Calabash Animation Gets Sonny


Acclaimed Animation Studio Heads To ‘Chocolate Island’ For New Cocoa Puffs Spot

Last Updated: July 26, 2012 7:49 pm GMT
(Chicago, Illinois--July 26, 2012) Life is good on Chocolate Island – unless of course you’re Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, the popular brand icon associated with Cocoa Puffs cereal. In the new spot, “Chocolate Island,” produced by animation experts Calabash Animation, Sonny’s attempt to get away from his Cocoa Puffs obsession leads him to a tropical island, only to find temptation from three chocolate Tiki heads and a volcano over-flowing with chocolate lava.

“For this we wanted to tone Sonny down just a little bit and not have him whip around the screen from the get-go,” Wayne Brejcha, Calabash Creative Director says. “We took a less-is-more approach and focused on showcasing the deliciousness of the chocolate lava and movement of the Tiki statues.”

Marking the first time Calabash has worked on a Cocoa Puffs spot for the US market (they’ve worked previously on Cocoa Puffs spots for the Hispanic market), the new spot was animated in CG, but features a cel animated main Sonny.

“Chocolate Island” opens with a shot of Sonny relaxing in a hammock near a picture-perfect waterfall in a tropical rainforest. After noting how “on this deserted island I won’t go cookoo for…” suddenly three Tiki statues named Crunchy, Munchy and Chocolatey” start chanting “Cocoa Puffs, Cocoa Puffs.” As the Tiki statues tempt him, Sonny begins lose it – first seeing chocolate lava flowing from the volcano and finally pin-balling hilariously between three palm trees screaming his familiar catch-phrase “I’m cookoo for Cocoa Puffs.” The spot ends with Sonny and the Tiki statues enjoying a bowl of Cocoa Puffs.”

For Executive Producer Sean Henry, the most challenging component of the spot was figuring out the movement of the chocolate Tiki heads.

“We experimented quite a bit with their movement and facial expressions,” Henry says, “but the more we played with them, the more we felt they looked better when they moved in rudimentary ways, with simple mouth movements – they are after all made of chocolate.”

About Calabash Animation:
Led by Creative Director Wayne Brejcha and Executive Producer Sean Henry, Calabash Animation, Inc. ( is the Chicago, IL-based animation production studio, known for its award-winning cel, 3D and stop-motion animation for the advertising and entertainment industries. Calabash Animation is perhaps best known for their creative development of some of America’s most beloved brand icons. In addition to working on some of today’s top advertising the company has also produced several acclaimed short films. It’s 2002 short ‘’Stubble Trouble’’ was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002. Its most recent “Botnik” will hit the festival circuit in Fall 2008.

Creative Credits:
Client: General Mills
Project: “Chocolate Island” (:30)

Agency: McCann-Erickson, New York
Creative Director: Sean Kiener
Copywriter: Steve Santano
Producer: Debra McCracken

Animation: Calabash Animation, Chicago, IL
Creative Director: Wayne Brejcha
Executive Producer: Sean Henry
Title: Eric Meister
Title: Chris Blake

Web Resources
Click here to watch Cocoa Puffs' "Chocolate Island"

Click here for more info about Calabash Animation


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