My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is an animated television series based on the My Little Pony toyline created by American toy and game manufacturer Hasbro. It features characters and settings developed by Lauren Faust, who sought to create more in-depth characters than the stereotypical "girly" icons used in previous iterations of the franchise. The series began airing on the United States Hub Network (currently Discovery Family) cable channel on October 10, 2010.

The show follows a studious unicorn pony named Twilight Sparkle as her mentor Princess Celestia guides her to learn about friendship in the town of Ponyville. Twilight becomes close friends with five other ponies: earth ponies Applejack and Pinkie Pie, pegasus ponies Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, and unicorn Rarity. Each represents a different facet of friendship, and Twilight discovers herself to be a key part of the magical artifacts, the Elements of Harmony. The six ponies—collectively known as the "Mane Six"—share adventures and help out other residents of Ponyville, while working out the troublesome moments in their own friendships, eventually leading to Twilight's ascension as a winged unicorn known as an alicorn.

Several episodes focus on the exploits of Spike, Twilight's baby dragon assistant, and a younger trio of pony characters (Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle) who call themselves the "Cutie Mark Crusaders" and share their own adventures trying to discover their talents in life and receive their "cutie marks"—a central theme of the show—until the season five episode "Crusaders of the Lost Mark".

The characters have been well received by critics, and are cited as one of the reasons the series' older fans, called "bronies", became attracted to the show. Several background characters have been popularized by fans as well, and are further incorporated as in-jokes within the show. The series later spawned numerous spin-off media, including a comic book and children's book series expanding some of the characters' roles, and a film series titled My Little Pony: Equestria Girls where several characters are re-envisioned as humans in a high school setting.

"Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable."
Carl Sagan
0 online