Development and production
In December 2012, Hasbro filed two trademarks for the name "Equestria Girls", stating that the brand would be used for "toy ponies and accessories for use therewith" and "dolls, doll clothing and doll accessories" respectively. The first film was announced in Kidscreen magazine's February/March 2013 issue, which was both distributed at the 2013 American International Toy Fair and released online. An article which covers Hasbro's 2013 plans mentioned that "A new companion series called Equestria Girls is set to air this spring, sending the pony heroes on a mission to a new world where they take on human form".
Toys and merchandise
Various toy lines and merchandise were released as tie-ins to the franchise's films and associated media. Standard releases consist of human dolls of the series' main and supporting cast and have been released under the titles Equestria Girls, Through the Mirror, Rainbow Rocks (which are themed around music), Friendship Games (themed around sports and school spirit), and Legend of Everfree (themed around several exotic assortments).
Spin-off toy lines include Equestria Girls Minis, which feature the characters in a cuter, "chibi-fied" style.
Unlike Friendship is Magic, in which most of the characters are ponies and various other animals and creatures, the majority of the characters featured in My Little Pony Equestria Girls are human. The series is primarily set in a world parallel to the pony-inhabited realm of Equestria, and much of the cast consists of alternate human versions of pony characters as high school students.
- Twilight Sparkle: Main character of Friendship is Magic and the Princess of Friendship. She first travels to the human world via magic mirror to retrieve her stolen crown. She also appears in later films in a supporting role.
- Sunset Shimmer: A former student of Princess Celestia and the main antagonist of the first film. She steals Twilight's crown in an attempt to rule over Equestria, but Twilight and her new friends defeat her. Following her defeat and reform, Sunset serves as one of the main protagonists in the Equestria Girls sequels. She plays the rhythm guitar in her and her friends' band The Rainbooms.
- Fluttershy: A shy and kindhearted teenage girl who loves animals. Plays the tambourine in her and her friends' band.
- Pinkie Pie: A cheerful and carefree teenage girl who loves to meet people and throw parties. Plays the drums in her and her friends' band.
- Applejack: A down-to-Earth country girl who values honesty and hard work. Plays the bass guitar in her and her friends' band.
- Rarity: A very fashion-forward and generous teenager who loves to design clothes. Plays the keytar in her and her friends' band.
- Rainbow Dash: An athletic and loyal girl who captains all of Canterlot High School's sports teams. Plays the lead guitar in her and her friends' band.
- Twilight Sparkle/"Sci-Twi": Princess Twilight Sparkle's human counterpart and former Crystal Prep Academy student. Very bookish and introverted, she briefly serves as an antagonist in the third film. Following her defeat, she enrolls at Canterlot High as a new student.
- The Dazzlings: Main antagonists of My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks. Consisting of Adagio Dazzle, Sonata Dusk, and Aria Blaze, they are sirens from Equestria who hypnotize the Canterlot High student body through song and feed off their negativity to grow powerful. They are defeated by the Rainbooms through the music of friendship.
- Principal Cinch: Main antagonist of My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games and the strict principal of Crystal Prep Academy. Obsessed with maintaining her school's reputation, she manipulates human Twilight Sparkle, her prized student, into competing in the Friendship Games.
- The Shadowbolts: Secondary antagonists of My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games and the sports team for Crystal Prep Academy. Consists of Sour Sweet, Sunny Flare, Indigo Zap, Sugarcoat, and Lemon Zest.
- Main article: My Little Pony Equestria Girls
Hasbro announced at their Hasbro New York Toy Fair 2013 Investor Event that a My Little Pony direct-to-television movie was at that time in post-production. The movie was announced in May 2013 and received a limited theatrical run starting June 16, 2013, followed by a DVD/Blu-ray release on August 6 and a television airing on The Hub on September 1.
- Main article: My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
A sequel to Equestria Girls entitled My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks was announced in mid-February 2014. It received a limited theatrical run beginning September 27, 2014, followed by a television airing on Discovery Family on October 17 and a DVD/Blu-ray release on October 28.
