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Do you have a favorite brand of animal crackers?

Is it the stand-by ones from Nabisco/Kraft or the upstart offering from Keebler? What about those big tubs of animal crackers you can sometimes find at Costco? I've seen TJ's offer some sort of in-house ones as well. Gotta a favorite?

As an aside, are animal crackers really "crackers" or are they more akin to "cookies"?

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  1. I love the McDonald's character crackers.

    1. Isn't there a song about "animal crackers in my soup"? Shirley Temple maybe? Does this mean animal crackers used to be salty? I have wondered about this for years.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bolivianita

        "......monkeys and rabbits loop the loop..........."

        1. re: bolivianita

          it was Shirley Temple - one of her earliest movies I believe. Based on that song, I've always assumed that animal crackers used to be more savory and that what we get from nabisco is more of an animal cookie.

          I like the Nabisco ones in the circus box. the ones in the big bins seem dry and flavorless to me.

        2. Question is do you bite off the head first or leave that to last?

          3 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            I eat the ENTIRE cracker whole.

            1. re: jfood

              Always head first! And Nabisco because I like the box, to me the whole point of buying and eating animal crackers is that box. Never Keebler, I think those elves are a little sinister.

              1. re: jfood

                Nibble the feet of the polar bear.
                Nibble the head off the jiraf (how do you spell that animal)
                Nibble the tail off the tiger.

                I LOVE the old stand by original ones that come in the circus box and I remember that I really liked the McD ones but haven't had 'em in years.

                Wole foods has some pretty good ones that are chocolated chip.

                I do like the frosted specked pink and white Mothers Cookie amimal but haven't had those in at least 8 years.

                They taste like cookies to me...why are they called crackers...hmmm?

              2. They have always been a cookie and not a salty cracker. The majority of people bite the head off first. PETA says: "We are glad that the cookies are vegan, but sad that they promote circus animal misery — if only they'd make whip, chain and bull-hook cookies to show kids the full story."

                Check this out for interesting animal cracker info:



                Shirley Temple sang it in the movie Curly Top.

                Animal crackers in my soup
                Monkeys and rabbits loop the loop
                Gosh oh gee but I have fun
                Swallowing animals one by one

                In every bowl of soup I see
                Lions and Tigers watching me
                I make 'em jump right through a hoop
                Those animal crackers in my soup

                When I get hold of the big bad wolf
                I just push him under to drown
                Then I bite him in a million bits
                And I gobble him right down

                When they're inside me where its dark
                I walk around like Noah's Ark
                I stuff my tummy like a goop
                With animal crackers in my soup

                Animal crackers in my soup
                Do funny things to me
                They make me think my neighborhood
                Is a big menagerie

                For instance there's our Janitor
                His name is Mr. Klein
                And when he hollers at us kids
                He reminds me of a Lion

                The Grocer is so big and fat
                He has a big moustache
                He looks just like a Walrus
                Just before he takes a splash

                1 Reply
                1. re: JMF

                  My lovely wife enjoys eating Nabisco Animal crackers while wearing the mink coat she got last Valentine's Day.

                  P. E. T. A. = People Eating Tasty Animals

                2. That is a really, really weird song.

                  And animal crackers 'promote circus animal misery'? WTH?

                  1. The original ones are billed neither as crackers or cookies, but simply as "Barnum's Animals."

                    But they're cookies.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: wayne keyser

                      Actually the original ones were made in England and called Animal Biscuits, then several companies in Europe started making them and called them Barnums Animals because of Barnums Circus. In 1902 Nabisco started making them in the US under the name Barnums Animals until in 1948 they were called Animal Crackers.

                      I just love when a food item has such a great history to it.

                    2. But does anyone put them in their soup or know anyone who does?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bolivianita

                        Nope... but the song is incorrect in other ways as well, such as there are no rabbit animal crackers. Hey it's just a silly song.

                        I just found out that the first set of lyrics in the song is:

                        Once Mother said My litle pet
                        you ought to learn your alphabet
                        So in my soup I used to get
                        All the letters of the alphabet
                        I learned them all from A to Z
                        And now my Mothers giving me

                        1. re: bolivianita

                          Not in soup, but I sometimes eat them just like cereal.

                          Dump animal crackers in bowl, pour milk.

                          Sort of wish Kellogs or Post would actually make an animal cracker cereal.

