When Rick and Morty animator and cartoonist Kenten Bowick learned that his childhood best friend was reviving his favourite candy bar, Rum and Butter, he offered to make a commercial for it.
The result was Canadian Candy Nostalgia's first commercial, featuring a boot-wearing beaver who conjures up a Rum and Butter candy bar from the past to cheer up a sad boy named Jimmy who just broke his phone.
Canadian Candy Nostalgia is a company based in Camrose, Alta., focused on bringing back discontinued candy from decades ago like Cuban Lunch, Maple Buds and Caramac.
The company is co-owned by Bert Westergard and his wife, Crystal Westergard, who said they decided to bring back Rum and Butter because it was Bert's favourite candy.
In April 2021, Bowick — who now lives in Vancouver — learned of the effort and reached out to his best friend and offered to make the commercial.
"It was my favourite as a kid," Bowick told CBC's Edmonton AM on Monday. The pair grew up in Kingman, Alta., located 86 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.
"Like most things that I loved, it died somewhere in the 90s. So, I was super excited to see that they were going to bring it back.
Bowick is known for Rick and Morty, a popular adult, animated science-fiction sitcom that has won two Emmy Awards.
Although Bowick said he tried to channel the 1960's Hanna-Barbera-style animation, the commercial turned out more like his current project.
"I think it's unavoidable," he said. "I can't shake my Rick and Morty day-job influence."
Westergard said he welcomed Bowick's offer to create their first video commercial.
"He had us at hello on that, because you don't get an offer like that very often," Westergard said.
They released the recreated Rum and Butter in July 2021 and the commercial was released on their YouTube channel on Apr. 22.
Westergard sent Bowick a box of the chocolate bars after they came out. He said he went through them "embarrassingly fast".
"It's got a really nice flavour," he said. "I really enjoyed it. It's nice to have it back."