Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends

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Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
FHFIFLogo.png
Genre Comedy[1]
Created by Craig McCracken
Developed by Craig McCracken
Lauren Faust
Mike Moon
Written by Craig McCracken
Lauren Faust
Darrick Bachman
Craig Lewis
Tim McKeon
Adam Pava
Amy Keating Rogers
Rob Renzetti
Directed by Craig McCracken
Rob Renzetti (co-director, 1 episode)
Voices of Keith Ferguson
Sean Marquette
Phil LaMarr
Tom Kenny
Candi Milo
Grey DeLisle
Tom Kane
Tara Strong
Theme music composer James L. Venable
Composer(s) James L. Venable
Jennifer Kes Remington
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 77 (episodes)
79 (shows) (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Craig McCracken
Producer(s) Vincent Aniceto (Season 3–5)
Ryan Slater (Season 5–6)
Mike Moon (co-producer, Season 1–3)
Lauren Faust (supervising producer, Season 3–4)
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Cartoon Network Studios
Nelvana Limited
Distributor Warner Bros. Television
Broadcast
Original channel Cartoon Network
Picture format 480i (4:3 SDTV) (Seasons 1-4)
1080i (16:9 HDTV) (Seasons 5-6)
Audio format Dolby Digital
Original run August 13, 2004 (2004-08-13) – May 3, 2009 (2009-05-03)
External links
Website

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends (or simply Foster's for short) is an American animated television series created and produced at Cartoon Network Studios[2] by animator Craig McCracken (creator of The Powerpuff Girls and Wander Over Yonder). It first premiered on Cartoon Network on August 13, 2004, at 7:30 pm E/P as a 90-minute television movie, which led to a series of half-hour episodes. The series aired on Cartoon Network and its affiliates worldwide, except in Canada where it aired on English and Francophone Teletoon networks. The show finished its run on May 3, 2009 with a total of six seasons and seventy-nine episodes.

Overview[edit]

The series is set in a world where childhood imaginary friends coexist with humans and is set in an orphanage designed for outgrown or abandoned imaginary friends in which they may reside until adoption by another child. In the Foster's universe, imaginary friends take physical form and become real as soon as children think them up. Once the children outgrow them, the friends move to Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, where they stay until other children come to adopt them. The home is run by the elderly Madame Foster, its lovable, elderly founder; her imaginary friend Mr. Herriman, the strict rule-abider and business manager; and her granddaughter Frankie, who handles day-to-day operations.

After being forced to abandon his imaginary friend Bloo, a young boy named Mac bargains with the caretakers and employees working at Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends; that they guard Bloo from adoption so long as Mac continues to visit the center daily. The series focuses on the escapades experienced by the mischievous Bloo, Mac, and the array of eccentric, colorful characters inhabiting Foster's Home, or the obstacles with which they may be challenged.

