Happy's here, to go with your fries
McDONALD'S restaurant chain said its new "Happy" mascot will bring "fun and excitement" to its children's meals, but social media contends the toothy, red box-shaped character may not quite have that effect.
Twitter responses to McDonald's mascot announcement on Monday complained that the animated red Happy Meal box, with its cavernous mouth and rows of large white teeth, could startle children instead of bringing them joy.
"Happy" is filling in for Ronald McDonald.
Said one comment: "I didn't want to sleep tonight anyway, it's cool."
The character will be introduced nationwide tomorrow.
Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald's said in a statement that it will encourage kids to enjoy healthy food choices, like fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy.
In response to the criticism on social media, McDonald's spokesman Lisa McComb noted that since 2009, the character has been "loved and well-received by children and families in Latin America and Europe".
"Social media is a great place to have a conversation and express an opinion, but not all comments reflect the broader view," Ms McComb said in an e-mail.