My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a Canadian-American magical girl TV series that on Discovery Family (originally The Hub) from 2010 to 2019. It had 9 seasons, 222 episodes, a spinoff series focusing on the Mane Six's human counterparts and an exclusive character named Sunset Shimmer called Equestria Girls which launched in 2013, and a GMW. In 2020, it was succeeded by My Little Pony: Pony Life, which will feature the same voice actors and the same writers. In the same year, a clip show series called Friendship is Forever was released, taking place after the events of the Season 9 finale "The Ending of the End".
The series follows the adventures and exploits of a studious purple alicorn (previously unicorn) named Twilight Sparkle as she and her small purple and green dragon assistant and friend Spike, along with 6 (previously 5) other mares, travel throughout the fictional land of Equestria to fix and spread friendship. Later, the seven mares build a school named the "School of Friendship" to teach friendship to not only ponies, but to other creatures, lead by a pony named Sandbar, named Gallus the Griffin, Yona the Yak, Ocellus of the reformed Changelings, Silverstream the Hippogriff, and Smolder the Dragon.
Why It Rocks
- Despite using Adobe Flash animation (which is usually not a good choice for animated shows), the animation and backgrounds are clean, detailed, and great looking.
- It has great morals but also deals with morally complicated situations and themes, such as xenophobia, colonialism, bullying, standing up for yourself, and forgiveness regardless of how much wrong someone does to you.
- Its characters are relatable and likable, such as the four princesses including Celestia, Luna, Cadence, Flurry Heart and the Mane 6 including Twilight Sparkle herself.
- The role-models for the main eight characters are pretty good:
- Twilight Sparkle is the likable, natural-born and intelligent alicorn (previously unicorn) type of pony and the leader of the Mane 6, who can be OCD at times.
- Fluttershy is the calm, kind-hearted, but shy pegasus type of pony who takes care of many kinds of animals, but can be easily frightened sometimes and uses "The Stare" to get bad animals under her control.
- Applejack is the down-to-earth type of pony who helps on her farm called Sweet Apple Acres, kicking down many trees to get the apples, and is well adjusted but can sometimes be stubborn.
- Rainbow Dash is the well-meaning, loyal, but speedy, tomboyish, and sometimes irresponsible pegasus type of pony, who can go fast and has a dream of joining the Wonderbolts (Equestria's version of the Blue Angels), which she officially gets to do so.
- Pinkie Pie is the hyper, wacky, but joyful and happy comic relief earth type of pony who always throws parties and is the one who breaks the fourth wall a lot.
- Rarity is the artful, creative and generous unicorn type of pony who enjoys making fashion, despite her vain and melodramatic tendencies sometimes.
- Spike, who is a dragon, is a loyal, loveable and faithful assistant to Twilight Sparkle. He even gets the ability to fly later like Twilight in Season 8.
- Starlight Glimmer, a skilled unicorn type of pony, started as a villain in season 5 (due to losing her friend Sunburst as a filly), but reforms in the season finale after realizing her actions change the future, reunites with Sunburst in the Season 6 premiere and becomes a protagonist and a friend/ally to the Mane Six.
- It has phenomenal voice acting. For example, Tara Strong as Twilight Sparkle. It not only has Weird Al as the voice of Cheese Sandwich and Star Trek actors William Shatner as Grand Pear and John de Lancie as Q-inspired character Discord, but also Maurice LaMarche, the voice of Egon from The Real Ghostbusters, various characters such as Kif Kroker from Futurama, and Brain from Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain.
- The Japanese opening & the dub itself is great, as it goes for a more magical girl anime-like feel and stays 99% faithful to the original.
- There are a lot of interesting episodes. Some also make nods to the fanbase, such as Slice of Life (the fan-favorite characters in the show), Fame and Misfortune (tackling flawlessness), and Honest Apple (dealing with fan criticism).
- The villains are excellent and threatening. Tirek, King Sombra, The Pony of Shadows, and Chrysalis, in particular, are great examples.
- It can be pretty hilarious at times, especially from the comic relief Pinkle Pie, who can do many cartoonish feats such as hanging upside down on the ceiling or appear in random places.
- They finally brought back Applejack for the first time since the first generation of the franchise (not counting the third generation, in which Applejack was only in toy form). Other characters in the Mane Six are also inspired by G1 characters, such as Rainbow Dash using traits from Firefly.
