|My Little Pony: Equestria Girls|
|Book(s)||(see Books sub-section)|
|Comics||(see Comics sub-section)|
|Films and television|
|Short film(s)||Summertime Shorts (2017)|
|Soundtrack(s)||(see Music section)|
|Toy(s)||My Little Pony: Equestria Girls|
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, or simply known as Equestria Girls, is a product line of fashion dolls and media franchise launched in 2013 by American toy company Hasbro, as a spin-off of the 2010 relaunch of the My Little Pony franchise and its Friendship Is Magic television series. Equestria Girls features anthropomorphized versions of My Little Pony characters from that period. It includes various doll lines, media tie-ins and licensed merchandise.
In addition to the Hasbro toys, Allspark Animation (previously credited under Hasbro Studios), a subsidiary of Hasbro, have commissioned animated production tie-ins, including four films, eight television specials and several series of animated shorts.
The Equestria Girls setting is established as a parallel counterpart to the main world of Equestria in the 2010 incarnation of My Little Pony, populated with humanoid versions of the characters from the franchise; the Hasbro website described them as "full-time students and part-time magical pony girls".
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, while aimed at younger children, had gained a surprising number of older fans in their 20s and 30s, known as "bronies". Among fanworks produced by this older crowd included re-imagined art of the Friendship Is Magic cast as human equivalents. Hasbro saw this art and came up with the idea of developing the spin-off with a similar re-imagining.
The earliest known official use of the "Equestria Girls" name occurred during 2011, when the American television channel The Hub (a joint venture between Discovery Communications and Hasbro; now known as Discovery Family) released a promotional trailer for Hasbro Studio's Friendship Is Magic television series which featured a modified version of Katy Perry's "California Gurls"; however, the trailer has nothing to do with the later-launched franchise.
In December 2012, Hasbro registered trademark for the name "Equestria Girls" at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The franchise was briefly mentioned in the media earlier in February and March 2013. In an interview in the February/March 2013 issue of the Kidscreen magazine, Hasbro's senior vice president of international distribution and development, Finn Arnesen, called My Little Pony a "top-priority" brand for the company; the film was described as "a new companion series" that would "[send] the pony heroes on a mission to a new world where they take on human form". Equestria Girls was announced in May 2013 with a film and other media strategy, and it was included in Hasbro's licensing program for My Little Pony announced in June 2013, which began at the 2013 Licensing International Expo along with the company's other properties. The spin-off was to be a part of the 30th anniversary of the My Little Pony brand.
Along with the toys, Hasbro planned to produce related merchandise and media including films, apparel, and accessories. Hasbro's chief marketing officer, John A. Frascotti, called the franchise a "major strategic initiative" for the company. The human-based toys were developed to appeal to girls in their teens as a means to extend the My Little Pony brand. In addition, Hasbro will continue its licensing deals with book publisher Little, Brown and Company and comic book publisher IDW Publishing to publish related works.
In the audio commentary included in the Rainbow Rocks home media, Meghan McCarthy commented that Equestria Girls was initially not intended to become an ongoing franchise, and the thought of a sequel did not cross her mind.
Equestria Girls takes place in an alternate version of Equestria resembling modern-day Earth, whose population consists of humanoids with skins colored other than the usual human skin colors, with most being similar to their counterparts in the main My Little Pony TV series and toy line in terms of appearance and personality. Several locales in the parallel world serve as counterparts to the main cities and establishments in Equestria: for example, Canterlot High School, which corresponds to Canterlot in Equestria, is run by Principal Celestia and her sister, Vice Principal Luna, who are the equivalents of Princesses Celestia and Luna, the rulers of Equestria.
The entire franchise is primarily set in a fictional world parallel to the pony-inhabited fantasy setting of the 2010 incarnation of My Little Pony, accessible via a magic mirror. The toys and other series of media additionally feature alternate humanoid versions of pony characters in roles similar to the counterparts in Equestria; characters as depicted in the Friendship Is Magic television series who travel between worlds assume similar forms in the alternative setting.
The main characters are collectively referred to in merchandise as the Equestria Girls. Beginning in Rainbow Rocks, they are also the members of a rock band called the Rainbooms. In Legend of Everfree they assume magical abilities that come from geodes they discover.
