Interview with Lauren Faust - 4chan, Girls Toys, Video Games, Animals, and Cartoons by

When the jersey fits just right

It finally happened. Hell itself froze over, and Horse News had the ultimate honor, of an official interview with God Mom Lauren Faust herself. If you want to know who her favorite pony is, what got her into animation, and which fan fiction she enjoys most, kil- go somewhere else. Instead, let's see what she has to say about charity, video games, cartoons, girls toys, and 4chan.


Horse News: You avoided pony conventions in the past, what made you change your mind?

Lauren Faust: Well, to be perfectly honest, I hope no one holds this against me because it actually seems to bother some people – it was upsetting, going to conventions and ya know, being reminded I couldn't stay on a show I created and that other people were finishing up. It was a little more than I wanted to put myself through, so I stepped away for a while. Plus ya know, it's just busy. Ya know, it's a hard business, and a lot of long hours, and it can be really hard to get away. So, what made me change my mind, was almost accidental, Mitch Larson challenged me on Twitter, and I kinda, without really thinking, started goofing off with him and challenging him back, and I went like “oh, I better do this, or I'm gonna look like a jerk”. So, I went to EQLA just for that, because Mitch and I were just joking around, and then when it finished I was like “hey, I don't feel so bad anymore!” like, it was actually fun, and it was really nice to see bronies again, and all the nice things they always have to say to me, like that made me feel good! So, I decided to try a few more, and it's been great.



HN: Nice. So, you've been involved in shows, in almost every key-aspect now, is there any key-aspect or stage that you enjoy the most that stands out for you?

LF: Yeah, I love development. Development is my favorite, because you can just wallow in the potential of it all. You can make a dream of it, big as you want it to be, as ambitious as you want it to be, you can even think about following storylines that might even be a little unconventional or a little strange, and that's before, you know, your bosses come in, and they want to change things, because according to their market research or their goals of the network, or their budgets come in and tell you “you can't have that many backgrounds” or, you know “we can't make the animation look that awesome because we can't afford it”. So, like before any of that stuff happens and you have to start adjusting things for different reasons, in the beginning when you're developing it, it's just the beautiful magical time when anything can happen.

Lauren Dabbing by HN Staff Photographer - PhotoAnon


HN: All these restrictions and limitations, do they actually help sometimes, or do you just feel they interfere with your work?

LF: Sometimes they do, sometimes they do. Limitations are nice, I've talked in a couple panels, about how a lot of storytelling is about problem solving, and sometimes when you go in to solve those problems, you discover things that you might not have thought of before. So absolutely, sometimes the limitations do help.

HN: But at some point, it's just not that much fun anymore?
LF: Yeah I mean it depends, a lot of it is just like, you know, somebody comes in and says like “I hate that character, take it out”, and I'm like “but I love that character”, like, that's not necessarily helpful. [laughter]
Then you take this character out, and it's like pulling this thread, and everything unravels and you've gotta put it back together again. Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's worse, but you're being paid to do a job, so you have to make it work again.

HN: With “Thems Fighting Herds”, you can do all the development again, or at least some part of it, but what's different because it's a video game? What came as a surprise to you?

LF: Yeah, well it came as a learning experience for me, because I'm not super familiar with the world of video games. The only fighting game I'm really familiar with is Street Fighter from 1991 [giggles].
HN: Well, everyone is!
LF: From like 100 Million years ago? So I kinda wanted to bring this storytelling and worldbuilding aspect to it, but again there's limitations. My original concept for “why are they fighting?” that was a big question, “why are they fighting with each other?” and the obvious answer for me was “it's a tournament”, but it's not a tournament for trophies, it's a tournament to have the honor of saving the world, and they're all “yeahhh...everything's a tournament, can we think of something else?” And, I didn't know that, I didn't know that everything was a tournament. But really, for me, it's so much more them than me, ya know? I'm doing the character designs, I'm thinking up the world and the characters, but they're making it, and they're the ones that are making it fun, and I don't give any input about how they're fighting, or the animation, or how the moves work, or any of that stuff because I know nothing about it. They know better than me, I would prefer for them to have it than for me to sit around and guess. I'm just trying to bring what I'm good at to the table, to hopefully make it something, a little special.

HN: As you just mentioned, with the worldbuilding and the lore, that appears to be a common theme in everything that you do, and that's something that a person doesn't see in so many TV shows or games or media. Could you ever work on something that is lacking in that aspect?

LF: Yeah, oh I absolutely could. I think you could say that shows like Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends didn't have a lot of worldbuilding. We were very specific in saying that “The world of Fosters is exactly like our world, except that imaginary friends are real. Nothing else is different.” So there wasn't that much more to dream up beyond that. But what is fun about Fosters, and the sort of thing I'm interested in, in everything I do, besides worldbuilding, is relationships. Who are these characters? How can we make our audience relate to them? And how do these characters relate to one-another, and what sort of conflicts come out of their relationships? And that's funny, because world building is like this HUGE THING and intrapersonal relationships is infinitely inward, and those are my two favorite things.

