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Netflix’s ‘Unfrosted’ Lacks Essential Filling

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Parody movies were a staple in the late 2000s and early 2010s, my first exposure to the genre was Austin Powers which took its inspiration from one of my favorite franchises – James Bond. Netflix’s Unfrosted is in the same vein as those comedies but with similar intentions to another one of my favorites, The Founder, sugar-coating the reality and creation of an American meal staple.

Jerry Seinfeld stars and directs this cereal aisle assortment of some of the funniest folks in show business, based on a joke about Pop-Tarts from one of his Netflix stand-up specials. Is this movie worth unwrapping the foil? Get your toaster ready, and pop in!

[Warning: There are various spoilers, some in the form of cameos for Unfrosted below!]

Seinfeld’s Unfrosted is as unserious as cereal mascots

If you think this will be an accurate depiction of the history of the Pop-Tart, let me burst that bubble for you right there. This isn’t to say that it lacks any merit whatsoever, there is a huge focus on recreating some iconic scenes from films set in the 1960s. It also takes a swing at some hilarious pop-culture moments from that decade, one that stood out was with Hugh Grant. Grant plays Thurl Ravenscroft, an actor only able to get a gig voicing the Frosted Flakes mascot, Tony the Tiger. During a commercial shoot, his line reads are tiring the crew until he comes up with “Gr-r-reat!” while being sarcastic.

(L to R) Jerry Seinfeld (Director) as Bob Cabana, Adrian Martinez as Tom Carvel, Jack McBrayer as Steve Schwinn, Thomas Lennon as Harold Von Braunhut, Bobby Moynihan as Chef Boyardee and James Marsden as Jack LaLanne in Unfrosted.
(L to R) Jerry Seinfeld (Director) as Bob Cabana, Adrian Martinez as Tom Carvel, Jack McBrayer as Steve Schwinn, Thomas Lennon as Harold Von Braunhut, Bobby Moynihan as Chef Boyardee and James Marsden as Jack LaLanne in Unfrosted. (Netflix)

The showdown between the two cereal giants, Kellogg’s and Post, is all contained within the city of Battle Creek, Michigan. Battle Creek is where the real headquarters of Kellogg’s is based, and where Post was founded. Seinfeld plays Bob Cabana, an executive who knows his days are numbered at Kellogg’s unless they come up with something exciting and tasty while trying to beat their competitor to market. Amy Schumer is Marjorie Post, the CEO of Post and the main rival, who has been working on their version of a breakfast pastry with only moderate success. 

There are a slew of cereal mascots in a sub-plot fighting for better pay and treatment when they realize this new invention could put them out of a job. Many of the mascots are portrayed by some of the best in comedy, Andy Daly is Isaiah Lamb, who is dressed as the Quaker man from the Quaker Oat company. Mikey Day, Kyle Mooney, and Drew Tarver are the Snap, Crackle, and Pop trio of Rice Krispies.

Together, under the leadership of Ravenscroft, the mascots begin petitioning against Edsel Kellogg’s (Jim Gaffigan) pivot away from milk-based breakfast foods. I was astonished at how they got Thomas Lennon to portray a German character again. I think this is around the 3rd or 4th time he’s done it, and it always gets a laugh out of me because of the accent.

The satirical take in this Pop-Tart story can be hard to swallow

Unfrosted isn’t even remotely shy in making a spectacle out of historical moments, such as when President John F. Kennedy (Bill Burr) says he will use his brother Bobby to take down the “milk mafia”. The most trusted man in America, Walter Cronkite (Kyle Dunnigan), is always solid in front of the camera, but when they go off-air he becomes a feeble shell of his confident self. It’s one of the oddest and most tiring bits of the entire film, as they’re nearly as awkward as SNL sketches that go on for too long. Dean Norris plays Nikita Khrushchev and assists Post in securing sugar as Cabana has already aligned with Puerto Rican sugar vendor, El Sucre (Felix Solis), in a situation that mocks the Cuban Missile Crisis and political tensions of the 60s.

Hugh Grant as Thurl in Unfrosted.
Hugh Grant as Thurl Ravenscroft in Unfrosted. (Netflix)

A lot of love for the decade does rise to the surface, mostly towards the space program, a recurring reference that I couldn’t help but enjoy. You’ll see some recreations of Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff, which partially surprised me that they didn’t get Ed Harris, even for just one moment.

The part that had me almost jumping at my TV set was one that I jokingly predicted when the film started. Since Unfrosted is set in the 60s, I thought of an advertising company that would be helpful. Mad Men is one of the most treasured series I’ve ever had the joy of watching. Seeing Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Roger Sterling (John Slattery) arrive to help Kellogg’s get over the second hurdle of naming the Pop-Tart was wild. 

Final thoughts on Netflix’s Unfrosted

Simply put, most people will find Unfrosted shockingly unfunny, even with the assembly of some of the funniest people on Earth. It doesn’t need to honor the true story of the Pop-Tart because it would be quite boring, and the whole movie is predicated on a stand-up joke. The analogies of rushing to create a new breakfast food to the great Space Race of the ’60s may go over the heads of younger viewers. Schumer fails to raise any laughs, and the script refuses to give Melissa McCarthy’s character a chance to shine. 

Unfrosted may not be the worst thing in the grocery aisle, but it’s not enough to make it to the top-shelf of comedies. If you are keen to see an abundance of actors and comedians mess around in a ridiculous premise, throw this one into your shopping cart. Otherwise, save this one for a sick day.

Unfrosted is now streaming on Netflix ! What’s your favorite Pop-Tart flavor? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus and drop into our official Discord server where we discuss these films and much more!

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Anthony Flagg

Howdy! I cover a variety of topics for The Cosmic Circus. My favorite topics to write about are video games, Pokemon and music. Drop me a line on Twitter! @redovah_

Anthony Flagg has 90 posts and counting. See all posts by Anthony Flagg