My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic TV show to end after 9 seasons
Vancouver-made TV program says goodbye after more than 200 episodes
The television program My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is ending after nine seasons.
The Vancouver-made reboot of the franchise based on Hasbro's My Little Pony line of toys and animated works has aired more than 200 episodes.
Ashleigh Ball, a B.C. voice actor and Hey Ocean! band member, voices the characters Applejack and Rainbow Dash, two of the show's pastel ponies.
"Over the years, the characters have really developed and I feel like they're a part of me," Ball told Gloria Macarenko, host of On the Coast.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is about, you guessed it, friendship and magic. Each episode the six ponies learn lessons that are relatable to viewers of all ages, says Ball.
Part of the program's success is due to a very specific type of fan: the 'brony.' Bronies are largely made up of adult and teen male viewers who relate to the My Little Pony characters and engage with other bronies online over their love of the show.
"It sort of blew up and became this movement," said Ball, who has met many bronies over her years.
"Some of [the bronies] didn't have friends before the show, and it brought them to their friend group and they're connecting on this new level."
Producing in Vancouver
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is made by DHX Media, a Canadian broadcasting and production company. Show producer Devon Cody, who joined in the middle of season two, says the program's success was a surprise to him.
"In Vancouver, you don't really expect shows to go past three seasons — three seasons is a good run. So, to go nine seasons is pretty special," Cody said.
He says much of the success is due to original showrunner Lauren Faust's decision to give the characters defined archetypes.
"Having those clear characters made all the creativity flow really well from scripts, through the voice acting, through the animation and the art ... I think everybody can relate to one or more of those characters in a really natural way."
About 70 DHX artists work on each individual episode. All or most of them are based in Vancouver, according to Cody.
He says he believes My Little Pony has increased the profile of Vancouver-based television producers and artists in the U.S. and in other parts of Canada.
"We have the chops here creatively to take a big brand with a lot of pressure, execute on that reputation and legacy, do it well and bring it to another level."
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With files by On the Coast.