The Equestria Girls counterparts of the minor, supporting and background characters in Friendship Is Magic television series also make appearances in the films and shorts. Such characters include Cheerilee, the Cutie Mark Crusaders (Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle), DJ Pon-3, Lyra Heartstrings, Octavia Melody, Photo Finish, Sweetie Drops and Trixie.
Main article: List of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls animations
Allspark Animation (previously credited under Hasbro Studios), a subsidiary of Hasbro, have commissioned the production of several animated films, specials and shorts (except Equestria Girls Minis shorts). Most of animated media were produced by DHX Studios Vancouver's 2D animation team in Canada, with the exception of Canterlot Shorts from 2017, which were produced by Boulder Media in the Republic of Ireland (a company acquired by Hasbro in 2016).
The following works were produced under this scope:
|Title||U.S. release date||Director||Screenwriter(s)||Producer(s)|
|Equestria Girls (2013)||June 16, 2013||Jayson Thiessen||Meghan McCarthy||Sarah Wall and Devon Cody|
|Rainbow Rocks (2014)||September 27, 2014||Jayson Thiessen and Ishi Rudell|
|Friendship Games (2015)||September 26, 2015||Ishi Rudell||Josh Haber||Devon Cody|
|Legend of Everfree (2016)||October 1, 2016||Kristine Songco and Joanna Lewis||Angela Belyea|
|Tales of Canterlot High (2017)||June 24, 2017||Ishi Rudell and Katrina Hadley||Gillian Berrow, Noelle Benvenuti, Dave Polsky and Rachel Vine||Angela Belyea|
|Forgotten Friendship (2018)||February 17, 2018||Nick Confalone||Angela Belyea and Colleen McAllister|
|Rollercoaster of Friendship (2018)||November 25, 2018|
|Spring Breakdown (2019)||March 30, 2019||Angela Belyea, Colleen McAllister and Katherine Crownover|
|Sunset's Backstage Pass (2019)||July 27, 2019||Whitney Ralls|
|Holidays Unwrapped (2019)||November 2, 2019||Anna Christopher||Angela Belyea and Katherine Crownover|
|Rainbow Rocks prelude shorts (2014)||March 27, 2014||Ishi Rudell and Jayson Thiessen||Cindy Morrow, Amy Keating Rogers, Josh Haber and Natasha Levinger||Devon Cody|
|Rainbow Rocks encore shorts (2015)||April 1, 2015||Jayson Thiessen, Katrina Hadley, Brian Lenard, Daniel Ingram and Michael Vogel|
|Friendship Games prelude shorts (2015)||August 29, 2015||Brian Lenard, Natasha Levinger, Ishi Rudell and Jayson Thiessen|
|Summertime Shorts (2017)||July 30, 2017||Ishi Rudell and Katrina Hadley||Gillian M. Berrow (exc. music videos)||N/A|
|Better Together shorts (2017–2020)||November 17, 2017||Various||Angela Belyea and Colleen McAllister|
A media tie-in to promote the Equestria Girls Minis toy line, the animated shorts ranging from 15 to 30 seconds in length were showcased on various online outlets including the toy line's official website and official YouTube channel beginning in late 2015.
The animation studio which produced the shorts is yet to be identified.
