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|My Little Pony: The Art of Equestria|
|Published||October 13, 2015|
|Author||Mary Jane Begin|
|Allusions • Little, Brown and Company • Hachette Book Group|
My Little Pony: The Art of Equestria is a hardcover book by Mary Jane Begin (the author and illustrator of My Little Pony: Under the Sparkling Sea) and Hasbro, Inc. that shows the artwork that was used to develop My Little Pony Friendship is Magic into a series. Included are concept art and sketches by Lauren Faust, along with an interview with her, a foreword by Jayson Thiessen, and information from DHX about how the show is designed. Also included are comments by "Big" Jim Miller, Rebecca Dart, and other Hasbro and DHX senior staff.
The book is 216 pages long and covers season one through the fourteenth episode of season five. It is published by Abrams Books (Harry N. Abrams, Inc.) on October 13, 2015.
My Little Pony: The Art of Equestria presents, for the first time, a deep exploration of the art and illustrations from this beloved animated series, Friendship Is Magic. Beginning with the show's premiere and taking readers through its fifth season, the book offers an amazing collection of the art and design that bring this wonderful series to life. The book takes readers behind the scenes of the show and explores how favorite characters and the landscape of Equestria came to look as they are today. Beyond the television show, My Little Pony: The Art of Equestria also examines the intriguing fan culture—including the fan art movement inspired by Friendship Is Magic. With a rich array of conceptual art, episode storyboards, and memorable scenes from the show, My Little Pony: The Art of Equestria is the ultimate guidebook, collector's item, and fan keepsake.
Jayson Thiessen, who was still the supervising director of the show at the time the book was being written, offers his take on the creation of the world of Equestria. Mainly, he comments that the show attempts to avoid anything human-related at all costs, and keep in mind that it is a world inhabited by ponies.
Mary Jane Begin provides some introductory comments on how research for the book was gathered.
The history of the My Little Pony brand is discussed, starting with Generation 1, moving on to Generation 3 and Generation 3.5, leading up to the current generation, Generation 4. Some drawings from Lauren Faust's show bible are displayed. This is followed by an interview with Faust herself. Following the interview is the basic drawing anatomy of a pony, using unicorn Twilight Sparkle as an example. Art director Rebecca Dart and episode director Jim Miller give some insight on varying the shapes of the ponies, as well as dressing them up.
This section of the book focuses on the characters on the show, starting with the Mane Six. Some earlier colorizations and concept designs of the Mane Six are shown on their respective character pages. Some smaller pictures of the Mane Six's pets are also seen on their respective pages. The extended family section focuses on Spike, as well as the royalty figures, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Zecora, and the Wonderbolts, while the background ponies are discussed on a page dedicated to the Slice of Life episode.
Foils & Foes
This section of the book focuses on the antagonists of the series, beginning with Discord. The following pages discuss Queen Chrysalis, Ahuizotl, King Sombra, and Lord Tirek. Starlight Glimmer's page reveals her mane was originally two shades of purple, as well as different mane styles and cutie marks for her. Her coloration parallels Twilight Sparkle due to a similar talent for magic and for being "a proto-Twilight character".
Creatures & Mythical Beasts
The various mythical creatures that inhabit Equestria, as well as the buffalo and the griffons. Also discusses how the design of a character can lead to issues with animating its movements and whether or not it is top-heavy, as well as considerations that are taken into account for characters with wings.
Concept and final designs of various locations in Equestria are displayed, beginning with Ponyville and the homes of the Mane Six. Influences on the artwork include "Pennsylvania Dutch designs, steampunk fantasy art, old European fairy tales, and Bavarian folk art", Greek architecture, and how a location like Manehattan cannot have any technology after the 1900s.
Behind the Scenes
This section provides an in-depth look at the making of various episodes, including some original storyboard panels. The episodes included in the first part show how they tie into a facet of the character's traits and behavior. The second part provides more storyboards for the spotlighted episodes and discusses the influences, small details and the balance of action sequences verses dialogue-heavy episodes.
This section spotlights the bronies and brony artists, as well as some words from Hasbro principal girls' toys designer Matt Mattus and WeLoveFine contest director Beth Love. Showcases over two dozen pictures from an almost equal amount of artists, including Scotty Arsenault, author of the web-based Commander Kitty comic strip and storyboard artist on the TV show Astroblast!