Raisin Bran Cereal Day

Today is National Raisin Bran Cereal Day which apparently pays homage to this very particular breakfast treat, though nobody seems to know exactly who’s brainchild this one was. I’d likely think it was one of the many manufacturers in an attempt to promote their products, but I guess the origin will remain a mystery.

As a kid, I didn’t like raisin bran as it seemed like an exceptionally boring cereal. While other cereals were colorful and displayed fun and interesting characters on their boxes, the Kellogg’s version of this cereal displayed a disturbingly cheerful and mildly deranged sun character holding two large scoops of what appeared to be mouse droppings over a bowl of the stuff.

I remember the animated commercials that they played during Saturday morning cartoons in the late 70’s to early 80’s. After seeing all the cool characters from other cereals, Mr. Sun would creepily appear on the screen to a little girl who asks, “how did all these raisins get into Kellogg’s Raisin Bran cereal?” Next, Mr. Sun weirdly winks at the girl then quickly kidnaps her before she can scream and takes her to his sunny lair called Raisin Land.

There she meets his little raisin babies who wave to her as he reveals his sinister plot of putting two scoopfuls of them into every package… so we can eat them. The girl, who appears to have been drugged at some point on this journey, smiles blankly and says, “Brilliant!” This was astoundingly horrifying to me. Mr. Sun had already established that he had no qualms about kidnapping little girls, and then we discover he’s actually trying to feed us his own children.

There was no way I was eating that, so I opted for Lucky Charms. This was a far more colorful cereal that was apparently magic. It featured a little leprechaun, named Lucky, who would tell you about his rainbow of marshmallow surprises including pink hearts, yellow stars, orange moons, green clovers, and blue diamonds. Later I think they added a purple horseshoe which was weird and sort of wrecked his little speech.

I felt bad for the little leprechaun because evil little homeless kids were always trying to steal his food. I guess I could have felt bad that they didn’t have mothers who would buy a box for them, but I always just felt bad for poor Lucky. He would do everything he could to elude them, but they would always win and end up stealing his Charms.

It occurs to me now that all of these commercials were bizarre. I’m not quite sure what the marketing geniuses at the time were thinking by promoting everything from stealing to cannibalism in order to sell kids on their cereal. Though on the bright side, I never needed to be told as a child to avoid staring directly into the sun.

Since all of the messages seemed so odd and confusing, I would often just choose my cereal by the prize they offered inside. This seemed like a much easier task than trying to decipher the strange hidden meanings of the commercials. And it made going to the grocery store actually fun and not just a horrible tease of wonderful food your mom told you that you couldn’t have.

These days, I still eat cereal, but just the boring adult kind with less sugar and without all the colorful chemicals. Sometimes I’m still lured by the bright packaging and characters, until Philippe assures me that the contents are poisonous and I need to step away. I do, but not without a feeling of loss, and a new understanding for those homeless kids as I would now have to mug a leprechaun myself if I wanted to get my hands on a box of Lucky Charms.

Even though today is for raisin bran, I think I’ll skip celebrating this one, and just feast on the memories. But if you’re inspired, then feel free to pour yourself a bowl and remember not to ask too many questions. I’m not sure if Mr. Sun has retired by now, but it’s entirely possible he could still be lurking around the corner waiting to kidnap you. Might be wise to lock your door first… just in case.

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

39 replies on “National Raisin Bran Cereal Day

  1. Mouse droppings…hahahaha! That’s pretty much what I think of raisins.😉 Hubby, the crazy guy, actually likes raisin bran (the health food store version with less sugar). I don’t care much for any cereals, but I heartily enjoyed your psychoanalysis of them.😀 xo

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  2. Ah, the memories from childhood. 😊 My sister was a big fan of Lucky Charms because they were “magically delicious!” Me not so much. My sister was also a fan of Cocoa Puffs. I think I was more of Fruit Loops kid myself. 😜 The people who invented these strange sugar coated cereal names had to be a bit off as you mention it. It has my brain spinning with creative ideas though. 😳 Hehe! Love your Doodlewash of cereal and your humorous post, Charlie! 😄🎨💖

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    1. Thanks so much Jill! 💕😃 Glad I made ya smile! Hehe… yeah, I had a friend who loved Cocoa Puffs because you end up with chocolate milk. I was a big Fruit Loops fan! I always tried to get all of a single color in a bite to see if there was a difference in taste. There wasn’t…they all just tasted equally fruity, but that didn’t stop me from doing it. 😊

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  3. Lucky Charms is my daughter’s favorite!! And I wasn’t crazy about Raisin Bran but I still remember the 2 scoops of raisins! Lol. My parents always bought Sugar Smacks but it was difficult to eat cereal first thing in the morning since I had a bit of lactose intolerance. But for dinner.. 😜

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  4. Now I have THAT song stuck in my head: “Two scoops of raisins in a package of Kellog’s Raisin Bran – TWO scoops!” Your little doodlewash makes them look more appealing than ever with some fresh peach slices.

    Oh the commercials of our childhood. Their jingles still ring in my head…. You sure bring back memories Charlie O.

    I do have a box of Raisin Bran Crunch in the pantry. Might have to have some tomorrow morning. But then I’ll be a day late and a dollar short. Story of my life…. (he that’s another song – sticking in my head!)🙂 Hugs Charlie O.

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  5. Wow, what a weird ride down memory lane, the names of the cereals…you are right, sugar smacks is by far the most concerning. I was completely deprived as a kid, no wonder bread, no soft drink and no sugary cereal. Only on an odd exception my mom would buy us Captain Crunch very occasionally, the standard was Kixs and Rice Crispy. I think Raisin Bran was in the pantry, that was for desperate measures. But your doodlewash makes it look delicious…

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  6. This was crazy to read when tired beyond belief, Charlie😛 Another superbly silly celebration.

    I always quite liked bran cereals, even as a kid, and until you called them mouse droppings I quite liked raisins too! Don’t think we were ever snazzy enough to mix the two, though. I used to have Cheerios and Frosties most of all… well, I still do, I just have a touch more restraint. The latter was mainly due to Tony the Tiger.

    Golden Grahams! I forgot about those. Do you even have those over there?

    So off the back of your recollections, I started scouring YouTube for kids cereal adverts. Endless amusement. I found one from 1990, with André the Giant in! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4Vd6rv58gA Not gonna lie, that shot of André reaching through the window would probably have terrified me if I’d seen it as a child. Cool robot, though…

    Liked by 1 person

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