Monday, December 12, 2011

Sugar Bear and Friends - Part One

Ah, Sugar Crisp/Super Sugar Crisp/Super Golden Crisp/Golden Crisp.  Good cereal, good times.

I love commercials.  Or at least, I love old commercials.  Technically, every commercial will eventually become an old commercial, but that's besides the point.  I guess part of it is nostalgia, and another factor is the fact that we are never satisfied with what we have until we lose it.  But whatever the reason is, I love the oldies.

As a child of the 90's, I missed out on a lot of stuff.  Thankfully, that's what Youtube is for.  I decided to do some research on various old cereals and created some playlists based around cereal commercials.  I figured, as long as I had those playlists, why not blog about them as well, right?

So that's the obligatory intro.  Today we're gonna talk about Sugar Bear.

What can't Sugar Bear do?  He can be either a hero or a villain, depending on how he feels in the morning.  He can do anything, including breathe in space.

But we didn't always have Sugar Bear.  Originally, there were three little bears:  Dandy, Handy, and Candy.  They had a hit single about them and apparently even had a comic strip as well.  Despite that, they didn't really have much personality.

After that, cartoon characters like Mighty Mouse and Bugs Bunny did the commercials.

In 1964, the Linus the Lionhearted cartoon gave us Sugar Bear.  I know this because of Wikipedia.  Around the same time (give or take a year), there were commercials with a kid named Christopher, or sometimes the "Big Kid" who would  use Sugar Crisp cereal to pirates or escaped gorillas or bank robbers or something like that.

Sometimes Sugar Bear would join in on the action.

But it was the Lionhearted cartoon that gave Sugar Bear his classic Bing Crosby-style voice and laid-back, stoneresque attitude.  And then there was the song:  He could not get enough of that Sugar Crisp.  It kept him going strong.

In those days, Sugar Bear was kind of a dick.  See, there was this nice old lady, Granny Goodwitch, who was a...well, a good witch.  She was the closest thing he had to an enemy back then.  In fact, he was actually her enemy!  He would waltz into her house, eat her cereal, and leave!  Granny Goodwitch would use spells to make things difficult for Sugar Bear (including turning her house into a tower or even GOING INTO SPACE), but Sugar Bear would always, always manage to steal a bowl or two.

Yes, he rode a bike into space.  Nothing phased him. Nothing.

Clearly, something was wrong.  Sugar Bear was essentially breaking and entering, and then essentially robbing an old lady.  Yes, it was only her cereal, but she was always so ticked about it that it had to really mean something to her.  Sugar Bear was kind of a bully.  A new character had to be added to balance things out.  That's when we got "The Blob."

The Blob a gangster who talked with a thick, Bostonian accent.  He wasn't the brightest villain, but then again, his victims weren't that bright, either.  In one commercial, he just flat-out announced that he was taking over New York and everyone sort of went along with it.  I think that Doofenshmirtz had a similar idea once in Phineas and Ferb.

In the end, old Blobby was always undone by Sugar Bear, who often challenged him to a race, saying he didn't believe in violence (complete BS, by the way), or sometimes Sugar Bear would just beat him up.  Good old-fashioned fisticuffs.

One old commercial revealed that the Blob and Sugar Bear were actually rivals since they were kids.  It also showed us that Sugar Bear wore a sailor suit, so you knew he was a kid or something.  The Blob actually beat him once, too.

One tragic commercial revealed that the Blob never went to the zoo as a child.  As a result, he decides to kick all the animals out.  Perhaps that's why he's such a jerk.  Other times, he just engaged in flat-out pollution for fun's sake.

Around the same time that the Blob went on the pollution-streak, we met Sugar Bear's girlfriend, Honey Bear.  Not much to say on her, except that she was in all of the environment-themed commercials.
We also found out that the Blob has a son.  Let that sink in.

It was around this time that we got a couple one-off villains.  There was Marvin the Mouth, who desperately wished his mouth was bigger and wanted to eat all the Sugar Crisp in the world.

He planned to accomplish this by...turning into a giant hand?

Then there was this weird live-action commercial with a villain named "Shaggy Dan" who looked like a porcupine and stole Sugar Crisp as well.

Gaze in terror at live-action Sugar Bear!

Then there's "Mean Mr. Winter", who was essentially a Snow Miser rip-off, and covered the world in snow, along with his unnamed accomplice.  Sugar Bear turned him "sweet as springtime" with a spoonful of Sugar Crisp.

Honestly, it made him creepier.

Then there was that idiot, Sugar Fox.  He was a high-pitched, southern-accented fox who craved Sugar Crisp as bad as Sugar Bear.  Naturally, he also liked to steal cereal.  His real problem was that he liked to essentially dangle it in front of Sugar Bear and say "ha ha, I've got your cereal!"  It was as if he wanted Sugar Bear to take it back, which he always did.

After that, there were more one-off villains like giant crabs...

...sharks who controlled other sharks...

...and giant spiders.

He would combat these by changing into a muscular, naked superhero persona, "Super Bear."  The cereal box in that picture is covering his furry, throbbing genitalia.

Continued soon in part 2!

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