• Lauren Faust's Animation/Pony FAQ

    Lauren Faust recently released a full FAQ About all things animation over on her Deviant Art page.  It does include a section dedicated to MLP, including some pretty awesome behind the scenes canon stuff, as well as her full role in season two explained.   This is filled with questions we have been asking for months.

    Head on over to her page and check it out! I'll also throw a copy paste after the break.

    I've been meaning to do this for a long time, and boy howdy is it long!!!  It's organized into a few different categories. I'll update as needed.  This may be repetitive to some, illuminating to others, and completely boring and useless to others still.

    Happy New Year!

    Animation Job FAQ

    Q:  How can I get a job in animation?

    The absolute best thing you can do to get into animation as a career is to go to art school.  Not only will you learn how to draw and how to SEE, you will meet people, students and teachers alike, who will give you new perspectives and will likely be the sources of your future jobs.  (My first job came from one of my teachers.)

    There are several schools that have fantastic animation programs that cover all facets of the atr form.  Schools like the one I attended, CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF THE ARTS, will teach you animation (2D and 3D,) character design, storyboarding, background design and other skills required for animation production.  Since I've left school, many, many more schools with full animation programs such as the one at CALARTS have popped up all over the country.  Though CALARTS remains one of the most respected schools in the animation industry.

    If you're lucky enough to have an idea of what you would like to specialize in, you can also find schools that have programs that focus on your interest.   Many fantastic character designers and colorists came out of design schools that do not focus on animation, and most background painters and designers come from very traditional art schools.

    Q:  I can't afford/am not able to/don't want to go to art school.  Is there anything else I can do to get into animation?

    Art school really will give you the best leg up, but if you can't go, there are classes you can definitely take without being in a university full time---- you'll just have to hunt them down. There are lots of books on animation (The Illusion of Life and The Animator's Survival Kit are really, really good ones) that you can learn from. I've worked with people who took studio classes and self taught and eventually got a good art education by interning at production studios. Many of us (myself included) feel we learned more on the job than we did at school, but you need to have some skill to get your foot in the door.

    Look for guidance and art education wherever you can, but the biggest, most important thing of all is to draw, draw, draw and never stop drawing. Imagine you have several thousand crappy drawings you have to get out of your system before your any good and try your damnedest to get those crappy drawings out as fast as you can.

    Even if you have no interest in drawing realistically, draw from life. Take figure drawing classes and, on your own time, go out to the mall, or the zoo, or a café, or anywhere and draw people, places and animals you see. Learn about 'gesture drawing' and the difference and importance of drawing fast to capture an attitude and a feeling with as few lines as possible, and drawing slow, where you focus on detail and accuracy. What you learn from drawing what you see all around you will subconsciously come into play when you later sit down and try to draw from your head--- or try to draw really cartoony, or try to draw high design. Observing the real world is the best foundation you can have.

    Don't be stubborn about your "style." This will keep you from growing. You'll never forget your own style, so if you learn to deviate from it, you'll find later that your own style only gets better and stronger.  Or you can be one of those incredible artists who can create new styles over and over.

    Be open to trying new ways of looking at things and changing and DON'T GET DISCOURAGED. You may look at what you have on the paper and want to give up, but every single time you try again, you get better.

    Q:  Yeah, yeah, I already went to school and/or I'm already awesome.  What now?

    Depending on where you live or where you went to school, you may need to move to cities where the work is---- sorry.  Obviously, Los Angeles and New York have the most opportunities in the United States.

    Inquire with your classmates and teachers about opportunities.  Most folks I know got their starts through friends or teachers.  You can also see about contacting studios.  Lots of them have lists of job openings on their websites and instructions on how to apply.

    Most likely, you will need to start low.  If you're talented and lucky, you may get assistant or clean-up jobs, but you may need to start out scanning art, making copies and getting coffee.  But don't worry, getting your foot in the door this way is A BIG DEAL.  Be bold, ask questions, show everyone how reliable and friendly you are and, most importantly DON'T STOP DRAWING!  You need to let people know what you're capable of if you want to start being part of the creative process.  I knew one Production Assistant who would take on the show character design assignments in his own free time.  He'd complete the whole design list.  It was never used in the show but he would show his work to people on the crew to get tips and feedback.  He kept doing it and people noticed as he improved.  Eventually, he improved enough that when a design job opening came up, it was offered to him before inquiries even went out!

    Q: I have an awesome idea for a cartoon.  How do I get a pitch?

    I hate to break it to you, but I only know one way to do this, and it's the way I did it:

    Go to art school.  Get a job in animation.  Work really hard for many, many years.  Get promoted.  Do decent work and make a name for yourself.  Then people will take pitches from you.  Then maybe after you've pitched a whole lot of them, someone will pick one up.

