Apparently toys are off the menu when it comes to promoting Disney movies in McDonald’s Happy Meals. The two companies are ending their 10-year, $1.3 billion cross-promotional deal at the end of the 2006 summer movie season.
What ended the relationship? Disney board member Steve Jobs doesn’t care much for the food at McDonald’s and wants to stop using it to promote Disney/Pixar films like Finding Nemo and Cars to kids. According to the LA Times, Steve Jobs expressed his uncertainty about using Happy Meals to help promote films in a conference call last year. Jobs, Apple CEO and Pixar Animation Studios chief, is now Disney’s largest shareholder after Disney’s recent purchase of Pixar.
Steve Jobs is a pescetarian (a vegetarian who eats fish), but his distaste for McDonald’s isn’t without basis. According to nutrition information posted online, the average US McDonald’s Happy Meal contains 670 calories, with 26g of fat and 4.5 g of trans fat (cheeseburger, small fries and Sprite). This isn’t exactly a healthy kids meal considering about 19% of American children under age nine are considered overweight.