HN: Moving on to something else. In the past you've had some strong opinions on the so-called “Pink Aisle” in toy stores. Do you think that has changed in the last few recent years?

LF: Maybe a little, but not much I don't think. I've some other colors besides pink maybe come in to it, but you still see it. You know I was actually at a toy company studio a couple weeks ago, and I looked around, and it still-.The stuff for girls you see is still either cutsie litlte baby stuff or the fashion dolls. Ya know, “fashion, fashion, fashion”. I was looking at a line of dolls they had created, that hadn't done as well as they'd thought. They were really cool designs, but there were six girls and I couldn't tell the difference between any of them. They were all “this is the one who wears a hat” and “this is the one who has shiny shoes”, and “this is the blonde one, and this is the one with orange hair”. There was nothing more to it than that. I would love to be able to look at a girls toy and say, look at her clothes, look at her hair and go “oh, I know something about her, I can take a guess about her personality”, and that's not something you see in girls' toys enough. Pink, purple, and turquoise. Fushia. This horrible combination. It's like, every girl toy is this horrible combination of colors and it drives me bonkers. For me, pink has become symbolic of the limitations placed on girls and women. There's this whole world of colors – You only get pink! You don't get any other color, you only get pink. You can't use a pen unless it's pink, and you can't ride a bike unless its pink. It's become symbolic of that for me, and I hate it now.

HN: It's true, it's something I see in my little half-sister, I think she's nine now, and she grew out of ponies before I did -
LF: [laughs] That's awesome!
HN: Yeah well she's also really pissed sometimes because “I don't want the pink one, I want the black one!”, but that's “not a shirt for girls!”
LF: Yeah I can say the same thing happened to me! I was little, and pink was my favorite color, and I liked princesses, and after spending a whole childhood being told that was dumb and stupid, and worthless I switched over, and I wanted to be dark, and I stopped wearing skirts, and I only wore pants. Then I hit my 20's and I went “No that's not...I loved that stuff and I want it back.”

[other stuff while adjusting recorder]

HN: Once again, something completely different. You work on the side for the wildlife foundation, how did that come about?
LF: The Wildlife Learning Center! It's kinda an interesting story, because I have a very good friend named Tammy who I worked with for a very long time at Cartoon Network, and she and I, we're like, animal dorks together. She's the only person, who I can talk to about my dogs for three hours straight, who's actually interested, and vice-versa. And she just called me up one day and said “Hey, a friend of mine told me about a fundraiser at a zoo, and if you give them a dollar they'll let you pet a fennec fox!” And I went “YES! I am all over that!” And we went there, for the fundraiser, and we pet a fennec fox, and we held an owl, and we fed a porcupine, and we saw a sloth, and we held some snakes, and it was really fun. My friend Tammy went on to volunteer for that place, and a little while later – a couple years later – I started volunteering there. When I was volunteering there, exactly while I was working on My Little Pony, I'd go there one day every other weekend. I was just cleaning out chinchilla cages, like, I wasn't doing anything glamorous or interesting, but that was relaxing and it made me happy. You get to pick up the chinchilla before you clean the cage, and then you're holding a chinchilla! But as time went on, whenever they would have fundraisers, some of us would share it on social media, and all of a sudden, bronies were giving money to the Wildlife Learning Center, and they noticed. They asked me to be on the board of directors to help them raise money for the center – and I don't always just go for bronies, we raise money other ways, but I'm just so proud that to this day, bronies have raised about $40,000 for the Wildlife Learning Center. And they're always just making their budget, so it means so much. But it all just started because I wanted to pet a fennec fox! [Laughter]

HN: This is the question we HAVE to ask, do you still lurk 4chan, or any other inappropriate venue?
LF: [laughter] Inappropriate venue – certainly not as much as I used to, because...I just don't lurk around as much as I used to anyway. I've just kinda gone on and moved on to other things. I'll pop onto 4chan every once in a while. It's hard now to because everyone's talking about the current show, and I don't know anything about it. There isn't as much to pull me in, because I'm like “who's that character? I don't know who that is, and they're doing that with that guy now?” and that. And I wish I could say that I did but I don't so much any more.

HN: Well, there still is /co/...
LF: Yeah yeah, I go there sometimes actually. Craig and I will go there to see if anybody's talking about Wander Over Yonder [laughter].

HN: On your Twitter, you sometimes post a witch and her little cat -
LF: Yeah!

A cat and a witch are fine too

HN: Is that going to be something bigger?
LF: Hopefully! I'm trying to make it carry into something bigger, but I don't want to say yet, because I don't want to jinx it.

