EXCLUSIVE: Jem, DuckTales, and Ghostbusters are already taken, so what’s the next iconic Eighties property that’s ripe for a reboot? I’m hearing through the grapevine that the California Raisins, the fictional R&B/soul-themed ad mascots, are next on the list.
Rusty Citron, who is president of the Actors Hall of Fame Foundation, an organization that he founded, confirmed to Cartoon Brew today that he is involved with developing a live-action/CG hybrid feature starring the California Raisins. An international theatrical release is planned for late fall of 2016 or spring 2017, Citron said.
The shriveled-grape quartet, who themselves traded in on 1960s Motown nostalgia, were made famous through a series of Claymation spots animated by Will Vinton Studios. The characters transcended their ad-based origin and became unexpectedly popular, releasing four music albums, multiple primetime animated specials, prolific merchandising, and even a short-lived cel-animated Saturday morning series. At the height of the Raisins craze, musicians like Michael Jackson and Ray Charles were recording songs for their commercials. But, like many of the real musical groups they were imitating, the Raisins fizzled out a few brief years after rocketing to stardom.