Good Wilt Hunting [Thursday, 7 p.m. ET/PT, check your listings] gives the tall, red, one-armed imaginary friend his own adventure. When his creator fails to show for the latest Creator Reunion, Wilt sets out to find his creator and right what he perceives to be a grievous wrong…
Ever since the mid-point of its first season, Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends has become increasingly mean spirited and less and less whimsical. The series' special, one-hour event, Good Wilt Hunting, reverse that trend spectacularly. From the opening moments, when we see all the orphaned imaginary friends reuniting with their creators, this strange and wonderful movie recaptures the pure fun and zaniness of those early episodes.
Part of the fun is seeing the creators of the imaginary friends – some are very familiar but others are very different. The similarities and contrasts provide a lot of laughs and a couple of warm and fuzzy [but not annoying] moments. When it turns out that Wilt's creator hasn't shown – again – Bloo's incessant questioning seems to spark the big red guy's disappearance. We know, however, that he's made an appointment by phone and is off on a quest to right what he perceives to be a grievous wrong.
Naturally, once Mac and the gang discover that Wilt has disappeared, they decide to go after him and find out what's wrong [they eventually deduce that he's searching for his creator – well… all except Bloo, who seems to think that Wilt is on the lam for some horrendous crime!]. Meanwhile, Wilt's journey is complicated by his good-heartedness [think of it as a kind of "tasks of Hercules" for the poor guy].
Good Wilt Hunting may be the cleverest episode of the series to date. A lot of thought has gone into the creators of Foster's orphaned imaginary friends [Eduardo's creator is a particularly appropriate and funny choice – with just a hint of poignancy to make their reunion especially effective], and Wilt's tasks [undertaken out of the goodness of his heart – without even being asked] show what a wonderful friend he is – even if he doesn't think so.
The gang's road trip to find Wilt is also a lot of fun – Coco's adoptive friends [two nerds who came upon her shortly after her creator left her] provide a lot of discomfort for Frankie, whom [it turns out] they practically worship. The gang also has a habit of just missing Wilt – and learning each time what a good friend he's been to people [and imaginary friends] he's never met before.
Good Wilt Hunting is a fable about the nature of friendship. As such, it teaches a valuable lesson without seeming to be saying anything at all. It doesn't even hit anyone over the head with its moral – everything is communicated in the giddy whirlwind of whimsy that series has been in need of refreshing. We can all be thankful that The Cartoon Network has delivered this wonderful little paean to friendship at this most appropriate time of the year.