There comes a time when you feel the most need for a pet but realise that you just won’t be able to take that responsibility. Keeping a pet requires a lot of time, patience, care and also money. Now, do not get all gooey over this. I am sure this is only a temporary glitch and you will soon find yourself in a position to adopt a puppy or a kitten or even geckos and fennec foxes and exotic birds. Till that happens, I would advise you to cheer up for I have found out a really quirky alternative- the world of virtual pets!
Now, I am sure many of you remember this delectable animated series. It was in fact created by Craig McCracken, the creator of The Powerpuff Girls. What was intriguing about these series other than the irresistibly cute characters, is the surreal setting. Set in a world where imaginary friends coexist with the human beings, they have been bestowed with pet-like characteristics. In fact, the outgrown or abandoned imaginary friends are sent to something akin to an orphanage or pet-shelter where they stay until adopted by another kid.
Talking about the home’s namesake, it is administered by an elderly Madame Foster and her imaginary friend Mr. Herriman whose peculiarities remind us of the rabbit in Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Frankie, Madame Foster’s granddaughter also helps in handling everyday activities.
Now we come to the protagonists- a kid called Mac Bargains and his imaginary friend Bloo. After he is coerced into abandoning Bloo at the Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. He makes a pact with the employees that if as long as he visits the home on a regular basis, they would prevent Bloo for being adopted by some other kid.The series revolves around the curious escapades of an extremely mischievous Boo and a plethora of peculiar friends at the orphanage.
Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends was one of my favourite shows as a child, and I sure can vouch for the same for many of you. So, let’s talk about the main characters,shall we?
Mac Bargains, voiced by Sean Marquette is a compassionate but shy eight-year old boy. He is Bloo’s creator and also his friend. He is shown to be sensible as opposed to Bloo who thrives in creating a ruckus every time he gets a chance. Mac is very attached to Bloo, and visits the home everyday to prevent his friend from getting adopted by someone else. Mac is very scared of losing Bloo who. At times, seems almost like an alter-ego to him. His only weakness, other than Bloo of course, is sugar. This guy gets high on sugar, and often becomes febrile, which includes running around in an hyperactive state without an underwear or nothing but his underwear. What makes him all the more delectable is his huge crush on Frankie, Madame Foster’s daughter.
Bloo, the cute blue thing that resembles a dome shaped cylinder, is voiced by Keith Ferguson. His full name is quite a mouthful- Blooregard Q. Kazoo. Bloo, minus his alacrity, somehow resembles a cat in his behaviour. His feline connection is heightened by his overt narcissism and self- centered egoistic behaviour. He seems to have a knack for getting into trouble, and occasionally even despises company. However, he is good- natured, and though mischievous, is not astute. He is a big fan of paddle balls even though he sucks at the game. He is cute, funny and smart, and is unmistakably the most popular character in the series.
Wilt, voiced by Phil LaMarr, is good natured, friendly and incredibly caring. He is easily recognisable because of his red tall stature and a stubby left arm and crooked left eye-stalk , which he fondly describes as “wonky”. The nicest person at the home, his excessively apologetic self makes him an instant favourite.
Eduardo, the stout hairy Latino with horns and curious set of demon-like teeth, is actually compliant and silly. Extremely compassionate, he is almost like a toddler with confused demeanour. The only times he rises to the occasion is when his friends are threatened or cornered. Quite gallant, is he not?
Coco, the freaky-looking bird who can only say or write her name at various emphases and speeds, has the exclusive talent of laying colorful matchless eggs containing myriad objects from an assortment of baseball cards to money. She is quite matronly, despite here disheveled appearance and eccentric behavior, and often exhibits principle and kindness.
The most intriguing( at least I thought so!) character in the Foster’s home is Mr. Herriman, the gray and white elderly anthropomorphic lop ear rabbit imagined into existence by Madame Fosters who speaks in (of course!) an English accent. In fact, he reminds us, at times, of Alice in Wonderland. He is the stern strict disciplinarian and often prefers rules to common sense. We often see him reprimanding Bloo at several occasions, the reason he gives in one of the episodes is that Bloo living in the home despite having an owners has already made him break one of the essential rules. However, he is not a flat character, so to say. His devotion and loyalty towards Madame Foster is really commendable and we see another side of his personality in the manner he talks with his creator.
There are sundry other characters in the home and you are free to pick your favorite. There is nothing wrong in engaging in the virtual world for some time ( Talking Tom, for example!) and watch these adorable creatures, most of them modeled on real animals or an potpourri of characteristics and features from many, melt you heart. In fact, if you are creative, you might just make your own.