Animator and Graphic Designer Bob Renzas brings the goofy cereal mascot Frankenberry a full, frootloop circle back to its inspirational origins. The illustration is based on a 1931 photograph of makeupman Jack Pierce and his assistant transforming Boris Karloff for his signature role. Now, instead, they are serving the Borisberry Monster his breakfast.
With porthole-rimmed eyes, antenna ears and a pressure gauge sticking out of its big marshmallow head, the most shocking thing about Frankenberry was its hot pink complexion.
Launched at Halloween, in 1971, the character was cover boy and pitch man for a “super sweet” strawberry-flavored cereal, part of a monster-themed group of kid’s breakfast confections created by General Mills. Fun Fact Of The Day: The recipe was changed when a dye used in the original formula caused children’s poop to turn pink!
A generation of sugar-fueled kids fondly remember the animated TV commercials featuring Frankenberry and his counterpart, Count Chocula, voiced as Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi by Bob McFadden and Larry Kenney.
McFadden also did Milton The Monster for ABC in the late 60s, and he voiced Baron Frankenstein, the Frankenstein Monster and Igor in a 1972 Rankin-Bass animated TV Special called The Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters.
Nearly fifty years on, the exuberantly silly mascot has survived, outpacing its foodstuff roots as a cult figure. Frankenberry merchandizing includes bobblehead banks, toy cars, pillows and an adult-size Halloween costume.
YouTube carries a number of vintage Frankenberry TV commercials.