||Cap'n Crunch Cereal Commercials:
Evil has a new face. And it's soggy.
I've always had a love/hate relationship with Cap'n Crunch. Tastewise, it's a hate thing. I'm the type of person who eats cereal out of the box, shunning milk entirely, and I can say with no hint of exaggeration that the roof of my throat has been sliced up by the rough cornmeal in the realm of sixty-thousand times. I never quite understood how people ate it on a daily basis - the cereal's so hard that you'd have an easier time trying to swallow pebbles. And not the fruity or cocoa kind. Who needs that kind of torment, especially first thing in the morning?
See, when it comes to sugar foods, there's two kinds of people. The first are the type who just chew like maniacs, letting the chocolate or honey or whatever flavor it is trickle down their throat in a display of confectionary ecstasy until everything around them is five pounds heavier. The second kind, my kind, are those who instinctually use our tongues to crush sugar foods against the top of our mouths, releasing the flavory goodness into our souls. It works great with gummy bears and things of that sort, but when you're stuck doing it with Cap'n Crunch, it's always a good idea to keep the oral surgeon's number handy.
This isn't to say that I'm not without my fond Cap'n Crunch memories. I mean, we've all got 'em, right? The good captain's touched each and every one of us in some small way. My earliest, and most favorite Cap'n Crunch memory takes us back to the 2nd grade. I was a young whippersnapper in search of mischief, desperately trying to kick my habit of eating red paper and telling people it was strawberry-flavored. Times were different, times were simple. One of my cousins was sleeping over, I think my aunt was having a minor surgery or something. We hatched this idea to turn my parents' living room into a huge fort by tacking bedsheets onto the walls, creating an immense tent with which to cause trouble.
Sadly, just when our plans were about to come into full motion, my cousin, tired from the long drive to our house, fell asleep. I was disappointed - we'd gone through all this trouble to build the Amazing Cloth Fort, and now all I had was a sleeping cousin and cruel intentions. I tried releasing the tension by pouring myself a bowl of Crunchberries cereal - without milk, of course - and returned back to our fort where my cousin still slept peacefully. I looked at him, resting comfortably, and then focused my attention to the bowl of yellow-and-red oaty cereal sitting in my lap. In a moment of total weakness, the devil got the better of me and I simply poured the bowl over his head for my own personal enjoyment.
You can't buy fun like that.
Course, Cap'n Crunch was no slouch when it came to cereal premiums. It's not like they had a choice - a cereal without marshmallows really needed to give out cool toys if they wanted any part of the kiddie market. I don't think using a 2' blue pirate as a mascot is all it takes to make a sale. While other cereals could get away with giving out shitty wall-crawling sticky spider toys because they were literally candy-in-disguise, Cap'n Crunch was indeed a real cereal and it needed the boost.
Pictured above is one of my favorite of the Crunch premiums over the years - The Cap'n Crunch Surfer, a hollowed-out plastic rendition of the Cap'n and his friends, fitted on a small piece of foam that doubled as a floatation device. I don't remember liking this one because of the surfing aspects - moreover because the plastic was really soft and flimsy and I thoroughly enjoyed chewing on it. Hey it's not like I was gonna eat the cereal - at best, I'd pick out the Crunchberries.
Still, my fondest memories of Cap'n Crunch stem not from toy premiums or tasty red berryballs. Instead, my love for the throatbuster of cereals really began somewhere around fifteen years ago, with the addition of some new characters to the ongoing commercial adventures...
The Soggies were the Macho Man to Cap'n Crunch's Hulk Hogan - an ongoing struggle for power that the Cap'n wins, hands down, at every turn. The Soggies goal? MAKE THE CEREAL SOGGY. It's a pretty banal job, but somebody's gotta do it. They're represented by two evil milk creatures, one of whom wears a hat. I don't remember their names, but I'd say it's a safe bet that they're called something like 'Milky & Bilky' or 'Sog & Wog.' (further research revealed them to by 'Sydney & Snyder - I was close) In any event, the Cap'n has to keep these guys at bay if he wants his cereal to retain it's amazing crunchabilities.
