My Little Pony: Equestria Girls
|This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (October 2016)|
|My Little Pony: Equestria Girls|
|Films and television|
|Television specials||(three upcoming specials beginning in 2017)|
|Soundtracks||(see Discography sub-section)|
|Toys||My Little Pony: Equestria Girls|
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls is an American-Canadian product line of fashion dolls and media franchise launched in 2013 by Hasbro, as a spin-off of the 2010 relaunch of the My Little Pony franchise. Equestria Girls features anthropomorphized version of My Little Pony characters. It includes various doll lines and media tie-ins (including four films, music albums, a mobile app, and three upcoming specials).
The Equestria Girls fictional universe is set a parralel world to the main series, populated with human versions of the characters from the show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The films however are directly tied to the chronology of Friendship is Magic, and typically take place between seasons of the show.
- 1 Development and release
- 2 Characters
- 3 Releases by media
- 4 Reception
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Development and release
|This section is missing information about the franchise's background. (September 2016)|
The earliest known official use of the "Equestria Girls" name occurred during 2011, when the American television channel The Hub (a joint venture between Discovery Communications and Hasbro; now known as Discovery Family) released a promotional commercial for Hasbro Studios' My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic television series which featured a modified version of Katy Perry's "California Gurls"; the commercial has nothing to do with the later-launched franchise, however. Meanwhile, some fans had registered the domain name "equestriagirls.com", but it was later shut down and taken over by Hasbro.
In late 2012, Hasbro registered trademark for the name "Equestria Girls" at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The franchise was briefly mentioned in the media earlier in February and March 2013. In an interview appeared in the February/March 2013 issue of the Kidscreen magazine, Hasbro's senior vice president of international distribution and development, Finn Arnesen, called My Little Pony a "top-priority" brand for the company; the film was described as "a new companion series" that would "[send] the pony heroes on a mission to a new world where they take on human form". Equestria Girls was formally announced in May 2013 with a film and other media strategy, and it was included in Hasbro's licensing program for My Little Pony announced in June 2013, which began at the 2013 Licensing International Expo along with the company's other properties. The newly launched spin off was to be a part of the 30th anniversary of the My Little Pony brand.
Along with the toys, Hasbro planned to produce related merchandise and media including film, publishing, apparel and accessories. Hasbro's chief marketing officer, John A. Frascotti, called the franchise a "major strategic initiative" for the company. The human-based toys were developed to appeal to girls in their teens as a means to extend the My Little Pony brand. In addition, Hasbro will continue its licensing deals with book publisher Little, Brown and Company and comic book publisher IDW Publishing to publish related works.
In the audio commentary included in the Rainbow Rocks home media, Meghan McCarthy commented that Equestria Girls was initially not intended to become an ongoing franchise, and the thought of a sequel did not cross her mind.
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- Equestria Girls (2013): The first lineup to be released, it features humanized version of My Little Pony characters from the 2010 relaunch.
- Rainbow Rocks (2014): The succeeding lineup named Rainbow Rocks, featuring music-themed toys and media, was first displayed at the 2014 American International Toy Fair.
- Friendship Games (2015): In January 2015, at that year's edition of The Toy Fair in London, some merchandise was unveiled labeled My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games. Some vectors for the merchandise include Applejack and Fluttershy in archery outfits, an alternative universe counterpart of Twilight Sparkle, and five new characters introduced with the lineup: Indigo Zap, Lemon Zest, Sour Sweet, Sugarcoat, and Sunny Flare. Mentions on the supporting products, alongside the film, was included in Hasbro's investor presentation at the 2015 American International Toy Fair.
- Wondercolts and Shadowbolts dolls were released in late 2015 in two varieties: "School Spirit" classic and "Sporty Style" deluxe. In the Sporty Style assortment, the Wondercolts' Fluttershy and Applejack and the Shadowbolts' Sour Sweet and Twilight Sparkle come with a bow and a quiver of arrows. The Wondercolts' Rainbow Dash and Sunset Shimmer and the Shadowbolts' Indigo Zap and Sugarcoat come with motorcycle helmets and goggles. The Wondercolts' Pinkie Pie and Rarity and the Shadowbolts' Lemon Zest and Sunny Flare come with roller skates. A motocross bike was released in 2015.
- Equestria Girls Minis (2015): A lineup featuring caricatured Equestria Girls characters.
