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Friday, January 16, 2015

'Foster's Home for imaginary Friends' S3 DVD: Cartoon Network Answer to 'Calvin and Hobbes'

Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends: The Complete Third Season
The Warner Archive 14-episode 2-disc DVD release of the 2005-06 S3 of the Cartoon Network original animated series "Foster's Home for imaginary Friends" fits the textbook definition of "delightful." This premise of this adorable show, which should equally appeal to boys and girls, is that eight-year-old human Mac must visit his imaginary friend Bloo at the titular residential-care facility every day to avoid having another child adopt this creature whom Mac has "outgrown."

One of the best things about "Foster's" is that it has the same spirit and imaginative spark as the best-ever comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes."  Similar to "Foster's," Calvin centers around an all-American boy and his imaginary friend.

This creative and fun show is the brainchild of Craig McCracken; other great programs from this genius include "The Powerpuff Girls" and "Dexter's Laboratory." (A cross-over involving all three series would be beyond fantastic.)

The animation style of "Foster's" falls squarely within the middle of the highly stylized superhero sagas that Warner Prime produces and the cheaply made fare that is typical of lesser-known small-studio productions that littered the airwaves on Saturday mornings in the '70s.

Bloo and his fellow odd Foster's residents keep things entertainingly hectic. This mischief-maker, the very nervous monster Eduardo (think a highly neurotic Cookie Monster), the officious rabbit-man hybrid Mr. Herriman and the others all have strong personalities that make a bad situation hilarious.

Mac's fellow humans include the elderly Madame Foster and her early 20s granddaughter Frankie, who is the caretaker charged with cleaning up the tremendous literal and figurative messes at the establishment.

The third season commences with an homage to "Fight Club" in the form of an underground organization that pits imaginary friends against each other. Our gang gets involved when the desire of Mac's obnoxious teen-age brother Terrence to enter a friend in the competition coincides with a bullied Eduardo wanting to prove to his friends that he is not a "big scaredy baby."

Typical teen boy obnoxiousness is also the center of a later episode in which an individual who strongly resembles a mid-teens lad in appearance, word, and deed demands entry into the home on the ground that it is required to shelter any imaginary friend seeking a place to live. The hilarity this time extends beyond the strong evidence of fraud regarding the allegedly imaginary Goofball John McGee to said individual placing comically heavy demands on an already over-taxed Frankie.

An episode in which Mac frantically tries to get his friends out the door for a flight to Europe has a strong sitcom vibe and could be filmed as a famcom entry. Mac telling an anxious friend that flying to Europe is safer than driving to the airport prompting a fear of riding on the home's bus is a good example of the humor in this one.

The season finale unfortunately is weaker than the others in this season. This one commences with the entertainingly hyper and immature Bloo becoming jealous regarding attention that fellow resident Coco is receiving. Coco creating a popular series of trading cards that depict the friends leads to Bloo becoming obsessed with collecting said memorabilia. This episode is just a bit drawn-out (no pun intended) and not especially funny. 

The special feature consists of the S3 Christmas special; this particularly good outing has Bloo staging a warped "Christmas Carol" themed con in an effort to increase his Christmas morning. Meanwhile, Mac is engaging in his own hilarious effort to maintain his faith in the existence of Santa Claus.

The terrific elements discussed above combine to form a show that is well worth watching; it will also make you wish that you could visit this large abode full of the wackiest individuals whom you could ever conjure up in your mind.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Foster's" is welcome to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.