Please note that it's difficult to figure out what's real and what's not when it comes to leaks. Hasbro are the only folks who know for sure what's going to happen. There is a lot of art going around being called concept art that may have been made by fans, but we can take a look at the commonalities to figure out what might be real. And as always when it comes to leaks: there really is no such thing as a reliable source unless you get it straight from Hasbro, so take everything I say here with a grain of salt. I could be completely wrong about all of this! And of course, I'll be expressing my personal opinions here and you don't have to agree with them.
If you're in the My Little Pony fandom, you have probably heard that Friendship is Magic
(Generation 4) will be coming to an end soon. It looks like there will be 9 seasons in total, so we may only have one more year of FIM. A lot of people are very upset by this, and as much as I will miss FIM, I'm also super pumped for the next reboot of MLP, Generation 5!
UPDATE: Season 9 is confirmed to be the final season of MLP: Friendship is Magic. Here is the trailer: m.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8DvEJl4…
I've heard that G5 will be a little darker and more complex than FIM, and while I'm up for some more interesting plot lines, I really, really hope the show still remains safe for itty bitty kids to watch. Part of what I love so much about Friendship is Magic
is that both older and younger generations can watch it. You can have an adult man, a seven-year-old, and a baby in diapers watching and enjoying the same show. I hope that doesn't go away. I also hope the wholesome messages don't go away in favor of adventure and drama themes. You can have plenty of adventure and still provide wholesome life lessons.
At the time of my writing this, we don't know what the series will be called other than "My Little Pony," so I'll be referring to it as G5. So far, the following calendar has proven to be accurate:
It looks like we'll be keeping the Mane Six.
From what we can tell so far, it appears that Hasbro has decided to keep the Mane 6 for G5, albeit with a few changes. Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack look like they're going to remain a unicorn, pegasus, and earth pony, but Fluttershy looks like she'll be a unicorn, Pinkie Pie a pegasus, and Twilight Sparkle an earth pony. Personally, I adore the idea of Fluttershy as a unicorn and Pinkie Pie as a pegasus, and I'm curious how Twilight as an earth pony will work out.
Personally, I like the decision to keep the Mane 6. I think Hasbro is running a risk with picky fandoms wanting things just so, and making new characters with the same names and appearances as old characters is dangerous (we saw how fans reacted to Spirit: Riding Free
). However, part of what made Friendship is Magic
so popular was the way the characters' personalities played off of each other. I've also noticed that many popular stories often have a set of main characters with personalities relatively similar to the Mane 6, if not as extreme. Thus, I believe it's important for My Little Pony to keep those six personalities.If I were Hasbro, I would keep the Mane 6's personalities and general interests, even their general appearances, but change their names
. Even if it's just a slight change, like how Twilight Sparkle used to be Twilight Twinkle in old MLP, I think it would be a way to help smooth over the transition to new characters based on old ones. That way it's clear that these are new
characters. After seeing the way fans are reacting to the news that the Mane 6 are staying, and after seeing how fans reacted to "changing Spirit" in Spirit: Riding Free
, Hasbro needs to make it clear that these are not the same ponies. This is a reboot.
However, my overall opinion of keeping the Mane 6 is very positive. Feel free to politely disagree, but I love the idea of not losing these lovable personalities!
It looks like Twilight Sparkle and Applejack will have the most changes.
Fans of FIM have latched onto the ponies' interest: sports, fashion, books, animals, outdoors, parties, etc. The ones the fandom haven't seemed to latch onto as much are Applejack's interest in farming and Rarity's interest in fashion. Little girls like Rarity's fashion sense, so I think that will probably be staying, but little girls and Bronies alike didn't gravitate as much toward Applejack. I personally love Applejack as a farm pony with all her outdoorsy sense. I think we don't get enough of that in kids' shows unless it's strictly a nature show like Wild Kratts
. But I also respect the fact that Hasbro needs to market its characters, and when one main character is so much less popular than the others, that character will get a makeover when the chance comes.
