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The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald
Ronald McDonald as seen in the series
Genre
Written by
  • Andrew McElfresh (ep. 1)
  • Michael Bloom (ep. 1)
  • Mark Zaslove (ep. 2)
  • Eryk Casemiro (ep. 2, 4–6)
  • David Regal (ep. 3–6)
  • Emily Kapnek (ep. 4–5)
  • Barbara Herndon (ep. 6)
  • Jill Gorey (ep. 6)
Directed by
Starring
Opening theme
  • "McDonaldland is Changing" by Pinky Villandry (ep. 1–3)
  • "The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald" by David Hussey (as Ronald McDonald) (ep. 4–6)
Composers
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes6
Production
Executive producers
Running time40 minutes
Production companyKlasky Csupo
DistributorMcDonald's
Release
Original networkVHS
Original releaseOctober 9, 1998 (1998-10-09) –
January 30, 2003 (2003-01-30)

The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald is an American animated miniseries of retail direct-to-video episodes produced by Klasky Csupo in association with the McDonald's Corporation, centering on McDonald's mascot Ronald McDonald and the gang in McDonaldland.[1] A total of six 40-minute episodes were produced and released on VHS exclusively in participating McDonald's restaurants from October 9, 1998 to January 30, 2003.

Production

Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh (best known as members of the band Devo and composers of the music for Rugrats, another Klasky Csupo series) composed the score of the series while John Holmquist (who has also directed some Rugrats episodes) directed the first episode of the series. The artistic style of the series has a similar look to Rugrats, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, The Wild Thornberrys, and Rocket Power (another Klasky Csupo series). The background music was recycled from later episodes of Rugrats.

In a format similar to both The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and Back to the Future: The Animated Series, each episode starts and ends with a live-action segment.

By various accounts, the episodes turned out to be rather popular, to which individual McDonald's locations frequently ran out of VHS tapes, which were sold individually for $3.49 and could be bought with a small vanilla ice cream cone or Diet Coke. Klasky Csupo also sold them through their online gift shop, which was shut down in fall 2005.

A Happy Meal featuring Lego vehicles to build was released at the restaurant chain in 1999, a year after the series originally premiered. The front of each vehicle had an image of one of the McDonaldland characters in the Klasky Csupo style, as depicted in the series.

Cast

Main

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

Guest cast

Episodes

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Scared Silly"John HolmquistAndrew McElfresh and Michael BloomOctober 9, 1998 (1998-10-09)

Ronald and his friends go 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. Due to a sudden storm, the campers are forced to stay in the old house, where a Phantom head leads them through a challenging game that will help them to escape, if they cooperate. Along the way, the Fry Kids and McNuggets get caught in traps and are separated from the group and the rest face off against the Phantom head in a challenge of riddles. Tika, Hamburglar, and Birdie fail each riddle and are swept into traps, 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, Dr. Quizzical returns to catch his son in the act and reveals that Franklin has done something like this before. Franklin apologizes to the gang for his actions and is allowed to join in their camping trip, becoming their new friend in the process.

Note: The only appearance of the Fry Kids in the series.
2"The Legend of Grimace Island"Jim DuffyMark Zaslove and Eryk CasemiroJanuary 22, 1999 (1999-01-22)
Ronald and the gang go out on a journey to Grimace Island (where Grimace's species is originated) after Grimace receives a letter supposedly by the island's residents asking for help. Unbeknownst to everyone, the letter was actually written by pirate captain One-Eyed Sally and her first mate Blather in a scheme by the two to follow the gang to the island in order to seize the Grimaces' legendary treasure for themselves.
3"The Visitors from Outer Space"Jeff ScottDavid RegalApril 23, 1999 (1999-04-23)

Hamburglar tricks the gang into believing that aliens have come to Earth so that he can steal McDonaldland's hamburgers without interference from them, which costs him their trust in him when they find out. Later, Hamburglar gets abducted by real aliens after foolishly accepting an offer to go on vacation with them, not realizing until too late that the vacation lasts thousands of Earth years. Despite being angry at him for his lie and prank, Ronald and his friends go on a mission in outer space to rescue Hamburglar.

Note: 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. It is also the last episode where Sundae appears in the live-action segments. Prior to this episode, there was a Rugrats episode with the same title.
4"Birthday World"Anthony BellDavid Regal
Additional Material by: Emily Kapnek and Eryk Casemiro
March 30, 2001 (2001-03-30)

Hamburglar is upset that he forgot Ronald's birthday and does not have a present for him until an evil mad scientist named Professor Thaddeus J. Pinchworm gives him tickets to a fake amusement park called Birthday World. During their visit, Ronald and his friends quickly become disappointed to find that most of the park's rides are broken and/or malfunctioning; they then ride a roller coaster which turns them into toddlers and babies with a ray. The gang then discovers that they were test subjects for Pinchworm's evil scheme to use a bigger version of the ray to de-age the world's population in order to achieve world domination. Despite the fact that the work has left their abilities limited, Ronald and his friends set out to stop Pinchworm's scheme and restore themselves to their regular ages.

Note: 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 but is heard once offscreen.
5"Have Time, Will Travel"Anthony BellEmily Kapnek
Additional Material by: Eryk Casemiro and David Regal
October 19, 2001 (2001-10-19)

While helping Franklin clean up his father's lab, Ronald and his pals stumble across a time machine in which 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, medieval times, where they entertain the spoiled young King Murray with in order to save a captured Birdie, the Wild West, where they discover Hamburglar's ancestor Henry H. Burglar II (whom the residents mistake Hamburglar for) and the disco era of the 1970s, where they briefly encounter Mayor McCheese.

Note: The only episode where the McNuggets are absent.
6"The Monster O’ McDonaldland Loch"Anthony BellBarbara Herndon and Jill Gorey
Additional Material by: Eryk Casemiro and David Regal
January 30, 2003 (2003-01-30)

The gang travels to a Scottish expedition known as Ol’ McDonaldland Loch where Sundae's cousin Scotty lives. They also come across a plot by a mad scientist named Stiles and his assistant Pip's attempt to build a replica of the Loch Ness Monster in order to make money from the discovery. Birdie befriends the real Loch Ness Monster, who is named Simon and wants his existence to be kept a secret. Despite not being good at keeping secrets, Birdie agrees to, but this becomes difficult when Stiles and Pip's scheme goes awry, putting everyone in danger.

Note: This episode was the rarest of all six, as it was only released online on the Klasky Csupo website on January 30, 2003 as opposed to McDonald's stores. The episode was titled "The Legend of Ol’ McDonaldland Loch" on most websites. It was also Christine Cavanaugh's final acting role, as it was released approximately two years after her retirement.

Crew

References

  1. ^ Schlosser, E. (2012). Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-547-75033-0. Retrieved April 12, 2018.