New ‘Regular Show,’ ‘Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends’ Series Unveiled at Annecy (EXCLUSIVE) (2024)

J.G. Quintel’s new “Regular Show” and Craig McCracken’s “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” spin-off both feature in a new production slate from Warner Bros. Animation, Cartoon Network Studios and Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe.

Unveiled Wednesday at Annecy to an appreciative crowd at Annecy’s MIFA market, which greeted multiple shows with whoops of enthusiasm, the two new announcements join a new “Adventure Time” series, “Side Quests,” as greenlights at the Warner-owned companies.

The new slate also boasts two more “Adventure Time” shows in development, plus an unannounced Scooby-Doo project.

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The big question raised by the studio’s Annecy focus is whether the surge in new shows is a temporary anomaly or marks a broader indicator of a more sustained return by Warner Bros. Discovery to fuller-on animation production after the lull of the recent past.

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Certainly, news will not come much bigger at this year’s Annecy than “Adventure Time,” “Regular Show” and “Fosters” returns, shows which helped shape fandom’s sense of modern-day animation entertainment in the 2010s and just before.

The WBA-CNS-HBSE bonanza also underscores Warner Bros.’s declared strategy of returning to top fan favorites but making them for different age group demos.

McCracken’s original “Foster’s” targeted 6-11s, while the new “Foster’s Home” is preschool; the unveiled “Adventure Time” titles include a preschool show, “Heyo BMO,” and a family feature “Adventure Time Movie.”

Below, a brief breakdown of new shows announced by the three companies at Annecy.

Greenlights Announced at Annecy

“Foster’s Funtime for Imaginary Friends” (Cartoon Network Studios)

Creator of “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends,” which won Emmys and Annies, Craig McCracken (also known for “Powerpuff Girls”) is back with a completely new original series targeting pre-schoolers. In it, a now-young group of preschool imaginary friends learns from an immature elder friend, Bloo, who, as in the original, still unintentionally gets things wrong. McCracken has promised the same fast pace but a fun, simpler structure and less cynical humor. Only Bloo and Madame Foster return.

A clip shown at Annecy showed the friends making perfect meal with broccoli, ice cream, cookies, lollipops, popsicle sprinkles, whipped cream and chocolate, strawberry shake and bananas. Bloo is there but doesn’t stop their folly- They declare it a “masterpiece,” but all but Bloo end up sick with tummy-ache.

New ‘Regular Show,’ ‘Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends’ Series Unveiled at Annecy (EXCLUSIVE) (3)

“Adventure Time: Side Quests” (Cartoon Network Studios)

As Variety has just announced, while adult-skewed “Fionna & Cake” is airing on Max, “Side Quests” takes the franchise back to a kid’s show, marking a return to early days with kid Finn and best buddy Jake fighting monsters on epic quests in an episodic series, eschewing the long story arcs of later “Adventure Times.” “Side Quests” looks set in the same world as the early original repeating characters such as villain The Ice King. Nate Cash, a creative (2012-13) and then supervising director (Season 5) on “Adventure Time,” figures as the series creator.

A first-look image shown at Annecy showed Finn and Jake against a verdant rural landscape, with icy mountains in the background, animated with the series’ hallmark pop-out colors.

Untitled Regular Show Project, (Cartoon Network)

Details on the new show are being kept under wraps. It’s not even known if Mordecai and Rigby are back. The key, however, is that it’s from J.G. Quintel. At Annecy, the only tease was a black screen announcing a “New Series” revealed as “Regular Show” to dramatic drum rolls.The show is entirely new, though it will feature some characters from the original series.New series announcement was met with whoops of joy at Annecy.

Annecy’s Reaction to Shows

The Annecy presentation also took in excerpts from shows in production or completed. Clips playing well at Annecy included a scene from a stop motion episode of “Teen Titans Go!” coming up to its 400th episode this fall; a haunted house scene from “Gremlins: The Wild Batch,” coming out this fall, and a fight scene in “Invincible Fight Girl,” a professional wrestling-themed anime series.

“Bat Family,” a spin-off from Amazon Prime hit “Merry Little Batman,” raised laughs; and a tease of pre-production on “The Amazing World of Gumball,” provoked ear-splitting screams of excitement. The tease anticipates a “Gumball” Making Off panel by creator Ben Bouquelet taking place at Annecy on Thursday.

