My Little Pony Equestria Girls (franchise)

My Little Pony Equestria Girls logo teaser site.png

My Little Pony Equestria Girls is a franchise made up of toys, merchandise, full-length feature films, animated shorts, and other media. It was launched in 2013 as a spin-off of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, featuring humanized versions of the series characters in a high school setting.

Development and production

The term "Equestria Girls" was first used in May 2011 when The Hub (now Discovery Family) released a promotional music video on their website featuring a parody of Katy Perry's "California Gurls".[1] The music video was unrelated to the later-launched franchise.

In December 2012, Hasbro filed two trademarks for the name "Equestria Girls",[2][3] 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".[4]

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 My Little Pony 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.

Main characters

Twilight and Rainbooms playing their instruments EGDS2.png
From left to right: Fluttershy, Sunset Shimmer, Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Spike the Dog, Applejack, Pinkie Pie.
  • Twilight Sparkle: The main character of My Little Pony 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 media as a supporting role.
  • Spike: Princess Twilight's dragon friend and "number one assistant". Follows Twilight into the human world in Equestria Girls and Rainbow Rocks as a talking dog.
  • 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 and later becomes backup singer for the Rainbooms.
  • Spike the Dog: The human world's Twilight's pet dog, initially introduced as being non-sentient, but after a bout with an Equestrian jackalope, given the ability to talk.

Main antagonists


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.[5] 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.

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.

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]".[6] It aired on Discovery Family on September 26, 2015, and was released on DVD/Blu-ray on October 13.

Legend of Everfree

The fourth Equestria Girls installment was teased by Rainbow Rocks co-director and Friendship Games director Ishi Rudell[7] and later confirmed by Hasbro Studios president Stephen Davis.[8] 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.

Animated shorts

Beginning with the second film Rainbow Rocks, several animated shorts were released as tie-ins to their associated films, some before the film's release and some afterward.

Rainbow Rocks

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.[9] 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.

Friendship Games

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.

Summertime Shorts

A series of "Summertime Shorts", consisting of short vignettes and music videos, began airing on Discovery Family starting July 30, 2017, and continued throughout August.

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.”[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]

The specials were included in the Shout! Factory DVD My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Magical Movie Night on August 8, 2017[13] and released on Netflix as Equestria Girls: Tales of Canterlot High on October 1, 2017.

On Hasbro Studios' 2018 sales guide, published on December 25, 2017, two 44-minute Equestria Girls specials were listed. The first special was aired on Discovery Family on February 17, 2018. It was then uploaded weekly in five 10-minute segments on Hasbro's YouTube channel from March 9 to April 6, 2018, with six additional minutes of unedited footage. The second special aired on Discovery Family on July 6, 2018, as part of the channel's "Summer Surprises" event. It was also uploaded in five 10-minute segments to Hasbro's YouTube channel from August 31 to September 28, 2018, but with no additional footage.

Two hour-long specials were listed on World Screen's 2018-2019 TV Kids Guide. The first premiered on Discovery Family on March 30, 2019, and was uploaded in six 7-minute segments to the My Little Pony Official YouTube channel from April 12 to May 17, 2019. The second premiered on Discovery Family on July 27, 2019, and was uploaded in the same format to YouTube from September 17 to October 13, 2019. A fifth Christmas-themed special comprised of six 7-minute shorts was listed on a Polish website before airing in Ukraine on September 1 and on Discovery Family on November 2, 2019. Each of its six individual segments was then uploaded to YouTube from November 16 to December 20, 2019.

Digital Series

A YouTube-exclusive Equestria Girls series premiered on November 17, 2017, with several episodes being uploaded to the Discovery Family GO! mobile app beforehand. According to Equestria Girls co-director Katrina Hadley, the animation is by DHX Media.[14] The second season of the web series premiered on January 11, 2019.[15]

Other media

Chapter book adaptations of the films, as well as original stories, have been published for the films by Little, Brown & Company. Except for 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.

IDW Publishing released the My Little Pony Annual 2013, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Holiday Special, and My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Canterlot High: March Radness comics for the Equestria Girls series.

See also


  1. MLP: Friendship is Magic – ‘Equestria Girls’ (California Gurls Parody) Official Music Video. YouTube (2011-06-28). Retrieved on 2016 December 9.
  2. Paul N. Vanasse (2012-12-17). USPTO TSDR Case Viewer. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved on 2016 May 19.
  3. Paul N. Vanasse (2012-12-18). USPTO TSDR Case Viewer. United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved on 2016 May 19.
  4. Brendan Christie (2013-02-22). Hasbro hits its stride. Kidscreen February/March 2013 issue. Retrieved on 2013 March 9.
  5. Hasbro Toy Fair 2013 Presentation (2013-02-08). Retrieved on 2013 February 9.
  6. Mark Davenport - Have you taken over taken the rights of.... Facebook (2015-01-29). Retrieved on 2015 January 30.
  7. Ishi Rudell (2015-10-01). Yup, there's a pretty good chance... Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 October 6.
  8. mipmarkets (2015-10-03). Keynote: Stephen Davis, Hasbro - MIPJunior 2015. YouTube. Retrieved on 2015 October 3.
  9. My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks DVD Factsheet. Phase 4 Films (2014-07-01). Retrieved on 2014 August 11.
  10. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Season Seven + Equestria Girls Specials Ordered. TV Series Finale (2016-10-20). Retrieved on 2017 February 5.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Magical Movie Night. Shout! Factory. Retrieved on 2017 May 5.
  14. Katrina Hadley (2017-09-08). K. (Lunchie) Hadley on Twitter: "@QuentinOwens11 - Just DHX". Twitter. Retrieved on 2017 September 13.
  15. Jeremy Konrad (2019-01-09). EXCLUSIVE: Check Out the Season 2 Trailer For My Little Pony: Equestria Girls!. BleedingCool. Retrieved on 2019 February 1.
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