                        2. Yes, Trader Joes cat cookies in a tub are quite tasty and pretty inexpensive. My favorite are the vanilla, though I haven't been able to locate them on my last couple of TJ runs. My 3 year old daughter loves the chocolate cat cookies.

                          My guilty pleasure is those pink and white frosted circus animal cookies with the mini-ball sprinkles. Yum. I seem to recall they were made by Mothers cookies when I was growing up on the West coast; now i live in the Midwest and can only find the Keebler version which are pretty good, except for a slightly chemical taste in the frosting (which *is* probably full of all sorts of bad stuff.)

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: swissgirl

                            I used to love Mother's Circus Animal cookies! I've stopped eating them because of the hydrogenated oil, but the combination of sprinkles and frosting was awesome! I remember being embarassed to eat the pink ones at school for fear of being perceived as a sissy boy so every time I came to a pink one, I had to hide it in my lunch bag (which I used to conceal the pink and white bag) and wait until no one was looking before I stuffed it in my mouth.

                            1. re: Humbucker

                              I tried those not too long ago and the frosting was really waxy. I don't remember thinking that as a kid. Maybe it's a good thing you don't eat them anymore. It could ruin the memory.

                              1. re: tlegray

                                I love the circus animal cookies ... but they are so easy to overdose on ...

                              2. re: Humbucker

                                I used to buy those for my daughters when they were little girls, but stopped when I realized I ate more of them than they did! Haven't touched one in 20 years.

                              3. re: swissgirl

                                OMG, I looove these grease-bombs, too! True story: my hippie parents never let me have any of that crap growing up, with the exception of one bag of Mother's Circus Animals in my stocking every Christmas. Of course, I became obsessed with them as a result. BTW, not sure about the Keebler brand, buth the Mother's version is still loaded with trans-fats (sigh.)
                                Guess my parents knew what was best all along...

                              4. The carnival box with the string handle. My sister and I use to eat the heads first and then try to guess what animal it was. Oh! and those boxes made great doll purses - so chic! We also thought of them as cookies.

                                1. My favorite animal crackers are the one's from TJ's. The chocolate ones are great, and crunchy. I have about 5 different kinds of animal crackers between my office and my house. The one's from BJ's in the giant tub are good, and not as greasy as the nabisco ones. But the TJ's ones are crunchier and probably have less fat in them.

                                  Another thing to try are the TJ's alphabet cinnamon cookies.

                                  As for the frosted animal crackers, they're ok, but I hate the ones that taste like ginger snaps.

                                  There are some that are in the shape of disney characters, which I can't remember the maker. But they are sooo good (especially the chocolate). But they are high in fat. I'd stick w/ TJ's.

                                  1. I like Stauffer's Chocolate Animal Crackers--

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Kholvaitar


                                      I also always thought the stauffer's vanilla were the 'original.' The one in the cute carton w the string handle always tasted somewhat stale to me.

                                      1. re: Kholvaitar

                                        +2, they aren't as dense as the traditional vanilla ones, and they are fairly low fat for a cookie so I don't feel so bad about eating 20 at a time!

                                      2. To me, the only legit ones are the Barnum's ones. Although the Mother's pink and white frosted ones are pretty legit as well. My dad used to take me to the store at 9pm on school nights to get them, we were the only two in the family that liked them. So I guess those two are the only legit ones :)

                                        1. Not worth the calories, imo.

                                          1. Some 6.5 years after originally posting this query, I still think I hold a soft spot in my heart for the Barnum's Animal Crackers made by Nabisco.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              My grandchildren, ranging in age from 7 years down to not-quite 2, think getting their very own box of animal crackers is the BEST, followed only by their very own bag of Goldfish. GG (Gorgeous Grandmom) always brings them when she visits!

                                              1. re: PattiCakes

                                                I'm sure your grandchildren take their animal crackers with a glass of milk.

                                                Me? Scotch and soda.

                                            2. I really like the pink and white circus animal cookies.. but (like another person stated) I avoid them because of the ingredients.

                                              HOWEVER, I did bring that giant container of regular Animal Cracker from Sam's/Costco to my first-year of college (back 'in-the-day'), and I found I got to know people quickly without having to leave my room.. because people kept coming-by.. to snag some animals.--Therefore, I recommend the big-tub to anyone visiting a child at college. Drop it off, and your child will never be without food or friends.