|No.||Title||Revision/Part||Starring||Duration||Original release date||Note|
|1||"Pinkie Pie Slumber Party ft. Pinkie Pie"||(initial release)||Pinkie Pie||25 seconds||2015||[a]|
|(revised version)||Pinkie Pie||15 seconds||February 2016||[b]|
|2||"Pinkie Pie Slumber Party ft. Twilight Sparkle"||(initial release)||Twilight Sparkle|
|15 seconds||January 2016||N/A|
|(revised version)||Twilight Sparkle|
|15 seconds||February 2016||[c]|
|3||"Pinkie Pie Slumber Party ft. Rarity"||N/A||Rarity||15 seconds||February 2016||N/A|
|4||"Pinkie Pie Slumber Party"||N/A||The six protagonists||20 seconds||April 2016||N/A|
|5||"Dance Off"||N/A||Twilight Sparkle|
|30 seconds||August 15, 2016||N/A|
|6||"Pillow Fight"||N/A||The six protagonists||20 seconds||November 7, 2016||N/A|
|7||"Adventures at Canterlot High: Class w/ Principal Celestia"||N/A||The six protagonists|
|15 seconds||February 3, 2017||N/A|
|8||"Adventures at Canterlot High: Sci-Twi's Lab"||N/A||Twilight Sparkle|
and Photo Finish
|15 seconds||February 3, 2017||N/A|
|9–10||"The Show Must Go On"||Part 1||The six protagonists|
|15 seconds||July 13, 2017||N/A|
|Part 2||The six protagonists|
|15 seconds||July 13, 2017||N/A|
|11||"Beach Fun"||N/A||The six protagonists|
|15 seconds||March 22, 2018||N/A|
|12||"Fun at the Theme Park!"||N/A||The six protagonists||15 seconds||September 13, 2018||N/A|
The following juvenile fiction chapter books are originally published by LB Kids imprint of Hachette Book Group USA. The Orchard Book's imprint of Hachette UK, as well as The Five Mile Press in Australia, also published the books. The dates listed are the American publish dates.
|1||Equestria Girls: Through the Mirror||G.M. Berrow||October 1, 2013|
|2||Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks||Perdita Finn||April 8, 2014|
|3||Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks - The Mane Event||Perdita Finn||October 7, 2014|
|4||Equestria Girls: Sunset Shimmer's Time to Shine||Perdita Finn||May 5, 2015|
|5||Equestria Girls: Friendship Games||Perdita Finn||October 6, 2015|
|6||Equestria Girls: Twilight's Sparkly Sleepover Surprise||Perdita Finn||May 17, 2016|
|7||Equestria Girls: The Legend of Everfree||Perdita Finn||September 6, 2016|
|8||Equestria Girls: Magic, Magic Everywhere!||Perdita Finn||June 6, 2017|
|9||Equestria Girls: A Friendship to Remember||Perdita Finn||December 5, 2017|
Other than the chapter books, the following books were also published by the LB Kids imprint.
|Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree - Save Our Camp!||Louise Alexander||September 6, 2016|
|Equestria Girls: Wondercolts Forever||Sadie Chesterfield||January 3, 2017|
|Canterlot High Stories: Rainbow Dash Brings the Blitz||Arden Hayes||April 3, 2018|
|Canterlot High Stories: Twilight Sparkle's Science Fair Sparks||Arden Hayes||June 5, 2018|
|Canterlot High Stories: Pinkie Pie and the Cupcake Calamity||Arden Hayes||October 2, 2018|
|Make Your Own Magic: The Starswirl Do-Over||Whitney Ralls||February 5, 2019|
See also: My Little Pony (IDW Publishing)
A special short story, featuring the origins of Sunset Shimmer, was published in the IDW My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic 2013 San Diego Comic Con comic variant in July 2013. It also included additional stories in a stand-alone issue, titled My Little Pony Annual 2013: Equestria Girls, released on October 30, 2013.
An issue of IDW's Fiendship Is Magic features the sirens, the evil creatures that appeared in Rainbow Rocks.
|No.||Title||United States release date||United States ISBN|
|My Little Pony: Annual 2013||October 30, 2013||1631405152|
|Stories take place before the first Equestria Girls film, including an 8-page story original published in the 2013 San Diego Comic Con variant of the main series, issue #9 (in July 2013), telling the origin of the character Sunset Shimmer. In the short, Sunset is shown as Princess Celestia's prized student in magic arts, whom Celestia hopes to groom into a princess. However, when Sunset becomes corrupted by images she sees in a magic mirror, Celestia realizes that Sunset may be too greedy and vain. Sunset goes against Celestia's wishes and breaks into the dark magic wing of the library, learning about the mirror's function and magic that can transform her into a winged unicorn. Celestia discovers this and expels Sunset as her student, but Sunset manages to escape and pass through the mirror, ending up in the parallel world.
