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Western Animation / The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald

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Ronald McDonald and the gang...ANIMATED!

The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald is a Direct to Video series of animated films depicting McDonald's mascot Ronald McDonald going on wacky adventures.

The first three videos would begin with live-action actors playing Ronald himself and his dog Sundae in their home, usually doing something that would foreshadow the main plot. The Call to Adventure would arrive in the form of a call from one of their friends, and Ronald and Sundae would depart their home and enter the outside world — getting animated in the process. The rest of the film would show whatever adventure they got up to with their group of friends, whether it was being chased by a bear, enduring the Hamburglar's schemes, or welcoming aliens from another planet, and at the film's conclusion, Ronald and Sundae would reflect on the lesson learned.


The next three videos featured a slight shake-up to the formula: whilst the first three films would be a contemporary story, the latter three films' stories would be presented as events that had already transpired. Sundae also stopped appearing in the live-action segments (though his voice is heard in the fourth and sixth ones), and Ronald himself would sing the opening theme song.

The VHS tapes could be purchased at your local McDonald's, usually with the purchase of a Happy Meal or an ice cream (depending on the restaurant). The final film is notorious for being very rare; it was only available by ordering off of the Klasky-Csupo website, and it already being in limited supply didn't help things either. For the next thirteen years, searching the Internet was useless, but as of late 2015, the sixth and final video was finally found and uploaded to YouTube for all to see.


Films in order of release:

  • Scared Silly: Ronald and friends go camping with their friend Tika (who seems to be hiding something), but end up forced into a spooky mansion by the weather. When trapped inside, they try to find their way out of the labyrinthian mansion, solving riddles along the way.
  • The Legend of Grimace Island: Grimace finds a map to the fabled Grimace Island, an island populated by his own kind, where supposedly a great treasure awaits. The gang sails off, followed by a pair of greedy pirates.
  • The Visitors From Outer Space: Hamburglar's latest scheme to hoard burgers destroys his friends' trust in him just as he's abducted by a family of aliens on their way to a distant space resort.
  • Birthday World: Hamburglar forgets to get a gift for Ronald's birthday, and brings the gang to a dilapidated theme park run by a Mad Scientist out to Take Over the World… by way of turning the world's population into infants.
  • Have Time, Will Travel: While helping clean up Dr. Quizzical's lab, Hamburglar accidentally activates his time machine, taking the group along for a journey through the ages.
  • The Monster O'McDonaldland Loch: The group goes to the eponymous loch to get a sight at a mysterious beast rumored to dwell within it, but the beast turns out to be real, and wants its existence kept a secret.

The Wacky Tropes of Ronald McDonald:

