Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends

Children’s Television: The Roundup

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Check out all of the posts for our Children’s Television Theme Week here.

Exploring Imagination and Feminine Effacement in Cartoon Network’s ‘Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends’

It’s interesting that Wilt is created with physical defects (his eye and his arm), pointing up the fact that these are not considered flaws by his young creator, but rather just part of who he is, like a hairstyle or shoe size.

Why examine this offbeat show through a feminist or ethical lens? Because ‘Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends’ (Craig McCracken, 2004-2009) is wildly inventive and subversive. Its plot, which explains that children’s imaginary friends must eventually go live at Madame Foster’s zany orphanage after he or she has outgrown their friend, insists that a child’s imagination has the power to make something real, whether adults believe it or not. At this home, young children are welcome to come and “adopt” one of the friends who is housed there. In this way, the friends are concepts that are “recycled” in order to accommodate children as they grow up.