A typical Frankenberry cereal box.


Original Medium: TV commercial animation
Touting for: General Mills
First Appeared: 1971
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In 1971, pre-sweetened cereals were nothing new. Sugar Crisp (Post) and Frosted Flakes (Kellogg) went back to the early 1950s. Nor were cereals infused with …

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… non-cereal flavors, such as Trix or Cocoa-Puffs (both General Mills). As for creating a character and naming a cereal after it, Quisp, Quake and Cap'n Crunch (all Quaker Oats) had been running for years.

In fact, Frankenberry wasn't even the first of General Mills's "Monster Cereals" line, where kid-friendly toon monsters starred in animated commercials that pushed cereals named after them — Count Chocula had been on the market for several months when Frank made his Halloween, 1971 debut. But none of that stopped him from having enormous success as a cereal toon.

Frankenberry was a cuddly, pink version of Frankenstein's monster, who shied away from kids, small pets and the like but otherwise seemed to think himself quite a scary guy. He and Choc worked together, co-starring in commercials where they'd argue over which had the better cereal. Frank's voice, provided by Bob McFadden (Cool McCool, Milton the Monster, several 1960s Terrytoons characters, and probably erroneously credited with Courageous Cat,), was done in imitation of Boris Karloff, the best known of the movie Frankensteins.

Frankenberry cereal can still be found on grocers' shelves, as can Count Chocula and Boo Berry, a later (and less prominent) addition to the Monster Cereal line. But the others, Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy, went the way of all flesh during the 1980s.


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Text ©2003-04 Donald D. Markstein. Art © General Mills.