The National Watermelon Board plans to take advantage of the upcoming release of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” an animated film featuring animal and food hybrid characters called “food-imals.”
The movie, expected to be released in September, features characters called “watermelophants,” large, round watermelons with a stem for a trunk and leaves for ears.
“A number of the commodity groups featured in the movie are going together on this promotion. We’re working with stores that want to promote it as well,” said Gordon Hunt, director of marketing and communications for the board.
According to a sneak peak from Sony Pictures Animation for a USA Today online article, cantaloupes also will be featured in the movie as a cantaloupe and antelope hybrid, the “cantalope.”
Other produce-based characters include a “flamango,” “bananostrich,” “hippotatomus,” “cucumbirdy,” “wildebeet,” “barry,” a walking, talking strawberry and even an elusive “sasquash.”
A “fruit cockatiel” also makes an appearance. He is composed of a pear body, pineapple and cherry eyes, grape mouth, banana wings and feet of orange slices, according to the online sneak peak.
“We’ve seen the initial animated characters, and they are great,” Hunt said.
The board plans to have stuffed animals, stickers, posters, and other publicity items.
Hunt said we can expect to start seeing publicity in a couple of months, and the board will be promoting the produce item’s appearance in the upcoming film all summer long.
“It’s just really fun. Kids will like it, and it’s the first time a watermelon character has been in a movie,” Hunt said.
Hunt also said the movie release promotion efforts will be tied into the board’s annual display contest, as well as used by the watermelon queens in their publicity efforts.