Toucan Sam became the mascot for Froot Loops cereal in 1963. 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. In the most recent cartoon advertisements for Froot Loops, Toucan Sam's voice is now performed by voice actor Maurice LaMarche after Paul Frees's death. 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). 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.
In popular culture
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.
Maya Archaeology Initiative
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.
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 Kelloggs and the MAI are forming a charitable partnership.
Since 1994, Toucan Sam has been joined onscreen by Puey, Susey, and Louis. The nephews are voiced by two notable voiceover artists: Frank Welker and Jim Cummings. In recent commercials, Toucan Sam's 3 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). In recent recordings, Mike Leboff will be voicing yet another one of Sam's foes.
The first of these enemies were Dr. Peacock, a peacock modeled after a stereotypical mad scientist who stole Toucan Sam's color with a giant laser called a color ray, thus rendering him black and white. Toucan Sam and his nephews find Dr. Peacock's lair and use the color ray to return his colors, and add Rainbow Loops to the cereal as voted by kids everywhere.
Another enemy, an alien called the Nasty Alien Froot Monster, lands on Earth in search of the ultimate fruit taste of Froot Loops. He captures Toucan Sam, but thanks to online voting, Toucan Sam's nephews gave the Froot Monster what he wanted, allowing Toucan Sam to escape. The Froot Monster, however, wanted more and stole Toucan Sam's cereal box. When Toucan Sam and his nephews found him, the Froot Monster devoured the entire box, and turned from bad to good by changing from green to yellow and creating Alien Berry Froot Loops, which he shared with everyone.
Then after, the smell of Froot Loops travels through the mirror to the land of Froot Scents, where the Froot Queen owns all fruity aromas. When she smells the Froot Loops, she declares it the best fruit scent and orders her guards (humans with fruit for heads) to capture the Froot Loops. The guards successfully steal the Froot Loops and break the mirror in the process. Toucan Sam and his nephews fix the mirror, and Toucan Sam follows them inside, commenting on the land's wonderful and strange fruit, and takes back the Froot Loops from the Froot Queen. The Froot Queen orders her guards to capture Toucan Sam, but the confusion allows Toucan Sam to take some of the land's fruit, where kids decided through online voting that the new loop should be Cherry-Cherry. Toucan Sam then escaped and added the Cherry-Cherry to the cereal. He even gave the new Froot Loops to the Froot Queen, whom after taking a bite, turned into a pretty good queen and rewarded her guards with Cherry-Cherry loops.
A series of commercials for Froot Loops followed the adventures of Toucan Sam and his nephews finding a treasure map and following it to a treasure that once belonged to a toucan pirate, Blackbeak (the name is a pun on Blackbeard). In each exploit, they reach a new destination that holds a new variety of Froot Loops, the most recent being "Golden Bars" (in reality, just three yellow Froot Loops stuck in a line). They encountered him and three other pirates later on. However, the pirates were beaten by a laser Sam made out of the loops and Blackbeak was helpless. Blackbeak looks very similar to Toucan Sam.
Villain #5 is the Greedy Froot Pharaoh in Egypt. A bandage was loose. A nephew stomped on that and beat him.
Villain #6 is the Selfish Froot Master in Japan. This karate koi ate some loops thrown by Sam and was trapped by 2 nephews in a fish bowl.
Sam set off to Mexico to get some Froot Loops. But he had to get through the Greedy Witch Doctor first. The Witch doctor was tickled and fell off his temple. He let go of his magic sprinkles on the way down and Sam used those to top the Froot Loops, creating Froot Loops with Sprinkles. In 2013 a new villain called Carl the King Crab is released. And as the commercials will now be CGI Carl is the first enemy to be in CGI.
Toucan Sam's age is not known. 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. Toucan Sam is currently voiced by Maurice LaMarche.
- The Nephews
- Lil' Doggie
- Ostrich Sisters voiced by Gail Matthius
- The Hippo
- Bear Golf
- The Seal
- Turtle Cab Driver voiced by Mel Blanc
- Penguin voiced by Don Messick
- Rhino Rapper voiced by Jim Cummings
- Madame Gypsy voiced by June Foray
- Fruit Bat voiced by Frank Welker
- Surfer Cat voiced by Townsend Coleman
- Scientist voiced by Maurice LaMarche
- "Character of the Week: Kellogg's Toucan Sam". 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
- All About Toucan Sam and Kellogg's Fruit Loops
- Are the different colors of Froot Loops different flavors?
- Tirado, Michelle (August 29, 2011). "Mayan Message to Kellogg: Toucan Play This Game". Indian Country Today Media Network.
- Gallagher, John (November 15, 2011). "Kellogg's Toucan Sam trademark dispute ends with charitable partnership". Detroit Free Press. Gannett.