    Other approaches are:

    Make a comic book that tons of people love and buy, then pitch it to studios.  Make a children's book that tons of people love and buy, then pitch it to studios.  Make a toy that tons of people love and buy, then pitch it to studios.  Make an internet short that tons of people love and watch, then pitch it to studios.  Become a rock, tv or movie star, then pitch to studios.

    Q: I'm interested in voice acting.  How do I get an audition?

    This I know less about since I am not a voice actor.  But I do know you can't get an audition without an agent.  And I don't know how you get an agent, unfortunately, but I can tell you what I like to see from actors.

    It's not just about having crazy, cartoony voices, it's also about being able to ACT.  Since I don't know any professional voice actors who have not had some sort of formal training as actors, I suggest taking some formal acting classes.  And I can only imagine that you can get advice from teachers and fellow students about how to land jobs and find agents.


    FYI:  My ability to answer questions about the show is limited for several reasons.  I can't answer questions about things that have not aired.  And since April of 2011, I no longer work on the show, so I don't know a lot of what is coming.  I can offer my opinions or thoughts about character backstories, world dynamics and the like, but if it's not in the show, it should not be considered canon.

    Q: How old are the ponies?

    The ponies' ages were left intentionally undefined.  I like to think of them as having  maturity levels anywhere between 12 and 18, (but remember that maturity is different than age.  You can be a 10-year-old with the maturity of a 15-year-old, and you can be a 35-year-old with the maturity of a 15-year-old.)  For story telling purposes, they needed to be able to live independent of parents, but innocent enough for the type of lessons they learn at the end of the episodes.   Since horses are full grown around 5-ish, I guess I sort of justified it in my head that they could be childlike young adults.  I know this answer is frustrating for some people, but it happens often in cartoons.  How old is Bugs Bunny?  Mickey Mouse?  Sponge Bob?  I don't know either.

    Q:  Is Equestria a planet or a country?

    I imagined it as a country, but beyond that it is left intentionally undefined.

    Q: Is it Derpy Hooves or Ditzy Doo?

    It sounds like it's finally landed on Derpy Hooves, but you should ask the current show runners.

    Q: Will we see more of {any given character}?

    I can't answer this one---- you will have to wait and see!

    Q: Is "Octavia" Pinkie Pie's sister?

    It was never planned that they would be sisters.  The color similarities, I believe, were a coincidence.  I would say no, they're not sisters, but I don't know if the current show runners have other ideas.

    Q:  Where are Applejack's parents?

    To put it bluntly, we just never figured it out.  I just liked the feeling of them living with their Granny, but keeping the family dynamic tight and small.  To be honest, I would like to simply say that they passed away somehow, but it's just too sad for a kids' show and I don't think it would have ever been approved.  There was brief discussion of them being traveling salesponies or explorers, but since we never needed the information in an episode, nothing was ever made official.  So it will have to remain a mystery until someone decides to define it.

    Q: Exactly what is your role in Season 2?

    On Season 1, I was involved in every aspect of every episode.  I gave direction and/or called notes and/or personally handled revisions from story conception, through scripts, through design, record, storyboarding, animation and through to musical score.  On Season 2, as "Consulting Producer" I was involved in story conception and scripts only (with the exception of "The Return of Harmony," which I saw through record and storyboards.)  I saw roughly the first half of the season through to final script, and the second half I only helped with concepts and attended the story meetings.  My part in the show ended in April 2011 and I am no longer involved in the show.

    More technical MLP:FiM FAQ

    Q: Can I get your permission to draw the characters from MLP:FiM?

    Though I developed the Friendship is Magic and imagined the characters, I do not own them.  If you feel you need permission to use the characters in any form, you need to contact Hasbro.

    Q: Can I interview you about MLP:FiM?

    Maybe.  Interviews inquiries need to be made to Hasbro, if they ok it, I probably will, too.

    Q:  When will MLP:FiM come out on DVD?  Can you air MLP:FiM on {this channel}?

    That is a question for Hasbro.  I am not involved in the distribution of the show.

    Q:  Can you make a toy out of {any given character}?
    Another question for Hasbro.  I am not involved with any aspect of the toy making process.

    Q: What do you think of bronies?
    I like them.  I am astounded, surprised and thrilled they exist.

    Q:  What do you think of Rule 34 applied to ponies?

    It's not my thing, but I know that it comes with the territory of having your work on TV, so I'm used to it.  I admit I avoid looking at it, and would rather not have it pointed out to me----- so please don't!

    Q:  Have you read "Cupcakes"?

    No.  And I'm not going to (see next question…)

    Q:  Will you read and/or critique my fanfic?

    I'm sorry, but I don't read fanfics.  Professionally, we are discouraged from it as any unintended similarities to actual episodes can lead to legal problems.  But really, I simply don't have the time.  However, I know that if the internet were around when I was very young, I would have been a pretty rabid fanfic writer myself.  So more power to you all!

    Q: Can you put my pony OC in the show.

    Even if I was still working on the show, I'd have to say no.  From what I understand, there's a lot of expensive legal stuff involved in that sort of thing, and so many people ask, it's just impossible.