- Legend of Everfree (2016): First mentioned in a Hasbro 2016 Entertainment Plan presentation in August 2015 along with the tie-in film of the same title, a tentative image was shown of new character whose name was not mentioned at the time.[unreliable source?] In February 2016, at the 2016 American International Toy Fair, some Legend of Everfree merchandise was revealed. Dolls unveiled were available in four styles — "Geometric Assortment", "Crystal Gala Assortment", "Crystal Wings Assortment", and "Boho Assortment". A new character by the name of Gloriosa Daisy was also revealed during the presentation.[unreliable source?] The toys were released in July 2016.
The following characters made their debut in the Equestria Girls series, which is primarily set in a fictional world parallel to the pony-inhabited fantasy setting of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic television series, accessible via a magic mirror. The toys and other series of media additionally features alternate humanoid versions of pony characters in roles similar to the television series; characters as depicted in the television series who travel between worlds assume similar forms in the alternative setting.
Counterparts of Friendship Is Magic characters
|This section needs expansion with: Additional characters. You can help by adding to it. (July 2016)|
- Twilight Sparkle – Two alternate versions of Twilight Sparkle appear in the Equestria Girls series. In the first two lineups, Twilight is primarily the same princess character from Friendship Is Magic, transformed into a humanoid teenager after traveling from the pony-inhabited world of Equestria. The Friendship Games lineup formally introduces the alternate universe counterpart of Twilight, a curious student at Crystal Prep Academy who transfers to Canterlot High School, occasionally distinguished as "Sci-Twi".
- Spike – In the Equestria Girls series, Spike the baby dragon is depicted as a dog with the ability to speak. Similar to Twilight, the character's Friendship Is Magic incarnation appears in the first two lineups, masquerading as a speechless animal. His alternate universe counterpart included in the Friendship Games lineup is "Sci-Twi's" ordinary pet dog who gains his speaking ability from Equestrian magic.
- Applejack – A Canterlot High student who works on her family's farm.
- Fluttershy – Fluttershy's alternate universe counterpart is a Canterlot High student who is a volunteer worker at the local animal shelter. She is the first alternate version of the Mane 6 that Princess Twilight encounters in the first film.
- Pinkie Pie – An eccentric and friendly Canterlot High student.
- Rainbow Dash – A student/star athlete at Canterlot High, stated to be the captain of every sports team the school has.
- Rarity – A Canterlot High student and a talented seamstress, much like her Friendship Is Magic counterpart.
- Principal Celestia – The principal of Canterlot High.
- Vice Principal Luna – The vice principal of Canterlot High. Like her counterpart from Equestria, she is Celestia's younger sister.
The Equestria Girls counterparts of the minor, supporting and background characters in Friendship Is Magic television series (which some of them are popularized by the new My Little Pony fandom) also make appearances in the films and shorts. Among such characters, those released as toys include Cheerilee, Cutie Mark Crusaders (Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle), DJ Pon-3, Lyra Heartstrings, Octavia Melody, Photo Finish, Sweetie Drops and Trixie (released as Trixie Lulamoon).
The counterparts of Friendship Is Magic characters which had their toys released but did not make appearance in any of tie-in media include Queen Chrysalis, Sapphire Shores and Zecora.
- Sunset Shimmer – Introduced in the first lineup, Sunset is a unicorn from Equestria who resides in the alternative universe as a student at Canterlot High. In the films, the character is depicted to be a renegade student of Princess Celestia's who was once corrupted but is later reformed. She is the antagonist of the first film, where she is the school bully of Canterlot High School who steals Twilight Sparkle's crown-shaped Element of Magic to control the school. After Twilight pursues and defeats her alongside the counterparts of Twilight's friends, Sunset befriends them. Later films follow her efforts to redeem herself and fit in among the student body. Sunset did not become a main character until the second draft of the script for the Rainbow Rocks film. She is voiced by Rebecca Shoichet in all animated appearances.
- Flash Sentry – Introduced in the first lineup, Flash Sentry appears as a Canterlot High student. The character appears in all Equestria Girls films, being depicted as Sunset Shimmer's ex-boyfriend who takes a romantic interest in Twilight Sparkle. His counterpart in Equestria, a royal pegasus guard at the Crystal Empire, also appears in the first film, and has brief appearances in the episodes "Three's a Crowd" (without any dialog) and "Twilight's Kingdom, part 1" from the fourth season of Friendship Is Magic. Both versions are voiced by Vincent Tong in all appearances.