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

  • Mac (voiced by Sean Marquette) – A bright, creative, happy-go-lucky, sensitive and somewhat shy 8-year-old boy and Bloo's creator and best friend who visits Foster's every day. Mac is often the voice of reason among his friends (especially Bloo) when they're making decisions. However, his good nature tends to make him somewhat naive. He is very attached to Bloo and it is shown in episodes such as "House of Bloos" and "Duchess of Wails" that his biggest fear is never seeing him again because Bloo is what keeps him happy and cheerful and vice versa. Mac becomes extremely high and hyperactive to the point of a rabid mania when he eats sugar. Once in this state, he will become impossible to control, will often become obsessed with seeking any other source of sugar, and if he gets hyperactive enough, will run around naked or in his underwear. He also has a huge crush on Frankie. Mac and Bloo are the two main protagonists of the series.
  • Bloo (voiced by Keith Ferguson) – Mac's 5-year-old imaginary friend and best friend who resembles a simple, domed cylinder. Bloo is often very self-centered, egotistic, narcissistic, and occasionally sociopathic as well as having a knack for getting in trouble. Despite all this, he still has a good heart and apologizes for his actions. Bloo loves paddle-balls even though he cannot make the ball hit the paddle (though the only time he was able to do it was in the episode "Let Your Hare Down"). His full name is "Blooregard Q. Kazoo". He became increasingly mischievous over the run of the series and can be a show-off. He is the only character to appear in every episode of the series. Note: Bloo was mentioned by Eric Cartman in the South Park trilogy episode Imagination Land as well as making a cameo appearience briefly. Mac and Bloo also made a cameo appearance in The Powerpuff Girls Series Finale: "The Powerpuff Girls Rule!"
  • Wilt (voiced by Phil LaMarr) – A very tall, friendly, caring, kind, helpful, red-colored disabled friend with only a right arm, and crooked left eye-stalk (which he describes as "wonky"). However, in "Good Wilt Hunting", it is discovered that he was not always this way; he was injured in a fateful accident during a basketball game, leaving his left arm crushed (and fell off sometime before or after he got to Foster's) and his eye injured. Wilt exhibits consummate good sportsmanship, which he applies to every part of life he can. He is considered the nicest person at Foster's and is known for being excessively polite and apologetic, saying "I'm sorry" in almost every sentence. Wilt has a big heart, is frequently cool and collected, and, only on very rare occasions shows anger at all. His name is an homage to NBA star Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt was shown to be created by Jordan Michaels, a basketball star (and a homage to Michael Jordan). His over-sized basketball shoes always squeak against the floor/ground, no matter what surface he is walking on. According to the episode "Room with a Feud", between him, Coco and Eduardo, he has been in the house for the longest time.
  • Eduardo (voiced by Tom Kenny) – A Spanish/Latino guardian friend. Eduardo is big, hairy and violet-purple, has horns, a snout, a pointy demon-like tail and large teeth. Despite his large size, overwhelming strength, and menacing demeanor, Eduardo is docile, timid, lacks confidence, and is very compassionate. He has a toddler-like nature, crying at minor negative occurrences, and being scared of almost everything. However, he can be ferocious if angered or in the circumstance that danger befalls his friends. Eduardo has a fondness for potatoes, dogs, and his cuddly toys. His creator, Nina Valerosa, is now a police officer.
  • Coco (voiced by Candi Milo) – A bird-airplane-palm tree friend who can only say (or write) her name at various speeds and different emphases. A talent unique to her is her ability to lay colorful, plastic eggs containing a plethora of objects from customized baseball cards to money, at will. Mac, Bloo, Eduardo, Frankie, Wilt, and others usually understand her when she speaks, and often translate for her (though Wilt once admitted that he has no idea what she attempts to convey). Despite her helter-skelter appearance and quirky behavior, she can demonstrate a perceived intelligence, principle and kindness. No one knows who her creator is as she was found on a South Pacific island by two scientists named Adam and Douglas, in reference to the late writer, Douglas Adams.
  • Frankie (voiced by Grey DeLisle) – Madame Foster's 22-year-old redheaded granddaughter and Mac's romantic interest, addressed as "Miss Frances" by Mr. Herriman. Her Parents are never seen or mentioned in the series. Frankie is the caregiver at Foster's and helps keep everything in order. In spite of Mr. Herriman's fussiness and fixation with rules and cleanliness, having to take care of everyone and everything in the house, and Bloo's mischief-making (all of which cause her tremendous stress and a bad temper), she is usually very friendly, out-going, and easy-going. According to her driver's license in "Bus the Two of Us", she was born on July 25, 1984. She once made a cameo appearance in the The Powerpuff Girls Series Finale: "The Powerpuff Girls Rule!".
  • Mr. Herriman (voiced by Tom Kane) – A gray and white elderly anthropomorphic lop ear rabbit friend imagined by Madame Foster who speaks with a British accent. He wears a tailcoat, white gloves and a top hat, as well as a monocle over his left eye (though it is sometimes seen over his right eye). He is in charge of the house (the "President" of Foster's) and is extremely strict about the house rules (or just politeness and order in general), but he is also seen to put the rules before common sense, as seen in "Destination: Imagination" when he sticks to the rule written on the chained up toy box of never letting the imaginary friend who is trapped in there out despite what would happen to him if he didn't. He is often found punishing Bloo for his various misdemeanors. It was revealed in "Busted" that the reason Mr. Herriman is so hard on Bloo is because he feels that, given that he is allowed to stay at Foster's even though he still has an owner, he has already broken one of the main house rules. He is extremely fond of his creator Madame Foster, harboring great respect and loyalty to her, even at her most prominent levels of unabashed pep and energy. Mr. Herriman may be considered unruly Madame Foster's superego. On the other hand, Herriman has a love/hate relationship with Frankie, usually working with her to preserve order at Foster's, yet just as often scolding her for what he perceives (often inaccurately) as "laziness" and "immaturity" from her part (usually stemming from the fact that the amount of work she has to do is too much for her to get all of it done in certain time frames). However, at the end of the 90-minute special "Destination: Imagination", Herriman admits that he was wrong and finally comes to respect and appreciate Frankie. He also has fear of dogs (due to the fact that dogs are natural predators of rabbits) and is easily scared out of his wits whenever he comes across a dog as shown in the episodes "Who Let the Dogs In?", and "Setting a President".
  • Madame Foster (voiced by Candi Milo) – The founder of Foster's and the maternal grandmother of Frankie. Madame Foster is elderly but has childlike boundless energy and enjoys life to its fullest. Her imaginary friend is Mr. Herriman, whom she imagined when she was a child and never gave up. Like Bloo, Madame Foster occasionally becomes hyperactive and mischievous. However, there are times she's shown to be the wisdom of the house.