    Q: I have a great idea for an episode.  Will you make it?

    Please see above.

    Me FAQ

    Q: Did you create the Powerpuff Girls and/or Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends?

    No.  My husband, Craig McCracken did.

    Q: Well, what the heck did you do then?

    I was a writer/storyboard artist on PPG.  I had a bigger role on Foster's.  I was Co-Developer/Supervising Producer/Story Supervisor/Writer/Storyboard Artist.  I also co-directed the voice records and directed animation on a handful of episodes as well as a bit of character design here and there.  Mostly when we needed animals.

    Q:  Do you do commissions?

    Nope.  Sorry.  No time.

    Q:  Is your last name pronounced F-ah-st or F-ow-st?

    F-ow-st.  Like, "how now brown fowst."

    Q:  Will you do a tutorial on how you draw?

    Sorry---- I don't have time, and I don't really know how I would, anyway.  I'm just making stuff up as I go.  Plus, I'm still learning.

    Q:  Why don't you post more art?

    Until I get permission from the people/studios I am working for, I legally cannot share the work I am doing professionally.  And since my professional work takes up all my time, I have no recent personal work to share, much to my dismay.  Sorry!


    1. Awesome! I'm probably gonna be reading over this one until my eyes fall out.

    2. how now brown faust is best pony

    3. How now brown faust~ :3

      I loves her ♥

    4. She still hasn't told us how to turn into ponies and go to equestria : /

    5. Halfway through reading it at this minute after posting some art there and am compelled by her knowledge of the business.

    6. Something tells me Hasbro is going to have a lot of requests to allow an interview with her, now that it suddenly appears easy to do so.

      Shame to see confirmed over and over that Hasbro really pulls all the strings, and that legal red tape is holding some great opportunities away, but it was to be expected.

    7. Still leaves that lingering (most likely personal) question of why she left the fim team. But good stuff still!

    8. @LittleBrendon
      She's trying to find a way to tell us without that info getting to the Department of Defense or the KGB.

    9. I always did like 'Ditzy Doo' as a name better. It just sounds less degrading. 'Bright Eyes' was cute too...I wonder why it died off.

    10. I'm not interested in the animation industry but its a good read and I imagine if anyone asks me for advice in that area I'll send them straight to that post.

    11. She won't put in my OC...
      Oh well good interview though

    12. She has some amazing answers. Like the rule 34 thing. She's so mature about this stuff.

    13. intresting... but im still gonna study as a mechanic =P

    14. i enjoyed these questions... WAIT A DAMN MIN!

      Got to admit, this really suprized me!

      Well this just makes Ponies all that more better XD

    15. "To sad for a kid's show"

      *looks at Twisted Sister*

      Your propably right*sheds manly tears*

    16. @y2kyle89 My goodness. I thought everyone forgot about that episode. I think it was equal parts silly and equal parts sad. Especially the ending. I remember crying at the end of that episode, and even now, I still tear up a little. Oh wait, did I actually say that last part?

    17. I'm probably on my fifth time reading this. There's just so much good stuff in this FAQ. Lots of insight into the animation industry. Guess like any industry, pay your dues and you'll eventually start moving up. And though I think we sort of knew the answers to those FiM questions, still great to hear (or read) it from her. Yay Lauren!

    18. As someone who is going into Digital Art and Media as my degree I have to say this is very handy.

      Thanks Lauren for all your hard work!

    19. Is that Molestia? That sure looks like the art style of Molestia. And that grin ...

    20. "Q: Is "Octavia" Pinkie Pie's sister?"

      Seriously? Some people actually thought Octavia was Pinkie's sister? The only appropriate response to this is a facehoof. The colors are somewhat similar, yes, but they aren't even dead on. There's nothing anywhere hinting at them being sisters besides a very slight colors similarity. Com'on people. Let's not grasp as straws -too- tightly.

      "Q: Can you put my pony OC in the show."


      I honestly cannot believe people asked her this question. That... I don't even have a response for that one. Sorry. It's just too far out there.

      "F-ow-st. Like, "how now brown fowst."

      This made me giggle. That's one way of getting people to pronounce it correctly.

      Overall the animation and arts answers and comments were things I already knew since it's basically one of my professions as well. Some good questions though, despite some... less than stellar ones. See above. lol But good Q&A overall. Could be a valuable asset to some out there I'm sure.

    21. Oh cool, I love questionnaires with creators. Very insightful, and good advice for anyone wanting to get into the cartooning field. Also, sadface at Octavia not being Pinkie's sister. However, canon can still prove that (not that it will)!

      Seriously, Lauren is one of the coolest and most in-touch with the community cartoonists out there. It's awesome to see her involvement with the community and her willingness to answer stuff like this.

    22. This was absolutely fascinating to read. Thanks Lauren Faust for taking the time to do this!

    23. "Q: Is Equestria a planet or a country?

