Written/Created by: Matt
Posted on 2.06.03.

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Okay, let me preface this one by telling you that I'm going to have to skip our usual 'I can't believe they made this!' intro whenever we're reviewing an old crappy cereal from now on. I think it's been established that everything and everyone has their own line of breakfast slop. Nobody is excluded. Smurfs. Mr T. C-3P0. You. Me. The dead fish I've neglected to remove from my tank for the past week. Even Moses. Everyone's had their own brand of cereal, and now that we accept that, I can move through this review without any kind of overt giddiness that'd strike down any journalistic integrity I have left.

Holy shit, Rainbow Brite had a cereal!! The year was 1985. After noticing such girl fad icons as those damn Cabbage Patch Kids succeeding in a seemingly overcrowded breakfast market, the good folks at Ralston Foods decided it was high time to put a little pop culture in their corn pops. After establishing rapport with Rainbow Brite and her endless troop of funny-faced antennae-donning fuzz buckets, everyone agreed to get the diva of all things primary-colored into the cereal biz. Ralston's always been the dark horse in the Great Breakfast Race. If asked to name five cereal companies, most people would probably squeal out such luminaries as Little Crow Foods and Willow Valley before even considering a conglomaterate like sappy ol' Ralston. And truth be told, I think it was really starting to get to the suits up in Ralston's 24-karat gold corporate tower. Rainbow Brite was to be their salvation. Surely the world would remember their company theme song ("Be like Ralston / Do the Charleston") if they had Rainbow Freakin' Brite on their side. Or would they?

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First impressions are always a bitch, but as everyone comes to know in time, they're an important bitch. Sure, it's possible that the world would've still clamoured for more Rainbow Brite Cereal even if the commercial sucked. But considering Ralston's desperation, do you really think they were willing to take the risk? Certainly not, and a lot of time and effort went into crafting the most beautiful and intense thirty-second ad spot yet seen on the holy titty tube.

They got the usual bunch of animators from Rainbow Brite's cartoon to fashion a commercial using the same level of graphical wizardy and cute, multicolored palm trees little girls loved from the show. For all intents, watching the Rainbow Brite Cereal ad was like getting a mini-sized episode of the cartoon. What lacked in depth was more than made up for in vitamin B-6. The same voice actors were called in, too, and no other expenses were spared in this most despondent attention to realism. As for Rainbow Brite - she was merely offered 50 bucks and a bunch of clown wigs. She didn't care since she was only making 25 bucks for each appearance on the cartoon, and half of that came by sheer way of fucking the director on her days off. Much like her outfit, Rainbow Brite's past was a colorful one. Definitely eccentric. By the third season of the cartoon after her popularity surged, I heard she forced the producers to ammend her contract with a promise to feed, on a daily basis, moose testicles to that big scary yellow dog of hers. I guess I'm trying to say... 'don't judge a book by it's color.' At least I hope that's what I was trying to say, otherwise this was a pretty sick paragraph.

Anyway, that's how the story went. As for the commercial, things kicked off with a shot of Murky Lurky, the show's starring villain, and Lurky in their underground Evil Fallout Shelter. Lurky, if you'll recall, is the animated representation of hairy Italian testicles. I'm sorry I had to include two references to balls so early in the article, but it's been a long night and mine are kinda itchy.


The duo use a periscope to spy on Rainbow Brite, and are shocked after seeing her new line of cereal! Yes, much like some of you will say after seeing X-E's new design, Rainbow Brite seems to have gone corporate. She holds the box in the same way new mothers hold their babies, and it was getting to the point where I half-expected her breasts to start shooting milk right into the cereal. It's even sicker when you consider that she'd probably just whip out a spoon and start eating it.

I've always been a sucker for the marketing process that goes into creating an item's package, and it's especially interesting when it comes to cereal boxes. These companies try so hard to make their boxes stand out more than the rest, and sometimes, a stroll down A&P's Aisle 12 is just as soulful as a VIP tour in the Met. Admittedly, Rainbow's box looked like a lot of fun. Keep your minds out of the gutter. It featured artwork of Ms. Brite sliding down a river of rainbows, blowing kissy stars to the gigantic bowl of cereal beside her. It's the kind of box capable of cheering anyone up. They should pass this thing around at infantries.


Ah, there's the stuff. Rainbow Brite Cereal was kind of a cross between Fruity Pebbles and Cap'n Crunch. Like Fruity Pebbles, eating it was a lot like eating candy. Like Cap'n Crunch, eating it would probably leave severe open wounds on the roof of your mouth. This made it tough to really consider it 'good' or 'bad,' but most little girls were willing to overlook their greviences if it meant that Rainbow Brite would get rich and famous. Let's face it, everyone was pulling for Rainbow. Everyone wanted her to make it. She was Tamyra before Tamyra even knew what extensions were.

The stuff was, in theory, supposed to look like little edible rainbows of different colors. They looked much more like a bowl full of commas, though. I appreciate that Ralston didn't get overzealous and try to complete the impossible task of making little cereal pieces shaped like Brite's head, but it's a sad state of affairs when they can't even pull off a stupid rainbow. I'm glad they'll never reach a bronze medal honor in the annual 'Who Got Flava?' cereal competition.