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Duchess (voiced by Grey DeLisle) - A "high-maintenance" pedigree friend who is pompous, ugly, rude, arrogant, selfish, self-centered, and lazy up to the points she orders Frankie to open her eyelids for her first thing in the morning and speaks with a deep foreign accent. She considers herself superior to all the other imaginary friends, is extremely negative towards everyone, and never says anything nice (despite this, she has helped someone in four episodes, albeit for selfish reasons). Whenever Duchess turns on the spot, her entire body pivots like a sheet of paper being flipped, revealing that she is two-dimensional (however, in the pilot movie "House of Bloos", she was not two-dimensional). Her full name is "Her Royal Duchess Diamond Persnickety the First, Last, and Only".
  • Goo (voiced by Grey DeLisle) – A hyper-imaginative, talkative girl who first appeared in the episode "Go Goo Go". Her parents allowed her to name herself when she was a baby resulting in the full name "Goo Goo Ga Ga". Goo enjoys playing games such as Checkers and Truth or Dare, but she does not know how to play and Mac is the only one who notices. In her first appearance she constantly created friends because she had no real friends because of her odd behavior. She finally stopped making new friends after Mac told her to get to know the ones she had made already. However, she has still created a few by mistake or to help on rare occasions. She is also shown to be friends with Cheese, as both of them get along because of their odd doings. She looks a little older than Mac, though it's never been stated how old she is.
  • Terrence (voiced by Tara Strong) – Mac's 13-year-old brother and the primary villain of the series. He enjoys bullying Mac and coming up with various schemes to make Mac's life hard and miserable, usually trying to keep Mac and Bloo from seeing each other ever again. His stupidity always gets the better of him, making him easily outsmarted by Mac or Bloo.
  • Jackie Khones (voiced by Phil LaMarr) - Another imaginary friend who is one foot tall, green, with a deep voice and only one eye. He also has a love for sandwiches. Jackie Khones is a minor character in all appearances except for "Cheese A-Go Go" and "Jackie Khones and the Case of the Overdue Library Crook". He usually makes a deal with someone (usually keeping a secret) but it always involves making a sandwich. But overall he is a friendly but serious imaginary friend who is willing to help anyone as long as they make him a sandwich.
  • Cheese (voiced by Candi Milo) - A simple, pale-yellow-colored friend who debuted in "Mac Daddy". Cheese was thought to be an imaginary friend accidentally created by Mac, but was actually created by Mac's neighbor Louise. He appears to be a nuisance and dim-witted, often saying incoherent or non-sequitur phrases, and breaking into sudden bouts of screaming when frightened or when he doesn't get his way. Cheese likes goldfish crackers, cereal, juice, chocolate milk (although he is lactose-intolerant), etc. In the series finale "Goodbye to Bloo", he becomes the newest resident at Foster's, much to the other residents' horror.

Recurring Imaginary Friends[edit]

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

  • Keith Ferguson as Bloo, Dr. Abert Einsfodhiddle, Dylan Lee, Harold, Paddle Paul, Stats
  • Sean Marquette as Mac
  • Phil LaMarr as Wilt, Jackie Kohnes Ben E. Factor, Blake Superior, Bowling Paul, Charlie, Red, Clumsy, Imaginary Prince Charming, Imaginary Santa, Jamez Withazee, Larry McGee, Jordan Michaels, Moishe, Mr. Applebee, Peas, Rod Tango, The New Guy
  • Tom Kenny as Eduardo, Abraham Lincoln Pen, Chris, Creaky Pete, Geezer, Goofball John McGee, Kip Snip, Old Man Rivers, One Eyed Cy, Richie Wildebrath, Scissors, The Unknown Friend
  • Candi Milo as Coco, Madame Foster, Cheese, Crackers, Erin Peterson, Hootin' Andy, Mrs. Treemont, Nina Valerosa, Scribbles
  • Grey DeLisle as Frankie, Duchess, Mac's Mother, Berry, Consuela, Eurotrish, Flo Jehrkins Fluffer Nutter, Goo Goo Gaga, Louise, Mabel Licorice, Nemesis, Stevie, Stupid
  • Tom Kane as Mr. Herriman, Cyrus, Funky, Imaginary Santa, Joe Ice Charade, Mr. McGee, Slate
  • Tara Strong as Terrence