In the main story, a prequel to the events of the film but told in flashback from a series of interviews, the five students, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash struggle as freshmen to Canterlot High. Pinkie cannot find a school club that makes her happy, while Rainbow Dash wants to be the star player of the Wondercolts soccer team despite her inability to play on the team. Meanwhile, Applejack is initially glad to see her cousins Babs Seed and Sunflower, but they ridicule her fashion while making friends with Rarity, the fashion expert. However, when Rarity asks Fluttershy, who has been worried about Sunflower's sick chihuahua dog but unable to speak up about it, to join them for lunch one day, Babs Seed and Sunflower refuse to allow her.
On the day of the first game, Pinkie has found her true calling, as leader of the school's glee club, and gets Fluttershy to help distribute cheering equipment to the crowd. When Babs and Sunflower refuse Fluttershy's help, both Applejack and Rarity decide to abandon the two and join Fluttershy. The crowd helps Rainbow Dash to remember the team spirit and foregoes her ego to help her team to win. The five become fast friends, though all this is detailed in the present by Sunset to be used for her own gains.
|My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Holiday Special||December 17, 2014||—|
|As the holidays approach at Canterlot High, Sunset is reminded that she is far distant from her family. Applejack hatches a plan with the rest of her friends to help cheer Sunset up with a series of slumber parties. During the first one, Applejack gets a call from Apple Bloom, who teasingly refers to her by an embarrassing childhood nickname. Applejack gladly explains its origins to the other girls, and Sunset writes to Twilight via her magic journal about the way her friends are helping to lift her spirits.
The next day, Applejack is shocked to discover that a social media user called "Anon-a-miss" has posted a message about the nickname and that everyone at school has read it and begun to tease her. The situation worsens after the next slumber party, held at Rarity's house when Anon-a-miss posts photos that the girls took of one another while trying on silly outfits. They begin to suspect Sunset, as she was the only person present at both events and the colors on Anon-a-miss' social media page now match the ones she favors. Soon, embarrassing secrets about other students begin to show up online, causing the student body as a whole to turn against Sunset.
When Sunset writes to Twilight for help, Twilight reminds her of the Windigos in Equestria, which feed on hatred and distrust between friends and reminds her of the importance of family. Sunset shows these messages to the other girls the next day and asks them if they honestly believe that she could be responsible for stirring up this trouble. The mention of family prompts Sunset to question Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity about the events leading up to their secrets being exposed. Their answers lead her to realize Anon-a-miss' identity, and she is proven right when Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle confess their involvement. Apple Bloom had created Anon-a-miss as a way to get back at Applejack for spending so much time with Sunset rather than her family, and the other two soon joined in, with other students feeding them fresh gossip. They delete the profile, and everyone gets back on good terms with one another in time for the final party at Sweet Apple Acres.
|My Little Pony: Fiendship Is Magic Issue 3||April 15, 2015||1631403397|
|In ancient Equestria, the sirens - Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze, and Sonata Dusk - have been feeding off the emotions brewed by the discord created by their singing in smaller towns but have turned their attention to the populous Canterlot. They arrive at the height of a multi-day musical competition. Their first attempt to sing with their traditional song is cut short as their song is far outdated, and Adagio comes up with singing "pop music" at the next chance. Their new song quickly enraptures the audiences, except for the wizard, Star Swirl the Bearded. Recognizing that their singing is turning the ponies of Canterlot against each other, Star Swirl finds the only way to fight back is to counteract the sirens with his own music. The Sirens and Star Swirl begin to try to one-up each other over several days until Star Swirl finds he cannot hope to best the Sirens in musical ability. Remorsefully he uses the magic mirror to banish the sirens to a world without magic, hoping the trio will come to use their powers for good. In this new world, the sirens find themselves in the humanized forms, their magic weak but still strong enough to feed on with the power of their song.
|My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Canterlot High: March Radness||March 25, 2020||—|
|"Spring has sprung, and your favorite Equestria girls are back with three brand-new adventures! Celebrate March Radness with the Spring Athletic event, a visit by the famous A.K. Yearling herself, and… detention?! Return to Canterlot High, where mischief, fun, and friendship collide!"
