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McD movie tie-in to teach kids ecofriendly lessons

OAK BROOK Ill. McDonald’s Corp. has announced a global tie-in to the release of “Bee Movie” designed to educate kids about the environment and continue the chain’s efforts to encourage them to exercise and eat nutritious meals.

McDonald’s on Friday will begin promoting Happy Meals containing Chicken McNuggets, Apple Dippers and low-fat milk and will go live in the United States with, where kids can make “eco-pledges” to help improve the environment.

The chain is partnering with movie studio DreamWorks Animation SKG and Conservation International for the promotion, which follows the successful “Shrek the Third” Happy Meal promotion earlier this year.

As part of the current tie-in, McDonald’s has donated $100,000 to the conservation group to support projects in South Africa and Mexico designed to protect bee and pollinator habitats.

“This is new ground for us,” said Mary Dillon, McDonald’s global chief marketing officer.

Dillon joined DreamWorks chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and Conservation International chief executive Peter Seligman at a presentation before students at the Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago to announce the promotional plans.

Katzenberg praised McDonald’s for being “as aggressive as they are” in promoting healthful lifestyles for children, and Seligman said the chain was environmentally conscious “way before it became cool to be green.”

Despite developing more-healthful meal choices for children, McDonald’s and other restaurant chains continue to be targeted by the government and health activists for the role they may play in the child-obesity problem.

Dillon said McDonald’s was proud of its efforts to encourage the well-being of children.

The “Bee Movie” promotion will be supported with TV spots featuring comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who is the voice of the movie’s hero, Barry B. Benson. In-store material will contain ecofriendly messages.

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