      I imagined it as a country, but beyond that it is left intentionally undefined."


    24. @Octavia
      hey, the octavia thing was at least an interesting concept. I didn't think it was any more canon but I did like the concept of the craziest pony in equestria being sister of the classiest. sort of a sibling yin-yang

    25. God bless you Lauren =)!.

      I can't wait to see how your Galaxy Girls project does.

      A shame that they really haven't figured out AJ's parents. If they wanted them to have died, I think they could pull it off, as long as they were smart about it and handled it with grace and dignity.

      And let's face it. Death is something we all have to live with.

    26. @CityFlyer502
      Wait, what episode was that? I don't remember any twisted sister.
      Anyway, coo info on Faust. I didn't even know she left FiM until now (I'm a newly made brony, forgive me.)

    27. thats amazing. its still sad that she is no longer with the show, but as a brony of loyal faith to hasbro i have trust in their decision. she did say she had a hand in half of season 2, so i cant judge how this i going to impact MLP:FiM till around ep 12 or 13. sad we dont get a new episode til after the new year :(

    28. @Octavia The OC question doesn't surprise me at all considering others have done the same for almost EVERY single animated show under the sun.

    29. Good interview, but I was a skeptical of her answer to the age of the ponies. She said they were like 12-18 year olds. I always imagined them as college aged, or slightly older.

      -Rarity's got her own business
      -Applejack's certainly got an adult-sized responsibilities
      -and Twilight's studies make her a college student in my mind
      -and, of course, none live with their parents
      But oh well... I guess some people view them as younger too?

    30. First thing I did when I finished reading this.
      Looked up Craig McCracken.
      He has one of the BEST Wikipedia pictures I have ever seen.
      In my life.

    31. @Stormcloud That was the Powerpuff Girls I was referencing. Season 2, episode 24 to be exact. Newly made brony, huh? Not sure if I can say this since I've only been here a month, but welcome to the herd! :D

    32. @CityFlyer502
      You mean when the CMC dressed up for the talent show?

    33. @Sketchy Stars

      Maybe because there's lready a G1 pony with tha name.

    34. Am I the only one that doesn't like this Cupcakes at all D: ?

    35. @Travis Smith No, the Powerpuff Girls. At least I hope that's what @y2kyle89 was talking about. Otherwise, I've made quite the idiot of myself. :(

    36. So who is the one that defines canon stuff?

    37. @Askaniz I'll admit, I didn't read Cupcakes until a few days ago. It didn't scare the daylights out of me or give me nightmares (yet). And it certainly wasn't easy on my imagination. But in all honesty (and I've said this dozens of times already) Saw is several times more freaky than Cupcakes.

    38. Did she pick the Rule 34 question herself, or did somepony really have balls big enough to ask?

    39. @Adrian Brony

      It was a sorta fun thought. But that's about it.

    40. A lot of the stuff about getting into animation is quite similar to advice on writing I've soaked in over the years. I guess art is art.

    41. I treat the Apple parents as managing the farms across Equestria. I refuse to think of them as being passed away. :<

    42. @Ikusa GT

      You mean ask for their own characters to be put in the show? It's just a ridiculous question on so many levels to ask.

    43. CityFlyer502
      Wait til the nightmares start, then you'll regret it
      The only ones truly hurt in my opinion were in fact Dash fans.
      The only thing is it follows the pattern of that every great fandom have a very disturbing story fic

    44. @Octavia Seriously? Where were you when Octavia was first put into the spotlight by the fandom? The only reason and the first reaction to her was that she was Pinkie Pie's sister. Only after that did people notice that she could be paired with Vinyl Scratch, and make her a new character from Pinkie's sister altogether. Quite frankly the fact that you don't know this despite your avatar shocks me to no end.

    45. Loved reading this, and she answered a question (not on here) that's been stuck in my brain for years.
      And Applejacks' parents! I wish they did have the power to do that, bittersweet endings to episodes are my favourite. Especially the ones in Futurama.

    46. I like this.
      I like her willingness to explain some of the things that everyone outside of the business doesn't really understand.
      I also liked her tone, she isn't condescending, and explains very fairly why some things the fandom wants just can't really happen.

      I think it's excellent that she took some time out of her (apparently very busy) schedule to just answer a few questions for all of her fans.

      You just earned yourself another gold star in my book Ms. Faust.

    47. @Travis Smith I have yet to have pony dreams period! Besides, most of my nightmares are about family, so I don't think I'll be having 'Cupcakes' nightmares. (I hope)

    48. @Octavia Yep It's ridicuolous but the people who don't know how legal works ask those types of questions so I'm not mad about it.

    49. @*sigh*

      I've been here long enough that I went through the entire phase where the fandom thought that. I still always thought that it was grasping at straws at best, and actually asking Faust about it when Octavia is so incidental to the show and the show's staff that she doesn't even have a canon name is beyond ridiculous.

    50. Answering questions...

      Like a Faust!

