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MLP:FiM Animated Feature Film Announced for 2017!


The entertainment news magazine Variety broke the story yesterday that Hasbro is finally going to release a true My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic animated feature film to theaters in 2017!  You can read the full article here:

About. Damn. Time.  What took them so long to green-light this?  With a show as popular as MLP:FiM, creating an animated feature film based on it should have been a no-brainer decision 2-years ago!  The fact that they are waiting until now to finally capitalize on this opportunity, which was handed to them on a silver platter, is practically criminal!

Now the interesting thing to wait and see about will be which MLP:FiM animated feature gets released first: the official one, or the one being made by certain members of the MLP:FiM fan community, Journey of the Spark.  I remember seeing a panel hosted by members of the Journey of the Spark team in-person at the Midwestria MLP:FiM convention back in 2012, and at the time they said, in complete seriousness and with a straight face I might add, that they thought that they would have their full-length feature film completed by, well, now.  At the time I voiced my concern to them about the feasibility of such a goal, especially since Journey of the Spark was being created only by fans on a volunteer basis, but they brushed me off and told me how they were the best of the best in the fandom, and that they knew what they were doing.  Uh huh.  A couple months ago they released 10-minutes of footage that was largely extremely rough animatic, and not a fully-completed full-length animated feature film, so you can see just how far off their lofty time-tables were.  With that said, 2017 gives the Journey of the Spark team another 3-years to work on their project, so who knows, maybe they will complete their own film by then.  A race to the finish of who could put their movie out first between Hasbro and the fan-based Journey of the Spark team would be extremely cool to see.  And despite my being a bit critical of the Journey of the Spark team's over-optimism of when they could get their film done a couple years ago, I do truly want to see their project succeed and have been excited about it since I first heard about it.

In any case, it is great to see that the pony fandom is going to get new official material all the way through to at least 2017, and that this wonderful fandom will have new fuel to keep it cruising along on for a while!  I sincerely hope that the official Hasbro MLP:FiM animated feature ends up being worth the long wait and keeps us excited about ponies until the end of this decade and beyond!

Update: According to this Equestria Daily article, the Journey of the Spark team announced last month that they were ceasing production of Journey of the Spark as an animated feature and were instead releasing it as an audio drama.  Ug.  As much as I knew that they were setting their sights too high as soon as I saw their panel talk at Midwestria a couple years ago, I was still very much hoping that they would prove me wrong.  Sometimes it's a bummer to be right.  Hopefully the audio-drama version of Journey of the Spark will turn out to be good.  In any case, it now looks like we'll only have the official MLP:FiM animated feature film to look forward to unless there is another fan-made MLP:FiM feature film in the works that I haven't yet heard about.

Dang, 2017 feels like ages away. I know that at the end of every season of the series, there's a bit of a panic about when the fandom is "ending". I guess not for awhile yet.  ;)


--- Quote from: Cirrus on October 24, 2014, 03:44:17 pm ---Dang, 2017 feels like ages away. I know that at the end of every season of the series, there's a bit of a panic about when the fandom is "ending". I guess not for awhile yet.  ;)

--- End quote ---

The longevity of the brony fandom is one thing that I personally worry about quite a bit.  One of the reasons about why I worry is because I am a pony artist, and I have a lot of pony-based artwork and projects that I am still working on or haven't even started yet.  Because of that, I don't want the fandom to fizzle out on me before I can get those projects out.  It would just absolutely suck to be that one artist who is still putting out new huge pony projects years after they went out of style, you know?  Plus, it doesn't exactly do the projects any good if they no longer have an audience by the time that they are released.  That alone gives me more than enough reason to want to see the brony fandom thrive and flourish.

But I have a more personal reason for wanting to see the brony fandom perpetuate as well, and that is that I enjoy the camaraderie that the fandom provides, or at least used to provide, for me.  Back when I got into the fandom in mid-2011, the brony movement was still relatively new and everything was still really fresh and exciting.  The buzz around the show was still growing towards its later fever pitch.  As a result, there was a whole group of us bronies who formed are own little subgroup at all the local furry events, wearing our brony t-shirts, enthusiastically talking about each and every episode, discussing the latest fan projects, etc.  In fact, I used to make it a solid point to make absolutely sure that I saw each new Saturday episode on the HUB network before going to the Lake Area Furry Friends bowling event later that night so that I would be able to discuss the episode with everyone else.  When I ended up going to the Midwestria convention back in September of 2012 little did I know that that even would be the peak of everything for me.

Nowadays almost all the local bronies who got me into the show are now gone-- two of them moved away, another has decided to become anti-social and just play video games in his house all the time instead of going to any local events anymore, and still others I now only see occasionally at best.  Instead of being in a local movement, I suddenly find myself almost as a brony island to myself, with only the Internet activity to remind me that there is still a fandom going on.  It is so hard to keep the enthusiasm for the fandom that I used to have in my current largely isolated environment.  I am hoping that things will change for the better when I go to Ponyville Ciderfest in 2-weeks, which will be my first brony convention in over 2-years, but who knows?  So I really really hope that the announcement of an MLP:FiM animated feature film will keep the brony fandom energized and thriving for another 3-years, because I certainly don't want to see the fandom dwindle in my area more than it already has.  I also hope that Hasbro keeps on churning out new episodes of MLP:FiM past season 5 now that it has sold its controlling state in the HUB network.  While Hasbro is sill able to dictate 6-hours worth of programming on the new "Discovery Family Network," none of that programming time is during prime time, so they may not see the same kind of return on investment when it comes to creating new episodes of MLP:FiM going forward.  Personally, I would find it dumb of Hasbro to stop making new seasons of MLP:FiM before the movie debuts, as you would think that they would want to keep interest in MLP:FiM high all the way until the film's release date to help promote the success of the film, but Hasbro has done some really stupid moves on occasion, so there is no guarantee that they'll do what appears to be the smart move here.  I guess that all we can do is hope for the best!


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