But there's a higher power at work here. It's not just the Soggies who seek to end the glory of breakfast - they're just rubes. It's their leader who really calls the shots. Enter: The Sogmaster.
Squish the Sogmaster was an evil robot who used charts and diagrams to teach the Soggies how to mush up Cap'n Crunch cereal. I can't believe someone would go through all the trouble of building a giant, super-intelligent robot just so it could teach milky monsters how to make cereal soggy. This is getting towards a Waterworld-level of misbudgeting.
Squish rarely entered the fray himself, instead preferring to send out the useless Soggies to do his bidding. The idea here was that all the bad guys hated the idea of people enjoying the sweet crunchy goodness of breakfast cereal. The macabre concept reads like Poe's finest, only instead of pits and pendulums, we get squishy white retards trying to jump on top of cereal bowls.
The commercials then featured the Cap'n and his seeming-harem of little kids going about their business, only to be ATTACKED by Soggies and having to fight for the rights of breakfast-eaters everywhere. Many of you probably watching the ad spots on Saturday mornings. They usually popped up right between a commercial for Lite Brite and that McDonald's ad where the McNuggets keep committing hari kari by jumping into the sweet n' sour. But today's a special day, because I'm going to offer to you - at no charge - the opportunity to download one of the original commercials!
Oh, what the hell...
Two of the original commercials!
Let's review 'em and see how the Soggies seek to end the good Cap'n reign as Cereal Champion of the Universe.
Commercial #1: Cap'n Crunch's Special Robot Friend!
The Soggies get an incredible idea - MUSH UP CEREAL! Surprised? I was always impressed with how the Soggies could turn into spirals and work there way down phone poles by dripping upside down - they're like the secret love twins of Plasticman and Hydroman, with a little dash of Tom Selleck thrown in for good measure. The end result are two milky bastards with bad, bad intentions. Their game plan? Find some kids who are, for whatever reason, walking around outside while eating from a cereal bowl. Once they accomplish that, they can simply jump into the bowls and sog the fuck out of the Crunch.
Fortunately, the Cap'n and his concubines have some seriously intense monitoring equipment that show them what's going on in any spot of the planet they wish to know about. Man NASA could really use equipment like that, but I guess keeping the Soggies at bay is pretty important too. The heroes all agree that they've gotta stop the Soggies before it's too late. Personally, I think the soggeroonies are doing us all a favor, because the only way I'm gonna be able to swallow that stuff without making my tonsils bleed is if I mutate into a fly like Jeff Goldblum and gain the ability to break down my nutrients with vomit first.
Our heroes fly off in a giant robot who's got a huge box of Cap'n Crunch Cereal for a chest. Well, I wasn't expecting that. Quaker Oats was famous for changing the Captain's aura over the years to better fit the time's hottest trends. (i.e. - some years he sounds like a surfer, others a computer genius, others a latino pop star) Since this was in the mid-80s, I'm guessing all the robots bullshit started because of the popularity of Transformers and shows of that ilk. Cap'n Crunch is such a frontrunner. I haven't seen one of the new commercials recently, but I'm sure he's peddling cereal wearing a bandana on his head, packing heat.
I think Cap'n Crunch should just be himself.
The Soggies find some kids eating breakfast and menace them into submission - but just as they're about to swim through the cereal, the Cap'n arrives to save the day! In comparison to other cereal villains, I'm not really gushing over these guys. Cookie Crisp had that Cookie Crook, Fruity Pebbles had Barney, the Trix Rabbit had children at large. Besides, I'm not really sure how the Soggies do their job - they're made of milk, right? Aren't we supposed to put the cereal in that anyway? Anyway, curious as to how the Cap'n thwarts his enemies? No, he doesn't bust out with the karate moves. He doesn't try to talk down to 'em or inject them with cyanide either. Those methods of success are purely pedestrian to a guy like Captain Crunch. He's got something far more powerful on his side...
THE POWER OF THE CRUNCH!!
'Crunch Power' is nothing to laugh at - the Cap'n calls upon it's mysterious energies to transform Sydney and Snyder into milky bowling pins, which he destroys pretty completely afterwards. The Soggies sog out to sea, accepting defeat and vowing to fight the good fight another day. Our heroes, meanwhile, celebrate the fact that their cereal is still crunchy.
