My Little Pony began as a Hasbro toy franchise in the 1980s, and went on to inspire television series, feature films, books, games, clothes, and more. The biggest boost to the franchise came with the newest television series: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. This series started airing in 2010 on The Hub cable channel, but switched to the Discovery Family Channel in 2014, and is now also available on Netflix. The show itself does not market anything, but My Little Pony merchandise has become difficult to avoid in large stores, like Wal-Mart, Kroger, Dollar General, etc.
This show centers around a unicorn named Twilight Sparkle and her friends, and showcases all sorts of lessons in friendship and how to be a good person (or pony, as the case may be). As Common Sense Media reviewer Emily Ashby writes:
“Parents need to know that this series celebrates friendship’s development from first impressions to true connections, and it benefits kids to see how the characters accept each other’s differences and work through the small troubles that arise. … Every episode includes a moral related to the value of friendship and the importance of respecting people’s unique talents. Sometimes conflicts like injured feelings or jealousy make one of the ponies act out against the others with intimidation, manipulation, and threatening language. Mean-spirited pranks and selfish behavior smacks of bullying, but these kinds of issues are always resolved by the story’s end, and the negative behavior in the beginning makes the positive changes stand out in a good way. Rare episodes demonstrate female ponies flirting with male characters to get their way.”
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is primarily geared for young girls ages five and up according to Common Sense Media, though it has a surprisingly large teenage and adult fan base as well. The art style is clean-cut and colorful, and the show is full of humor, adventure, and catchy songs. There is no bad language, violence, or sexual innuendo, making it completely safe for even the youngest children. The only real problems come with the fan base. Because it has such a large following from all ages, it’s difficult to google it without coming across images, memes, or videos that are inappropriate and potentially downright offensive for young children.
As for ratings, Emily Ashby gives it a quality rating of 4 stars, but the average ratings from both parents and children are five stars. All in all, I would say this would be a great show to recommend.