The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald

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The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald
The wacky adventures of ronald mcdonald character.jpg
Animated version of Ronald McDonald as seen in the show.
Created by McDonald's
Written by Andrew McElfresh
Michael Bloom
Eryk Casemiro
Jane Reardon
Vanessa Kaufman
Directed by John Holmquist
Jim Duffy
Voices of Joe Maggard
Charlie Adler
Pamela Adlon
Dee Bradley Baker
Christine Cavanaugh
Jazmine A. Corona
Jim Cummings
Nika Futterman
Paul Greenberg
Alex D. Linz
Lisa Raggio
Kevin Michael Richardson
Kath Soucie
Verne Troyer
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)
Composer(s) Mark Mothersbaugh
Bob Mothersbaugh
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 6
Production
Executive producer(s) Arlene Klasky
Gábor Csupó
Running time 40 minutes (1-6)
Production company(s) Klasky Csupo
Triggerfish Animation Studios
Grand Illusions Entertainment
DIC Entertainment
Distributor McDonald's
Release
Original network Direct-to Video
Original release October 9, 1998 (1998-10-09) – February 21, 2003 (2003-02-21)

The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald is a 1998 TV 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.

History[edit]

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 the 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 videos.

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. The animation was not in the Klasky Csupo style, instead in the style of the costumed characters and how they were depicted in the company artwork. DIC animated the special, which featured an appearance by 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 to 2007, two DVDs of "McKids Adventures" series were released. None of them have any McDonaldland elements.

Episodes[edit]

Scared Silly[edit]

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 house.

Ronald and Sundae go down the ball pit slide.

The Legend of Grimace Island[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Birthday World[edit]

This volume was released on March 30, 2001. It's Ronald's birthday and Hamburglar, upset that he didn't get Ronald a present, invites everyone to a fake amusement park known as "Birthday World" to celebrate, run by an evil mad scientist named Professor Thaddeus J. Pinchworm. Everyone is amused at first, but they can no longer escape and no longer fall for the poor designs of the rides until they ride a rollercoaster which turns them into babies (both Franklin and Tika are wearing diapers) and they need to find out how to return to their original ages, even though their certain abilities are limited since they are toddlers.

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.

Have Time, Will Travel[edit]

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[edit]

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.

The episode was released in very limited numbers, making it extremely difficult to find; although, after ten years of being considered "lost media," it has recently been uploaded to YouTube.

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.

Cast[edit]

Voice talent on these tapes includes K-C veterans Christine Cavanaugh, Kath Soucie, and Charlie Adler. The role of Ronald McDonald is credited as "Himself."

Guest cast[edit]

Crew[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]