Makes a Man Out of a Mouse

The Fruity Oaty Bar artwork created by Serenity Designer Geoffrey Mandel was the basis for the most memorable power bar commercial in movie history. With its vibrant colors and anime-style characters (and subliminal message implanted by the Operative), the Fruity Oaty Bar ad triggered River's Alliance programming, after which much ass-kicking ensued.

Although this ad was original planned to turn into a billboard, it never actually made it on film due to budgetary constraints. So, with the exception of the commercial it inspired, fans never got to see it. And we just didn't think that was right.

That's why we arranged with Universal Studios and Mr. Mandel to take the original high-resolution Fruity Oaty ad and print it in all its glory as an extra-large, collectible lithograph in a limited edition of 1,000.




36 in wide x 24 in high

91.44 cm wide x 60.96 cm high


100-lb., satin-finish paper



From Serenity Graphic Designer Geoffrey Mandel:

"When I first read the shooting script for Serenity, I stuck a Post-It note on the page where the Fruity Oaty Bar commercial appears on a monitor screen in the Maidenhead bar on Beaumonde. The description of the scene - animated, goofy, cartoon animals and anime-style Asian girls all transforming into insane fantasy figures - immediately made me think of one of my all-time favorite episodes of The Simpsons, the one where Homer discovers that his face has been used as the logo for a Japanese dishwashing detergent called "Mr. Sparkle,"" and views the hilarious product demonstration video: "I'm disrespectful to dirt! Can you see I am serious!"

Inspired, I sat down at my computer in the Serenity art department at Universal Studios and started work on a concept drawing of what the Fruity Oaty Bar ad might look like. (I was also thinking about Fruity Oaty Bar billboards, but that turned out to be a little too ambitious for the budget.)

I left a print of my drawing on the desk of production designer Barry Chusid, and forgot all about it...until Barry called me into his office to show me a video that writer/director Joss Whedon had given him. You guessed it... the Mr. Sparkle episode of The Simpsons. Apparently, that's what Joss had in mind from the start.

Joss and Barry liked my concept drawing enough to include it in the Serenity publicity materials, and when it came time to do the actual animation, I provided the artwork and logo to the animators at Zoic. However, most of the credit should go to the Mr. Sparkle Corporation: "For lucky best wash, use Mr. Sparkle!"


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