Joshua Ostroff of The Grid just published an insightful interview with Craig McCracken that touches on Lauren’s departure from My Little Pony, Craig’s ambitions with Wander Over Yonder and similarities between the shows, and similar ties to Powerpuff Girls. About her departure:
“It was not an easy decision and she’s not happy about it,” McCracken reveals. “I know there were things she wanted to do with that series that she just wasn’t able to do. It’s difficult trying to make a show like that for a toy company. She had big ideas and I don’t know she was able to get them on the screen, and there’s still some frustration with that.”
While the show hasn’t exactly lost its following in Faust’s absence, it has made a controversial move with My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, a spin-off that turned the ponies into teens and made the show sadly gender-stereotyped.
“I don’t think [Lauren]’s the biggest fan of that,” McCracken deadpans. “That’s one of those things would have made her leave anyway. If they had told her you have to turn them into human beings now and they have to go high school, she would have said, ‘No, that’s exactly what I didn’t want to do with this show.’ Lauren’s priority was telling stories and Hasbro’s priority was selling toys. It’s a different way of approaching the work and it was difficult for her to bridge that gap.”
And about Wander Over Yonder and the show’s similarities to Powerpuff Girls:
“But even though he’s a male character, there’s also a lot of flipping of how a typical male hero behaves. Wander doesn’t hit anybody, he’s nonviolent, and loves hugging people. He’s Mr. Friendly and wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s a very sweet and loveable and innocent guy, so even as a male character he doesn’t speak to the typical male stereotypes. I just wanted a hero who could save the day in different ways.”
In that way, Wander feels as subversive as Powerpuff, and when it does play with stereotypes, it piles them on until they’re hilariously meaningless—the first episode literally featured a shark-man on a dinosaur fighting a robot!
Finally, he even teases that Lauren might or will hopefully get her own show again although “Faust’s interest in long-form narrative isn’t possible in ‘an 11-minute cartoony cartoon.’” It’s not entirely clear whether there is something on the horizon or whether it’s just a hope for now.
(Thanks to InC for the heads-up.)