What the heck is this weird skin flap on Boo Berry?


42 Responses to “What the heck is this weird skin flap on Boo Berry?”

  1. locussolus says:

    Boo Berry also looks a bit like he has liver problems. And glassy possessed eyes……..remind me again why I can’t get a design/illustration gig?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, modern versions of kid product mascots look very much lamer than the original versions. I don’t think it’s just baby-boomer nostalgia either. I’d blame a number of factors, not the least of which is the overuse of Photoshop tricks like drop shadows, mesh gradients, lighting effects, pillow emboss, etc. Click–done, too easy.

    Using your own skills and tools in an analog world forces you to slow down and keeps your brain, hands and eyes engaged. Nothing happens that you don’t make happen. I am not blaming the computer tools, just lazy operators.

    Enjoy this original hand-drawn art of Frankenberry, real ink over blue line. I think much cooler than the modern package verrsion–and I really dig the details, like that Frankenberry’s thumb and fingernails are little strawberries!


  3. hellomeow says:

    Hahaha! Yeah, Boo Berry looks like he’s havin a good night (actually, everynight)

    But you know, there isn’t much work out there for ghosts these days. Not implying anything here, but I can see why he may have considered ‘alternative’ means of income…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Boo Berry ghost wears a bowtie, on this box art it appears underneath the layer containing his head graphic; you can see the outline of the bowtie if you look at the picture.

  5. littlebrother says:

    It is a 3 dimensional face. The lips stick out further than cheeks, the “flap” is his cheek seen through the mouth. The round edges of the “flap” are the inside of his mouth.

    If he had a nose, it would obscure his far eye, and the “protruding lips” would not seem so hard to notice.

    • EeyoreX says:

      “The round edges of the “flap” are the inside of his mouth.”

      That was the idea before the re-design, but it doesn’t work here, unless he’s had a stroke or a bad botox injection, leaving him paralyzed on the left side of his face.
      Because if he´s smiling on both sides, the flaps would not be rounded.

      • knoxblox says:

        To further your point, it is in the poor shading, and the lack of delineation of the edges of the upper and lower lip seen against the cheek behind them that makes the illusion fall apart.

        A non-artist or a cartoonist (not to be confused with a non-artist) might symbolically use a line to delineate the edge of the lip seen against the cheek (see John Arbuckle from Garfield), while a fine artist would use contrasting shades of light and dark to bring out the edge without using a line (see Nickolai Fechin’s charcoal portrait of Boris Karloff, the technique also used to delineate Karloff’s smile creases).

        @UglyCanuck: I think they even had a Lorre impersonator voicing the commercials, so I’m pretty sure it was intentional.

  6. JIMWICh says:

    Back in the ’60s and ’70s, a number of cereal mascots such as Cap’n Crunch, Sugar Bear (from Super Sugar Crisp), and Boo-Berry all sported a cool, laid back heavy-lidded look. You could say they were all baked, but the same look just as easily connoted good ol’ aloof hipness.

    Illustrators back in the day understood the power and elegance of simplicity and the idea that less is often more. The quality of their work was never judged according to how much graphic baloney they could pile on. Unlike the rasterbation addictions of today’s Adobe Photoslut and Frustrator jockeys.

    As Mark has often pointed out, the monstrous descendents of these hallowed mascots look like celebrity escapees from rehab resorts or the deranged inmates of prison psyche wards. A sad mixture of medicated happiness and vapid over-rendered inanity.

    No doubt there’s a battalion of ‘Dr. Faye Millers’ armed with file cabinets of in-store customer research convincing consumer product companies that these hideous imposters are more competitive on the store shelves.

    Which has left our beloved characters of yore as just so much collateral damage in a never-ending misguided war on charming design.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Is it just me, or does Boo Berry look SO WASTED, DUDE!

  8. Church says:

    Oh, wild.

    I honestly didn’t see it at first (I think I mentally processed it as it was intended) but once it was pointed out, I couldn’t not see it.

    I can totally understand an art director who was probably sick to death of these illustrations not getting it either.

  9. Anonymous says:

    That’s not a skin flap on watermelon girl, it’s bite marks in the watermelon she’s holding in front of her face. Although now that you’ve said it’s a skinflap, I can’t un-see it.

  10. MrJM says:

    What did Boo Berry die of? And why does he haunt a breakfast cereal?

  11. Ugly Canuck says:

    For me, the old Booberry mascot – which has been around since the 1970s, IIRC – always carried a hint of Peter Lorre in its design:


    ..but that would be odd, if it were done intentionally. For Mr Lorre first made his name portraying ‘M’, a killer of children:


    …and what manufacturer of sugary cereals for kids would want to be identified with such?

    OTOH, I guess Freddy Krueger’s popular with the kids.

  12. Vorple says:

    I agree with all of the graphic criticisms except for the antifreeze. Antifreeze graphics shouldn’t be attractive to children.

