The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald
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|The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald|
Animated version of Ronald McDonald as seen in the show.
|Written by||Andrew McElfresh
|Directed by||John Holmquist
Dee Bradley Baker
Jazmine A. Corona
Alex D. Linz
Kevin Michael Richardson
|Opening theme||"McDonaldland is Changing" by Pinky Villandry (ep. 1-3)
"The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald" by Joe Maggard (as Ronald McDonald) (ep. 4-6)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Original language(s)||English (1998-2003)|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Executive producer(s)||Arlene Klasky
|Running time||40 minutes (1-6)|
|Production company(s)||Klasky Csupo|
|Original release||October 9, 1998– February 21, 2003|
The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald is a series of retail animated direct-to-video episodes produced by the ka-chew! division of Klasky Csupo for the McDonald's fast-food restaurant chain and about the McDonald's mascot, Ronald McDonald and the gang in McDonaldland. A total of six forty-minute tapes were produced, released at various times between 1998 and 2003.
Although the series is "free-standing", ongoing artistic influences can be inferred from the ways certain characters were drawn for animation similar to the animation from the fellow Klasky Csupo series, Rugrats, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, The Wild Thornberrys and Rocket Power. For example, the character Birdie shares certain aspects of grooming and costume with Eliza Thornberry and Lil DeVille, and the rendition and bearing of the Hamburglar, reminiscent of Darwin and of Chuckie Finster, may have been an influence on the design of Otto Rocket. Elements of early K-C "house style" are also very evident on other supporting characters like Sundae the dog and the Chicken McNuggets. Co-protagonist Tika, however, is a very normal looking human girl of color. Iam Hungry appeared in one part of the episode "Visitors from Outer Space". Also, Mayor McCheese made an appearance in the final two episodes.
A new character named Franklin was also introduced in the first volume in 1998 as the son of Dr. Quizzical (a scientist who was the inventor of Hamburglar's "Quizzical Bear Call" that was seen earlier in that one episode). Tika was also included as a human sidekick to Ronald McDonald in the first and fourth volumes. In the first and sixth volumes, Ronald was seen driving a sarcastic anthropomorphic car called the McSplorer.
Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh, musicians for Rugrats (another Klasky Csupo series), provided the music for these videos. John Holmquist, who has directed some Rugrats episodes, directed these episodes. The artistic style of the series has a similar look to Rugrats and other television series including Rocket Power.
The last video released, The Monster O' McDonaldland Loch, is the rarest of the six videos, because it was not distributed into stores and was available on the Klasky Csupo webpage that sold the videos.
By various accounts, the titles turned out to be rather popular, and individual McDonald's locations frequently ran out of tapes, which were sold individually for $3.49, and could be bought with a small vanilla ice cream cone or a small Diet Coke. Klasky Csupo therefore agreed to carry them for direct sale at their online gift shop, which closed in the fall of 2005.
Preceding this video release was a 30-minute VHS tape by Hi-Tops Video titled The Adventures of Ronald McDonald: McTreasure Island, released on February 7, 1990, it was originally aired on an animated classic film in 1989 from DiC. The animation was not in the Klasky Csupo style, it was created by DIC Entertainment on that videocassette from McDonald's back in 1989, but rather in the style of the costumed live action characters and other company artwork. DIC animated that special that year, which featured an appearance by older McDonald's character Captain Crook.
In 1999, a Happy Meal released at the restaurant featured LEGO vehicles for children to build. The front of each vehicle had an image of one of the Klasky Csupo McDonaldland characters.
In 2006 and 2007, a spin-off of sorts titled McKids Adventures series were released on DVD. None of them have any McDonaldland elements.
This volume was released on October 9, 1998. It features Ronald and his friends going on a camping trip in the Far-Flung Forest where Ronald discovers an old house which he assumes is haunted by a ghost called the Far-Flung Phantom. The campers are forced to stay in the old house due to the stormy weather where a holographic head named Franklin leads them through a challenging game which will eventually help them to escape. Tika, Hamburglar, and Birdie fail each riddle leaving only Ronald, Grimace, and Sundae to solve the final one, which they do. The holographic head turns out to be a child named Franklin programming the game with help from Tika (who wanted to give Ronald a challenge) and the McNuggets in a lab room. After Ronald gets a "You Win" out of Franklin, the scientist Dr. Quizzical returns to catch his son Franklin in the act and releases the others from their traps. Upon the group officially meeting Dr. Quizzical, he stated that he had to leave the lecture when he saw lightning on the mountain and that Franklin has done something like this before. Franklin apologizes to Ronald for his actions and is allowed to join their camping trip.
Ronald and Sundae go down the ball pit slide.
The Legend of Grimace Island
This volume was released on January 22, 1999. The plot features Ronald and the gang out on a journey to Grimace Island where Grimace's species is discovered. Grimace previously received a letter which was actually written by the pirate captain One-Eyed Sally and her first mate Blather. The two pirates follow them to capture the treasure on the island.
Ronald and Sundae go down the inner tube slide at the beginning and down the ball pit slide in the end.
The Visitors from Outer Space
This volume was released on April 23, 1999. Originally advertised under the title "Ronald McDonald and the Visitors from Outer Space" when the trailer was shown on the predecessor's VHS release; the title was abbreviated to "The Visitors from Outer Space" when the volume was released. In this episode, Hamburglar tricks the gang to believe that aliens have come to earth so he can steal the McDonaldland hamburgers. The gang loses their trust in him, which was followed by the Hamburglar being captured by actual aliens. Ronald and his friends go on a mission to rescue him even though they were angry at his pranks.
