Back in December, we threw the spotlight onto a set of amazing backgrounds created for the Masters of the Universe cartoon, proving that while they're often literally overshadowed by other aspects of animation, there's an incredible amount of detail work that goes into backgrounds that always makes them worth a look. That's why I was pretty excited when I ran across a set of incredible pieces of concept art from the Internet's new favorite cartoon, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.UPDATE: The location designs have been confirmed by a member of the MLP production staff as being part of the original pitch.

From what I've gathered, they first showed up online at 4Chan -- the source of pretty much everything wonderful and terrible on the Internet -- and they're definitely worth a look. Check them out next to the versions that appeared on the show:

First up is Sweet Apple Acres, a farm centered around an orchard, but where the ponies also keep both chickens and pigs. This raised some questions among viewers -- especially since there are cows on the show who can talk, making the concept of livestock even weirder than it already was in a society built by horses -- but according to Faust, they're just there because they needed a home.

The Sketch:
In The Show:

Next up, Twilight Sparkle's Treehouse Library, which has astounded everyone by not yet being made into a playset. Also, while this is probably just me, I've become convinced that it's just the same treehouse from Adventure Time, just shot from the back, a realization that's pushed me closer to writing fan-fiction than I've ever been before:

The Sketch:
In The Show:

Finally, and most awesomely, there's Canterlot, which managed to beat out both Fillydelphia and Manehattan to win the title of best horse-related city pun on the show. Despite being featured in the opening sequence and used as a location in a few episodes, Canterlot's never been shown with the level of detail in the sketch. The detail present here -- if it is in fact legit -- really underscores Seussian influence on Faust's art that was also very prominent on her last project with Craig McCracken, Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends.

The Sketch:
In The Show:

As for art that we definitely know the origins for, Faust has recently posted concept sketches on her DeviantArt page, done way back in 2008:

Twilight Sparkle
Pinkie Pie


That's right, everybody: Pinkie Pie was originally meant to be a pegasus. One can only imagine how different things would've been if that had happened.

Faust recently sold these sketches on eBay in order to raise money for the ongoing relief efforts in Japan, and along with her original concepts, she also included oneof a more recent vintage, "Derpy Hooves."

Originally a background character who got a set of googly eyes due to a production error, Derpy achieved full on meme status shortly thereafter and was adopted by fans as a mascot for the show. And in a testament to her popularity, the sketch above is currently going for over two thousand dollars in the benefit auction.

For more art and information on the auctions, check out Faust's DeviantArt page!

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