MINNEAPOLIS — "Count Chocula Creeps on Chicago." "Franken Berry Freaks Out Florida." Could these or other movie titles be in the works for General Mills’ monster cereal mascots?
Possibly, according to the Minneapolis-based cereal giant.
Apparently, General Mills is looking to score a movie deal for Franken Berry, Boo Berry and Count Chocula. The company is so serious that it has debuted a billboard in Los Angeles soliciting the film industry’s help in making a movie happen. General Mills also has created a web site dedicated to the cause: www.workwiththemonsters.com.
“We’re calling all filmmakers, actors, agents, writers, producers, animators, tastemakers, dealmakers, movers and shakers,” General Mills notes on the web site. “We want to work with you to bring great stories to life. From mythical fables to magical journeys. Fairy tales to folk tales. Cliffhangers to nail-biters. Heroic sagas to cosmic battles. Binge-worthy dramas to historical epics. Blockbusters to indies. Serials to sequels.
“Together, let’s captivate the hearts and minds of teens and adults.
“This isn’t a contest. This isn’t a pitch for free ideas.
“We humbly submit this brief to you, Hollywood.”
Through the web site interested parties are encouraged to submit ideas for potential movies featuring the cereal monsters. General Mills said it has enlisted a creative director, producer and a select group of award-winning directors and writers to review the ideas.
According to General Mills, Count Chocula and Franken Berry were inspired by classic horror film vampires and the Frankenstein monster. Yet in early commercials the cereal monsters were nervous nellies — often quickly becoming afraid of just about everything.
Count Chocula and Franken Berry cereals were introduced in March 1971. They were followed by Boo Berry in 1973. Other monster cereal line extensions have been launched (Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy) but were discontinued. Today, the monster cereals only appear on store shelves around Halloween.
General Mills is no stranger to Hollywood. In the 1960s, the company teamed up on a first-of-its-kind media and shows division dedicated to creating children’s animated television shows. Among the original shows were “The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle,” “Underdog,” “Tennessee Tuxedo and his Tales,” and “Young Samson and Goliath.”
In 1979, General Mills added a flexi-record to specially marked boxes of Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry cereals. The records included “Monster Adventures in Outer Space,” “Count Chocula Goes to Hollywood,” and “The Monsters Go Disco.”