The movie, which grossed $38 million on opening night at the box office, will offer a set of toy characters, including Ariel, Eric, Sebastian, King Triton, Flounder and Ursula, among others. The thingamabobs are available for a limited time, while supplies last.
This is not the first time McDonald’s has partnered with the Walt Disney Company – a mass media and entertainment conglomerate – to offer movie-themed Happy Meals. For over 30 years, the meals and accompanying toys have been widely successful, including recreations of characters from The Fox and the Hound, Tarzan, Pocahontas and other classics throughout the years.
Additionally, McDonald’s has released a nationally televised commercial with the founder of Black Girls Surf, Rhonda “Coach Rho” Harper. Her nonprofit performance training camp was created to instill equity for girls and women in the global surfing industry. Their partnership will help in promoting The Little Mermaid Happy Meal and “inspire the future wavemaker in everyone,” underscoring surfers like Bethany & Anaya Malone, Macie Smith, Olivia Whyms, Penelope “Poppy” Brockhaus and Maizy Gordon, who all make guest appearances in the commercial.
The commercial was created to “make waves and create the change they want to see in the world,” McDonald’s said in a statement. Surfers from the camp were invited to the blue carpet premiere of The Little Mermaid where they received exclusive access to the film.
“This commercial with McDonald’s is a visual reminder that we are all little mermaids,” Harper told TODAY. “Since 2014, our organization has coached hundreds of young girls from the shores of California by way of Costa Rica, to the beaches of Senegal. We are now surfing our way to the Junior Olympics.”
McDonald’s has donated funds to Black Girls Surf and it plans to host a “The Little Mermaid” screening for Black Girl Surf’s members.
“At McDonald’s, inclusivity, imagination, and joy live in the DNA of every Happy Meal,” marketing vice president at McDonald’s Jennifer “JJ” Healan said. “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.”