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Cool New “Cheerios Kids” Spots

I just caught up with these cool-looking new Cheeerios Kids animated commercials, which began appearing on Aol this past September. I love the retro look. I’m particularly grateful “Big G” didn’t abandon these advertising icons – who were created in 1953, first designed by Disney animator Tom Oreb. New York-based Mike Luzzi was animator and designer on these new spots for General Mills. Says Luzzi:

“I got to re-design the Cheerios Kid, a character popular in the sixties. I also did all background design, some character animation and After Effects animation for the projector shots. This spot was produced by Pat-Man Studios. We did all animation in Flash and final compositing in After Effects.”

(Thanks, Frank Forte)

  • Christopher Cook

    Back in the 60s, I always thought Cheerios Sue was a cutie, even if she was short-tempered with Kid sometimes. The voices here sound like Tara Strong and Grey Delisle.

  • Stéphane Dumas

    I wondered will they do a modern rendition of the Cherrios jingle. Will Sue be able to still kick a tornado like in this ad? ;-)

    Kid did even some ads with Bullwinkle and around 1984-86, the Peanuts gang with Charlie Brown appeared in some Cherrios commercials

  • Thirty seconds of information about my colon? Hmmm. Not quite what I remembered when I was a kid.

    • It was a bit like that. The actual tag line at the end was quite a mouthful. It’s the times we live in.
      Great style in this, right up my street

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Yeah it does bring new meaning to the line “He’s feeling His Cheerios” all right!

      Would love to hear a revamp of that tune as well since the last time I heard it back in the 80’s if they can go in that direction.

  • Kevin

    Nicely done. I like the character design that has the black keyline a bit off-registration like a badly-printed cereal box. (at least that’s what it looks like to me :)

    • Thanks, Kevin. Yes, the off-register fill was intentional.

  • I always loved these kind of cartoons, with the colors a bit out of line…

  • BH

    I love those character designs, but it feels pretty let down by the animation. The posing looks pretty weak, as if the animators were afraid to move the characters. The only things they seem to do much is move their facial features, which looks a bit odd when the boy is looking down without moving his head at all.

    Being a bit picky here I guess, but just feels disappointing that the designs looks so cute and stylish while the animation looks so stiff.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      If this was like the ones from the past, you’d have Sue getting trouble as usual and Kid had to save her in his timely manner and you fit all that into 30 seconds tops. This is more like a PSA on the benefits of Beta Glucan in the body, so yes, it’s all talk but hopefully this won’t be the only ad we see if more are to follow.

  • Here’s a longer, one minute version of the commercial:

    I enjoyed this. Really neat style.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Now that looks a lot better to me (I can see how hard it was to cram all that into 30 seconds).

  • Really fun!
    Nice, organic feel to things…

    Love the limited palette and the yellow ‘inside mouth’ fill is a neat touch, very inventive.

    Brav-Oh’s go to Mr. Luzzi and the crew at Pat-Man! :)
    (Sorry, couldn’t resist that)…
    Awesome work, guys!

    • Thanks Dagan! Frank Summers was on this guy too. He did most of the animation and all of the compositing.

  • Pretty good, but I apparently missed the scene in which Barney Rubble comes in and steals the Cheerio Kid’s cereal.

    Seriously, no gag? Not even a li’l bit of cute business? Where’s Dr. Frank Baxter when you need him? And man, this spot is edited so that the end comes to a screeching halt faster than one of those FOX & CROW shorts!

    (And speaking of Barney Rubble, I’m not a fan of the Kid’s and Susie’s eyes here. The implied eyelashes are kinda out of synch with the intentionally flat, simple style, and the highlights smack dab in the center of their pupils tend to make ’em look dead. Here’s a tip: draw ’em off center, either toward what they’re looking at or 180 degrees away from what they’re looking at. It adds life into their orbs, not deletes it.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Checking the style more, I assumed Luzzi was playing around with “O” motif in the design of those eyes so I really didn’t think they looked that dead to me, and the tips of the eyelids the way they’re handled at least distinguishes Kid and Sue from each other in that respect.

      Mr. Brubaker had already posted the minute-long version of the same commercial previous and even I too noticed how crammed it all seemed in it’s 30 second version. The presentation of this commercial is certainly meant to be that of the two hosting a show of sorts rather than be in an adventurous setting (though we see photos of Kid’s heroic feats in the background of the set). It’s certainly different, but I enjoyed the new approach here despite it’s didactic approach.

    • the Gee

      Cheerios is still packed with Go Power!

      Since the commercial is geared towards adults, and the longer one already brings up “gross”…adding a bit of humor to it by taking the old slogan and tweaking it might work.

      It is a cheap gag and it isn’t visual (thank god) but it would make a chuckle.

      BTW, from what I’ve heard about Scott!, he does good work and if there’s more–and he’s not busy–bring him on board. He knows a thing or two about cereal commercials.

  • For comparison:

  • I just watched the 1:00 version, assuming there’d be a gag or two. Nope, just ironic smarminess. The client needs to realize that having a cool-looking spot is worthless without a cool script. Cheerios is my favorite cereal by a wide margin but they need to be smarter with their scripts.

  • Pedro Nakama

    I like it!

  • the Gee

    I want to add that I think the commercial is good. The 1 minute version provides better information on why two kids are talking to adults (and to kids?) about keeping cholesterol levels low with bowls of Cheerios. The frame of the infomercial format is apparent in the full commercial.

    As it goes it seems to stay lively with the number of scenes in it that I don’t think the animation not being fuller or the designs not being taken advantage of with more animation, with more movement, is bad.

    If it were presenting a story, if it were approaching it like the older ones, with a conflict or an adventure/mission then having making the characters take fuller advantage of the design would be great. As it is though they are two characters on a stage presenting information. It is hard to expect antics or manic actions given that setup.

    A laugh or two goes a long way though…

    They did good. It would be cool if they get to do more and liven it up with the characters not just teaching/learning.
    My two cents.

  • This is so cool. I love how even though it’s animation they’re given the “misregistered” effect, that’s such a cute idea. Way to go Mike Luzzi! Now if only they would bring back vintage Tony the Tiger…

  • Nick

    So only white kids buy General Mills cereals?

  • TStevens

    I suspect the budget was pretty tight on this. People have to understand that you can only do some much with the money that you are given and these guys did a pretty nice job. Even the big clients aren’t supporting the budgets that you use to see back in the late 90s. However, there are still a few markets willing to fork out the cash for full animation.
    As I have noted before, it would be great to see more people going back to animating on paper but, most budgets just won’t allow for it.

  • Won’t play for me :C But I like the style a lot.

  • Nick Nerdlinger

    Even better than the originals!

  • Bigg3469

    Perfect way to bring back those two Big G icons in time for thier 60th anniversary celebration of thier creation or “birth”! I was wondering who were the original voices of Kid & Sue and who are the new voices are?