- The Dazzlings – The Dazzlings are a "villainous band" of sirens introduced in the Rainbow Rocks lineup. They are composed of the leader Adagio Dazzle (voiced in the film by Kazumi Evans) and her two backup singers, the airheaded Sonata Dusk (voiced by Maryke Hendrikse, singing voice by Madeline Merlo) and abrasive Aria Blaze (voiced by Diana Kaarina, singing voice by Shylo Sharity). In the Rainbow Rocks film, the team are portrayed to be the antagonists, being banished from Equestria, and aiming to control the residents of the parallel world through their enchanted singing.
- Principal Abacus Cinch – Cinch appears in most of Friendship Games media (including the film) as the main antagonist, but no toy of this character has been released as of 2016. She is portrayed as the strict principal of Crystal Prep Academy, a prestigious school that rivals Canterlot High School, and is obsessed with maintaining her school's reputation by manipulating her prized student, the alternative universe counterpart of Twilight Sparkle. She is voiced by Iris Quinn in the film.
- The Shadowbolts – The Shadowbolts, introduced in the Friendship Games lineup, are Crystal Prep's sports team that opposes Canterlot High's Wondercolts team. In out-of-the-show aspect, their name is shared with Nightmare Moon's illusion (based on the Wonderbolts flight squad) from the latter part of Friendship Is Magic pilot. Apart from the counterpart of Twilight Sparkle, the team includes the blunt Sugarcoat (voiced in the film by Sienna Bohn), two-faced Sour Sweet (voiced by Sharon Alexander), hyper-competitive Indigo Zap (voiced by Kelly Sheridan), disdainful Sunny Flare (voiced by Britt Irvin), and obnoxious Lemon Zest (voiced by Shannon Chan-Kent).
- Gloriosa Daisy – Gloriosa, introduced in the Legend of Everfree lineup, is a counselor at Camp Everfree. In the film and other tie-in media, she is depicted to be the main antagonist behind the damages at the camp, and, by magic, she eventually transforms into a creature named Gaia Everfree. In the film, Enid-Raye Adams voices the character, and Kelly Metzger provides her singing voice.
- Timber Spruce – Timber Spruce is another counselor at Camp Everfree. The character appears in the Legend of Everfree film and other tie-in media, but no toy of him has been released as of October 2016. He is voiced by Brian Doe in the film.
Releases by media
Animated films and specials
The animated films (and their related shorts), all produced by DHX Media's 2D animation studio in Vancouver, Canada for Hasbro Studios (the same production companies as Friendship Is Magic television series), revolve around the main cast of Friendship Is Magic, normally ponies, as teenage human characters in a high school setting in alternative universe. The first two films were written by Meghan McCarthy and directed by Jayson Thiessen; the third film was written by Josh Haber and directed by Ishi Rudell; the fourth film was written by Kristine Songco and Joanna Lewis, and directed by Ishi Rudell. The four films are then to be followed by the three 22-minute specials beginning in 2017.
Hasbro Studios lists the films as "TV specials" in the company's sales guide. However, in the United States and Canada, the first two films, Equestria Girls and Rainbow Rocks, had limited theatrical screenings in select cities before they were released on home media (by Shout! Factory for the region) and broadcast on television. In the U.S., these films were screened in Screenvision theaters, without any rating from the MPAA, while in Canada, they were shown in Cineplex theaters, with classifications from provincial film boards (usually G). No box office records in both areas are available for the two films. Internationally, there have been theatrical releases of the films in some areas, but in most cases the films were only shown on television before (or after) it was released on home media.
For the films Rainbow Rocks and Friendship Games, a series of animated shorts released online accompanies each film. The shorts are also included on physical media releases of the films as a part of special features.
To maintain continuity of the films with the Friendship Is Magic television series, Hasbro used the same writing staff as the show, including the current story editor Meghan McCarthy, who considered the story to be "an extension of our mythology". McCarthy stated that with the Equestria Girls setting, "we might explore different aspects of relationships that in the pony world don't quite work the same as they do when you set it in a high school setting", thus making the work more appealing to older girls that are in high or junior high school.
In writing the script of the first film, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, Meghan McCarthy went back to the self-titled two-part pilot episodes of Friendship Is Magic, where Twilight Sparkle is sent to Ponyville for the first time and forced to meet new friends. She wanted to do the same with the film, in this case putting Twilight into a new world where she would again be forced to make new friends to succeed in her quest. Released in 2013, the film was premiered on June 15 as a part of Los Angeles Film Festival that year, before having limited theatrical releases in the United States and Canada the next day, and was released on home media on August 6.
