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Creator / Lauren Faust

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"Cartoons for girls don't have to be a puddle of smooshy, cutesy-wootsy, goody-two-shoeness. Girls like stories with real conflict; girls are smart enough to understand complex plots; girls aren't as easily frightened as everyone seems to think."
Lauren Faust on developing My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

Lauren Faust (born July 25, 1974) is an American animator whose projects include The Powerpuff Girls, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, and DC Super Hero Girls. For a long time now, Lauren has been trying to get strong female leads for animation. She was attached to direct the forthcoming CGI feature Medusa for Sony Pictures Animation, but left the project in November 2015. She gave birth to a daughter, her first child, in 2016 and is currently working on her first novel and raising her child.

She was born in Annapolis, Maryland and studied at the California Institute of the Arts (better known as CalArts) and decided to go into the animation industry. Lauren has been known for the preteen girls' Web site Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls, as well as being married to animator Craig McCracken. Her DeviantArt account is located here. She has a Twitter here. And she uses the tripcodes !5l/hHZnoEA and (on Ponychan) !cdljAQmhl.

No relation to the other Faust, although that just might offer an explanation as to how she found a way to get grown men to like ponies.

Films and other works Lauren Faust has worked on:

  • The Maxx: The Animated Series, started out in the business here. She did the character layout. Was given part of Julie.
  • Cats Don't Dance: Animator, she was given parts of Danny to animate on what the other animators didn't finish, and she later did a few scenes with Sawyer.
  • Quest for Camelot: Animator, but she pretends that it never happened.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): Storyboard artist, writer, director of several episodes, as well as supervising director for the show. She also was a writer for The Powerpuff Girls Movie.
  • The Iron Giant: Animator. Lauren's crew handled mostly Hogarth and Annie, but got to do a little work on Dean as well.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Writer, developer, story editor, storyboard artist and character designer; she also wrote/co-wrote the made-for-TV specials Good Wilt Hunting and Destination Imagination, the latter of which won an Emmy in 2009. The design and personality of Frankie Foster is confirmed to have been partly based on Lauren.
  • Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls: An original concept featuring girls named after planets and other celestial objects, a la Sailor Moon. She hopes to someday develop this into a show of her own. Faust is holding stuffed dolls of the characters in the page pic. The web site is now defunct, but can still be found archived here.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Series developer, executive producer, storyboard artist and creative director for the first season of the show, and consulting producer for the second season of the show. It is often considered as a Spiritual Successor to The Powerpuff Girls.
  • Super Best Friends Forever: A series of roughly one-minute shorts starring Batgirl, Supergirl, and Wonder Girl for Cartoon Network's DC Nation block.
  • Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony: Was a producer alongside John de Lancie and Tara Strong.
  • Wander over Yonder: Was co-producer and head of story in its first season.
  • Them's Fightin' Herds: Her first time working on a video game property. After the Indie Game team Mane6 received a C&D from Hasbro for their 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic based fighting game, Lauren volunteered to work with them to create a new world and characters for an original property.
  • DC Super Hero Girls: A TV series developed by her based on the online shorts premiered on Cartoon Network in March 2019. Executive produced the first season of the series.
  • Kid Cosmic: Credited as a character designer and developernote .
  • Medusa: A planned animated feature from Sony about the classical mythology character. This would have been her debut as a feature film director, but she left the project in 2015; it has since been scrapped.
  • Toil and Trouble: A series about a tween witch named Smudge and her relationship with her cat, Jinx. Adapted from young adult novel Faust had been developing, it was pitched to Netflix and was greenlit, but got canceled halfway through production.

Tropes and Trivia that apply to Lauren Faust:

