My Little Pony Friendship is Magic is an animated series based on Hasbro's popular My Little Pony franchise. The show premiered on October 10, 2010 on Hasbro's The Hub channel, and has continued on to its third season. This incarnation of the franchise is referred to as the fourth generation, or G4, of My Little Pony. The show was developed for television by Lauren Faust, who is known for her work on two of Cartoon Network's popular and critically-acclaimed franchises, The Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
The series stars a unicorn pony named Twilight Sparkle, a student of Princess Celestia, the ruler of the magical land of Equestria. The princess gives Twilight the task of learning about friendship and sends her and her assistant, a young dragon named Spike, to Ponyville. There, they meet some interesting ponies, including action-loving Rainbow Dash, glamorous Rarity, hard-working Applejack, timid Fluttershy, and hyperactive Pinkie Pie. Together, they go on adventures, solve various problems, and learn about the magic of friendship. The series has generated a cult following, whose members are often called bronies.
The series was developed by Lauren Faust for Hasbro as a "reboot" of the My Little Pony franchise. Faust was pitching her own Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls toy line and animated television series to Hasbro Studios' executive Lisa Licht, when Licht asked her to come up with a new version of the My Little Pony franchise. Development started in 2008, with production of the first season spanning through 2009. In an animated short used during early development, Tara Strong voiced Pinkie Pie.
- See also list of characters
- Main article: Ponies
The series has a main cast of six ponies and a large number of supporting and background characters. As ponies mature they gain cutie marks on their flanks, which represent their purpose or calling in life.
There are three types of ponies:
- Earth ponies: regular ponies. The founders of Ponyville were among this race. They are closer to nature than other ponies and frequently tend to crops and perform manual labor. They have no wings or horns.
- Pegasus ponies: ponies with wings, giving them the ability to fly. They can also walk on clouds. They frequently tend to the weather.
- Unicorns: ponies that have horns and possess more pronounced magical abilities, represented by a glow around their horn when used. They frequently use telekinesis, but some use other kinds of magic as well.
Outside of the three kinds, Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, Princess Cadance and Twilight Sparkle possess both wings and a unicorn horn. They are called alicorns on the show. Both Celestia and Luna possess extraordinary magical power, allowing them to raise the sun and the moon. Cadance has the power of love which quells the fighting in two ponies' hearts.
Age and sex
The show's ponies may be grouped by age and sex into colts, fillies, mares, and stallions. A pony's sex can be ascertained by the shape and size of their muzzle: stallions' muzzles are angular, squared off and larger, while mares' muzzles have a more rounded appearance and are much smaller than a stallion's. However, this is not the case with Alicorns. Another way to determine a pony's sex is by their eyelashes and that mares' hooves are the same color as their coat, while some stallions' hooves are coatless, like Big McIntosh's or Prince Blueblood's . Mares and fillies have eyelashes, while stallions and colts don't. However, baby ponies have eyelashes, with males having a single eyelash, and females having two.
While in previous My Little Pony generations, all young ponies were often called "baby ponies", while in Friendship is Magic young ponies and baby ponies are differentiated. Young ponies are simply called "fillies" or "young ponies", and are grouped with baby ponies under foals.
- Twilight Sparkle: An alicorn (originally unicorn) pony with a light violet body and an indigo mane and tail with pink and purple streaks. She is now one of the princesses of Equestria. Her spirit represents the element of magic.
- Applejack: An Earth pony with an orange body and blonde mane and tail. She is down-to-Earth and dependable, always willing to help anyone in any matter. Applejack comes from a large family of ponies with apple-related names who manage farms, apple orchards and businesses, etc. She wears a brown stetson hat. Her spirit represents the element of honesty.
- Rainbow Dash: An athletic Pegasus pony with a sky blue body and a multicolored mane and tail. Very brave and bold, she can also be mischievous and proud. She has the ability of speed and clearing the sky of clouds. Her spirit represents the element of loyalty.
- Pinkie Pie: An Earth pony with a pink body and magenta mane and tail. She has a funny demeanor, is very talkative, and a bit air-headed. She also enjoys singing and playing pranks. Her spirit represents the element of laughter.