I'd grade this ad spot, overall, at a B-Minus. It's not too bad when you compare it, say, a Crispix commercial, but there's usually a lot more going on in a Lucky Charms advertisement. Where's the green clovers...the purple mushrooms? Maybe it's just that, deep down, I know they're doing a hard sell for a really shitty cereal. I understand that some people enjoy the taste of Cap'n Crunch. It's just not for me. I need a cereal with more color and, if I'm lucky, a spokesperson fashioned after a Universal Monster.
To Download Cap'n Crunch's Special Robot Friend, Click Here!
But wait, there's more! Our second commercial features the Cap'n doing what's probably his most important job: gathering Crunchberries. They're kinda like Smurfberries - only these aren't soft and Gargamel can't use them to make a potion that turns Smurfs into gold medallions filled with pure white chocolate.
While I'm not particularly fond of the Captain's corny crunch, I'm a big fan of the berries. They taste pretty good and they're excellent for making Christmas garland crafts. Over the years there's been many variations on Cap'n Crunch, but this one takes the cake. The commercial we're about to take a look at is doubly cool since we learn, FINALLY, how Cap'n Crunch gets his hands on such exotic fruit.
Commercial #2: Cap'n Crunch's Crunchberry Island!
The Cap'n and friends sail off in their modified robot boat to Parts Unknown, but the Soggies aren't far behind. Shit, Captain Crunch has some serious gear, doesn't he? Who's funding his research? I never knew friendly piracy was so lucrative. What's more - for a pirate, he's sure got pretty harmless enemies. Most pirates we've heard of have people putting bounties on their heads...it's like their every waking moment is spent in intense paranoia because somebody they previously screwed really wants to chop their fingers off. Not the good captain - all he has to worry about are some gloppy milk creatures who answer to a robot who really enjoys using chalkboards.
So here's where the magic happens. Crunchberry Village. A land where the trees are full of sweet fruit that meshes well in cereal. It's explained that the Power of the Crunch is used to seal in the berry's flavor, keeping it crisp. Sooo, now that you know the deep dark secret of Crunchberries, what mystery of the universe will you devote your attention to now?
The Soggies, of course, have followed our friends to this magical place, and they're here to sog shit up again. They seem to do a lot of that. If they get their hands on the ripe but raw Crunchberries, the whole crop'll be soiled and toiled and totally useless to kids everywhere. That's why Cap'n Crunch has to go back to the well one more time to stop the chaos:
CRUNCH POWER X2!!!
In the end, the Cap'n makes it back home with the bushels of berries intact. Everyone is pleased, especially since all of this hooplah is part of a balanced breakfast, fortified with rough gravel and rock candy.
The Soggies aren't doing too well in their ongoing wars with Cap'n Crunch, and somewhere along the way, they simply gave up the cause. Maybe someone told them that sogging up cereal was a stupid way to spend their time. Then again, what other professions exist for slimy monsters made of sour milk? Especially ones named Sydney? If they're not gonna attack Cap'n Crunch, the only other thing they could possibly do is contact Troma Studios and get hired to direct and star in their first feature film, When Bird Shit Comes To Life.
Until that time, click here to download The Crunchberry Island Commercial.
By the way - all of the above stars played a part in the Cap'n Crunch Island Adventure I board game. This was your only chance to pick up your very own set of Soggies action figures. I'm not sure what the goal was, I guess it had something to do with using a spinner and dice to keep cereal nice and hard. Not exactly a Risk-level game of strategy, but at least there weren't any small marbles to lose.
Thanks for reading - I hope you enjoyed this little trip down a crunchy memory lane. I know this article isn't as long as my usual features, so if you're still in the mood to listen to my inane banter, check out the Quickie I did last night on Castlevania's Villains. Enjoy!
PS - I've been doing a lot of movie stuff for UGO. Here's links to what's up there so far. Most of these are flick reviews for upcoming films, many including interviews with the stars. It's been a blast putting this stuff together and really great experience, so I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Eric from UGO for hooking a brutha-man up with a nice little deal. Take a look...
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