Milking It: Blueberry Monster Crunch

Blueberry Monster Crunch Disney Magic Selections Rating: One and a half spoons out of four

Cereal description: Light-brown wheat and rice rectangles that curl slightly at the edges, like old papers found in a far corner of the attic. The bits are speckled with the occasional dark splotch, which may or may not be malignant.

Box description: The Disney Magic Selections signature occupies the upper right-hand corner, just above a yellow stripe bearing what might laughingly be described as the Blueberry Monster Crunch logo. You could come up with something similar by opening up a Word program and changing the font. A second band, this one of blue, touts the munch as "Whole Wheat & Rice Cereal with Real Blueberries: Natural & Artificial Flavors." (This last adjective is particularly important.) The cereal itself is shown floating in a spoon filled with what appears to be actual milk, as opposed to the Photoshopped goblets of goo typically used in photographs like this. To its left of several blueberries are images of Sully and Boo from Monsters, Inc., with Boo (the little girl) holding her arms to her side and making a face meant to frighten. Wish she'd succeeded in scaring me away. On the side panel opposite the nutrition information is a collection of "Monsters Inc. TRIVIA," which actually struck me as kind of interesting. Bet you didn't know that Sully's fur has over 2,320,413 hairs! On the back, meanwhile, there are two shots featuring Sully and his sidekick, Mike, which are different in seven distinct ways breakfasters are supposed to notice. However, the name of the activity -- "What Went Wrong?" -- also applies to the cereal itself.

Taste: The texture of the pieces isn't the problem -- at least not at first. They start out crisp, but leave them in milk a little too long and they go all wet noodle. The taste, though, is several variations on vile. It seems to have been flavored with a scented Crayon slowly melted over the box's contents. Almost as disturbing, the cereal leaves a weird film on your spoon that's simultaneously slick and bumpy. The stuff could probably be used to grease engines -- which conjures up horrific thoughts about what it could be doing to internal organs. I spent the day after eating my first bowl afraid to look down, for fear that I'd see my pancreas lying on the floor.

Conclusion: Be afraid of Monster Crunch. Be very afraid. -- Michael Roberts

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