Friday, June 14, 2024

Netflix’s ‘Unfrosted’ a sweet movie

By Matt Pascarella

Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 1 hour, 37 minutes

Breakfast – arguably, is the most important meal of the day. In the 1960s, cereal was the king of breakfast until the invention of a rectangular-shaped confection would change the breakfast game forever. Who would be first to reach this milestone, Kellogg’s or Post? And at what cost? “Unfrosted” tells the story of the invention of the Pop-Tart. Although large parts are maybe more than slightly embellished, this is a fun movie which brought a smile to my face and a rumble to my stomach.

“Unfrosted” stars Issac Bae, Jerry Seinfeld, Melissa McCarthy, Rachel Harris, Christian Slater, Jim Gaffigan, Amy Schumer, Kyle Dunnigan, Max Greenfield and many more.

A boy (Bae) walks into a diner and orders two Pop-Tarts and tells the waiter to leave the box. He reads a cartoon on the side that explains how Pop-Tarts got its name. A man (Seinfeld) tells him that’s not how it really happened and asks him if he wants to hear the real story; the boy says make it quick.

In the early 1960s, breakfast was defined by milk and cereal. Battle Creek, Michigan is where breakfast juggernauts Kellogg’s and Post battled it out.

At the 1963 Bowl and Spoon Awards, Kellogg’s cleans up winning almost every award. Post executives, Marjorie Post (Schumer) and Rick Ludwin (Greenfield), are visibly upset about this but have something up their sleeve.

Bob (Seinfeld) who has been trying to crack the fruit pastry equation is struggling. Post may have been trying to steal Bob’s work.

Whomever gets into the fruit pastry business first means big trouble for the other company.

Bob needs to figure it out first, he wants to send his kids to college and it’s as much as $200 a year.

Bob needs help and requests a former associate of his, Donna Stankowski (McCarthy), also known as Stan. Bob and Stan work together again.

“The magic of cereal is eating and drinking with one hand,” says Bob.

July 20, 1963 – Kellogg’s develops its first ever taste pilots; a group of celebrities and others to help in the development and promotion of the new fruit pastries. When asked about nutrition, fitness guru Jack LaLanne says sugar is poison, so they’re working on something called high fructose corn syrup.

In order to secure the upper hand, Bob and Stan fly to Puerto Rico where they meet with El Sucre, who controls 99 percent of the world’s sugar supply.

Kellogg’s creates “the Dingus” as a fruit pastry prototype, but it’s a bust. Kids know what will work for breakfast – you just combine whatever you have.

Bob and Stan have split the atom of breakfast.

Post retaliates by heading to Moscow to get sugar.

All this pastry talk has upset the Milkmen (led by Slater), who depend on cereal to keep their business going.

The Milkmen capture Bob. After some time, the cereal mascots (led by Thurl Ravescroft) go on strike.

I remember the excitement of getting a box of unfrosted Pop Tarts and eating them before -or after- school or on a Saturday morning when I was a kid in the early 1990s. And seeing this movie made me want to see if Pop Tarts are just as I remember them. While the origin story is mostly untrue, there are multiple things that actually did happen in the “breakfast wars” as well as many historical jokes and references throughout this movie.

The casting for “Unfrosted” is incredibly well-done with several big-name stars giving standout performances. I enjoyed the breakfast-based humor and while I’m unfamiliar with what the 1960s looked like, parts of the movie had a real old-fashioned feel and look to them, which I enjoyed. There’s slapstick comedy and the movie advances at a good pace. It also features many hit songs from this time period. I recommend seeing this delicious comedy.

Two toasters up!

Now streaming on Netflix. <

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