Saturday, December 24, 2005

California Raisins Star in TV Special

Brian
This story was originally posted November 4, 1988. During the holidays, the Good Reverend is rerunning classic posts.



America's sweethearts, the California Raisins, are going to have their very own special tonight on CBS:
The special is a vehicle for the California Raisins, the widely merchandised characters Vinton introduced in 1986 in a series of commercials for the California Raisin Board. "Meet the Raisins" takes four of the anonymous little figures and gives them names (A.C., Red, Stretch and Beebop) and recognizable personalities.

The highlight of the show is a clever montage that parodies rock documentaries -- home movies, stills, clips and interviews trace the Raisins' rise to stardom from their small-time roots in a band called the Vine-yls. The animators copy the elaborate footwork of early '60s groups such as the Drifters and the Coasters with the same elan that made the original commercials so entertaining.

. . . .

"Meet the Raisins" will probably increase the characters' already phenomenal popularity: Viewers can expect to see more of them in gift shops, T-shirt stores and boutiques. Maybe one of the two additional specials in the works for next year will give audiences the opportunity to see them in a coherent story.
Link. Times critic Charles Solomon didn't think the special was very funny, but I know I'll be watching it. I just can't get enough of those little scamps. "I Heard It through the Grapevine" indeed!

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Image credits: "The California Raisins Band," courtesy Gremlin Fine Arts, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes.

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