Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Disney's Darkwing Duck McDonald's Happy Meal
Darkwing Duck, "the terror that flaps in the night," made his TV debut in 1991 (like so many Disney Afternoon shows, the series had a preview on the Disney Channel in the Spring before heading to syndication in the Fall). The show was also seen on ABC Saturday Mornings. Darkwing Duck was even the star of his own McDonald's Happy Meal.
Well, in New Zealand, circa 1993!
There was no Darkwing Duck Happy Meal in the United States. Darkwing Duck may have been the victim of a change in Disney's fast food promotional partners. Disney had previously partnered with McDonald's in the United States for TV and movie Happy Meals, but that changed in 1991 with a new alliance with Burger King. Burger King's first promotion was for Beauty and the Beast in November of 1991.
However, Disney and McDonald's were still promotional partners in most other countries. For example, McDonald's had a Lion King Happy Meal in Europe to promote the film, but in America, Burger King had a Lion King Kids Club Meal.
New Zealand's Darkwing Duck McDonald's Happy Meal featured four vehicles that revealed characters from the series.
On the far left is Darkwing's Thunderquack Jet, which is piloted by Darkwing Duck himself.
The Ratcatcher Motorcycle is driven by Launchpad McQuack.
It may have been more logical for Launchpad to go with the Thunderquack Jet, since Launchpad was a pilot (though not a good one, as seen in his other Disney TV series, Ducktales).
The bookbag(?) on wheels (maybe it's a trash can?) features Honker Muddlefoot, the show's nerdy character.
Darkwing Duck's daughter Gosalyn sits in what I believe is supposed to be the Ratcatcher motorcycle's sidecar.
Folks in the United States probably remember another Darkwing Duck promotion. Kellogg's cereals had a set of figurines available as an offer through the mail.
Ironically, the Kellogg's Disney Afternoon figures known in America were also offered in McDonald's Happy Meals in other countries!
Darkwing Duck (voiced by Jim Cummings) fought crime with goofy sidekick Launchpad McQuack (Terence McGovern). They are often helped by Darkwing's adopted daughter, Gosalyn (Christine Cavanaugh) and her friend, Honker Muddlefoot (Katie Leigh). They must fight a host of wacky villains, including Megavolt (Dan Castellaneta---the voice of Homer Simpson).
My favorite Darkwing Duck character was one that only had one appearance. It was "The Rubber Chicken," and he was featured in an episode called "Mutancy on the Bouncy." He was an elastic rooster superhero voiced by Corey Burton. I thought the concept of this character was hilarious and that he deserved his own show or movie.