Count Chocula - In the 1970s, General Mills,
Inc. resurrected some frightfully classic movie characters like Frankenstein,
Dracula, Wolfman and the Mummy for a series of TV commercials that advertised
its new line of monster cereal for children.
The first character debuted in 1971 as Count Chocula, a bucktoothed vampire
who talked like Bela Lugosi (voiced by Larry Kenney) and always argued over who
had the tastiest cereals. The Count Chocula cereal had little chocolate
marshmallows in it and 119 calories per cup (30g).
Constantly pushing his product, the Count -speaking in a Transylvanian accent
- proclaimed: "I vant to eat your cereal!"
Soon other mascots followed including FrankenBerry, a pink monster with a
voice like Boris Karloff; Boo Berry, a Peter Lorre sounding ghost; Fruit Brute,
a howling Wolfman, and a friendly bandaged Egyptian monster called the Yummy
The ads were created by Dancer, Fitzgerald and Sample ad agency. The Monster
Cereals have been featured in movies like Pulp Fiction and on TV shows like THE
TRIVIA NOTE: In 1987, a
Count Chocula cereal featured the image of
Lugosi as Dracula
holding a lit candle in his right hand and sporting a six-pointed medallion on
Some claimed it was the Star of David and insulted the Jewish faith.
Jewish groups soon complained to General Mills, and after some news coverage,
the medallion was removed. Ironically, the Count Chocula character was created
by a Jewish copyrighter named Laura Levine.
Some sources claimed that the
medallion, however, was the Maltese Cross from the Order of the Thelemic Knights
or the Order of Saint John. The controversial Dracula box has now become a
sought after collectible item.
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