McDonald’s is going under the sea for its latest Happy Meal, today announcing Ariel, King Triton, Ursula, Eric, Sebastian and Flounder from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” will be the featured toys and theme for a limited time and while supplies last.
The collaboration coincides with the new live adaptation of the Disney classic featured in theaters starting May 26. In addition to the eight featured figurines, McDonald’s HappyMeal.com website will also include a The Little Mermaid “Under the Sea” phone/tablet game.
To promote the latest Happy Meal, McDonald’s has launched a national television commercial with Rhonda “Coach Rho” Harper, founder and executive producer of Black Girls Surf, a nonprofit organization founded in 2014 to provide training to increase diversity and inclusion within the surf industry. The company said the partnership highlights “the importance of kids like Ariel who make waves and create the change they want to see in the world.”
“At McDonald’s, inclusivity, imagination, and joy live in the DNA of every Happy Meal,” Jennifer “JJ” Healan, VP of U.S. Marketing, Brand, Content, and Culture at McDonald's, said in a statement. “For years we have worked with Disney to bring magic to life every day. ‘The Little Mermaid’ Happy Meal is an extension of that collaboration where even more fans can see themselves reflected in profound possibility and feel encouraged to dream big and make waves.”
As part of its ongoing commitment to giving back to community programs, McDonald's donated funds to Black Girls Surf to help support the next generation of competitive surfers and will host a special "The Little Mermaid” screening for Black Girl Surf’s members. McDonald’s said initiatives such as “The Little Mermaid” Happy Meal are designed to drive representation and “foster advancement.”
Disney faced a backlash, including the proliferation of a #NotMyAriel hashtag on social media, when it announced Black actor Halle Bailey was playing the part of Ariel in the 2023 adaptation of the 1989 animated film. However, reactions to the latest Happy Meal theme seem largely positive on social media thus far and “The Little Mermaid” is expected to debut at No. 1 on the domestic box office charts this weekend, with over $120 million projected during Memorial Day weekend alone.
Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]