The second film released in 2014, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, centers around Twilight Sparkle, Sunset Shimmer and friends' activities against evil sirens using music. On February 13, 2014, Meghan McCarthy wrote on Twitter that she had worked on the film during the summer of 2013. That same day, songwriter Daniel Ingram also wrote on the service that there would be a total of 12 songs in the film; however, only 11 songs were used in the film. The film had a limited theatrical release from September 27, 2014, before it was out on home media on October 28 that year.
Released in 2015, the third installment, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games, was first teased by Rainbow Rocks co-director, Ishi Rudell on December 12, 2014. The film was first broadcast on September 26, 2015 on Discovery Family in the U.S. and Family Channel in Canada, and was released on home media on October 13 that year. In the film, the alternative universe counterpart of Twilight Sparkle, a student at Crystal Prep, is forced by Principal Abacus Cinch to disrupt Friendship Games (a sporting event held every four years with Canterlot High) with magic.
On October 3, 2015, CEO of Hasbro Studios Stephen Davis said that a fourth film, subtitled Legend of Everfree, was in development. The film is available to watch on Netflix as of October 1, 2016, and the home media release is to follow on November 1, 2016. In the film, the protagonists follow the damages at the Camp Everfree caused by a creature so-called Gaea Everfree.
Three 22-minute specials, which take place after the events in the Legend of Everfree film, are set to be released beginning in 2017, as reported by World Screen on October 4, 2016 quoting Finn Arnesen, vice president of global distribution and development at Hasbro Studios, and as stated in an October 18, 2016 press release published by Hasbro.
|Film||U.S. release date||Director(s)||Screenwriter(s)||Producer(s)||Status|
|My Little Pony: Equestria Girls||June 15, 2013[nb 1]||Jayson Thiessen||Meghan McCarthy||Sarah Wall and
|Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks||September 27, 2014[nb 2]|
|Equestria Girls: Friendship Games||September 26, 2015[nb 3]||Ishi Rudell||Josh Haber||Devon Cody|
|Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree||October 1, 2016[nb 4]||Kristine Songco and
- Premiere during Los Angeles Film Festival 2013.
- Released in select theaters.
- Television premiere on Discovery Family.
- Availability on Netflix.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Soundtrack (2013)
- Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks – Soundtrack (2014)
- Equestria Girls: Friendship Games – Soundtrack (2015)
- Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree – Soundtrack (2016)
The My Little Pony 2015 Convention Collection released for San Diego Comic-Con International 2015 contains four songs from two films: Equestria Girls and Rainbow Rocks.
|This section needs a plot summary. (September 2016)|
The following chapter books are originally published by LB Kids imprint of Hachette Book Group USA. The Orchard Books imprint of Hachette UK, as well as The Five Mile Press in Australia, also published the books. The dates listed are the United States publish dates.
|1||My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Through the Mirror||G. M. Berrow||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers||October 1, 2013||Juvenile fiction|
|2||My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks||Perdita Finn||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers||April 8, 2014||Juvenile fiction|
|3||My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks: The Mane Event||Perdita Finn||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers||October 7, 2014||Juvenile fiction|
|4||My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Sunset Shimmer's Time to Shine||Perdita Finn||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers||May 5, 2015||Juvenile fiction|
|5||My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Friendship Games||Perdita Finn||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers||October 6, 2015||Juvenile fiction|
|6||My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Twilight's Sparkly Sleepover Surprise||Perdita Finn||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers||May 17, 2016||Juvenile fiction|
|7||My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: The Legend of Everfree||Perdita Finn||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers||September 6, 2016||Juvenile fiction|
Other than the chapter books, the following book was also published by the LB Kids imprint.
|N/A||My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree: Save Our Camp!||Louise Alexander||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers||September 6, 2016||Juvenile fiction|
A special short story, featuring the origins of Sunset Shimmer, was published in the IDW My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic 2013 San Diego Comic Con comic variant in July 2013. It also included additional stories in a stand-alone issue, titled My Little Pony Annual 2013: Equestria Girls, released on October 30, 2013.
