The Count Chocula Gang
I decided to do an article on these guys for two reasons, 1. they haven’t made many commercials on these guys for years despite they still make the cereal and 2. there are two forgotten characters who used to be part of the gang. So I couldn’t say no to doing an article on these characters and October will be over within three weeks which means I gotta include a couple Halloween related articles until November comes. What better timing than to discuss a marshmallow cereal series that has been associated with the holiday for more than 40 years. Keep in mind that I’ll only discuss the commercials themselves and not the ones with too many product placements. Those I’ll do for next year. Let’s first discuss the title character whose own cereal product gets sold out more than the other members of the group. That is of course Count Chocula, the chocolate equivlent of Dracula.
The cereal and Character was introduced back in October 1971(how appropriate) Count Chocula(voiced by Larry Kenney, Lion-O himself) resembles everything there is to the Dracula from the 1931 film. Only difference is that Count Chocula wears brown clothing and has an over bite consisting of two front teeth always visible making him look more like a rodent than a night walker. Course this was done to make him appear to be harmless towards kids. Beside Count Chocula was Frankenberry(voiced by Bob McFadden, Snarf himself) who was introduced the same year as his pal the Count. Basically his cereal was similar only flavored with strawberries. Which he in return is pink and has strawberry finger nails as the only reference to the flavor of his own cereal. Frankenberry speaks with gentle voice to match that of Boris Karloff. Ironic that both characters were voiced by two Thundercat voice actors. Even more ironic that both the Count and Frankenberry were introduced the same year which was also the year when Dracula Vs. Frankenstein was released a low-budget film which is so far the only movie in which we see the two characters fight each other. Speaking of fighting each other most of the earlier commercials depicted The Count and Frankenberry who’s cereal is the best. Even when new characters are introduced it only complicates the competition.
Two years later, Boo Berry was introduced to form up the trio we all know today. Boo Berry was voiced by Paul Frees the other man of a thousand voices besides Mel Blanc & Frank Welker. He was declared as the first cereal mascot for a blueberry flavor cereal. Interestingly he was the only character of this series to not be based off of any popular horror figure. He’s basically Casper meets Peter Lorre. Which was also the same impersonation that Paul Frees used for his role as Mr. Fox from the original Mr. Owl commercial. The following year came Fruit Brute, a werewolf hosting his own “Fruit” flavored cereal and has a habit of constantly howling which bothers both the Count and Franken Berry. Fruit Brute would stick around with the other three monsters until 1983 when he and his cereal was discontinued. It was as if General Mills gave him the silver bullet. Four years later the last monster theme cereal was introduced which is similar to Fruit Brute, except with a mummy named the Fruity Yummy Mummy. Who combines Jamacian music and typical Egyptian music to form a catchy theme song of his own. Unfortunately the Mummy went the same route as Fruit Brute did and was canned back in 1993. Which is sad cause the Mummy only lasted three years shorter than Fruit Brute did. After that it was only the Count, Frankenberry, & Boo Berry. Never was another additional monster introduced, always a trio till this very day.
By 2010, General Mills decided to make the cereal seasonal as oppose to having it a year round available cereal. Which is fine by me if they are still making the cereal, cause kids today still deserve to be introduced to these characters. Only down side is that, it be hard to explain to them that it wasn’t always a seasonal cereal. Not to mention the lack of commercials on them, is rather disappointing cause that was how I was first introduced to these guys was the commercials. Over the years various merchandise has been made on the characters even in recent years Fruit Brute has appeared as a Bobble Head like his pals. Despite that his cereal is gone it still is appreciated by people who remember him and the Mummy. Even Tarantino liked Fruit Brute where the cereal is visible in “Reservoir Dogs” & “Pulp Fiction”. Well that’s all there is to say about the five monster cereal mascots. Enjoy the commercials below.