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My Little Pony: Equestria Girls is a Canadian-American cartoon movie produced by Hasbro Studios. The film premiered across limited screens in the United States and Canada in 2013. The "limitation" was the fact that there were no patrons in the theaters.
The film is based on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, but re-casts the characters as schoolgirls rather than ponies. The film's plot imagines that "Twilight Sparkle" is a prom queen whose crown has been stolen by a bitter "Sunset Shimmer." The producers believed that morphing lovable ponies into backbiting, treacherous teenage girls would overwhelm their subsequent morphing into a new line of play toys that everyone would be expected to buy. Hasbro has on the drawing board sequels in which the ponies become effeminate high-school football players and the nerds who bully them.
Before the film's release, a focus group of mothers complained that the humanized characters were slutty, and several feared allowing their children to be influenced by the looks. However, lawyers for Hasbro replied that this was far better than inducing their children to grow up as actual ponies; and trained sociologists explained that the sluttiness was an authentic portrayal of high-school life. One parent stated she felt that it isn't "any worse than Debbie doing Dallas."
Slate's Amanda Marcotte said the characters' change to slutty human form was to popularize the movie with the adult fanbase of the show, who she claims "have expressed a strong interest in seeing the Ponies with pert, blossoming chest monkeys."
Many adult fans expressed disappointment that the film seemed to be pandering this older audience, and that the approach "goes against everything that Pony was trying to prove." None of these fans, however, could state what it was that Pony had been trying to prove. Lauren Faust, who produced Friendship Is Magic, compared the movie to the watered-down transformation of American Girl towards a commercial property. Again, though, Hasbro marketeers insisted there was nothing "watered-down" about their effort.
Daniel Alvarez gave the film 4 oat-pails out of 5, deducting for the fact that the brief romance was weaker than other parts of the film. Gwen Ihnat rated the film a B- for deftly treading on clichéd ideas from the television show. Luke Thompson, though proudly stating that he knew nothing about the show, was more critical of the film, and Iowa State Daily panned the movie as "unfit for farm-girls," describing it as "probably just made to sell dolls and figurines." The Hasbro representatives replied, "And the problem would be?"