An issue of IDW's Fiendship Is Magic features the sirens, the evil creatures as appeared in Rainbow Rocks.
|No.||Title||United States release date||United States ISBN|
|My Little Pony: Annual 2013||October 30, 2013||—|
|Stories take place before the first Equestria Girls film, including an 8-page story original published in the 2013 San Diego Comic Con variant of the main series, issue #9 (in July 2013), telling the origin of the character Sunset Shimmer. In the short, Sunset is shown as Princess Celestia's prized student in magic arts, whom Celestia hopes to groom into a princess. However, when Sunset becomes corrupted by images she sees in a magic mirror, Celestia realizes that Sunset may be too greedy and vain. Sunset goes against Celestia's wishes and breaks into the dark magic wing of the library, learning about the mirror's function and magic that can transform her into a winged unicorn. Celestia discovers this and expels Sunset as her student, but Sunset manages to escape and pass through the mirror, ending up in the parallel world.
In the main story, a prequel to the events of the film but told in flashback from a series of interviews, the five students, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash struggle as freshmen to Canterlot High. Pinkie cannot find a school club that makes her happy, while Rainbow Dash wants to be the star player of the Wondercolts soccer team despite her inability to play on the team. Meanwhile, Applejack is initially glad to see her cousins Babs Seed and Sunflower, but they ridicule her fashion while making friends with Rarity, the fashion expert. However, when Rarity asks Fluttershy, who has been worried about Sunflower's sick chihuahua dog but unable to speak up about it, to join them for lunch one day, Babs Seed and Sunflower refuse to allow her.
On the day of the first game, Pinkie has found her true calling, as leader of the school's glee club, and gets Fluttershy to help distribute cheering equipment to the crowd. When Babs and Sunflower refuse Fluttershy's help, both Applejack and Rarity decide to abandon the two, and join Fluttershy. The crowd helps Rainbow Dash to remember the team spirit, and foregoes her ego to help her team to win. The five become fast friends, though all this is detailed in the present by Sunset to be used for her own gains.
|My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Holiday Special||December 17, 2014||—|
|As the holidays approach at Canterlot High, Sunset is reminded that she is far distant from her family. Applejack hatches a plan with the rest of her friends to help cheer Sunset up with a series of slumber parties. During the first one, Applejack gets a call from Apple Bloom, who teasingly refers to her by an embarrassing childhood nickname. Applejack gladly explains its origins to the other girls, and Sunset writes to Twilight via her magic journal about the way her friends are helping to lift her spirits.
The next day, Applejack is shocked to discover that a social media user called "Anon-a-miss" has posted a message about the nickname, and that everyone at school has read it and begun to tease her. The situation worsens after the next slumber party, held at Rarity's house, when Anon-a-miss posts photos that the girls took of one another while trying on silly outfits. They begin to suspect Sunset, as she was the only person present at both events and the colors on Anon-a-miss' social media page now match the ones she favors. Soon, embarrassing secrets about other students begin to show up online, causing the student body as a whole to turn against Sunset.
When Sunset writes to Twilight for help, Twilight reminds her of the Windigos in Equestria, which feed on hatred and distrust between friends, and reminds her of the importance of family. Sunset shows these messages to the other girls the next day and asks them if they honestly believe that she could be responsible for stirring up this trouble. The mention of family prompts Sunset to question Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity about the events leading up to their secrets being exposed. Their answers lead her to realize Anon-a-miss' identity, and she is proven right when Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle confess their involvement. Apple Bloom had created Anon-a-miss as a way to get back at Applejack for spending so much time with Sunset rather than her family, and the other two soon joined in, with other students feeding them fresh gossip. They delete the profile, and everyone gets back on good terms with one another in time for the final party at Sweet Apple Acres.
|My Little Pony: Fiendship Is Magic Issue 3||April 15, 2015||—|
|In ancient Equestria, the sirens - Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze, and Sonata Dusk - have been feeding off the emotions brewed by the discord created by their singing in smaller towns but have turned their attention to the populous Canterlot. They arrive at the height of a multi-day musical competition. Their first attempt to sing with their traditional song is cut short as their song is far outdated, and Adagio comes up with singing "pop music" at the next chance. Their new song quickly enraptures the audiences, except for the wizard, Star Swirl the Bearded. Recognizing that their singing is turning the ponies of Canterlot against each other, Star Swirl finds the only way to fight back is to counteract the sirens with his own music. The Sirens and Star Swirl begin to try to one-up each other over several days, until Star Swirl finds he cannot hope to best the Sirens in musical ability. Remorsefully he uses the magic mirror to banish the sirens to a world without magic, hoping the trio will come to use their powers for good. In this new world, the sirens find themselves in the humanized forms, their magic weak but still strong enough to feed from with the power of their song.