  • Animesque: Her art style at least has the large eyes associated with anime. And at least two of her shows are also seen as Animesque.
  • Artist Disillusionment: During the production of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, she pitched several shows with female leads to various networks, none of which sold and by the mid-2000s, the head-butting with executives became so exhaustive that she left the animation business briefly to work on her toyline Milky Way and The Galaxy Girls, which turned out to be even more difficult. She eventually returned to the business to do Friendship Is Magic.
  • Author Appeal:
    • Chocolate milk and references to both The Big Lebowski and "The Trouble With Tribbles" episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, for some reason.
    • Lauren takes gender equality very seriously and a greater portion of her career has been to use any and every opportunity she gets to put more emphasis on stronger female characters and saving femininity from a bad reputation.
  • Creator Backlash: Faust is notoriously hard on herself.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • She felt that the message of "Feeling Pinkie Keen", that there are some things which cannot be explained by logic, was poorly executed and came off as anti-science.
      • Lauren did not agree with the introduction of Cadance as an alicorn, claiming it invokes Uniqueness Decay on the part of Celestia and Luna.
      • She also has decidedly mixed feelings about Twilight Sparkle's promotion to royalty at the end of Season 3. While she did intend for Twilight to be Celestia's successor (which happened at the end of the series during season 9), she also said, "I never used the words 'Alicorn' or 'Princess'." She also complained that the show-accurate Funko figurine line did not have a wingless Twilight, lamenting that her set would remain incomplete as a result.
    • She expressed regret over writing the infamous Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Everybody Knows It's Bendy" in a ToonZone post, citing its shorter runtime (which cut out several key plot points) and unsatisfying outcome.
    • Lauren admittedly wishes she didn't write the episode "Equal Fights" from The Powerpuff Girls. In retrospect, she finds Straw Feminism too touchy a subject to discuss in a cartoon so lighthearted.
    • As one of her DeviantArt followers quickly learned, do NOT, under any circumstances, bring up her indie comic Supermodels Don't Know Kung-Fu.
    • She absolutely hated Quest for Camelot, feeling it was a horrible attempt at a feminist message. She later claimed that, because she was hired late in production, she had no idea what the movie was even about when animating for it, and was furious when she saw it.
  • Creator Couple: With Craig McCracken.
  • Dye Hard: Her official file photo shows her with bright red hair. After leaving Friendship Is Magic, she changed to a noticeably darker colour, but it's still quite red.
  • Fanservice: She made a series of drawings labeled "Halloween cheesecake", featuring sexy monsters. She also did some parody "fan" art of Sawyer from Cats Don't Dance that likely falls under this.
  • Line to God: She has a DeviantArt account and a Twitter account.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: By all accounts, her greatest claim to fame is Friendship Is Magic, but Lauren herself has said that her favorite show to work on was Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, both because it was the first original show she worked on from the ground up and she had some of her happiest personal memories from it (she and her husband had just gotten engaged).
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: She made sure that there was to be no romance among the main characters in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, as she considers it to be a major factor in bringing down thousands of girl's shows. Any romance shown, such as the weddings in "A Canterlot Wedding" (season 2), is for side characters only. Ultimately subverted by the time of the show's grand finalenote , though she had no involvement in it. As with her husband and his work, this applies to real life as well, as the two of them always keep a professional stance and are never romantic in public (their only publicly-released wedding photo is of them fist-bumping).
  • One-Hit Wonder: She's worked on a few animated films, and a couple animated shows, but Friendship is Magic is the only work she herself created that was a success or was able to get off the ground (and even then, she only worked on the first two seasons). The only other cartoon she created was the DC Nation Super Best Friends Forever shorts for Cartoon Network, which eventually turned into DC Super Hero Girls.
  • Production Posse: Nearly every show she's worked on includes Tara Strong.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: She is 100% opposed to this mentality, stating that most girl-centered cartoons fail due to bad writing/directing and not because of any inherent "girliness".
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: A good part of her character designs seems to be influenced by her time in The Powerpuff Girls. And most of those characters can kick a lot of butt. Including the aforementioned Powerpuff Girls.
  • Running the Asylum:
    • She was a big My Little Pony (well, the toys at least) fan when she was a kid. Years later, she got the chance to make My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
    • She was a huge fan of The Powerpuff Girls in it's first two seasons and begged her friend on the staff to let her take a storyboard test. Not only did she get hired, she married the creator!
  • Strictly Formula: She says it's mostly unintentional, and there are differences between characters, but there are some recurring character archetypes in her works such as a goofy Genki Girl (Mars, Pinkie Pie, Batgirl), an athletic tomboy (Mercury, Rainbow Dash, Supergirl), and so on.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Faust was pitching her idea for a Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls TV show to Hasbro when they asked her to instead create the next My Little Pony series.
    • In a retroactive example, Faust stated during a Them's Fightin' Herds livestream that she wishes she'd known about longma while working on Friendship Is Magic, since the core concept of Discord was a dragon-horse hybrid.
    • She was originally going to direct a feature film titled Medusa for Sony Pictures Animation, but issues regarding the new mandate that was made caused her to back out of it.
    • In the fallout of Netflix's animation studio all but collapsing in on itself, it was revealed that one of the many in-production series to have been cancelled was an original series by Faust titled Toil & Trouble, centering around the adventures of a young witch and her cat.