Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends is an American animated television series created and produced at http://www.bouldermedia.tv/  by animator Craig McCracken, creator of The Powerpuff Girls. It first premiered on Cartoon Network on August 13, 2004, 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 has aired on English and Francophone Teletoon networks due to Canadian television ownership regulations. The show finished its run on May 3, 2009 with a total of 79 episodes.
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 founder; her friend Mr. Herriman, the business manager; and her granddaughter Frankie, who handles day-to-day operations.
Mac is an eight-year-old boy, whom his mother told that he needs to give up his friend Bloo, who hears about Foster's and thinks it will be a perfect place for him to stay. Bloo moves in with the lanky and one-armed Wilt, the scary-looking but cowardly Eduardo, and the bizarre bird/airplane/tree friend Coco. He is saddened to learn that staying at Foster's makes him eligible for adoption by another child, but eventually Madame Foster makes a special deal: as long as Mac visits every day, Bloo can live there and not be adopted.
In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends universe, imaginary friends (or "friends" for short) become physical beings the instant a child imagines them; unlike how the concept often works on other shows, an imaginary friend takes physical and emotional form after a child creates specific details about that character. Unfortunately for them, the children eventually outgrow them around ages 7–8. When this happens, the friends are left to fend for themselves. Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends was founded by the elderly Madame Foster to provide a foster home for abandoned imaginary friends.
There are (according to "Setting a President") 1,340 imaginary friends in Foster's Home; however, at the end of "Emancipation Complication", Madame Foster states that there are 2,038 imaginary friends currently residing in the house, plus Bloo and Mr. Herriman. The house motto is "Where good ideas are not forgotten".
The inspiration came when McCracken and his wife, Lauren Faust, adopted a pair of dogs from an adoption shelter. McCracken wondered how things would be if there was a similar place for childhood imaginary friends.
- Mac – A bright, creative, sensitive and somewhat shy 8-year-old boy and Bloo's creator and best friend who visits Foster's. 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 vise versa. Mac becomes extremely hyperactive to the point of a rabid mania when he eats sugar. Once in this state, he will become impossible to control and will often become obsessed with seeking any other source. Mac also is enemies with Frankie. Mac and Bloo are the two main protagonists of the series. He is voiced by Sean Marquette.
- Bloo – Mac's 5-year-old imaginary friend and best friend who resembles a simple, domed cylinder. Bloo is sometimes self-centered, egotistic, and narcissistic, and has a knack for getting in trouble. However, he still has a good heart and apologizes for his actions. Bloo loves paddleballs even though he can't 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 over the series and can be a show-off. He is voiced by Keith Ferguson.
- Wilt – A very friendly, red-colored friend with a stubby left arm and crooked left eyestalk (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 arm crushed 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. 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 oversized basketball shoes always squeak against the floor/ground, no matter what surface he is walking on. He is voiced by Phil LaMarr.
- Eduardo – A Spanish guardian friend. 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. He is voiced by Tom Kenny.
- Coco – 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 admits 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 an island by two scientists named Adam and Douglass, in reference to the late writer, Douglas Adams. She is voiced by Candi Milo.
- Frankie – Madame Foster's 22-year-old granddaughter, addressed as "Miss Frances" by Mr. Herriman. 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), she is usually very friendly and easy-going. According to her driver's license, she was born on July 25, 1984. Frankie is friends with most of the imaginary friends at Foster's (particularly Wilt, Eduardo, Coco, and Bloo. She can be described as a protective big sister to them. Frankie is also enemies with Mac. She is voiced by Grey DeLisle.
- Mr. Herriman – A gray and white 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), is extremely strict about the house rules (or just politeness and order in general), and 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. Also he has a fear of dogs 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". He is voiced by Tom Kane.
- Madame Foster – The founder of Foster's and the grandmother of Frankie. Madame Foster is elderly but has child-like boundless energy, and enjoys life to the 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. She is voiced by Candi Milo.
- Cheese – 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 somewhat madcap 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), and so on. His name can be paired off with other characters' names to make puns-of-sorts ("Mac and Cheese"/ Macaroni and Cheese, "Bloo Cheese"/ blue cheese, "Cheese and Crackers," and "Cheese Louise"/ the expression "Geez Louise!"). In the series finale "Goodbye to Bloo", he becomes the newest resident at Foster's, much to the other residents' surprise/horror. Cheese is always considered to be an annoyance, but is treated like a friend by Mac's friends in "Infernal Slumber". He is voiced by Candi Milo.
- Goo – A hyper-imaginative, hyper-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. She is voiced by Grey DeLisle.
- Terrence – 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. He is voiced by Tara Strong.
- Duchess – A "high-maintenance" pedigree friend who is pompous, ugly, rude, arrogant, and lazy up to the point she orders Frankie to open her eyelids for her first thing in the morning. 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 Persnickity the First, Last, and Only". She is voiced by Grey DeLisle.
- Main article: List of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episodes
The show spanned 79 episodes and six seasons; it has also aired 18 shorts.
Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends was named the 85th best animated series by IGN, which called it very funny and endearing. Mike Pinsky, in a review on DVD Verdict, praised the art design and the characterizations, particularly singling out Cheese as possibly “the quintessence of Foster's surreal charm" in his season two review.
Annie Awards Edit
The show was nominated for four Annie Awards in 2004, 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"). 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). 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". 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.
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. Seasons four, five, and six have not been released on DVD yet, however all seasons have been released on iTunes and the PlayStation network 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 made its debut 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. Additionally, 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 Mac and Bloo called "Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion".
"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, in May 2007, that Cartoon Network announced that the game would continue for six more months, into November of that year.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Edit
From 2006 to 2008, 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!" 
- ↑ 10th Anniversary Interview With Creator Craig McCracken | Cold Hard Flash: Flash Animation News, Videos and Links
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- ↑ BFAHP web site
- ↑ Thanksgiving parade gets a live 'Rickroll' | The Social - CNET News