Ronald and Sundae go down the ball pit slide for the last time, as this is the last episode to have the original introduction and closing.
This volume was released on March 30, 2001. Hamburgler is upset that he didn't get Ronald a birthday present until an evil scientist named Thaddeus J. Pinchworm gives him tickets to a fake amusement park called Birthday World. They no longer fall for the rides' poor designs and construction until they ride a rollercoaster which turns them into babies.
A new opening sequence was made for this episode and the next two. As a result, Sundae no longer appears in the live action segments and cannot be seen going down the ball pit slide.
Have Time, Will Travel
This volume was released on October 19, 2001. While helping Franklin clean up his father's lab, Ronald and his pals stumble across a time machine. Hamburglar dreams up a crazy scheme to use the time machine to get out of cleaning and they end up getting lost in time. Their time travel adventures take them to prehistoric times where the time machine is nearly digested by a Tyrannosaurus and they meet their cavemen ancestors, the medieval times where they impress the crabby King Murray with a musical number to save captured Birdie, the wild wild west where they discover Hamburglar's ancestor Henry H. Burglar II, whom the residents mistake Hamburglar for, and the disco era of the '70s where they briefly encounter Mayor McCheese.
The Monster O' McDonaldland Loch
This volume was released online on the Klasky Csupo site on February 21, 2003 and in a handful of McDonald's restaurants. Titled "The Legend of McDonaldland Loch" on most websites, the plot follows the gang traveling to a Scottish expedition known as McDonaldland Loch where Sundae's cousin Scotty lives. They also come across a plot by a mad scientist named Stiles and his assistant Pip attempt to build a replica of the Loch Ness Monster in order to make money from the discovery. Birdie befriends the Loch Ness Monster named Simon who wants his existence to be kept a secret.
It is also Christine Cavanaugh's final acting role, as it was released approximately two years after her retirement and eleven years before her death in 2014.
- Joe Maggard - Ronald McDonald
- Charlie Adler - Hamburglar (ep. 1-6), McNugget #3 (ep. 1-4, 6), McSplorer (ep. 1, 6)
- Pamela Adlon - McNugget #1 (ep. 1-4, 6)
- Dee Bradley Baker - Voice of Sundae (ep. 1-6), TV Monitor (ep. 4-5), Squirrel (ep. 1), Sea Monster (ep. 2)
- Christine Cavanaugh - Birdie the Early Bird (ep. 1-6)
- Jazmine A. Corona - Tika (ep. 1, 4)
- Jim Cummings - Announcer (ep. 1-6)
- Nika Futterman - Fry Kid #3 (ep. 1)
- Paul Greenberg - Fry Kid #2 (ep. 1)
- Alex D. Linz - Franklin (ep. 1-2, 4-5)
- Lisa Raggio - McNugget #2 (ep. 1-4, 6)
- Kevin Michael Richardson - Grimace (ep. 1-6), King Gunga (ep. 2)
- Kath Soucie - Fry Kid #1 (ep. 1)
- Verne Troyer - Sundae (ep. 1-3)
- Jeff Bennett - TV Man (ep. 1), Knight #1 (ep. 5)
- Gregg Berger - Barber, Fat Man, Foodfight Walla (ep. 3)
- Corey Burton - Bug, Mob Man #1 (ep. 5)
- David Eccles - Bear (ep. 1)
- Bill Farmer - Knight #2, Mob Leader (ep. 5)
- Joseph Fuqua - TV Man (ep. 1)
- Henry Gibson - Blue Planet (ep. 3)
- Kim Mai Guest - Kids (ep. 6)
- Billie Hayes - One-Eyed Sally (ep. 2)
- Bob Joles - Mayor McCheese, Mob Man #2, Knight (ep. 5)
- Carol Kane - Org's Mom (ep. 3)
- Maurice LaMarche - Dr. Quizzical (ep. 1, 5), Burger Chef (ep. 5), Knight (ep. 5)
- Jeff Lupetin - Iam Hungry (ep. 3)
- Euan MacDonald - Simon the Loch Ness Monster (ep. 6)
- Mona Marshall - Kids (ep. 6)
- Drew Massey - Pip (ep. 6)
- Julie Merrill - TV Woman (ep. 1)
- Richard Moll - Org's Dad (ep. 3)
- Patrick Pinney - Phantom Head (ep. 1)
- Kevin Schoen - Phantom Head (ep. 4)
- Phil Snyder - Professor Thaddeus J. Pinchworm (ep. 4), Stiles (ep. 6)
- Warren Sroka - King Murray (ep. 5)
- Andre Stojka - Royal Chef (ep. 5)
- Tara Strong - Girl, Boy, Sheep (ep. 6)
- Meshach Taylor - Pink Planet (ep. 3)
- James Kevin Ward - Scotty (ep. 6)
- Gedde Watanabe - Karate Master (ep. 3)
- Bruce Weitz - Blather (ep. 2)
- Julian West - Dad, Police Officer (ep. 6)
- Carl W. Wolfe - Org (ep. 3)
- Charlie Adler - Voice Director
- Barbara Wright - Casting Director
- Terry Thoren - Executive In Charge of Production
- Tracy Kramer - Executive In Charge of Production
- Glenwood Editorial, Inc. - Track Reading
- Grimsaem Animation - Overseas Production Facility
- Sunwoo Entertainment - Overseas Production Facility
- Scared Silly at Internet Movie Database
- The Legend of Grimace Island at Internet Movie Database
- Visitors From Outer Space at Internet Movie Database
- Birthday World at Internet Movie Database
- Have Time, Will Travel at Internet Movie Database
- The Monster O' McDonaldland Loch at Internet Movie Database