The popularity of Creator/LaurenFaust's ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' has taken the Internet by surprise - with a huge PeripheryDemographic and a very active community, it is, after only one season, already one of the most successful shows in WesternAnimation in recent years. Not bad, especially given that the previous incarnation of the ponies could have easily been a FranchiseKiller.

But what is it that made the show so successful?

Let's try to figure that out. (And while you're at it, be sure to check out SoYouWantTo/WriteAStory.)


-----

!'''Necessary Tropes'''

* Friendship. It's right there in the title, and there's a reason for that. ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' presented a lovable group of TrueCompanions, and showed how [[OddFriendship very different individuals could get along.]] Naturally, ThePowerOfFriendship is bound to show up - although whether or not it's ''supernatural'' is something you'll need to decide on (see below).
* [[RoundedCharacter Three-Dimensional Characters]]: This is true of any story, but worth emphasizing. If the characters had been walking clichés, the show wouldn't have been remotely as interesting. ''Friendship Is Magic'' went out of its way to [[SubvertedTrope subvert common stereotypes]] and produce non-standard characterization: Twilight Sparkle, an introverted intellectual, is also a natural leader. Rainbow Dash, the tomboyish sports jock, likes the [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter parasprites]] as much as anyone else, participates in a fashion show with minimal convincing, tries to look pretty for the princess's visit. Rarity, the fashionista, is a hard-working artist and a generous soul; in designing clothes for her friends, she tries to emphasize their personalities rather than make them all fit a mold. Giving the characters depth makes their friendship all the more meaningful.
* {{Comedy}}: Character development is at the heart of the show, but the excellent humor is what keeps the audience glued to the screen. Pretty self-explanatory - just be sure that the comedy doesn't come at the ''expense'' of the characters' depth.


!'''Choices, Choices'''

LaurenFaust set the show in a world that was vastly different from our own, with a cast of {{Ridiculously Cute Critter}}s. That approach certainly paid off, with a rich world that drives endless fan speculation, and ''adorable'' character designs. In theory, though, much of the character dynamics could have worked with a human cast (and "humanized" fanart is quite abundant!). You may consider that the alternate setting offers too many opportunities not to be used, but it is not mandatory...and if you ''do'' choose to create a world for it, remember that ''MLP:FIM'' benefited from surprisingly rich WorldBuilding.

Also note that in Equestria, [[TitleDrop friendship]] ''[[TitleDrop is]]'' [[TitleDrop magic]]. ThePowerOfFriendship proves capable of [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu defeating Nightmare Moon]]. Now, having love and friendship as an actual magical force has worked well here, and in [[Franchise/SailorMoon other stories]]...but it also possible to write ThePowerOfFriendship as an entirely mundane yet powerful force, whether or not the setting has magic in it.

Perhaps more important is core cast. ''MLP:FIM'' has a core cast of six (seven with Spike), each of whom had been designed to exemplify something the little girls in the audience could grow up to be. This arranged provided a rich array of personalities, and allowed the story to play with the personal dynamics between them. Do you want a smaller cast, leaving more time to develop each member? Go the other way around, make a large EnsembleCast (and hope you can develop them all)? Can you make each one of them interesting in their own right? Given their personalities, how can each of them interact with the others - and can those relationships evolve?


!'''Pitfalls'''

Character development will almost inevitably mean the characters will learn from the events of the episodes. While you don't ''have'' to turn it into AnAesop, be wary of AesopAmnesia - if Twilight had learned the importance of friendship in the pilot only to need to learn it again and again every five episodes, it would have gotten frustrating fast.

Another thing to remember is that ''My Little Pony'' achieved much of its surprising popularity by being [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism one of the most positive shows on television]] at the time. [[SillyRabbitCynicismIsForLosers Cynicism doesn't always sell]], and a positive show [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids doesn't need to be shallow or naive]].

!'''Potential Subversions'''



----
!'''Writers' Lounge'''


!!'''Suggested Themes and Aesops'''

Aesops: Try to subvert the morals you set up, and make them something unexpected from the norm. For example, in the episode Griffon The Brush Off, the moral seems to be set up as "a prank is only funny when everyone's laughing", but goes an inch further into a more general aesop, "a good friend will help you grow; recognize a bad friend and let go of people who only bring you down." So, if you were making a "face your fears" aesop, you could go an inch further into the friendship territory and say "even if you're scared, your friends will help you overcome them, and encourage you to face them on your own."

You could even throw a tired aesop for a total loop. For example, take the BeYourself aesop and do something original with it. A character, Bob, could be expecting his friends to do things because of what he knows about them. His expectations of his own friends fall short, creating conflict when he tries to ''force'' them to act a certain way. By the end, Bob will learn the same BeYourself aesop... as applied to his treatment of other people. "Let ''other people'' be themselves". Aesops like these will help keep your audience learning about new things, which is part of what Friendship is Magic is all about.

!!'''Potential Motifs'''

Due to being an existing franchise before this iteration, the chosen motif for this show is that most of the main characters are brightly colored magical ponies. Therefore, it is only natural that the setting would be tailor-made for such characters, which for them, is a SugarBowl-esque setting. However, it should be noted that it does not mean that everything in the world should be diabetes-inducing. Elements such as [[TheLostWoods The Everfree Forest]] and characters like [[GodOfEvil Discord]] offer a sharp contrast to the general cuteness that is often presented. In short, easily mistaken to be aggressively cheerful. Another thing to note is the tongue-in-cheek humor that is applied to the setting. It can be thought of as similar to {{Futurama}}, but in a MagicalLand fantasy setting rather then a ScienceFiction setting.

Another important motif to consider is the constant use of {{Furry Reminder}}s. What sets this show, and the franchise as a whole, apart from other girl's toys is that they really are ponies, not human beings in pony costumes. This was probably one of the biggest faults of G3 and G3.5 since Hasbro was practically ignoring what made MyLittlePony unique as a toyline. Thus, it is made very clear that the pony characters are ponies by the fact that they remain quadrupedal while walking and often use their mouths as hands since their forelegs are occupied by being... well, legs. However, this is forgone if it becomes awkward for a character to be speaking while holding something, so this particular rule can be ignored if necessary.

However, when making your own version, your own characters may not even need to be ponies in particular. What is stopping you from making a show where the characters are say... monkeys? penguins? turtles? actual people? the possibilities are actually endless.

!!'''Suggested Plots'''




!'''Departments'''


!!'''Set Designer''' / '''Location Scout'''




!!'''Props Department'''




!!'''Costume Designer'''




!!'''Casting Director'''



!!'''Stunt Department'''


----

!'''Extra Credit'''



!!'''The Greats'''
* ''Manga/CardCaptorSakura'' had a fanbase in Japan that was very similar to the Brony community.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' is also comparable in the size of its fanbase in Japan, the cute characters appealing to males, the absurd amount of fan material and fanmade characters, being a major convention presence, and the unexpectedness of its sheer popularity. Both franchises give more or less free reign for their fans to make whatever they wish, and the fans' sheer numbers and intense devotion to ''Touhou'' and ''Friendship Is Magic'' are thanks directly to that. As the years go by and ''Touhou'' starts feeling old, the torch will most likely pass down to...
* ''VideoGame/KantaiCollection''. It's just gotten started, but it's already a contender for ''Touhou'' in Japan for every trait listed above except original characters. That being said, ''Touhou'' and ''Kantai Collection'' are coexisting and not competing.

!!'''The Epic Fails'''
* The G3-3.5 DirectToDVD ''MyLittlePony''.
* ''FanFic/MyLittleUnicorn''.
----
----

<<|PageTemplates|>>