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“Sprite Boy” model sheet

You never know where you’ll find animation history. The Coca-Cola website has just posted this obscure model sheet of their Sprite Boy mascot of the 1950s, for a proposed animated theatrical commercial. Click on image above for larger picture. The Coca-Cola Company used this character in its advertising in the 40’s and 50’s (see left). He was conceived by the soft-drink staff artist, Haddon Sundblom, famed pulp cover painter and pin-up artist who created the Coke’s version of a Santa Claus. The model sheet is labeled “Minitoons” which I believe may have been Walter Lantz’ title for a series of Coca-Cola theatrical spots. No cartoon featuring this character has ever surfaced – but interesting, huh?

(Thanks, Devlin Thompson)

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  • Peter H

    Sundblom’s Sprite Boy is one scary-looking character – at least the cartoon version looks cuter!

  • tedzey

    God! I won’t lie, but that’s a creepy mascot! Thank god those commercials were never made, cause they would’ve planted some serious seeds into the minds of the baby boomers!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/VujadeEntertainment#p/u/0/3HaupcJwAdk Steve Schnier

    Very evil and demonic if you ask me.

    Notice how the strands of hair in the profile shot spell out, “I eat your soul”?

  • http://debrasolomon.com debra j. solomon

    Are those the ancestors of home-boy droopy drawers in the first sketch?
    True they don’t hang below his boxers at the top – but if they did McDuffie would have been a seer.

  • uncle wayne

    Yes, it IZ!! Very Preston Blair-ish~!!!

  • http://dtoons.com/conroy Failing Art Student

    He looks like a little demon creature. I don’t like it.

  • Richard

    The sheet says “Minitoons Incorporated”. This might not have been a Lantz model sheet, but a different company.

  • Baron Lego

    I wonder what the proposed commercial would’ve entailed?

    Perhaps a sleeping man wakes up in the middle of night to see Sprite Boy crouched at the foot of his bed grinning hideously and holding a Coke. Adorable!

  • http://yowpyowp.blogspot.com Yowp

    Minitoons was based out of New York City.

  • TheBandSnapsBack

    He looks like Mr Mxyzptlk’s annoying nephew!

  • http://michaelvdb.shawwebspace.ca Michael van den Bos

    Sure, this sprite character has a devilish edge and it seems unlikely that a major corporation like Coca-Cola would approve this design to represent its product, but what a gorgeous design! Sprite is slopping over with personality and I would have loved to have seen short theatrical cartoons featuring this character.

  • Brad Constantine

    that’s a pretty nice Pinocchio outfit he’s got on in the one pose but with Dwarf shoes.Not very appealing as a flat character..the painterly look suits the design better.

  • http://chuckfialacomicart.blogspot.com/ Chuck Fiala

    I always liked the character in old antique signs that I’ve seen. Sure, he looks just a little evil, but that’s what makes him cool. I’d love to see any animation with the character.

  • http://trevour.blogspot.com Trevour

    Did he piddle down in the lower left corner?

    • Chris

      It’s Sprite, and the top right pose shows him making some.

      • TsimoneTseTse

        That is why the model sheet says “keep his legs as far apart as possible”

  • http://www.leonanimationstudio.com Rey

    The one were his back side is looking at us looks like he’s taking a piss.

  • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

    He is watching you as you sleep.

  • Abu

    I always liked Sprite Boy, cool design and funny. Not evil. I thought there was an anmiated Sprite Boy ad? Maybe it was on Unwrapped on Food Network that I saw it.

  • http://www.live365.com/stations/easysmooth T. Maynard

    That style of carton that holds the bottles is something I have not seen before.

  • David Breneman

    It’s interesting that Coke’s Sprite brand of pop appeared in the early 60s, several years after this character disappeared.

  • http://www.comicrazys.com Chris (ComiCrazys)

    Lampwick. ’nuff said

  • Katella Gate

    Unless this character is selling Halloween candy, it’s a mistake.

  • The truthruth

    That character looks like he really enjoys coke- just not the kind you’d find in a can…..

  • tonma

    EEEEP!!! I always thought of him as having that bottle cap encrusted to his cranium, like a hellraiser-style torture feature.

    • http://www.comicrazys.com Chris (ComiCrazys)

      Ha! And the bottom middle sketch is how his head will look as they try to remove the bottle cap from his head. OUCH!

  • Chris Sobieniak

    A person in my house is a big Coke collector and probably has that Sprite Kid in her stash.

  • NC

    Apparently the Uncanny Valley existed even in the 50’s… Wait this must be were Zemeckis got his inspiration!

  • Doug Drown

    The model sheet drawings are kinda cute, but Sprite’s eyes in the old ads are reeaaaaallllly creepy.