I know Rainbow Brite had some kind of boyfriend on the show, named 'Red Butler.' We've actually got a small action figure of the kid up on our wall unit. It's part of the vow we made years back to constantly embarass ourselves. Red looks sort of like the kid shown up above, but the resemblence isn't striking enough to where I can say for sure. So either that's Red Butler, or some kid she's screwing on the side. He's pretty photogenic so I can understand why Ralston hired him, but the '11' on his shirt reminds me of that football player Ghostbusters figure that transformed into a giant plastic demon tongue. Associations are important, and this isn't one that's making me see things as very palatable. Way to go, loser. You ruined Rainbow Brite Cereal.

Wow, that's some breakfast they've got for themselves. Cereal, milk, orange juice, toast, and even grapefruit halves. If that's the amount of grub needed to make the claim that Rainbow Brite Cereal is part of a 'balanced breakfast,' I can only assume that the stuff's primary ingredient were gasoline-soaked rags.


Murky, ever the picture of villainy, arrives on the scene with his famed anti-color gun. It's some type of cannon that uses magic black smoke to strip everything it shoots of any color. He's not exactly up there with the Terminator in terms of assault weaponry, but at least the dude's creative. Then again, I've always been a little partial towards anyone who can pull off wearing a grey beanie cap with dog tags stapled to it with such panache. I wouldn't say he's a fashion plate or anything, but the Armani pants tell a different story.

He's not just shooting that gun without a reason, no sir. Murky's trying to steal the color right off Rainbow Brite's new cereal. That's a crime right up on the Hitler level. If Rainbow Brite Cereal is forced to wallow in a pale shade of gray, all the little girls in the world are gonna think they're eating staples. And right after avoiding strangers, 'don't eat staples' was the lesson most taught in grade school. If Murky succeeds, the world is in some serious trouble.


Wait...what's this? The...the cereal! It's reflecting Murky's magic black smoke! My gosh! The power of this cereal is so great, it's even able to fend off eternal darkness! Could you imagine what kind of energy boost comes with eating something like that? This stuff could've given Power Bars a run for their money had Rainbow Brite stuck around a little longer. But it's not her fault she got old and awkward-looking. Genetics betray just as quickly as they shine.

Rainbow's friend/boyfriend/whatever looks drunk. It's moderately offset by the fact that Rainbow looks absolutely insane. If you put her in gothy clothes, she'd look like the Bride of Chucky up there. Fortunately, she goes back to her usual cheribic self when finished spraying rainbows at chubby, gray Rollie Fingers doppelgangers. Yes folks, the cereal had the awesome power of rainbows on its side. All Cheerios had was a bee. This crud really broke the mold.


The ultimate indignity for guys who hate color is to look like floats at a gay pride parade. Murky is appauled at his new appearance, and swears revenge. Lurky swears that you're 'never supposed to dye pubes,' so both of the bad guys leave the commercial fairly upset. In the world of Rainbow Brite, there's been a lot of friends and fabled magical items that've saved the day for the heroes. But cereal? That's a new one. I obviously don't have any kind of past sales sheets in front of me, so I can't say how well this one did in the stores. Judging by the lack of any Rainbow Brite cereal premiums, (the free shit given away in boxes) I wouldn't assume it performed too fantastically at the box office. It's a real shame, too. If Crispix can survive for four thousand years, Rainbow Brite deserved a longer chance to gain momentum.

She's not bitter about how things panned out. It'd be cool if she was, though. I'm sure the animators would've drawn a blinking lemon over her head to illustrate it. We missed out on a killer visual. Make with the pout dances, Rainbow. Do it for the lemon scene, and do it for us.


The cereal that boasted fruit flavor in every colorful bite has now gone extinct, and will probably never return. Those of you curious about its flavor will never have the chance to satiate your fantasies. Unless you win the lotto and pay Ralston a million dollars to bring it back. And even then, you never know if they're just gonna run off to a South American nation with your money when you're dealing with a pitiful company like Ralston. Don't feel too bad for Rainbow and her friends - they enjoyed an immensely successful run as one of the most popular girly fads in history. Given the 80s resurgence we've seen in the past two years, don't be surprised if Ms. Brite makes a comeback. Let's just hope she brings the breakfast with her.

To celebrate our new design, click on the picture below to download and watch the original Rainbow Brite Cereal commercial. Okay, I admit it, I would've given it to you even if we didn't have a new design. But that's just because I was deeply touched by Rainbow's colors. By the way, today's my birthday. I won't tell you how old I am, but I'll give you a hint: I'm too old to spend an evening writing about Rainbow Brite Cereal. Any guesses?


Remember that Nike Transformers contest we were promoting a few weeks ago? Well, several X-E readers took home a prize. See, not all contests are fake and nasty. UGO's running another one, this time giving away a brand new Sony Watchman every day in February. It's free to enter, and you won't get spammed by doing so. Click heah yo to throw your name in the hat!





 


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