On this new episode of the Branded in the 80s podcast I’m going to attempt to solve a mystery, a cold case 30 years in the making. It’s a twisted tale of deception, a famous advertising slogan, mistaken identities, and murder. Welcome to Cereal, presented by Branded in the 80s. This story is an obscure, mostly forgotten and dark period in cereal history. Breakfast cereal history. It begins with a beloved 80s commercial jingle and it will eventually uncover the death of a third tier cereal mascot and the cover-up that has slipped under the radar of a generation.
Join me as I talk about a series of weird coincidences that led me to discovering that no less than 4 different Kelloggs cereals have been masquerading as separate products, but have in fact been the same flaky breakfast for almost 40 years.
For this episode’s shout out I wanted to point to a very cool project by my bud Chance Raspberry, one of the lead animators on The Simpsons, called Little Billy.
Little Billy is the ultimate 80s homage cartoon and the world’s first animated series about neurodiversity, special needs and the power of being different. As a child Chance was the spazz, weirdo or strange kid, growing up in the 80s with special needs and cartoons were and escape and healing force for him. Not only did watching healthy does of Saturday morning cartoons and afternoon syndication series give him an outlet for his Tourettes, it showed him a path to discover his true calling, illustration and animation.
Now Chance wants to bring life to his own animated stories and to bring some awareness to special needs kids along the way. Chance has been animating the Little Billy special solo, which is an arduous process. He’s set up an Indiegogo campaign to help him launch a collection of Little Billy merch so he can get the ball rolling both with the project and to help raise awareness for Tourettes. This is totally a project that I can get behind, both conceptually and actually as I just donated this past week!
Chance is over halfway to his funding goal and as of the episode he has about another five days to go. A portion of all the funds raised will go to the Tourette Association of American, while the rest will help fund the animated special and Little Billy merch. Chance has set up a lot of fun pledge rewards like t-shirts, stickers, animation lessons and he just released a couple of new pledges that might be of specific interest to listeners of this show.
Up for grabs are some authentic original animation drawings and finished animation cels from the super rad 80s flick One Crazy Summer signed by animator Bill Kopp! Those are incredibly rare pieces of cinema history, especially for John Cusack or Savage Steve Holland fans. So if you dig 80s animation and want to support a great cause and fun project, check out Little Billy at LittleBilly.com You can also connect with chance on twitter where he’s @chanceraspberry or on Instagram @chanceraz.