- Fluttershy: A Pegasus pony with a yellow body and a pink mane and tail. She is very shy and quiet around others most of the time but has a great love for animals and caring for them. Her spirit represents the element of kindness.
- Rarity: A unicorn pony with a white body and a purple mane and tail. She is very stylish and interested in fashion. Although sometimes desiring to be the center of attention, she is always there to help her friends. Her spirit represents the element of generosity.
- Spike: A young dragon. He is Twilight's assistant and good friend. He has an ostensibly-secret crush on Rarity. He is hatched by Twilight in a flashback in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles." He grows with greed as shown in "Secret of My Excess." He prefers hanging out with ponies rather than his own kind.
- See also the list of episodes
All of the show's episodes are rated TV-Y for "all ages".
Season one opened with a "preview", an early screening of the entire first episode five days before the series "officially" started, to coincide with the launch of the television channel The Hub. The introduction of the characters and the plot revolving around Night Mare Moon span over the first two episodes, which together comprise the only two-parter of the season. Episode three introduces the Grand Galloping Gala, which is where the season's final episode takes place. The show's developer, Lauren Faust, served as executive producer for this season. All of season one's episodes are rated e/i for "educational and informative".
This season focuses mainly on Twilight and her getting used to Ponyville as well as the cementing of the friendship between the Mane 6 as well as the Cutie Mark Crusaders in the latter half of the seasons.
Faust announced that she has been less involved in the making of the show for season two, focusing mostly on story conception and script. She is credited under "Developed for Television by" and "Executive Producer" for the first and second episodes, which were produced during the first season's production span. She is credited as "Consulting Producer" for the rest of season two.
The season consists of 26 episodes, 22 minutes in length. Several minor characters return in this season, including Derpy, Princess Luna, and Mr. Greenhooves, as well as the school-age ponies, Cheerilee, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders. The season started airing on September 17, 2011. Like the first season, it opened with a two-parter with the ponies questing for the Elements of Harmony. Episodes 11, 12, and 13 were not aired in production order: episode 13, Hearth's Warming Eve, was aired before episodes 11 and 12, Family Appreciation Day and Baby Cakes, respectively, to be in time for the holiday season. They are listed on the wiki according to air date order. Season two has concluded on April 21, 2012 with the two-parter finale, A Canterlot Wedding.
This season focuses less on Twilight Sparkle and moreso on Twilight's friends. In this season, all characters write friendship letters to Princess Celestia.
We Heart Ponies Fan Favorite Mare-a-Thon
A few weeks prior to the airing of Hearts and Hooves Day, The Hub announced it would be airing a "We Heart Ponies Fan Favorite Mare-a-Thon" consisting of nine episodes selected by the fans. The nine episodes were aired directly before Hearts and Hooves Day.
The nine episodes were, in order of appearance:
- Luna Eclipsed
- Green Isn't Your Color
- The Best Night Ever
- Suited For Success
- May the Best Pet Win!
- Party of One
- Lesson Zero
- Feeling Pinkie Keen
- Hearth's Warming Eve
The third season premiered on the 10th of November, 2012, at 10:00 AM Eastern Time. The Hub has placed an order for thirteen episodes, but despite the season being shorter than the first two, the show's composer, William Anderson, hinted at the presence of further seasons, of different lengths. Writers Meghan McCarthy, Cindy Morrow, M.A. Larson and Dave Polsky are returning to the show, though story editor for the first and second seasons Rob Renzetti is replaced by Meghan McCarthy, who has been called "showrunner" in an April 2012 article in the online edition of the L.A. Times. Two songs from the third season have been released by Hasbro: The Failure Song which was screened at ComicCon 2012, and The Ballad of the Crystal Empire which was released on YouTube. A season 3 premiere clip was released on Facebook. The season finale, Magical Mystery Cure, was aired on February 16, 2013.
Friendship letters are less prominent in Season 3 as morals unrelated to friendship are focused on.