      Stirring up the fanbase...

      Like a Faust!


    51. @CityFlyer502
      I've never had a pony dream either but it nearly wrecked my imagination that it cost me about a week of ignoring my fic

    52. @*sigh*

      I was right here. I've been in this community since it was very firstly started. And I didn't say I "didn't know it." Herp-a-derp. I'm still surprised people really thought that though when there isn't anything even saying so except a very slight color similarity. And even worse is that someone actually asked Lauren it. It's silly to put it very mildly.

    53. @*sigh*

      I will also note I'm the originator of the name for her. So I'd say I was right there when she was "put in the spotlight".

    54. For the love of...
      WHY would you ask her about rule 34!? Just...WHY!?
      As for the voice acting bit I'm glad she shed some light as to what it is that she is looking for in a good voice actor because that's the industry I plan on getting into. Maybe I'll even get to work on FiM in the future with Tara Strong! -squee-

    55. @Travis Smith That bad, huh? I guess there are worse things on my mind then that. That's not to say I wasn't affected or anything, but I've got other stuff wrecking my imagination.

    56. Well sauce me up and have Seth put me under a spoiler, I'll accept that.

      I'll also just say that I kind of like the thought of Octavia being Pinkie's sister, if only for the fact that it means both of them got out of that hard rock farm lifestyle.

      (I also don't find the color similarity to be slight; we don't really see that many double-gray toned ponies, and the only real difference is that Octavia's coat is slightly darker than Pinkie's sister, which can be easily explained by either age or being dirty from living on a farm.)

    57. So Applejack's parents were never intended to be shown by Lauren. Wonder if the current team will stick with this or not. As it sits: any "AJ's parents are dead" fics seem very safe.

    58. But yes, I will say that asking her about Octy was a bit silly. But then, so was Faust for answering the question! It's kind of a two-sided blade that way, and knowing people in general I'm sure that there were plenty of other, just as silly questions to choose from.

    59. @*sigh*

      It's still pretty slight. Even if their coats had been the exact same color, it wouldn't really be justifiable in calling them sisters. Unless something actually said so in the show. It's a fun thought. But nothing more.

    60. @Jimperator
      Maybe they just travel selling advertisement or visit the other Apple family and AJ only gets to see them once a year or something

    61. That was a cool read. I don't know how I'm going to reblog this, so much information... Pony ages/maturity, AppleJack's parents, thrilled and surprised at the emergence of Bronies...

      The "can you put my OC in the show" question must have come from younger folk. ^_^

      Lauren Faust is incredibly busy and that is good. ^_^ I would be worried if she wasn't.

    62. @Travis Smith

      Heh, yeah that was pretty much one of her suggestions.

      "Q: Where are Applejack's parents?

      To put it bluntly, we just never figured it out. I just liked the feeling of them living with their Granny, but keeping the family dynamic tight and small. To be honest, I would like to simply say that they passed away somehow, but it's just too sad for a kids' show and I don't think it would have ever been approved. There was brief discussion of them being traveling salesponies or explorers, but since we never needed the information in an episode, nothing was ever made official. So it will have to remain a mystery until someone decides to define it."

      So yeah, they could be traveling or could have passed on, it's a matter for the fanon until/if the show addresses it.

    63. @frith
      Who you calling younger folk? I'm seventeen with my own car payments, job, and serious relationship

      Pretty much unless they do decide to add it, which would mean we'd meet four sets of parents, poor Fluttershy and RD

    64. @Travis Smith LOL! I was thinking more along the lines of 12 to 14 y.o. people. I'm older than you and my car is paid for. 8^D

    65. This comment has been removed by the author.

    66. I really loved the tone of her answers: both professional and friendly, without trying to patronize or be pretentious. It's incredibly rare to see someone in the industry willing to be so open to fans.
      Though some questions really surprised me... The one about fanfics has been answered countless times already. About OCs and commissions... What, really? Wasn't it obvious?

    67. @frith
      Not to gloat but, I bet it's not a red GT w/black rally stripes

    68. *idea!* I know what I'll do! I'll just post "Faust answers a lot of questions" and provide a link. ^_^ Or something like that.

    69. @Travis Smith

      I'm willing to bet we'll probably meet most of their parents. We've seen Twilight's, Rarity's and Pinkie's so far. So Fluttershy and Rainbow will have theirs shown I bet. AJ is still a question mark given that they might want to keep her family at Sweet Apple Acres small and tight knit.

      ... I wonder where Dash get's her boisterous nature from. Would be hilarious if her mom had the bravado and her dad was soft spoken.

    70. @CityFlyer502 yeah, i was referring to Powerpuff Girls

    71. I feel bad for Lauren, she's so constricted with Hasbro, even though they are cool with a lot of stuff, so many questions were ask Hasbro, see above, bleh. But of course, it's hard to be truly free or there would be no budget. And it's a kid's show, so go figure.

