Ah, McDonald’s. The chicken nuggets are endless, the playgrounds are bitchin’, and the McFlurry machine has been broken since 1995. Despite that one glaring flaw, Mickie D’s is a pretty solid fast food joint. However, the franchise’s greatest accomplishment is one that time has forgotten. That pesky time.
That accomplishment, for those who still don’t know, is The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald. Produced by Klasky Csupo, the company known for shows such as The Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys, the separately-released direct-to-video series focused on Ronald McDonald, the other McDonald’s mascots, and their young human friends while they experienced wondrous, moral-teaching adventures.
None of those adventures were greater, though than “Scared Silly,” the series’ very first episode. Released to VHS in October of 1998, the 40-minute episode could be purchased at your local McDonald’s for less than $4, and unless your guardians were total squares, they spotted you the cash.
Now, I’m not going to sit here in my holey sweatpants and tell you that “Scared Silly” is greater than classic haunted house films like Poltergeist and The Changeling, but I’m not going to deny it either.
The episode follows the baggy jumpsuit-wearing Ronald McDonald and his friends while they go camping in the Far-Flung Forest. There are songs, there are jokes, and there is cheer all around. Like any great horror film, though, that happiness is quickly suffocated by a sense of doom when a thunderstorm strikes and forces the group to take shelter in an old haunted house.
While there, the McBuddies (A name I just gave them that should’ve totally been trademarked) encounter a holographic head named Franklin, who forces them to partake in a challenging riddle game if they ever want to leave the spooky house again. One by one, the friends begin to disappear as they fail to correctly solve each riddle.
I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I promise that it’s satisfying.
If your interest in The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald has been renewed, or if you have a child you want to shamelessly frighten in a family-friendly sort of way, the episode has been uploaded to YouTube and can be viewed below.
Stay spooky, my friends.