Payment for the fourth season of My Little Pony is listed in DHX Media's fiscal report for Q1 2013. For a brief period in early February, Daniel Ingram, the show's music composer, had season four listed on his résumé and a total of 91 episodes for the show, leaving 26 episodes for the fourth season after the 65 episodes of previous seasons. At the Las Pegasus Unicon convention on 20 February 2013, Meghan McCarthy said that season four's production is "in full swing". Season four is set to premiere "this winter".
Episode order and release schedule
Four episodes of the show have been released on iTunes prior to their airdate on The Hub: Hearts and Hooves Day, which was released a few days prior to its scheduled airdate, and Too Many Pinkie Pies, Apple Family Reunion and Spike at Your Service, which were released a few hours prior to their airing on The Hub. In addition to being released on iTunes a few hours prior to its airing, Wonderbolts Academy was released on Hubworld.com a few days beforehand.
Seven episodes have been aired out of production order: season two's episode thirteen by production order, Hearth's Warming Eve, was aired prior to episodes eleven and twelve by production order, and season three's episode eight by production order, Just for Sidekicks, was aired after episodes nine, ten, and eleven.
- Ashleigh Ball as Rainbow Dash and Applejack
- Claire Corlett as Sweetie Belle
- Michelle Creber as Apple Bloom
- Andrea Libman as Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy
- Nicole Oliver as Princess Celestia
- Madeline Peters as Scootaloo
- Tabitha St. Germain as Rarity and Princess Luna
- Tara Strong as Twilight Sparkle
- Cathy Weseluck as Spike the Dragon
- Shannon Chan-Kent as Pinkie Pie
- Kazumi Evans as Rarity
- Rebecca Shoichet as Twilight Sparkle
- Michelle Creber as Sweetie Belle
Most of the voice cast consists of Canadian voice actors. They are from Ocean Productions in Canada and the voices are recorded in Vancouver, Canada.
Awards and nominations
The show won a CableFAX award for Best Animated Series on October 18, 2011.
Two songs, Find a Pet and Becoming Popular (incorrectly named Every Pony), have been nominated for the Outstanding Original Song - Children's Animation category for the 39th Daytime Emmy Awards. Both songs lost to "In the Happy Little Land of Hoboken Surprise" from The Penguins of Madagascar.
Hasbro is currently in the process of localizing their Generation Four My Little Pony toy line in many countries.
CN Arabia next bumper for Friendship is Magic.
While granted many countries are currently receiving G4 products, as of 2011 those same countries are still persisting with the G3.5 products as well (Russia, for example). So far, only a handful of countries outside the United States had converted to G4 entirely, or even began receiving G4 toys and merchandise officially.
As for the broadcast of the television series itself outside the United States, thus far it is currently airing only in English for the English Canadian audience on Treehouse TV, and on Boomerang for audiences in the United Kingdom.
Originally, although no defined date was stated, there was an announcement for other television debuts of the show roughly during the summer of 2011 in other countries, such as Denmark, the Middle East, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. This had been done via a deal Hasbro made with Turner Broadcasting System Europe to distribute this show, as well as other shows based on Hasbro's intellectual properties, throughout various channels they own in those regions, such as Boing (Spain), Boomerang, Cartoon Network (Denmark, Middle East, Norway, Sweden), and Cartoonito (UK). More recently, the UK release of the series had been clarified further, adding that the series will debut at the end of July 2011 on Cartoon Network, along with the full, official release of the G4 line of toys. However, unlike prior reports, the first season eventually premiered earlier in the UK on Boomerang instead, starting on July 4, 2011, and broadcasting once every weekday afterwards. The European Spanish dub had been confirmed to debut in September 2011 via Boing. The European French dub was confirmed to be coming to the preschoolers' channel TiJi. The Italian dub had made its debut on Italia 1 starting August 29, 2011. The German dub was confirmed to debut on Nickelodeon starting September 17, 2011. The Dutch dub started airing on Nickelodeon/Nick Jr. early September 2011, and was largely unnoticed by not being shown in most TV-guides or even on Nickelodeon's own sites. The Polish dub debuted on MiniMini on 15 October.
The Japanese dub debuted on TV Tokyo on April 2, 2013. 52 episodes have been confirmed, and the show will also air in English. It features numerous formatting changes and cuts, such as a completely redone opening theme, and a closing theme.