- Also, Minty returned on the final short in 2019.
- The musical score and musical numbers are both awesome to listen to, such as "BBBFFs" and even fan favorites such as the "Smile" song.
- It has some emotional stories such as in the episode The Perfect Pear, which deals with Applejack's deceased parents.
- It has decent character development. Discord, for example, started as a chaos-making villain, but then got reformed in season 3, and later became an ally (though reluctantly) among the Mane 6 and a friend of Fluttershy, despite occasionally making humorous trouble along the way.
- It spawned a movie, which was pretty good (despite the mixed reception).
- The action and fight scenes are awe-inspiring and great.
- While there are pop culture references, they aren't forced down your throat, unlike most other popular shows in later seasons. They're also fun pretty fun to point out, such as Neighsay being similar to the Marvel Comics character Doctor Strange, or many of Discord's costumes being similar to movies such as Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas or Harry Potter, or references to other Hasbro properties such as Transformers or Jem.
- Speaking of which, the season 9 two-parter known as "The Ending of the End" is pretty good, as it has a fight scene that almost references the final battle from Avengers: Endgame.
- The last episode "The Last Problem" is an excellent, but very sad, and the emotional montage of the Mane 6's adventures and is easily a good send off to the series.
- While most of the character designs use the same body proportions, they look great and cute and can sometimes have some creativity nonetheless.
- There are some dark, disturbing, and mean-spirited moments, such as Pinkie going crazy after no one shows up to her party in "Party of One" or Twilight going even more insane in "Lesson Zero" (especially with the crazy faces she makes).
- There are even some adult jokes. Examples include Applejack's "Are you saying my mouth is making promises my legs can't keep?" line, Big Macintosh getting whipped between the legs by the vines in "Princess Twilight Sparkle", or Maud Pie swooning over the petrified Mudbriar in "Student Counsel," which inadvertently shows off agalmatophilia.
- There can also be some unneeded gross-out humor sometimes, such as Fluttershy picking her nose (while being controlled by Rarity) in "Green Isn't Your Color", Pinkie Pie wearing Pound Cake and Pumpkin Cake's diapers in "Baby Cakes" or Discord wearing peanut butter jars on his feet in "What About Discord?"
- While a handful of the villains were given proper and convincing redemptions and showed how they were going through them (such as Luna, Discord, Starlight Glimmer, Sunset Shimmer, Trixie, Diamond Tiara, the Changelings, etc), the other villains’ redemptions were mostly just forced in order to impress conservative parents and moral guardians who want to insist on mercy.
- Since it's using Flash animation, there are some problems with the animation:
- The animation's framerate switches between 30 FPS and 60 FPS, so in many shots, objects and distant characters move smoothly while in frame characters will move either smooth or slow and choppy, and it can be distracting at times. This can even cause some framerate issues.
- The CGI doesn't mesh well with the 2D characters and backgrounds, and it can look pretty fake, particularly with the timberwolves.
- Animation errors and clipping errors are common everywhere in the show, such as disappearing or extra limbs, animation cells being seen, character models being copy-pasted, and characters standing still like statues in the background. However, one animation error gave birth to the popular character Derpy Hooves (a.k.a. Muffins and Ditzy Doo), who has since appeared in many episodes as a cameo.
- There can be some plot holes and continuity errors, particularly in "The Summer Sun Setback", where Discord doesn't detect Tirek sneakily stealing magic from the earth ponies in the Summer Sun Festival, even though he had sensed his magic disturbance back in "Twilight's Kingdom".
- Some characters, such as Spoiled Rich, can be unlikable.
- Though funny, Pinkie Pie can be foolish, annoying or rarely hypocritical sometimes, and has moments of making situations worse due to being innocently insensitive.
- There have been some bad episodes that tend to have overly heavy and/or poorly-executed messages, like "The Mysterious Mare Do Well," "Ponyville Confidential", "Putting Your Hoof Down", "Princess Spike," "Somepony to Watch Over Me," "Rainbow Falls," or the infamous "A Matter of Principals" (depending on your view).
- Some of the foreign dubs are very bad, such as the Hungarian and Croatian HRT dubs.
Episodes With Their Own Pages
- A Canterlot Wedding (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)
- Twilight's Kingdom (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)
- The Beginning of The End (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)
- The Ending of the End/The Last Problem (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)