My Little Pony: Equestria Girls
A companion film, titled My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, premiered on Family Day of the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 15, 2013, followed by limited release in theaters across the United States starting the following day. This film was released as part of the brand’s 30th anniversary. Taking place after the season three finale, the film follows Twilight Sparkle on a mission through a magic mirror to recover her stolen crown. She ends up in a world populated by humans while being transformed into a teenage girl herself, and must overcome the difficulties of her new body and interacting with students of the nearby school as she looks for the culprit. While there, she discovers and befriends similar human counterparts to other characters from Ponyville. The film was produced by Hasbro Studios and is designed to extend the toy line. To maintain continuity with the show, Hasbro used the same writing staff as the show, including the series’ current lead writer Meghan McCarthy, who considered the story to be “an extension of our mythology”. DHX Studios animated the work, and the primary voice cast reprised their respective roles. The movie was made available on DVD and Blu-ray on August 6, 2013, along with the television premiere on Hub Network a few weeks later on September 1, 2013. A sequel, Rainbow Rocks, was released on September 27, 2014, in select movie theaters across the United States and Canada. A third film, titled Friendship Games, premiered on Discovery Family on September 26, 2015 instead of having a theatrical release like its two predecessors. A fourth Equestria Girls film, subtitled Legend of Everfree, is currently in development and will be released sometime in late 2016.
An animated feature film based directly on the television series was first announced on October 20, 2014 by Variety. Scheduled for a theatrical release on October 6, 2017 in the United States, the film is Hasbro’s first animated feature film from its Allspark Pictures film division. It will be distributed worldwide by Lionsgate, with the exception of China. Thiessen will be directing the film with McCarthy writing the film and act as the film’s co-executive producer alongside Mike Vogel. Originally, Joe Ballarini is the scriptwriter for the film. The film concerns the “Mane Six” ponies—Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity—journeying beyond Equestria to stop a threat looming over their hometown of Ponyville. Hasbro’s president, Stephan Davis, said of the film that “I think it gives us an opportunity to tell a bigger story, that maybe we [can’t] tell on television” and that “[it’s] also an opportunity to broaden the franchise”. The main cast from the animated television series will be reprising their roles alongside original characters voiced by Kristin Chenoweth, Emily Blunt, Michael Peña, Uzo Aduba, Liev Schreiber, and Taye Diggs.
Comics and manga
Main article: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (comic book)
IDW Publishing and Hasbro have licensed the use of the show for a comic book series, drawn and written by Katie Cook and Andy Price, which began publication in November 2012. The first issue, by early October, had already gained over 90,000 pre-orders, making it a better seller than other comics for that month. By early November, the title had exceeded 100,000 pre-orders, and IDW committed to a second run of the issue to meet the additional demand. The first issue features 19 different covers, most exclusive to specific comic book shops and chains and only available in limited numbers. The comic, through its first eight issues, remains IDW’s most successful title, and along with The Walking Dead, remain one of the few non-DC, non-Marvel comics to regularly break the top 100 comics sold each month. The success of the comic has led to a limited-run secondary “micro-series” featuring one-issue stories dedicated to specific characters, an ongoing Friends Forever series featuring single-issues stories of characters pairs, and stories based on the Equestria Girls film.
Tying in with the Japanese broadcast of the series in April 2013, a manga adaptation by Akira Himekawa began serialization in Shogakukan’s Pucchigumi magazine in Japan on August 12, 2013. The first manga adaptation completed its serialization in February 2014, and as a result, the IDW comics were then translated into Japanese as well. An 80-page second manga was released on October 16, 2014.
A twelve-track soundtrack, My Little Pony—Songs of Friendship and Magic (Music from the Original TV Series), was released on iTunes on December 6, 2013, featuring select songs from the first and second seasons of the show.
An eleven-track soundtrack, My Little Pony—Songs of Ponyville (Music from the Original TV Series), was released on iTunes on April 21, 2014, featuring select songs from the third and fourth seasons of the show.
A ten-track soundtrack, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Songs of Harmony, was released on iTunes on April 13, 2015, featuring select songs from the show’s first four seasons. It includes the season two song “The Perfect Stallion” (from “Hearts and Hooves Day”), full versions of both “Find the Music in You” (from “Filli Vanilli”) and “Let the Rainbow Remind You” (from “Twilight’s Kingdom – Part 2”), as well as a mash-up between “Winter Wrap Up” and “A True, True Friend”.