Cartoon Culture

The Art of Designing Cartoon Pasta

Have you ever thought about the guy who designs all the pasta based on cartoon characters? Neither have I. But now we know who it is. It’s Guillermo Haro, a Mexican immigrant who has overseen the production of cartoon-shaped macaroni for 22 years at Kraft Foods. The Wall Street Journal explained how he does it:

Back at Kraft’s pilot plant, Mr. Haro was prepared to discuss his technique, while his boss, Ricardo Villota, stood by to keep him from spilling trade secrets. “If I can put it on paper, I can imagine how it’ll end up in a box,” said Mr. Haro, opening a guide to Spider-Man poses: crouching, leaping, dangling. “You choose the ones that are easy for pasta.”

He draws pencil sketches, knowing that all lines must connect, and not be too thick or thin. “You get carried away with detail,” he said. Mr. Haro was about to tell how he employs stubby lines to suggest eyeballs when Mr. Villota said, “Watch it!” and cut him off.

Moving to a computer, Mr. Haro showed how he had perfected a Ferb likeness, which he sent to De Mari Pasta Dies in Dracut, Mass. De Mari cast a die, from which Mr. Haro made a Ferb prototype, which he then sent to Disney for the ultimate noodle test: hot water. “They want it to look like they want it to look, before it’s cooked and after it’s cooked,” Mr. Haro said on his way downstairs to Kraft’s test kitchen. “Right up to launch day, you’re nervous.”

Guillermo Haro
Photo of cartoon pasta designer Guillermo Haro taken by Barry Newman/The Wall Street Journal.