Equestria Girls Minis shorts
An online series of 15-30-second shorts was uploaded onto the official website and official YouTube channel from February 11 to August 15, 2016 to promote the Equestria Girls Minis toy line.
|"Pinkie Pie Slumber Party ft. Pinkie Pie"||February 11, 2016||Pinkie Pie||15 seconds|
|"Pinkie Pie Slumber Party ft. Twilight Sparkle"||February 11, 2016||Twilight Sparkle & Spike||15 seconds|
|"Pinkie Pie Slumber Party ft. Rarity"||February 11, 2016||Rarity||15 seconds|
|"Pinkie Pie Slumber Party"||April 8, 2016||The main cast (a.k.a. The Mane Six)||20 seconds|
|"Dance Off"||August 15, 2016||Twilight Sparkle & Rainbow Dash||30 seconds|
|"Pillow Fight"||November 7, 2016||The main cast (a.k.a. The Mane Six)||20 seconds|
Live-action music videos
Up until the Friendship Games lineup, Hasbro has been releasing a series of live-action music videos to promote the toy line. The videos feature the female dancers, dressed as the protagonists, dance to the renditions of the song "Equestria Girls", a number heard in the first Equestria Girls film.
With the first lineup, Hasbro released a live-action music video, titled Magic of Friendship, on Entertainment Weekly website on August 30, 2013, depicting seven teenage girls, as the six protagonists and Sunset Shimmer, doing a new dance routine called "The EG Stomp" in a school cafeteria to a shorter Toy Commercial version of the "Equestria Girls" song.
On February 20, 2014, Hasbro released new live-action music video on its official website to coincide with the Rainbow Rocks lineup, depicting the protagonists in a rock band. The music video, also titled Rainbow Rocks, uses a rock version of the "Equestria Girls" song and portrays the protagonists performing the "EG Stomp". Through the Equestria Girls YouTube channel, another music video was released on August 4, 2014. It depicts four more teenage girls, each one dressed as the Dazzlings and DJ Pon-3 respectively. On February 2015, another music video titled "Rainbooms Remix" was released.
On August 14, 2015, the same year the Friendship Games lineup was launched, Hasbro released a live-action music video on its website, depicting five of the six protagonists as well as Sunset Shimmer in a sporting competition against Crystal Prep's Twilight Sparkle.
Video and website games
A Rainbow Rocks missile command-type mini-game was added to the Hasbro Arcade mobile app on April 8, 2014. On October 29, 2014, the mini-game was updated to include the Dazzlings with two songs from the movie and one song from one of the live-action music videos.[better source needed]
On June 7, 2014, a Rainbow Rocks game titled "Repeat the Beat" was released on Hasbro's Equestria Girls website;[better source needed] almost two months later, two more games have been released on July 31, 2014, one of them being "Equestria Girls: Battle of the Bands"[better source needed] and the other being "Equestria Girls: V.I.F. (Very Important Friend)".[better source needed]
There have been criticism over the anthropomorphism approach of the toy line, as well as the franchise overall. Prior to the Equestria Girls film's release, several mothers spoke to the New York Daily News stating concerns about the humanized characters, describing them as "too sexy", "anorexic", "going back to the original Barbie" or "looking like Bratz dolls", and several feared allowing their children to be influenced by the looks. However, some considered it reasonable with other current media such as The Little Mermaid, with one parent stating she felt that it isn't "any worse than Ariel in a bikini top for two hours". Slate's Amanda Marcotte considered that the characters' change to human form was to popularize Equestria Girls with the adult fanbase of Friendship Is Magic, who she claims "have expressed a strong interest in seeing the Ponies in sexy, humanized forms". However, many of these adult fans expressed disappointment in the announcement of the franchise and the characters, considering Equestria Girls to be trying to pander to this older audience, and that the approach "goes against everything that Pony was trying to prove". Craig McCracken, speaking for his wife Lauren Faust, Friendship Is Magic's creative showrunner for the first two seasons before stepping down, stated that she felt she "wasn't the biggest fan" of Equestria Girls, opining that the approach of turning the pony characters into humans would have gone against the way she wanted to take the television series.
When reviewing the Friendship Games film, Mike Cahill of The Guardian gave the film two out of five stars, calling it "craven commercialism", but adding that "it's not unattractively designed, and its peppy collegiate spirit trumps the sappiness of Disney's Tinkerbell spin-offs".
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