Remembering the Creator of the ‘California Raisins’ Posted on October 9, 2018 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr The passing last week of noted claymation artist Will Vintonbrought back memories of his highly-celebrated work in agriculture: the California Raisins, featuring animated characters that rocketed to fame in the ’80s. Vinton himself found fame long before that – winning an Academy Award for co-directing the 1974 short film Closed Mondays. He was the founder of Will Vinton Productions in Portland, Oregon and also created claymation characters for M&Ms. The California Raisins were so popular that they were commissioned to appear on lunchboxes and t-shirts and even in Nintendo video games. As for California raisins as a crop, they have a farmgate value amounting to hundreds of million dollars annually, ranking them consistentlyamong the state’s top-20 commodities.