So far, we don't know much about what the new Applejack will be like. I've heard reports that she'll be a redeemed villain, that she'll be a city pony, etc. Her design also appears to be up in the air. I see some concept art where she still looks like a country gal, some where she's completely brown, some where she's a paint pony (my personal favorite), and some where she looks virtually the same. I'll miss our FIM Applejack, but I also look forward to what she will become.
What has most fans shook up about is Twilight Sparkle becoming an earth pony. It looks like G5 will focus more on earth ponies rather than unicorns/alicorns, so it makes sense that the main character would be an earth pony. I don't have an opinion to share on Twilight being an earth pony because I just don't know what that means other than the fact that she will probably no longer use traditional unicorn magic. Perhaps she will have a different form of magic, or her talent/interest will become something entirely different? Maybe she'll be a geek pony! All in all, I'm very curious what their plan is for Twilight and I trust the writers to come up with something that works.
It looks like Equestria will be getting a major re-write.
What has me most interested about G5 is their plan for Equestria. Instead of having all 3 (or 4 if you include alicorns) species of ponies in one land, there are reports that Equestria will become a tri-dimensional world with three separate planes of reality
: the earth pony realm (which appears to be closest to our world), the pegasus realm (which looks like it will be a cloud-like world of some kind), and the unicorn realm (which I can't tell much about, but will probably have magic if I have to guess). I'm hearing that G5 will center around the earth ponies and their explorations into the different realms. Perhaps Twilight's bookishness leads her to discover the realms, and perhaps she isn't without magic or wings in those realms? Who knows? There are also reports that the show will focus on earth pony magic of some kind. This could all just be rumors at this point, but I find it very intriguing, and if this is true, I can't wait!
Hasbro will be using different animation techniques.
We don't know for sure what software(s) they'll be using, but I don't believe they'll be relying on Adobe Flash like they have with FIM. I've heard reports that the animators may be switching to ToonBoom, the software that was used in My Little Pony: The Movie
. The animation was quite lovely in that movie, so if that's true, I think that's a good move. The animation of FIM is cute, but it is around ten years old, and I understand and approve if the animators want to move on and use some more modern techniques.
I've heard that the intro movie may be in 3-D, but that the show itself will be 2-D. Personally, I hope it stays 2-D. I honestly don't think I would have gotten into MLP if it was 3-D.
All of the concept art (real or not) shows the characters with more detail than FIM, and I love that! I also enjoy how the pegasus' wings appear to be a bit more realistic in shape even though they're still small, and I like how the unicorns in some of the artwork have lion's tails and cloven hooves like traditional unicorns. All these differences help stress the fact that these are different species of ponies from different realms.
There is s string of possible concept art (but it could also be fan art) that shows the ponies wearing jewelry and having an overload of markings. Rainbow Dash typically has massive neon wings and Pinkie Pie has spots in this series of artworks. I know this is just my personal opinion, but it looks like a bit much. I mean no offense, but I kind of think those designs are a little bit ugly... I hope the animators don't follow those particular designs.
But what makes me the most happy (and I'm honestly not sure why this makes me so happy) is that every single piece of concept art I've seen so far gives the ponies hooves! I don't know why ponies having hooves makes me so excited, but it does. The ponies look more like actual ponies!
I LOVE that change, and I hope it doesn't go away.
^Whoever Erika Worthylake is, I adore your artwork!
At this point, that's all I know about G5. As sad as I am to see Friendship is Magic go, I'm also looking forward to the new reboot. I ask the fanbase to stay positive in the face of this change. There are actual people who make this show, and they deserve as much respect as anyone else. I haven't known any fandom to deal with change well, and the MLP fandom in particular can be a little inflammatory. Please let's try to be grown-ups, even if you don't like how this turns out. Even if you don't end up liking it as much as FIM, focus on what you do like about it. I personally am looking forward to this, and I hope you are, too!
^It's so beautiful! I would love it if the show looked like this.