freal-milkshakes freal-milkshakes

John K. Animated A Bizarre Milkshake-Making Machine

After a relatively quiet stretch, John Kricfalusi (Ren & Stimpy) is popping up everywhere nowadays: at the front of Simpsons episodes, behind Miley Cyrus, and now, in your milkshake machine. John K. was commissioned last year by the ad agency MuhTayZik Hoffer to animate the touchscreen displays for some newfangled milkshake-generating machine called F’real.

F’real’s vp of marketing, Stephanie Brendel, explained to Ad Age why they hired John: “To break through is really hard, and using humor to do that is key. MuhTayZik brought John Kricfalusi in. We would’ve never thought, on our own, to reach out to him…The challenge that I mentioned about being relevant to younger people but also not offending the old, the work that he does allows that to happen quite naturally. I think he’s the perfect person to build that bridge.”

Below are a couple videos of the machine in action, followed by a better quality version of some of the animation, which was made with Toon Boom Animate. Kricfalusi’s work is many times more eye-catching than the animation the machines had before.

(Thanks to Nate Pacheco for providing the videos of the touchscreen displays.)

  • jordan reichek

    jesus. that’s hilarious…what a great idea!

  • rice

    Wow I remember at the beginning of the year I noticed one of these machines at school. I saw the animation and immediately thought John K. but I didn’t think it was actually him. Color me pleasantly surprised.

  • Dana B

    I saw these at my local gas stations’ convenience store about a month ago. I wanted to watch them in person, but I didn’t want to look like a creep in there. They reminded me of Ren and Stimpy animations from the old school days…

  • Trevour

    I’ve seen the new displays in a few gas stations/truck stops already. The first time I saw one I stopped to watch ’em for a minute or two. The clerk asked if I needed help using the machine. “Nope, just watching the cartoons, thanks.”

  • Roberto Severino

    So glad John’s back on his feet. These are great!

  • k

    I saw this a bit ago out of the corner of my eye and I wondered if that was him, or just a look-alike. I guess it’s actually him!

    For those who are wondering: Yes, they are pretty damn delicious.

  • Eman

    Not a big fan of his work, but the sword fight was pretty neat.

  • Funkybat

    As a John K. admirer, I think these are fantastic. I do wonder how well this will go over with the average Joe or Jane Doe in a truck stop who just wants a quick treat. I think this is incredibly fun animation, but I wonder if it may freak out some folks who are not really aware of animation beyond Disney (or perfectly fine-but-bland corporate-type animation like what John K. replaced.) I applaud the company for going forward with this!