  • Adaptational Badass: Birdie is a black belt in karate.
  • The Ace: There's not really anything Ronald can't make his way out of.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • While Hamburgler still loves burgers and is up to a scheme every now and then, he is one of Ronald's friends in this series.
    • Iam Hungry was hostile and trying to steal food from Ronald in the one commercial he initially appeared in. In "Visitors From Outer Space", he is called by Ronald to help clean their ship of space desert.
  • An Aesop: One for most of the videos.
    • The Legend of Grimace Island: Have faith in yourself.
    • Visitors From Outer Space: Appreciate your friends and what you have, and don't lie to them.
    • Have Time, Will Travel: It's best to get the hard work out of the way before having fun.
    • The Monster O'McDonaldland Loch: Some things have to be kept secret and you can't assume that everyone who doesn't know you will hate you.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Org and his family are aliens that can speak fluent English.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: The titular Birthday World is an amusement park run by Professor Pinchworm, a Mad Scientist out to take over the world by turning its population into babies. He gives Hamburglar invitations to the park for Ronald and his friends as a present for Ronald's birthday, and once they arrive, he traps them inside, then tests his age ray on them during one of the rides. Now, Ronald and his friends have to find the ray so they can foil Pinchworm's plan and return to their normal ages, all the while making their way through a maze of rides and attractions.
  • Animated Adaptation: Of McDonald's characters and McDonaldland.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • In Scared Silly, Grimace mentions that he's too scared to watch television because of movies about vampires, monsters, and baby ducks.
    • When Hamburglar finally apologizes for his actions in The Visitors from Outer Space, he expresses remorse for fibbing, stealing burgers, and painting Sundae's tail.
  • Artistic License – History: See Lampshade Hanging.
  • Art Shift: The portraits Ronald changes in the first intro from how they're portrayed from the commercials, to their looks in the cartoon.
  • Back for the Finale: The irascible car from the first video returns for the final video.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Tika, or at least her stomach.
  • Bears Are Bad News: As the group finds out in Scared Silly.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Hamburglar hopes that his bear call will work. It does, much to his horror.
      Bear: Oh, it works alright.
    • Hamburglar ends up regretting crying wolf about aliens arriving on Earth when they really do show, and take him with them to a distant corner of the universe - though in this case he willingly went along until learning how long he'd be gone.
  • Behemoth Battle: Between Simon, the Monster O'McDonaldland Loch, and Stiles' robotic monster.
  • Big Bad: Franklin for Scared Silly, Captain Sally for Grimace Island, Professor Pinchworm for Birthday World, and Stiles for The Monster O'McDonaldland Loch.
  • Big Eater: Hamburglar, if his stealing all the burgers in McDonaldland is any indication.
    • Iam Hungry from Visitors From Outer Space, who is called in specifically to eat a huge mess up.
  • Birthday Episode: Ronald celebrates his birthday in "Birthday World".
  • Bookends: All videos started and ended with a live-action segment starring Ronald.
    • Ronald's talking car only appears in the first and final videos.
  • Brick Joke: As the gang is being chased by a bear, Ronald manages to turn his map into a door and lure the bear into it. When the gang is in the Quizzical mansion, they open multiple doors to find a way out. Guess who was behind Grimace's door?
  • The Bus Came Back: Mayor McCheese makes a surprising return in "Have Time, Will Travel".
  • Canon Foreigner: Tika, Franklin and his father, Captain Sally… well, pretty much everyone besides Ronald's core group of friends.
  • Canon Immigrant: Sundae would later appear in some 2000s commercials as a real dog instead of a puppet.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Hamburglar uses a Quizzical bear call maker near the beginning of Scared Silly. Guess who comes into the spotlight at the end of the film?
  • Changed My Jumper: Averted in Have Time, Will Travel - the whole gang are inexplicably changed into period-appropriate garb for every time period they're dropped into.
  • Crappy Carnival: What the Birthday World theme park really is.
  • Crying Wolf: In the third video, Hamburglar is caught giving a false alarm about aliens to distract the others while he goes on a burger-stealing spree. So, naturally, when he begins being hounded by a real flying saucer and gives a genuine distress call, they brush him off.
  • Cut Short: The Monster O'McDonaldland Loch ends with yet another announcement to look for the next video even though it was the last video ever made. It stands out from the other videos' trailers because we aren't even given the slightest bit of information on what kind of adventure the McDonaldland gang would go on next, when every previous video would give the title and basic premise of the next video.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sundae's main role in the series.
    • Hamburglar and Birdie have their fair share of being this trope. Mostly towards each other. Surprisingly, even Ronald has moments of this in "Birthday World" when he was a toddler. To be fair, you'd be too if a creepy scientist used you and your friends as guinea pigs on your birthday. There would some snark left in the beginning of "Have Time Will Travel".