The closing theme contains two segments. The first called is "Ponies' Gallery", which displays clips of the characters Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo (at the same time), Zecora, and Cheerilee. It does not change from episode to episode. The second is unnamed, and functions as a next episode preview, displaying clips from the next episode, along with its title, using the following format for the text underneath the images:
"Japanese episode title"
Little Pony TV
Little Pony TV is a short live-action segment inserted before closing credits in the Japanese version of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. The segment is presented by Suzuko Mimori, who also voices Pinkie Pie and sings the intro theme for the Japanese version. The segment features Mimori and Twilight Sparkle talking, and ends with a segment called "Lucky Pony Slot", which functions like a slot machine, and picks a different pony each episode.
United Kingdom and Australian broadcasts
Since its first airing at the start of July, the UK broadcast has been placed in several different time slots (3PM, 7AM, 1:30PM, 10:30AM and 6:30AM), has had weekend episodes added to and removed from its schedule, and has both picked up and seemingly lost sponsoring from Tesco. However, until 2012, the weekend episodes were never in continuity with the episodes played during the previous week, and no episode after Fall Weather Friends was shown, Boomerang instead opting to air the first half of the first season repeatedly. On irregular weeks there would be no episodes, with the network airing a marathon of another show instead.
At the beginning of 2012, Boomerang began advertising a 'new season' of My Little Pony, to begin on January 9 at 3PM; however, the clips they showed were from the second half of the first season. On January 9, Suited for Success was broadcast for the first time, and followed the same pattern, repeating all episodes from Suited for Success to The Best Night Ever multiple times.
On the 5th of March 2012, the show apparently went on hiatus, and in October, most traces of the show were completely removed from the Boomerang's UK website, despite the My Little Pony page in the GB version of Hasbro's website still saying (as of November 2012) that Boomerang still airs the show at 3PM. One viewer emailed Cartoon Network, and was allegedly informed that they no longer hold the broadcasting rights to the show.
The Australian broadcast of Friendship is Magic is much like the UK broadcast in most regards. The show debuted on Cartoon Network Australia on October 31, 2011 at 6:30 AM Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time and remained in that time slot on weekdays. It was eventually pulled off in mid-December and premiered on Boomerang in early January 2012 with a better advertising campaign and established time slots (12:00 PM and 8:00 PM on weekdays and 9:00 AM on weekends; changed to 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM on weekdays). Also like the UK broadcast, only the first half of season one (Friendship is Magic, part 1 up to Fall Weather Friends) and reruns of it are shown until new episodes were advertised in March 2012, which are the latter half of season one. Reruns of the entire first season are currently being aired on Boomerang, with both halves assigned to separate time slots.
My Little Pony Friendship is Magic has many localized titles in different languages:
- Arabic — ماي ليتل بوني
- Chinese (Taiwan) — 彩虹小馬
- Czech — Můj malý pony: Přátelství je magické
- Danish — My Little Pony: Venskab er ren magi — not to be confused with the Norwegian title.
- Dutch — My Little Pony: Vriendschap is betoverend — also applies to the Dutch Belgium (Flemmish).
- Estonian — My Little Pony: Sõprus on imepärane
- Finnish — My Little Pony: Ystävyyden taikaa
- French (Canada) — My Little Pony: La Magie de L'amitié
- French (France and Belgium) — My Little Pony: Les amies, c'est Magique
- German — My Little Pony: Freundschaft ist Magie
- Greek — My Little Pony: Η Φιλία είναι Μαγική
- Hungarian — Én Kicsi Pónim- Varázslatos Barátság
- Italian — My Little Pony- L'amicizia è magica
- Japanese — My Little Pony トモダチは魔法 (tomodachi wa mahou = Friendship is Magic)
- Norwegian — My Little Pony: Vennskap er ren magi — not to be confused with the Danish title.
