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Western Animation / Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends

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The best friends you could imagine.
After wrapping up four seasons and a feature film for The Powerpuff Girls (1998), Cartoon Network approached Craig McCracken for a new series. He pitched them this simple premise: where do imaginary friends go when their young creators outgrow them?

Why, to Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, of course! A home for imaginary friends whose kids have outgrown them, Foster's is a place where friends can live together until they are eventually adopted by another child who needs them.

Set In a World… where imaginary friends are living, tangible beings who can be seen and heard by everyone including their creator, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends follows Mac (Sean Marquette), a shy and creative 8 year old boy, who is forced by his mother to give up his imaginary friend Bloo (Keith Ferguson), a walking, talking protection blanket. He and Bloo discover the titular home for Bloo to live, but because they don't want to be separated forever, they strike a deal with the house that, as long as Mac comes to visit him every day, Bloo won't be adopted.

Upon arrival, Mac makes three new friends: Wilt (Phil LaMarr), a tall basketball-loving monster who Apologizes a Lot; Eduardo (Tom Kenny), a ferocious-looking but kind bull-like imaginary friend who's afraid of his own shadow; and Coco (Candi Milo), a kooky bird/airplane/palmtree creature who can lay eggs that contain anything she imagines. As all of the other characters were once dreamed up by children, the house's other residents are a Cast of Snowflakes made up of an array of wildly surreal creatures. Most of the episodes involve Bloo's egotistical, mischievous personality, in complete contrast to the shy, polite Mac, getting him and his friends into wacky hijinks around the house. As with most Cartoon Network shows, expect plenty of parental bonuses along the way.

Of note, Foster's was Cartoon Network's first original 2D animated show to be produced 100% digitally: the backgrounds were all drawn in Photoshop and the animation was done in-house in Adobe Flash, all with the aide of graphics tablets. This not only brought down the cost and shrank the staff, but allowed for the nuances of Craig McCracken's personal drawing style to come through in the final product rather than the blocky, geometric look Flash had been known for up to that point.

A total of 71 episodes in six seasons were produced, along with three Darker and Edgier Made For TV Movies that took up two/three episodes in the episode solts: House of Bloo's in 2004 - which served as the Pilot Movie to the show - Good Wilt Hunting in 2006, and Destination: Imagination in 2008. The series ran from 2004 to 2009 and, as a result, is seen as singlehandedly bridging Cartoon Network's "classic" and "renaissance" periods (coincidentally, it ended the same year as the station's longest-running series, Ed, Edd n Eddy).

In 2012, the series returned to Cartoon Network as a part of Cartoon Planet, although strictly the 11-minute minisodes, since the block doesn't incorporate any 22-minute episodes of former network series. Also as of 2012, reruns are airing on Boomerang. On July 18, 2022, it was announced that Craig McCracken would return to the series to produce a preschool spin-off with Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe, featuring an original cast of imaginary friends.

Not to be confused with The Fosters.

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Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends provides examples of:

General examples


Theater Disturbance

Frankie searches for Bloo in the theater, annoying the viewers when her cell phone goes off.

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