    72. @Jimperator
      That would be funny or if her own grandmother was like that and her parents were soft spoken, which makes me still wonder where she got the rainbow mane

    73. @Travis Smith Not a GT, but it is red. Fuel consumption 5.9 L/100km. Hatchback! Manual! But a bit small, alas, so slightly less practical than I would have liked.

    74. @y2kyle89 Whew. What a relief. I was holding my breath since I replied to your post. LOL

    75. @Travis Smith

      Why, don't you know? Haven't you watched those awesome old G3 episodes? Obvious where she gets it.

      I kid, of course.

      Yeah, I'd like to know if her coloration is a genetic thing or if she's just that damn special.

    76. @Jimperator
      What if her mom had three of her rainbow color and her dad had the other three? It would show maybe the genes were strong and that's what it became

    77. @Travis Smith

      I like that idea. That would be pretty cool.

      Or ya know, what if she's the illegitimate daughter of Princess Celestia.

      /Conspiracy Keanu

    78. @Jimperator
      That could explain why she sleeps during the day, she's not lazy but up all night in Cantorlot at meetings

    79. Most important question:

      "Is it Derpy Hooves or Ditzy Doo?"

    80. You can tell she's choosing her words carefully about Rule 34. :/

      Rule 34 is one of the worst things to happen to this fandom, IMHO.

    81. @Jimperator Then one day Rainbow Dash finds out about this secret and gets placed as the leader of the Wonderbolts by Celestia herself!

      /Rainbowdash Dun dun duuunn

    82. @Silent Eyes
      Then she joins the Shadowbolts, or the Windegoes and they become the fourhorses of the Apocalypse

    83. @Travis Smith
      Given that this is Equestria, that sounds like it would be a rock band!

      @Silent Eyes
      And no one will know it's nepotism. Brilliant.

    84. @Travis Smith We need to be apart of the storyboard for FiM.

      These ideas can't fail.

    85. .....and that's how Equestria was made!

    86. @dc321946-2138-11e1-87c0-000bcdcb471e

      How uh...How fun is it to login at a different computer with that name?

    87. @Jimperator
      Hmmm...a rock band you say?

      @Silent Eyes
      Indeed we should

    88. Re: Applejack's Parents

      Just what I thought, Faust would simply have adopted the "parents passed away" storyline if it wasn't a kids show. We certainly do get a sense that AJ is quite mature from the way she takes on responsibility on the farm (from apple bucking to selling them on the market) to taking care of Applebloom and Granny Smith. Also she's quite stubborn and likes to take everything on her own

    89. @Travis Smith

      Heck yeah. You know RD would be the sort of pony to smash an electric guitar on stage to a screaming audience of fans.


      Good assessment, I agree.

    90. The more I see from Lauren the more awesome she appears.

      Truly much more of a visionary than she gives herself credit for.

    91. @Drüd

      Having adult responsibility and independence is well within the capacity of 12-18 year olds, especially when they have strong social support for if things do go badly.

      Out society just hasn't been in the habit of expecting it from our own teenagers, so we don't see it.

    92. @Truehearted

      Proving that, even after specifically explaining that her name doesn't sound like "boss," fans will still pronounce it that way.

    93. @Andrew Connors

      You know, I don't understand that either.
      I use an old AOL account to post here, and it just gives me that long alpha-numeric as my handle.
      I don't mind too much though.

    94. VERY nice! I want ANYONE who's interested in animation, Brony-or-not, to read this!

    95. @Drüd

      The "12-18 years old" thing has been around for a while. In previous answers on DeviantArt Faust had confirmed that physically the ponies are college-aged, 18-22+. Saying they are as mature as teenagers doesn't clear up much since maturity changes depending on the individual. Now had Faust used the term "mental age" things would have been different, but comparing maturity to ages doesn't exactly check out since there is no set maturity level for any age. For example, saying Applejack is as mature as a sixteen year old wouldn't be clear as the maturity level for sixteen year olds can differ between the individual in question.

      All that seems certain is that the ponies are 18-22+ years old and some are more mature than others.

      That's my two cents anyways.

    96. @Drüd
      Well you have to remember that ponies are not humans they probably have a different lifespan.

    97. I feel kinda bad we're not giving any credit to this new producer...

    98. Wow reading comments above I really feel young with the community because you all know stuff that I haven't even hit on with the fandom yet, like the creation of Octavia from being pinkies sister to her own character or whatever the story is. I have a long road ahead it seems.

    99. @Peter

      >Implying that rule 34 is avoidable


    100. @Soapy5

      I believe it was so she could work on her new show idea

    101. @Octavia

      yeah, both those questions surprised me too. I mean... seriously? :P

    102. @Drüd

      Nah, what she said is that they have the MATURITY level of 12 to 18 year olds. In terms of actual age, they're probably about the equivalent of early 20s in human years

    103. @Peter

      it's one of the worst things that happens to any fandom :P Sadly, it still DOES happen to them anyway :\

    104. Awfully damn sad that we live in a world where content creators have come to accept that rule 34 is something that "comes with the territory." The internet makes baby Jesus cry.