  • Delayed Reaction: After Hamburglar discovers his bear call has summoned a real bear, he bursts from the bushes screaming. Everyone responds with relief briefly before panicking and running.
  • Depraved Dwarf: Both Professor Pinchworm from Birthday World and King Murray from Have Time, Will Travel.
  • The Dragon: Blather, Captain Sally's first mate. Not that he's competent, mind you…
  • Dull Surprise: Tika, especially during her part in the songs during Scared Silly.
  • Dwindling Party: In Scared Silly, as the group gradually falls one-by-one to the mansion's traps.
  • The Ghost: Ronald's unnamed uncle is only mentioned once in Scared Silly thanks to having a hedge maze that would give Ronald the idea on how to get out of Franklin's mirror maze. This fact may considered a Call-Back in Birthday World where a toddler Ronald uses his magic to create a hedge maze to distract Pinchworm.
  • Evil Laugh: Professor Pinchworm breaks into one of these after just about every other sentence.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: One-Eyed Sally and Blather were last seen in a rowboat, surrounded by sharks (which destroyed the oars).
  • Fear Song: In "Scared Silly", Ronald and his friends take shelter in a haunted house after it rains during their camping trip. They sing two similar songs addressing the house's creepy nature. One describes the fact that they have no other choice for shelter, while the other reassures them that they'll be fine if they stick together.
  • Feather Fingers: Birdie's wings tend to be drawn like large yellow hands with tapered fingers, and are used as such, when she's not flying.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Tika is dripping in this trope from her first few lines during Scared Silly, and nearly blows it right before The Reveal.
    • Have Time, Will Travel begins with Birdie wanting to go on a medieval adventure, Grimace wanting to go on a horseback adventure, and Hamburglar wanting to go on a "disco adventure." Three of the eras the McDonaldland gang end up going to in Dr. Quizzical's time machine are The Middle Ages, The Wild West, and McDonaldland in The '70s.
  • Fountain of Youth: Birthday World concerns a Mad Scientist's plot to Take Over the World by turning the entire world's population into helpless babies via a giant ray gun, with the McDonalds gang as the first test subjects.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: One-Eyed Sally is apparently a notorious villain, but that doesn't stop the McNuggets from going along with her for the sake of being pirates.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Hamburglar is shown to wear underwear with burgers printed on it in The Monster O'McDonaldland Loch.
  • Halloween Episode: Scared Silly is this, being a more creepy film released on October 9th, 1998. Odd in that it's also the first episode of the series.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Franklin, after being the Big Bad of the first film, becomes a Sixth Ranger to the group.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ronald arguably has two: one in the form of Sundae (who's frankly more of a roommate than a pet) and another in Grimace.
  • The Hero's Birthday: Birthday World centers around Ronald's birthday and was actually made to commemorate the character's "birthday" in real life.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Pinchworm winds up hit by his own "Babe-O-Matic Ray" that he was going to use on the rest of the world.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the beginning of the third film, both Ronald and Sundae were reading newspapers and calling out on how the articles are baloney, one of those articles being "Woman Teaches Dog How To Read Newspaper".
  • "I Want" Song: Hamburglar singing his desire to be rescued during the third video.
  • Identical Grandson: In Have Time, Will Travel, Ronald and friends encounter caveman versions of themselves during the stone age and Hamburglar is mistaken by an angry mob for his great-great-grandfather Henry H. Burglar II when the gang travel to the Wild West.
  • Imprinting: In The Monster O'McDonaldland Loch, a bunch of sheep mistake Grimace for their mother.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • Grimace feels guilty about about this in The Legend of Grimace Island that he lead the pirates to Grimace Island, although it's not really as he had no way of knowing the pirates were following them (or that the letter he received was written by the pirates and not the Grimaces).
    • Hamburglar in Birthday World when he wanted to give Ronald the best present, and gets the gang stuck with Pinchworm.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Hamburglar is a mischievous prankster, but he still considers everyone else to be his friends.
    • Sundae always makes dry remarks about everything, but he makes it clear that he does care about Ronald.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Hamburglar outright notes the absurdity of cavemen living contemporaneously with dinosaurs.
    • By the fifth video, Sundae dryly notes Ronald's enthusiasm for adventures that often nearly get them killed or otherwise exhausted.
  • Laughably Evil: One-Eyed Sally handily defeated an entire island of Grimace's and Ronald's group with a cannon full of fish. And she's scared off by threat of tickling by feathers.
