General Mills Monsters Remind Us That Not Everyone Deserves a Cinematic Universe
I've already got my tickets for Captain Crunch: The Winter Soldier.
There are many thoughts that go through one’s head when eating a bowl of General Mills monster cereal: Will this sugary breakfast treat give me diabetes? Is there a Bride of Franken Berry? How would one rank them against each other? Should I, an adult woman in my 30s, stop eating a cereal made for children?
One thing I don’t find myself concerned with is the greater cereal monster cinematic universe.
So, imagine my surprise when I saw this billboard in Hollywood, featuring Franken Berry in an oddly seductive pin-up pose:
This is irresponsible. Dozens of crashed cars are currently piling up on Sunset Blvd, as horny cereal fans like me get distracted from the road pic.twitter.com/x0RKDMmiwh
— Joe Kwaczala (@joekjoek) November 13, 2018
While the billboard is spoofing Los Angeles’s legendary Angelyne billboards (ask your L.A.-based friend about it), the website it promotes is no joke. WorkWithTheMonsters.com is an open call for people to pitch ideas centered on the trio of cereal monsters, Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry. The website reads:
“We’re calling all filmmakers, actors, agents, writers, producers, animators, tastemakers, dealmakers, movers and shakers. 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 might be a good time to remind the world that not everything needs a cinematic universe. Ever since Marvel Studios won over audiences with their sprawling cross-film storylines, every studio has been scrambling to launch a cinematic universe of their own. The DCEU and Warner Bros. have stumbled with their lugubrious Justice League films, with Wonder Woman being the only bright spot in the entire franchise so far. (We’ll have to wait and see how Aquaman fares next month.)
Universal tried to start a cinematic “dark universe” based on their classic roster of movie monsters but struggled with the critically panned The Mummy movie.
Aside from the MCU, cinematic universes just don’t hold up, and whatever brief success they experience is soon dragged down by the endless retconning and rewriting of original faves to service newer, less exciting storylines. Look at the Fantastic Beasts franchise as a prime example of a beloved cinematic universe quickly going to seed in service of a five-picture deal.
For that matter, are there any characters less worth of a universe than these cereal mascots? It’s already a bad sign when two of your characters have the same name/flavor. Are Franken Berry and Boo Berry related? ARE THEY IN LOVE? And why, in the 50-something years since their inception, has no one come up with Peanut Butter Poltergeist?
If you have any ideas for any historical epics or binge-worthy dramas starring these three characters, please share them in the comments. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to review George R.R. Martin’s 17-book saga on the life and times of the Cheerios bee.
(via SyfyWire, image: screencap)
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