Toucan Sam

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Toucan Sam, appearing on Froot Loops cereal box

Toucan Sam is the cartoon toucan mascot for Froot Loops breakfast cereal. The character has been featured in advertising since the 1960s. He exhibits the ability to smell Froot Loops from great distances and invariably locates a concealed bowl of the cereal while intoning, "Follow your nose! It always knows!", sometimes followed by "The flavor of fruit! Wherever it grows!" Another version of this phrase in a string of commercials in the late-2000s presents the character at the end of the commercials saying "Just follow your nose!", followed by a group of children retorting, "For the fruity taste that shows!"

History[edit]

Toucan Sam became the mascot for Froot Loops cereal in 1963.[1] The cartoon character was created by Manuel R. Vega and originally voiced by Mel Blanc, using an ordinary American accent. Blanc's original commercials were noted for their use of Pig Latin (referring to the cereal as OOT-fray OOPS-lay). The ad agency later decided to switch to the English accent more commonly associated with the character. They then employed Paul Frees to do what is, in effect, an imitation of Ronald Colman. Most recently, Toucan Sam was voiced by Maurice LaMarche after the death of Paul Frees. Toucan Sam had a cousin named Arty Artin that was featured in a few commercials. Animation of the commercials were created by several animation companies including Thumbnail Spots; this impacted the character growth among the years.

Although his beak originally had two pink stripes, during the 1970s it became a tradition that each stripe on his beak represented one of the flavors of the pieces in the cereal: (red = cherry, yellow = lemon, orange = orange).[2] The additions of new colors have made this color scheme no longer accurate. There are now eight colors of this cereal. The first new color was green, which was introduced in 1991, then purple in 1994, blue in 1996, pink in 2002, and gold in 2006.

The colors, perhaps, represent different flavors present in the cereal, but each color has the same flavor.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

A parody of Toucan Sam can be briefly seen on an episode of T.U.F.F. Puppy as one of the many things the Chameleon can turn into.

Another parody was found on Family Guy where Brian auditioned for the mascot's role.

Maya Archaeology Initiative[edit]

The Maya Archaeology Initiative (MAI) is a project of the World Free Press Institute (WFPI). On June 2010, WFPI submitted a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the MAI logo, a profile of a toucan with a Mayan temple in the background, both encircled by yellow/green light. It was published on 15 March 2011.[4]

Kellogg's (owner of the Toucan Sam logo) objected on the grounds that the two logos are too similar. That caused a long argument, which ended on 15 November 2011 with an announcement that Kellogg's and the MAI are forming a charitable partnership.[5]

Recent commercials[edit]

Since 1994, Toucan Sam has been joined onscreen by his nephews Puey, Susey, and Louis. The nephews are voiced by two notable voiceover artists: Frank Welker and Jim Cummings. In recent commercials, Toucan Sam's three nephews have joined him in opposition to many practical Froot Loop-loving enemies through a series of integrated commercials (each of them as well appropriately advertise the cereal itself).

The Toucan Sam campaign was produced by Pepper Films, Inc. until 2013, when Kellogg’s transitioned the Froot Loops brand to CGI with animation company Nathan Love.[6] Toucan Sam is currently voiced by Maurice LaMarche.

Other characters[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]