HN: Final question, If you had unlimited funds to do any project you wanted to do like a different IP or something new, what format would you choose and what would you do?
LF: Umm oh wow. I'm really excited about the idea of doing a series, an animated miniseries, for all ages, like we always do, maybe a little bit older so we can do edgier scarier stuff. I like the idea of mini series, because it has a finite ending, and you can explore or go off on tangents, a little bit more than if you're making movies. When you're making movies, it's perfectly linear, and most animated TV shows have no trajectory, it's kinda the same thing every episode. That's what I would want to do, but ya know, for girls -or, the characters are girls. Not for girls, for everybody. Main characters are girls, fantasy, adventure. That's my dream.

HN: And that's what enough people enjoy.
LF: Yeah It's my favorite stuff, and I do think that enough people who like it too. But if I had unlimited funds, then it doesn't matter if people like it! I can just make it and entertain myself!

HN: Well thank you very much!
LF: Thank you!



Well there you have it. We've held an interview with Lauren Faust and managed to keep the sauce in the cupboard. Thanks to Lauren for talking with us, best wishes!

Interviewer: SA
Photos: Rag and PhotoAnon
Transcribed by Capper

Comments (24)

  1. lol @ her holding that jersey with the tips of her fingers. i don't blame her.

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  2. And of course,4Chan being a hugbox if they like those peoples,you fail to mention how she's a cowardly feminazi that supported the harrasment of this NASA scientist guy with the anime t-shirt and that is backpedalling like crazy about her Femme Fatale Powerpuff episode.But Horse News was too busy bulding "Osaka Jack blocked me" buttons and fanboying how Faux-st use TEH CHAN pins to remember that fact

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    1. Nobody cares about some ancient tweets dude fuck off

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    2. the truth is, if horse news or /mlp/ legitimately cared about every horrible thing its staff/favorites in the fandom did, they'd be even worse self-deprecating faggots than they are now. Instead, they only constantly harrass people who are generally disliked or simply won't give a fuck.

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    3. Faust is just a person- a rather spacey and blathery one at that. It takes people like her several attempts to spit out whatever they're trying to say in a cohesive manner. And she's a fucking professional communicator.

      "backpedaling" on important issues (outside of things like elected officials where you need to know what you're getting) is usually a good thing with people whom have as much clout as Faust. It means they're putting in critical thought, instead of just picking sides and blindly sitting with them.

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    4. It's one post from a long time ago, and that is rather inconsistent behavior mate considering. I'd hardly call her a Feminazi over such a singular happening.
      But, that mostly comes from my own interpretation of the word I guess. Or not.

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    5. She retweets stuff from The Mary Sue all the time and has been for years. She didn't "backpedal" (which is never a positive thing, retard) on that Femme Fatale episode. She became what she criticized.

      The only reason Mama Faust doesn't sell you out for being misogynistic pissbabies and rape-apologizing shitlords is because MLP was the one time she made something popular and wasn't overshadowed by her husband. She's a pathetic old whore who won't stop clinging to past glory.

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  3. Nice interview!

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  4. Great interview! Thanks for doing this!

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  5. Well done! Some really interesting stuff, here.

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  6. I love you Faust. Thanks for everything, really.

    Craig's a top lad too

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  7. HN: Can we interview you?
    LF: Who are you?
    HN: We posted a story about a guy that kept a cum jar with a Rainbow Dash toy in it.
    LF: SOLD!

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    1. I literally use that article as a means of inducing vomiting.
      Works every time.

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    2. Horse News had some actual news for once? Never thought I'd see the day. Thank you for doing this interview.

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  8. good interview - I'll have to look for her in Wonder Over Yonder threads now

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  9. >tfw Lauren Faust and Tara Strong will never squish their naked boobs against one another

    The notion that this is still physically possible in this universe is the only thing stopping me from killing myself.

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    1. Same. Once one of them dies, I'm getting out the ye olde trusty rope.

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  10. PURPLE TRANNY
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  11. WILDLIFE LEARNING CENTER
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  12. Good interview. Kinda sad she's moved on though I guess I can understand why. I know the show isn't perfect but I think the writers put as much heart into it as they can. I hope maybe some day she's able to watch it and learn to love it again for its own sake. I wish her well and appreciate what she's given me thanks to the show.

    Oh, and to everyone being demeaning towards her? Not cool.

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    1. It's understandable. She left the show because either too much of what she came up with was scrapped, or too much of what she didn't want for the show happened. Now that she's left the show and it continued for another couple years, even what she enjoyed and left the show with seems to alienate her a bit.

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  13. Jeebus... I had this tab open for..... a month? Finally read it. Great job everyone, and saving the witch pic for future reference.

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