- Polish — My Little Pony: Przyjaźń to magia
- Portuguese (Brazil) — My Little Pony: Amizade é pura Magia
- Portuguese (Portugal) — My Little Pony: A Amizade é Mágica, or My Little Pony: A Mágica Amizade
- Romanian — Micul meu ponei: Prietenia este magică
- Russian — Дружба — это чудо (originally Мои маленькие пони Дружба — это чудо)
- Serbian — Moj mali poni: Prijateljstvo je čarolija
- Slovak — My Little Pony: Priateľstvo je magické
- Spanish (Latin American and Spain) My Little Pony: La Magia de la Amistad or, my little pony: la amistad es mágica. The Latin American and Spain versions share the same title, but they have completely different dubs performed by different voice actors.
- Swedish — My Little Pony: Vänskap är magisk
- Turkish — My Little Pony: Arkadaşlık Sihirlidir
- Ukrainian — Дружба — це диво
Other than the titles, virtually all the characters' English names have been retained in most of the dubs.
My Little Pony TV movie
Hasbro has announced that a My Little Pony direct-to-television movie is currently in post-production, at their Hasbro New York Toy Fair 2013 Investor Event. In May 2013, this movie was confirmed to be My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, with a limited theatrical run before its release on DVD and Blu-ray.
- Main article: Home media
Both season one and season two of Friendship is Magic are available for download from iTunes. Episodes can be purchased in either 480p Standard Definition or 720p and (as of iTunes version 10.6) 1080p High Definition. Individual episodes cost US$1.99 in SD or US$2.99 in HD, while entire seasons, including Season Passes, retail at US$39.99 (SD) and US$49.99.
Episodes of Friendship is Magic have been added to online video streaming service, Netflix, starting April 1, 2012.
Target has offered a two-episode DVD, Celebration at Canterlot, as a bundle together with select toy sets.
On February 28, 2012, a five-episode Region 1 DVD, subtitled The Friendship Express, was released by Los Angeles-based distributor Shout! Factory. The DVD contains the following episodes: Friendship is Magic, parts 1 and 2, Over a Barrel, Hearth's Warming Eve and The Last Roundup. Bonus content includes biographical sketches of the main characters, a karaoke sing-along of the opening theme song and an episode of Pound Puppies.
A Region 4 release is slated for June 20, 2012. Australian entertainment company Madman has been given the rights to distribute season one of Friendship is Magic in both Australia and New Zealand. The release will feature five separate DVD volumes, each disc containing episodes from the show's first season. A collector's box will also be released, starting at a retail price of AU$29.99; it will contain the volume 1 DVD and be meant to store all volumes after purchase.
The series uses a typeface named Generation B for its subtitle and various opening credits. Two similar fan-created fonts, Celestia Medium and Celestia Medium Redux, are used by other media such as the mobile game.
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My Little Pony Friendship is Magic has been well received by many critics. The A.V. Club gave the show an overall rating of B+, praising the absence of cynicism and lauding the humor, art and direction despite its mainly commercial purposes. Michael Payne of Strange Horizons also gave a favorable review of the show, commenting that it is "made by adults who won't talk down to their audience and who don't think that 'all ages' means 'underlying irony'".
Among the more negative reviews is the infamous Cartoon Brew blog entitled The End of the Creator-Driven Era in TV Animation, authored by Amid Amidi. The blog expresses Amidi's disdain towards the commercial nature of modern day animation, stating that "watching names like Rob Renzetti and Lauren Faust pop up in the credits of a toy-based animated series like My Little Pony is an admission of defeat for the entire movement, a white flag-waving moment for the TV animation industry".
- My Little Pony Friendship is Magic on the Fan Wiki
- List of FiM references in other media on the Fan Wiki
- My Little Pony Friendship is Magic article on Wikipedia
- My Little Wiki, a merchandise-focused wiki about all generations of My Little Pony
- ↑ Joe Strike (2011-07-05). Of Ponies and Bronies. Animation World Network. Retrieved on 2012 February 13.
- ↑ Lauren Faust (2011-03-17). buy original MLP art and help Japan. Retrieved on 2012 February 12. “Both of these sketches are early development artwork from 2008 and some of the earliest drawings I did of the MLP:FIM characters.”
- ↑ Lauren Faust (2010-01-01). Galaxy Girls, My Little Pony and 2010. Retrieved on 2012 February 12.