    105. On AJ's Parents:

      I felt that they were likely either dead or their job was to travel around in some facility dealing with the various Apple family farms all over Equestria.

      Although I would like to see certain loose ends tied up before the show ends, not _everything_ needs to be explained.

      On other stuff:

      I kind of feel that asking her about toys, putting OC ponies in, fanfics, show ideas, etc. are "wasted" questions since the answer is obviously "no" or "that's a Hasbro question."

      I suppose that younger fans may be a bit unsure about how production of a show like MLP works, so it gets asked.

    106. Personally, I don't think there's anything dark or wrong about AJ's parents being dead.

      Sweet Apple Acres certainly doesn't seem like a sad place. It's a well-adjusted group with plenty of extended relatives in contact.

      Some kids grow up with split-up, dead or otherwise missing parents - and it doesn't make them somehow "broken".

      Just as the show teaches that there is more than one way to be a girl, I think that if one imagines the middle generation of Apples as passed away, it also teaches that there is more than one way to be a family.

      ...But yeah, it may simply be too mature a concept to address in a kids' show. : /

    107. @Ultrachao77

      I feel that AJ and Rarity are the most mature of the group. They are the most responsible towards their jobs and generally act in what I would consider to be an adult fashion, though Rarity does have her moments where she gets overly excited.

      Twilight acts the rationally (most of the time) but she seems emotionally dependent upon Celestia's approval. The only times she acts irrationally are when she's afraid Celestia will be upset with her. Overall she strikes me as having spent too much time socially isolated.

      Fluttershy is interesting in that she seems to do well with her profession (animal care), but conversely her shyness is childlike.

      Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie are the least mature. Rainbow Dash is obvious, but Pinkie Pie is kind of hard to place because she's so random and wacky.

    108. "Oh hiii mom, how ARE you? Me and Luna were just about to come visit you!"

      "My dear little Celestia, it's so good to see you. How have you been managing my kingdom in my absence?"

    109. I was very impressed by this FAQ. The one draw back of course is that if she ever does a convention it may get harder to ask her questions. But then again I've seen voice actors do similar things and still get asked the same question over and over again. (Damn Vic fangirls ugh) I don't think the OC pony question was out of line. I do remember growing up some shows would have contest that would, as a grand prize, allow the winner to have their character featured in the show. If I remember correctly Fox Kids even managed to do that with Digimon. Who knows maybe Hasbro will run a similar contest.

      As far as fanfics are concerned, as someone who wrote fanfics a lot through the years I say keep writing them. But here is a twist. When you go to write a fan fiction make it as cannon as possible if not more so, then write it in script from. If you can write a 22 - 24 page fan fiction then convert it to script form there is nothing stoping you from going through the proper channels and submitting it as a legitimate script. Although I'm sure Studio B and Hasbro are already getting bombarded with those from fans of their shows with the biggest fan bases, i.e. MLP, G.I. Joe and Transformers. But still I say go for it just follow the cannon and keep it TV-Y and/or TV-Y7 and good luck.

      In closing if I got to ask her any questions, (aside from that on Galaxy Girl related question I asked never expecting to get answered.) I would ask her if she and Craig will do conventions. I'd give anything to tell them both, "thank you" in person

    110. Also, Faust and her creative team (mustn't forget them!) have created what is quite possibly one of the biggest cartoon phenomenons of all time. Without any hyperbole I can say that they struck gold when Lauren was tapped for the show. This show has almost literally saved people's lives. For that, that sweet and bright lady has my respect forever.


    111. @Peter

      Rule 34 is, in my humble opinion, one of the worst possible things to happen to ANY fandom. It's just an excuse to draw cartoon porn.

      On the subject of the FAQ, I once wanted to get into the animation industry myself. My talents did not lie in art and animation, however (being more of a musician and writer). But the FAQ was still an awesome look at what goes into becoming part of the industry.

      Lastly, I love Mrs. Faust's response to the brony question. Trust me when I say that we like you too, Lauren. Okay, I'm done now.

    112. I've been a Faust Fan since Powerpuff Girls. I'm still confused as to why Hasbro let her go from MLP, and whether it was her decision or theirs. While I don't doubt the skills of the current production team, I really believe that they should have kept her as the creative head of the show since it was her vision that we all became so enamoured with. It seems silly to let the head of something so successful leave.

      Now don't get me wrong, I love the show and think that Mr. Thiessen and Mr. Wootton are doing a fantastic job as directors, but if Hasbro brought Ms. Faust back and gave her total creative freedom over the show, then it could easily become the single greatest ever and could probably give Hasbro's other properties a run for their money in terms of popularity and, by extension, profitability.

