Senior Vice President Linda Steiner also stated that they "intended to have the show appeal to a larger demographic", with the concept of "co-viewing" of parents with their children being a central theme of the Hub Network's programming.Faust, who had previously worked on Cartoon Network's The Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, had been pitching original animation aimed at girls for years, but had always been rejected by studios and networks because cartoons for girls were considered unsuccessful. The series is based on Hasbro's My Little Pony line of toys and animated works and is often referred by collectors as the fourth generation ("G4") of the franchise.
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The show follows a studious anthropomorphic 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: Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie.
The series has become a major commercial success, becoming the most highly rated original production in the Hub Network's broadcast history and leading to new merchandising opportunities for Hasbro, including books, clothing, collectible trading cards, and comics.
Despite the target demographic of young girls, Friendship Is Magic has also gained a large following of older viewers, mainly young and middle-aged men, who call themselves "bronies".
A spin-off feature film series, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, started in 2013 and has been shown in limited theatrical screenings prior to television broadcast and home media release.
A feature-length film adaptation directly based on the TV series, titled My Little Pony: The Movie, was theatrically released on October 6, 2017 in the United States.Each of the ponies represent a different facet of friendship, and Twilight discovers herself to be a key part of the magical artifacts known as the "Elements of Harmony".The ponies travel on adventures and help others around Equestria while working out problems that arise in their own friendships.To do this, she incorporated into the design of the characters and the show many elements that contradicted idealized stereotypes of girls, such as diverse personalities, the message that friends can be different and can get into arguments but still be friends, and the idea that girls should not be limited by what others say they can or cannot do.Elements of the characters' personalities and the show's settings were based on her own childhood imagination of the ponies' adventures, in part inspired by the animated shows that her brothers would watch while growing up, such as Transformers and G. Joe; Faust still aimed for the characters to be "relatable" characters, using stereotypical "icons of girliness" (such as the waif or the bookworm) in order to broaden the appeal of the characters for the young female audience.Portions of the show have become part of the remix culture, and have formed the basis for a variety of internet memes.