- ↑ Post by Nayuki on an Allspark thread (2012-06-19). Retrieved on 2012 June 22.
- ↑ Lauren Faust (May 8, 2011). THANK YOU!!!. Retrieved on 2011 August 2.
- ↑ Hillary Busis (2012-10-18). Exclusive scoop on 'My Little Pony' season 3. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2012 October 18.
- ↑ Nerdist Writers Panel #48: Animation Celebration! (May 6, 2012). Retrieved on 2012 July 28.
- ↑ William Anderson (July 27, 2012). don't worry. Retrieved on 2012 July 27.
- ↑ Season 3 Confirmation and Rumors (Nov 9, 2011). Retrieved on 2012 September 20.
- ↑ T.L. Stanley (April 19, 2012). A Brony gathering: SoCal men let their ‘My Little Pony' flag fly. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2012 April 26.
- ↑ DHX Media reports 1st quarter results and sale of Caillou Season 4 to PBS Kids (Reference - "MY LITTLE PONY seasons 2-4). DHX Media (2012-11-14). Retrieved on 2013 February 7.
- ↑ 'My Little Pony Friendship is Magic' returns this winter. Entertainment Weekly (2013-03-19). Retrieved on 2013 March 21.
- ↑ Hub Facebook page (October 18, 2011). Retrieved on 2011 October 18.
- ↑ 2012 Nominees by Program, Animation Program or Series section. Retrieved on 2012 September 17.
- ↑ Nominations announced for the 39th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (May 9, 2012). Retrieved on 2012 May 9.
- ↑ http://www.ontheredcarpet.com/Daytime-Emmys-2012:-Full-list-of-winners/8712262
- ↑ Jen Chaney (2012-09-17). ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’ is the best animated show on TV, according to the Tubeys. The Washington Post. Retrieved on 2012 September 17.
- ↑ Hasbro Shows to Air in Europe & Middle East in 2011. Raving Toy Maniac (2010-12-13). Retrieved on 2011 August 31.
- ↑ http://www.mylittleponynews.com/2011/06/uk-friendship-is-magic-and-g4-toys.html
- ↑ MY LITTLE PONY, vuelta al cole con nueva serie de televisión y nueva colección de juguetes (Spanish). Licensing World (2011-07-13). Retrieved on 2011 August 31.
- ↑ Friendship is Magic, going international!. My Little Pony News (2011-08-16). Retrieved on 2011 August 31.
- ↑ The Italian Man who went to Equestria.. My Little Pony News (2011-08-25). Retrieved on 2011 August 31.
- ↑ Ponies, now in Germany!. My Little Pony News (2011-09-02). Retrieved on 2011 September 3.
- ↑ Ponies to air in Poland!. For Glorious Equestria (2011-10-02). Retrieved on 2011 October 4.
- ↑ 【速報】テレビアニメ『マイリトルポニー～トモダチは魔法～』4月よりテレビ東京系にて放送決定！ 日本語吹替には声優ユニット「ミルキィホームズ」メンバー4名を起用!! (Japanese). animate.tv (2013-01-23). Retrieved on 2013 January 23. Translation available here.
- ↑ My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Second UK TV Trailer (2012-01-25). Retrieved on 2012 September 20.
- ↑ Official Hasbro My Little Pony page (GB). Retrieved on 2012 November 21.
- ↑ Post in "Any information on Boomerang showing Ponies?" on UK of Equestria forums (2012-10-14). Retrieved on 2012 November 21.
- ↑ Hasbro Toy Fair 2013 Presentation (2013-02-08). Retrieved on 2013 February 9.
- ↑ My Little Pony; Friendship is Magic. MadMan.com. Retrieved on 2012 May 1.
- ↑ Screenshot of game resources using Celestia Medium Redux
- ↑ My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. The A.V. Club (2011-04-29). Retrieved on 2012 May 18.
- ↑ Micheal Payne reviewing the show. Strange Horizons (2011-05-11). Retrieved on 2012 May 19.
- ↑ The End of the Creator-Driven Era in TV Animation. Cartoon Brew (2010-10-19). Retrieved on 2012 May 19.