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‘Unfrosted’ Transports Viewers From 2024 Politics To The Cereal Aisles Of A Simpler America

Three characters from the movie "Unfrosted" are looking through binoculars.
Image CreditNetflix / Youtube

The ‘Unfrosted’ movie provides a wonderful, funny 90-minute escape from the political woes of today’s society.

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Last week, I was in the cereal aisle of a grocery store in Fairfax County, Virginia, arguing with my son about breakfast choices. He insisted on a box of sugary cereal, so I encouraged him to read the nutritional label. 

Engrossed in the specificities of the label on a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, 12 grams of sugar per one cup of cereal, a woman we did not know approached us. She asked us if we had watched the movie  “Unfrosted,” released last month on Netflix. When we told her we hadn’t yet seen it, she insisted we must, especially in light of our argument — which was very public, apparently. 

I appreciated the brief encounter with the random stranger just outside our nation’s capital. In my experience, those types of interactions happen all the time in the Midwest where I grew up — and in fairness, I am usually the one to initiate them. But not so much on the East Coast, where joggers who wave to people passing by are usually ignored. I knew it was kismet. We had to see this movie that the kind stranger, probably also from the Midwest, recommended. 

Over the weekend, I asked my sons to indulge me and watch  “Unfrosted” in an attempt to expand their attention spans beyond the YouTube shorts their generation is so accustomed to. The movie, set in Battle Creek, Michigan, is not far from where I grew up and is about a mostly fictitious rivalry between two cereal companies, Kellogg’s and Post, and their race in 1963 to make and market a breakfast cake that children could heat in the toaster. 

My sons didn’t find it as funny as I did. Unlike those of us raised in the latter half of the 20th century, fewer people in their generation are raised on box cereal and Pop-Tarts. While I was belly-laughing throughout the movie, they enjoyed it but didn’t find it quite as amusing. 

But for those of us who spent mornings before school reading the backs of cereal boxes and searching for the surprise inside as we indulged in our sugary breakfasts, I thought the plot was relatable and brilliant. 

It brought back great memories of my childhood — such as when I figured out frosted Pop-Tarts could be made even better with a slab of butter on top and when my brother and I were comedically territorial over our respective Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles as we ignored any recommendations of a serving size. And seriously, who ate just a cup of cereal for breakfast? 

“Unfrosted”also might have the most star-studded cast of any movie that went straight to streaming. Directed and co-written by Jerry Seinfeld, his A-list Hollywood friends showed up for him. Actors joining him in starring and making appearances in the movie include Melissa McCarthy, Jim Gaffigan, Hugh Grant, Amy Schumer, Max Greenfield, Christian Slater, Bill Burr, Daniel Levy, James Marsden, Jack McBrayer, Thomas Lennon, Bobby Moynihan, Adrian Martinez, Sarah Cooper, and Fred Armisen. 

Other than the famous actors and the film’s relatability, the main reason I enjoyed “ Unfrosted”  so much is that it’s just a funny movie. There’s no political message, lecture, fealty to the pander-verse, or recommendation for future political action on the audience’s part. Rather, silly entertainment is its end goal. It provides a wonderful 90-minute escape from the political woes of today’s society. And we need more of that, especially in a presidential election year. 

Even in the most heated arguments, there is some room for agreement and mutual understanding. In the end, my son and I agreed in the supermarket that we would buy a box of cereal as a dessert option and stick with steel-cut oats for breakfast. Hopefully, Americans of all political persuasions can agree there is room for entertainment and comedy in our movies without politics, pandering, or pontification. 


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