Additional voices[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 13 August 13, 2004 October 22, 2004
2 13 January 11, 2005 July 15, 2005
3 14 July 22, 2005 March 24, 2006
4 13 April 28, 2006 November 23, 2006
5 13 May 4, 2007 March 7, 2008
6 13 March 13, 2008 May 3, 2009
Shorts 18 June 9, 2006 August 7, 2007

The show spanned seventy-nine episodes and six seasons; it has also aired 18 shorts.

Reception[edit]

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends was named the 85th best animated series by IGN, which called it very funny and endearing.[3] Mike Pinsky, in a review on DVD Verdict, praised the art design and the characterizations,[4] particularly singling out Cheese as possibly “the quintessence of Foster's surreal charm" in his season two review.[5]

Awards[edit]

Annie Awards[edit]

The show was nominated for four Annie Awards in 2004,[6] and 5 more in 2005, winning two awards that year for Best Original Music in a Television Series (James L. Venable and Jennifer Kes Remington for "Duchess of Wails") and Production Design in an Animated TV Series (McCracken with Mike Moon, David Dunnet and Martin Ansolabehere for the Christmas episode "A Lost Claus").[7] Five more nominations came in 2006, with three wins as Best Animated Television Production, Best Original Music in a TV Series (Venable and Remington winning again for "One False Movie") and Production Design in a TV Series (Ansolabehere by himself for the one-hour "Good Wilt Hunting" episode).[8] Venable and Remington teamed up for the show's lone Annie nominee in 2007, for their original music in a TV series for "The Bloo Superdude and the Magic Potato of Power".[9] The show was able to garner 2 more nominations in 2009 for the categories Character Design in a Television Production and Production Design in a Television Production with the nominees being Janice Kubo and Ben Balistreri respectively.

Emmy Awards[edit]

The show has won a total of seven Emmy Awards. The episode "House of Bloo's" won two Emmy Awards for art direction (Mike Moon) and character design (Craig McCracken). "World Wide Wabbit" won an Emmy for best storyboard (Ed Baker). The show's theme song (described by McCracken as "psychedelic ragtime" and written by Venable) was nominated for Best TV Show Theme in 2005, but lost to Danny Elfman's theme to Desperate Housewives. The episode "Go Goo Go" was nominated for Best Animated Program Under One Hour in 2006, and Character Design supervisor Shannon Tindle won an Emmy that same year for that same episode. The 2006 episode "Good Wilt Hunting" was nominated in 2007 for Best Animated Program One Hour or Longer, but lost to the Camp Lazlo TV movie "Where's Lazlo?". However, David Dunnet won an Emmy for his background key design for said episode. The 2008 television movie "Destination Imagination" won another Emmy in 2009 for Best Animated Program One Hour or Longer.[10]

Merchandising[edit]

Other than in-house items such as Cartoon Network's internet shop (T-shirts, a Bloo plush, etc.), there has not been much as far as major products. As of 2006, there has been a statue series with Bloo, Mac, and Eduardo featured in the first statue. A second statue features Frankie, Madame Foster, and Mr. Herriman released in December 2006, and the third in the series featuring Wilt and Coco was released in January 2007. Two limited edition inkjet (giclée) cels – one with the cast posing for a picture, the other styled like a cross-stitch — were also created. Since then, the merchandising has begun to pick up steam. DVD season boxsets have been released with seasons one and two being released in Region 1 and Region 4 during 2007 by Warner Home Video and Madman Entertainment. About three years later, Season three was released in Region 4 in May 2010. On November 2014, Season 3 was released in Region 1. Seasons four, five, and six have not been released on DVD yet, however all seasons have been released on iTunes, the PlayStation Network, and Google Play in the US.

Scholastic Books has printed game and story books based on episodes, as well as a Game Boy Advance game created by CRAVE Entertainment, which was released in the fall of 2006. Called Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, the player controls Mac or Bloo while collecting items to complete objectives. Another game for Nintendo DS debuted in November 2007 titled "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Imagination Invaders". It is based on the episode "Make Believe It or Not" where Goo imagines the Evil Space Nut-Boogies. The player controls Bloo using the buttons on the Nintendo DS console. The main objective of the game is to rescue Madame Foster who has been kidnapped by Space Nut Boogies. To do this the player must earn the cooperation of different characters from the television series by performing tasks for them in order to gain their help. Both games have received generally less than satisfactory reviews.

