Some think McDonald's new Happy Meal mascot, Happy, would more aptly be named Creepy.
He looks like a giant pair of dentures trapped in a red aluminum box with Muppet eyeballs halved by heavy lower lids on top, with two golden arches sitting above the eyes like bleached, severely over-Botoxed eyebrows. Happy has a gummy pink tongue that entices you to reach into the box/mouth to touch it, but it looks ominously as if those weird teeth would slam together and snap off your finger. He's got two stringy white Mickey Mouse-esque arms that he menacingly holds akimbo on his “hips,” and he is wearing black sneakers on his similarly rubber band-like legs.
Happy looks completely deranged, a horrible nightmare from a bad acid trip or acid reflux. Which is really not the look you want when you are trying to appeal to children. In line with his villainous visage, Happy's purpose, in fact, is to promote more healthful Happy Meals for kids, such as milk instead of soda and apple slices instead of fries. Instead, he will leave them screaming for french fries and the friendly Grimmace.
Happy's debut on Twitter this past Monday went down about as well as #myNYPD, eliciting such responses as “What the f – – is that creature?” and “reminds me of Evil DEAD…. “I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL.”
A video featuring Happy posted to the McDonald's Facebook page has (rightfully) drawn additional criticism. He multiples, and the replicants do some kind of raunchy dance while screaming “Boom-something-something-something.”
Is this really the best all of Ray Kroc's zillions could come up with? They should have bought a Pixar guy.
McDonald's still hopes its newest mascot will get a better reception from kids than the adult response so far. (This is the company, after all, that thinks creepy clowns appeal to kids.)
Happy “is about bringing more fun and excitement to kids' meals, including eating wholesome food choices like low-fat yogurt,” the Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain said in a statement.
Kids are going to be about as happy about that idea as they are terrified by Happy.
Back to the drawing board, Mickey D's.