The contemporary re-launch of Hasbro’s “My Little Pony” franchise since 2010 has been extremely successful. Central to this effort is the animated series subtitled “Friendship Is Magic”, which became popular and notorious for finding a sizeable fringe demographic from older and male fans called “Bronies.”

With the series now in its seventh season, it was high time to take the Pony franchise to the big screen (again) with “My Little Pony: The Movie” (similarly titled with the 1986 animated film featuring the previous generation of the franchise). The film version is drawing star power by having prominent showbiz names like Emily Blunt voicing new characters.

A new trailer showcases these celebrity voice talents.

Grand adventure with serious stakes

Released online Wednesday, this first long trailer of the upcoming “My Little Pony: The Movie” from Lionsgate and Allspark Pictures finally sheds light on the feature-length plot. Alicorn Princess Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong) is happily living in the pony land of Equestria with her friends and fellow ponies when a hostile invader arrives with an army to take over. Beaten and cast far away from home, Twilight and her companions must seek out new friends and allies to retake Equestria from the sinister Storm King.

Here is where the all-star cast shine through, with big-name actors and actresses cast as new supporting characters and the main antagonists alongside the "Friendship is Magic" voice talent.

The Storm King is played by character actor Live Schrieber, who describes his turn as a cartoon villain as a chance to make a film outside his usual violent adult fare, one that his children could watch. Assisting him is an alicorn with a broken horn, Tempest Shadow voiced by Emily Blunt, who took some time off from the set of “Mary Poppins Returns” to do the role.

Other celebrity voices

As the Storm King and Tempest Shadow mess up Equestria with their conquest, the circle of Pony friends led by Twilight Sparkle travel the land to “friend up” various factions against the spreading evil. Among their prospects are the cat conman Capper (Taye Diggs), the sea-ponies of Seaquestria ruled by Queen Novo (Uzo Adoba), Equestran Pegasus pop idol Songbird Serenade (Sia), and a crew of parrot-pirates led by Captain Celaeno (Zoe Saldana).

Additional voices include Michael Peña and Kristin Chenoweth.

Allspark Pictures is the in-house film studio of Hasbro, and “My Little Pony: The Movie” is their first animated feature. Directed by Jayson Thiessen, who was supervising director in over 100 episodes of the “Friendship is Magic” series, the film is set to open October 6.

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