Up until the Friendship Games lineup, Hasbro has been releasing a series of live-action music videos to promote the toy line. The videos feature the female dancers, dressed as the protagonists, dance to the renditions of the song "Equestria Girls", a number heard in the first Equestria Girls film.
With the first lineup, Hasbro released a live-action music video, titled Magic of Friendship, on Entertainment Weekly website on August 30, 2013, depicting seven teenage girls, as the six protagonists and Sunset Shimmer, doing a new dance routine called "The EG Stomp" in a school cafeteria to a shorter Toy Commercial version of the "Equestria Girls" song.
On February 20, 2014, Hasbro released a new live-action music video on its official website to coincide with the Rainbow Rocks lineup, depicting the protagonists in a rock band. The music video, also titled Rainbow Rocks, uses a rock version of the "Equestria Girls" song and portrays the protagonists performing the "EG Stomp". Through the Equestria Girls YouTube channel, another music video was released on August 4, 2014. It depicts four more teenage girls, each one dressed as the Dazzlings and DJ Pon-3 respectively. In February 2015, another music video titled "Rainbooms Remix" was released.
On August 14, 2015, the same year the Friendship Games lineup was launched, Hasbro released a live-action music video on its website, depicting five of the six protagonists as well as Sunset Shimmer in a sporting competition against Crystal Prep's Twilight Sparkle.
On October 15, 2013, Gameloft's My Little Pony mobile game was updated to include the Equestria Girls mini-game.[better source needed]
A Rainbow Rocks missile command-type mini-game was added to the Hasbro Arcade mobile app on April 8, 2014. On October 29, 2014, the mini-game was updated to include the Dazzlings with two songs from the movie and one song from one of the live-action music videos.[better source needed]
On June 7, 2014, a Rainbow Rocks game titled "Repeat the Beat" was released on Hasbro's Equestria Girls website;[better source needed] almost two months later, two more games have been released on July 31, 2014, one of them being "Equestria Girls: Battle of the Bands"[better source needed] and the other being "Equestria Girls: V.I.F. (Very Important Friend)".[better source needed]
On August 4, 2015, a Friendship Games game titled "Archery Game" was released on Hasbro's Equestria Girls website.[better source needed]
Main article: List of songs in Equestria Girls
The My Little Pony 2015 Convention Collection released for San Diego Comic-Con International 2015 contains select songs from the first two films: Equestria Girls and Rainbow Rocks.
There has been criticism over the anthropomorphism approach of the toy line, as well as the franchise overall. Prior to the Equestria Girls film's release, several mothers spoke to the New York Daily News stating concerns about the humanized characters, describing them as "too sexy", "anorexic", "going back to the original Barbie" or "looking like Bratz dolls", and several feared allowing their children to be influenced by the looks. However, some considered it reasonable with other current media such as The Little Mermaid, with one parent stating she felt that it isn't "any worse than Ariel in a bikini top for two hours". Slate's Amanda Marcotte considered that the characters' change to human form was to popularize Equestria Girls with the adult fanbase of Friendship Is Magic, who she claims "have expressed a strong interest in seeing the Ponies in sexy, humanized forms". However, many of these adult fans expressed disappointment in the announcement of the franchise and the characters, considering Equestria Girls to be trying to pander to this older audience, and that the approach "goes against everything that Pony was trying to prove". Craig McCracken, speaking for his wife Lauren Faust, Friendship Is Magic's creative showrunner for the first two seasons before stepping down, stated that McCracken felt she "wasn't the biggest fan" of Equestria Girls, opining that the approach of turning the pony characters into humans would have gone against the way she wanted to take the television series.
Being largely a part of a toy line and media franchise from Hasbro, the criticism against commercialization was taken into account when reviewing the films and specials from the Equestria Girls series, whose reception has generally been mixed to positive for retaining the quality of the Friendship Is Magic television series. When reviewing the Friendship Games film, Mike Cahill of The Guardian gave the film two out of five stars, calling it "craven commercialism", but adding that "it's not unattractively designed, and its peppy collegiate spirit trumps the sappiness of Disney's Tinkerbell spin-offs". Conversely, Adam Lemuz of Geekscape gave the same film a four out of five, praising its animation, music, directing and writing.