  13. rootboy says:

    I am reminded of the way mouths are drawn in the best comic on the internet.

  14. SKR says:

    [In best Swartzenegger impression] It is not a tumor!!!

  15. eltonbong says:

    its a sideways vagina….haven’t any of your read “Subliminal Seduction” ?

  16. Ugly Canuck says:

    Further research has corroborated my “Peter Lorre is Boo-berry” hypothesis. See this blog post about Boo-berry:


    Boo-berry’s voice in that first Boo-berry TV commercial (link there) pretty well clinches the “Peter Lorre” connection.

    PS: Also note the cool Boo-berry Hallowe’en costume at the link.

    PPS: Did Boo-berry later branch out into that stylish line of women’s coats?

  17. Altidude says:

    I’m not sure this design has an actual designer. It looks like they just sent the original image through the Dreamworks cartoonifier: http://www.culch.ie/images/pixarvsdreamworks.jpg

  18. Robert says:

    Looking forward to the new General Mills Cease’n’Desist cereal! KneeJerk & Lawyerism Guaranteed!

    I kinda like the Devo-esque hat, though.

  19. Ugly Canuck says:

    Oh, that’s not Boo-berry, that’s Bur-berry.


    Sotty ’bout that mix-up.

  20. Ugly Canuck says:

    Sorry ’bout that ‘sotty’ too.

  21. Anonymous says:

    One design and receipt that hasn’t changed and I can’t do without:


    where can I get a T-shirt?!?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Knowing what we know now about trans and saturated fats, the “improved by hydrogenation” on the Skippy peanut butter makes the old one a bit less attractive.


  23. Ugly Canuck says:

    What of the “Lost Monster” cereals?

    What of “Fruit Brute”?


    …or “Yummy Mummy”?


    Nobody ever remembers them!

    Well at least we still have Boo-berry.

    Thanx to Andy Savage for the links!

  24. Brett Myers says:

    Not a skin flap. It’s rendered (poorly) as a three dimensional character, rather than a flat two dimensional illustration. It doesn’t have to be a pointed grin line on that side, because the character isn’t grinning. That’s some kind of creepy smirk, with the one eyebrow raised.

  25. Cowicide says:

    ANSWER: It’s a bag of coke he had hidden between his gum and cheek. By looking at his eyes, it’s obvious he’s gotten so wasted that he’s forgotten it’s there. Sugar Bear is just waiting for him to pass out so he can steal it.

  26. Ugly Canuck says:

    In for a penny, in for a pound.

    So here’s the first Count Chocula (and Frankenberry, too) ad:


    ..and a link to that first Boo-berry ad , mentioned above:


    Five…five monster cereals!! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I do not approve of making 2d characters 3d, but if you MUST, at least do it right. I spent a couple minutes in photoshop and repainted that box. Here’s how it SHOULD look:
    you can tell in that side by side what a travesty the old one was. He looked like a fish!

  28. Ugly Canuck says:

    And now…the Monster cereals go disco:


    PS I meant to thank Andy Cage, not Andy Savage, above. Sorry ’bout that, Mr Savage.

  29. Angryjim says:

    forgot to sign in. that last post was me. seriously. cereal people. lay off the fake 3d. I like this old one. you can see he’s supposed to have a hat like ed norton from the honeymooners. that’s another thing that got abstracted beyond recognition there. http://frederatorblogs.com/channel_frederator/files/2008/04/booberry.jpg

  30. monstrinho_do_biscoito says:

    old lucky charms mascot: a terrifying eldritch creature of malicious glee
    new lucky charms mascot: a terrifyingly desperate creature screaming ‘PLEASE LOVE ME OR I WILL BE REPLACED! LOVE MEEEEEE!’

    not sure which makes me want sugar coated sugar less.

  31. devophill says:

    I believe the heavy lidded look is closely tied to his “voice namesake”, who was of course a morphine addict.

  32. Anonymous says:

    What baffles me is that a cartoon convention could be rendered as a “skin flap” without anyone realising what was being misinterpreted.

  33. MooseDesign says:

    I would be more worried about his yellow teeth and eyes… can ghosts get jaundice?

  34. gwailo_joe says:

    I enjoyed the Dinosaurs and Robots links: truly the original tuna mermaid had class and hotness…

    Booberrys face is indeed flappy and f-d up: his one eyebrow is ginourmous. His eyes are jaundice yellow. His hat is a cross between Devo and a Chinese hopping ghos. . .THATS IT!

    Boo-burry is without doubt a lecherous opiate addict with a cleft palate and a penchant for sweets and hopping. . .

    “I pity the fool that don’t eat my cereal! Hahaheheahaa!”

  35. T0AD says:

    also if his skin is transparent souldn’t you be able to see hes teeth through his lips

Leave a Reply