Besides being an insidious marketing campaign–infesting our minds with ear worms that unconsciously convince us to buy withered grapes–The California Raisins were the most soulful lumps of clay ever molded. They played that sweet soul music. And when one of their commercials came on television, it had a similar effect as when That Thing You Do comes on television — no matter what, you have to watch. And get this, the original commercial featuring the raisins singing I Heard It Through the Grapevine premiered in 1987!
Bubblegum music and cartoons go together like Scooby Doo and Shaggy, and the 1968-1969 cartoon, The Archie Show, was the crowning achievement of psychedelic yet wholesome animation. The characters — Archie Andrews, Reggie Mantle, and Jughead Jones — started The Archies. This band's reach didn't just fall on the ears of hyperactive rugrats; their song, “Sugar, Sugar,” was a hit back in 1969. The Archies were the real yet fictitious deal.
“Would it help if we spelled our name with two Ys?” “I'm popular because I'm the misery chick, but I'm not miserable. I'm just not like them.” If any of these quotes ring a bell and bring to mind an era between 1997 and 2001, then you know about Daria and you sure as hell remember Mystik Spiral — the cartoon band formed by brooding, grungy heart throb Trent Lane. Hilariously grunge and tortured, Mystik Spiral is a band that, well, ignites the memory of a short lived show that seem to perfectly frame a time, a place, and a feeling of displacement and social awkwardness.
So I know The Beatles are technically a real band made into a cartoon, but they're the freaking Beatles. And a trip to Pepperland (“A tickle of joy on the blueberry of the universe”) is worth every second. It's almost like looking at a cartoon animated by Henri Matisse and a storyboard written by Dr. Seuss. Plus, you get to hear some of the best compositions written in the last 100 years by the Fab Four. They were such pioneers. Yellow Submarine is a series of interconnected shorts, and while YouTube won't allow me to embed the full movie, you can stream it on their site. Here it is: full movie. But for now, dear reader, check out Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds above.