    113. The problem with the questions she can't answer, and then deflects to Hasbro, is that Hasbro probably won't answer those questions either, or they'll shoot you back a canned response that gets you nowhere. I sent a formal (internet) letter to Hasbro asking if they would put shows from The Hub on Netflix, and they spit out a "We have no plans at this time" message that irked me.

    114. "Since horses are full grown around 5-ish, I guess I sort of justified it in my head that they could be childlike young adults."

      So, the ponies are only ~5? I still have them as being 16-18 in my head canon. I prefer to think of them living human lifespans of 50+, rather than just ~25.

      I just don't see how Twilight would be able to be so well read and intelligent when she's been studying for less than 4 years. She has the equivalent of a college education. Then again, we did see some advanced mathematics on the blackboard in AB's classroom...

    115. @EonMaster
      I figured that since Ponyville is such a small town that the building used for the youngsters' schooling during the day doubles as a community college at night. When I was living in a rural area in Arkansas, the school I attended went all the way from Kindergarten to 12th grade on the same campus.

    116. Wow, that was a great FAQ.

      I must say, I am really, really happy about the FiM questions, especially the ones regarding fanfics. This was enlightening for me. Good one!

    117. @Jordan

      Welcome to corporations. Those letters do help though, even if they dont immediately act on it. They cant disclose their plans, but it helps show them there is indeed demand for it. I do admit it's frustrating though

    118. That was a really good read, thanks to Lauren for taking the time to write all this. Have to say I keep seeing "Cupcakes" pop up so I guess I'm going to have to read it at some point to see what it's all about.

    119. "how now brown fowst."
      lol I definately didn't see that pun coming.

    120. Actually, Applejack's parents have been in every episode so far. Unlike the rest of the Apple family, their special talents are ninja-related.

    121. @EonMaster

      They appear to have a human age and a pony age at the same time. It's not really meant to make sense, since they're anthropomorphised and carry a lot of human traits around. I get the feeling pinkie's the youngest human-wise since she still lives with guardians and acts like a very bubbly 14 year old, whereas Twilight, Rarity and AJ act quite a bit older; being educated, hard-working and capable of running a proper business. In terms of pony years, they're probably all very similar. Fluttershy's obviously a year older than pinkie, other than that there's nothing to go on. Might be better just to consider them as their maturity on a human level than fret over pony-years.

    122. I can't believe someone brought up Rule 34 and Cupcakes... DX

    123. I thought it was F-Aw-St... I'm ashamed D:

    124. @Octavia
      >Seriously? Some people actually thought Octavia was Pinkie's sister?
      -... -_- ...
      Yes, yes some people *LIKE* to *BELIEVE* or *THINK* they *MAY* be sisters...
      This is what is called a 'reasonable fan-theory'... (sigh)
      (Also, Laurent Faust never said 'No' too...)

    125. @Streamr
      Well... the last episode of Season 2 quite confirmed that Equestria was a country (and that their planet was round).

      As she said, because she doesn't really work on (Season 2) the series anymore, maybe she didn't had the details of that episode when she answered ?

    126. @Drüd
      No, she said that they had the ''maturity level'' of 12-18years old 'people'... but, she also said they were young *adults*.

      Adults with a young mind/style, if you want.

    127. @Mines5
      For the sanity of people, I'm pretty sure there was an ''unspoken consensus'' that they had, at the very least, a lifespan similar to humans ?

    128. @dc321946-2138-11e1-87c0-000bcdcb471e

      That's a UUID code. Basically it's just like a barcode identifying you on the AOL system.

    129. Lauren is so awesome. Also some of these questions are so silly. "will you put my OC in the show" "I have an idea for a show will you make it?" Really people? Also some others, I'm surprised at how well she handles them.

    130. People ask some embarrassingly stupid questions. Asking for their OC pony in the show or their idea for an episode? Ugh.

      And what idiot would actually believe that Octavia would be Pinkie Pie's sister. What thought at all could be put into making a pony that appears for a few moments and just making her Pinkie's sister?

    131. @Drüd

      My take on the whole "mental age" / "physical age" issue is that, if we consider the level of technology in the show, and then think about what responsibilities were assigned to people at different age groups when that sort of technology was prevalent on Earth (namely, before the Industrial Revolution), it was not uncommon for 12-18 year old people to have families and full-time jobs. So even though the Mane 6 may act at that maturity level, it's perfectly reasonable for them to have the occupations and lifestyles that they do.

    132. Am I the only one who was still coming to terms with the fact that she stepped down to Consulting Producer and am now torn apart at the fact that she left the whole damn burrito!?!? WHY!? Now I would be totally fine if she were Consulting Producer!!

    133. Lauren Faust have a yourself email???

    134. She's not even consulting producer for season 3? That would worry me if we didn't have those two goofs wearing "Lauren" hats running the show.

    135. If season 3 becames uhm...not my cup of tea or most people's cup of tea, Lauren better whip them back into shape :D

    136. ...you guys asked Faust about Rule 34....? WHATS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!?

    137. Draw, draw, and more drawing is the key.