Since January 2007, as part of an overall deal with Cartoon Network, Mattel has released items related to the mass marketing of the show. T-shirts and other merchandise featuring the characters made by clothing line Mighty Fine and accessories made by Loungefly have been appearing in popular teen stores such as Hot Topic, who have also produced a gift card featuring Mac and Cheese. Most of the merchandise sold at Hot Topic started to sell in late 2006, ceased selling in late 2008 with the show's hiatus, and began selling again in 2010 after the series ended.

In 2011 there was a Nintendo 3DS game including the Foster's crew called Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion.

Promotions[edit]

Adoption online[edit]

In 2005, Cartoon Network Latin America website gave viewers a chance to adopt an imaginary friend online, with Wilt, Coco, and Eduardo as their choices. Similar to Neopets, the players gave their friends food to eat (some good, some not so good) and games to play to keep their imaginary friend happy. At the end of the promotional period, the adopters got a certificate thanking them for participating.

In September 2005, a similar month long game was launched in the United States on Cartoon Network's official site, along with a separate link at FostersFriends.com. In addition to the three previously mentioned friends, players could adopt Uncle Pockets, Cheese, or Ivan. This updated version also used the voice actors associated with those characters, improved graphics, and increased use of Flash animation. Until December 10, 2005, those who made adoptions were able to keep an eye on them. Many of the character reactions have been incorporated into bumpers since May 29, 2006 on Cartoon Network. Through late 2006 and into 2007, this game was known as "Adopt An Imaginary Friend 2" on Cartoon Network's Latin American site. Mac, Bloo, and a few other characters from Foster's are also in the online game FusionFall.

Big Fat Awesome House Party[edit]

On May 15, 2006, Cartoon Network introduced a new online game, Big Fat Awesome House Party, which allows players to create an online friend to join Bloo and the others in a one-year game online, and earn points that would give them gifts, cards and other on-line "merchandise" for their albums. Their friend, made from one of over 900,000 possible characters, could wind up in a future episode of Foster's. The game became so popular that in May 2007 Cartoon Network announced that the game would continue for six more months, into November of that year.[11] In November 2007, the game officially ended. For a brief time after the ending of the game, a message would appear when the URL was typed saying "All parties must come to an end". Now, the URL redirects to the Cartoon Network home page.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade[edit]

From 2006 to 2009, Cartoon Network furnished a Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends float as part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The float was fashioned as a replica of the home.

Each year, the imaginary friends cover a pop song about friendship when the float arrives in front of Macy's Herald Square store. Bloo, Wilt, Coco and Eduardo performed the Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends" in 2006; Cheese made a silent cameo at the end. The following year, Cheese covered Queen's "You're My Best Friend" and screamed his catchphrase, "I like chocolate milk!" at the end.

In 2008, the group began to sing "Best Friend"—originally recorded by Harry Nilsson as the theme song to The Courtship of Eddie's Father—when the song suddenly stopped, and Rick Astley came out of the house singing "Never Gonna Give You Up," effectively Rickrolling everyone watching the parade. At this time, Cheese exclaims, "I Like Rickrolling!"[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ - Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends - Metacritic.com
  2. ^ "10th Anniversary Interview With Creator Craig McCracken | Cold Hard Flash: Flash Animation News, Videos and Links". Cold Hard Flash. 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  3. ^ "85, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends". IGN. 2009-01-23. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  4. ^ Pinsky, Mike (2007-03-21). "Case Number 11045: Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends: The Complete Season 1". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  5. ^ Pinsky, Mike (2007-11-28). "Case Number 12469: Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends: The Complete Season 2". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  6. ^ "Legacy: 32nd Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2004)". International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  7. ^ "Legacy: 33rd Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2005)". International Animated Film Society: ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  8. ^ "Legacy: 34th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2006)". International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  9. ^ "Ratatouille Cooks Up Most Annie Nominations". Animation World Network. 2007-12-03. Retrieved 2009-03-07. 
  10. ^ "Foster's Home Wins Emmy over Afro Samurai: Resurrection". Anime News Network. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "BFAHP web site". Web.archive.org. 2007-10-29. Archived from the original on 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  12. ^ McCarthy, Caroline (2008-11-27). "Thanksgiving parade gets a live 'Rickroll' | The Social - CNET News". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 

External links[edit]