Unicorns were introduced after Earth ponies in the original My Little Pony toy line. In previous animated series, they had the ability to teleport magically or "wink out", but did not ordinarily have any other magical abilities.
Depiction in the seriesAs the name suggests, all unicorns have a long horn protruding from their forehead which glows when their magical powers are used. Although they are associated with their magic, a unicorn's horn is strong and sharp enough to have mundane uses: one unicorn in Call of the Cutie uses it to pop balloons, and Twilight Sparkle uses it to charge an opponent on several occasions. Twilight Sparkle and Rarity are often seen using their intellects to compensate for their lack of physical strength, such as when Twilight earns fifth place in the Running of the Leaves in Fall Weather Friends and Rarity overcomes her captors in A Dog and Pony Show. It was stated in Boast Busters most unicorn magic revolves only around their natural talents (e.g. their jobs, hobbies, etc) as seen in Rarity's case, thus making unicorns like Twilight Sparkle unusual for having a talent that is magic itself. However, both Rarity (in The Cutie Mark Chronicles) and Twilight Sparkle (playing the role of Clever Clover in Hearth's Warming Eve) have stated that Unicorn magic itself does not happen without reason.
Also, twice in the series, their magic has been cancelled out. The first was when Twilight Sparkle was affected by the Poison Joke plant in Bridle Gossip, wherein the plant made Twilight's horn floppy, rendering it unable to do magic. In Ponyville Confidential, Sweetie Belle simply kicks Rarity's horn to cancel out her levitation spell instantly. The other pony races generally have difficulty competing with a unicorn's magical talent, as seen when Trixie easily bested Applejack and Rainbow Dash in a show of skill. This causes Rarity to state that only another unicorn could put Trixie in her place, although Twilight Sparkle was the only unicorn present able to outdo Trixie.
Princess Celestia and Princess Luna are called unicorns in the prologue in Friendship is Magic, part 1, and Luna is called a "Pegasus unicorn" on Hasbro's My Little Pony Facebook page. On merchandise the princesses, including Princess Cadance, are called "Pony Princesses"; in A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1, Twilight Sparkle contrasts Cadance being a "princess" with herself being a "regular old unicorn." Despite this, storyboard artist Sabrina Alberghetti calls the princesses alicorns.[note 1]
- For a comprehensive description, see the unicorn magic section in the article magic.
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The colors of magic auras
The color of the glow surrounding objects affected by unicorn magic is inconsistent within the series. Rarity's glow is light blue, respectively, which sort of matches the color of her eyes. However, Rarity's glow in the first season also appears purple on certain occasions. Also, Trixie's glow is light pink tinted purple, which looks okay with her light purple eyes.[specify] The Flim Flam brothers's magical glow, featured in The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, is colored green like their eyes. The color of the glow of incidental characters' magic is not consistent in this way and frequently differs from their eye color, which is the case with the exam supervisors and the waiters in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, for example.
This relationship between eye color and magic color doesn't hold for Twilight Sparkle and Princess Celestia's magical glow either. The color of Twilight's glow is inconsistent in the first season and more consistent in the second, turning magenta like the color of her cutie mark. Similarly, whereas the color of Celestia's magical glow varies throughout season one, this glow is consistently yellow in Lesson Zero and A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2, like her cutie mark. The addition of a yellow glow to Celestia's magic is one of the changes to the new opening sequence.
Chrysalis, while disguised as Cadance, uses magic that glows green, whereas the real Cadance's magic glows light blue, consistently. Shining Armor has magenta colored magic, where his eyes are blue. In both cases, the magic glow resembles the most prominent color in their cutie marks.
Baby unicorn magicThe episode Baby Cakes features a little baby unicorn, Pumpkin Cake, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cake, who uses her magic unexpectedly when Pinkie Pie babysits her and her Pegasus twin brother, Pound Cake. Rarity cautions the other ponies at the beginning of the episode that "baby unicorns get strange magic surges that come and go", and Pumpkin Cake experiences these surges when she's able to use her magic to teleport, walk through solid objects, levitate herself and other objects, and break the locks and chains that Pinkie Pie put around the toy chest.
Canterlot is mostly populated by unicorns in its three appearances in Friendship is Magic, part 1, Sweet and Elite, and The Cutie Mark Chronicles. Notable exceptions are Hoity Toity and Celestia's pegasus pony guards. Ponyville has its share of unicorns, more or less equally with Earth ponies and Pegasi. In Applejack's visit to Manehattan unicorns are only seen as waiters, and the rest of the ponies there are Earth ponies. Since they lack the natural ability to walk on clouds, they should not be ordinarily present in Cloudsdale, but Twilight Sparkle casts a spell on herself and her friends that allows them to walk on clouds and attend a competition in Cloudsdale in the episode Sonic Rainboom.
- ↑ The use of terms directly from the show supersedes other conventions.
- ↑ Comment on Hasbro's My Little Pony Facebook page (2011-05-19). Retrieved on 2012 December 20.
- ↑ deviantArt comment page screenshot of Sabrina Alberghetti calling Celestia and Luna alicorns
- ↑ Lauren Faust (2011-04-16). The magical traits of each pony kind. “Unicorns are the only ones that can control [magic] willingly. Pegasi have involuntary magic that allows them to do things like walk on clouds, and Earth Ponies have a magically ingrained connection to the Earth that makes them better at working with plants and animals.”