- Main article: My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games
On January 29, 2015, Australian home media distributor Beyond Home Entertainment stated via Facebook that they had obtained distribution rights for seasons 4 and 5 of the show, in addition to Rainbow Rocks and the "third Equestria Girls [movie]". It aired on Discovery Family on September 26, 2015 and was released on DVD/Blu-ray on October 13.
Legend of Everfree
- Main article: My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree
The fourth Equestria Girls installment was teased by Rainbow Rocks co-director and Friendship Games director Ishi Rudell and later confirmed by Hasbro Studios president Stephen Davis. It is available on Netflix as of October 1, 2016, followed by a DVD and Blu-ray release a month later on November 1 and a television airing on Discovery Family four days later on November 5.
Beginning with the second film Rainbow Rocks, several animated shorts were released as tie-ins to their associated films, some prior to the film's release and some afterward.
Eleven animated shorts were released to tie-in with the premiere of Rainbow Rocks. The first eight were released before the film as "Prequel Shorts" and included in the special features of the Rainbow Rocks DVD/Blu-ray. The last three were released after the film as "Encore Shorts" and appeared as the first three audio tracks on the My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
Five animated shorts were released to tie-in with the premiere of Friendship Games. All of the shorts were released before the film and included in the special features of the Friendship Games DVD/Blu-ray.
Equestria Girls Minis
- Main article: Equestria Girls Minis
Five animated shorts were released as tie-ins with the Equestria Girls Minis toy line. Unlike previous shorts, these shorts are animated in 3D and relatively short in length (ranging from 15-30 seconds long).
On October 4, 2016, World Screen reported, "Hasbro Studios will also continue to expand our successful My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic spin-off series, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls,” says Finn Arnesen, vice president of global distribution and development at Hasbro Studios. He continued saying, “Fans around the world will be able to enjoy three all-new specials in 2017 that feature the colorful characters of the Equestria Girls universe.” On October 18, 2016, Hasbro reported through a press release that each special would be 22 minutes in length, take place after Legend of Everfree, and broadcast on Discovery Family. On February 14, 2017, Legend of Everfree director Ishi Rudell confirmed via Twitter that all three specials will be directed by him and Katrina Hadley.
Chapter book adaptations of the films, as well as original stories, have been published for the films by Little, Brown & Company. With the exception of the first novel, which was written by regular MLP novelist G.M. Berrow, these books were all written by author Perdita Finn.
At least one official soundtrack has been released for each film in the franchise.
- Official Equestria Girls website (now merged with My Little Pony website as of 02/27/2017)
- ↑ Paul N. Vanasse (2012-12-17). USPTO TSDR Case Viewer. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved on 2016 May 19.
- ↑ Paul N. Vanasse (2012-12-18). USPTO TSDR Case Viewer. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved on 2016 May 19.
- ↑ Brendan Christie (2013-02-22). Hasbro hits its stride. Kidscreen February/March 2013 issue. Retrieved on 2013 March 9.
- ↑ Hasbro Toy Fair 2013 Presentation (2013-02-08). Retrieved on 2013 February 9.
- ↑ Mark Davenport - Have you taken over taken the rights of.... Facebook (2015-01-29). Retrieved on 2015 January 30.
- ↑ Ishi Rudell (2015-10-01). Yup, there's a pretty good chance... https://t.co/PE3xE1zrxr. Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 October 6.
- ↑ mipmarkets (2015-10-03). Keynote: Stephen Davis, Hasbro - MIPJunior 2015. YouTube. Retrieved on 2015 October 3.
- ↑ My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks DVD Factsheet. Phase 4 Films (2014-07-01). Retrieved on 2014 August 11.
- ↑ My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Season Seven + Equestria Girls Specials Ordered. TV Series Finale (2016-10-20). Retrieved on 2017 February 5.
- ↑ Sethisto (2016-10-18). My Little Pony Season 7 Officially Airing on Discovery Family with Equestria Girls Specials - Plus Movie Info!. Equestria Daily. Retrieved on 2016 October 18.
- ↑ Ishi Rudell (2017-02-14). Ishi Rudell on Twitter: Yes Katrina and I will be directing those 3 specials.. Twitter. Retrieved on 2017 February 14.