One of the best received od all shows, however, was “Watchmen.” “This is a real leap-forward for us in our DC animation,” said Peter Girardi, executive vice president, Alternative Programming, Warner Bros. Animation.

Also heavily applauded was a never-shown first look at the brooding and ultra-noir opening and title sequences of “Batman: Caped Crusader,” one of the most awaited of Warner Bros Animation series given its creative pedigree – Bruce Timm, J. J. Abrams and Matt Reeves.

The WB-CNS-HBSE presentation climaxed with a clip from anime feature “Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim,” which was received with “thunderous applause” at the French animation festival.

It turned on Princess Héra (voiced by Gaia Wise), a young woman who is headstrong, could ride a horse before she could walk and is much beloved by her father, the King of Rohan (voiced by Brian Cox). In the sequence, she gallops across plains and then up an outcrop where she throws food to a huge eagle who almost lands on her arms.

“By her hand any great deeds were done, but do not look for tales of her in the old songs. There are not,” the narration ran, in a modern gender take on the tale.

Projects in Development Unveiled at Annecy

“Go-Go Mystery Machine” (Cartoon Network)

A Scooby-Doo spin-off series takes the gang to Japan. “While visiting Japan on the ultimate foodie adventure, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo unwittingly unleash hundreds of mischievous mythical monsters that are now causing trouble all over the country,” the description runs. Scooby turns to his uncle, Daisuke-Doo, and magical friend Etsuko and gadget wiz Toshiro to help solve the mystery and catch the monsters.

“We have seen a lot of iterations of ‘Scooby’ over the years, but nothing quite like this one. This is ‘Scooby’ does anime,” Stacey Kim, vice president, Series, Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios said at the Annecy presentation.

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“Adventure Time: Heyo BMO” (Cartoon Network Studios)

The first-ever “Adventure Time” pre-school series. “In the fantastical Land of Ooo, the little robot BMO is on a new adventure. Now settled in a new neighborhood with new friends, BMO approaches each challenge he faces with his unique brand of enthusiasm and curiosity in a quest to learn and fill his database,” the description runs. Adam Muto, “Adventure Time” showrunner from mid-Season 5, returns as the main creative talent alongside Ashlyn Anstee, a storyboard artist on “Distant Lands.”

“Untitled Barbara Throws a Wobbler Project” (Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe)

A preschool series based on award-winning author and illustrator Nadia Shireen’s picturebook, about a young cat who most days does what other cats do, until one day she throws a tantrum she can’t control. Creative lead is animation supervisor Joris van Hulzen, a 2D animation director on “The Amazing World of Gumball.”

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“The Adventure Time Movie” (Cartoon Network Studios)

Billed by CNS as: “Jake and Finn embark on their greatest adventure yet.” What they find changes the world entirely.Rebecca Sugar, behind “Steven Universe” and a storyboard artist on “Adventure Time” Seasons 2 and 3, serves as creator with Muto and another “Adventure Time” veteran, Patrick McHale, a writer, creative director and storyboard artist on the original series from 2010-17.

“Bad Karma,” (Warner Bros. Animation)

A family movie project set in a fantasy mythological world billed by WBA as an “exciting and epic tale about courage, loyalty and an unlikely friendship.” This title features a young demon princess, Chandra, and the legendary demi-god, Hanuman. A clip shown at Annecy turns on the two’s cute meet. Creators take in Sanjay Patel, dictator of Oscar-nominated “Sanjay’s Super Team,” Rajesh Devraj (writer of “Arjun: The Warrior Prince”), Vikash Shankar and Katie Rice.

“Lovey Dovey,” (Warner Bros. Animation)

A romantic wedding dove, in search of his one true love, gets stuck with a bunch of streetwise pigeons whose only goal is to screw the large bird from a popular kids TV show. Ava Tramer, a writer on “Harley Quinn,” takes the creative lead.

New ‘Regular Show,’ ‘Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends’ Series Unveiled at Annecy (EXCLUSIVE) (6)

New ‘Regular Show,’ ‘Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends’ Series Unveiled at Annecy (EXCLUSIVE) (2024)
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