  • Lighter and Softer: The first film had a rather eerie atmosphere, despite still being light-hearted for kids, and had a slightly more complex plot with a lot of Foreshadowing throughout. The subsequent films get simpler and much more whimsical, never quite getting as creepy as Scared Silly.
  • Magitek: What Ronald's various magical and technological skills boil down to.
  • Man in a Kilt: After his pants get torn, Hamburglar spends the rest of The Monster O'McDonaldland Loch wearing a kilt.
  • Missing Mom: Franklin is the son of a scientist named Dr. Quizzical, but his mother is nowhere to be seen and isn't even mentioned.
  • Nervous Wreck: Grimace is portrayed as a very timid, easily frightened worrywart in the cartoons, in addition to his typical characterization as The Ditz.
  • Nice Guy: Ronald, of course.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: When the group explores the mansion in Scared Silly, Grimace notices a pair of eyes watching him from behind a door. We never learn just what was watching him. Though it was ultimately revealed just to be another one of Franklin's tricks, it doesn't make the moment any less creepy.
  • Obviously Evil: The Mad Scientist, Professor Pinchworm, seems utterly incapable of controlling his maniacal cackling, even when in the midst of trying to deceive the gang. Heck, when he first approaches Hamburglar, he barely avoids introducing himself as a "world-renowned evil scientist."
  • Off-Model: As the series went on, the colorations of the McNuggets became more inconsistent, and it sounded like the three swapped voices between each other as a result. Scared Silly was consistent with the red McNugget being the Token Girl of the three, the purple McNugget sounding like a lower-voiced and less nasally version of the Hamburglar (due to both being voiced by Charlie Adler) and the blue McNugget sounding like a preteen or young teenage boy. If Scared Silly wasn't the starting point for viewers, they might be confused as to which McNugget was supposed to have which voice.
  • Pokémon Speak: Iam Hungry's only dialogue consists of repeatedly saying his own name in contrast to his commercial.
  • The Prankster: Hamburglar, especially in the first video.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: King Murray is about as bratty and childish as fictional royalty comes.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The episodes seem to re-use music cues from another Klasky-Csupo series, Rugrats.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Ronald and the core cast are perfectly familiar with newcomer Tika, as well as Dr. Quizzical and One-Eyed Sally.
  • The Reveal: In Scared Silly, Tika was luring Ronald to the Quizzical mansion to see how he'd fare in Franklin's maze of riddles and puzzles. Everything in the mansion was just smoke and mirrors.
  • The Stinger: Each video would feature a trailer for the next video at the end of the feature and before the credits. Yes, even the last video.
  • Stock Ness Monster: The Monster of McDonaldland Loch.
  • Stock Sound Effect: A high-pitched cucco crowing noise can be heard in the first opening sequence.
  • Stylistic Suck: The old scary dinosaur movies Sundae watches are deliberately cheesy.
  • Super Breath: Ronald is shown to have this power in "Birthday World" and "Have Time Will Travel".
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: One-Eyed Sally to Captain Crook.
  • Talking Animal: Sundae the dog.
  • Theme Song:
    • Wake up, wake up! It's another day
    • Time to get going, why sleep when we can play?
    • Gotta get ready to enjoy the view
    • Looking kind of cool, looking kind of new
    • There are things we should be trying, me and you
    • A new day's here and fun is overdue
    • It's getting even cooler, step into a new beat
    • Got it tingling inside me and it's spreading to my feet
    • McDonaldland is changing, everything is rearranging
    • I can't sit still, 'cause it's a beautiful day
    • And Ronald McDonald's got something to say
    • Now good morning in McDonaldland
    • Let's see what's happening first
  • Time Travel: The main plot in Have Time, Will Travel.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Grimace and Hamburglar have their moments.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Franklin, after his Heel–Face Turn. He goes from a bratty Control Freak to a kind, if uninteresting protagonist.
  • Toon Transformation: Ronald and Sundae go through this, as described at the top.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Professor Pinchworm's actually got a pretty nasty evil plan when it comes down to it. He wants to rule the world by turning the world's population besides himself into infants, leaving him as the only adult. He's basically asking for the extinction of humanity, who will be reduced to relatively helpless infants. And he also has a robotic attack dog that not only tries to eat the younger gang, but presumably eats him at the end of the short.
    • The bear from Scared Silly may also count, considering he was happy to chase down Ronald and the gang presumably to maul or kill them.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The gang acknowledges this as their relationship with Hamburglar. On a more direct note, Hamburglar is this with Birdie; most of their interactions boil down to the two bickering and taking snarky jabs at each other, especially when aged down to toddlers in Birthday World.
  • Weather Manipulation: It's implied that Ronald can do this in "The Legend of Grimace Island", thanks to his Super Breath.
  • X-Ray Sparks: In The Legend of Grimace Island, Ronald at one point gets struck by lightning and has his skeleton visible.