon altogether.
- In Don't Mine At Night, when Button takes Sweetie Belle's hoof before jumping into a pit, she blushes.
- Button has a toy statue of Spyro the Dragon.
- Button's toy train randomly catching on fire is likely a reference to Homer Simpson's cereal going ablaze for no reason.
- The video game Button is playing before his mother brings him Pong gets halfway through saying "C-C-COMBO BREAKERRRR" before he pauses it. The pause sound effect is also from the Mario series.
- The controller he's using is an NES controller.
- The old video game system Button's mom gives him plays Pong.
- The arcade game Button was playing on in "Hearts and Hooves Day Deleted Scene" contains sound effects from Sonic the Hedgehog—even the character he's playing as looks like the titular protagonist himself!
- Button's "Joy Boy" handheld game system is an obvious reference to Nintendo's Game Boy devices.
- Silent Snarker: Sweetie Belle's face truly says everything she thinks about her "date".
- Button's mother also has these moments, such as her reaction when he trips over his Joy Boy.
- Spoof Aesop: Don't Mine at Night. Always Save the Girl (even if your relationship is more like Buttons and Mindy than anything.)
- Symbol Swearing: After Button's mother grounds him, he swears in Humgonian, and the English translation provided just gives us some random symbols.
- Twitchy Eye: It's easy to miss, but after his mother reveals that she also knows Humgonian (and grounds him in said language), Button's left eye begins twitching.
- Vocal Dissonance: Button is eight years old, yet he sounds like he's going through puberty.
- What Are Records?: Button is confused by a Pong machine from his dad's childhood
- Word Salad: Happens with Button after he stays up all night playing a game.Mother: ...Have you been up all night?
Button: No, it's okay. The cat's got it with the salad.
Button: I already put— I— uh— the— wh— the French toast.