EXCLUSIVE: Jem, DuckTales and Ghostbusters are already taken, so what’s the next iconic Eighties property that’s ripe for a fresh start? I hear through the grapevine that the California Raisins, the fictional R&B / soul advertising mascots, are next on the list.
Rusty Citron, president of the Actors Hall of Fame Foundation, which he founded, confirmed to Cartoon Brew today that he is involved in the development of a live-action / CG hybrid film featuring the California Raisins. An international theatrical release is slated for late fall 2016 or spring 2017, Citron said.
The quartet of withered grapes, which itself traded in 1960s Motown nostalgia, became famous through a series of claymation commercials animated by Will Vinton Studios. The characters surpassed their ad-based origins and became unexpectedly popular. They released four music albums, several animated primetime specials, productive merchandising, and even a short-lived cel-animated Saturday morning series. At the height of the cherry craze, musicians like Michael Jackson and Ray Charles recorded songs for their commercials. But like many of the real music groups they mimicked, the raisins hissed a few short years after they made a name for themselves.