SUMMARY: A rockumentary on the amazing career of singing sensations The California Raisins.
WHY IT’S HERE: The most famous of Claymation pioneer Will Vinton’s creations, The California Raisins became a genuine popular sensation in the mid to late 80s, after the huge success of their original appearances on adverts for raisins, in which they performed (of course) ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’. After a scene-stealing appearance in Vinton’s legendary ‘A Claymation Christmas Celebration’, The California Raisins were finally given their own short with ‘Meet the Raisins!’, an ingenious, acutely observed spoof of rockumentaries which is filled with corny gags, great animation and wonderful music. Vinton, though still heavily involved on the production side, handed the directorial reins to long-time collaborator Barry Bruce, who does Vinton’s creations proud. For a fan of both animation and rock ‘n’ roll like myself, ‘Meet the Raisins!’ is a massive treat and the interviews and characters are recognisable from any number of rockumentaries. The short even comes complete with its own animated advertisements and trailers for fictional forthcoming shows. ‘Meet the Raisins!’ was so successful that it spawned a tie-in album, a cartoon series and, eventually, a sequel in the shape of ‘Raisins: Sold Out!’.