March 8, 2014 posted by

Cheerios Round-Up


Snap, Cackle and Pop. Tony the Tiger. Sonny the Cuckoo Bird. These are few of the long running cereal mascots you’ve seen cavorting on your television set since you were a tyke. Cheerios on the other hand never seemed to have a permanent campaign. They tried a lot of different approaches, many of them involving the “spinach” technique (Eat our cereal and you will be able to bench press two elephants at the same time!) Let’s take a look at a few of ’em…


Starting off we have this adult-type spot. Big brassy music accompanies the stylized graphics. Produced by Elektra Films with animation by Jack Schnerk.

Bullwinkle – William Tell

A “Bullwinkle’s Corner” spot featuring some inspired animation by Bill Littlejohn. Bill Scott is Bullwinkle. Produced by Jay Ward.

King Leonardo

Jackson Beck is the featured voice artist here. Notice that Odie Cologne does not speak. Likely this is to avoid the added cost of having Allen Swift attend the recording. Produced and directed by Gerry Ray.


Simon Bar-Sinister attempts to hideously disfigure all the Cheerios in the world. Featuring the voices of Allen Swift, Norma MacMillan, and Wally Cox. A P.A.T. production. Animation by Gamma Productions.

I assume that last line means that there is no part two of this commercial. To find out how it ends, you’re supposed to buy a box of Cheerios, and if the holes are still there, that means Underdog stopped the sinister plot.

Aesop and Son

From Jay Ward Productions with animation by Gerard Baldwin. This spot is unusual for the fact that Daws Butler not only voices Junior, but Aesop as well (Normally radio/ television actor Charlie Ruggles provides his voice.)

Cheerios Kid – Rocket

The Cheerios Kid had been worked and reworked a few dozen times by almost as many studios over a period of several decades. General Mills’ advertising agency Dancer-Fitzgerald-Sample could never seem to settle on an approach. In this 1964 spot by Lars Calonius, they tried making him into an imbecile.

Cheerios Kid – Bullwinkle – Rowing

Jay Ward produced a series of spots with the Kid as Bullwinkle’s coach. Ben Washam animated this one.


  • Mike:
    All really great spots.It’s the first time i’ve ever seen the King Leonardo Cheerios spot.We even got to hear Jackson Beck warble the Cheerios jingle! Cool!

    • Yes that King Leonardo one is a good one. I had never seen it before nor knew of it’s existance. Thanks for posting it! 🙂

  • Great stuff!

  • Love these old commercials. Keep ’em coming!

    Who drew that comic panel at the top?

    • Al Kilgore.

  • Some of these commercials bring back good memories.

  • These commercials are great! Jay Ward’s ads trumps ’em all, because his were always like the Ward cartoons. Nice to see the Total Television characters getting into the fun as well. I don’t think I’d ever seen that Underdog ad for Cheerios. I always enjoy when these show up on collections of classic TV commercials, practically a bottomless pit as there were so many.

  • Every one of these commercials can be dated to within a year or two from the box design, starting with the Aesop’s Fables and Leonardo commercials (the oldest) to the Underdog commercial (the newest). I could picture the Elektra/Schnerk ad appearing on one of the Sunday evening variety shows (Ed Sullivan or Hollywood Palace) or an entertainment special, but never on Saturday morning like the rest.

  • In the Bullwinkle “Rowing” commercial, the Red Skelton connection really stands out. Bullwinkle’s voice was an impression of Red Skelton’s Clem Kadiddlehopper character from Red’s radio and TV shows, and the last line in the spot, “Quit talking and answer the phone..” is cribbed from Red’s punch-drunk prizefighter, Cauliflower McPugg!

  • It sounds to me like the Cheerios Kid in the last spot is voiced by Barry Gordon, the child actor in A Thousand Clowns.

  • Fun to see these again. The Underdog Cheerios commercial by P.A.T./ Total Television / Gamma Productions is interesting. Back then if Gamma could have added a few more drawings to their animation output and executed more quality control (especially on the camera work to eliminate the cel wobbling problems they seemed to have many times) their output would have so much better and respectable. This ad proved that…well done by Gamma for this ad.

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